Monday, June 04, 2007

Lying Liars

Just when you thought perhaps the death of Jerry Falwell had left a vacuum on the Insane Right, the so-called Institute for Religion and Democracy comes riding in to rescue stupidity from the jaws of death.

Follow along now, my friends.

The Governor of New Hampshire has signed a duly-passed piece of legislation that makes civil unions for homosexual couples legal.

In the wake of that action, the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire has told his clergy that they can use the same discretion in blessing state-sanctioned civil unions that all priests can exercise when deciding whether to bless state-sanctioned heterosexual marriages. That is, priests can and should assess whether the relationship conforms to the standards of godliness, fidelity, and spiritual commitment. In this crazy country of ours, where clergy act as agents of the state in legitimizing the state-sanctioned institution of marriage (or, more recently, civil union), he has affirmed that all priests in his diocese have the right to exercise their conscience in the discharge of their duties.

So … what is the headline in the press release that the IRD issued today?

Episcopal Church Continues to Harden its Stance Against Marriage

Yeah, right.

"I'll take 'Fear-Mongering' for $500, Alex."

If any of you have not been following along in the service leaflet, the IRD is an extremist right-wing think tank committed to a narrow Christian view on the mainline churches and the government of the United States. They have special and well-funded initiatives in place to undermine the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches. Jim Naughton did a fine job of journalistic research here. [Note: In response to a valid criticism from "Anonymous" in the comments below, I have slightly edited the first sentence of this paragraph.]

Addendum (06.05.07): When it comes to giving a fine rant, I am a hopeless amateur compared to our Elizabeth+. Do surf over and read her take on the IRD press release. And her "Codification of Marriage" graphic is a true gem! Hats off to you, my sister.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You talk about fear-mongering, then you say the IRD is "committed to imposing a theocracy in the U.S."

Now come on, that is a serious stretch of reality and undermines the rest of your very legitimate criticism.

We all know about Ahmanson (sp?) but your comment about the IRD is over-the-top.

You were going so well on the post, then you fell into the same tactics they used!

6/05/2007 10:39 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

You make a valid point, Anonymous. I probably should have used a someone more nuanced phrase. From what I have read of the IRD, however, I believe its admixture of religious and political activism comes from a commitment to making Christian faith dominate the government and governance of the U.S. They may not exactly embrace the strict Christian Reconstructionism of Ahmanson, but it's still too close for comfort, in my view.

6/05/2007 5:43 PM  

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