Posts tagged ‘theocracy’

Judge Roy Moore

Could just it get any worse? You know that Judge Moore would make a great leader…if this were a theocracy and we all agreed on who God is. Let’s just put aside the sexual allegations for a few minutes and think about how he is everything the Founders wrote the Constitution to prevent. The Founders were sons and daughters (yes women had influence on the men) of the religious wars in Europe. They saw how religious fanaticism wreck countries and led to perpetual war. There goal was to balance power and make no one party supreme. It was a government based on rational discourse and compromise.

Now let’s take that apart. Religious fanatics like Roy Moore live by a religion that cannot be question by man. He made belief in the supremacy of a Christian God over the Constitution the cornerstone of his campaign.

“I want to see virtue and morality returned to our country and God is the only source of our law, liberty and government.”

Now that probably plays well to the religious brain-dead in Alabama, but it does not stand the test of examination. In a theocracy in which Roy is describing, who interprets the word of God, Roy? And what if someone disagrees? Oh heresy. Burn them at the stake. So there is the end to rational discourse and compromise. We don’t need courts or legislatures, just a high prophet, and that would be Roy of course. Now if Roy were a Muslim, that would be Sharia Law, that boggy man that conservative Republicans love to bring out to scare people without brains. Oh, and if you are following Roy’s logic, he just justified ISIS and al Qaeda. It is exactly the same thing except we have Koran thumping Muslims telling the world what the one true word is, and dissent punishable by death.

Moore, who is an evangelical Christian, was removed from the bench in 2003 over his refusal to take down a monument to the Ten Commandments in the state Supreme Court building in Alabama. Last year, he was suspended for the remainder of his term after telling probate judges to enforce the ban on gay marriage, which by then had been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Both fights elevated his profile among religious conservatives in the state and nationally.

The fact that Roy ran and won a Republican Primary shows you how many truly stupid and ignorant people live in Alabama, and dare I say it, religion froze their brains. I would argue as an aside, that conservative religions are antithetical to democracy. It is a belief that cannot be challenged by logic (faith), and as such denies all compromise. Say goodbye to rational thought and finding middle ground solutions. Where it gets really dangerous is when it leaks over into our political thinking, as in conservative Republicans and their conservative beliefs about gays, the economy, immigrants, oh you name it. Once you have a part of your brain that accepts groking, a gut drinking in to believe or understand something, which is what most religion is, say goodbye to rational thought. Who needs facts? There is no coincidence that conservative Republicans are mostly evangelical Christians or Bible thumpers of one sort or another.

Okay so Alabama, and Republicans so craven for holding on to power, were getting behind Roy while in essence, striking a blow to very heart of American and the foundation of our Constitution, when out come the sexual allegations. Now Roy claims these are political lies and attacks on him. But there is simply too much there there and we are in a time when we are starting to listen to women and believe them. Now for my part, this is why Roy is such a holier than thou guy. He knows he is the devil and he compensates by being a Bible thumper to root out evil (his own which you can bet he is in total denial on). But enough about Roy, he is a piece of scum right of the Republican playbook, and he is toast. Let’s focus on the Republicans.

First thing, if you are a hypocrisy buff, is remember when the women came out and accused President Clinton and Clinton did a small-scale Moore defense, but Republicans were all over it taking the side of the women (and correctly). Now they jump on Roy’s defense team? Craven doesn’t even get close.

“Take Mary and Joseph. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told the Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Um, if you believe this nonsense, then remember the part about immaculate conception. I bet Joseph would have been struck down by a vengeful immaculate conceptor for rubbing her body parts. But that is typical of Republican failure to connect the dots because I don’t want to connect the dots. From the Atlantic Monthly:

Many leading Republicans outside of Alabama said in public statements they would like to see Moore step aside—if the allegations against him are true. On Thursday, The Atlanticreached out to all 52 GOP senators, and the 19 lawmakers who responded said exactly that. That approach would seem to leave room for Moore to deny the report and continue his campaign.

“It comes down to a question [of] who is more credible in the eyes of the voters—the candidate or the accuser,” Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of evangelical Liberty University and a Moore supporter, told RNS. “And I believe the judge is telling the truth.”

