Is the Religious Right Shilling for Big Oil?

As we often have said, the religious right is really a political movement that strategically uses religion and religious language to push a political agenda that often has little connection to the values of mainstream people of faith. Today we see another example of how the religious right nakedly shills for powerful economic interests.

OneNewsNow, Website for the “Christian news service” American Family News Network, has a story today about the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. OneNewsNow exists, the Website says, “to present the day’s stories from a biblical perspective.” But we see no biblical perspective in this absurdly slanted piece. Instead, we see the usual right-wing attacks on what some people might see as a need for common-sense regulations to prevent such environmental disasters in the future.

The article’s sole source, Bill Wilson of Americans for Limited Government, charges that the Obama administration will use this disaster to excuse a power grab and push for unjustified regulations on the oil industry:

 “There’s no tragedy that they won’t seek to capitalize on. . . . (W)hat are you going to say to the families that depend on those jobs [in the oil industry]? What are you going to say to the communities that depend on that tax revenue? And what are you going to say to the American people as the price of energy goes through the roof?”

But where is Wilson’s compassion for families that rely on employment in fishing, tourism and other industries that will be devastated by this massive oil spill? What about the communities that depend on tax revenues from those industries? What about other costs of this disaster that Americans will share?

No doubt, regulations impose costs that can vary for different people. But as we see in the Gulf, avoiding common-sense regulations can also be very costly. Finding the proper balance between those competing costs is a legitimate subject of debate in a democratic society.

But this biased OneNewsNow story doesn’t illuminate the competing interests in any such debate. The story is simply a demonstration of how the religious right uses its influence with people of faith to lobby for powerful economic interests associated with the political right. Instead of a story told “from a biblical perspective,” we get a propaganda piece from the perspective of oil companies opposed to regulations that might hurt their profits.

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12 Comments

  1. Cytocop
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    “But where is Wilson’s compassion for families that rely on employment in fishing, tourism and other industries that will be devastated by this massive oil spill? What about the communities that depend on tax revenues from those industries? What about other costs of this disaster that Americans will share?”

    And where is Wilson’s compassion for our troops that have to fight oil war after oil war? Has he not seen the public service ad on TV making the connection between what our troops suffer and our dependence on foreign oil?

  2. Jeff
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Hah! Are you tectonic plates Coral or Wedgewood. Haven’t heard that one. Thanks for the shared humor Charles! Can’t find fault with the article either.

  3. David
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Cytocop:

    “It’s good to be da king.”

  4. David
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    What tells the tale the best this week is a look at 2 stories.
    One is the fact that one of the founders of the “Family research council” was caught renting a male prostitute as an escort for his vacation.

    The other is the story of how many Americans have been unemployed for 6 months or more.

    In reality, the decline of “family values” and of “the family” have been due to: the industrial revolution, WWI, the Great Depression, WWII, the invention of television, the Vietnam War.
    Now we will see a further decline in American culture and civilization as a result of the massive unemployment that began as a function of the new “global economy” and has hit warp speed with the Bush Recession.
    If Washington and our “masters of the universe” do not act to preserve the middle class in this country, we’ll be well on our way to that “post-apocalyptic” world of the B-movie, without a nuclear holocaust being necessary.
    I assume there will be just enough”culture” left to fund and people the various orchestras and operas around the country in order to validate the rich people’s sense of entitlement.
    You can forget about the family. It’s toast.
    The religious right, of course, will still be blaming “secularists”.

  5. Cytocop
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Is the Religious Right shilling for Big Oil? In a word: Yes.

    Regulation of business = Marxist Bull-poo, remember?

    Because freedom and democracy and capitalism = license to do whatever the hell you want. Hey, it’s a free country!

  6. David
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Dishonest.
    The religious right is dishonest.
    That’s the nicest thing I can say about them.

  7. Charles
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    It is only 7 months until Chrstmas, which means it is not too early to purchase your yuletide fruitcake. Head on over to one of the Religious Right websites and purchase yours now.

  8. Donald in Austin
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    What I find most interesting about the tripe from OneNewsNow is that it is nothing but the typical histrionics and unfounded speculation prevalent among the lesser life forms that infect this country. Wilson makes a claim that Obama will do something, then argues that Obama is ruining families -with nothing to back it up except a shrill voice and wild hand gestures (yes, I’m taking some liberties, but I’ve seen his ilk in front of sheep…..er crowds).

    Since Obama has said or done nothing that he claims, I’m not sure if Wilson is making a strawman argument or if he’s just so blinded by ignorant hatred that his words should be simply called “dishonest.”

  9. David
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    When I was about 14 I was going through a period of making a decision about organized religion, and I was watching the 700 club. Pat Robertson came on with the old radio personality from WBAP, ( I won’t name him, but I’m pretty sure I remember who it was), and they were talking about the planes getting shot down in Vietnam, (maybe McCain’s, who knows), and the ongoing need for strategic metals. And Robertson was advising everyone to invest in strategic metals production because it was a good longterm investment. Of course, he probably had deals going with a number of bloodthirsty African dictators at the time.
    I pretty much rejected organized church sometime around that period.

  10. Charles
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Is them tectonite plates of yours Corel or Wedgewood?

  11. Corey
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s like when that man in the Middle East said earthquakes were occurring more frequently because women are promiscuous. Clearly, tectonic plates have nothing to do with it.

  12. Ben
    Posted May 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure I even understand what it would mean to present news “from a biblical perspective.”

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