Now is the winter of our discontentRejoice, progressives!
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. --Richard the Third
The shrill, bleating fundamentalist sheep, the mindless masochistic horde, the hideous yahoos of the Christian Right are on the run. They are not vanquished; they never will be. But, for the time being, they are contained within their backwoods Bible Belt. They have retreated to their revivalist tents, pitched out in some clearing in the bayou, there to babble in Tongues, eyes rolling, mouths frothing, while charlatans and witch doctors lay hands on them, healing them of their psychosomatic illnesses, and stealing away with their nubile and ignorant young daughters.
Michael Spencer has an excellent piece on the collapse of the evangelical movement in the Christian Science Monitor. You can read it here.
Right-wing evangelist James Dobson was positively morose in his recent resignation remarks to Focus on the Family, the organization which he founded to promote "Christian" values in American public life. Quoth he: "We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged... Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles."
For once, I agree with him (at least, on that last part).
If one examines the big issues that conservative Christians have been ranting about for the last 20-some years, one can easily see that they have achieved none of their stated goals.
- Abortion - Even with seven of the nine current Supreme Court Justices having been appointed by Republican presidents, Christian conservatives have been unable to formulate a successful legal argument to nullify the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that overturned all state and federal laws outlawing abortion.
- Gay rights - There was some talk, at the high-water mark of Republican power, of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Now, gay marriage is legal in four states. Polls show that people under the age of 30 believe that gays should have the right to marry. I've said it before, but it is worth repeating: Gay marriage will one day be a reality in all parts of the country. It's inevitable. Right now, we're just in transition.
So, for the time being, progressives and other open-minded people (including non-religious conservatives) can enjoy a moment of blissful silence in the void left by the Gospel-spewing ignoramuses that only 4 short years ago seemed to be on top of the political world. Betrayed by their corrupted and immoral leaders, they are now left scratching their chins, bemused and befuddled, wondering where it all went wrong.
But they'll be back. Even now, no doubt, there is some barefoot, wild-eyed Mason Tarwater bellowing his outrage about sinful cities, some Elmer Gantry sonorously invoking scripture, railing against the Legion of the Damned.