For the Bible Tells Me So…

Sept. 4, 2008 -- Has the religious right changed its mind about teen pregnancy?

Congressional Quarterly

Matthew Staver, dean of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University School of Law, echoed those sentiments in the same AP article, saying everyone is a sinner. “We all make mistakes,” he said. “Certainly, the ideal is not to get pregnant out of wedlock. But she made the right decision after her mistake. It’s absolutely shameful to put her child in the spotlight. . . . When someone can’t face issues, they try to tear down a family.”

So why doesn’t such Christian charity flow when the fallen person is black or gay or a foreign immigrant?

As a preacher’s kid who grew up in close witness to religious workers, I recognize false prophets when I see them. The labors of televangelists and radio preachers bear very little in common with what real church people believe and do.

The media-driven right-wing religious advocate anti-abortion policies, biblical marriage, prayers and creationism in schools, and expect the “free enterprise” policies of the government to support their ambitions. They hate all who don’t agree with their narrow views, while making loving excuses for those among their number who have clay feet.

It’s fully on display during the GOP convention in St. Paul. The falsely pious wave Old Glory and invoke the Lord’s Prayer, while imploring Jesus Christ to bless their calls for gun ownership, torture of detainees to keep America safe, discrimination against gays and immigrants and increased federal spending to fight reckless wars.

Woe unto anyone daring to disagree with their mockery of Christian principles, for they are the sole arbiters of family values.

But the God’s truth of the matter is all this has little to do with religion and everything to do with politics.

Neither the scriptures nor moral conviction motivate these self-professed holy people. Their movement isn’t God-centered; it’s a political-action community dressed up in the cloth. Politically active evangelicals are more about pushing an agenda than saving souls.

And they’re willing to use a pregnant 17-year-old if it serves their higher purpose.

Sam Fulwood III is a writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and lecturer at Case Western Reserve University.