Since this week has been all about the godsbothering, a historical sidebar I’ve been saving, from Kevin M. Kruse at the NYTimes:
… The concept of “one nation under God” has a noble lineage, originating in Abraham Lincoln’s hope at Gettysburg that “this nation, under God, shall not perish from the earth.” After Lincoln, however, the phrase disappeared from political discourse for decades. But it re-emerged in the mid-20th century, under a much different guise: corporate leaders and conservative clergymen deployed it to discredit Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
During the Great Depression, the prestige of big business sank along with stock prices. Corporate leaders worked frantically to restore their public image and simultaneously roll back the “creeping socialism” of the welfare state. Notably, the American Liberty League, financed by corporations like DuPont and General Motors, made an aggressive case for capitalism. Most, however, dismissed its efforts as self-interested propaganda. (A Democratic Party official joked that the organization should have been called “the American Cellophane League” because “first, it’s a DuPont product and, second, you can see right through it.”)
Realizing that they needed to rely on others, these businessmen took a new tack: using generous financing to enlist sympathetic clergymen as their champions. After all, according to one tycoon, polls showed that, “of all the groups in America, ministers had more to do with molding public opinion” than any other…
If you read the whole thing (it’s not very long!), there are two obvious conclusions to be drawn:
(a) the GOPers haven’t had a new idea in at least fifty years; and
(b) the genuinely religious among us prefer to keep our faith separate from the machinery of government, because trying to combine the two is bad for both endeavors.
So… back in the Reality-Based Community, what’s on the agenda for the evening?