Posts Tagged ‘theocracy’

I don’t get it. I don’t understand how pre-tea-party Republicans can stand what happening in their party. Let’s just imagine for a moment that Mitt Romney is rational, more like he was as governor of Massachusetts. Of course it’s impossible to know precisely what he believes any more since he changes his tune faster than a teenager can hit the buttons on a car radio. But, put that aside. Everyone knows that the tea-party rules the Republican Party. Do you think that Mitt Romney can swim against that tide? Do you think that he will even try to when even a suggestion of compromise unleashes a tidal wave of push back from right-wing zealots? No way. That’s why I don’t get it. Certainly, rational Republicans know what’s happened over the past 4 years:

  • Before President Obama even took office plans were under way by the Republican leadership…including Paul Ryan…to limit Obama to one term by making him look bad.
  • Obstructionism started on Obama’s first day in office because he was politically vulnerable: his name is Barack Hussein Obama, he is and uppity black man and his wife is an angry black woman who does terrorist fist bumps.  In other words, he symbolized the demographic changes sweeping the nation. He had to be stopped.
  • Everything Obama tried to do…even things that had been recommended in the past by Republicans…was obstructed. Super majorities became the rule of the day.
  • The right-wing communication machine hammered him unmercifully as being not one of us, and as someone who didn’t understand America. It didn’t help that people throughout the world perceived him as a change agent, a fact that fed right into the right-wing’s xenophobic view that he didn’t like America.
  • Political differences were stoked to the level of political hatred. Listen to how Romney supporters talk about the president. He’s the enemy, not a political option.

Why doesn’t this stuff matter? Have the “crazies,” as Chris Christie calls them, taken over the party as well as the minds of reasonable Republicans? How could Obama possibly be a worse choice than a tea-party controlled puppet in the White House?

Frankly, I could be a lot happier than I am with the President, but I will vote for him and work as best I can to support his campaign. On the other side I desperately fear that America will descend into fascism and theocracy if Romney wins. For the majority of Americans, and for the planet we live on, that will be tragic.

Listen to how he positions President Obama as “not one of us,” how he said recently that Obama believes in some kind of “non-bible theology,” or claims that global warmists (as he calls them) are involved in a worldwide liberal conspiracy to concentrate more power in the hands of government while reducing individual freedoms. Salon.com has a good summary of what dominionism is all about . I also recommend that you visit the Talk2Action web site and sign up for periodic news summaries regarding the activities of the religious right.  To say that Talk2Action is eye-opening is like saying a tornado is a wind storm. And a related site, Barry Lynn’s Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is nothing less than a tireless, 24/7 check on those who would transform America into something that the founding fathers wouldn’t recognize.

Of course, there are those on the right who will argue that the alleged threat to our democracy as posed by those of the dominionist/evangelical mindset is wildly overblown. And there are those on the left who will say that Rick Santorum has little chance of being elected president so why worry. Even if both of these positions turn out to be factually correct, it is also correct to say that whatever traction Rick Santorum has been able to muster is due to his appeal to a voting block that has no problem with a domestic and foreign policy agenda that is guided by god’s law, whatever that is. In that regard, consider these ongoing stories.

Intelligent Design aka Creationism
When the judge in the 2005 case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (Pa) ruled that Intelligent Design was not science (duh!), rational people who followed the case breathed a collective sigh of relief. I was one of them. What I didn’t realize was that the fight is hardly over. It will be fought again and again until intelligent design finds a foothold somewhere, perhaps in Missouri where, on January 10, 2012, a bill was introduced in the Missouri House that would require “the equal treatment of science instruction regarding evolution and intelligent design.” The lesson in this is that those who allow religious dogma to trump their own, god-given ability to think and reason believe they are on a never-ending mission to make the world “Christian.”  Frankly, I think that the whole lot of them, including Rick Santorum, are both nuts and dangerous.

Home Schooling
In view of the ever-unfolding saga of intelligent design, it is little wonder that evangelical Christians would latch onto home schooling. That way they don’t have to deal with the heresies of science and other annoying worldviews. “According to the documentary Jesus Camp, 75% of all home schooled children are Evangelical Christians.”  The author of the piece (I found it on answers.com) notes that he wasn’t able to verify the percentage, but it seems to mesh with other information. Ian Slater, the spokesperson for the Home School Legal Defense Association, notes that the “majority of home-schoolers self-identify as evangelical Christians. Most home-schoolers will definitely have a sort of creationist component to their home-school program. And for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth’s creation is exactly what they want.”

