Divorce: Very Public and Very Messy

For three decades the Moral Majority has been married to the Republican Party. Many thought it was a marriage made in heaven. It looked good and sounded good, but from the beginning the spouses were incompatible; and now disillusionment has set in and divorce is right around the corner.

The Moral Majority—or what we sometimes call the Religious Right—tapped into the growing cultural clout of Protestant Evangelicals. They found common cause—especially on the issue of abortion—with many Roman Catholics. So a coalition was born: Christian people who desired to introduce legislation to outlaw abortion, limit homosexual rights, promote private schools, and keep the symbols of Christianity in public places.

Plus the unfettered right to own and use guns—but that is another matter, really.

The Republican Party came courting, thinking—like medieval European monarchs—a royal marriage might expand their political base and bring them political power. Which it did: but all the promises the Party made to the believers—well, few of them ever materialized.

So now, the marriage is on the rocks.

That is the meaning of the defeat that is sure to overtake the Republicans in eight days.

McCain represents the classic Republican tradition: limited government, low taxes, strong military, and a hardnosed response to crime—and a careful neutrality toward religion. Palin represents the new cultural Republicans: religious rhetoric, right to life, traditional families, and a vision of a Christian nation.

Not only are they going to get beat on Election Day, I mean really beat—there is going to be a falling out. McCain and his people will blame the Palinites; Palin and her people will blame McCainsies. And during and after the blame game, a mighty struggle for the political assets. You know: who gets the house, the retirement account, the pedigreed pets, even the pottery collection. It is going to be a messy divorce: very public and very ugly.

Like all divorces, it is sad. Hopes dashed, dreams spent, plans gone awry. And many people will be saying, “I told you not to marry that woman, that man. You wouldn’t listen.”

It will happen again—some other Religious vision, some other Political ambition, convinced that a strategic partnership can usher in the Kingdom. Perhaps somewhere out of the limelight such suitors are already courting, whispering sweet nothings, planning marriage and mortgages and large families. There is nothing we can do to prevent it, really.

But life in the churches is not much better, and that also is depressing. It is hard to keep hope alive.


11 comments so far

  1. eric on

    premature, especially about the divorce. If Obama does win, I expect the family to fight together against a common enemy with greater ferocity than ever.

  2. Tad on

    I agree with eric. Too premature to tell at the moment.

    If our nation does elect Obama then it is a major turning point in our history from a free capitalist republic to a fast downward slide into socialism. History has shown that people seem to turn towards socialistic tendancies when things are bad economically. What they don’t understand is that the socialistic democrats promise to “redistribute the wealth” but what really winds up happening is everyone’s taxes go up dramatically and few of the dollars are actually redistributed to the people.

    It really bothers me that the socialist party of America has coopted the democratic party. There is no longer a middle ground in the Democratic party. They are so far left that conservatists who believe in core values have no choice but to rally around the republican party. At least its more centrist even if it is a bit right leaning.

    All we have to do is to travel around the world and see how socialism has not worked. I’ve seen it first hand in many countries.

    Obama has shown over and over in the past in how he acted, voted and who he affiliated with that he is an extreme devotee of Marxism. God help us if he and his ilk are elected. It may be time for another revolution in America.

  3. dmoody on

    I am not a socialist and I don’t believe Obama–whom I support for the presidency–is a socialist or is promoting socialism. This is a political charge intended to undermine his credibility. That being said, we defenders of capitalism need to explain why our system has imploded with what the experts–all of them capitalists and most of them republicans–predict is the worst world-wide recession in 70 years. I find it odd that people throw the socialism label around but ignor the causes of the current crisis.

  4. spiritualway on

    I would suggest that it is not capitalism that has imploded! At least at the national or global economic level, the economy has not been capitalist although we call it that. It is more a “mixed economy” as characterized by Ayn Rand many years ago.

    At the local and/or small business level of our economy, capitalism is doing very well and in no real present danger.

    Dwight I do agree with you that raising the spectre of socialism is a “straw-man” political ploy by the mixed economy folks about to be taken to task for what has happened to our financial system. Losing some grace momentarily, I hope they get their asses chewed up and spit out! That includes both politicians and so-called wall street types!

    Having said all of that, I do believe we as a nation are entering a period of time when the emphasis will be from community rather than the individual! Not necessarily bad as long as we understand the very powerful “shadow” side of community!

