Monday, March 15, 2010

Some NY clergy back domestic abuser for State Senator because of his stance against gay rights

I hate to say this now, after getting sucked into the fight between Glenn Beck and religion. For while I've always been concerned about religious issues, my concern has lately been focused on the encroachment of unwarranted metaphysical absolutism on the public square. I have taken Habermas's (and others') concern with justification, both ethically and epistemically, and applied it to the tendency of religious institutions and political conservatism to close off channels of public deliberation by stuffing theological cotton into the public mouth. And I must sound like some kind of unhealthily obsessed high schooler now...or simply a skipping and repeating CD.

So what I hate to say now, about the churches backing "Senator" and convicted domestic abuser Hiram Monserrate for New York State Senate, and doing so solely because he has taken a categorical stand against homosexuals and homosexuality...well, this is the problem with too much religion in the public square, with religion as a constituency in itself, and with the advantages it enjoys, both economically and in terms of political psychology. This willingness to disregard who Monserrate is, and merely view him as a vehicle for advancing a spiritual agenda...and the kind of thinking involved in prioritizing that agenda over concern for domestic violence...that moment in the thought process where one says preventing same-sex marriage or stifling the "gay agenda" is more important...there are more ways to express this absurd, malevolent metaphysical error than I possibly could write. 

Monserrate has no chance of winning, which makes the endorsement by that bloc of churches a kind of ugly lost cause, like a KKK rally whose counterprotesters vastly outnumber the fifty middle aged fat dudes in robes shouting into bullhorns about the white race.  The entire episode makes New York look like a hateful, brutal place on top of its recent reputation as political corruption central.  As Newsweek put it:
Sen. Hiram Monserrate was convicted last year of assaulting his girlfriend and was kicked out of the state Senate. Maybe in Iowa that would end your political career, but not in New York, where Monserrate is running to reclaim his seat, an effort his supporters prepared for by distributing flyers that accused an opponent in the upcoming primary of being a pawn of "mega-rich gay fanatics.
Check out how pleased with themselves these homophobic ministers are about their efforts to prop up the candidacy of a dude who beats his girlfriend:
Yes sir, the ministers are involved. Not directed from the churches, but we are requesting volunteers from churches and I’m calling the ministers to send volunteers,” Diaz said. “We organize tens of thousands of people in front of the governor’s office. You know, this is the church. This is the movement. It’s a movement, and we’re going to put a movement behind Hiram Monserrate.

As the kids today say, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

You and me both just gagged. And then I cried.