The Groundwork of a theocracy.

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The Groundwork of a theocracy.

For the past few days I have been in a long and mutually frustrating debate over whether Theological Faith by definition is so irrational and unsupportable that it lays the groundwork for a little irrationality to spawn extreme irrationality and give birth to theocracy.

I have laid out my defense for theological faith already in that thread, quite extensively. Here I would like to make another case for the hot spread of irrational reasoning. I would like to state my case that the complicit values which spread irrationality are primarily cultural, I make no bones about admitting and stating that irrational theism is the culprit and conspirator behind the spread, however, I will point out here that neither the methods nor the means support a blanket assertion that theological faith is the blameable "complicitor".

I will begin with Australia. A country which is known to have been formed on very liberal values. So liberal that the skerrick of cultural history that was bothered to be recorded is hardly worth mentioning, except to demonstrate how piddling the conservative interest has been in our short 200 years as a western nation. Apparently because of it's liberal upbringing, Australia is widely thought to be a secular nation. There are some things wrong with that estimation, but of all those things that are wrong, there is one major discrepancy - Australia houses a powerful fundamental christian right.

We do not have a very formal separation of church and state (another liberal quirk) in Australia's constitution, the only provision regarding religion relates to the establishments of the commonwealth not being in any regard to religion. The High Court defined that: Non-establishment [of a state church] rather than a wall of separation [was] the desired outcome.

So culturally, this nation was established on the principle that state didn't deal with church matters - neither externally nor, by presumption, internally.

This foundational demarcation of the grounds of state in Australia is a cultural asset, that political morality has no place in theistic morality and vice versa is by and large habitual reasoning in Australian culture. This is evident in the political campaigning of our resident raging christian Prime Minister. Are his christian values widely known? No. Are his church interests exposed on the political stage? No (and more often that not they are covered up quite deliberately).

The cultural habits of Australians are not a soft bed for leaders with an inclination to catechise. The very idea is an invitation to the local irreverent majority to unite in ridicule . One would hope that is how we ever will be, but the christian right is not swayed by an open culture of liberal opinion they are divisive, and seek other forms of complicity when faith won't work.

And that brings me to the point: The cultural weapons of irrational believers. What do irrational believers use to leverage power in state for their "Christ" when they don't have the complicity of a moral majority?

1. The Bread and Circuses approach - Distraction.

{ John Howard relied for his 1995 return to the Liberal leadership on the support of a secretive conservative Christian grouping within the Liberal Party called the Lyons Forum. The religious right has become increasingly outspoken within the party, with Treasurer Peter Costello arguing that Australia’s problems will be solved not by legislation but a return to the Ten Commandments, and former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson declaring that, without Jesus, ‘we’re a mob of dirty rotten sinners and we’re on the path to hell’. }

Dr Marion Maddox is senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington and author of God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics (Allen & Unwin, 2005).


The politics of John Howard -

{Policy makers and their bosses in the capital markets still know they have to provide just sufficient bread and circuses to keep the underclass relaxed and just comfortable enough. The mission of the radical policies of the Howard government, ineffectually opposed by state governments that are now reduced to mendicant service providers, is to entrench the position of 'the economy', or the world of business, not to ensure the welfare and prosperity of the Australian people.}

John Nightingale was born and brought up in Sydney, obtained two economics degrees from the University of New South Wales and a PhD, also in economics, from the University of New England.

2. Covert Identities - I'm for what You're for.

The Family First Party

{ [Federal Chairman Peter Harris said that] to win our nation for Christ we need to do things differently because we are not fighting earthly powers but the fight is in the heavenly realm. (Helen Woodall 'Putting families first', 'New Life', 8 July 2004)

[FFP] is deliberately not called a Christian party � We called it Family First so non-Christians who believe in family values will vote for us. But to be a member of the party you have to sign to say you oppose abortion, euthanasia, prostitution and so on so most of our members are Christians. (Andrew Evans as quoted in Helen Woodall 'No writing on the wall but �', 'New Life', 20 Nov., 2003)}

and last but without the slightest of doubt, not least.

3. PAYOFFS - buying power = selling power


So religious right complicity is bought, connived and stolen in Australia but never asked, expected or even dare assumed.

So what is the groundwork of a theocracy?

I leave it to you to call your own conclusion.

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