An interesting case, this Star Parker. Another of the new black republicans, and a woman to boot. She sounds like a newly converted evangelist – and, well, she is. Coming from a background of poverty, she is now the president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal & Education (CURE – looks like a religious coalition of pastors, some of whom are probably wonderful people). There is much to respect in her story, but I can’t help but feel that all it really proves is that we’ve really reached the point where adversarial politics has taken over. Rather than becoming a voice to speak to various policies of both parties, she has chosen to hug the Republican Christian line that is used to reel in so many Americans. Her book "Uncle Sam’s Plantation" gets raves from Hannity and Limbaugh. Basically, she is Ayn Rand meets Billy Graham, seeing the solution to poverty as a matter of personal initiative and faith.
I would like to honor such a strong woman who wants to make a difference, and perhaps if we met we could hammer out some of my horror through dialogue. But again, the form of Christianity here is in destructive mode. It’s as if you could peel off her face and see a monster inside. As a nation, we have got to learn to be more discerning. And yes, it’s the fault of the left too, this dumbing-down.
Star Parker wrote an article after 9/11 in which she compares "abortionists" to suicide bombers. response from Jon Reed. His own letter drew out an eye-witness account of a talk from Ms. Parker from Mariko Hughes a college student who got a little more than she bargained for:
My neighbor to the right wanted to ask Ms. Parker personally what she had meant by "left-wing elitist lesbians who don’t know a thing about parenting," and my neighbor to the left wanted to respond to Ms. Parker’s comment "Show me one innocent Iraqi!" by quoting Byrd’s speech that around 50% of Iraq’s population is under the age of 15, so we went down to the stage to speak with her. Ms. Parker made it clear that lesbians have no place in anything involving children, and that all Iraqis, regardless of age, are guilty because they have not ousted Saddam Hussein. When she said, "I would bomb them all, every one of them," the girl to my right asked, sincerely, if she was being sarcastic. Ms. Parker responded with "I said kill them, kill them all!" When asked about how, as leader of CURE, a Christian organization, Jesus’ love of peace might play into all this, she denied that Jesus had ever advocated peace. Someone said that was despicable, she laughed, and the crowd dissolved.
These are the kinds of things that disturb me about the mirroring going on between the "deeply religious" ones in America and in terrorist groups. Religion does not guarentee ethics – in these forms I would argue that it isn’t even religion at all but only clusters of convictions that are granted authority under dubious circumstances.
We need to hear more in our American public life from what I do not hestitate to call the good, spiritual, ethical voices. Speak up! We need you, before this country completely forgets. We need a public figure, a kind figure, someone who is not in TV or sports – someone like a CS Lewis or an Alan Watts – a popularizer of deeper understanding.
There are amazing people in America – I have known several amazing people of many faiths. Should this .. .. stuff .. .. be taken for religion?