Saturday, December 17, 2011

IS THIS HOW THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT WILL GET BACK IN THE GAME?

We've been lately hearing that the religious right has lost its mojo -- that even in evangelical-rich Iowa the Bible-thumping candidates (Santorum, Bachmann, Perry) are struggling, while the leading GOP presidential candidates are a thrice-married Catholic, a Mormon, and a libertarian. This is regarded as emblematic of the religious right's weakness all over America these days. We accept gays in the military. We watch Glee. We don't care about the fundies' issues anymore, and their best-known leaders are dying off.

I'm not sure I fully accept this narrative -- religious-right arguments are clearly winning the day on abortion all over America, and gay marriage struggles to maintain a toehold -- but it does seem that there's been some loss of clout. So I wonder if the religious right will try to regain that clout by shifting gears the way David Caton of the Florida Family Association has:

For the first 15 years of his public life, Mr. Caton aimed almost entirely at homosexuals....

Mr. Caton often used the tactic of pressuring advertisers on shows he depicted as advocating for homosexuality -- "Sordid Lives," "Degrassi High" and "Modern Family." On the Florida Family Association Web site, he posted grandiose claims about the companies that pulled their advertising and the cable networks that canceled shows. He appears to have frequently exaggerated, but he was almost never publicly contradicted.

Within the past two years, Mr. Caton has largely dropped the anti-gay banner in favor of a new villain: American Muslims.


When he was attacking gay people -- the Gay-Straight Alliance in a Florida high school, an openly gay lawyer in the Florida attorney general's office -- he was a footnote, a guy running a one-man operation known to very few people in America. Now he's leading a frontal assault on the TLC show All-American Muslim, and he's famous. He's also making allies and hopping on something conservatively trendy:

... Mr. Caton's new obsession also drew upon the heated comments of such prominent anti-Muslim activists as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. And it coincided with the national controversies about the "ground zero mosque" -- in fact, an Islamic cultural center several blocks from ground zero — and the hearings led by Representative Peter T. King, a New York Republican, on alleged subversion by American Muslims.

Is this how the fundies will evolve and adapt? By downplaying sex and emphasizing Islamophobia? I could see it. I could see it working. The lives of ordinary people in this country aren't going to get better very fast in the foreseeable future, if at all. Republicans are going to take power overtly in this country sooner or later, and when they don't improve ordinary people's lives, they're going to need to do some serious scapegoating to distract the restless populace -- and believe me, the next Republican president isn't goingt to say, as George W. Bush said, that our quarrel isn't with the Islamic faith per se. Muslim-bashing is going to increase in this country. And maybe the fundies will be right there to give it -- literally -- their blessing, in part for their own benefit.

9 comments:

c u n d gulag said...

Well, I can certainly understand their concern, and their wanting to boycott Lowe's!

I mean, after all, how solid can you and your house be with Jesus Christ if you've used Halal hardwood in your foundation?

Not to mention:
Halal hardwood kitchen countertops.
Halal hardwood HDTV stands.
Halal handrails.
And for Jesus' sake, don't serve Halal Butterball turkey's on a Halal hardwood dining room table!
Lightning will surely strike.

Lowe's MUST repent!!!

And don't sell us none of that Kosher shit, either!

Not unless it's been "Christian Apocalypse-rated!" by the FFA, and it's massive staff of, uhm, how big a staff does it have again?

Oh yeah - ONE - David Caton!!!

Lowe's buckled under to one single xenophobic, Mountain Dew swilling, Cheeto's chomping, masterbating to the Virgin Mary, moronic loner in his Mom's basement.

Lowe's makes the Democratic Party look like the "Seven Blocks of Granite!"

And yes, to answer your question, since most of the country is withdrawing from the "Culture Wars" of yesterday, attacking Muslims and Islam makes the most sense.

Unless they want to start attacking their own different Christian sects - which you see with their problems with Mormon's like Mitt and Huntsman.

