Child Predators: Silence on the Religious Right
by Matt Stoller, Sat Sep 30, 2006 at 10:26:01 AM EDT
One of the reasons that it's hard to make a story like predator Mark Foley and the House Republican cover-up stick is because there's no pre-set narrative that Republican leaders are very bad people. Republican leaders are creepy, weird, and perverted, seeking an authoritarian political system so that they don't have to deal with personal demons.
The religious right isn't religious, it is politically authoritarian. It is a movement of morally and ethically corrupted individuals who refuse to tell the difference between right and wrong.
Claiming to be a man of deep Catholic faith, Foley hasn't shied away from proclaiming his rectitude. "At Sacred Heart, I was taught how to be a better citizen because of their focus on discipline and moral values," he said, referring to the school he attended in Lake Worth, Florida.
Foley also received an 84% approval rating from the Christian Coalition in 2004, the most recent year we could find spur of the moment.
Indeed, Foley made get-tough laws on sexually exploited children -- particularly exploitation over the Internet -- one of his primary crusades in Congress. He was even Co-Chair of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus.
He also introduced a bill to ban online "child modeling" sites, claiming they are "nothing more than a fix for pedophiles."
"They don't sell products, they don't sell services," he said. "All they serve are young children on a platter for America's most depraved. These sites sell child erotica and they should be banned."
On Bill O'Reilly's show this May, he said, "Our kids are precious. Their lives are vulnerable. The predators are winning as we speak."
Rarely has there been a clearer case of the kind of religious hypocrisy that Jesus condemned so passionately in the Gospels.
Foley rails against the depraved; he is the depraved. Foley attacks the predators; he is a predator.
Our question: where are the denunciations from the religious right? Where is Focus on the Family? Where is the Family Research Council? Do they only care about sexual misconduct when it's committed by a Democrat? The hypocrisy doesn't belong to Foley alone. The hypocrisy belongs to everyone who rails against sexual sin for political purposes then delivers a sermon of silence when the sinner happens to advance a right-wing, Republican agenda.
The Republican leadership is a group of psychotic Office Space type banal tyrants, and the right-wing media chamber is composed mostly of decrepit greed-driven whiny losers who follow them. That's why they can't make this country work. They are immoral, and they bring immorality and corruption everywhere they go.
I know there's a lot of bitterness out there about torture, and unlike Chris, I'm not really mollified with 75% of Democrats voting against torture. They should have spoken out early and often, and they did not. But at the end of the day, I'm not fighting for these Democrats, the ones in the House and Senate. These are followers, not leaders. We are the leaders. The Democratic Party is millions of people around the country, millions who don't like our direction, and it is up to us to change the direction of the country and the party. We can do it. We can support great candidates who are willing to call out the right-wing moral perversion that is sweeping across our country, who will show that it is as much Dennis Hastert and Fox News as it is Mark Foley responsible for preying on children. We will end the perpetuation and enabling of evil by these very bad men.
UPDATE: As I was writing, Chris Carney demanded that his creepy and morally perverse opponent Don Sherwood cancel his upcoming fundraisers with John Boehner and Dennis Hastert.