Conservative Jihadists Seek to Erode Liberty
Conservative jihadists seek to erode liberty
By Cynthia Tucker
Originally published April 25, 2005
ATLANTA - It would be comforting - but naive - to dismiss House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as a harmless, charmless churl who appeals only to a tiny, ineffectual group inhabiting the far religious right. In fact, the DeLay wing of the Republican Party is on the rise, and its antediluvian agenda represents a serious threat to American democracy.
That's no exaggeration.
If the DeLay wing gets its way, the entire nation will live according to the rigid rules of a handful of self-righteous folks who distrust modernity. They would dictate the way we worship, live, work, have sex and even die.
While five years' worth of political analysis has made much of the nation's cultural divide - a bitter disagreement over social issues that cleaves the nation roughly in half - the fact is that the entire country is being manipulated by a much smaller group. (Only 13 percent of Americans approved of Congress' intervention in the painful Terri Schiavo case.)
After President Bush's re-election, the news media swooned over vaguely worded polls showing "moral values" were the most important consideration for 22 percent of voters. But we don't really know what voters had in mind: Did they mean opposition to gay marriage, or did they mean support for programs for the poor?
Nevertheless, the generals among the religious extremists - men such as James Dobson of Focus on the Family - have used those polls to exaggerate their influence and browbeat less-reactionary Republicans into supporting their agenda. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has presidential ambitions, is the latest to bow before them.
Talk about hijacking a religion..........