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Thu Jan 26, 2012, 10:16 AM

Why Evangelicals Don't Care When Rich White Conservatives Defile Marriage [View all]

AlterNet / By Amanda Marcotte

Why Evangelicals Don't Care When Rich White Conservatives Defile Marriage
Gingrich doesn’t live by the strict sexual rules laid out by conservatives, because those rules are meant for other people: the poor, Democrats, gays, and minorities.

January 25, 2012 |

Newt Gingrich’s win in the South Carolina primary looks like it may not be an outlier; Gingrich’s poll numbers are rising rapidly in Florida, and he has a good chance of beating Romney there as well. Gingrich is doing well in no small part because he has so much support amongst evangelical Christians; so much so that many evangelical leaders refused to go along with an attempt to unify the Christian right behind Santorum.

In South Carolina, evangelical Christians voted for Gingrich 2-to-1 over boring family man Mitt Romney. For anyone who takes seriously the notion that evangelical Christians actually care about things like family and fidelity, this support for Gingrich is baffling, since he has a history of serial adultery that he barely bothers to disavow. But a closer examination of the situation makes clear what’s going on: for the Republican base, “family values” don’t actually matter, but are just a gloss painted over what really motivates them: reactionary rage. They love Gingrich because he’s a flaming ball of rage they can wield against everyone they hate.

The sexual double standard is the most obvious way the us vs. them mentality works. There’s nothing the modern American conservative loves more than to decry our country's supposedly declining sexual morals. Once the Republicans swept state legislatures and the House of Representatives, punishing sexual freedom became their number one priority, which manifested in nearly 1,000 bills restricting reproductive rights in state legislatures and a bill attacking private insurance funding of abortion in the House. Eventually, House Republicans threatened to shut down the federal government in order to defund family planning clinics, basically because they’re in the business of providing contraception and STD prevention and treatment. All this while the base continues to push abstinence-only and reject gay marriage on the grounds that it’s not “traditional.” But when it comes to a serial adulterer like Gingrich, he gets a pass. After all, he’s one of theirs, and if you’re in the tribe, you get a lot more leeway. .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/sex/153893/why_evangelicals_don%27t_care_when_rich_white_conservatives_defile_marriage/

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