The American Theocracy: A Case Study in Fearmongering

January 23, 2008

The blogosphere is blowing the secualrist gasket over H.R. 888, entitled (get ready) “Affirming the rich spiritual and religious history of our Nation’s founding and subsequent history and expressing support for designation of the first week in May as `American Religious History Week’ for the appreciation of and education on America’s history of religious faith.” Put simply, Congressman Randy Forbes would like Congress to set aside the first week in May as a religious history week.

And boy, are the hornets not happy about that.

Reading through this “piece of”… legislation is a roller coaster ride through distorted history, religious fanaticism and more than anything else (as Hedges suggests) a warning shot across the bow that the religious ultra-right has now cut loose from their political handlers. We now see a Republican party that essentially looks like this:

A tiny minority of moderate Republicans, or “Eisenhower” Republicans…

A majority of Corporate Republicans, firmly entrenched in Corporate America’s vest pocket

(and now, breaking away) a growing, virulent minority of Righteous Republicans who are making up a third branch (for the time being) of the Republican party…

Cute. But this is simply fearmongering and nothing else.

For one thing, the author asserts the legislation “distorts history.” Uhm, mind to tell us where? If you are going to accuse someone of lying, the most common form of doing so is to present the truth which contrasts to their lies. It’s nowhere in this article. We are supposed to believe that history MUST be distorted H.R. 888, because The Nation (surely such an objective source is proof alone) tells us that it is. That is as irresponsible, ignorant, and shoddy thinking as you can possibly get.

Secondly, just because this is a worthless piece of legislation does not signal the onlsaught of the Christian Theocracy. It’s a nice piece of dreaming for aggressive secularists, but alas, it has been tried before.

Here’s a piece of news for the truly concerned: If the American Theocracy could not happen in 1783, where numerous states ratified the Constitution while having official churches, it cannot happen today. Theocracy in this nation is (fortunately) an impossibility. The concept’s only use to the modern world is in talking points for each side to use in calling each other fascists. Real theocracy would require much more than 21st century America could ever give.

I’m not sure which all this talk of theocracy is more indicative of: Theological ignorance, political daydreaming, or blatant dishonesty. Then again, maybe it’s born of all three.


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