I think this column by Mark Creech, based largely on a speech that Gary Bauer delivered 15 years ago, gives a lot of insight into the mentality of the Religious Right:
Bauer said that most Americans fail to understand just how removed lawmakers typically are from the values of the people they represent. He said many believe that government can create a utopia on earth. They believe that morals are relative and not absolute. They argue for a radical individualism, yet also demand that a strong central government be in control of every area of life. Bauer said the people of this country believe very much in personal responsibility, truth, virtue, and faith, but the “elites” in government want something of a new world order which isn’t impeded by tradition or religious conviction.
Bauer said, “I know that all of us worry about the economy…We worry about having decent jobs and a living wage, and the chance to own a home and educate our children.” But economic worries, continued Bauer, are not the biggest problem. “I am not worried about America economically; I’m worried because something seems to have gone wrong with the heart and soul of our nation. And millions of our fellow Americans know that something has gone wrong, even if they don’t share our faith perspective. You can hear them talk about it at school-board meetings, at the grocery store in their neighborhoods; all of them know something has gone wrong. And our leaders…don’t have the answers. They don’t even know the right questions to ask.”
Bauer also noted that when Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous speech on the Washington Mall, he argued that his dream was that this country would one day judge its citizens by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. But most unfortunately, the government, the media, and the liberal education establishment, are telling our nation’s children that character is irrelevant. Bauer said that this fraud perpetrated on the nation’s next generation is a violation of King’s dream, and that those who send this message to our young people, whether directly or indirectly, should be ashamed.
Bauer asked: “What happened in America between the time that we understood personal responsibility and a time when there are a thousand reasons to escape the consequences of our acts?” Then Bauer said, “What happened in America is that we forgot God. And having forgotten God, we have unleashed the hounds of hell in our streets, in our homes, and on our children. And until America realizes that, there is no turning back.”
Whether it’s state or federal government, the focus today is still erroneously on the economy. But as Bauer concluded in his speech, the real problem in this nation is not the economy. “A nation unable to distinguish between right and wrong,” said Bauer, won’t solve the budget deficit. “A nation of moral misfits eventually will become economic misfits. The economy and our moral fiber are linked together, and the politicians just don’t get it.”
Creech says that Bauer’s speech is “relevant even today” … and indeed it is, in that it demonstrates that whenever this nation has a Democratic president, the Religious Right’s core message is that government is corrupt and incompetent, immorality is rampant, and America has abandoned God and is therefore on the road to ruin.