Sunday, November 05, 2006

Our Haggard Government

Because I’m an atheist, the hypocrisy of the nation’s high priests entertains me immensely. It’s spiritually delicious to discover a religious muck-a-muck with his holy pants down. But whether or not Ted Haggard was “massaged” by a male prostitute or purchased methamphetamines affects me not at all.

What does affect me, though, is that Haggard’s reading of fish entrails—or whatever other religious marvels he claimed to perform—was a subject of serious presidential consideration. Not only that, but for years the reverend’s outworn opinions may well have influenced the votes of elected representatives in both the Senate and the House. As the Associated Press writes today: “Haggard ... has participated in conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied Congress last year on Supreme Court nominees.” This phraseology beats around the Bush, but The New York Times was more direct yesterday when it stated that Haggard was a communicant in “the White House’s Monday conference calls with conservative Christian leaders.”

Now, the President and Congress certainly have the prerogative to seek out any advice they wish, even from the witch-doctors that the religious right and its minions seem to favor. But at what cost to Americans do they allow voodoo to control decisions best left to reason? Just like Ted Haggard, we ought to be told the price we’re paying to get screwed.