Monday, July 19, 2010

Something Someone Else Said

"The GOP’s basic problem is that many Republicans equate Christianity, or at least Judeo-Christianity, with Americanism. They do not believe it’s possible to truly uphold American ideals unless you identify with the religious traditions that supposedly underlie those ideals. In a country with a growing Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Mormon and atheist population, that’s a significant source of political bigotry. Is it good that the South Carolina GOP has embraced a South Asian woman? Of course. When that woman can practice whatever religion she wants, without fear that it will wreck her political career, then Republicans will truly deserve to crow." -Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast.

This type of religious intolerance seems to be endemic to the GOP with the Democratic party being more inclusive of various religious beliefs, and certainly not anti-religion as many on the right consistently charge. In fact, that's one thing the two major political parties do seem to agree on: an endorsement of candidates for whom religious belief is a prerequisite. Muslims and Sikhs may find it difficult to win elections in certain parts of this country but atheists are discriminated against almost uniformly on this count. To succeed in American politics it doesn't matter so much which kind of magic you believe in, just so long as you believe in some type of magic. Republicans merely have their favorite.



Leslie Parsley said...

Interesting. I've always felt Republicans, especially the Tea Partiers, embraced exclusive religious beliefs while the Democrats support an all-inclusive belief system. It has been until very recently that the right has included "Judeo."

JBW said...

I just calls 'em like I sees 'em, Leslie. I think that if any other minority group that made up 16% of the population had only one representative out of the 530 something federally elected offices we would constantly hear about how unfair that disparity would be but not so much when it comes to non-believers.

And I think the recent support on the right for "Judeo" comes from the wing of Christianity that fully expects the world to end fairly soon. I don't think they so much agree with the Jews as they just need them to fulfill their Doomsday prophecies.

magpie said...

"They do not believe it’s possible to truly uphold American ideals unless you identify with the religious traditions that supposedly underlie those ideals."

It's ultimately not just religion in their sights... it's an opposition to multiculturalism period, intellectualized in America by people like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr, Dinesh D'Souza and Samuel P. Huntington. The latter asserts that multiculturalism is anti-Westernism.

The (in my view) frickin' obvious counter to that idea is that multiculturalism flourishes nowhere as much as it does in Western society, and should in fact be regarded as one of our modernity's greatest triumphs.