In Fear and Voting on the Christian Right, Thomas Lake "reports" on the closure of a wedding chapel in Iowa. His article adds nothing but insults to the conversation.
Lake's thesis is that evangelical voters:
- Are paranoid ("A growing number of fundamentalist Christians believe the government is singling them out for persecution.")
- Having that paranoia stoked by conservative politicians ("... which is why a number of Republican candidates are playing to their fears.")
Ben Carson gently chided the CNBC Kangaroo Court last Wednesday about a biased question which assumed that his belief in traditional marriage made him homophobic. Lake characterizes Carson's calmly stated response to CNBC's attack on him as yet another "appeal" to fundamentalists. The "moderator's" question did in fact assume that Carson's belief in traditional marriage was homophobic and therefore Carson was as well. Carson disagreed with the unstated premise of the question. He correctly characterized that premise as intended to shut down debate on the subject by tarring him as homophobic, but Lake isn't interested in any facts that don't support his thesis.
Lake states, "White Christians have dominated the United States for centuries, often at a terrible cost to other ethnic and religious groups..." He says that this happens "often", but does Mr. Lake provide any evidence to support that statement? No, he does not. Lake says the costs are "terrible. Does he describe any such costs? No, he does not. Does Lake believe that no other ethnic or religious group has ever imposed a "terrible cost" on other ethnic or religious groups? Apparently he does, because he mentions only one specific ethnic or religious group that alone among all such groups is uniquely guilty of "often" imposing "a terrible cost" on other such groups.
And just who are these white Christians who have dominated the US for centuries, often imposing terrible costs? Might they be the Democrats in the Old South who fought to maintain slavery and, after they lost, imposed Jim Crow laws and terrorized black people with the KKK? Are they the Democrats of the Wilson era who believed in eugenics as a method of family planning? Are they the more modern Democrats of the FDR administration who locked up US citizens during WWII based solely on their ethnicity? Perhaps Lake is referring to Bull Connor, the member of the Democratic National Committee who turned fire hoses and police dogs on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama. Such people are the antithesis of the people Lake criticizes in his article.
Lake continues, "But ...[the fears of evangelical voters go]... beyond the wedding industry, and it runs deeper than a wish to preserve tradition. They worry that rejection of the new cultural norms will cost them jobs, businesses, college accreditation, even tax-exempt status for their churches." Hello? Lake's story is about someone who lost their business because they refused to adopt the "new cultural norm". Lake seems to have forgotten Memories Pizza, Masterpiece Cakeshop , Elane Photography, Diana Medley, and many, many others. So people who reject "new cultural norms" being imposed by our moral superiors might reasonably worry about their jobs and businesses, etc. Google the word "Homophobic" followed by the profession of your choice. You are almost certain to come up with a response showing that people's jobs and businesses are in fact at risk because they reject these supposed norms.
The "new cultural norms" Lake speaks of have not been adopted by consensus, as has traditionally happened in the US. Rather, these new "norms" are being imposed by the government, through various means, including decisions of the Supreme Court, or adoption and enforcement of federal regulations. It's called "lawfare" and the non-PC among us have been and will continue to be the casualties of a campaign being waged by the left, generally and gay activists in particular against people with whom they disagree. Apparently disagreement is punishable. And if one becomes the focus of an attack of this nature, a la Ben Carson, defending yourself is strictly forbidden as "pandering" or, in most cases, more homophobia.
Now, I am not the least bit religious and I really don't give a rat's ass what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults. I don't think the state or federal governments should be in the business of regulating anyone's religion or private consensual behavior that harms no one. That's not what I worry about, though. What I worry about is PC run amok. What I worry about is a world in which some anonymous social justice warrior or some puffed up bureaucrat makes himself feel ever so superior by using the power of government to run off a teacher or put someone out of business because of their religious beliefs. Before political correctness metastasized into a cudgel used by the morally superior to eliminate double plus ungood badthink, the holier than thou jerks now attacking religious people and religion in general all maintained, without exception, that violation of cultural norms was a good thing ... because they were the oh so brave souls doing it. Think about every anti hero in fiction for the last fifty years: They were heroes because they violated cultural norms.
But my favorite part of the whole article is the contrast drawn by Lake between Republicans and Hillary. Republicans pander to their base. They have to, according to Lake, in order to get the nomination. Rubio and Bush do it "delicately", so as not to be held to account by moderate voters. Trump "awkwardly" waves the Bible and makes vague promises. Carson and Fiorina do it "straightforwardly", and Cruz and Huckabee make such pandering "the central strategy" of their campaign.
Hillary, on the other hand, does none of the above. Where Republicans are "playing to their fears" She "has used ...[their own] ... rhetoric against ... [evangelical voters] ... to motivate her own Democratic base." Republicans prey upon the fears of their constituents, Hillary merely motivates hers. Pandering to her own base because she "feels the Bern?" Don't be silly. Nothing to see here. Move along.