Even Dubya is willing to admit that he and the Republicans got thumped, but what does this mean for the religious right? If the man God wanted to run got beaten, did God get a “thumping” as well? It’s been a long time since the religious right were dealt a blow. Has all their praying around the White House, bleating away about the so-called moral issues of abortion and gay marriage been for nought? Did God just lose an election?The election loss is either a defeat for morals, or a rebuttal of the so-called moral agenda. Perhaps the loss of 2,836 citizens in a disastrous war is as much of a moral issue as gay marriage.  And perhaps the misbehaviour of a disgraced Congressman is just as much of a moral issue as the inability of a government to humanely meet the needs of American citizens when disaster strikes. And so the issues intertwine, because overstretched foreign policy robs from the ability to appropriately meet domestic obligations. In possibly the most grubby election campaign, the seats of five disgraced Republican congressmen were lost, including the South Florida seat of Mark Foley. His last minute replacement ran on the catchy slogan, “punch Foley for Negron,” but Foley’s name on the ballot paper was a reminder that Republicans are not immunized against immorality. And as the sediments settle, there are several stories to be told. Amendments to the marriage laws excluding gays, and in some cases banning domestic unions, were passed in seven from eight states, with Arizona the exception. But isn’t it immoral to deprive gays from access to the same legal rights available to heterosexual couples? There is new talk of bipartisanship, from both sides. President Bush backed away from comments that linked a win for the Democrats to a win for terrorism. And Nancy Pelosi backed away from comments about Bush being “incompetent” and an “emperor with no clothes.” Joe Lieberman, who was relentlessly attacked throughout the campaign by Ned Lamont, who beat him to the Democratic nomination, now forms caucus with the Democrats as part of their Senate majority. Perhaps the parties need to rethink the level of vitriol required in the campaign if the endgame is effective government. And the moral issues are still there. Perhaps the religious right here and abroad might take note. Issues concerning s-x and s-xuality are not the only moral issues, and these issues cannot be debated on a postage stamp. Which is precisely why scare campaigns lack integrity. 
 Further articles by Nahum appear on his website.

Peter Fray

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