There’s a long, honorable, and incredibly important tradition in American history of people getting involved in issues and politics due to their religious convictions. From John Adams and many of his fellow revolutionaries, from the abolitionists to the suffragists to the Martin Luther King, Jr and most of the civil rights movement, that tradition has been a core part of the way America has changed and moved forward. But what all of those kinds of religious and political leaders understood was that they lived in a pluralistic society, a democracy with checks and balances where their points of view on politics and law had to be balanced with the political and religious views of many other people.
Where mixing politics and religion gets scary is when people like this try to impose their my-way-is-the-only-way religion onto our political system.
I am very familiar with this kind of fundamentalism, the kind that basically says that if you don’t agree with precisely my religious theology and dogma, you are going straight to hell. Matt Krause is clearly one of those people, just like his brother-in-Christ Ken Cuccinelli, who is hoping that God will deliver Virginia to him tomorrow when his campaign clearly can’t- perhaps Cuccinelli’s failing campaign will be saved when most of MacAuliffe’s voters turn into pillars of salt. Krause and Cuccinelli got into politics so that they could transform America’s pluralistic government and society into their version of Biblical Law.
They are, of course, obsessed by abortion. They don’t seem to care much about the babies that are born, because they are happy to cut them off from food stamps and health care and Head Start and school lunches. But they love the pre-born. Note that their next move is to introduce “beating heart” legislation, and they’ll keep thinking of anything they can to keep those abortions from happening. Because they know for absolute sure exactly what God wants and when He wants it.
I loved the part of the video where they were talking about “God’s man in the center of God’s will is invincible.” Because they clearly know exactly who God is and what God’s will is. Yeah, right. Do they know how arrogant that is? The man they claim to follow, a named Jesus of Nazareth, was pretty clear that humans are lousy at knowing what God wants, that humans aren’t to judge because that God’s job. Or maybe they never bothered to read Job:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me since you are so well-informed! Who decided its dimensions, do you know?...Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post?”
My favorite part of the video was when Krause and his Christian comrade were talking about pro-choice demonstrators chanting “Hail Satan”. Hail Satan? You know, I have been going to progressive rallies and events of all kinds, on many different issues, ever since my older brother and sister started taking me to them when I was 12 over 40 years ago. I’ve seen many more on TV, and heard literally thousands of accounts of them from activists I knew from all over the country. Never once have I heard a call of “Hail Satan”. Haven’t heard the phrase “let’s all worship Beelzebub” either, or “please Devil come hither”. I have heard the phrase “well, to give the devil his due” but I’m pretty sure it was a metaphor, and I will admit that in the warm-up music of one rally I did hear the Eagles’ Witchy Woman song. But I don’t think it actually meant that anyone was worshipping Satan or witches or anything. I feel extremely confident that if anyone was chanting “Hail Satan” at that rally, it was Christian right wingers who wanted to be able to say they heard someone chanting it.
Who are people like Krause and Cuccinelli trying to kid? I guess their very frightened followers. But to suggest that your political opposition is made up of evil, devil-worshippers kind of goes against the nature of pluralism and a democratic society, doesn’t it? Krause and Cuccinelli and their ilk are extremists. They believe that everyone who disagrees with them are evil and going straight to hell. And in America, this land of religious freedom and diversity, this land of pluralism and free expression of ideas, this nation of immigrants and beliefs and ideas coming from every other nation in the world, those of us who don’t agree with Krause and Cuccinelli would officially be most of us. And you know what? Personally, I thank God for that. People like Krause and Cuccinelli never in their life gave orders to the morning or sent the dawn to its post. Even though they think they did.