Krugman: Many Bushies were appointed to promote a religious agenda
This conspiracy is not a theory, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman insists in Friday's paper, writing that "many Bushies were appointed to promote a religious agenda."
The Pat Robertson-founded Regent University School of Law has come under the media's spotlight in recent days, as one of its graduates, Monica Goodling, has been placed at the center of the debate over the firing of U.S. attorneys. Many are finding that Regent's influence and alumni placements in the current administration outpace its academic record and credentials.
As the Boston Globe recently reported, "But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001, according to a university website."
"The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda -- which is very different from simply being people of faith -- is one of the most important stories of the last six years," Krugman writes for the Times. "It's also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists."
Krugman continues, "But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to 'dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.' And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge."
The Texas GOP platform states, "We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength as a nation. We pledge to exert our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and dispel the myth of the separation of church and state."
"One measure of just how many Bushies were appointed to promote a religious agenda is how often a Christian right connection surfaces when we learn about a Bush administration scandal," Krugman writes. "There's Goodling, of course. But did you know that Rachel Paulose, the U.S. attorney in Minnesota -- three of whose deputies recently stepped down, reportedly in protest over her management style -- is, according to a local news report, in the habit of quoting Bible verses in the office?"
Excerpts from column:
And there's another thing most reporting fails to convey: the sheer extremism of these people. You see, Regent isn't a religious university the way Loyola or Yeshiva are religious universities. It's run by someone whose first reaction to 9/11 was to brand it God's punishment for America's sins.
Two days after the terrorist attacks, Robertson held a conversation with Jerry Falwell on Robertson's TV show "The 700 Club." Falwell laid blame for the attack at the feet of "the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians," not to mention the ACLU and People for the American Way. "Well, I totally concur," said Robertson.
The Bush administration's implosion clearly represents a setback for the Christian right's strategy of infiltration. But it would be wildly premature to declare the danger over. This is a movement that has shown great resilience over the years. It will surely find new champions.
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