pa·tri·ot (pā’trē-ət, -ŏt’), noun: One who loves, supports, and defends one’s country.
And in the case of America, one cannot be a patriot without supporting and defending the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which stoutly stands against the role of religion and faith in government, and the rights of the people against unlawful invasion of privacy, unlawful imprisonment and abuse, and manipulation by plutocracies and theocracies alike.
The Republican party has changed, in the last ~20 years, from he party of responsible and reasonable conservatism, to a party that is hoodwinking it’s way to blind nationalism and the shredding of those and other constitutional ideals.
In honor of a call for another Blog Against Theocracy, I’d like to focus on the faith-based assault on our democracy. The late Sen. Barry Goldwater (who was a patriot, whatever else you say about him) put it very well:
On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.
Yet this is what the Right has become in today’s politics. Any Republican who stands against this fanatical tide on any part of their platform, such as Ron Paul, is labeled a traitor. It’s fascism at its finest.