Are you an agent of Satan? Kenyn Cureton is worried that you might be. Cureton is vice president for church ministries for the Family Research Council. During the FRC's recent "Values Voter Summit," he warned attendees at a breakout session on churches and politics to be ready for some intense action.
"The battle that we're fighting," he said, "is not just a political and cultural battle, it's a spiritual battle."And when a battle is spiritual, you can be sure that some people are serving the wrong side.
"When you think about it, you know, the real enemy is not the poor, deluded souls who are advancing these evil agendas," Cureton said. "Really, they're just simply pawns in the hands of their malevolent master. They're simply doing the bidding of the devil, OK?"
So here's how it goes: You either agree with the Religious Right on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, church-state relations and so on or you're buddies with Beelzebub!
These guys have a lot of nerve.
But Cureton, a Southern Baptist pastor and former denominational official, wasn't done there. Imploring right-wing evangelicals to politicize their churches and blanket them with "voter guides" (documents that are always stacked to favor the most right-wing candidate), he insisted that the last thing you want to do is turn out the vote across the board. Only the people who agree with the Religious Right should be targeted on Election Day, he said.
"We're not just encouraging people to vote however," Cureton said. "That's what happened in the last election. That's how Obama got elected - a bunch of stupid evangelicals who didn't even use their biblical values when they went in the voting booth."
I'll break this one down for you too: Either you vote in a way that comports with the FRC's view on social issues, or you're stupid.
Let me explain something to Cureton: We are all "values voters." Those of us who disagree with the Religious Right's narrow theology and burning desire to "Christianize" (as you define Christian) this nation have values too.
Ours are a little different than yours, Kenyn. We value things like tolerance, diversity, secular government and complete religious liberty for all, supported by the wall of separation between church and state. We value the wisdom of the Founders and will defend it.
We value the Constitution, a document you and your pals in the Religious Right claim to revere but all too often treat like a first draft. (How many amendments does the Religious Right want to add? Let's see - school prayer, government funding of religious schools, anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, "parental rights." Have I forgotten any?)
It has been said many times that politics is the art of compromise. One of the main problems with the Religious Right's approach to politics is that it tosses that maxim out the window. How can you compromise with people who are Satan's imps?
Many political analysts believe that the nation is more polarized than ever. I believe it. Attitudes like Cureton's go a long way in explaining how we got here.
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