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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Do They Hate You 'Cause You Love Jesus?

Tom DeLay's appearance on Hardball yesterday was a thrilling display of the kind of self-pitying victimology that has become the stock and trade of the Christian right. Not surprisingly, Chris Matthews spent most of the interview pandering to the Majority Leader's sense of righteousness and entitlement, constantly praising DeLay as a man of faith and integrity, and repeatedly asking questions like, "Are they coming after you because of your deep Christian faith?" (I'll be paraphrasing here since I couldn't find a transcript on-line yet). Did it ever occur to Matthews to challenge DeLay's conveniently self-justifying invocations of faith? Christianity isn't an ideal religion for the greedy, the proud, and the powerful--there's that little Sermon on the Mount, after all--and you'd think someone with even a mild familiarity with Christian doctrine might push DeLay on his hypocrisy. No such luck. In today's discourse, Christinaity is less a faith or a creed than a PC "identity": an unchallengable mark of one's authenticity and virtue. At least if you're a conservative evangelical.

The funniest part of the interview, however, must have been when Matthews asked DeLay if there were any Democrats in Congress he respected. DeLay hemmed and hawed for a few seconds before saying, "Barney Frank." I kid you not. His explanation: "Unlike most of these Democrats, you at least know who Barney Frank is." Hmmm. . . . How to read this? Sounds to me like he's saying that, although the Dems are all Commie fags, they don't have the guts to stand up and tell you so, except for Barney Frank, who he respects for having confirmed all his violent hatreds of that party and its agenda.

5 Comments:

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Although an agnostic myself, would it not be fair to say that Delay and his ilk are "wolves in sheeps' clothing"?

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Sam said...

Great post, tmcd. On most political and philosophical issues, I find that we are usually on the same page, but located in very different parts of it. However, when it comes to your take on the political workings of religion in America today, I could not possibly agree with you more. RIGHT. ON. TARGET.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger IUMike said...

Barney Frank is an interesting choice for DeLay. Frank is openly gay, of course, but the chit-chat I hear is that he is also considered by his colleagues to be the smartest man in Congress.

 
At 6:40 AM, Blogger Frances said...

Great post, TenaciousMcD! It is interesting how conservatives often express "respect" for the most unapologetic liberals. That tendency was on grand display in the wake of Paul Wellstone's untimely death. Unlike all the other Democrats, Wellstome was supposedly "authentic," "honest," and "forthright." The assumption undergirding this perspective is that all Democrats are quasi-socialists, and they're just being dishonest if they don't admit it. The really frustrating thing is how easily the news media buy into this distorting narrative. It's one of the reasons why the "flip-flopper" charge is so often and so effectively wielded against Democratic candidates.

 
At 3:24 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Apparently there's more to the DeLay-Matthews tete-a-tete than I knew. Word is that there's a transcript of their commercial break conversation in which CM talks effusively about how much he "owes" DeLay, and then they swap inside-GOP polling info while riping on the Dems. DeLay apparently says of Hillary that "There's nothing worse than a woman know it all." CM's brother is running for AG of PA as a GOPer, so I guess we now know (isf there was any doubt) that Tweety's partisan conversion is complete.

 

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