Not incidentally, Rick Santorum said he would home school his children if he is elected president, saying that “having a homeschooling family in the White House would certainly be a shock to the establishment.” It will even be a bigger shock to the rest of the world that American voters would elect this guy to be president.

Onward Christian Soldiers
“In the ’90s [the Air Force Academy] had a code of ethics that stated that no professional or commander will attempt to change or coercively influence the religious beliefs of their subordinates. And in ’05, the Secretary of the Air Force came out with a new code of ethics…which allowed proselytization in the military.”

How bad did it get? Damned bad, because the goal was to “convert Air Force cadets – future pilots with fingers on nuclear triggers – into religious zealots.” And, in a 2010 article in Truthout entitled “ ‘Underground’ Group of Cadets Says Air Force Academy Controlled by Evangelicals,’ the author, Mike Ludwig wrote: “An anonymous cadet at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA ) spoke out against alleged religious discrimination at the school last week, saying that some cadets must pretend to be evangelical Christians in order to maintain standing among their peers and superiors. In an email to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), the whistleblower stated that he is part of an ‘underground group’ of about 100 cadets who cannot rely on proper channels to confront evangelical pressure.”

So let’s see…
We have a guy running for President of the most powerful county in the world who aligns himself with religiously fundamental group that believes that a Christian god is the only one that counts and who…just maybe…believes that the Crusades left some unfinished business to attend to. I’m a hell of a lot more frightened about Santorum than I am about Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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Note about the Military Religious Freedom Foundation: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the United States Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

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Letter to a friend regarding the relationship between religion and politics.

My anger is focused somewhat differently than yours. I am angry at all those who claim to know God’s will and intent. How presumptuous of us! How presumptuous of any religion!

The events of the past few years have driven a wedge between me and organized religion. I resent those who think that they have some “exclusive” knowledge of things that can’t be known. In place of this spiritual chauvinism, my view of ethics and morality is derived, very simply, from the Sermon on the Mount. Everything is there that anyone needs. Everything else is politics.

I find it more than coincidental that many of our country’s greatest thinkers felt similarly about the role of religion:

“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.” Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865)

“I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absented myself from Christian assemblies.” Benjamin Franklin

“In no instance have…the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.” James Madison, American president

“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” John Adams, U.S. President, Founding Father of theUnited States

“The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.” John Stuart Mill

Looking at it another way, the religious right would have us believe that there is no morality without religion. History, both recent and past, proves that to be a tragically flawed notion and yet, here we are, walking down that path again.

This was written during President Bush’s second term in office.

As you know, I have never disguised my extreme disappointment with administration inWashington.  Of course the good news is that Bush and his cronies will soon be sent packing, forever to serve as an example of what happens when otherwise good citizens, the press and even the opposition party don’t ask and demand answers to tough questions for fear of being labeled “unpatriotic.”

If you feel as I do, 2008 can’t come soon enough, but it would be a grave mistake to assume that a different administration, whether it be Republican or Democratic, will either be able or willing to drive all the demons out of government, because many of those demons fly well below most peoples’ radar screens.

This email concerns one such demon: Christian Nationalism.  I believe that if it continues to function out of view and out of mind it has the potential to create a political disaster that will make Bush and Company look like a walk in the park.

Please,   for the sake of your country, your children and their children, read the   review of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.  Here is a link to the full review … http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20060825.html … along   with the first paragraph to whet your appetite:

“If   more Americans would read works like Michelle Goldberg’s Kingdom Coming:   The Rise of Christian Nationalism, the longevity of our democracy, as we   know it, would be more assured. I say this because the more people who   understand the thinking and agenda of the growing forces of “Christian   Nationalism,” the less likely it will be that these forces will succeed.   Not many people want to go where Christian nationalists want to take the country.”

I know I don’t want to go “where Christian nationalists want to take the country” and I suspect you don’t, either.  So if you are concerned about the forces that would steer America in that direction, please talk to your friends about what you’ve read and forward this email to those who may share your view.  Only by making Christian Nationalism part of the national debate can we protect what our Founding Fathers fought so hard to pass on to us.