Close to Theocracy?

MattShizzle
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Close to Theocracy?

I've been thinking and wondering just how close the US came to becoming a theocracy during the Bush administration. I tink we came closer than ever before (I mean in the history of the Actual United States - not, for example, Massachusettes in the 17th century. ) We've had conservative presidents before, but nobody as extremely right wing, or as tied to the religious right,  as Bush. There was also a Republican majority in congress during most of his administration, and since the 1980s the Republican party has moved further to the right and been tied more to the fundies. Any opinions on this, and also how hard will it be to reverse this?

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Hambydammit
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 I tend to agree that we

 I tend to agree that we have more open and more flagrant violation of church-state separation now than ever before.  Faith based initiatives?  Really?  Forced prayer in the military?  Judges leading prayers in courtrooms?  Hell, even as big a college football fan as I am, I've been looking for a way to sue the fuck out of the University of Georgia over what amounts to forced prayer meetings for athletes.  (Yeah... sure.  It's optional.  You can be the one guy who isn't a team player!  Go ahead.  Be your own individual.  The team doesn't need you... and don't worry about that starting position.  You won't be eligible.)

I think it's fair to say that the good Senator McCarthy started this steam engine rolling by equating atheism with communism.  We still haven't gotten rid of that tag.  Then, when the Carter administration turned its back on the newly formed Christian political organizations, most notably with respect to Roe v. Wade, it turned into all out war.  With the exception of Prohibition, I can't think of anything so blatantly religious that has been politicized as much as either abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage.

I think we're going to see a slight shift away from theocracy in the Obama presidency.  Even moderate Christians seem a little scared of some of the intrusions of religion into the public sector.  It's my hope that having a black president will help.  White America is going to be constantly reminded that there are other people in the country who are not like them, and that they have a right to be here, and a right to the same rights as everyone else.  Perhaps this will even translate to a little more religious tolerance.

Also worthy of note is that this is (if I am correct about this... somebody check me) the first time we'll have a full time atheist lobbiest in Washington during a democratic presidency.  The FFRF has gained stature in the last decade, and is now a force to be reckoned with.  Never before have so many atheists been so vocal on the internet.

The seeds for a shift are planted.  I just hope we all have the intestinal fortitude to keep on the offensive and support organizations like the RRS, FFRF, and people like Lori Lippman Brown.   There are tough economic times coming.  I hope we remember that faithful Christians will still be tithing.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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MattShizzle
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The more extreme Christians

The more extreme Christians see nothing wrong with it. How many of use have gotten from a relative that doesn't know you're an atheist that idiotic e mail that says since most Americans believe in god, god should stay in the pledge/on the money and if you don't agree you should sit down and shut up? It's scary how much religion has been injected into government in this country. And look how upset he was about the ffrf's sign in Olympia - imagine Bill O'Reilly's screaming if we actually managed to get "In God We Trust" off the money or "Under God" off the pledge. The religious right would most likely collectively shit cinder blocks.

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I tend to disagree with one

I tend to disagree with one thing Matt. Most christians I know are pretty moderate and still see no problem with the intrusion of religion into politics. We've been calling for the moderates in islam to confront the extremists for years. They, like moderate christians, almost always side with the extremists on issues of this sort. Atheists are seen as the enemy so the more open minded individuals tend to gravitate to those who hold more similiar ideas than the one pressing the charge. 

This war can only be won a battle at a time like any other war. I think it's great the FFRF is able to lobby the government now on state/church issues. The big problem as I see it is that theists tend to operate with blinders on. Most will say that they don't want a theocracy, but say that it's ok to mention god in public office or have god in the pledge, just as long as there is no established religion. It's a slippery slope and you'll never see it coming until it's here. This is why the first amendment says NO LAW........ as in none whatsoever.

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MattShizzle
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That's true. I also think

That's true. I also think Hamby's essay on moderate theists should be required reading. It's not just the fundies forwarding those e mails.

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Brian37
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MattShizzle wrote:I've been

MattShizzle wrote:

I've been thinking and wondering just how close the US came to becoming a theocracy during the Bush administration. I tink we came closer than ever before (I mean in the history of the Actual United States - not, for example, Massachusettes in the 17th century. ) We've had conservative presidents before, but nobody as extremely right wing, or as tied to the religious right,  as Bush. There was also a Republican majority in congress during most of his administration, and since the 1980s the Republican party has moved further to the right and been tied more to the fundies. Any opinions on this, and also how hard will it be to reverse this?

If you think we are out of the woods you'd be wrong. There are just as many people on the left who want to turn our country into a Christian version of Big Brother socialism as there are right wingers who want to make it a fascist state. The only difference between the two parties is what version of Jesus they want our government to suck up to.

Christians on the left will keep those seats at the back of the bus and protect abortion and gay marriage, but still want our government to favor their religion over all others. AND they are more likely to institutionalize laws against blasphemy which would make it harder for us to speak out against magical claims. They get just as offended when we say Jesus is a myth as anyone on the right.

 

 

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MattShizzle
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Funny thing is most

Funny thing is most Americans wouldn't want an OFFICAL theocracy (except extremists like the AFA) but have no problem with religion injected in government how it is now.

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Scyth3s
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Thats because they believe

Thats because they believe their religion is right. Imagine if we had some muslim stuff injected into our government (NO! I AM NOT REFERRING TO OBAMA!). How would the like it then, if it said "In Allah We Trust?" or if the pledge had "Under Allah?" That is exactly how the non-christians feel about this stuff: Cast out, sometimes pissed off, and as if our rights have been slighted off.

 

More than slighted.

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MattShizzle
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Or how would they like if it

Or how would they like if it was our way:

"In reason we trust" or "One Nation where we are intelligent enough to not believe in any gods. "

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thingy
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Scyth3s wrote:Thats because

Scyth3s wrote:
Thats because they believe their religion is right. Imagine if we had some muslim stuff injected into our government (NO! I AM NOT REFERRING TO OBAMA!). How would the like it then, if it said "In Allah We Trust?" or if the pledge had "Under Allah?" That is exactly how the non-christians feel about this stuff: Cast out, sometimes pissed off, and as if our rights have been slighted off.

The christian god IS allah.  Christians, muslims and jews all worship the same god, just under different religions.  You may as well say "under allah" etc as you're saying the exact same thing.

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Scyth3s
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thingy wrote:The christian

thingy wrote:
The christian god IS allah.  Christians, muslims and jews all worship the same god, just under different religions.  You may as well say "under allah" etc as you're saying the exact same thing.

 

Completely missing my point.

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