Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Bible-Thumpers International

It’s bad enough that Americans have to put up with James Dobson and his fellow witch-hunters. Now it seems we’re exporting these assholes to Europe and the Third World.

Hey, anything to help the trade deficit, right? Some countries are exporting manufactured goods and scientific expertise; we’re supplying the snakehandlers and bookburners.

In poverty-stricken Third World countries where the population is doubling every generation and the average age is fifteen, what’s the most burning issue? Why, the evils of birth control, abortion and sex education, of course.

Rightwing religious groups, emboldened by their ties with the Bush Administration, are bringing their Crusade to every corner of the world.

Population Research Institute, an anti-abortion group, is one of our exports. A group spokesman said “with the Bush administration, pro-lifers feel there’s a real opportunity to stop the U.S. government from promoting abortion and sex education and population control in the Third World. And I will personally take in, feed and nurture every additional child whom we cause to be born through our meddling. Human beings are sacred AFTER they’ve been born, as well as before; and I will walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

OK, the bold text wasn’t actually part of his quote.

In Poland, several groups — including Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council — are preparing for a "World Congress of Families." They view Poland as a land of opportunity for Far Right Christian causes (Poland’s current president is anti-abortion).

In Peru, the Population Research Institute is fighting local attempts to legalize the morning-after pill. PRI is also working in Colombia, fighting to keep abortion illegal. Several of these illustrious groups are in the Philippines, fighting against family-planning legislation.

Some of these organizations are working in Africa, “helping” to prevent AIDS. Their solution (as if you couldn't guess): Abstinence.

A director of International Planned Parenthood said conservatives are really zeroing in on Latin America. “They are very organized, with lots of resources and powerful allies in the White House and the Vatican. Whenever there’s a major initiative to liberalize laws, they marshal their forces against it. In the past, it was one or two isolated efforts. Now it’s a massive effort.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, summed it up with “The far right says, 'Jump,' and the administration says, ‘How high?’ ”


Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Wow, you are up for comments!

I have been watching this issue. It is sad that so many Christians want to export their twisted view of human sexuality to other people in other lands. They should pay attention to what replaces abstinence.....anal and oral sex. In the state of Texas...the teenages actually believe that if it's not intercourse it's not sex. And Yes,....AIDS and STDs plague the kids who abstain from intercourse but have every other kind of sex. They have not been educated truthfully about human sexuality and are not able to make intelligent, informed, and responsible decisions about sex. Sex is part of life and no human being should be made to feel guilty for enjoying responsible sexual relationships.

I think Dobson is a little weird and problably has some problems with his sexuality.

January 16, 2006 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

What's wrong with people spreading their religious ideas?

January 16, 2006 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

KWW: Yup, I'm baaaack. There are all sorts of sexual misconceptions, and the Far Right wants to spread them to every corner of the world. A few years ago, a legislator (in the South) actually stated publicly that a woman can't get pregnant unless she had an orgasm during the sex act. (He was arguing against a law to protect rape victims.) It's unreal; and there are lots of people like that. They're probably all headed for Asia and Latin America as we speak.

January 16, 2006 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Adam: There's nothing wrong with it. But right now most of the overseas religious workers and missionaries seem to be spreading the Far Right, Fire and Brimstone version of Christianity. And this particular viewpoint has a friend in the White House (and Congress) like never before.

January 16, 2006 at 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Latin America may be a hope for Western Civilization. Its Catholic tradition has made it a more conservative culture than that of its Protestant neighbors. But conservatism for its own sake isn't the point.

The point is that it is incumbent upon the liberal to prove that the status quo is wrong, and not upon the conservative to prove that the status quo is right. Latin Americans should question every liberal proposition trying to tranform their culture into what, for instance, the USA has become, i.e. a decadent, materialistic, arrogant, pleasure-seeking people. These vices will only weaken nations that already struggle with a legacy of statism.

But if they can overcome the infiltration of destructive mores, they may serve as an example to the rest of the Western world, and bring it hope.

January 17, 2006 at 3:05 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

It just gets scarier every day, doesn't it?

January 17, 2006 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Mike V. said...

What better way to make sure there are plenty of people to staff all the factories in the third world with underpaid, overworked brown people?

January 17, 2006 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: I don't think liberals are trying to export a "decadent, materialistic, arrogant, pleasure-seeking" society to Latin America. I wouldn't want that any more than you do. But making birth control and sex education some of the top issues in a poor country with an exploding population (as PRI is doing) -- that's wrong.

Candace: Yup, it's getting scarier all the time. Hope we can hold out 'til 2008 (or the impeachment).

Mike V.: Yup, you've got it. We need that bottomless pool of cheap labor.

January 17, 2006 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Targeting economically-poor third world countries makes sense for far-right fundamentalists. Poorer living conditions and other factors in such countries might invite fearfulness in people, and if fundamentalism is not about religion but rather about power, people of such countries could be easy to bring under control if the right fears were presented and/or played upon. The American fundamentalists can become spiritual leaders for people all over the world! In doing this they can control large numbers of people. If you can't get all Americans to think like you, why not try for people in other parts of the world? There are more of them than there are Americans, after all... and if you can control enough people around the world, who knows what you might be able to accomplish.

I would not be likely to believe that far-right fundamentalists are solely spreading their message as a way of spreading the message of Christ (or their version of that message). While that may indeed be part of what they are doing, I'm more likely to believe they are mainly making international efforts for the sake of gaining control.

January 19, 2006 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: That's a good point. I think the reason the Deep South is so full of Fundamentalists is that they were targeted by "religious" leaders in the early 1900s. With billions of poor Third World residents, the Fundamentalists have a potential gold mine.

If they're shrewd enough to tie in "Christianity" (their version) with local polarizing issues and push all the right buttons, things could get scary. Like with the Deep South -- "religious" leaders courted the KKK and other racist groups; they knew which buttons to push.

January 19, 2006 at 11:17 AM  

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