Liberals and progressives weren’t impressed by Nikki Haley’s tired response to President Obama’s energetic State of the Union. Paul Ryan thought she was dynamite. There are those who look at the South Carolina governor and see a potential presidential candidate. But don’t expect such talk from the Religious Right.
In her response Tuesday she said Americans should not “follow the siren call of the angriest voices,” which is pretty funny, and virtually impossible advice, because who on the right isn’t angry? And how can you tell who is the angriest?
As it happens, she said Wednesday she was talking about Trump, and the genesis of her words was, of all things, a sense of inclusiveness: “You know, the one thing that got me, I think, was when he started saying ban all Muslims.”
So that was bad enough, attacking Trump. That angered the mogul’s minions, who will no doubt be pouring out of Mordor to swamp us under a wave of reckless hate…oh wait, sorry. Got caught up in the moment.
But then she got all up in the face of the Religious Right, a dangerous thing to do for somebody who has tried so hard to prove she’s a Christian.
In her response she said of Republicans, “We would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy,” and added Wednesday,
“We’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion,” she added. “Let’s not start that now.” This is patently untrue, and as PFAW’s Brian Tashman quipped, perhaps she “has been reading too many history books authored by David Barton.”
Watch Haley explain her position courtesy of The State:
This untruth was enough set off the American Family Association’s Hater-in-Chief, Bryan Fischer. This is how Fischer took Haley’s words about the modern family and religious liberty:
“What does she mean by that? She means that the Republican Party has officially embraced sodomy-based marriage. That’s what that means. The Republican Party has officially embraced sodomy-based marriage and the entire homosexual agenda.”
That’s right. Fischer got so mad, he forgot all about Muslims.
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
And he was just getting started:
“So you parse that…We’re not going to invest one ounce of energy as a party, as ruling-class Republicans, we’re not going to invest one ounce of energy in fighting to protect natural marriage. We’re not going to invest one ounce of energy to try to preserve the right of children to be raised by a mom and a dad. We know from the research, it’s a form of child abuse for a child to be raised in a same-sex household. It is a form of child abuse; all of the best in social research confirms that and here is Nikki Haley saying we’re not going to fight for those children, we’re not going to fight for the children that are subjected to a form of child abuse by being raised in a same-sex household. We’re not gonna fight on that. We’re not gonna fight for those children. We’re done on that issue.”
Never mind that the research says no such thing, let alone the best of the research. Never mind that nobody says kids can’t be raised by a mom and a dad. Nobody is taking kids away and thrusting them into same-sex households, just like nobody is telling Christians (or even fake Christians like Fischer) they can’t go to church.
Yet poor persecuted Fischer said Americans are left hoping for “some shred of religious liberty.” He says Haley means we’ve capitulated, we’ve “run up the white flag” and are just hoping for a few crumbs of religious liberty to fall from Obama’s table.
To imagine that any Republican candidate cares about actual Jeffersonian religious liberty is laughable. None of them do. Religious liberty for Republicans is exclusive to Christians because they falsely believe, against all the evidence, that the United States was founded as a Christian nation.
If Haley, a daughter of immigrants herself and a Sikh-turned Methodist (her religion is something the Religious Right frets over), sincerely believes the First Amendment applies equally to Muslims, she just lost any future chance at election on a Fox News-approved “white Christian Republican” ticket.
The best part of all this is how Haley gave Trump some of his own Trump-style friendship, you know, the sort he’s been dishing out to his pal Ted Cruz about his citizenship:
“I consider Mr. Trump a friend. He was a supporter, he supported me in both campaigns, but just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you’re not a friend.
“You know, when I say it about my other friends who are running for president, they don’t throw stones. And so what I would say to Mr. Trump is don’t take it personally.”
Trump’s response on Fox & Friends was predictable: Haley is “weak” and “has asked me for a hell of a lot of money” and would be in his office right now begging for more if he wasn’t running for president.
She probably does’t want those Syrian refugees to take it personally either. And don’t forget before she said we should “respect differences in modern families” she fought to defend South Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage.
That’s right. The woman who called Obama “divisive, who said “the President’s record has often fallen far short of his soaring words” defended her state’s ban on marriage equality.
So don’t get the idea that Haley is a moderate. There is no such thing in today’s GOP. Nikki Haley’s problem is that she is too much of a hater for Democrats, but not enough of a hater for today’s Republicans. The Religious Right may not be high on Donald Trump, but by God the man knows how to hate, and that’s why HE is number one in the polls.
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.