  5. Camille Haggard on

    Tad has good points. Socialism is not just a scare word but a true problem that can create a tremendous burden on all people. Taxes will rise on everyone when the dems let the Bush cuts expire. The govt can never do as well as the private sector does. I was a small business owner for 32 years and dealt closely with the govt and it only re-enforced my views over the years. Spiritualway is correct, we haven’t been a true capitalist economy in over 70 years. However, idealism creeps in when Spirit. thinks that community will be emphasized. Never forget, self-centeredness is a strong sin and even Chris. tend to be that way. We must always remember, govt can NEVER care for us. Our dependence and hope is in Christ alone and regardless of who wins, we must not take our eyes off the prize!

  6. Greg Magruder on

    I believe all of us will be losers on election day. There is not much difference in the way Democrats and Republicans operate. The issues they support may be different but the entrenched bureaucracy of Washington will continue to maintain the bureaucrats and ignore the constituency. Does anyone really think that the financial crisis was caused by just the Republicans or just the Democrats? My senators and representatives from both parties talked about all that they were doing to go after those responsible for the crisis. Did they look in the mirror? The only way we can have real change is for the current Democrats and Republicans in Congress to resign in shame and let non-partison elections take place. Then maybe we would have candidates that are more interested in solving things rather than mouthing the same old rhetoric rise up and lead us out of this mess. But since this is a fantasy on my part, I will have to put up with the same old same old in the next four years too. Given that, Obama will survive only if he leads from a centrist position. Otherwise there will be a midterm reaction like there was with Clinton and the gridlock will continue. I have come to the place in my life where I do not put much stock in politicians and their promises. True grassroots change happens in the local setting where people help people make it through another day. That is where my attention and my money goes.

  7. Sally on

    In response to Tad, have you considered your own blog? Your response was saturated in reality.
    In comparison to the bloggers effort to profoundly state the obvious.

  8. Sally on

    To DMoody – on what is your belief based that Obama is not a socialist, his own words? A rather strange mixing of issues on your part. Obama’s world view is obvious to anyone willing to open their eyes and be honest with themselves. I say this not to agree or to disagree with Obama, simply to acknowledge that your defense of Obama seems to be tainted with a healthy dose of idealism in your perspective on Obama.

  9. John Mitchell on

    Tad and Sally,

    I’ve seen socialism and Marxism up close and personal (mostly in another country), and I can assure you that Obama’s workd view is a very far cry from socialism. What often gets confused for socialism is a very simple Gospel appeal to put humans first, rather than allow the powers and principalities, and spiritual wickdness in high places rule. Isn’t it odd, for example, that we make it illegal to discrimnate between one human and another by providing discounts to people of one gender, or of one race, yet applaud the provision of a “corporate discount”? That we charge fictional entities (for-profit corporations) greater tax benefits than we do flesh and blod humans? That we have more TV channels telling us about corporate financial markets than we do about human happiness or suffering? No, it’s not socialism Obama advocates, but simply a return the basis proposition that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, rather than of the corporatsion, by the corporations, and for the corporations. As Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around, we need to re-affirm that corporations are made for humans, and abandon oncce and for all the notion that humans are simply inputs (cheap labor, skilled labor, creative labor) and outputs (“consumer spending”) for corporations.

    The sole obligation of corporate powers and principalities in publicly traded companies is to make more profits for the shareholders. We humans can dream higher than that. Corporations want to sell us “health insurance,” humans would prefer to provide “health care.” Corporations see shelter as a “housing market,” but we humans can see that even a house, which provides shelter, is not enough to make a home — and a home is something no corporation has figured out how to make, though they co-opt the word to sell houses and services (“nursing homes”).

    I’ve seen a lot of socialist label flinging, but have yet to encounter socialist who does not laugh in disbelief that anyone could think such a thing. Obama and socialims just don’t fit at all, save in the imagery of those who wish to scare others who know not what socialism is, but have learned to fear it, or who have already succumbed to the election year scare.

    In this country, the most prominent socialist is perhaps Senator Bernie Sanders, a long time member of the United States Congress, who is highly regarded by democrats and republicans as a person of honor, integrity, and a delightful personhood. One of his chief projects has been trying to provide the same low-cost prescriptions drugs to Americans as are enjoyed by Canadians — hardly something to fear. I hope Obama joins that effort, just as other democrats and republicans do, but socialist? Senator Sanders (see http://sanders.senate.gov/about/index2.cfm) is one, and is not so scary after all, but even so, Obama is not one.

  10. irabird on

    I agree with John Mitchell! He writes with authority!

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