Wednesday, February 21, 2007
For God's Sake
I should first say that I am an atheist and secular humanist. However, I have a great deal of respect for people of faith who wrestle with the complexities of belief and try to live an ethical life. The one principle that I've retained and cherish from my Catholic upbringing is the Golden Rule.
What does disturb and disgust me is religion in the service of power, domination and violence - and news reports like those on Morning Edition today that present the most reactionary religious organizations as if they were mainstream, legitimate and reasonable.
Take a listen to the first report in which NPR visits the National Convention of Religious Broadcasters in Orlando, Florida. In this brief report about Republican candidates wooing the religious extreme right we hear from representatives of such groups as the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and Salem Communications.
Following this report NPR looks at Democratic candidates through the lens of Michael Comartie , vice president of the neoconservative Ethics and Public Policy Center. Comartie makes several bogus claims about how "nonreligious" the Democratic base is and how only conservatives have religious values.
The story NPR should be covering is the one featured on Democracy Now! this week: the infiltration of the government and military achieved by the extremist religious organizations that they portray as mainstream. It would also be refreshing to hear from progressive Christians who reject the Dominionist ideology of the far right (including this evangelical group from my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida!).