Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Grooming Politicians for Christ"

This article is getting a lot of blog coverage today, but this is one of those issues that needs as much visibility as possible.

Stephanie Simon of the LA Times has written an updated chapter of "Holy Rollers on the Hill". Go ahead and eyeball the whole thing, but as far as I'm concerned, here are the money quotes:

Nearly every Monday for six months, as many as a dozen congressional aides — many of them aspiring politicians — have gathered over takeout dinners to mine the Bible for ancient wisdom on modern policy debates about tax rates, foreign aid, education, cloning and the Central American Free Trade Agreement.

They learn to view every vote as a religious duty, and to consider compromise a sin. That puts them at the vanguard of a bold effort by evangelical conservatives to mold a new generation of leaders who will answer not to voters, but to God.

It's one of half a dozen evangelical leadership programs making steady inroads into Washington.... Nearly every graduate works in government or with a conservative advocacy group.

As Kennedy put it: "If we leave it to man to decide what's good and evil, there will be chaos."

Now he plans to fight for history lessons on the Founding Fathers' faith, science lessons drawn from the Book of Genesis and public school prayer.

And of course,

...Most of the policy prescriptions he finds in the Bible dovetail neatly with the Republican agenda.

From the Statesmanship Institute's site:

As the programs of Student Statesmanship Institute have grown, its desired outcomes have remained unchanged:
  • To cultivate desire in young people to discover God's design, purpose, calling and destiny for their lives.

  • To help these young people develop a comprehensive Biblical worldview in order to apply God's eternal truths to every area of life.

  • To impart knowledge as relevant for our everyday world and not just confined to personal spiritual matters.

  • To inspire young people to be Godly leaders in their generation.

Just a little closing snark:
Kennedy's site, the Center for Christian Statesmanship, decorates its pages with quotes from John Ashcroft, and several pictures of throngs of enchanted white people.


les said...

Nah, there's no danger of a theocracy in the U.S. I assume they'll find good use for all the passages where god and his chosen smite the heathens, and rape and enslave the women. Man, is Canada gonna get crowded.

Cantankerous Bitch said...


Seriously, I don't worry about a formally theocratic state. I DO worry, however, that these folks will continue to be an unyeilding influence on GOP leadership, and if - heaven forbid - 2006/8 elections do nothing to change the balance of power, the net effect of their influence will be a de facto theocracy. Paranoia? Perhaps. But not unfounded.

Officious Pedant said...

De facto, hell.

Think about the fact that no few men who were legally and righteously elected by the citizenry of their country managed to be some pretty horrific people, who went on to become dictator for life.

Hitler and Saddam Hussein are good examples. Robert Mugabe is still in charge of his country, and he was elected as well. What too many people seem willing to assert is that "it could never happen here". Bullshit. It can happen ANYWHERE, and is usually presaged by people insisting that the "government needs your support in this time of crisis". That is when a government needs to be watched most carefully, I think. And I bet the folks in Yugoslavia would agree with me. The ones that survived Milosivic, anyway.

If we are not VERY careful during this time of crisis, we could find ourselves, not so many years from now, wrapped in a theocracy with visions of global dominance and absolutely no idea how we got there. A question the Afghani royal family ponders almost daily, I'm sure.

les said...

I am, unfortunately, with the Officious one. De facto, de jure--that's not a real significant difference, at least short to mid term. I guess de facto is better, since if we survive the legal structure to recover will be there. But if the schools are gutted, it may not matter.