Friday, April 14, 2006

The Religious/Political Right: A Vocabulary Lesson

Provided here is a "translation tool" of sorts, to help understand terms employed by the Religious/Political Right in editorials and sermons. These terms are also used quite often in the political arena.

Normal: Anyone who is white, heterosexual, married (or engaged to be), attends church at least once a week, and a registered Republican voter. The opposite terms "abnormal", "repugnant", "evil", and of course "offensive" are usually used nearby as a companion in the same paragraph or comment with this word. Blacks and Hispanics can sometimes be included in this category, but only if they completely adhere to strict guidelines, and stay in the background as much as possible.

Law abiding: This "hijacked" term has been twisted to mean "those who adhere only to "God's law", in an attempt to misguide the uneducated into believing there's a difference between "god's law" and "civil" laws. For instance, several states and/or municipalities have "Consenting Adult" laws, which state that any two adults of legal consent age, regardless of sex, may engage in sexual activities in the privacy of their own home. To the Religious/Political Right, this is not one of God's laws, and therefore if you recognize the concept of "Consenting Adult" you are not a "law abiding" citizen. The same goes for a lawful legal abortion, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

Patriot: Only those who strictly worship the Flag, the Bible, and any denomination of the Baptist Church as a holy trinity. Anyone who does not do so is branded "unpatriotic". Example: the "Patriot Act" has nothing to do with being patriotic, in the literal sense of the word.

Homosexual: This term is used frequently to stress the "sex" in homosexual, because the only difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual is who they sleep with at night. The idea behind using the word "homosexual" is to emphasize the myth that gays are nothing more than sexual beings, to the exclusion of all else, as if this is the only thing they think about night and day. This increases the "icky" factor, causing normal god fearing people to shield their children and themselves from such beasts. Usually in the same sentence or article you'll find such terms as "predator", "recruits or recruiter", "pedophile" or "degenerate" to bolster the claim that gays are only dangerous sexual beings. The term "gay" is avoided at all cost. Fear of this word is what brings right-wing voters out in droves.

Special Rights: This a term describes a set of basic human essentials that the Religious/Political Right reserves only and wholly for itself. By using the term "special" it convinces regular folks that gays want rights that "normal God fearing" Christians don't or can't have, and that they covet exclusively for themselves! In actuality the "special" rights that the "Religious/Political Right" would have you believe that gays want are the following:

1. The ability to visit a lover/partner of 10 years in an intensive care ward as a "next of kin", without being barred from the hospital and/or by the opposing family.

2. The unopposed ability of one partner/lover to inherit the property they've shared and nurtured for a lifetime from the other.

3. The ability to have both lover/partners listed as "parents" or "guardians" of the biological or adopted children they've lovingly raised and nurtured together.

4. The right to jointly own property, and to jointly file income as a couple

Evil: This term should be obvious, but isn't. The word "evil" was hijacked by the Religious/Political Right, and they love to use this term to describe anything that they don't agree with. For example, the "Evil Empire" to describe the Soviet Union (not the one associated with Darth Vader). An associated adjective would be "evildoers". In some ways, by their own definition, The U.S. is doing "evil" by haphazardly tapping innocent citizens phones because they "might" be terrorists, and/or holding foreign prisoners captive without legal representation, and in some cases psychologically or physically torturing them for the purpose of getting information from them.

Liberal: This used to be a proud term, meaning all--inclusive, all--encompassing and all--accepting. It used to be that you'd brag proudly of attending a Liberal College or studying Liberal Arts. However when used by the Religious/Political Right it means, (forgive me for being blunt here) "Fag lover", "God-hater", "Baby Killer" and "Against the Flag".

Pedophile: A pedophile is a homosexual that is attracted to, and tends to kidnap, eat, and/or molest innocent little children of either sex (go figure) and is unsavable. A heterosexual with the same tendencies is a "misguided soul" who needs some loving prayer and religious help, in order to redeem himself in the eyes of the lord.

Secular: This term has taken on a meaning of it's own, and usually when used by the Religious/Political Right is opposite of its intended "worldly" definition. A new religion as been defined as Secular Humanism, a very slippery term which can mean anything they conveniently want to oppose.

Offensive: see "Evil".

Beware I'm about to use most of the Liberal Thesaurus on this next two terms!

God fearing: This term is probably the most self-serving, judgmental, hypocritical, morally ambiguous, intellectually bankrupt, long-winded and Biblically challenged phrase of them all. They use this term to make ordinary people "fear" god, and in so doing to fear them. To fear God, is to fear your reverend/priest/minister, through whom God speaks to you.

God: God is actually someone you unconditionally love, and who loves and accepts everyone; in other words a liberal. (Hmmmm I wasn't struck by lightning while typing that sentence!) God speaks through you, and to you, and not through self-appointed, self-anointed men who pick and choose which Bible verses are important and which aren't, in order to argue in favor of slavery, prohibition, or the suppression and segregation of one population over another.

Racially balanced as in "The Republican Party is very racially balanced." This phrase is used during hurriedly arranged photo ops after someone of prominence has made the insinuation to the mainstream media that the Religious/Political right is composed of mostly rich white men.

Someone is bound to utter this phrase just as you notice that all of the women, blacks and hispanics in the group have suddenly been pushed up into the front row smiling proudly, not realizing that behind them the next solid three rows are the white guys grinning for the camera because they know that they're really the ones in charge.

