8.25.2011

god's man in the race



It will come as a surprise to exactly no one that I don't think much of one Mr. Perry of Texas.

Electoral politics is always a matter of choosing what one can accept in exchange getting (some) of what they want. Or at least think they want. It is absurd to pretend otherwise, which is why I find (purely) partisan triumphalism as puzzling as it is irritating.

Nonetheless, partisan flock and flow is the rule of the day in these United States, and though they by no means hold a monopoly on it, this is particularly true among Republicans. (Democrats are more fickle because their base consists of a disparate coalition--minorities, labor, social liberals--that really don't necessarily have much to do with each other except being historically sort of represented by the Democratic party.)

This is why Rick Perry's performance in recent polls actually scares me a little bit.

My liberal friends too often express hope that the GOP will actually nominate a Perry (or a Bachmann), a fringe candidate that could not possibly win in the general election, ushering in a second term for Mr. Obama by a comfortable margin. Though I think such cynicism is entirely justified (and occasionally laudable) in electoral politics--remember all the Republicans licking their chops at the idea of a Hillary nomination four years ago?--I think they give the American electorate's supposed aversion to the fringes a bit too much credit.

Which is to say, I think a dominionist could be the next president of the United States. And everybody who thinks this is just more of the same boilerplate political evangelicalism really needs to take a good look at what that entails. Because this isn't merely a broadly social conservative platform, but theocracy dressed in conservative drag.

8 comments:

Gino said...

you give these folks too much credit for ability to forward an agenda.

tell ya what...
get 10 bible-based evangelicals in a room, and you will see 10 different explainations of something as basic to Christianity as baptism. get the discussion going... and then sit back and watch them all argue as they flip through pages of The Book. you will be there for hours and never need to say another word.

i know these people. they cant push an agenda, and they cant be led as easily as it is believed.

(hey, didnt we last elect a guy who belived in black liberation theology and worshiped at the feet of rev wright?)

Brian said...

Going to a church ain't the same thing as leading a prayer rally. It's like the difference between going to a gay bar with your friends and organizing a drag show.

Brian said...

And in any case, I'm not voting for the fucker, regardless what he promises about the size of government...and anyone who claimes to care about freedom who would is a goddamn fool.

Brian said...

OK, that last one was a bit harsh. Hadn't had my coffee yet. (But I'll let it stand, just to show I am willing to admit to being a jackass.)

Even if you took Perry's and Obama's level of involvement in dominionist and black liberation theology as equivalent (which I don't, but for the sake of argument) I still have a great deal more of a problem with dominionism than with black liberation. They are not equivalent.

Black liberation theology is basically reclaiming Christianity to make it relevant to black people, for whom Christianity has historically been a tool of their enslavement and oppression. (The Southern Baptist Convention got around to repenting--their word--of their support for slavery in 1995.) Some of it (especially that advocated by Cornell West) borrows a great deal from Marxist thought about wealth distribution and social justice, but the fundamental goal is freedom and justice for black people. So while I may disagree with them about how to best to achieve their goals, I have no problem with the goals themselves.

The goal of dominionism is explicitly theocratic. Theirs is a vision that would roll back women's rights, make people I love second-class citizens, and attack the foundations of my chosen profession. They aren't an opponent. They are an enemy.

Gino said...

my jury was 'out' on the possibility of perry. i just dont have much info on him, or am i paying much attn. (seriously, trying to avoid it.)

but i did see a vid clip of some prayer rally he was emceeing...

now... i'm all for praying for our country, it's govt, and its people,etc... and i do that often enuf on my own...

so, i dont want to be tooo judgemental because i'm really really really trying not to care that much about the electoral show... but that vid clip i saw gave me the creeps.

but thats texas, i guess.

Brian said...

The apostolic reformation types aren't too big on Catholics, either ....

Gino said...

i know the fundies get real quizzical, sometimes upset, when you leave them for catholicism.

they just cant seem to understand how it could happen.

Bike Bubba said...

Perry is a Methodist, which is in general about as far from dominion theology as you can get. Gracious host, you've got to start taking the liberal action sites a bit less seriously.

Or are you willing to concede that, because Mssr. Obama hangs out with Communists and jihadis....?