Friday, December 14, 2007

The View from the Other End of the Club

It has been pointed out, correctly I think, that the world looks very different depending on whether you have your boot on your enemy's neck, or he has his boot on yours. While power is a sought-after commodity, there is also something to be said for the clarity that comes from being on the receiving end of the club.

Returning to Mitt Romney's appeal to allow the common morality that he shares with all people of faith to trump whatever theological differences there may be between him and evangelicals, it must be pointed out that the appeal for tolerance of minority positions is not uncommon for minorities to make.

After all, does not history demonstrate that the rights of those outside the inner circle are never bequeathed from on high, but must be won through popular struggle? Power, whether political, social, or religious, is often clutched with great jealousy lest it be lost. So if you're a woman, an immigrant, or in Romney's case, a Mormon, the clarion call is for civil liberty and the right to be treated as equals in the public square.

The evangelical church (err, excuse me: movement) has not had the best track record in according said civil liberties to those who are demanding them. You see, as long as we are in power, we will use all the muscle we can muster to win the culture war and defeat the godless, feminist, socialist Ivy-Leaguers who would just as soon surrender the American Dream to those A-rabs in the Middle East.

Sure, we can't define justification by faith if given a hundred tries, but by God we're gonna keep those gays at bay if it kills us.

Let's hope that if our millennial dreams shatter like the tables of the Decalogue and we are unseated from the corridors of power, the new occupants will be kinder and gentler than we were.

But I'm not holding my breath.