Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Religious Right's Big Lie Stategy

People for the American Way has just come out with a more detailed account of the religious right's attempt to scare the Senate into stripping away a portion of the stimulus bill that they inaccurately claimed discriminates against religion.

It's an excellent read. An excerpt is as follows:

On Thursday, February 5, the U.S. Senate took up an amendment introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to strip church-state protections from the stimulus bill. The amendment failed 43 to 54 after DeMint repeated the inflammatory claims he had been making all week and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) swiftly and effectively refuted them.

The creation of a phony crisis that DeMint’s amendment was supposed to solve is a case study of Religious Right leaders’ strategic use of false alarms about threats to religious liberty – and of the willingness of right-wing media and elected officials to play along. . . .
in the wake of the amendment’s defeat, for Religious Right leaders to use the vote as “evidence” that Democrats are hostile to people of faith and to try to undermine support from religious Americans for the new administration.

Wildly alarmist rhetoric from DeMint and right-wing leaders accusing the Obama administration and congressional Democrats of hostility to faith and public prayer was especially ridiculous coming in the week that President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and announced the creation of a multifaith advisory panel for his office of faith based and community initiatives. But stoking fears about anti-Christian “persecution” and claiming that liberal politicians are out to destroy religious liberty is a fundraising and organizing tactic that the Religious Right cannot seem to give up.

Here’s how it played out, as documented in near-real time by People For the American Way’s

And here I thought it was the GAYS who are persecuting Christians.

Sooner or later, that argument of religious persecution is going to get old.