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More left-baiting from the "religious" right …

Culture war idiocy
 
 
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According to the Washington Post , part of the Republicans' attempt to recover from the mess of … well, everything they've touched will be a hot summer full of wedge-issue nonsense:

Worried about conservatives sitting out the November elections to protest spending, White House and top congressional officials are planning a summer push for legislation on abortion, same-sex marriage and stem cell research to excite social conservatives.

Oh joy.

And the hot summer's already begun at the state level. A couple of weeks ago, Louisiana's legislature debated a bill that would "allow" students to pray in schools (they already can as long as a teacher doesn't lead them). That got killed, and now we have this (via Newsweek):

Fresh from a bruising federal court fight over the teaching of evolution, Georgia marched back into the culture wars last week when Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill allowing Bible classes in public high schools.

There are two competing curricula in this mess. One is by a group of mainline churches about the philosophy of the Bible. I have no truck with that. The other is one developed by the "National Council for Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, backed by a long list of conservative evangelicals, including Pat Robertson." Oy.

(Here's where Rabbi Lerner comes in to express his bewilderment at liberals' "hostility towards religion.")

If they pick the one that would use public funds to promote one very specific -- specifically conservative -- interpretation of the Bible, expect a particularly nasty dog fight, and expect the Robertson set to lose.

But remember, that's what they want -- they win with their sucker base each time they lose in court.

It's the same thing as that bill that was kicking around in the Missouri State Leg last month that would make Christianity the state's official "majority" religion. As I opined then:

But people who write bills like this aren't trying to make law. Their intent is to further the right's narrative that Christians are a persecuted minority under siege. They want to guarantee that the good folks at the Anti-defamation league, the ACLU and Americans United fight to have their silly legislation overturned, proving that those civil rights groups have an anti-Christian agenda (and perhaps even a direct association with Satan). And bills like this -- you couldn't write a piece of legislation that more obviously violates the Establishment Clause --are meant to give those groups a victory in court, thereby proving the existence of out-of-control activist judges dedicated to stymieing the popular will of the Christian majority.

I'd like to see two strategies from those who believe the founders were right about keeping church and state separate.

As always, they need to push for inclusion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in all curricula where one religion is represented. If that's over the top, fine, go for a major religion -- make 'em include Islam. Talk about your wedge issue on the right. The point is, always expose the fact that they're promoting one specific faith over all others.

Also, talk about the fact that the small town of Dover had to pay a million bucks in legal fees to fight off that ID crap. Stick a wedge between the culture warriors and the anti-taxers. Remind them that Dover would have to have paid twice that if they hadn't received so much pro bono work.

Fight wedges with wedges. And remind everyone we have real problems like sluggish job creation, a bloody war and sky high gas prices.

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .