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Why Cliven Bundy Was Not A Religious Hero

Why Cliven Bundy Was Not A Religious Hero

At Religion Dispatches, Sarah Posner cites an article by several commentators about why Cliven Bundy did not become a hero of the Religious Right (and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame did):

It wasn’t only Robertson’s anti-gay rhetoric that drew the religious right to his side. His entire worldview hinged on his proclamations of the supremacy of Christianity. (“All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero.”) Those comments got buried as well, and they probably served more to bolster his religious right cred than to cause conservatives to run out of fear of being associated with him.

Bundy, on the other hand, tried to play the religion card with an Easter interview from outside his church with a little-known conservative talk radio host, during which he claimed to “put my faith in our heavenly father” over his standoff with the government.

In the end, of course, the conservative flight from Bundy has everything to do with political expediency, not religion. It’s true that Bundy hasn’t expressed a Christian worldview that, in conservative minds, is being suppressed either by the government or a marginalized group that conservatives believe is imposing its ideology on them. That makes it easier to dump him when he says something that frequently (if less coarsely expressed) passes for polite conversation, but that undermines your efforts to “rebrand” conservatism.

For the rest of Posner’s post, please visit Religion Dispatches here.


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