After the catastrophic failure of God’s brand in 2012, College Republicans came up with a scheme to get more votes without budging an inch on socially divisive culture war issues. As Salon put it, “Seem Tolerant.”
Priebus reassured his audience, however, that the GOP is “a party that embraces marriage,” and that he “is a chairman that understands that there’s only one sovereign God and that we ultimately aren’t dependent on what happens in politics, that what ultimately matters in our lives is that we’re salt and light in the world and that we’re honoring God in the things that we do every day.”
There you have it. From the RNC chairman’s mouth. Priebus doesn’t want to seem tolerant. He doesn’t even like the word “tolerant.”
What this means, of course, is that all the bigoted and hateful things Republicans do to minorities, to blacks, to women, to the LGBT community – to the very air we breathe and water we drink – are done to honor God.
Like all the atrocities committed in God’s name throughout sad history of monotheism from Moses onward.
The only difference should be, says Priebus, is that while they’re persecuting the Other, Republicans should smile more and be polite about it, because apparently, this is what the Bible says to do while you’re persecuting the hell out of people you don’t like.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Brody: I want to talk to you about this way forward for the GOP. When you use that word “intolerant” in what the RNC put out, Evangelicals start to grab the Excedrin bottles when they hear “tolerance” because they think “oh no the GOP is changing and the whole gay marriage situation.” Why don’t you address this and maybe put evangelicals at ease, or can you put them at ease at all here?
Priebus: Well, one hundred percent. I don’t know if I’ve used the word “tolerance.” I don’t really care fo for that word myself. I don’t have a problem with it. I just think it has another meaning politically that can go the other direction. I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do beleive, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversial at all and I would think Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language, that’s the New Testament, so I don’t think there should be any problem with that thinking in our party. That’s all I’ve said. It’s not what you say, I think, it’s sometimes like our moms used to tell us, it’s how you say it; and I think that’s really the issue and quite frankly I think some of that has been overblown. I’m happy to address it but clearly myself and our party haven’t changed on those principles.
So persecuting people they don’t approve us isn’t the problem. I have a feeling the persecuted might want to differ on that point. According to Priebus, it’s how they say the hateful things they say that’s the problem.
Priebus: I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversy at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language. That’s the New Testament so I don’t think there should be any problem with that thinking in our party.
If you’re looking at the evidence, what you will see is a party that embraces life, a party that embraces marriage and a chairman that understands that there’s only one sovereign God and that we ultimately aren’t dependent on what happens in politics. What ultimately matters in our lives is that we’re salt and light in the world and that we’re honoring God in the things that we do every day. I get that. I think our party gets that and there’s never been a movement away from that.
What is sad for Americans is that the Republican Party was not always the party of intolerance and hate. Social issues were not always foundational principles for the GOP. Our differences with the GOP were truly political rather than religious and the two had not yet become conflated in conservative imaginations.
But now, what Priebus is telling us, is that the GOP is the party only of white conservative Christians, a “political” party whose only interest is in “honoring God” according to some narrowly defined, cherry-picked, and misrepresented (sometimes invented) biblical mandates.
He is saying, like Pope Benedict XVI once said, that their capital-T Truth trumps tolerance and that no matter how badly their hateful activities impact them, they should stick to their guns and march onward like Christian soldiers, imposing their views on an America whose Constitution forbids such imposition.
Americans cannot vote strictly politics in the early 21st century. Not even if they want to. The GOP says you can’t because to compromise is to defy God; liberals and others can’t because the GOP’s über exclusive party platform is less political platform and more religious dogma; dogma that leaves no room for women, ethnic minorities, atheists, secularists, Jews, Muslims, gays, lesbians, or Pagans like me – let alone all those old-fashioned Goldwater era conservatives.
When Americans vote, therefore, they must recognize that the election is not between two political parties, but between one political party and a religion, a religion which, if it had its way, would ultimately do away with the political party in order that America become some dystopian, corporate-sponsored theocracy.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.