Now THAT I wouldn't mind at all!

Davis X. Machina said...

Gay-baiting has just about reached a point where there are too many voters coming the other way to make it anything but self-destructive in a majoritarian system.

There just aren't enough Moslems, and their friends to push back that way. You're relying on the fact that people will fight harder for an idea with a face, than the idea alone.

Too many of us now have a face to put with Section 8, e.g. Milt's coffee-shop moment last week is Exhibit A.

That's not necessarily true with Moslems.

c u n d gulag said...

Davis,
I love you and agree with you almost 100% of the time, but on this, I want to point out to you that it's not the quantity of the people being hated, it's the quality of the hatred.

And if you can summon up rage at a Muslim center blocks away from the former WTC site, and Butterball stamping turkey's as Halal, which is essentially an Arabic version of Kosher, than the sky's the limit!

Now, maybe they won't succeed. But "rage" is their blood, and "hatred" is what pumps it, and without those two, and victimhood, they have nothing.

So, they will try.
Lord, will they try!

After all, the USSR's dead, the Cold War's over, and they've placed all of that angst, anger, fear, and hatred into the 'culture wars,' only to find themselves on the losing side of most of the issues over time.
Sure, they're making "regress" on choice, but we'll see how far that goes before women realize that the attacks on Planned Parenthood, and the proposal of "Personhood," aren't just about abortion and choice, about the quality of a woman's life and health.
The young women in this country need to pick up the mantle of the women who came before them and realize that what is happening, and what may yet happen, will have tragic ramifications for them all.

Oh, they'll still fight the culture, but unless they can find something to rally round the flag now that the "fags" are no longer as rally-able around, theirs won't be wars, but cultural battles and skirmishes, diminished to certain states and areas through time and attrition.

The Muslim's are their last shot at 'A Great Hate.'

It's either that, or it'll be Christian sect versus Christian sect. And I think a whole lot of Catholics will remember how they fared in those battles until they allied themselves with the Evangelicals against choice in the last 30 years.

So, Muslims it is!
For as long, as hard, and as nasty as they can make it.
And, as long as someone named Barack Hussein Obama is President, that's good for anywhere from 1-5 more years.

And after that, they'll see where they are and adjust accordingly.

Which they will do - after all, hate, fear, rage and victimhood are their "Four Humorless Humors" - and without them, they'll die.

Ten Bears said...

I am oft reminded of a Star Trek Next Generation episode where an entity was so bereaved of the death of his mate he willed the offending species into non-existence. He didn't just kill them all, destroy their space navy or fry their home planets, he willed them into non-existence... they never even evolved.

Would that I could, will the Jew/"Christian"/Muslim/Mormon Cult of Male Domination into non-existence.

c u n d gulag said...

Ten Bears,
Maybe you should channel that kid Billy Mumy played in that "Twilight Zone" episode:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Good_Life_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29

Anonymous said...

I don't see this working as well for the Fundies as homophobia. Average Americans understand that no matter what they may think of Muslims, the First Amendment applies to ALL religions. Appreciating how the concept of equal protection under the law applies to LGBT rights is a bit more subtle -- if the bigots feel that battle is lost, Islamophobia isn't likely to prevail either. The multi-denominational protests against Lowe;s are a sign of that.

BH said...

The average Americans, down my way at least, seem a little shaky on that 1st Amdmt principle, 4bd. If one more domestic attack were to happen, even on a far smaller scale than 9/11, & it were tied (at least in the public mind, whatever the real evidence) to a Muslim of any sort, I'm afraid the 1st Amdmt would provide about as much protection for Muslims as the due process/equal protection provisions gave to German-Americans during WW1 or the west coast Japanese-Americans in WW2... not very damn much. And the fundies would be right out in the front of the mobs, megaphones & collection plates at the ready.

merlallen said...

The right wing needs people to hate, if hating gays isn't working anymore go after Moslems. They will always find someone to hate.

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