The “Harmless” Religious Right

THE “HARMLESS” RELIGIOUS RIGHT….Chad Orzel reminds me to link to a comment yesterday from my post about evolution vs. creationism. Chad does the heavy lifting of taking apart the commenter’s main claim ? namely that criticizing creationism is basically just class prejudice ? which leaves me free to comment on this:

This is not a big issue.

Leftists just love bashing the religious right. The fact that, as a practial matter, these people have no real power or influence never seems to register.

I am really, really tired of hearing this. It’s true that Republicans often pander to the religious right with purely symbolic actions, such as constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage that everyone knows will never get adopted. But at levels ranging from school boards all the way to the presidency the religious right has tremendous influence on a wide variety of policy issues in the Republican party, from abortion and gay rights to welfare policy and stem cells.

Evolution in public schools is perhaps the most chilling example of this. It is a big issue, the same as teaching kids that Japan bombed Pearl Harbor rather than the other way around is. And while it’s true that creationism and its bastard cousin Intelligent Design haven’t gotten far in our public school system, the only reason for that is the unceasing efforts of liberals and scientists to keep them out. It has nothing to do with a lack of influence, but rather to the fact that groups like NCSE fight them hammer and tongs every time they pop up.

So let’s knock off the fairy tales about how they’re just a bunch of harmless loons that no one pays attention to. Just take a look at our old friend the Texas Republican Party Platform if you don’t believe it.