Western Europe, Australia, and increasingly Canada are sliding into secularism at a rapid rate, and the secular people, including gay activists, think that there is only one direction which modern societies can go: in the direction of secularity, and thus more openness, lack of rules, and the door opening to gay marriage. But even the academics most in favor of our following the pattern say that the United States is the huge exception that destroys the rule that it always happens. That’s our plan; the threat of becoming like Europe is that largest possible motivater for us. And many believe that the dying secular societies will be re-vivified as they come to accept the Judeo-Christian heritage in one of its forms. Pope Benedict XVI is one of the people most committed to making it happen; he has many allies, and I encourage … beg … Latter-day Saint leaders and members to become his allies there. Our church will die in a secular society, and will fourish in a Christian society.
Janet Albrechtsen November 09, 2008
ACCORDING to Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, America is lurching left after last week’s presidential election. But hang on. Gerard Baker, writing in The Times, says that America is still a centre-right country. They can¿t both be right. Or can they?
In fact, the US election last week presents a progressive paradox. The much heralded arrival of a more liberal Democrat led era, signalled by Barack Obama’s historic presidential win, jars with the voice of Americans across the nation who voted against a range of orthodox left-liberal positions.
That conflict points to the politics of confusion in coming years, as Washington’s sharp lurch to the Left confronts a stubborn social conservatism among Americans. Consider what happened in Washington last week. Liberal Democrats are now dominant. As Fred Barnes pointed out, both houses of Congress are now overwhelmingly comprised of liberal Democrats, with majorities in both houses.
Gone are the moderate and conservative Democrats from the Carter and Clinton eras. In their place sit Democrats who are more inclined to accept liberal dogma. And Obama, the most liberal voting Senator, is in the White House. As Barnes said, the progressive putsch is boosted by the rise of powerful liberal interest groups – MoveOn.Org, civil liberties groups, trial lawyers and environmental activists – and a largely compliant left-wing media that will play the role of a “liberal claque” rather than the political opposition it played during the Bush Administration.
Elsewhere, voters also banned same-sex marriage last week. In Florida where Obama won 51per cent of the vote, 62 per cent of voters said no to same-sex marriage. In Arizona, – a Republican hold, 56 per cent of voters said the same. In all, more than 40 states have laws or constitutional bans against same-sex marriage. In Nebraska, 58 per cent of voters banned affirmative action – joining California, Washington and Michigan – states that have already banned racial preferences. A Colorado initiative to ban racial preferences was narrowly defeated. And in Arkansas, voters passed a ballot that bans gay men and women from adopting children.
Chairman of a gay political club in California, Julius Turman, told The New York Times the banning of gay marriage in his state was “the definition of bittersweet. As an African-American, I rejoiced the symbolism of (Obama’s victory). As a gay man, I thought, ‘How can this be happening?”
It’s happening because there is a fundamental divide between Washington and large swathes of the rest of the US. Obama rode to victory on the back of broad-brush themes of hope and change. But not too much change. Voters were seduced by the Obama advertising, not the underlying product details of left-liberalism. Obama did not campaign on his left-wing voting record in Congress. On the contrary, he tacked sharply to the centre as the Democrat Presidential nominee. And it worked.
What that means for an Obama Administration – and indeed for a Democrat controlled Congress – is that America remains an inherently right of centre nation. And that means that the next four years will be a fascinating ride as Obama tries to satisfy his liberal Democrat colleagues in Congress and the more conservative voters who delivered him the keys to the White House.