Phyllis Schlafly has written a new book, No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom. If you’re like me, your reaction to that news is: Phyllis Schlafly is still alive? Yes, the 87-year-old conservative activist is not only still around, but out on book tour, making the case that Obama is a secularist who hates God.
Rebutting the main argument in Doug Schoen and Patrick Caddell’s latest travesty of an op-ed column (“The Hillary Moment,” in Monday’s Wall Street Journal) would be a pretty egregious example of shooting fish in a barrel.
2011 has been a banner year for abortion opponents. Thus far, 87 state laws restricting abortion have been enacted, the most in any year since Roe v. Wade and more than double the previous high. But one rogue wing of the pro-life movement sees no reason to celebrate: the budding “personhood movement,” which wants to turn abortion into homicide by methodically amending state constitutions to define conception as the beginning of a person’s life. This November, Mississippi votes on the personhood issue by popular referendum.
God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right By Daniel K. Williams (Oxford University Press, 372 pp., $29.95) From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism By Darren Dochuk (W.W. Norton, 520 pp., $35) In the presidential election of 1976, the Democrat Jimmy Carter split the votes of American white evangelical Protestants almost evenly with the Republican Gerald Ford. With a clear plurality of at least ten percentage points, Carter did even better among the nation’s white Baptists.
In her campaign to displace Harry Reid from the U.S. Senate, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle has hit a few snags. Among the lessons learned: When holding a press conference, take at least one question. When discussing how to deal with electoral defeat, avoid suggesting “Second Amendment remedies.” When you’ve once complained that black football jerseys are satanic, prepare to have someone reveal it.
Maniacal Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle, learning from Rand Paul's lesson, is confining interviews to friendly right-wing outlets. Here she is talking to National Review: — On her primary win: “It became focused with the Tea Party Express endorsement,” she says. “The first endorsement that we got that was of great consequence was from Gun Owners of America. We knew that was of great consequence because it reached across party lines in Nevada. We’re pretty much a 90 percent Second Amendment state.
Essential convention reading: Arch-right doyenne Phyllis Schlafly proclaims the 2008 GOP platform "the most pro-life ever," and rhapsodizes about its language on immigration, international organizations like the UN and WTO, and climate change. She also loves Sarah Palin: "It's hard to exaggerate the turnaround in the attitude of grass-roots Republicans.... Palin is a breath of fresh air to John McCain's campaign." --Michael Crowley
We're slamming Phyllis Schlafly for her role in the culture wars, but she was arguably more destructive during the 1950s, '60s and '70s--decades she spent facilitating Barry Goldwater's rise (authoring A Choice, Not An Echo), while agitating against arms control and "appeasement" of China and the Soviet Union. Campaigning for Congress in 1952 as a housewife enraged by Truman's pro-communist treachery--and later reprising those themes as a wildly successful political organizer--Schlafly wove together a grassroots conservative movement that only later pivoted from anticommunism to social issues:
If the university doesn't accede to the great many protests that have sprung up in response to the news (and it doesn't look as if they will), Phyllis Schlafly will earn an honorary doctorate from Washington University in Saint Louis tomorrow. Schlafly, of course, has been an immeasurable force for bad over her long life, her torpedoing of the Equal Rights Amendment being just her most famous act in a series of acts that have done great damage to the cause of gender equality.
I should not have any inclination to call myself a humanist, as I think, on the whole, that the non-human part of the cosmos is much more interesting and satisfactory than the human part. —Bertrand Russell Most of us have only a vague idea what humanism is. We tend to think of a humanist as someone who is concerned with other humans, a humanitarian, an all-around nice guy. For example, that’s how Deborah Weisner of Auburn, Maine, sees it. For five days last March she was held hostage on a Pakistani jetliner by armed hijackers.