2009: The Religious Right In a Nutshell

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of posts based upon a widespread right-wing lie alleging that the economic stimulus legislation signed into law by President Obama contained an “anti-Christian” provision that would “usher in a new era of religious censorship” and target Christians for discrimination.  We eventually produced our very first Right Wing Watch In Focus examining the Right’s use of this lie in order to generate opposition to President Obama and his agenda.

In short, for weeks, the Right relentlessly claimed that the provision was unconstitutional and discriminatory until finally Sen. Jim DeMint took it up on the Senate floor and forced a vote on an amendment stripping the provision from the legislation – a vote which he lost. And then the Right used that vote to try and generate more outrage while pleading for donations. 

The group that got this whole thing started was the American Center for Law and Justice, which proclaimed at the time that “unless this provision is removed from the final stimulus package, we’ll be in federal court challenging this discriminatory measure.”

Well, the provision was not removed and the legislation passed and was signed more than ten months ago … and yet the ACLJ never filed suit, nor has any other Religious Right group so much as mentioned it since its passage.

In essence, this entire charade perfectly encapsulates the method of operation for the Religious Right in 2009 and presumably for years to come:  generate a phony controversy, raise money off that phony controversy, scream and yell about the fact that nobody is taking this phony controversy seriously, make bold threats and declarations regarding this phony controversy, and then move on to generating new phony controversies and starting the entire process all over again.