Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Defending Christians

Excerpts from an interview with Patrick Hynes, author of "In Defense of the Religious Right"

Q: Quite a few people and even some bestselling books are saying the GOP is the party of theocracy. Any truth in this?

Hynes: None at all. Conservative Christians within the GOP don't agree on their theology, so to say they are trying to establish a theocracy is an ignorant smear.

Q: During your research, did you come across genuine American theocrats equivalent to the Iranian mullahs?

Hynes: No. The claim that conservative Christians in America are akin to the Iranian mullahs is an update to a similar smear that surfaced after September 11th - back then, the Religious Right was likened almost daily to the Taliban. This much is true: no matter the point in history, liberal pundits and extremist politicians will compare conservative Christians in America to whichever Islamo-fascist regime threatens to kill innocent Americans.

Q: How much impact will the Religious Right have in this November's midterm election? How much in '08?

Hynes: It is too soon to tell whether the Religious Right will engage the 2006 election with the same fervor it engaged the 2004 election or if conservative Christians-demoralized by the ineffectiveness of the Republican majority in Washington-will say home. Social issues or, if you prefer, "moral values" issues generally play a greater role in our public dialogue during a campaign than during the congressional session. They will so again this year and that fact will motivate many Christians to vote. If it motivates them as powerfully as in the past, their voice will dominate the public dialogue again this election year. If not, Republicans will probably lose their majority.

Q: Some media conservatives seem actually uncomfortable with the Religious Right. Why?

Hynes: Conservatives have their elites, too. And, of course, there are different kinds of conservatives. But those who dismiss the Religious Right do so out of ignorance, I believe. These folks generally operate under old, worn out stereotypes and believe polite society would be embarrassed if Christians were to represent the public face of conservatism. This mind set is the mirror image of the "conservative Christians = Iranian mullahs" strain of liberalism. There is this idea, held by elites on both sides, that conservative Christians hurt the GOP as much as they help it. This is demonstrably untrue, as my book shows.



More Leftist projection. One of Australia's leading Leftist whiners, Phillip Adams, has just accused Prime Minister Howard of being a "hater". Such an accusation aimed at the mild-mannered and humble John Howard is implausible on the face of it and Adams produces not a shred of proof for his accusation: not even one published word that Howard has uttered. The only "evidence" Adams seems to have for his accusation is that Howard does not usually appoint political opponents to top government jobs -- hardly a practice exclusive to Howard or to conservatives generally. By contrast, Mark Latham, Howard's Leftist opponent in the last election admitted openly what a hater he is. In the usual Leftist way, Adams is just seeing in conservatives what is in fact characteristic of the Left.

Chris Brand has just put up a new lot of posts and among them was a piece of news that rather pleased me. It was about the Flynn Effect -- the fact that average IQ scores rose throughout most of the 20th century. I speculated previously that the improvement has probably approached an asymptote (limit) by now and Chris draws our attention to a confirmation of that.

Canada buys gunless "warships": "Canada's defence minister Gordon O'Connor announced plans Monday to buy three new warships, the first in a series of military expenditures expected to top $15 billion ($18.2 billion). The three military supply ships will help "Canadian forces to fulfil their domestic maritime security priorities and to support Canada's foreign policy objectives," O'Connor said. "It is an important step in implementing the government's Canada first defence strategy ... at home and on the world stage," he said."

Cuba's bad medicine: "A scathing report on the health care system in Cuba has been smuggled out of the country and published on a Norwegian website. The report was written by distinguished Dr. Hilda Molina, formerly of the Cuban National Assembly, and it describes a system of apartheid where foreign medical tourists receive quality care that is denied to Cubans... Even with high priority, though, foreigners may actually have their health jeopardized by the system. They are frequently pressured to have unnecessary treatments or operations, often by doctors without prerequisite qualifications. Foreign patients are also forced into paying for overpriced and frequently unnecessary Cuban-made pharmaceuticals, many of indeterminate, sometimes even hazardous, value."

First homosexual divorce turns ugly: "A year after legalising gay marriage, Spain is now seeing its first gay divorce, complete with a custody fight over the couple's dogs. The claimant is asking for the right to stay in the marital home and to take custody of their pets. The suit added that his ex-partner would be granted visiting rights to see the animals, a report on the website of newspaper El Mundo said. Council officials said divorce proceedings were private and would only confirm that the unnamed men were married in a Madrid suburb last October, three months after Spain became the fourth country to legalise same-sex marriages. The claimant said in a petition that he had dedicated his life to the relationship, giving up a modelling career and abandoning his dog hairdressing business to follow his partner who had found work in France".



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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