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What we have here is a newspaper article.  Please read it.

"Expediency Drives Double Standard of decrying adultry while OK'ing Racism"
By Robert M. Parham.

    Adultery is wrong; racism is ok. Or so the righteous right signals with its sustained attacks on President Clinton for his infidelity and its thunderous silence about the affiliation of two highly visible Republicans with a racist organization.
    Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Rep Bob Barr, R-LA. [and one of the House Managers prosecuting the President as we speak.  -Eds], have been waltzing with the Council of Conservative Citizens, with a name and agenda strikingly similar to the segregationist organization known as tge Citizen's Council from the civil rights era, according to news reports.
    Barr told the Washington Post he had no knowledge about the CCC's racist agenda when he addressed the group at a 1998 meeting.  However, Gordon Lee Baum, CCC's national chief executive, disputed Barr's claim, saying "He knew wat we were all about before he spoke to us."
    Barr justified his association by saying Lott had endorsed the organization.
    At first Lott, too, claimed "no firsthand knowledge" of the group.  Yet a recent Washington Post editorial noted a smiling Lott was pictured in a 1997 CCC newsletter meeting with CCC officials in Lott's Washington, D.C. office.
    Speaking to a council meeting in Greenwood, Miss., five years earlier, Lott said, "The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy.  Let's take it in the right direction and out children will be the beneficiaries."
    The CCC's web site contains cmple evidence about its religo-political agenda.  One Web page promotes a booklet "that reveals the ugly truth about Martin Luther King."  Another page describes Latino voters who would rather vote for "a dead yellow chihuahua over any non-Latino."
    One of the CCC's most far-fetched pages claims that "Northern Liberals have been waging a religious war against the Southern Whites all this time: secular humanism is intent upon stamping out Christianity."  The article asserts that secular humanism became a driving force in the 1830's [the WHIG era] "when a number of New England's most-prestigious-but-disaffected Congregationalist ministers repudiated Calvinism."  Their heirs, contemporary secular humanists, began waging "a full-scale idealogical war against Southern Christians" in the 1960's.
    By associating with this group, Barr and Lott showed either their true colors or terrible bad judgement.
    Equally troubling is the double standard of the religious right that condemns one sinful act and ignores another.  Ironically, the religious right advances the moral relativism it so verbosely abhors when it refuses to identify racism as morally wrong as sexual infidelity.
    What explains the double standard?
    The easiest answer is the political explanation.  The religious right hates Democrats, having its roots in the founding of the Moral Majority's campaign against President Jimmy ["nucular"] Carter.  For almost 20 yearsm the religious right has courted over the Republican, sought its takeover and even proposed marriage.
    The religious right's moral agenda is so dependant on Republican political power that is cannot risk a spate with such powerful elected officials.
    The theraputic explanation holds that leaders of the religious right condemn what personally threatens them.  They are so troubled by their own dark, sexual yearnings that the only way to keep them at bay is to condemn them in others.  After all, preachers often preach most fervently against their own shadow side.
    Having never or seldom experienced the stings of racism, these leaders do not fear racism.  Therefore, they are not inclined to condemn it,
    The sociological explanation says religious right leaders know they can mobilize their base on sexual issues.  Their agenda is primarily abortion, adultery, homosexuality, and pronography. They raise money, sell books and turn out votes with sex, not race.  These leaders know they cannot activate their supporters with claims of racism.
    Aside from a few minority members, the religious right has had little, if any, real traction outside of white America.  Religious right members will not risk alienating their constituancy with critical media releases about race.
    The moral explanation contends that the religious right sees sexual issues in absolute terms, right and wrong, black and white.  Such moral clarity does not exist on race.
    Undoubtedly, sone religious right leaders see racism as morally wrong in the abstract.  But their certitude dissipates in the street of real life.  Civil rights, racial justice and affirmative action do not have the moral underpinning within the mostly white, religious right movement that these issues do within minority communities.  The lack of moral certainty means the lack of a compelling reason to criticize Barr and Lott.
    Despite the explanation or combination of reasons, the ethical double standard of the religious right advances th moral relativism and discloses how ill-fitting the modifier religious is when applied to these right-wingers.

Robert M. Parham directs the Nashville-based Baptist Center for ethics.  This article was distributed [orignially] by Religion News Service.