Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rise to the Occasion

The level of conversation in the media is rising regarding the Christian Right. One good example was a recent interview, on the nationally syndicated radio program, Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, titled The Christian Right and the Rising Power of the Evangelical Political Movement. The program featured an interview with journalist Chris Hedges and Rev. Joseph Phelps, of Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, who hosted a counter event to the Christian Right's rally for religious bigotry, Justice Sunday.

Here is some of what was said:

Phelps: "...it's obvious that they're trying to get out a very clear message. And the message, it seems to me, is a message of domination. Of trying to conflate the Bible and the Constitution and create a whole new entity, which many of us fear would be a form of religious right theocracy."

Hedges: "Christian America... this is an America where people like you and me have no place. And you don't have to take my word for it, turn on Christian broadcasting, listen to Christian radio. Listen to what they say about people like us....""....It's not a matter that we have an opinion they disagree with. It's not a matter of them de-legitimizing us, which they are. It's a matter of them demonizing us, of talking us -- describing us as militant secular humanists, moral relativists, both of which terms I would not use to describe myself, as a kind of counter-militant ideology that is anti-Christian and that essentially propelled by Satan that they must destroy."

Phelps: "Well, in their system, women -- they will talk a game about women having, you know, an equal role, but it's a silent role. It's a silent role. They can't speak in Church. They can't teach any children over then about the age of 10. So, that's part of the problem here is they're unwilling to talk. They're unwilling to talk with their own women. They're unwilling to talk with the fellow Baptists like me, like you. I have tried to enter into dialogue for years with Dr. [Albert] Mohler, [President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary] with others in our city. They're not interested in dialogue, because, in their construct, they have the answer."

Phelps raises an important point. There is much talk about the need for dialog. And dialog can be a good thing. But what about those who are not interested in dialog? What about those who are interested in power and domination? It is certainly important to dialog with those whom we can -- but we must also to rise to the occasion and counter the drive for power by the theocratic Christian Right which has been in high gear for about 15 years.

Thanks to Jesus Politicsfor calling attention to this program.

[Crossposted from FrederickClarkson.com]

3 Comments:

Blogger Sunfell said...

I don't know about anyone else, but the idea of being 'silenced' just because I am female angers me in a very primal and deep way. Silenced because of my gender? Fake 'equality'? Not having my wisdom and experience valued, or only being valued for my childbearing capacity? No. Frickin'. Way. It seems that even if you are a believer in their particular interpretation of Scripture, you're still a second-class (or non-)citizen if you are female. I will fight to my last breath to keep that from happening.

OTOH, it is gratifying to see a pastor from a Baptist Church standing up for us. Pastor Phelps is the kind of person who we need to engage in the dialogue, to enlist in the battle to keep our country from becoming a theocracy. There are a lot of folks like him around. And they are awakening to the truth about 'Christian America": there is no place in it for moderates. Kudos to him for standing up to the Justice Sunday crowd.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Frederick Clarkson said...

I think that if enough women become angry enough at these attempts to silence their voices and suppress their rights, the push for theocracy could be stemmed and reversed.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Sunfell said...

The main problem would be to teach women that being outspoken isn't a bad thing. They're taught that outspoken women or women who stand up for themselves are horrid feminists. And feminists are next to the Devil on the 'evil scale' in the eyes of the people we are trying to reach.

It will be difficult to reach them, because they are taught from girlhood to keep silent, and if you read their websites and materials, that message of silence and submission is hammered into them all the time.

But we must reach them because the bulk of churchgoers are women. If the women who support this movement simply walked away, it would fail, because they provide all the free labor.

5:38 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home