Friday, May 18, 2007

Fundamentalists in the News

Reverend Fred Phelps, the ultraconservative preacher who is so far to the right that he's fallen over the cliff, has announced that his group of followers will be protesting the funeral of......Jerry Falwell!

Phelps' entire "ministry" is devoted to hating gays; indeed, his website is called "Godhatesfags". He is most well known for organizing protests at the funerals of soldiers and sailors killed in the line of duty, because of our military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Phelps has now decided to express his ire toward Falwell, who almost appears liberal compared to Phelps. The reason for this protest is that Phelps believes that Falwell didn't go far enough in condemning gays.

I think Falwell was a jerk, but his family, like anyone else, deserves the right to mourn in peace.


James Dobson, head of the fundamentalist group, Focus on the Family, has announced that he will not be casting his vote for Rudy Guiliani, if he happens to be the Republican nominee for President in 2008. Dobson said that "my conscience and my moral convictions" would prevent him from doing so, adding that "I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran — or if worse comes to worst — not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life."

He categorized Giuliani an "unapologetic supporter of abortion on demand" and castigated him for signing a bill in 1997 creating domestic-partnership benefits in New York City.

Dobson added that there were other "moral concerns" with Giuliani, specifically that he's on his third marriage to "his mistress" from his second marriage and "appears not to have remorse for cheating on his wife."

Dobson had previously criticized John McCain for not supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Apparently, Dobson is unconcerned about a candidate's stand on unemployment, the war in Iraq, eradicating poverty, education, health care, and a host of other important issues. It would seem as if he's only concerned with a candidates views about what the government's role should be concerning the personal lives of private citizens; i.e. "moral issues".

Though Dobson has a right to his opinion, like anyone else, his radio show has a loyal following of about 7 million listeners, which gives his opinions the potential to influence the outcome of the Republican nomination. Centrist Republicans who wish to bring the Republican party back closer to the Eisenhower center, might well vote for a Democrat in protest if another fundamentalist approved candidate gets the Republican nomination. Dobson's words could possibly have the backhanded effect of benefiting the chances of a Democrat being elected in 2008.

We can only hope.

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