The Christian Left: why apologize for the Christian Right?
Rajiv Chandrasekaran documents the doings of the Coalition Provisional Authority in his Imperial Life in the Emerald City (Amazon). The book does an excellent job of exposing the errors and faults of the CPA and the causes of those mistakes.
One of those faults lay in the staffing of the CPA. Loyalty to President Bush was a necessity for obtaining a job. What is even more disturbing is that sharing the religious beliefs of the Christian Right was enough to land a job. Experience in crisis management, technical skills for the job, and previous experience in wartime reconstruction did not matter. What is particularly disturbing about this is the hiring of Christian right-wingers with no qualification for their jobs.
Recently, some on the Christian left have downplayed the threat of the theocratic Christian Right. Either these Christian leftists do not see challenging the Christian Right as a priority or they provide apologetics for them by their over sensitivity to critiques of religion and its excesses.
Make no mistake though. The Iraq experience shows exactly how damaging the dogmas of the Christian Right truly are. Faith not only trumps truth, but also trumps expertise, experience, and dedication. With the lives of our troops and the lives of hopeful Iraqi’s on the line, the Bush Administration chose religious loyalists over those with the competence and expertise to do the job.
We will risk many more lives and lose many more lives until we confront and neutralize the more pernicious dogmas and excesses of the Christian Right as exemplified by President Bush.
The Christian left does not do a good job policing the more militant in their ranks, especially when it comes to political beliefs. Its politicians too often compromise life-affirming spiritual values. Too often, we hear apologetics for excesses. We too often hear reportage such as the fawning eulogies of Jerry Falwell broadcast across mainstream media.
Holding a religious belief is one thing. Aligning that belief with politics is quite a different matter. Leftists should not forget there is an all out struggle with the Christian Right for political control of the country. To forget that is to lose and live an impoverished spiritual and material life.