Post columnist compares 'Christianized' GOP to hypocrisy of KKK
The GOP's clamor to identify itself as a party of Christian piety has failed to include some key elements of the faith -- namely Christian principles, according to a Washington Post columnist who says modern Republicans recall the hypocrisy of the Ku Klux Klan.
"As Christians across the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it's a fitting moment to contemplate the mountain of moral, and mortal, hypocrisy that is our Christianized Republican Party," writes the Post's Harold Meyerson, who is also executive editor of The American Prospect. "My concern isn't the rift that has opened between Republican political practice and the vision of the nation's Founders...it's the gap between the teaching of the Gospels and the preachings of the Gospel's Own Party that has widened past the point of absurdity..."
That gap, according to Meyerson, is particularly visible when it comes to GOP stances on torture.
"Virtually the entire Republican House delegation opposed the ban on waterboarding," he writes. "Among the Republican presidential candidates, only Huckabee and the not-very-religious John McCain have come out against torture, while only libertarian Ron Paul has questioned the doctrine of preemptive war."
But the columnist says that the issue of illegal immigration most profoundly highlights what he believes is a vast disconnect between Republicans' proclaimed faith and their real-world policy positions.
"The Bible isn't big on immigrant documentation," he continues. "'Thou shalt neither vex a stranger nor oppress him,' Exodus says the Lord told Moses on Mount Sinai, 'for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.'"
Yet, Meyerson writes, "the distinctive cry coming from the Republican base this year isn't simply to control the flow of immigrants across our borders but to punish the undocumented immigrants already here, children and parents alike."
Beliefs of the universally Christian membership of the Ku Klux Klan were similarly at odds with Bibilical teaching, he says.
"We've seen this kind of Christianity before in America. It's more tribal than religious, and it surges at those times when our country is growing more diverse and economic opportunity is not abounding," the column continues. "At its height in the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was chiefly the political expression of nativist Protestants upset by the growing ranks of Catholics in their midst. It's difficult today to imagine KKKers thinking of their mission as Christian, but millions of them did."
Concludes the columnist, "The most depressing thing about the Republican presidential race is that the party's rank and file require their candidates to grow meaner with each passing week. And now, inconveniently, inconsiderately, comes Christmas, a holiday that couldn't be better calibrated to expose the Republicans' rank, fetid hypocrisy."
Read the full column in the Washington Post here.