Sunday’s appearance by Republican Senate leader William Frist on a nationwide telecast of Christian fundamentalists, organized to brand opposition to the Bush administration as “anti-Christian,” is an unprecedented step.
The event brought together the most reactionary elements of the Christian fundamentalist right, including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, and William Donahue, president of the Catholic League.
The organizers of the “Justice Sunday” event claim that Christian fundamentalists—who dominate the Republican Party, which in turn controls the White House, both houses of Congress, and the governments of half of the 50 states—represent a persecuted minority in America.
The supposed proofs of this persecution are the role of the federal courts in the Terri Schiavo case and the effort by Senate Democrats to block a handful of Bush’s right-wing nominees to federal court judgeships.
The claim of a generalized bias against “people of faith” seeks to panic and inflame the most politically ignorant and prejudiced sections of the American population, and use them as a battering ram in the service of the ruling elite.
In the face of the political offensive of the religious right via the Republican Party, the Democrats demonstrate their inability to conduct any serious struggle.
Thus Senator John Kerry has joined with Republican Senator Rick Santorum, a supporter of the Catholic fascistic Opus Dei group, to introduce legislation to allow pharmacists to refuse to fill birth control prescriptions on the grounds of their religious beliefs.
The Democratic policy of selective filibuster has never been more than a half-hearted act of token opposition to the White House. The Democrats have ratified the nomination of more than 200 anti-abortion judges. Nonetheless, at the Louisville rally, speaker after speaker portrayed the blocking of five percent of Bush’s judicial nominations as deliberate discrimination against Christians and virtual treason against the republic.
The same social forces—and some of the same individuals—who howled about the threat to “our southern way of life” (i.e., segregation and racial oppression), are now involved in the campaign against supposed threats to “our Christian heritage.” Both the language (claims of “judicial tyranny”) and the religious symbolism are the same.
There is one profound difference, however, between the segregationist resistance of the 1960s and the fundamentalist reaction of today. Today, the ultra-right is largely in control of the federal government, and it seeks to employ this power to dictate social policy to the vast majority of the American people who do not share the views of the Christian fundamentalists.
The political marriage of the White House, the Republican congressional leadership and the Christian fundamentalist groups is a new stage in the development of an incipient fascist movement in the United States. A fascist movement could not win a significant popular base in America by marching under swastika banners or peddling Nordic racial myths. It will have its own peculiar national character, utilizing Christian fundamentalism as well as racism and nativism.
Summary from full text by Fintan Dunne