Mike Lofgren used to be a Republican. Then he “retired” last year – so he claims – from a staff job on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee doing grunt work for GOP lawmakers.
Nowadays, Lofgren gets paid to bash the party of Lincoln (and Reagan), which has been taken over by the “religious right,” he laments, in his just-published, oh-so-cleverly-titled book, “The Party is Over.”
“Religious cranks ceased to be a minor political nuisance in this country in the 1970s,” writes Lofgren, “and grew into a major element of the Republican rank and file.” Today, he reckons, these “religious fundamentalists” make up the GOP’s “largest single voting bloc.”
It’s because of “the rise of religious right,” claims Lofgren, and “its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican party” that “(a)ll around us now is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science.”
The author’s supposed proof: That “the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution, scriptural inerrancy, the presence of angels and demons, and so forth.”
So, in Lofgren’s mind, only the 15 percent of Americans who, according to polls, believe that man transmogrified from monkey are receptive to science.
And only the 17 percent who, according to polls, dismiss the Bible as a book of fables and legends, and the 14 percent who refuse to accept that there is spiritual warfare going on between angels and demons are intellectual.
Lofgren’s views are those of the secularist left – with which the supposed Republican clearly identifies – which is culpable for much of the social decay this nation has suffered over the past half-century.
That includes the devaluation of marriage, the breakdown in families, the slaughter of the unborn, the decline in educational achievement, the increase in violent crime and the coarsening of our popular culture.
The rise of the religious right that began in the 1970s, that Lofgren decries, actually is an equal and opposite reaction by God-fearing Americans to the misguided public policy to which the secular left has condemned this country over the past half-century.
From the presidential reign of Lyndon Johnson to Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton to, now, Barack Obama.
Author Lofgren warns that the religious right aims to create an American theocracy. Its leaders “would drag us back,” he fears, “to the Salem witch trials.”
But that’s not the America the religious right envisions.
It’s a nation that honors God, defends traditional marriage, promotes family values and holds sacred the sanctity of life.