Maybe I've just finally managed to get off all the email lists of this sort (though my quest to be free of political spam has not fully succeeded -- the Ron/Rand Paul faction continues to find new ways to email me). Still, I haven't heard anyone suggest that Barack Obama was the enemy of God in a long time. I can only believe that this means that he is no longer as feared as he once was: coming from nowhere, with a mysterious background and prophetic promises, he was much more scary than the now well-known incompetent golfer we have come to understand.
All of which is the more surprising given this:
The positions are not surprising, but what does surprise me is that they aren't trumpeted as evidence that the Anti-Crist fears were right all along. Yet it seems Barack Obama isn't even the Anti-Christ anymore. It's easy to see why. One cannot imagine the party of Bill Clinton undertaking these changes; but one can imagine the party of John Kerry doing it, and I suppose that is what the American people have come to believe. It's not just this guy: it's the party, which has aligned itself on issue after issue in the same direction.
The specific elimination of the word "God" from the platform came in the place where the platform considered the origin of rights. Previous platforms had held them to be "God-given," but now they are described as "a basic bargain" of some sort. That's a much more radical change than it appears; the older framework meant that rights were not a "bargain" at all.
Elise spoke to this very matter in her last post.
I can imagine few ideas more dangerous than the idea that our civil liberties** are whatever the government decides they are. American civil liberties were originally conceived as a way to protect us from the government; to assert that there are some rights that are ours by virtue of being human and that bestowing and removing them are beyond the reach of government. Government can violate them but it does not grant them and cannot take them away....That does seem to be where we are. In a way it's hopeful that we see it clearly.
There is one positive thing I can say about both Mr. Moreno’s bullying and Mr. Kenney’s views of civil rights and religion: these men are being honest. As Ross Douthat said in his recent New York Times opinion piece:
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.The alderman and the councilman have done exactly as Douthat asked. Now we can, as Douthat says, "get on with the fight" - honestly.