Devout progressives believe, in the context of political correctness, that those who are progressively unvirtuous on purpose are evil. As former Democratic party chairman Howard Dean said, “In contradistinction to the Republicans, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”*
While the term “evil conservative” is employed here merely to highlight how devout newthinkers view the purposely progressively unvirtuous, it is actually used by some progressives. Urbandictionary.com even offers a definition: “The Evil conservative is an exceedingly wicked person who gains in his or her personal career by advancing injustice and cruelty to a marginalized segment of society. These people are exceedingly cruel and heartless…”**
“Evil conservatives” are to newthinkers what evildoers were to traditional Americans. Just as traditional Americans believed that evildoers must be fought, so do progressives believe that “evil conservatives” must be fought.
Progressive Crusaders proactively battle those who purposely oppose any part of progressive culture. Preventing “evil conservatives” from passing on their value system to the youth is a high priority. For instance, the movement to use school vouchers to give parents school choice has been fought tooth and nail by progressives because it directly threatens their power domain and their influence on America’s youth. The progressive argument against vouchers is made by Danny Weil in his book School Vouchers and Privatization. He argues that the religious right attempts to influence public schools by removing books they find morally offensive, getting rid of sex education classes, preventing information about abortion or sexual orientation from being disseminated, and stopping evolution from being taught.*** Clearly, newthinkers see the fight against school choice as a cultural battle encompassing evolution, standards, sex education, abortion and sexual orientation. Progressive Crusaders want to control what children are taught on these subjects.
Another progressive battle is to marginalize religion, which helps pass down traditional values, by removing God from the public square. For instance, the Catholic church, one of America’s bastions of non-progressive culture, has endured attacks by Progressive Crusaders for decades. Philip Jenkins in his book, The New Anti-Catholicism, says that while anti-Catholicism used to spring mainly from right-wing xenophobia, it now emanates mainly from the left.**** Sinead O’Connor denounced Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, tore up his photo, and told the audience to “fight the real enemy.”† Dramatist Tony Kushner wrote that, because of his silence on the murder of a young gay man, Matthew Shepard, “Pope John Paul II endorses murder.”†† And Methodist theologian Beverly Harrison called the Roman Catholic hierarchy “the pedophile capital of the world.”††† As newthink establishes itself, progressives increasingly focus on racial, gender and sexual identity politics. The Catholic church found itself defending traditional views on these subjects and thus became a target of Progressive Crusaders.
* Dennis Prager, “Understanding the Politics of the Left,” RealClearPolitics.com, July 21, 2009, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/21/understanding_the_politics_of_the_left.html, accessed June 30, 2011.
** Urbandictionary.com, http://www.urbandictionary.com/ define.php?term=evil+conservative, June 30, 2011.
*** Danny Weil, School Vouchers and Privatization, (ABC-CLIO, 2002), p. 68.
**** Philip Jenkins, The New Anti-Catholicism, (Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 20.
† Ibid., p. 82.
†† Tony Kushner, “Matthew’s Passion,” The Nation, November 9, 1998.
††† James R. Edwards, “Natural Born Sinners,” Christianity Today, November 14, 1994.