In a turbid mess of disjointed , and ultimately unsupported, nonsense, Kathleen Parker, erstwhile rational human person, superciliously asserts in her column of November 19, 2008 that "religious conservatives are dragging down the GOP."
And, just in case you think she's only pulling your leg about those she has in her crosshairs, well, she dispenses with that idea by limning her targets as, "...the evangelical, right-wing oogedy boogedy...element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners...the lowest brows."
Okay, just so we're straight on this, what's dragging the GOP down is not: fiscal irresponsibility on a scale not seen since FDR was dictator; the Jack Abramoff money scandal; the sordid personal sexual scandals of sundry senators; nor the GOP's general, and ongoing, ineptness in conveying its core economic philosophy, or even adhering to that philosophy.
No, none of that is dragging the party down.
What's dragging the party down, according to Ms Parker, are a few snake-handling Pentecostals and speaking-in-tongues Southern Baptists.
And propping up her theory?
Why, of course, it's the, by now, obligatory and gratuitous swipe at Sarah Palin.
Ms Parker submits into evidence the following as Exhibit A: (Sarah Palin): "I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is...And if there is an open door in 12 or four years later, and if it's something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, and opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."
You are, at this point, expected to purse your lips and nod your head in agreement with Ms Parker. (And if you're Christopher Buckley this is exactly what you're doing).
But it isn't that Ms Parker thinks religion itself should be evicted. She simply prefers a kinder, gentler Christianity. A milder, quieter, more invisible Christianity. The kind of Christianity that doesn't challenge or risk upseting...you know, the way Jesus did.
So much so, that it got his best buddy beheaded and himself scourged and crucified.
No, Ms Parker, ever the theologian, would have religion "returned to the privacy of one's heart, where it belongs."
Because, as we all know, Jesus was all about this romanticizing of the heart mush.
Or, perhaps I'm just not familiar with the Hallmark Card version of the bible.
Besides, Ms Parker finally, stupidly avers, all this noisy bible thumping accomplishes nothing anyway, because "the nonreligious won't get religion through external conversion. It doesn't work that way."
Because, as we all know, Jesus instructed the Apostles -Apostles!- to "go forth and tell no one what I've told you. "
But none of that is what ails the Republican Party or Conservatism.
Ms Parker gets it all wrong.
And so we dispense with Ms Parker.
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