Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Carpenter: Holy Wars Heat Up

The Star's Dan Carpenter does a great job at explaining the absurdity of pursuing the Christian right's holy war against gays and lesbians and various other so-called threats to a normal, healthy society against the backdrop of execution-style mass murders and severe cuts in summer school funding for kids trying to get a leg up on their education. Here's a sampling of what he had to say:

Barring same-sex adoptions (really, tarring is the more apt word, in that these families will not cease to be) is only the ugliest anti-personnel weapon in a reactionary religious agenda that's being locked and loaded in advance of the 2007 legislature and the November election. It's one area, as evidenced by the Washington debacle over same-sex marriage that a desperate Republican leadership staged this week, where Indiana is abreast of national trends.

Meddling in adoptions, empty grandstanding on abortion, advancing the constitutional amendment to "save marriage" -- it's some season of old-time religion the so-called new guard has in store. None of it has anything to do with the Gospel injunctions to serve the poor and exalt the despised.

The purpose of these discriminatory, divisive, demeaning and largely unconstitutional proposals is to fan fears, mobilize theocratic voters and get the Republican legislature out of the hard work of modernizing the culture and recognizing sectors of our cities that have been left for dead while politicians were choosing life.

How did we, the body politic, wind up entrusting these people with our souls, anyway?

House Speaker Brian Bosma is appealing the court ruling against state-sponsored sectarian prayer in the legislature, assuring that hot button stays lit for the news media even if it costs the taxpayers some more dollars that might have gone to summer school or police. "He wants ban on religious content to be overturned," the headline read. I fervidly doubt that. After all, the judge did not outlaw prayer, and the pious pols continued praying all last session, huddling in the back of the chamber to make a suffering show of it.

I'm convinced the oppression visited upon these rightward men and women is the answer to a prayer. Without such distractions, they might have to make real laws that angered comfortable voters and the corporate lobbies.

The wisdom of those voters, we are told, is what brought comeuppance to the imperious Senate leader Bob Garton. But who was their alternative? A guy who advocates public flogging because his Bible tells him so. We can only hope he hasn't read the passages about stoning miscreants to death. Or not sparing the rod. We've lost enough children in Indiana while the politicians were busy saving their places in the afterlife.

Mr. Pulliam is rolling over in his grave reading this column. Good job Dan.

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