Peder D4

Discussion of politics and other odious things

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The coming Theocracy

Just ran across this article surveying a number of books that warn against turning the U.S. into a theocracy. Personally, I've never feared such a thing. Large sections of my friends and family belong to the 'religious right' and I've never had the slightest fear that they were (are) trying to establish any kind of Christian state.
Their biggest political fear is that religous people are being driven from the public square. As if having religous convictions is something shameful and should be hidden from view. The sad thing is that many people will believe that the numbers behind the Christian culture justify silencing them.


Anonymous Steve said...

Interesting article. Having lived in what many (quite unjustly) claim is the only US State that is a theocracy, and being religious and conservative, I find myself frustrated and confused about the religious right movement.

I view the most recent rise of the Christian right to be reactionary to what I consider a clash between constitutional amendments. In the recent past, the Supreme Court had gone strange ways such as outlawing prayer in schools but upholding vulgar and ponographic expression in public. I agreed with Alan Keyes in the 2000 election. Government had institutionalized the trumping of Freedom of Speech with one particular reading of the Seperation of Church and State. Somehow, making religous statements in public places was viewed as a violation of a constitutional clause that merely prevented governmental institutionalization of one religious sect to the exclusion of others. We should be able to not only freely express our secular, but also religious opinions as well.

However, I do think the Right has overreacted. When Pat Robertson stopped supporting Bush's faith based initiative because government money would be extended to groups that Robertson apparently thought illegitmate religions, I realized that my right wing religious viewpoints did not actually make me part of the religous right.

I am not worried about America becoming a Christian theocracy anytime soon. The country is most likely going to swing to the left with the next presidential election and elect Hilary anyway. However, I believe that for all the good it could fo, the Religious Right is ironically its own worst enemy. In trying to bring a balance between free speech and separation of church and state, they seem to work to institutionalize evangelical christianity as the American religion. We are a multi-religious society, and a secular society to boot. I want religious expression, and even tradition (in God we Trust) to continue in Government. But I completely reject efforts to remove evolution from education, to build new 10 Commandments monuments on government properties where it has not been before, etc. These are vain attempts to institutionalize a single religous view in a manner that pushes large numbers of Americans away from the religious right. These types of activities and the obvious pandering of republican leaders to conservative religious leaders will result in a swing of moderate voters to the left. The Republicans will likely keep their congressional majority (or at least one of the houses) in 2006, but they will lose the presidency in 2008, leading to a Democratic party resurgence (and thus and end to all the worry about America becoming a Theocracy).

9:12 PM  
Blogger -Peder said...

Steve, I agree with some of what you say but I think you have to define 'theocracy' down to a considerable degree to bring us to a danger point. If you compare the U.S. to an actual theocracy, like say Saudi Arabia, there's no problem. If anything, the country has become less theocratic in time.
Also, I heard these same fears from people back in the 90's.

9:10 PM  

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