[Marxism] Fundamentalist leaders have wish list for Bush
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Nov 10 12:26:24 MST 2004
My opinion is that we should take this wish list seriously, especially
on abortion rights. The Clinton line on the amendment aims to push the
Democratic "center" more toward opposition to gay rights and abortion,
and more in favor of imposing basically Christian prayer observances and
other religious observances in schools and other public institutions. It
will also put pressure on Democrats to support Bush judicial nominees.
How far this goes -- especially the most dangerous one, the fight to
push the growing restrictions and unavailability of abortion rights to
the point of again abolishing the right and allowing states or the
federal government to criminalize abortion -- depends on the fight that
The very weak response of the women's movement over a long period of
years and the near-merger of the movement with the Democratic Party has
greatly weakened the struggle and encouraged the opposition to think
that overturning Roe v. Wade may now be within reach. This is not just
the view of the far right. Even semi-liberal journals like the New
Republic argue that Roe v. Wade was a mistake. I am sure that Hilary
Clinton will be tempted to make more "moral" concessions on this.
The outcome depends on the struggle, not on our predictions of what the
ruling class can or can't do.
The gay rights movement has actually responded more strongly than the
women's rights movement overall and certainly more strongly than the
labor movement to the ruling-class attacks. But, if there is not
broader defense of abortion rights, union rights, the fight for gay
rights can become more vulnerable to attack.
I am actually pretty optimistic. I think that if there is a mass
fight, the ruling class and the Bush administration are too vulnerable
to get away with a broad assault of the kind projected below. But if
there isn't, they will be very tempted to take risks and take more --
until they provoke a fight-back. But to fight back requires much more
reliance on the strength of the oppressed and exploited and much more
independence of the Democratic Party than has been demonstrated over the
last eighteen months as Anti-Bush electoralism swept the movements and
By the way, I think the gay rights leaders quoted below have the right
fix on the situation. Over all the fight for gay marriage rights has
gained ground, and the fight for gay rights has broader support or
acceptance than it did even a year or two ago. But without a lot of
mass, independent mobilization, that ground can be lost and new gains
News and Views you don't have to lose:
Evangelical Fundamentalist leaders Prepare a list of Demands for Bush
Beginning with the nomination of U.S. Supreme Court justices who will
overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion or, at the very
least, legislation "greatly limiting" the practice, increased support
for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and a larger role in
policing decency for the Federal Communications Commission.
1. Rev. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission said, with an increased margin,
Republicans intend to change Senate rules, preventing the minority from
using unlimited debate to block court appointments. This would open the
door to new justices who could reverse the Roe v. Wade decision
Land predicted the proposed amendment banning gay marriage would be
added to the Constitution. With White House backing, he said, it will
pass the U.S. Senate by the required two-thirds majority - it has
already passed in the House by a simple majority - - and will be
ratified by three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures.
2. New judges could overturn other close decisions defining
church-state relations, such as permitting prayer at high-school
football games and graduation ceremonies. They also might uphold another
congressional ban on partial-birth abortions, which the federal court
3. Fundamentalist religious leaders also want to further limit federal
support for stem-cell research, increase "abstinence-only" sex
education, and ban human cloning and international population programs
that include abortion.
4. Some advocate that even tighter decency standards be imposed on
broadcast media by the FCC. Others are raising the possibility of
bringing some cable television - where sex, nudity, violence and profane
language are common - under the FCC.
5. Increased government support for faith-related causes (and schools).
6. The president "does establish a cultural context, the values he
personifies and the values he communicates. He has tremendous influence
on cultural norms."
Comment: Translated: Promise Keepers want to push a change in our
culture to emphasize the dominance of men over woman or government
anti-feminism policies, and weaken laws regarding domestic violence
against wives, child abuse, and the spanking of children in schools.
Civil union and gay marriage
Advocates also pointed to exit polls showing that 27 percent of voters
support same-sex marriage and another 35 percent support civil unions.
"That means 62 percent of the American public believes in those
values I believe in: fairness and equality," said Mary L. Bonauto, civil
rights project director for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, who
argued the case that legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.
She added: "Why did President Bush have to say in the last 10 days
of the campaign that he supports civil unions? Why did he have to say he
was repudiating the Republican platform on civil unions?
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a coalition
based in New York, said the poll results show remarkable progress made
by gay-marriage advocates.
"Civil unions didn't exist five years ago," he said. "If the center
of the country has moved to a place of civil union or gay marriage, that
suggests that the idea that there's a massive public rejection of gay
people is ridiculous."
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