I should hasten to point out that, despite my current heathen atheism, I was raised in a moderately religious family, with the usual accoutrements -- devout grandmother around whom the rest of the family was more-or-less centered, church and Sunday school into my teens, that sort of thing. Nothing terribly unusual. So I am not predisposed against spirituality per se, just the obnoxious political religiosity espoused by folks such as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council:
This is so far beyond stupid, I'm not sure the English language has a word for it. Even a slow third-grader should be able to hit a few dozen issues before landing on that one. But no, Tony is apparently sincere in his bizarre belief that this is Job Numero Uno for Bush. Forget war, poverty, jobs, economy, crime, punishment, and the heartbreak of psoriasis. Nope, keeping fags from getting married is the big one.
Frankly, Tony seemed a lot more rational in Psycho.
Speaking as the proverbial happily-married white male heterosexual with a child, I can say that I am far more irritated by people who treat marriage as a fling or a whim, than seriously committed people who happen to be of the same sex.
You want to preserve the tradition of family, Tony? Then go after Britney Spears, who got married twice in 2004. Take on Donald Trump, who is making an ass of himself pimping his third trophy marriage, with whom he'll undoubtedly have to start yet another trophy family. Forget if he can afford it or not; is this the sort of attitude towards marriage and family that the FRC lets slide? I am dead serious about this.
Here is a full press release from Crazy Tony's organization:
Somebody please get this motherfucker a strait-jacket before he hurts himself.
And here is yet another press release from yet another pack of addled misfits threatening action if the Preznit doesn't capitulate:
It's easy to look at the priorities of these people and say they're all fucked-up, but what's clear is not only must they be confronted, they need to be slapped down, and hard. This is just not going to stand. It's not a matter of high-tailing it to Canada, it's a matter of taking America back from these goofballs. And that's really what they are, pure and simple. Prayer back in schools? Same-sex marriage? How these issues can even get on the list of priorities, much less top it, is nothing short of astounding.
Now, most religious people are not like this. They are content to live and let live. But these politico-religious fascists (and that's really what they are; they propagate an agenda of control with symbolism, cheap rhetoric, and the overt politicization of religious issues) are incredibly well-organized and funded, and their support, while fairly narrow, is wide enough to make a difference, and impossibly deep.
They will never be swing voters. Never. It's an absolute waste of time to try to co-opt them. What the Democrats must do (and even if you're tired of them, as I frequently am, this country needs an opposition party to function correctly) is identify and reach out to the religious voters who are swing, who have their priorities straight, but just want their faith acknowledged and respected, rather than patronized. That's not so much to ask, and I think it begins by fighting fire with fire -- by identifying the Falwell/Robertson/Perkins wing for what they are, and the underlying fascist tendencies of their philosophy and support, and force a schism, force moderate believers to cast their lot with common sense and pluralism.
Otherwise we're fucking doomed. These guys are all kinds of serious, and they're just killing time until The Rapture sucks 'em up out of their cars and what-not.