[Read "One Nation, Divisible," by Michelle Goldberg.]
Michelle Goldberg has hit the nail on the head in her review.
The Christian right is intent on overthrowing the government as we know it. Its methods, for the most part, aren't violent, but they're every bit as insidious and dangerous as those of your run-of-the-mill totalitarian fascist.
Its codification of "religion-based government" under the Orwellian/Luntz slogan of "faith-based initiative" is only the beginning. And, as is evidenced by the left's unthinking use of its lexicon as well as its interpretation of traditional values, the Christian right is succeeding.
I'm sure Noah Feldman means well, but there can be no compromise with those who take no prisoners. You can't build bridges when the other side continues to blow them up.
-- Craig Rhodes
Ms. Goldberg missed a few essential points in this discussion.
First, evangelicals evangelize. If the religious right's leaders get down to their core beliefs they're still going to want everyone to be like them, because they feel they have a mission to convert everybody. That's what evangelizing is.
Second is abortion. I think it's safe to say most of the fuel in the religious right's engine is drawn from the abortion issue. I'd love to know if Feldman addresses that at all. People who are against abortion literally believe babies are being murdered, and that's a tough one to get around.
Finally, what about the real cause of government's movement toward funding religion? It is patently obvious that funding charitable institutions is just a way for the government to shrug off social responsibility. The idea, as it's usually presented, is that we don't need any sort of safety net or welfare provided by the government because charities can take on these functions, and the fact that almost all charities are religious shouldn't be held against them. The reality is that charities can't and never could deal with problems on the scale necessary. The people who propose such things, of course, don't care about that -- they just want to get the government off the hook.
-- Sam McKinley
Sounds as if Feldman has a great solution to a different problem than what actually plagues us. Like so many Americans, he is probably unaware of how perverted radical right-wingers have become, and how little they are interested in anything other than accumulating power. If pretending a victimhood that doesn't exist has proven one of their surest tactics, don't expect them to give it up without a fight.
-- James W. Pharo