During the 1994 Republican take over of Congress, Newt Gingrich helped construct this new powerful base. While the now infamous “Contract with America” did not specifically address issues that are considered key to the Christian right, there was behind the scenes deals being made to help secure the votes. It was one of the best sell jobs around. Simply it came down to “we can’t say this is an issue, but vote for us and we will have the votes to make it an issue and law”. All the religious leaders bought into this plan and pushed their followers to vote Republican that year and in subsequent years.
Luckily for us on the left, the key issues for the Christian right have not passed through Congress. Decisions have prevailed on the side of the Constitution, instead of being on the side of Religion.
Our country does have a separation of church and state. While many on the right complain of that, they need to realize that this very protection not only protects the citizens from religion, but also protects religion from the government. Power corrupts, as we have seen numerous examples of in the past couple of years. Imagine someone like Jack Abramoff having control over the nation’s churches, instead of just the few synagogues he already had rule in.
I bring this up because last night Keith Olbermann had an exclusive on a new book. Tempting Faith is authored by David Kuo, the former deputy director for the White House’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. His new book outlines what is to be damming evidence of how the powerfully corrupt politicians have used the Christian right as their own pawns. These politicians include such names as Karl Rove, Ken Mehlman and even George Bush.
He [Kuo] says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”
“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes.
More seriously, Kuo alleges that then-White House political affairs director Ken Mehlman knowingly participated in a scheme to use the office, and taxpayer funds, to mount ostensibly “nonpartisan” events that were, in reality, designed with the intent of mobilizing religious voters in 20 targeted races.
Watch the report Olbermann did last night on this book here. He is doing another segment on it tonight (which I will have posted at Crooks and Liars following the airing).
This is needs to be a key issue with the Christian right this year. They need to know how they have been made a bunch of empty promises throughout the years, and those promises have come from the Republicans. They have been used, duped, etc. They need to ask themselves if they feel this is how God intends for them to be used. If it isn’t then it is time for them to vote for change in Washington.