Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Michael Medved has felt it necessary to explain that Religious Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives have a lot in common really, and that reports of a Conservative Crack Up are greatly exaggerated. He points out that Conservatives of both stripes favor lower taxes and shutting down governmental programs. He then makes this intriguing statement.
Even some issues that are supposed to drive a wedge between the "preachers" and "plutocrats" can, if properly understood, bring the two factions together. Consider the debate over federal funding for embryonic stem cell research: where even the most secular, libertarian-tinged, economic conservatives will rightly question the necessity of government financing for scientific work that remains profoundly controversial. Leaders of the religious right don't seek a government ban on this area of scientific investigation so long as it's privately funded - they only want to avoid tax-payer support and the societal endorsement that comes with it.
That last statement is either a lie or it's hopelessly confused. The Christian Right opposes Embryonic Stem Cell research because they see it as akin to abortion, which they see as akin to infanticide. In other words performing Stem Cell Research involves killing babies more or less. Remember Kevin McColloughs column earlier this week; Democrats didn't mind the slaying of Amish girls because they are used to the idea of killing children.

So if this is what Religious Conservatives believe, how can they really say that their opposition to embryonic stem cell research is limited strictly to federally funded embryonic stem cell research and societal approval that comes with that funding? I mean murder is ok in the private sector, but I don't want my taxes paying for it? Is this what American Christianity believes?

The implication is that either they don't really believe that embryonic stem cell research is murder or they don't really intend to stop with ending federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

He makes a similar point about Gay Marriage.
By the same token, opposition to same sex marriage doesn't involve any effort to block or penalize private gay relationships, but merely a desire to stop the governmental sanction and support involved in state backed matrimony.
Again this is nonsense. We've all seen enough Christian Conservative rhetoric on gay marriage to know that many don't want to stop at just stopping gay marriage. Many believe that homosexuality should be criminalized once more and some publicly say they want to see punishment for that "crime" to be death. Obviously not all Conservative Christians have exactly the same view, but enough have expressed the idea that they would like to see Homosexuality criminalized that Medved's argument seems disingenuous at best.

But once again, the key point is that Medved feels the need to argue the point at all. He feels the need to explain that Libertarian Conservatives and Religious Conservatives really do share the same goals. Which suggests to me that, well, maybe they don't.

No comments: