Thursday, March 08, 2007


Their Morals and Ours

In a commentary published in the Kansas City Star, Bob Kieth Bonebrake writes that "by pushing high-profile hypocrites like Haggard into the forefront of their movement, they [American Christians] give critics an easy shot."

Even so, Bonebrake writes, these Christians "are the moral nags whose 'still small voice' helps the system remember its better nature. They provide society a conscience."

Bonebrake, of course, makes the mistake of conflating the religious right with all of Christianity. This insistence by evangelicals, almost a reflex on their part, that they are the only authentic Christians is one of the chief things that maddens critics of the religious right.

It is but one symptom of their willingness to throw the first stone. Their holier-than-thou attitude and lack of tolerance is what makes the rest of us see them as hypocrites, especially when we see one of theirs -- like Haggard -- fall.

Haggard in our opinion is not the greatest hypocrite among the religious right. We see him, in many was, as another victim. A man unable to come to grips with his sexuality because it conflicts with his rather strange religious beliefs.

More hypocritical in our view are the religious right leaders who campaign endlessly against gay rights, abortion, and teaching evolution -- which they claim erodes the morals of the nation.

All the while, these men say nothing, nothing at all, about people like Ralph Reed, Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham,Tom Delay, Scooter Libby, and Bob Ney.

What kind of conscience do these religious right leaders offer our society? Whatever it is, it's not one that we want to adopt.


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