September 14, 2011

Perry, Bachmann and Merck ... and Mammon as god

Gail Collins has a good column (why isn't she writing more?) on how Michele Bachmann is largely off base on the Merck/Gardisil vaccine deal, other than, of course, the $30K Merck gave Tricky Ricky.

She then notes, near the end, Tricky's support, strong support, of abstinence-only sex ed.

Well, Tricky Ricky, if you really believe that, if you really oppose talking even about condoms, then why do young girls NEED a Gardisil vaccination? If you're 100 percent sure abstinence-only sex ed works, period, end of story, why do young girls NEED a Gardisil vaccination?

Oops. Just one more internal contradiction of Rick Perry. Or, yet just another example of how, like many alleged Christian rightist political and social leaders, there's no contradiction between worshiping Mammon and God because Mammon is their God.

Of course, about no other Republican in the race can make that charge against Perry because they're guilty of it, too. Bachmann and hubby make money off alleged gay-to-straight conversions; they don't do their twisted version of "the Lord's work" for free. Jon Huntsman? Good Mormonism didn't stop Marriott from pay-per-view porn in its hotel rooms. Mitt Romney surely wasn't that clueless about the bribery that brought those Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City. Ron Paul? Celebrating the capitalism that lets a former staffer die at 49 because of lacking health insurance says enough there about his true God. Ditto for most the other GOP.

The one true libertarian in the GOP race, Gary Johnson, is the one candidate who could honestly level that charge against not only Perry, but all the rest. Too bad he's not getting more airplay.

The problem? The Success Gospel, which really is, at bottom line, the Social Darwinist Gospel. Didn't get that new job? Your faith must not be strong enough. And, actually, a more extreme version would say, "God knew that job would be wasted on you, like the man who buried the one talent, and gave it to somebody else instead."

That said, can most Democrats do much better? As long as Democratic presidents and other national leaders play me-too-ism on things like faith-based initiatives, the answer is no. As long as black Democratic support is centered in black churches, many of which loudly preach their own versions of the Success Gospel, the answer is no.

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