Indeed, many Republican officials are still behind him. “I’m not saying I support what he did,” Bibb County Chairman Jerry Pow told journalist Dale. But Pow said he’ll still vote for Moore, simply because he doesn’t want to vote for the Democrat.

Now where is the mentality in, “I would rather have an immoral sexual predator and Constitution denying moron, than a Democrat. Are you starting to see the connection between religion, whether spiritual or political gets us a damaged brain?

So I will just leave you with this: Republicans are evil and the country left in their hands will be destroyed. Sure, some have come out finally against him. They can read polls. But until we rid ourselves of this whole crop, and maybe the states that elect them, we are destined to ignorance, stupidity, and policy that hurts America, not helps it. No we should never compromise with these nut balls.

Oh, and yes I have been missing in action. You know, that work thing. You don’t think the wine I buy is cheap do you.

American Theocracy

Once again I am just amazed that the media has not picked up on or disturbed by our Government being taken over by conservative evangelical Christians and their march to institute their religious beliefs on the rest of us.  Maybe it is the idea that religious freedom means the right to discriminate to many of us.  Maybe it is the he said/she said nature of media coverage of anything and they don’t want to hurt ratings by addressing the dangers of a religious state.  Maybe their own religious indoctrination has blinded them to the double-edged sword of religion.  So I will help you.

As an atheist I have a kind of unbiased view.  That may seem strange to religious people as their view of an atheist is that it is just another religion like theirs, with beliefs based upon faith.  In that case, there is no God and I must convert others to this belief.  With this view in mind, an atheist has an axe to grind with religion.  Quite frankly I could care less.  You may delude yourself in any form you want if it meets your needs.  I have no need for you to give up your religion*.  But I do have a need to make sure your religious ideas do not use the force of government to legislate your views on others.

Let me ask you a question:  Where in the world has a theocracy in history lead to a free and open nation that celebrates minority rights?  Muslim countries are aflame or waiting to ignite.  Israel is pushing toward continuous warfare and the suppression of non-jews (Palestinians).  I cannot go back in history and find one that worked other than to empower the ‘right’ religion and disadvantage everyone else.  Then there were the power struggles within the religious righteous.  You know, who has the real word of God?

Our poor Founders must be rolling over in their graves along with most historians.  Does Cheeto Head and his evangelical buddies even know what the Enlightenment was about?  I doubt it.  The Founders got it big time and realized that a democracy based upon rational argument and compromise could not exist in a religious atmosphere where faith makes rational argument and compromise impossible.  Cue the riots, revolutions, torture of heretics, and mass chaos whose only respite is a totalitarian government.

So stand back and look at the whole conservative movement.  It is about totalitarian views.  There is only one right way to see the economy, economism** (Econ 101), which takes a simplified view of the perfect market place, supply and demand curves, and does not accept the complexity of the real market place.  In the same vein they are dominated by evangelical Christians (it could be called the evangelical Christian Party) who have the same simplistic rule following view of religion.  Either view is totalitarian in that debate and compromise is heresy.

Now enter Donald Trump who is championing these groups with simplified views of almost every issue.  His nomination of Betsy DeVoss is a thinly veiled attempt to allow government to fund religious schools and kill the public schools system.  His proposal to remove the Johnson Amendment, requiring religious organizations to refrain from overt politics to maintain their tax exempt status, is an overt attempt to bring religion back into politics. Note that all of his Cabinet appointees have the same mind-set whether it is birth control, or the Affordable Care Act.  They have that intolerant religious view of their politics and social policies.

So unless you are blind, our country is being taken over by religious zealots who hide their fanaticism behind a feigned moral facade.  But it is tearing down the walls of religion and government and unlearning the lessons of the Enlightenment.  It is what ignorant people do when they have no understanding of our history or the foundations upon which our Constitution is based.  It is the beginning of the end of rational government.

*Some modern religion has evolved to adapt to reality around us.  In my mind, informed religion is really a philosophy.  Many Christians are not Bible thumpers, but people who find great wisdom in the teachings of Jesus.  The work to try to take those teachings and interpret them in light of science and reality.  The advantage of a philosophy as opposed to a faith, is that the philosophy is susceptible to evaluation and evolution.  Faith is not.  Evangelical Christians for most part are not into evolving, hence their teachings about gender choice, sexual orientation, and a woman’s choice.  This same kind of mentality is applied to economic matters and we have the intolerance and refusal to change we see today.

