Goldwater was right about the Christians in the Republican Party

ScottCDunn
4 min readNov 13, 2018

I’m a liberal, but I often find common ground with conservatives. I often find that both sides can make sense on the same topic, with similar solutions. I really don’t believe that politics is binary. I believe that politics is about finding common ground and negotiating from there.

So when I see how Republicans in Congress left so many courts without a judge during Obama’s tenure, how they refused to even hold hearings for federal and Supreme Court judges, I see just how extreme they have become.

It’s also worth noting that for much of American history, Christians have had a supermajority in Congress. Even as recently as a few years ago, Congress was about 92% Christian. And with the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, their intentions are clear: to make America a Christian nation. This is extremism on the part of Christians in government, was noticed long ago by Barry Goldwater, in a famous quote by him:

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.” — November, 1994, quoted by John Dean in his book, Conservatives Without Conscience.

Goldwater saw it coming so long ago. The refusal to hold hearings on judges, the government shutdowns, the attacks on the welfare state, the bakers who won’t bake a cake for a gay couple, Hobby Lobby and their refusal to honor health insurance with a provision for contraception, all of it, is extremism, backed by a professed conviction in a god.

I don’t harbor any grudge against Christians. I am as happy to see them practice their religion as much as my wife has a Buddha on display in our home. I have Mormon neighbors, neighbors I happen to love spending time with when we can all take a break from our busy lives. I just have a problem when members of any religion decides that their god is superior to everyone else, and that I must be like them, think like them, believe as they do, or else. Or else, what?

I have had Christians tell me that I’m going to Hell if I don’t believe as they do. Happily, none of my Mormon friends have ever told me that. In the past, I have seen Christians bombing abortion clinics…

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