Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Spiritual Warfare"

An interesting bit from David Corn's most recent post...
And while we're on DeLay, I noticed that the other day that Paul Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Foundation and a leader of the social conservatives, urged conservatives not to abandon DeLay, who is under fire for a variety of ethics matters. (His political ops in Texas are under criminal investigation for arranging illegal campaign contributions and are being sued in a civil lawsuit, and DeLay has been drawn into the scandal involving Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who faces legal troubles for allegedly scamming Indian tribes out of millions of dollars.) Weyrich said, "If we let [DeLay] hang out to dry, how many others in leadership will ever risk trying to accomplish bold objectives? DeLay also needs our fervent prayers. This is spiritual warfare."

Note Weyrich's use of the phrase "spiritual warfare." This is a very specific term for conservative Christians. It describes what they consider to be a basic fact of life: there is an ongoing struggle between God and Satan, and this titanic battle is reflected in the temporal tussles we mere mortals witness every day. In other words, what you read about in the newspapers is all part of the face-off between the Holy One and Lucifer. What Weyrich was saying was that troubles afflicting DeLay are attributable to the powers of the devil. DeLay is not in hot water because of his own sleazy dealings. No, Satan is after him. That would mean that those critical of DeLay--and perhaps even those reporters who have written about the scandals near to DeLay--are doing the work of the Prince of Darkness. (And I don't mean Richard Perle.)

This concept is a valuable one for Democrats who are considering adopting a "spiritual values" approach to campaigning as a "lesson" from the 2004 election. Words like "spiritual," "religion," "values," "fairness," "freedom," "liberty," "love" and "Jesus Christ" mean wildly different things to different people... and these people are NEVER going to be on your side.