The Duggar affair has put the Republican Party’s false righteousness and moral corruption on display like nothing else in the past few decades. Every attempt to whitewash the scandal only exposes the bottomless abyss separating morality from the Religious Right and its pet politicians.
Because there is no defense of the indefensible, this should be enough, you would think, to sink their cause – their claim to a moral high ground – forever.
When you see Mike Huckabee attack President Obama’s parenting while defending molester Josh Duggar, don’t you have to question Right Wing standards of morality? Add to this Huckabee’s condemnation of Beyonce while defending Ted Nugent’s lurid lyrics.
Supposedly the champions of an inflexible and monolithic morality, the Religious Right has instead proven itself to be champions of the most elastic moral relativism anyone could have imagined: anything they do – no matter how morally and ethically reprehensible – can somehow be reconciled to the Bible and forgiven. If all else fails, the guilty party need only play the ultimate Get Out of Hell Free card, “I found Jesus!” to walk away, reputation intact.
True crusaders against immorality would not hesitate to condemn their own. Indeed, would they not hold their own up to a higher moral standard? You would think.
Sarah Palin, whose daughter has had a child out of wedlock while she preaches a morality that condemns sex outside of marriage, still found it possible to accuse the left wing of hypocrisy in the Duggar case. She did not so much as bat an eye.
Worse yet, Sarah Palin supports abstinence education, and Bristol herself, despite being living evidence of abstinence’s failure, earned $262,000 as the Candie’s Foundation’s abstinence spokeswoman, reported the Associated Press in 2011.
The Bible says of Bristol’s child, “Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:2). Funny how the Religious Right, while condemning America’s moral decay, didn’t notice the decay in their own midst.
Bristol Palin, without batting an eye, joined her mother in accusing liberals of hypocrisy.
Time and again we have watched these champions of “family values” exposed as hypocrites and frauds, with addictions to porn, even to child porn, to prostitutes, same and opposite sex, to mistresses on the side (sometimes in other countries), not to mention corruption – from Michele Bachmann to Rick Perry to Chris Christie to Jeb Bush – all presidential hopefuls who have more claim to a cell than to the Oval Office.
The varied and repeated displays of immorality by Republican candidates, however egregious, hardly compares to their view of women as nothing more than fertile chattel, who, amusingly, think they’re actual people.
Not only do Republicans ignore biblical injunctions against their own behavior, but civil injunctions as well, even those set firmly in the United State Constitution. Somehow, everybody is guilty but them. If they are caught, they are not guilty, but persecuted. Victims of witch hunts, like those poor Duggars.
Nearly twenty centuries of destroying every alternative to itself under its belt, and even while they try to strip rights from women, gays, lesbians, and transgenders, to listen to these self-appointed representatives of the world’s largest religion, they are the ones being persecuted.
The persecutors are not the victims, no matter how often they try to play that card.
Christianity has been persecuting all alternatives to itself for seventeen hundred years, almost without let up until the Enlightenment. Even then, laws designed to uphold some imaginary ideas of Christian morality have repressed various minorities, religious and ethnic.
No one can forget that the Bible was held up as justification for the enslavement of blacks, and that the same arguments once used against blacks are now used against gays. Every biblical injunction against a variety of equally egregious sins is ignored, except that pronouncement against “homosexuality” and that passage may not mean what the Religious Right says it means.
All the other pronouncements of the Law of Moses, however explicit, are ignored. The Bible hasn’t so much been cherry-picked as ignored. If “God’s Own Party” has forgotten about Jesus, they have also barely scraped the surface of the Old Testament, from which they draw their fire and brimstone.
Displaying the Ten Commandments, which they do not even intend to follow, is the ultimate act of hypocrisy for the morally bankrupt Republican Party.
Those tablets are more an ancient billboard advertising all the ways in which Republicans violate the Law of Moses: they serve other gods (Jesus’ mammon, Matthew 6:24), they steal, they bear false witness, they commit adultery, and they covet just about anything you care to mention.
This is no longer Christianity we are talking about, folks, because let’s face it, you can’t have Christianity without Christ, and the white guy with the AR-15 is not a Jesus anyone recognizes.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has admitted the Republican Party is a religion. But they have no real claim to Christianity. They are in fact nothing more than a modern cult based on a bizarre admixture of Judaism and Christianity, designed to give religious justification for willful ignorance, bigotry, and bad behavior, made worse by the same ugly ethnic nationalism that was the core of Hitler’s National Socialism.
The Republican Party, if any actual Republicans remain in its ranks, has two choices. Extract itself from the evil represented by the Religious Right, and return to civil governance, or, like the Religious Right, cease to be relevant and accept being replaced by a more viable political movement. With the nation moving left, they might want to decide soon.
2016 looms, and America won’t wait forever if they decide at last to catch up from the thirteenth century.
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.