Thursday, April 7, 2011

American theocracy redux.

They're back.  At the eleventh hour, it appeared that funding abortion providers stood in the way of averting a government shutdown.  Ah abortions, so that’s why we have this huge deficit.  In case you missed it, God is not only against abortions but also same-sex marriage and remains so about gays in the military (sure hope none of that kind are buried in Arlington).  What’s more, and this may really surprise you, it seems the Almighty is for smaller government, much lower taxes (especially for the well-healed), destroying unions, upending the middleclass and perhaps mostly gutting euro-style safety nets.  If you believe all that, you might have interest in the bridge I have for sale. 

According to The New York Times our American Christian Taliban are on the move again thanks in part to the Tea Party (thought they were concerned about unemployment and deficits).  Their resurgence was manifest in the early political maneuverings in Iowa where Republican hopefuls were falling all over themselves in assuring their deep commitment to bringing God back into government.  That is to say the god seen through their eyes and for whom they speak loudly with arrogant abandon.  Mike, Newt, Michelle and Haley have The Word (constitutional liberties like the right to bear arms were ordained by God), so all of you who’ve gone astray these past two years, watch out!

Who would have thought?  It turns out the Tea Party wasn’t simply a front for the Koch brothers but also for a new and improved version of that beloved Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson duo.  Not to be left out (and to remind us where they stand these days) a Supreme Court majority weighed in for God as well, poking its own big hole in Jefferson’s ungodly Wall of Separation.  I’m so glad the originalists are in firm command there.

The odd thing about all of this is that the very people who systematically seek to impose their religious ideology on the rest of us want no religious rule in places where Moslems not Christians hold sway.  Their biggest fear today is that religion will dominate a reconfigured Egyptian state or call the shots in the inevitable Palestinian one.  For them, secular (much like liberal) is a pejorative in the good old U.S. of A. but the ideal elsewhere.  Confused?  Don’t be and certainly don’t ask for consistency.  This comes from the same people who obsess about our deficit but want to drastically cut taxes.

I disagree with the Right’s approach to our politics and policies.  I see through their current game of cutting the public (federal and state) workforce including the teacher corps to the bone.  What an ingenious and sure way to insure a high unemployment number come next November.  I see their hypocrisy in bemoaning our not making things at home while their heroes in corporate America (did I mention their prime funders) are those most responsible for shuttering and shipping overseas our manufacturing and even services like tax preparation and (God really help us) tech support.  I disagree, but they have as much right to hold their view than do I.  We can and should have a legitimate debate about these things, where our country is headed, and why.

What I can’t handle is bringing God and religious ideology into that discussion.  It’s like two kids having a disagreement in the playground and one bringing in their mom or dad — the word of unquestioned authority — to take sides.  At least mom and dad are flesh and blood about whose existence we can all agree and whose words we can hear first hand.  Mom or dad interfering in the playground can be, and often is, inappropriate. God brought to us by some self-proclaim intermediary mixing into our political disagreements is really scary.  It was when Jerry and Pat pontificated or when Rick Warren called his command performance of candidates in 2008 and it remains so.  And, with all due respect, your supreme honors, any hint of theocracy is definitely not good or right for America.


1 comment:

  1. Jonathan,
    I would like to be in contact with you.