Monday, October 09, 2006

How To Subvert American Democracy

I took part in a discussion board featuring mostly conservative Christians a few weeks ago and one of the men I got into a long discussion with is a pastor of a "Christian Reformed Church."* And, just to show you how easy it is for a person of conservative religions values to justify turning America into a theocracy, this was his point of view:

1. Secularism is a religion.

2. Therefore, government schools are actually churches of secularism. (He meant this literally, not metaphorically).

3. Therefore, we ALREADY LIVE in a theocracy.

4. Therefore, we must overthrow the secular religion now ruling our country and replace it with a Christian theocracy. (After all, since it's already a theocracy, you might as well have the "good" kind.)

5. Theocracies should begin at the state level ("...as in the beginning of the U.S.") with each state having its own religion.

6. In his state, for example, the religion would be "Christianity," which, I discovered upon examination, meant Reformed Lutheranism, of course.

7. Only "Christians" would be entitled to vote or run for office. (When I asked him how he would "test" whether a citizen was a "Christian" or not, he became rather vague. For instance, would the government keep a tally of how often he attended church? Would he have to belong to the "state sanctioned" church? I think he decided that that was a good idea, although I'm not sure. Fanatics tend to get a bit testy when you ask specifics they haven't thought through.)

8. People of other religions would be "tolerated" but would receive no vote, no public office, no "civil" rights.

I asked him, of course, whether the "rule of law" would be based upon "the Bible."

"Of course!" he declared.

"So, would you execute homosexuals, as the Old Testament says you're supposed to?"

This was where he got very slippery. His response was, "Do you think God was being unjust in calling for the execution of homosexuals?"

I responded that I don't think "God" EVER called for the execution of homosexuals, but I'm sure that those desert dwellers thousands of years ago did, and then attributed their cultural bias to "God."

This kind of logic went over his head, of course. After all, in his world, "God wrote the Bible." So, to imply that there might be a word or two in the Bible that wasn't straight from the throne of God...

I asked him, "Would you also execute disobedient children in the public square?" Because that's also in the Old Testament.

The conversation kind of fell apart after that.

My point is that this person, starting off with the proposition that we already live in a theocracy, it was a small step for him to say that he was merely fighting for a change of religion at the top. This is how easy it can be for extremist "Christianists" to argue against the secular democracy we so ardently have fought to establish in this country.

When I argued back that secularism, in the social government sense, was "neutral territory" where ALL religions could so-exist equally, he was beyond rational. He argued back that by taking no position, the government was then taking a position against God.

Anyone who thinks that fanatical Christianists do not exist, or do not hold a great deal of sway in our country, are fooling themeselves. Their "Christianity" is about power and holding onto it. The Dobsons, Robertsons, Falwells, Bauers, James Kennedys and others are POLITICAL beings. They use the cover of religion to gain political power in order to break down and destroy the very secular democracy we, ironically, are trying (and failing) to establish in Iraq.

Beware of wolves in sheep clothing, especially when that "sheep's clothing" is the bloody body of the Lamb of God.

* I had previously misidentified him as Reformed Lutheran.

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