**Economism is a term used by Economists to refer to simple interpretations of Supply and Demand curves and then apply it across all spectrums of our political lives as fixed rules that do not adjust to the complexities of the world we live in.

Our Theocracy of Economics and Religion

Here is one thing few people are writing about*, I guess because they think Trump is not really a religious man, many of the policies that will come out of the Trump administration will be based on a very narrow view of religion.  Not only did we get conservative economic ideology (also a religion**), but in many of the social policies, they will be heavily imbued with a religious belief.  I guess because the media is afraid to point out or criticize religion and its influence in our government, this is just ignored.  The idea is that we respect freedom of religion and attacking religious beliefs is really un-American.  But what do we do when they define Government and our policies, and those religious beliefs are a narrow conservative evangelical Christianity?

Think about Betsy DeVos, nominee for Secretary of Education.  She wants to basically end public education and fund religious schools and charters that, “will continue to advance God’s kingdom.” Note that while it barely came up in the hearings, she has given generously to groups “funding Christian schools, evangelical missions, and conservative, free-market think tanks like the Acton Institute and the Mackinac Center that want to shrink the public sector in every sphere, including education.”  She has support groups who want to relax the boundary between religion and government. (Mother Jones). It’s all about getting our kids to be thinking right evangelical thoughts.

Think about the EPA nominee, Scott Pruitt.  He is another conservative Christian who “as a state senator,  proposed one of the most onerous anti-abortion laws in the country, and as attorney general, he helped lead the opposition to the recent Department of Education guidelines on transgender students using gender-appropriate bathrooms.”  As the Daily Beast implied, he comes from the evangelical groups that believe, “Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.” In other words, What Me Worry.  Science is rubbish.

Think about the Vice-President, Mike Pence whose policies on abortion and gays is driven by his evangelical Christian views.  Then there is Ben Carson, and like Pence, a creationist, or Rick Perry who has been quoted as saying evolutionists are “out there”.  A more in-depth look at this comes from Israel’s Haaretz.com and I suggest you read it.  Basically we are seeing an evangelical religious government being put in place.  But what of the  inclusion of so many Goldman Sachs alumni former generals and billionaires?

There is no contradiction here.  The folks that come from conservative economic ideas have the same zeal as religious fanatics and approach other points of view with the same closed mind and sense of heresy.  The market place is God, deciding winners and losers. the winners are the anointed people, and government intervention is heresy.  Wealth flowing to the wealthy is a result of this system and is a system of right, wrong, punishment, and reward determined by their God, the market place which fits very nicely with evangelical Christian belief.  If many suffer under this system, it is okay because they deserve it, just as those who don’t believe as the evangelical Christians believe, are doomed to hell.  We are now living in a Theocracy of Economics and Religion.

So when you see the first policies coming out of the Trump administration, things like moving the embassy to Jerusalem, moving quickly on defunding Planned Parenthood, another round of attacks on gay rights, an attack on climate change, even defunding the Endowment to the Arts, it makes perfect religious sense.  Wait till we see what Betsy DeVos does in the Education Department.  It is about taking narrow evangelical Christian beliefs and forcing them on the rest of us (the Endowment to the Arts attack is because the arts challenges us to think about who we are as opposed to accepting scripture).

The Economic theology will come quickly enough as the attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and of course using that money to fund tax cuts. Only the right people are rewarded. We are about to become a total Theology which has combined conservative economic ideology with evangelical religious beliefs.

The Constitution is clear about religion and government, but this flock sees no problem with using their religion to define the world and use government to inflict it on the rest of us.  Rational debate need not apply.  And that is what is happening.  What will save us is that reality will run head long into ideology and finally something will have to give.  But in the interim a lot of us are going to suffer and there could be violence and unrest as these failed ideas are put into policies around the world.  We are entering a new Dark Age.

*I found the best coverage of this from all places, Israel in Haaretz.com which is an Israeli publication.  I thank them for their work.

**I use the term religion to mean a set of beliefs not subject to rational debate, but accepted on faith.  Not all religions are like this, but in this context, that is exactly what is going on.