Are Christians being used?

Published 3:38 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
In 2004, in the midst of one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in our nation's history, Thomas Frank published a work entitled What's the Matter with Kansas?.
This work, while focusing on Kansas, was also about how Republicans had won over the heartland of America over the past 40 years.
From the end of Reconstruction until the 1960s, the Democratic Party controlled the heartland, and controlled much of the rest of the nation as well with its connections to the labor movement. Following the Civil Rights Movement, as the Democrats slowly lost the South, a wave of conservatism also began creeping to the Midwestern states.
Much of this is attributed to the rise of Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority. Ronald Reagan's close ties to the group are often said to have helped his cause in his two presidential wins.
Frank's book hypothesizes that the groups which the Republican Party has by and large always been out to protect – those of big business and the very wealthy – have found a way to use Christian conservatives to get out the vote and keep Republicans in office.
That theory seemed to hold true later that year, as President George W. Bush won reelection largely on the support of Christian conservatives throughout the country who felt he could shift the Supreme Court to the right and enact a moral awakening of sorts for the country.
Events of the last few months would seem to point to Frank's vision being more true than anyone could have been aware of.
After losing virtually all of his political capital due to a number of miscalculations – as well as the continuing problems of Iraq and the ineptitude of the response to Hurricane Katrina – President Bush has nominated two new members to the United States Supreme Court. One of those, John G. Roberts, was sworn in as Chief Justice late last week. Roberts' lack of certain conservative criteria have angered many who worked so hard to keep the President in office, and his latest appointment has even more throwing their hands in the air.
Harriet Miers, who was once the President's real estate lawyer, has been appointed to replace Sandra Day O'Connor as an associate justice. From the moment her nomination was announced, conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh have screamed to the heavens about her lack of credentials and lack of strong conservative opinions on certain issues.
The most telling opinions, though, have come from conservative bloggers, many of whom would be classified as Christian conservatives. One of them even mentioned how she felt used to perpetuate the liberal status quo on the Supreme Court simply to maintain and help the President's big business friends.
Sometimes authors aren't as crazy as they seem.
Tim Cottrell is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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