Bill Maher: "Now We Know Where They Get All The Screwups: Pat Robertson"

In this video clip, Bill Maher savages the "Pat Robertson Law School Army" within the Bush Administration ; Maher is funny enough, and it's worth a watch.

But what's really funny, in a sick sort of way, is the fact that people who specialize in actually paying attention to the Christian right, rather than simply mocking it during periodic outbreaks of evangelical sex scandals, have known for years that the Bush Administration has been stuffed with religious ideologues. Below, you'll find the perspectives of five people who spend most or all of their time observing, studying, and writing on the Christian right : specialists even ! What did they think about the Monica Goodling hullaballoo ?

Well, from my perspective let me tell you ; when the Monica Goodling "story" broke, I thought to myself : "That's a story ? Isn't it common knowledge that the Bush Administration is crawling with acolytes from Regent University, Liberty University, Patrick Henry College, and so on ? " I didn't even bother to write about it initially. Why bother ? There are cows in fields too, all over America. Is that a notable phenomenon, or a startling one ? That's how I thought of the Bush administration's religious ideologue packing, and that was due in large part to the fact that a number of people who track the religious right noted the proliferation of religious ideologues in the Bush Administration, years ago. Indeed, the Christian right began a concerted effort to take over the GOP over a decade and a half ago, and by this point the Republican Party is, as a matter of course, stuffed with Christian conservative activists anyway. The main reason the Goodling "story" didn't come out years ago, I'd assert, is because there's mass collective resistance to the concept that studying the religious right might just be a specialty all to itself.

Actually, the political movement of the Christian and religious right is an entire field of study. Try wrapping your head around not just politics but religion... simultaneously ; learn about many different theologies, myriad cults and sects, organizations, scams, rackets, televangelist personalities, methods of slyly advancing religious ideology... Politics alone is vastly complex, so try adding the adding dimension of religion to the mix. That's a vast field of study, and it's vastly complex. Or, if you will, it doesn't exist at all ; pick door #2, though, and you get a media and political culture that's collectively dumb as a bag of hammers to such ongoing phenomenon as the penetration of US government by religious ideologues working to advance partisan and even theocratic agendas. Oddly, observes 3-decade long veteran religion and politics researcher Chip Berlet, American public awareness of the Christian right may be outstripping that of pundits and journalists who have recently been declaring the Christian right, as a movement, dead. Another observer now into his 3rd decade of tracking the Christian right, journalist Frederick Clarkson advocates for an approach that moves past the crisis du jour and advises: "It is long past time to get very serious; and take a look at how politics might play out over the long run; consider what it will take for constitutional democracy and the values of democratic pluralism to prevail".

So, here's how five people who spend a lot of time paying attention to the Christian right, specialists in the field if you will, addressed and thought about the Goodling flap.

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