Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Everybody loves an underdog

It's the talk of the town these days: Christianity (specifically Fundamentalist Christianity) has lost the culture war. James Dobson, one of the Fundamentalist Major Generals, gave what sounded like a bit of a concession speech. Atheists, liberals and freedom lovers everywhere rejoiced. It's fun to be on the winning side. And "we" are winning. We have abortion rights. We are gaining (slowly, slowly) same-sex marriage rights. We have scientific research back up and running. We are recycling. Obama may not be a perfect leader, but he has certainly brought America proudly into the twenty-first century.

It is possible that there is no going back. I certainly hope so. I hope that as people age and die, their bigotry and intolerance dies with them. I hope that a generation is all that we need to purge the bulk of foolishness from our society. I hope that in a generation, the thought of a female president, an Hispanic president, a gay president, even a non believing president is not simply a punchline. As always, time will tell. But if there is the possibility of a counterattack, if the right-wing conservatives, the Bible-wearing traditionalists have any hope of a resurgence in the short term, then Dobson's mournful concession speech was more of a call to arms. As any child knows, it's great to be King of the Mountain, but it is by no means the easiest position to hold. Now that the sane and rational are winning (if that's even true), the crazies (with Fred Phelps in tow) only have to feel as though they're the downtrodden underdogs and the whole thing starts to tip the other way.

I don't mean to sound alarmist. This isn't a real battle here and lives aren't really at stake. I don't have any call to action; this isn't a warning bell. It's just an observation that what we're perceiving as Dobson's death rattle may well be a battle cry.

No comments: