Illustrating The Joys Of Theocracy
All of the talk lately about the religious preferences of the presidential candidates or their lack of them has me concerned for the direction of the current campaign and the fact that religion has any place in this discussion at all.
Yesterday, while drinking my second cup of coffee and mentally preparing for the second week of moving to a new residence, a letter to the editor of USA Today caught my attention.
One Harold Burnett of Palmdale, California seems to have gotten his evangelical shorts in a wad over an op-ed piece titled “What is a ‘real’ Christian?” written by Dan Gilgoff in USA Today on May 21. Mr Burnett writes:
I agree with Focus on the Family’s founder James Dobson, who seems to believe that a Christian should be the GOP presidential nominee (“What is a ‘real’ Christian?” On Religion, The Forum, May 21).
If for no other reason, a Christian would balance the power of the left, the atheists and those waging open war against many conservatives.
But where is this real Christian who is willing to run for president? The fact that Mr. Dobson is not considering it illustrates the problem Christians in this country face. It seems there is a perception that real Christians don’t get involved in politics. Though we are willing to support someone who meets our conservative criteria, we are not willing to be him.
Could it be that many professing Christians are not real Christians and are afraid of being exposed as hypocrites? It seems to me that a religious conservative is the best we can hope for this time around.
Perhaps, due to my past exposure to various “Christian” denominations, and various experiences with other religious groups, sects, cults, klaverns, whatever, I no longer claim a religious affiliation of any kind and hope to quietly live out my days as far from religious authority, zealotry, bigotry and lunacy as possible.
I think that it was Einstein who said, “If God did not exist, man would have to invent him” or something along those lines.
It wasn’t the influence of priests, parsons, mullahs, shamans or witch doctors that caused me to develop a strong suspicion of the existence of God, but a layman’s study of physics, astronomy and cosmology. Don’t ask me how or why because I can’t really define my “beliefs” myself except that I’m aware of the cosmic background laughter from time to time.
I wonder and fear what civic miracles Mr. Harold Burnett of Palmdale California would expect from a “Real Christian President” as much as I fear a theocracy forced upon me by Mr. Osama Lama Ding Dong or a “workers paradise” run by, say, a Mr. Kim Il Sung.
I’ve always been quite comfortable with the idea and principles of liberal Jeffersonian democracy and I think that he and Locke, Paine, and Madison, et all hit it out of the park with the system we might enjoy today if we would only wrest it’s control from the current cabal of oiled up plutocrats and international pirates under whose sway we have allowed ourselves to fall.
Much as I fear and loathe the plutocracy, my fear and loathing of those who would rule in the name of the “Lord” is still greater and around these parts the pastors are striving for some unholy combination of both.
I can find no comforting differences between the madness of a system run by the Ayatollahs of Islamic Iran, or that of the Taliban and the paternalistic, authoritarian, pious idiocy of the “Christian” theocracy so sought after by the Dobson, Falwell, Robertson breed of conservatively connected evangelistic frauds of the “western world.”
I’m quite sure that Allah (if he in fact “is”) is equally as appalled by the murderous barbarity performed in his name as Christ (if he in fact “is”) is aghast at the deeds of the armies of “Christian Soldiers” who supposedly march under “His Holy Banner.”
Whoever, whatever “God” may be, mankind has historically proven himself capable of making “him ” or “her” or “it” blush, puke and laugh out loud simultaneously with his collective and nearly constant folly.
The very concept of a “Real Christian President” is truly something to dread, it is anathema to the very idea of American constitutional government and Mr. Butler should bite his tongue and break his pencil the next time such an awful and silly thought forces itself to the front of his consciousness.
I offer instead a suggestion that we need a President who has a vision of an America where the rights of all are guaranteed and protected, the constitution is adhered to, and the institutions of our government are not for sale to the highest bidder. A President who has an abiding compassion for the young, the elderly the weak and the sick among us and the courage to fight the unpopular battles that must be waged to insure their protection from the predators among us.
This President I propose must have a vision of a strong and powerful America which is able to lead with a moral authority gained through it’s continuous example of fairness and respect for the rule of law, an authority gained by the dignity with which it treats all nations and the firmness of the diplomacy and strength it displays to those who would trample on the rights of human kind through aggressive war or other means.
I really don’t care if this President is black, white or brown, Male, Female, Gay or Lesbian, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist or worships a graven image of Gene Autry’s horse by moonlight. It makes no damn difference to me.
I am hoping for someone who is not completely ethically bankrupt, who is not owned by any corporate or private interest group, someone with boundless energy, intelligence, compassion, patience, unwavering good humor, and an ability to ride herd on this nation and it’s problems, in short, the polar opposite of the current criminals in residence and many of those seeking the position.
If someone who meets those minimum qualifications should enter the race please call me and I will do all I can to help them get the job.