Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, a leader of North Carolina’s pro-adultery wing of the evangelical movement, called politics the “religion of the left.” That’s pretty ironic coming from the party that put an amendment on the ballot to prevent marriage equality based on religious convictions. Forest is a theocrat whose politics is driven largely by his religious fervor.
Forest told the audience at the Conservative Leadership Conference, “You see it on issues like climate change, or the Me Too movement or black lives matter or gun control. Name the issue today, the fervor has reached a religious pitch in America. Why? Because it really is the religion of the left.” Forrest misses the point altogether.
The political movements animating progressives today are secular not religious. They’ve taken to the streets because they’re shut out of the decision making process in too many states and at the federal level. They’re enthusiasm is driven by their faith in the power of the First Amendment. That’s not religious. That’s American.
Forest, though, is part of a right wing tradition that has mixed religion and politics for hundreds of years. They’ve always been part of the American political scene. In the 20th century, they provided the religious justification for Jim Crow and the religious ideology of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.
The current configuration began with the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition that tried to make the GOP the party of God. They successfully drove the libertarian wing of the party into the background and forced candidates to adhere to religious orthodoxy that included anti-abortion and anti-LGBT positions. In North Carolina, they’re claiming “religious freedom” to allow government employees to refuse to marry gay couples. That’s mixing your politics and religion.
Today, the theocrats in the Republican Party have decided that adultery is acceptable as long as a candidate adheres to party orthodoxy around abortion. Their leaders are men like Dan Forest, Franklin Graham and Tony Perkins. Their champion is Donald Trump, an amoral politician who has pays for sex, brags about cheating on his wives and objectifies women. They’ve abandoned the poor and the needy for the rich and sleazy.