Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The religious right isn't so scary after all -- or is it?

By Diane Silver

Those darn Christian dominationists, or Christian Nationalists as Slate writer Russell Cobb prefers, aren't really so scary, or at least that's what Cobb says. He argues here that they can't take over the country because they are too busy fighting themselves.

Cobb makes his case in a review of Michelle Goldberg's new book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. He argues:
As she describes how the Christian Right moved from the margins of acceptability to the Republican mainstream, she also overlooks generational tensions and large-scale dissatisfaction with the Bush administration among many conservative, white evangelicals (only 34 percent of whom, according to a June 6 Pew research poll, "strongly back" the president).

I agree with Cobb that the religious right isn't nearly as monolithic as we liberals tend to fear. However, I will delay judgment on his ideas until a few more years go by.

The religious right has grabbed a breathtaking amount of political power in the last six years. As a lesbian and a feminist, I live with their bull's eye painted on my back, and I can't afford to believe they will just fade away if I ignore them.

A religious right that is cute, cuddly, disorganized and bickering? We'll see.

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