Oh Yeah? Well You’re A Liberal!

Perhaps having attended the Troy King school of dealing with public criticism, John Giles responds to Alvin Holmes not by answering the charges, but by throwing around meaningless political terms.

After a Montgomery lawmaker told him to go someplace warm and fiery, the head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama responded with a word that is considered dirty in some political circles: Liberal.

“This is routine liberal warfare tactics,” said John Giles, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama.

What Holmes did was tell Giles that Giles and his “legislative scorecard” could go to hell unless the CCA revealed its funding sources, or explained why the CCA led efforts to kill a bill that would have required non-profits to disclose funding sources. Sure telling Giles to got to hell was arguably juvenile. But Holmes’s questions are very important considering the large role the CCA plays in Alabama politics. 

The Montgomery Advertiser also thinks Giles needs to provide a substantive response:

Again, despite the letter’s tone, those are all serious questions, and Holmes and the citizens of Alabama deserve answers from Giles.

We would suggest other questions that should be posed to the group: Does the Alabama Christian Coalition use money to oppose or support legislation or election referendums — donated through churches or otherwise — for which the donors claimed tax exemptions? If so, is this a proper use of tax-exempt donations?

The question by Holmes about the Alabama Christian Coalition’s opposition to disclosure legislation is particularly on target.

Giles led the effort to kill the bill, claiming it targeted his group, although it clearly would have applied to any nonprofit group that attempted to influence legislation. One possible reason for his opposition may have become clear later, when it was disclosed in the press that the Christian Coalition of Alabama had been taking money from out-of-state gambling interests.

We urge Holmes and other legislators to reintroduce and to pass nonprofit disclosure legislation in the 2007 session. Alabamians deserve to know the source of funds used to influence the legislative process, whatever its source. If the Christian Coalition of Alabama truly believes in good government and has nothing else to hide, it would support such disclosure, not oppose it.

That is a big “if.” This is not the first time Giles has responded to a serious question by trying to insult the questioner. When Susan Hamill dared to argue that Christian doctrine condemned Alabama’s tax code, his response was “Oh yeah? Well you support abortion rights.” Honest debate is just not his modus operandi. So I’m not expecting Giles to answer Holmes’s questions.

I am hoping, though, that Holmes has started a trend.

Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama Legislature, God and government, Goobers

One Comment on “Oh Yeah? Well You’re A Liberal!”

  1. […] Informed voters are good voters. But when the Christian Coalition of Alabama sends out its legislator surveys, it is not trying to inform voters. The CCA is using religion to manipulate voters for partisan purposes.What they do is distribute the survey (available here, get the judicial survey here) and then grade the responses. The scale is from Satan to Jesus. The closer the official is to the Christian Coalition’s opinion, the more likely the person is to get a score of Jesus. The CCA can then distribute the names and scores to churches as voter guides. The faithful see that candidate A is Satan and candidate B is Jesus, and vote accordingly. The problem is that the CCA issues these things with an air of certitude: “Jesus would OBVIOUSLY answer like this.” Not that one response is preferable to another, but that there is a Christian response and a non-Christian, or even anti-Christian response. I think this attitude is incredibly arrogant, or else corrupt. Consider some of the questions and make up your own mind about how many, if any, Jesus would clearly answer one way or the other. As a political and legal junky who majored in theology and spent a year in divinity school, I have no idea how Jesus would answer questions like the following:1. Education vouchers that allow parents to choose a public or private school for their child(ren).__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided14. Legislation preventing legislators from holding two state jobs.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided23. Un-earmark Alabama Education Trust Fund Budget.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided59. Legislation to prohibit the use of compulsory union dues and fees for political causes and candidates opposed by union members.__________Support __________Oppose __________UndecidedFor other questions, I have an idea of how Jesus would answer, but my idea and the CCA’s idea are probably very different:24. Capital punishment for certain crimes, such as first-degree murder.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided26. Truth-In-Sentencing where a convicted person serves out their full term in prison.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided45. Allowing homosexuals in the National Guard.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided46. Allowing adoption of children by homosexuals.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided47. State recognition of homosexual marriages.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided48. Extending marital benefits to domestic partners.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided75. Tort reform (placing caps on judgments awarded in liability lawsuits).__________Support __________Oppose __________UndecidedThere may be one or two questions on which we agree:34. Prohibiting abortion except in cases of rape, incest or where the life of the mother in endangered.__________Support __________Oppose __________Undecided43. Human Cloning.__________Support __________Oppose __________UndecidedOthers are just too vague for anyone to answer:6. Voluntary prayer in public schools.__________Support __________Oppose __________UndecidedPrivately by an individual student? Absolutely. Publicly by a school official as a way to start class? Absolutely not.  The point is that despite the complicated issues and sometimes vague questions, the CCA has in mind their idea of exactly how Jesus – whose final recorded words were uttered almost two thousand years ago – would answer all these questions. I do not think that it is possible. That does not mean Jesus does not have an opinion on, “privitization and contracting out of government services,” for example. But it does mean it is the height of hubris, or else willful deception, to say we know that opinion with certainty. Given that the CCA refuses to reveal its funding sources, I’m going with willful deception. The “right” answers to these question look suspiciously like Republican ideals, so the CCA is really just a Republican mouthpiece. If the CCA wants to stump for Republicans, fine. If they want every Alabama politician to respond to these questions, fine. But they need to quit pretending to speak for God. Make arguments based on policy and drop the religious charade. Taking the Lord’s name in vain covers much more than saying God Damn. And while Republican Jesus is funny as a cartoon, he is scary as hell in real life. Appendix: Other Alabama bloggers offer their insights here, and here. The Anniston Star has an excellent editorial here.  Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: