Monday, February 20, 2012

FATHERS OF LIES. Kathryn Jean Lopez said something weird today -- yeah, I know, what else is new, but it struck me funny:
Internationally, this administration has been arguing for freedom of worship instead of freedom of religion. That’s not just semantics.
So I went and looked it up. Apparently this was a big rightwing thing back in 2010 (I don't see how I missed it; maybe I'm getting too old for this game): The more Jesusy conservatives (and Fox News) were then telling the world that Obama and his handmaiden Hillary Clinton had stopped using the words "freedom of religion" and started using the words "freedom of worship," in order to usher in a new age where people could pray all they liked but they couldn't go to the park, wave their Bibles at young fornicators and yell, "Howl ye, for the day of judgement is at hand," because Obama is Your God Now or something -- here, let one of those crazy fuckers who's still running this scam explain it to you himself:
The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves—yet “freedom of worship” would protect none of these acts of faith.
Those who would limit religious practice to the cathedral and the home are the very same people who would strip the public square of any religious presence. They are working to tear down roadside memorial crosses built to commemorate fallen state troopers in Utah, to strip “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and they recently stopped a protester from entering an art gallery because she wore a pro-life pin.
Thin end of the wedge! Soon the sheeple will be so lulled by the incantation of "freedom of worship," they'll forget all about freedom of religion, and when Obama turns their churches into gay abortion bathhouses they won't remember why they're supposed to be upset.

It's all bullshit, of course -- Right Wing Watch did us all the favor of looking up all Obama's mentions of F of R, and found them numerous, decisively outpacing his mentions of F of W.

But being full of shit never stopped them before. And why should it? Now they've got a new spokesmodel for their madness:
Referring to the Obama administration, Santorum said: "You can see why they don't stand up for religious liberties. It's pretty obvious that they don't think religious liberties are particularly a high priority. When you have the president of the United States referring to the freedom of religion and you have the secretary of State referring to the freedom of religion, not as the freedom of religion but the freedom of worship, you should get very nervous, very nervous. 
"Because there's a lot of tyrants around the world who will talk about freedom of worship, but they won't talk about freedom of religion. Freedom of worship is what you do within the four walls of the church. Freedom of religion is what you do outside the four walls of the church. What the president is now seeming to mold, in the image of other elitists who think that they know best, is to limit the role of faith in the public square and your role to live that faith out in your public and private lives..."
People sometimes wonder aloud why Santorum has been saying so many absurd things lately. I'm becoming convinced that he's too busy campaigning to make up his own remarks anymore, or even think about what he's saying, and so is just taking handoffs from staff who comb the fringe right blogs and Opus Dei newsletters for material that suits his image as a hardass religious conservative.

Maybe he's as horrified as we are when he sees himself on the news later -- "I said what? OK, that's the last time we use copy from First Things!" At least it pleases me to think so. Maybe by the time we get to Super Tuesday he'll be cadging lines from Father Coughlin and Cotton Mather.

(Edited for clarity.)

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