September 06, 2007

Right-Wing Hypocrisy at the Highest Level

Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article up on discussing one of the more obvious public displays we've seen of Republican right-wing hypocrisy: (Thanks to PageOneQ for the tip)

When Hugh Hewitt admitted that he wants Larry Craig to resign but does not want the adulterous, serial-prostitute-hiring David Vitter to do so, he was subjected to ridicule and scorn from many different corners -- on the ground that this inconsistency is obviously attributable both to anti-gay animus and rank political self-interest (Vitter's replacement would be chosen by a Democratic Governor, whereas Craig's would be chosen by a right-wing GOP Governor). Even some right-wing blogs noted the absurdity of that position: Hugh Hewitt wants Craig to resign immediately but David Vitter to stay on. Huh?"

Yet that contradictory and nakedly unprincipled posture has now become the official position of the GOP leadership, led by its pious "moral values" wing. A whole slew of very upstanding Family Values Senators are parading around making a flamboyant showing of pressuring Larry Craig to resign (knowing that it will entail no political cost), all while remaining completely silent about David Vitter's at least equally "undignified" and confessed adultery and lawbreaking (acts which, just like Craig, he concealed from his family and colleagues in the Senate until he had no choice).

Whatever else one wants to say about the "family values" wing of the right-wing movement, the absolute last thing that it is is a principled, apolitical movement. And -- as the starkly different treatment for Craig and Vitter conclusively demonstrates -- these vaunted "moral principles," for which we are all supposed to show such profound respect, are invoked only when there is no political cost to invoking them, and worse, typically only when there is political benefit in doing so.

I don't post this here simply to bash the Republicans. This example, and there are many, many others, shows that there truly is no moral high ground in American politics today. None. On neither side of the isle. The Democrats are trying to make their own morality play in this election cycle, but it's all about politics, not morality. The important part of the "values voter" in politicians eyes is the "voter" part, and if appealing to values is the way to get their vote, that's what they'll do.

I know this is a very cynical approach to take on a blog that strives to be positive and affirming, but this is part of the whole message here--ultimately politics is not the answer, God is. There is important work to be done through legislatures, both locally and in Congress, to improve the quality of life for the GLBT community and secure equal rights in our society. That's politics.

The foundation for morality and values, however, is the Church. No, not the church that has scorned and persecuted GLBT people, that has pushed them and others away from God with the hatred and discrimination they preach. There are other churches that do have an understanding about who Jesus really was and why He came to earth. Churches like mine, Believers Covenant Fellowship, apply the lesson taught in John 12:47

As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it.

Politicians are not going to save the world. We will be fortunate if they don't destroy it. Our society, and ultimately the world, will only be safe if we reach people and show them who God really is and allow His love and spirit to manifest in their lives. Instead of turning this country into a theocracy, with is the dream of the religious right, we need to turn people into spirit-filled Christians.

That's how you and I can make a difference.

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