Monday, October 08, 2012

Fundamentalists Taking Over the GOP

Fundamentalist Christians took over the Missouri Synod Luthern Church in the 1970's and took over the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1980's. Those takeovers were viewed as battles over the Bible and a literalist interpretation of it.

Today the Washington Post has published a story about the "Battle for the Soul" of the GOP that has been enjoined by fundamentalist Christians in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Southern Baptist ministers in Missouri are at the forefront of the campaign to re-elect Todd Akin. Organizers of this battle are making it clear that this is but an early volley in a battle they envision for the entire Republican Party:

"People are drawn to Akin’s cause because they see it as the opening battle for the soul of the Republican Party," said strategist David Lane, who has spent months in the state organizing pastors to fight for Akin, at times bucking the wishes of GOP leaders in Washington. Akin’s campaign, Lane said, represents the fight against establishment politicians, their consultants and "a morally flawed approach to politics."

David Lane has been described as a "mysterious, behind-the-scenes evangelical kingmaker" from California, funded primarily by the American Family Association, who worked tirelessly for Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign in 2008 and who secured the financing for "The Response" Prayer Rally that launched Rick Perry's ill-fated presidential campaign in 2012.

Republicans around the country can frequently be heard lamenting the religious extremism that has become common in the party. Their complaints sound much like the laments of moderate Baptists during the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

We all know how that ended.

Prepare to turn out the lights. The party will soon be over.

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