Wednesday, November 23, 2005
They attacked Thomas Jefferson's religion, too.
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) is getting some blog buzz. A right-wing blogger who seems to think that you gotta accept Jesus as your personal lord and savior in order to be elected has decided to impugn Conrad's character by attacking the moderate Democrat's religious affiliation. Conrad is the only Unitarian Universalist in the Senate and one of only three UUs in Congress: The others are moderate Republican Nancy Johnson (CT) and liberal Democrat Pete Stark (CA).
The blogger follows wingnut practice by misidentifying the religion as "Universal Unitarian" — you know, like "the Democrat Party." He claims that Conrad "distances his private thoughts with his public actions," although I can't tell what he means by this when Conrad has always openly identified as a UU and seems unusually responsive to his constituents. And the blogger assumes that John Sias's little book published by the UU Church of Nashua, New Hampshire, 100 Questions That Non-Members Ask About Unitarian Universalism, is an authoritative and accurate statement of UU beliefs. Sigh.
In response, partisan Democrats — including a bunch of UUs — are having a field day expressing outrage at Daily Kos and at Street Prophets. A good time was had by all, I'm sure. (Memo to Pastordan: No need to hyphenate "Unitarian Universalist.")
It's worth noting that Unitarian Universalists are not a voting bloc in North Dakota. After all, there are only 165 members of the two Unitarian Universalist congregations in the whole state. (There are probably a few dozen other UUs who are members of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, a UU church-by-mail.) I'm impressed and honored that Conrad identifies with us at all. And anyone tempted to think that Conrad's votes in the Senate are dictated by the UUA General Assembly could quickly recover from that notion by comparing G.A. resolutions to Conrad's voting record: This is a senator who represents North Dakotans, not G.A. delegates. Just last week I thought about scolding him here for joining four other Democrats who voted for an amendment barring U.S. detainees at Guantanamo Bay from invoking habeus corpus in the federal courts — a position I find hard to square with American legal tradition, much less with last summer's G.A. resolution denouncing torture and prisoner mistreatment by the U.S. But, since I don't consider G.A. resolutions binding on my conscience, I can hardly complain when they don't seem binding on Senator Conrad's.
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 23 November 2005 at 5:28 PM