Sunday, July 27, 2008

Gary Bauer: The Quintessential Evangelical Warrior in the Culture War

Would You Say A Prayer For This Man?

Analysis of Gary Bauer, evangelical Christian

The following is from the Pew Research Center's Pew Forum's biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life. D. Michael Lindsay, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Rice University discussing his research on evangelical power in the White House during the Reagan years when Gary Bauer was domestic policy adviser to Reagan.

I knew that that ( a division of attitudes between evangelicals) existed, but I did not realize that within the same White House you could actually have significant division. For example, one of the persons I interviewed for the project was C. Everett Koop (surgeon general under President Reagan). He told me about how in 1986 he became increasingly convinced that AIDS ought to be treated as a public health crisis.Now, when Koop was nominated in 1981, many evangelicals were very excited about this. He was a symbolic appointment; and although he didn't have experience in public health, he was a world-class surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He eventually got confirmed, even though the public health community was not very excited. But evangelicals were thrilled, and for five years he had a very good relationship with the evangelical community.

Then in 1986 he began to say the White House ought to treat AIDS as a real public-health concern. But remember, in 1986, most evangelicals saw AIDS as God's punishment against a homosexual lifestyle. One who held that position was Gary Bauer;5 he was serving as President Reagan's domestic policy advisor. In a matter of a few months, Bauer and Koop began to lock horns. Koop would try and get a meeting with the president; Gary Bauer's staff would get the meeting removed. And in fact, when I did the interview with Dr. Koop -- he has an institute up at Dartmouth now -- he didn't have very nice things to say about Gary Bauer. There are these tensions -- and they last.

They last.

Gary Bauer's profile is a classic description of a politically right-wing evangelical:

Repeal of Roe vs. Wade and abolishment of funding for Planned Parenthood
Against euthanasia, but supports the death penalty
Supports a Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage

Prefers abstinence programs to comprehensive sex education programs
Against embryonic stem-cell research

Wants to "bring the message of freedom to the Arab world"

Supports the war in Iraq
Against illegal immigration and supports English-only policy

Supports tax cuts

Bauer is past-president of the Washington lobby Family Research Council and is on the Board of Christians United For Israel, headed by John Hagee. Chairman of Campaign for Working Families, President of American Values. On the home page of the American Values website:

American Values is a non-profit organization committed to uniting the American people around the vision of our Founding Fathers. We are deeply committed to defending life, traditional marriage, and equipping our children with the values necessary to stand against liberal education and cultural forces.

Liberal education and cultural forces. hmmm...

Here are some other ideas about American Values. I culled them from Flickr.

Just a thought.

In honor of the great Bob Hope who passed on this day in 2003:

"I do benefits for all religions - I'd hate to blow the hereafter on a technicality."