Have read recently about the travails of the State GOP and the anger of which the Massachusetts Republican Assembly, “The Republican Wing of the Massachusetts Republican Party,” is putting on display prompts me to link to Steve Chapman’s latest exposition of conservative hypocrisy or at least miscalculation: that the world is going to rot in part because of social liberalism.
For the last few years it’s no secret that the “Republican wing of the Massachusetts Republican Party” is upset with the state committee implying that the operation is inauthentic and run by RINOs. That opposition rests mostly around social issues.
Much of that frustration stems from the fact that the traditional GOP member and successful office holder has been moderate on social issues — Weld, Cellucci, Swift and even Malone. That tolerance enabled a fine legislator, Richard Tisei to be the party’s first openly gay candidate for Lt Governor and now Sixth Congressional candidate. And several GOP office holders were critical in ensuring that the SJC ruling on SSM be considered settled. Nonetheless the RINO hunters are on the march (well actually a little walk in the dark).
The MRA deludes itself into thinking that fiscally and uber-socially conservatives can take wing into elective office. The reasons for those delusions are complex and go beyond Rick Santorum’s snide remark about the Archdiocese of Boston’s pedophilia scandal taking place in the academic hub of MA.
My guess is that Rick Santorum is the dream candidate for the MRA. He sounds all the right notes on the social issues. However, like most on the social right, he’s wrong. Let Mr. Chapman point the way.
“Santorum takes it for granted that religious belief, at least of the Christian variety, is a powerful force for moral behavior. That’s not apparent from looking at this country.
He thinks America has been on a downhill slide for many years, thanks to feminism, gay rights, pornography, and other vile intruders. But where is the evidence that the developments cited by Santorum are producing harmful side effects?
In the past couple of decades, most indicators of moral and social health have gotten better, not worse. Crime has plummeted. Teen pregnancy has declined by 39 percent. Abortion rates among adolescents are less than half what they were.
The incidence of divorce is down. As of 2007, 48 percent of high school students had engaged in sex, compared to 54 percent in 1991. What “decaying culture” is he talking about?
On the other hand, we have Vermont, where people are the most likely to skip church. Its murder rate is only about one-fourth as high as the rest of the country. New Hampshire, the second-least religious state, has the lowest murder rate.”
It sounds obvious that when people practice a religion that preaches strong morality and responsible conduct, they will behave better than people who follow their own inclinations. But what is obvious is not always true.
America is a good place to judge the value of faith in promoting virtue. There is a great deal of variation among the 50 states in religious observance-and a great deal of variation in social ills. It turns out that religiosity does not translate into good behavior, and disregard for religion does not go hand-in-hand with vice. Quite the contrary.
Consider homicide, which is not only socially harmful but a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. Mississippi has the highest rate of church attendance in America, according to a Gallup survey, with 63 percent of people saying they go to church “weekly or almost weekly.” But Mississippians are far more likely to be murdered than other Americans.
So the question remains how does the ideal MRA candidate win office in Massachusetts given that the independent voter can see through the sanctimony of moralists like Santorum? On what appeal might the MRA candidate win the independent over? –