Monday, March 07, 2005

The black helicopters now have "Jesus" fishes

I see that the Washington Post has a slightly more positive view of evangelical Christians these days (hat tip: Jeff the Baptist). We might still be paranoid, intolerant, extremist zealots bent on imposing theocracy on the nation, but we're not what way by nature. See, we're just the products of our environment. If we could only get an education and an upscale job inside the Beltway, we'd moderate our extremist positions. In fact, we'd become Episcopalians!

That's the impression I get from the article. Consider these gems:

"Uchhhhhh, embarrassing," she says. The gaudy soundtrack of the "Christian ghetto" she lived in as a teenager. Lyric the high school "Jesus freak," chastising her church youth group for wasting time on frivolous pizza parties, ignoring any TV that wasn't "The 700 Club."

"It just makes me wince," she says now that her ghetto self is long gone, now that she's made it here, to Washington, to the languid Friday afternoon tea time in a congressional cafeteria, to her starched white blouse and a stint on the presidential campaign and a husband who works in the Senate, to a salon of what she calls "Christian intellectuals."

...[Evangelical discomfort with politics] was before Roe v. Wade, before the Christian Coalition, before evangelicals made money and moved to the suburbs and "began to lose a sense of pessimism and alienation," says John Green, a professor of political science at the University of Akron.

...Now Lyric and Jeff are married and live in Fairfax. Jeff works in Sen. James Inhofe's office, Lyric is a political consultant. They've stayed away from the usual evangelical megachurch -- "the music is awful" -- and instead joined Truro Episcopal in Fairfax.

Ah, but have we grown up and joined the real world, or have we just activated our Cultural Cloaking Devices?

No more thundering sermons on Wiccans and floods and child molesters, caught on tape and leaked by a political opponent. No more pronouncements about "signs" showing up in California. No more horrors from the Book of Revelation.

It's what Ralph Reed dreamed of, and now it's finally here. Christians in politics are ready to trade in their guerrilla fatigues for business suits and a day job.

...When talking about abortion, the South Dakota Republican prefers abstractions: "I like to connect my principled view with my policy objectives," he says. "Good principles can lead to good policy."

To secular humanists or even your average Democrat, Thune Land is a scary, scary frontier. "He is this new kind of Republican creature who puts an innocuous face on the religious right," says a Daschle aide who worked on the campaign. "Behind this cheerful frat-boy basketball-star persona is just the same old beast of the far right."

(Note: "far right" means pro-life.)
"This new generation has the same convictions but without the edge," says Michael Cromartie, an evangelical scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. "They may believe all the same things, but they are not going to go on 'Larry King Live' and say all homosexuals should die. They've learned how to present themselves."

Oh, we're not supposed to advocate death for homosexuals anymore? Guess I haven't gotten the memo from Evangelical Theocracy Conspiracy World Headquarters. But HQ has lost its edge since it was taken over by Harvard grads.

I must say, also, that I'm ashamed of our attempts to impose our extremist viewpoints by stealth, in contrast to this transparent effort by the WaPo to promote peace, love and understanding.