With regard to religion, I think the threat posed by Bush has not been fully recognized. Bush can entrench the religionists more and more in the federal bureaucracy, just by the appointments he makes.

In the 1980’s, the conservatives spoke of “defunding the left,” pointing to federal agencies like the Legal Services Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts that had become fronts for left-wing causes. Bush has already started funding “faith-based initiatives,” and to name one where support for religion has been made explicit and clear. Under Bush, government funding of and support for religious causes will only get worse; once such practices begin, they are extremely difficult to get rid of.

Furthermore, Bush’s outreach to believers has granted religious groups unprecedented access to the halls of power. This is serving to organize and coordinate them, and will ultimately help turn them into a political “identity group” with a single collective voice.

Christians will be the next Blacks/Women/Gays whose “civil rights” will need protecting in ways incompatible with individual rights. If you think the pressure group warfare over Affirmative Action is bad, just wait until you see what this turns into. And that’s even before the Supreme Court gets involved.

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