For all of you claiming I am ‘falling for a liberal trap’ when I proclaim the religious loonies* have too much control in my party, you should look to this op-ed in the NY Times by ordained Minister and lifelong Republican John Danforth:
BY a series of recent initiatives, Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. The elements of this transformation have included advocacy of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, opposition to stem cell research involving both frozen embryos and human cells in petri dishes, and the extraordinary effort to keep Terri Schiavo hooked up to a feeding tube.
Standing alone, each of these initiatives has its advocates, within the Republican Party and beyond. But the distinct elements do not stand alone. Rather they are parts of a larger package, an agenda of positions common to conservative Christians and the dominant wing of the Republican Party…
High-profile Republican efforts to prolong the life of Ms. Schiavo, including departures from Republican principles like approving Congressional involvement in private decisions and empowering a federal court to overrule a state court, can rightfully be interpreted as yielding to the pressure of religious power blocs.
In my state, Missouri, Republicans in the General Assembly have advanced legislation to criminalize even stem cell research in which the cells are artificially produced in petri dishes and will never be transplanted into the human uterus. They argue that such cells are human life that must be protected, by threat of criminal prosecution, from promising research on diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and juvenile diabetes.
It is not evident to many of us that cells in a petri dish are equivalent to identifiable people suffering from terrible diseases. I am and have always been pro-life. But the only explanation for legislators comparing cells in a petri dish to babies in the womb is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law…
But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.
The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots.
Why does John Danforth hate all religious people? I guess John Danforth just isn’t a ‘true’ conservative or a ‘good’ Republican. Like it or not, we have become the party of big government, exploding deficits, unsustainable fiscal policies, government intervention, religious dogma, torture, and a whole lot of other nasty shit that should embarass us into a serious change in course.
* Religious loonies, zealots, and radicals are all derogatory terms to descripe people like Randall Terry and other lunatics who want a theocratic state. I am not talking about all religious people. However, if you see eye to eye with scum like Terry, I am talking about you. Hope you are offended.
** Edited for Ricky West’s sanity.