Theocracy, Censorship and Authoritarianism

The Blog against Theocracy blogswarm roars onward.

Frank over at we are all giant nuclear fireball now party has some thoughts on Bill Donohue:

Donohue, if nothing else, is consistent, having once said, that bringing back the Inquisition “… is awfully tempting.”

“Give me their names. ”

These are chilling words that have echoed throughout history. It is the demand of agents of authoritarianism. Embedded within its use is the pernicious offer of “perhaps I’ll go easier on you if you give me someone more important for me to destroy.”

This is quite chilling. It is the language of authoritarianism coming from a self styled religious authority. Frank gets to the heart of the matter:

Sadly, Donohue has more and more friends in the Vatican who think like him; men who will stifle anything that threatens their narrow interpretation of faith. The truth is that their Catholicism lacks confidence. They fear new ideas and different forms of expression. And because of its own self-constricting nature, their Catholicism demands the need to control the freedom of thought that exists within the surrounding secular society. What the Catholic League and its ultra-orthodox Pharisees offer is not spiritual hope, but a faith of anxiety.

When it comes down to it, calling for censorship is an expression of essential weakness. I cannot even begin to imagine the anger the people Donohue pretends to represent must feel when he goes on one of his rampages.

His whole approach brings to mind of the attacks on Amanda of Pandagon and Shakespeare’s Sister. The vitriol that poured out in response to Donohues attacks was telling. Religious authorities named their targets, the media was uncritical in their reporting, and two voices were punished for nothing more than having “objectionable” opinions. It brings the mind the idea of punishing people religiously for political positions. Remember when Catholic leaders threatened to deny Presidential candidate John Kerry communion for his position on a women’s right to choose?

It would be wise of us to remember that these attacks come from weakness, and that when bullies like Donohue attempt to tear down individuals of principle and opinion, the proper response is to stand up and hit back.

Bullies and intellectual cowards cannot withstand the reasoned criticism of the brave and the logical.

Eventually, even their traditional supporters will find a new path to walk.

In the end, theocracy is just another cover for authoritarianism. It is the refuge of the violent and the cowardly, and it will crumble under the light of reason and the power of democracy.

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