Friday, July 02, 2004

Republican Jihad

: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush, seeking to mobilize religious conservatives for his reelection campaign, has asked church-going volunteers to turn over church membership directories, campaign officials said on Thursday.

In a move sharply criticized both by religious leaders and civil libertarians, the Bush-Cheney campaign has issued a guide listing about two-dozen 'duties' and a series of deadlines for organizing support among conservative church congregations.

A copy of the guide obtained by Reuters directs religious volunteers to send church directories to state campaign committees, identify new churches that can be organized by the Bush campaign and talk to clergy about holding voter registration drives.


So that's what religion is all about. I thought it had to do with interesting stuff, like the docrtrine of the Trinity and transubstantiation,

Mainline churches have been hoist by their own petard. Embarassed about metaphysics, they proclaimed that Christianity was really an ethical code, a matter of following Jesus the Great Moral Teacher--theology optional--and now conservative Christians are asking WWJD and "voting their values." We were told that real Christianity was social service and political action in the Secular City with God as our "work partner" but it was the religious right that took up "faith based initiatives" and working politically to promote God, guns and guts. Priests preached that "religion is what Man does with his sinfulness," that church-going was a waste of time better spent working politically for the "justice, freedom and peace" and that every grain of incense was bread from the mouths of the poor--so we gave up religion and stopped going to church.

Now the mainline churches are dead: they function as senior day care centers, providing activities and "community" for the elderly and halfway houses for ex-fundamentalists who can't quite shake the feeling that being secular is not quite nice. The only viable programs they offer are private schools catering for middle-class parents interested in educating their children apart from hoi polloi.

You can't fight the Zeitgheist. There's not much interest in theology and the liturgy has become a pep rally aimed at rousing participants to Moral Action in the World: "Rah, rah, yeah Episcopalians! Get out there and be nice!!!"

1 comment:

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