Sunday, September 23, 2007

Evidence that Religious Conservatives Hate America

At a Republican Presidential Debate hosted by religious conservatives last week, a conservative Christian choir spitefully sang a rather peculiar version of God Bless America that basically maligned our nation:

Some of the Republican Candidates for President were present. Ron Paul was there. Mike Huckabee was not only there but told the religious group that unlike the other Republicans who "come to" them, he "comes from" them. After listening to the lyrical re-write, that statement makes my skin crawl. None of the candidates criticized the song or separated themselves from the hatred of the event.

TPM pointed out that if a liberal partisan group rewrote God Bless America that expressed a mere fraction of the ill will of this song then they would be accused of a radical agenda and the candidates in attendance would be grilled as to whether they supported such a diatribe against America.

I daresay that such liberals would be characterized as in league with terrorists and enemies abroad to destroy our nation. Where's all of the righteous indignation at and critical questioning of right-wing hatred of America? After all, don't the lyrics as written in this version of the song match almost exactly what al Qaeda and the Taliban express about America?


  1. I'm a right wing, non-neo, non-religious conservative and I agree with you 100%.

    At least, about the song. Actually, the whole event was creepy.

    Congressman Paul got booed when he mentioned that Jesus was the Prince of Peace.


  2. If Ron Paul got booed for calling Jesus the Prince of Peace (which itself could be considered quoting Christian scripture), then we are not far away from the point of Dostoevski's Grand Inquisitor Chapter: that Jesus is merely an impediment to religious people pursuing their own agendas.

  3. A dissent--First, it's worth noting that it's a black gospel choir--a point that you seem to be skittish about. But, second, is what they're singing all that different from, say, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address? That, too, invoked Lincoln's own version of the Almighty to rebuke the US--and, if you read it closely, it's far "creepier" than this parody--precisely because it hit so close to home. There's a long and honorable tradition of standing apart from the usual America-worship and holding the place to a higher standard [especially among African-Americans, I'd point out], and I'm not particularly thrilled to see you so willing to throw out that baby with the bath water. I don't care to rebuke it for the same reasons they do, but, dammit, if liberals insist that their country should be held to a higher standard, what's wrong with the right doing it as well? Maybe the honest ones among them will recognize the contradiction between declaring the nation to be under God's judgment and the more common right-wing confusion of the country with God. Maybe then some rationality and philosophical consistency can return to public discourse.

  4. I fail to see where I am skittish. Race isn't the point and I never raised it; theology is. It is a Church of God choir, which means that are extremely theologically conservative, reflected in the references to religion in public schools and abortion in the song. There have been many studies of African American churches that show that even the more theologically conservative ones are generally predisposed to mainline social ethics. So, race is not an issue here; theology is.

    And one of the points I underscore is that if liberals altered God Bless America to criticize America, then conservatives, including religious ones, would be all over them. That's a double standard, which I tried to underscore by using the same line of attack against religious conservatives.

  5. I think you error in assuming that those who are religiously conservative are also politically conservative. There's really no way for you to tell without talking to everyone one of them.

    Actually - I doubt it matters who alters what... someone is always going to bitch about something. Typically it's the liberals and conservatives that do the most of it. (Yes, I’m again insinuating that there’s much more thought out there than what can be lumped into the very narrow liberal/conservative quagmire.)

  6. I am not assuming, but relying on lots of statistical and qualitative studies that indicate that theologically conservative Christians generally (granting the exceptions and anecdotes) take politically conservative views and generally vote Republican.

    There is one recent exception in the movement of evangelicals to advocate a "greener" environmental point of view on global warming and conservation. But, in general, theologically conservative Christians in America tend to de-emphasize social justice, oppose abortion, believe that God "should be put back" in public schools, and vote Republican.

    That doesn't have to mean that I am arguing that every single theo-con is a neo-con or a traditional con.