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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Divide and Conquer: Why Progressives Are Suddenly "Getting Religion"

I do hate to come off like the gloomiest prophet ever, but anyone who really believes that Jesus is coming (as do 44% of Americans including Nancy Pelosi, if you believe her recent speech to the Catholic Community Conference), knows that things will get very bad before that happens. When I was younger, I used to wonder how in the world some of those woes and disasters forecast in prophecy would ever come to pass in an enlightened Unites States.

It's looking to me more and more likely, that our country will soon become a very different place and that we will lose the liberties that we Americans have long cherished.

So, how will it happen?

How will we become the socialist nation the progressives in our current government wish to build, especially when Republicans have an historic lead in the polls? At the risk of giving progressives ideas, I think this is how it can happen - indeed, I think it may already be in the works.

The progressives have a major problem. They don't have enough voters to survive in power after this upcoming election. The problem is how to win more supporters.  The answer?

Get religion!

Nancy Pelosi, at a Catholic Community Conference recently, made an emotional speech in which she claimed she governed according to "the Word". She said that  ‘'The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.” In the video, she is obviously uncomfortable saying all this religious stuff in public, but she goes on later in the speech to challenge Catholic bishops and cardinals to preach in favor of the administration's policy on immigration reform.  She said, we can't just send the 12 million illegal immigrants living in this country home or put them in jail. She said we need to make citizens of them.


"So they can vote Democrat" is the unspoken reason for creating 12 million new Americans. Simple Christian charity is the public excuse. Maintenance of power is the real reason.

Unfortunately for the Dems, even if they passed new immigration law today, the progressives couldn't have those new voters on-line in time.  So what's a progressive socialist to do in order to maintain power?  Here's what I think will happen. They will have to give something to a significant voting block that will win them votes.
  • They have the liberal Protestants.
  • They have the trade unionists.
  • They have the environmentalists.
  • They have the anti-Christians, academics and pseudo-intellectuals.
  • They have Hollywood. 
  • They have the progressive/socialist/liberal coalition.

The holdouts?
  • Roman Catholics
  • Conservatives and The Religious Right (The Tea Party coalition)
What can progressives give these two groups that won't alienate the groups they already have?  I think there's an answer.  Both the Catholic Church and the Religious Right have a real problem with the abortion issue, one not likely to be compromised on by either side.  BUT, there is one thing that both the Roman Catholic church and the Religious Right have both been calling for that the progressives could give them. I think Nancy Pelosi's sudden religious fervor is a hint at the left's willingness to reach across the gulf to exploit a perceived weakness in their opponents.

I think the blue laws are coming back. 

For those of you too young to remember the blue laws, back in the nineteenth century, state and local governments passed laws forbidding businesses from operating on Sunday. Though so called blue laws were clearly designed to support Christian sensibilities of the time, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that they do not violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. Although most Sunday closing laws have been repealed in the past 50 years, there are still some laws on the books that ban the sale of alcohol on Sunday with no more justification than to appease the Christian community's sense of propriety. Two groups recently have called for the reinstatement of Sunday laws. Want to guess who?

  • Roman Catholic Leaders - the Pope no less!
  • Elements of the Religious Right - led by the likes of Pat Robertson and other evangelicals.
Pope John Paul II released an encyclical in May 1998 calling on all nations to enact national Sunday Laws. The encyclical, "Dies Domini" was written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI and enjoins Roman Catholics to work toward such laws. The Encyclical further explains that Sunday observance is a mark of the Catholic church's authority to change the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. How better to skirt the abortion issue than to enforce Roman Catholic ideas of the ultimate authority by the church by making Sunday observance the law of the land. 

Evangelicals like Pat Robertson and members of the National Council of Churches have for years been calling for dropping the whole idea of separation of church and state in favor of enacting "Christian" federal laws like Blue Laws, which establish Sunday as a national day of rest. A recent backlash on the Right against the principle of separation of church and state sets the stage for the President and progressive supporters to "reach out" to conservatives.

At the same time, support for blue laws by trade unions, law enforcement groups and workers rights groups, can be appealed to on the grounds that "blue laws serve valid secular purposes, such as providing a uniform day of rest and reducing workloads on police departments, since most blue laws restrict alcohol sales, reducing law-enforcement problems". Supporters say blue laws, though religious in origin, are now justified by secular and economic purposes. Trade unionists and progressives would probably agree.

Not all Evangelicals agree with Robertson's calls for Sunday laws. Dr. James Dobson says such legislation would be " unconstitutional and an offense to millions of Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists in our nation."  Hard conservatives would never move left on an issue as essential to preserving religious liberty in the US as is the ability to purchase ammunition to preserving second amendment rights).  Note that a Sunday closing law would also appeal to anti-Semitic elements on both the left and among racist crackpots who claim to be conservatives, because it prefers the Christian to the 'Jewish' Sabbath.

The offering of Sunday rest legislation at the federal level would delight a solid core of the Religious Right who favor establishment of "Christian principles" in government in the U.S..  It would also appall economic and constitutional conservatives and, I fear, could successfully fracture the loosely organized coalition that exists in the Tea Party movement today.  "Divide and conquer" as the Romans used to say (Divide et impera).

Now, wouldn't that be special?

And boy, do I hope I'm wrong about this! Sort of.....

Tom King - Tyler, TX
(c) 6/1/2010

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