I have a piece in The Sydney Morning Herald today, about the return of culture war politics in the American Presidential campaign:
‘The feminist agenda … encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practise witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” So says televangelist Pat Robertson, the man the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, chose to stand alongside at a campaign event last weekend in Virginia. Robertson is notorious for blaming the September 11 attacks on gays, abortions and civil liberties advocates. And during the next day’s broadcast of his show The 700 Club, Robertson told a man to move to Saudi Arabia if he wanted his wife to respect him as the rightful head of the household. ”I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days,” Robertson said, but ”you could become a Muslim and you could beat her.”
At that same Virginia Beach event, Romney seemed to suggest that, if re-elected, President Barack Obama would remove the phrase ”in God we trust” from American coins. Obama has proposed no such thing, but Romney came out strongly against the imaginary policy. ”I will not take God off our coins and I will not take God out of my heart,” he said.
Between Romney’s appearance with Robertson, his implication that Obama does not have God in his heart, and concerted Republican efforts this year to roll back reproductive rights, one thing is clear: the culture wars are back. In truth, they never really went away. But Republicans were certainly pretending they had.
You can read the whole thing here.