Posted by: Dan | July 4, 2007

Here’s to a Patriotic Independence Day

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.


Responses

  1. Frightening isn’t it? I have a similar debate with a friend of mine who’s a “Fundamentalist.” He says they just want a “voice” in Government, but what they really want is the Only Voice in Government.

    We are a very slow learning species. A reasonable person might assume one “Dark Ages” is enough.

  2. I sometimes wonder if some of this stems from the desire of certain conservative Christians to be persecuted. In the Beatitudes of Matthew, Jesus says:

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Over history, various religious groups actually have been persecuted simply for their beliefs. This still happens today in some parts of the world, but thankfully not in these United States. I sometimes get the impression, though, that many conservative Christians are looking for how they might be persecuted–perhaps so they, too, will be blessed. Since we live in a free nation, the definition of “persecution” then expands to imply “not nationally endorsing the faith and/or values”.

    Just a thought I’ve had, FWIW.


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