It’s hardly a secret that in the eyes of most liberals and leftists, white Christians are the embodiment of evil. From the usual tired rhetoric about “privilege” to ominous warnings about the extreme danger posed by the religious right, one could be forgiven for thinking that we’re on the verge of being lorded over by Pat Robertson. Analysts of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel often highlight the role of Christian Zionists in strengthening the alliance between the two nations. Regardless of the specific issue at hand, we’re frequently being told that the Christian Right enjoys too much influence and that they’re perpetually up to no good. However, when analyzing the evidence, there is very little to substantiate the assertion that white Christian power is running amok in the United States.
First, I’m going to put to rest the tired assertion by liberals and Jewish lobby apologists that Christian Zionists are the primary force behind the U.S-Israel relationship. In their book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt demonstrate that Christian Zionists are minor actors compared to the much more powerful Jewish lobby:
“Yet the Influence of the Christian Zionists should not be overstated. Their strong commitment to a “greater Israel” and resulting opposition to a two-state solution did not prevent the Clinton administration from pursuing the latter at Camp David in 2000, did not halt the 1998 Wye Agreement mandating an Israeli redeployment from parts of the West Bank, and, perhaps most revealingly, did not stop President George W. Bush, who has close ties to the Christian Right, from declaring his own support for a Palestinian state in 2001…Supporting Israel is only one of the many issues that evangelicals like Robertson, Bauer, and Falwell have been concerned with, and it may not even be the most important.Leaders of the Christian Right often claim to speak on behalf of forty million or more professed evangelical Christians, but the number of followers who care deeply about Israel is undoubtedly smaller. In addition, and in sharp contrast to groups like AIPAC, Christian Zionists lack the organizational capacity to analyze national security topics or to offer specific legislative guidance on concrete foreign policy issues…Christian Zionists also lack the financial power of the major pro-Israel Jewish groups, and they do not have the same media presence when it comes to Middle East issues.
However, even without such evidence at my disposal, I have a very hard time conceiving of a powerful Christian Right that can dictate foreign policy to Washington elites. In fact, the Christian Right can’t even win major battles on issues more important than Israel, including gay marriage. Just recently, a federal judge overturned Montana’s ban on gay marriage. Allow me to repeat that just so it can sink in: gay marriage has been legalized in Montana. Montana, the same state that a friend of liberal black pundit Ta-Nehisi Coates once quipped had nothing but “white militias and Phil Jackson.” We’re being told that white Christians wield immense power, but somehow they can’t prevent gay marriage from being legalized in Montana of all places? Cut the crap. Gay marriage bans have likewise been struck down in such pinko commie states like Idaho, Nevada, Kansas, and South Carolina, while more continue to join the ranks.
Nor has the Christian Right been able to use its immense clout to remedy the sickness of mainstream American culture. A culture where a shamelessly debauched child molester like Lena Dunham is regarded as an important generational voice does not demonstrate significant conservative influence. A culture where 50 Shades of Grey is one of the nation’s most popular books does not scream Christian power. A pop culture where white female celebrities like Miley Cyrus unashamedly “twerk” does not suggest that conservative white Christians dictate social trends in the United States. If the Christian Right exercises such a stranglehold on this nation, then why does popular culture go to great lengths to either ridicule or disregard their religious and cultural sensibilities? To ask the question is to answer it.
While religious white Christians may be able to exercise some influence in matters such as abortion (much to the chagrin of liberals), they by and large do not have any real power or influence on a national level. They can achieve a few minor victories here and there, but they are unable to leave their cultural imprint on the nation.
Those who would argue that legalizing gay marriage, ensuring access to abortion, and separating church and state are fundamental constitutional (and therefore Western) values are missing the point. Just to clarify once again, I care very little about issues such as gay marriage and abortion, nor am I even religious. My point is that the radical transformation of the United States should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that everyday regular white Christians possess little to no power, despite the fact that they share the same complexion as most of our elites. The gradual erosion of traditional American values will not end with Montana, and anyone who thinks that gays will be satisfied with gay marriage is deluding himself.
At the end of the day, the Christian Right is mostly irrelevant, and does little to effectively challenge the gospel of liberal subversion.
Read more: The lunacy of the Christian Right