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Prepare to be horrified...
Thursday, November 04, 2004
I've been asked several times since I started this blog why I spend so much time and energy writing about such seemingly fringe characters. Well, the answer is simple. They're not nearly as far to the fringe as you probably think. Hopefully Tuesday's election will serve as a good wake-up call.
Just check out what Hal Lindsey had to say about Bush's victory:
In my opinion, this whole drama shows that God is still on the throne and that He has a further purpose for the United States in these last days’ events.
Where else would God be, Hal? In the bathroom? At the mall?
If you know the paradoxical nature of Lindsey's political/eschatological teachings concering the United States, you know that what he believes to be God's "further purpose for the United States in these last days" is not a pretty thing.
The point I'm trying to make is that people like Hal Lindsey have a vast influence out there in the hinterland, an influence that we on the coasts may never notice. But it's certainly there and, unfortunately, it's a very visceral influence.
It is definitely grace for America and a chance to repent and turn back to the faith of our Fathers who sacrificed to establish this unique experiment in freedom and Judeo-Christian values that are woven into our foundation documents.
Stop and think about that argument for a moment. Repent means to change direction completely. Repent means to recognize one's faults and then purpose to change them. If you repent, you change your mind and your way of life. For far too long, we've allowed the Right to say whatever they want with complete impunity, without challenging idiotic statements like the one above. Do you realize how many people voted for George W. Bush because they wanted change? That's how far we've let them go.
You probably think Hal's a nut. I agree. But don't make the mistake of thinking he's a marginal character. Hal Lindsey (and Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell) won this election for Mr. Bush. It was religious leaders exactly like them who managed to energize such a large portion of our population to vote and vote heavily for "traditional values."
Dr. James Dobson is another good example of this. Today, he had this to say about the election:
This election is a resounding victory in the battle for American families. We applaud the re-election of President Bush, who has shown himself a true champion for the family and of traditional values.
Herein lies the problem. The Right has so long been allowed to dominate the cultural debate that people whose lives would actually be helped by Democratic policies (whether workers or the uninsured or whoever) are voting against their own self-interests because of what they believe to be the interests of God Himself.
We further celebrate the overwhelming successes of pro-family candidates in other races, and in the 11 states that passed amendments to their constitutions protecting traditional marriage. The victorious difference was made by 'values voters,' who have sent the clear message that morality in America is alive and well.
They sent a clear message alright, although not that one. And it's a message we'd better start paying attention to. Fast.
It's precisely because the Left ignored that message that it was so devastated during this election. People all across the fruited plain were energized by the idea that they were casting a vote for good and against evil. We on the Left have so allowed the opposition to frame and define us (without ever defining ourselves) that vast swaths of this country now equate liberalism with evil itself. Until we begin to counter that, we'll never compete.
If you want to know just what the hell I'm talking about, consider this: Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the nation. John Kerry's gay marriage Massachusetts. That's how much the other side owns this debate.
The passage of 11 marriage amendments, combined with similar measures passed thus far by six other states, is the result of a tremendous grass-roots effort that has sprung up across the country. As we continue the call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this election's victories once again demonstrate that American voters believe in traditional marriage.
As these words have hopefully made clear, we ignore the Wing Nuts at our own peril.