By Mark David Blum, Esq.
Karl Rove is at it again and I don’t know how he does it. While the rest of the nation debates Bill Clinton’s socks and Nancy Grace’s criminal negligence, quietly news stories are picking up quibbling that the Christians in this Nation are locked in a moral debate. After the 2000 and 2004 elections, Democrats realized how the Christian extremists had taken over the Republican Party and were being pandered to in all respects. This election cycle, Democrats have opted for a new tact … Liberal Christians Opposed to Republican Christians. Slowly but surely, we are seeing Christian groups stepping up and taking a stand in opposition to Iraq, Republicans, and other fundamentalist policies.
The same ‘game’ is being played out in the Halls of the United States Senate. President Bush has proposed a law which insulates and ‘green lights’ American agents to torture and abuse prisoners captured and detained by the C.I.A. Obviously the entire nation was appalled to learn we were doing it in the first place, but when the Supreme Court spanked the President, he proposed a law that not only approved the behaviors, but retroactively comforted the illegal activities of involved agents. Then came the McCain revolt where he and three other Republican Senators stopped passage of the Bill until modifications were made and alleged protections were put in place. Back and forth this discussion continued while Less-Than-Extremist Republicans debated with Extremist Republicans. Not a single Democrat or anybody else in the Nation was consulted on this matter. Had just one survivor of Malmedy participated in the discussion; that would have been enough.
The whole world seems comfortable with all this discussion. Americans seem to be finding peace in knowing that an opposition seems to be growing. Yet, I still wonder: Is it me -- am I that far out of mainstream thought … and pulling farther and farther away? My own paradigm and perspective of the world comes from a Libertarian heart. We all have the absolute freedom to be as stupid as we want to be; to the point of the person or property or another – and it ain’t nobody’s business if you do. I consider myself a Marxist … Groucho, not Karl.
Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin all spoke and fought for the same values I hold dear today. Not a one of them would ever have agreed that social morality, evangelical Christianity, or even the notion of spreading “freedom” was among the foundations of this nation. We are seeing today a spreading Christian revolution, run by very aggressive zealots that has rooted its evangelical dogma in the heartland of America.
A “Christian” nation is a good thing; if you are a Christian. But the concept that we can spread Democracy like we spread Parkay is replacing Mr. Jefferson’s teachings with those of the Bible. “Freedom” and “Democracy” should never be forced upon someone. Such concepts or desires cannot come from outside. The zeal and desire for freedom has to come from within a society and rise up as the chains fall. To assume that we can be a people who will spread freedom throughout the world is dangerous. Worse still is how the teachings of Christ have replaced the teachings of liberty.
What bothers me about a Christian nation is how Christianity is so hard-core multi-theistic. I see a religion premised upon concepts of fear, oppression, intimidation, and the use of violence to spread their dogma. Christianity, as an institution, seems to not be capable of thriving in quiet and peace with its neighbors. Somewhere in the dogma is a desire and zeal to save the souls of others and to bring others into the flock. Those who choose not to join are damned for all eternity and will rot in the darkest bowels of hell. Muslim Jihadists will just kill you. Christians condemn you for all eternity.
These are a people of fear. They are afraid of the devil. They fear their own God. Christians fear gay marriage, drugs, immigrants, the human form, and mini skirts. They are afraid their neighbors are drinking too much or having unconventional sex. It bothers Christians if “different” people want to marry their daughters or want to follow a different religion.
Mostly what Christians seem to fear is death. I am not sure whether it is the process of dying or what happens beyond death that is their main concern. But the entirety of their belief system surrounds concepts of being afraid of death. Do ye not dare to transgress against God on this earth lest ye suffer eternal damnation. "Death” is a concept that runs throughout their scripture and lurks in the deepest recesses of their hearts. This concept is what Muslim extremists manipulate to rile up Christian anger and fear.
Christians have been coming out in droves in the past elections and subjected the majority of us to their minority worldviews. They demand safety from terrorism, safety from gays, safety from activist judges, and safety from lawyers. (Good luck on that last one). Christians in America are afraid; and for that reason alone they stand toe-to-toe with the President on Iraq, the are solid behind the Patriot Act and Illegal Wiretapping, Imprisonment with rights, and Torture -- and they don’t give a damn who suffers in the process. To Christians, it appears, George Bush came to save them from a bad and mean world. Behind his skirts, they can all hide.
Previous elections cost us something most dear. We lost our soul and replaced it with a Christian heart. The breath that gave life to the words imprinted on those parchments called the Constitution and Declaration of Independence died. Jesus came to town. The “Red” is spreading. Nobody seems to be able to stop the Republicans, the President, and their Christian militia supporters; even though their policies failed this nation miserably. Instead, that minority party seems to be gaining more power. They control every branch of government at the Federal level, and at every State and Local level. America has suffered a coup d’etat. A free people have been captured and enslaved to life in a Christian nation.
Name one of our Founders who would support a George Bush agenda with his attitudes on war, taxes, abortion, gays, or drugs. I am a student of our history and I know of not a single example where I could cite to an American patriot who would have picked up his musket and died for the same causes that George Bush has killed nearly 3,000 good American soldiers in Iraq.
Christians are not the Majority. They and their ideologies should never be part of the political discussion. It matters not if you are a good Mormon, Muslim, Baptist, or Jew. There is a high and strong wall that separates religious discussion from political debate. I will never stop standing that wall. Until the day I can no longer do so, I will be there to hold back those slight and stealthy encroachments that quietly erode away the very freedoms that you claim to cherish.
Bill Maher has it right. He opines that Americans should vote their DNA. What good is a war against terrorism or right wing judges or morality if you cannot guarantee you will pass on your DNA to the next generations. What good are airport screeners when you can’t breathe the air or trust the food at home. Fighting a war on drugs is a meaningless gesture when you cannot trust or afford the drugs you already have at home. Why argue about kids reading pornography when your own children cannot read.
Sam Adams said it best: “I am a soldier and a farmer so my children can be doctors and engineers and so their children can be artists and philosophers.”
Where do we stand now?