Judeo-Christian Values Note Judeo always comes first. This phrase is used often and loudly when the right-wing Christian section is emphasizing that they have generously included Jews in their outrage about abortion, gay rights, or tax breaks for major corporations. Usually the next day the more extreme fundamentalists of the group give a sermon to their followers stressing that while they love their Jewish brothers (well, maybe just enough to get the election swung in their favor), they must still realize that in order for Jews to get into their heaven, they still must first accept Jesus Christ as their savior.

Sort of how they feel about their private Golf Clubs.

Pro-business liberal This one threw me the first time I saw it in print, because by rights, according to all good conservatives, there is no such thing as a "pro-business liberal". Apparently this phrase is employed to throw blame at liberal democrats with their liberal businesses joining the liberal wing of the Republican Party and ruining everything. In other words, just throw the word "liberal" on anything to make it sound bad or to assign or distract blame.

God, America, and the flag, is the new holy trinity, replacing "Baseball, mom, and apple pie". You must worship all three equally or be branded a traitorous liberal unchristian deviant.

Budget Surplus is a phrase never used in mixed company (i.e. Republicans with Democrats). The budget surplus is what the Republican Congress proudly claimed as theirs, not President Clinton's, from the steps of the Capitol Building. In the late 90s the budget surplus was the direct result of their "Contract with America"... well that is until GW spent it all at Halliburton. Now the political right wing would rather we didn't mention it, and if we do, they claim it didn't really exist anyway and was just on paper--shhhhhhh!

Your facts are erroneous is a phrase used most often when they know Democrats are speaking the truth, but they haven't found time to "Google or Yahoo" something opposing from a right-wing slanted website to refute it yet.

Knee-jerk reaction translates to "They've intelligently reacted to something important before we did, causing us embarrassment, so we'll dismiss it as nothing in order to distract the public." The press is currently having a knee-jerk reaction to rising gas prices at the pump, but don't worry... soon it'll be "old news". (see below) Currently President Bush is stressing that we should leave prices as they are (no matter how high they go) and instead use conservation and alternate fuels. Thus we preserve "big oil's" profit line; which should cause another "knee jerk" reaction from the voting public.

Some of my best friends are gay They live about three miles from me. My sister's hairdresser's maid introduced me to a plumber who lives next door to them, but I can't remember his name. He says they're nice people.

This is all just old news! translates to "The public knows this is a problem we haven't even come close to solving yet, even though we've had plenty of time to look into it, so we'll just declare it unimportant!" Example, "New Orleans is old news"

Impeding Free speech translates to "Not permitting right-wing political or religious propaganda to be prominently displayed in public buildings".
See also:

Violating the spirit of the First Amendment which translates to using the "Free speech amendment" to allow such things as homosexual pornography, cuss words on the Sopranos, publishing books criticizing George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, or or or even The Los Angeles Times recently suggesting that Dick Cheney resign!, or the press' reporting of several state legislatures (so far Vermont, California, and Illinois) that have recently, or are planing to, call for the House of Representitives to prepare to look into Bush's impeachment.

God created dinosaur bones, but not real dinosaurs! Sorry, I just had to include this one after I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read it in print. A religious nut actually asserted that God created the bones, and then put them into the ground where we could find them, to test our faith because the actual animals never really existed!.

I am praying for you! Personally I'm disgusted every time George Bush utters this phrase. He prayed for the space shuttle astronauts safe return, he prayed for the miners in West Virginia, and he prayed constantly for the victims of the World Trade Center to be rescued along with the lives of the victims of the Pentagon. All he was doing was kissing the asses of the Political/Religious Right, and gave false and useless comfort to the victim's families who believed that his important presidential prayers would somehow be paid more attention to by God... which they weren't

I do not believe in basing American Policy on poll numbers. Unless they agree with what George is saying at the moment. With his approval rating at all time lows, he uses this one a lot lately.

We are on the side of the political right! Apparently they don't seem to realize that that means which side of the isle they sit on, and not that they're correct all the time.

In conclusion: I miss the good old days when a church or a temple united and pulled a community together, instead of dividing it. A thief, an adulterer or even a prostitute didn't have the sanctuary doors judgmentally and verbally locked against them in judgment. They were welcomed with open arms in fellowship. In doing so, they and the congregation learned through love and gentle acceptance to change their ways.
The power of hate is a potent weapon, and in the wrong hands can and does push love and acceptance aside.

I'm sad that those days are gone, probably forever, and I'm hoping that someday a surgeon will find a way to separate the Religious Right from the Political Right, who've been joined at the hip for far too long.

People such as Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, The late Jerry Falwell, and Rush Limbaugh want nothing more than to acquire the power through the use of the name God, and/or George Bush (who some believe is one and the same) in order to allow them to think and form your opinions for you. They use God, not to spread the meaning and teachings of the Gospels, but to line their pockets, and gain prestige. Robertson and Falwell are nothing more than "thieves at the steps of the temple".

To paraphrase the grandmother on the COSBY SHOW, these men have become so secure in their own sacredness in the scheme of things that they probably believe that the sun doesn't shine until they wake up in the morning.

I consider myself a Christian... Just not "their" brand of Christian

But of course this is only my opinion

WARNING: Reproduction of this article is forbidden
without the author's permission
© 2006 & 2008 by Jet in Columbus

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