This is probably way to much to cram into one posting but I think this is all related and it makes pretty upset that people (otherwise intelligent people) say it is not.
First race: NPR's "This American Life" did a great series of stories about the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. One theme that kept coming up was race. Nearly all the people at the convention center (the one that FEMA supposedly never knew was full of people) were African American. They were repeatedly ordered to line up by the national guard for busses that never came. When they tried to cross a bridge into a suburban area across the Mississippi that was dry and had electricity they were blocked by armed surburban police/sheriff deputies who fired into the air and ordered them back into what was left of New Orleans.
Second religion: Another NPR story (can you tell what my Sunday morning routine is?), on a show called "Speaking of Faith" interviewed former Republican Senator (MO) and Bush's first UN Ambassador, John Danforth. Danforth is NOT one of the so called "Liberal Republicans" like those from Maine. He considers himself "conservative" and is also an ordained Episcopal Priest (and a Lawyer). I don't agree with everything he suggested but he made two points I really agree with. First, when you justify your political positions by stating that they are God's positions (as opposed to merely using your own faith to inform your own positions), you are automatically being divisive. Second, the biggest problem facing the entire world today is religion. That's right, this Episcopal Priest acknowledges that religion itself is at the heart of the problem.
Third Today's Republican Party: Because this new version of the Republican party is sold as the party of "Christians," opposition to its policies is not just annoying, it is against God. At the same time, if Republican policies are God's policies on Earth then issues of government accountability are irrelevant. Republicans are accountable to God not the people. Issues of personal liberty are irrelevant too because liberty is only justified when it is used in accordance with God's will (as interpreted by his servants in the Republican party). Furthermore, when poverty is seen as sign of God's disfavor. One is no longer obliged to sympathize with or even think about the poor. At the same time, there is a startling correlation between today's Christian Right and yesterday's "Dixicrats." In many cases (Thurmond, Helms, Miller etc) they are exactly the same people. The cavalier approach to preparing for Katrina combined with the defensiveness and attempts to stifle criticism are all parts of this. If a man who ran for President on an overtly segregationist platform says "this isn't about racism" would you believe him? But if that same man (or his protege) relies on the same supporters for political power but emphasizes "traditional Christian values" instead of "resistance to miscegenation" and says the same thing should we give him any more credence? One cannot and should not try to separate modern attitudes about race, poverty and religion from a discussion about the Republican party.
OK, now I know that rambled a bit and my point (what ever it was) may have been lost. But somewhere in there there must be a topic for discussion or two.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 9:43 AM