,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Friday, May 25, 2007


Evangelical Moles in Post-Bush America


Reading Hanna Rosin's article, The New Establishment, in the Post gave me the shivers. The thought that the end of Bush era is not going to mean the end of the dark forces of intolerance and zealotry that he so avidly nurtures is depressing to say the least. "Falwell and Robertson were outsiders and always behaved like it. Goodling's Christian contemporaries grew up with Bush as their president, speaking their language. Even after this administration is gone, they can work for one of the more than 150 members of Congress who call themselves evangelical or dozens of conservative think tanks and activist groups. Or they can run for office: Robert McDonnell, Virginia's attorney general, is a Regent alum. They are part of the Washington establishment now and, much to Bill Maher's chagrin, they will be around long after Bush is gone."

Think of a generation of scrubbed, clean graduates of Christian colleges doing their thing while waiting for Armageddon.


Until she appeared before the House Judiciary Committee this week to testify about her role in the Justice Department firing scandal, Goodling had been mocked on the Internet and on late-night TV as a certain type: one of a "bunch of hayseeds" staffing the administration, as HBO comedian Bill Maher called her.

Goodling graduated from Messiah College ("home of the Fighting Christies") and the law school at Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson ("a televangelist's diploma mill") -- both Maher's terms.

Goodling is part of a new generation of evangelicals ushered in by Falwell, who insisted that Christians get involved in politics. They are graduates of the exploding number of evangelical colleges, which no longer aim to create a parallel subculture but instead to train "Christian leaders to change the world," as the Regent mission statement reads.

It used to be that being 33 and in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys would mean you'd been top of your class at Harvard or Yale or clerked at the Supreme Court. Now, Christian schools are joining that mix. Regent has had 150 of its graduates working in the White House; the school estimates that one-sixth of its alumni are in government work. Call them the Goodlings: scrubbed young ideologues, ready to serve their nation, the right's version of the Peace Corps generation.


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