The RRR Test
by Brad Nelson
(With thanks to comedian Jeff Foxworthy, for inadvertently providing the inspiration for this with his "Redneck Test.")
If you wanted see if you, or someone else, passed the test for being associated with a given group or organization, this can be done by testing for certain traits, beliefs, or actions. For example, to determine if someone might be member of the Ku Klux Klan, you might consider these characteristics...
- If your neighbor down the street likes to show up at gatherings with his friends, all decked out in goofy- looking robes and hoods emblazoned with nonsensical symbols, he just might be a KKK member.
- If you attend secret meetings where good ol' boys cheerfully tie nooses for their "necktie collections" while exchanging racist jokes, you just might be a KKK member.
- If you enjoy setting fire to crosses you've erected on lawns of people of other races, in the dead of the night... you just might be a KKK member.
So, let's see what questions might typically apply to members or activists in the Religious Radical Right -- the RRR...
- In 1995, American women at last were enabled to obtain abortions by taking medications... even though RU-486 is still a few months away. If that breakthrough upset you, even though no one's going to force YOU to obtain an abortion, you just might be an RRR member.
- If your Aunt Tilly listens to Christian radio regularly, and telephones Washington to cry "Foul!" every time James Dobson tells her to, she is for sure an RRR activist.
- If your next-door neighbor is convinced that AIDS is a plague sent by God to punish sexual sins, and that every gay person on the planet is automatically condemned to hell, she just might be an RRR member.
- If you're one of the mere 3,000 or so Americans who actually boycott corporations and won't buy their products because an RRR leader in Mississippi happens to dislike the movies they make or the TV shows they sponsor... you're an RRR activist.
- If your minister preaches that Halloween is anything more sinister than the perfectly harmless children's holiday that it is... then he's probably fallen for some RRR propaganda.
- If your next-door neighbor claims that the "Big Bang" could never have occurred... that the earth can't possibly be more than 10,000 years old... and thinks that the fossils and ancient strata of the Grand Canyon may actually have been "created that way," he very likely is in the RRR.
- If your cousin protests at a local abortion clinic, and couldn't care less that her presence might destroy the life options of women she confronts, then there's no doubt at all -- she is a mean- spirited RRR activist.
- If a person claims to be a Christian, but spends all his time trying to destroy the individual freedoms and rights of others, while not lifting a finger to spread the gospel, then he's not an obedient Christian. He's been totally deceived by the RRR's false doctrines.
- If someone tells you that teaching evolution in the schools will cause children to regard themselves as being "animals" who have no moral responsibilities, then that person has a very low regard for human intelligence and ability to discern -- and probably is an RRR member.
- If you realize that conception has no special significance because it can be accomplished in a Petri dish... and you know that life doesn't begin then, because you recognize the fact that combining a dead sperm with a live egg, or vice versa, doesn't work particularly well -- so therefore you're aware that life obviously exists prior to conception... then you probably are pro-choice, and therefore NOT a member of the RRR. (Axiom: No true RRR members are pro-choice. Having compassion for existing human beings automatically puts you on a far higher plane than the RRR. Further, anyone claiming to be in the RRR, but declaring him/herself pro-choice, is summarily ostracized by all other RRR members. This is their litmus test!)
- If your Uncle Frank is running for a seat on the school because he wants to force schoolchildren to be taught the nonsensical pseudo-science of "creationism"... he definitely is an RRR activist.
- If you are opposed to abortion, would love to see certain books, magazines, TV shows and movies banned... and you actually believe that the majority of Americans agree with you -- despite overwhelming proof to the contrary... then you clearly are an RRR member.
- If Jane Doe picketed a theater showing "The Last Temptation of Christ," or an ABC-TV affiliate station just prior to the premiere of "NYPD Blue," then she, too, was being an RRR activist.
- If you think accepting Jesus Christ is the only way that one can be assured of having eternal life, that is a basic Christian tenet, as taught by Mark 16:15. BUT -- if you don't think that Moslems, Buddhists, Mormons, and even Jehovah's Witnesses have just as much right to evangelize in behalf of their beliefs as you do -- then you just might be an RRR member.
- If the family three blocks west of you is home-schooling their kids because they think that today's public schools are anti-Christian... and they couldn't care less that the non-home-schooled children just might be getting a better-rounded education, and therefore better preparation for dealing with the real world... they're probably in the camp of the RRR.
- If you believe that trying to "change the world" is a more important duty for Christians than spreading the gospel -- and so you spend all your free time trying to deprive those people who happen not to agree with your particular values, of their individual liberties and freedom of choice and expression -- then you've almost certainly been deceived by the RRR. And you may not be a Christian at all.
- If John Smith in the next town wants to prevent condoms from being made available in schools to students age 12 and older because he naively figures they'll simply abstain from sex if they can't get 'em -- he just might be in the RRR.
- However -- If John Smith in the next town wants to keep condoms from being made available to schoolchildren because "it's the moral thing to do" ...and he couldn't care less if more STDs were contracted among the kids because condoms were unavailable than would occur otherwise, then he's definitely an RRR member.
- If a person claims to be "pro-family" and "pro-life," (which always means being "anti-personal-freedom" and "anti-choice"), then that's a dead giveaway. That unfortunate person has been hopelessly engulfed by the RRR.
In a free America, there's nothing unlawful about one's espousing the beliefs and values above, although most of us probably would feel sorry for anyone who truly held such narrow views.
But there is something very wrong when people are intolerant, and then try to impose their restrictive personal values and beliefs upon others -- or upon all of society -- against their will.
On November 3, 1994, the GOP enjoyed a landslide victory, but it was not due AT ALL to any desire by the people to support the chilling and repressive agenda of the RRR... despite the RRR's boisterous claims to the contrary. They tried to take full credit for it, saying that it proved that Americans supported THEIR agenda.
However, The American people had plainly and simply believed that the Republicans might be able to give them a better chance to gain the changes that they REALLY wanted (1) a reduction of federal regulations, (2) the elimination of "pork barrel" waste, (3) passage of the line-item veto, and (4) setting reasonable term limits. To accomplish THOSE ends, the people gave the Republicans their chance. It was just that simple.
Ten months later, a courageous group of 26 pro-freedom Republican congresspersons DEMANDED the elimination of several anti-choice measures from a major appropriations bill! Many of the Republicans in Congress are in the pocket of the RRR -- but not all of them.
The Religious Radical Right does NOT represent the American people, any more than does the Ku Klux Klan. Under 400,000 people are activists to any degree in the RRR, and there are fewer than two million passive sympathizers. That's a total of only 1 out of 108 Americans, tops.
On the other hand, about 150 million Americans profess Christianity. So how many Christians have become ensnared by the deceptions of the intolerant and obnoxious RRR Cult? No more than 2 or 3 percent.
America has no problem with Christians, nearly all of whom have nothing to do with the bizarre agenda of the RRR.
The problem is the political clout that the RRR has gained solely by making themselves the noisiest squeaky wheel on the block. It's time to relegate that bigoted group to the history books where they belong... right alongside the KKK and the neo-Nazis.
The document below was originally written for, and distributed widely at, the Iowa Republican Straw Poll, held at Ames, Iowa in August, 1995 -- to help the attendees to think about what they were doing. (At least 90% of those in attendance were Religious Radical Right (RRR) adherents, thousands of whom weren't even Iowans, but had been brought in from adjoining states in scores of busses, so they could support the candidates who were in the RRR's pocket... mainly Dole and Buchanan.
This document was modified in 1996 for general distribution to the public, but to date has had very little exposure.
--Brad Nelson 9-12-96
©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.