In an ironic twist, Gary Bauer and his cronies on the far right end of the political spectrum have offered their aid to the man they so recently scorned, President-elect Obama. This, after Bauer repeatedly stood silently aside Senator McCain as they repeatedly heard Sarah Palin stoking the hatred and fear of those who would wrongly believe Mr. Obama to have Islamo-terrorist links. In a letter just sent to Senator Obama, Bauer, and twelve high-profile radical Christian nationalists wrote that they would like to help to: "identify, advocate, and implement an innovative and robust agenda designed to achieve a lasting victory over the violent Islamists committed to killing Americans on a mass scale,"
In expressing their desire to "join together, first, to recognize the threat and, second, to forge a national policy embraced by a broad coalition,"- there can be no other meaning than the wish to destroy Islam that so many of them have espoused over and over again.
The hypocrisy is stunning. These are people who have spent decades building an infrastructure intended to ultimately make ours into their version of a Christian nation. While the following scarcely scratches the surface of the power behind a few of signers, it is enough to give a general sketch of the danger still lurking from what has come to be known as the Religious Right.
In 1973, with money from Joseph Coors and Richard Mellon-Scaife, Paul Weyrich, one of the Obama letter signatories, founded the enormously powerful Heritage Foundation and then went on to create the Free Congress Foundation. Though not a household name, he remains one of the most influential voices in conservative politics.
In 2002, Weyrich and William S. Lind put out a pamphlet that is as diabolical and propagandistic as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion ever was. Entitled Why Islam is a Threat to America and the West, they make the case for a clash of civilizations saying that "Islam is at war with the Christian West, and we are proud to be considered spokesmen for that view."
Then there is the now notorious onetime McCain supporter, John Hagee, a powerful and dangerous Christian Zionist who warned viewers on the Glenn Beck Show in October, 2007,: "Ladies and gentlemen, the radical Islamic army is not coming to America. It's here. With Iran's nuclear power and Russia's support of Iran, Iran intends to attack Israel and America."- . . . "There's no doubt in my mind that we are living the End of Days. None."-
While doing everything he can to ensure that there never be peace in the Middle East, while continuing to amass millions of dollars to resettle Russian and Ethiopian Jews in the disputed territories, making of them unwilling warriors for Christ's return, Hagee had the audacity to sign on to this letter. In a sermon given on February 11 of this year, Hagee raged, "The plan of the anti-Christ is to divide Jerusalem."- If America puts pressure on Israel to divide Jerusalem we are following the blueprint of the Prince of Darkness. It would be naive to dismiss him or his theology, if only for the fact that his tentacles reach deeply within Washington circles.
Hagee's hatred of Islam runs deep and long. One cannot help but think that the schaudenfreude part of his soul is rooting the jihadists on. For every war needs an enemy and every bigot needs an "other,"- and he has found his in the "Islamists."- Suggesting his desire for the war to end all wars, Hagee wrote in his bestseller, Jerusalem Countdown:
"This is a religious war that Islam cannot and must not win," . . . "The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching... Rejoice and be exceedingly glad the best is yet to be." The best is yet to be???
Or how about the Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the nebulously sounding High Impact Leadership Coalition, a man who has of late become a familiar face on cable news? In February of 2007 he asked, "Could it be that Christian Jihad is the only way to stop the blood-seeking radical, Islamic movement? A revival of bedrock Christianity, such as the brand of faith seen in the book of Acts, is our only hope of stopping the advance of violent anti-west radicals. This Christian response may require the mobilization of Christian missionaries that are willing to risk their lives for the cause of Christ."- This man of God is hardly someone whose advice President-Elect Obama will want regarding any matter, much less anything dealing with the sensitive issue of terrorism.
The United States is not now and never was a country of crusaders or missionaries nor are our politics any longer for sale to our own brand of religious extremists. Bishop Jackson wrote in Townhall.com this past March that, "Today, the religious Right continues to mature as a movement and grow in its influence in American politics. Few other constituencies can match it for size and, more importantly, unity. But the missing story that perhaps only people like myself can see, because we are in the trenches and on the front lines every day leading church services and meeting with the movement's leaders, is that the religious Right is not falling apart. Rather, it is growing, expanding, and being rejuvenated,"-
We would be wise not to deceive ourselves into believing that the election proved the Religious Right to no longer be of concern.. They are smart, deeply-funded, patient and willing to morph in order to achieve their long-term goal of a Christian nation. If those don't match the qualities of religious fundamentalists, I'm not sure what are.
It was only this past June that James Dobson of Focus on the Family accused Senator Obama, of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution. Today his mouthpiece, Tom Minnery, is back, signing on with an offer of help regarding the dark Islamic dangers that face our nation. As an ironic aside, Focus on the Family could use a financial bailout of its own, having invested far too much money on California's Proposition 8.
In addition to Bauer, Hagee, Minnery, Weyrich and Jackson, the other luminaries who signed the letter include: Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman, American Family Association; Chuck Donovan, Executive Vice President, Family Research Council; Jonathan Falwell, Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church; Janet Parshall, Nationally-Syndicated Talk Show Host; Rod D. Martin, Chairman, TheVanguard.Org; Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies; Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring; and Phil Burress, Chairman, Citizens for Community Values Action.
In summation, this recent missive to Senator Obama, a man of integrity and wisdom, ought to be seen as the moral offense it is. It is of utmost importance that, as our nation tries to mend its severely damaged international reputation, Barack Obama publicly repudiate and denounce this group of blackhearts, exposing their posturing for the hatred they represent.
To this blasphemous group of thirteen, I say, those among you who would stir up a clash of civilizations . . . you no longer have a place at the American table.