Blog Against Theocracy 2013

Its been a long time dear readers. One of my earliest posts took part in the 2007 blog against theocracy. When I saw there was no organized blog against theocracy this year, I felt called to write. There is a great need to address this topic.

This past week has seen a historic awakening – a cultural awareness of the validity and importance of recognizing gay rights. It is a big moment, but underneath it an even bigger moment waits to be discovered: Religious belief alone is not a valid source of law. If your belief in the unity of all beings or the importance of love for they neighbor drives you to do good work – that is a beautiful blessing. But when your beliefs force those who do not share them to act as if they do: you cross a line. We see this play out in the absurd arguments against gay marriage. We see it in the obsessive drive to control and repress female sexuality. Increasingly though, we see it burrowing into harder to reach places. As America becomes less religious, as America pushes back on church incursions into state, we are going to see religious influence look for other ways to retain (and expand) power.

That is at play in this effort to push Bibles into public schools.

The foundations of knowledge of the ancient world—which informs the understanding of the modern world—are biblical in origin.

A statement like that ignores the prolific writings of ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian sources. It ignores the musings and discoveries of the Islamic Golden Age. The thoughts of Chinese writers are also missing. It also ignores the more interesting contributions of Christian thinkers like St Augustine and St Anselm. I speak from experience when I say you can understand their wonderful and engaging philosophical musings without having read the bible.

If you really want to expose the underbelly of the effort to bring bibles into the classroom, ask if they think students should study the koran. After all, the koran is foundational to much of modern society (just not in the US). Better yet, see if Roma Downy and Mark Burnett would support including critical views of the bible. Is it to be read as is, without the criticism found in English or History classes? Or do they imagine students free to dissect the many logical errors and contradictions found within? More than likely not, since that would defeat the purpose of their effort, similar in spirit and aim to efforts to install the ten commandments at courthouses.

The highest promise of religious thought is to inspire acts of great compassion and vision. When it is instead used as an aggressive evangelical power grab, its value is demeaned and lessened. The strongest and most vocal ally in the fight against theocracy should always be the religious believer. For religion is worth far more than its current use – as a tool for social control.

Jesus Christ the Dread Champion

Sarah Palin has been linked to Joel’s Army, an apocalyptic cult preparing to use violence to force Christianity on unbelievers.  The details are over at Orcinus, I’m just going to give you the link.  This is something to be read in its entirety.  Trust me, once you start reading, you won’t stop until you’ve finished.

The title of this blog post comes from Todd Bentley as quoted in this Southern Poverty Law Center report:

“An end-time army has one common purpose — to aggressively take ground for the kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ, the Dread Champion,” Bentley declares on the website for his ministry school in British Columbia, Canada.

Theocracy by force.  Say those words out loud and contemplate what they mean for you and your family (emphasis mine):

Placing family in higher esteem than the Lord is dangerous to be sure. It’s a condition of the heart that, for the most part may go unnoticed. Not only is it the esteeming of people above the Lord, in the season of great falling away and betrayal, it will cause one to make fatally flawed decisions. As much as we dearly love and fervently pray for those around us, we must ensure that Jesus is truly our Savior AND Lord. That he is first in our life and that we will remain faithful; regardless of the consequences in the physical realm.

This is the kind of logic that leads directly to bloodshed.  Its the same logic behind children betraying their parents to fascists, this idea that loyalty to some outside authority means more than familial ties.

There are faithful who believe the end times are coming very soon.  And they are lashing out at the most unlikely scapegoats:

The battle goes far beyond the old issues such as abortion. Far and away, the issue of the hour is homosexuality, same sex marriage and the elimination of differences between sexes. Old terms such as “mom” and “dad” are being threatened with extinction. For those intent on destroying the old concept of the family; there can be no distinction between mom and dad, for there are either two moms or two dads.

The paranoia is in some cases palpable:

The enemy is determined to make those of us who believe the Bible is the only rule for faith and practice to look like fools or mentally challenged freaks not worthy of believing. The enemy hates those who faithfully and boldly stand on God’s Word. Those who do, are targeted and marked for attack. Assassin squads are daily dispatched from hell to try and trip up those who are marked. Every possible effort is made by the enemy’s minions to deceive, trick or physically injure those on his “hit list”.

Even getting to the point where Sarah Palin is a candidate for the Vice Presidency is insane.  A politician linked to a group bent on violent conversion and religious war, who says god tells her what to do, is viscerally alarming.

Its no surprise Palin’s candidacy is pushing moderates and conservatives alike to the left.

One Issue Voters and Weak Candidates

I was thinking about politicians who seem to set their stance based on the preferences of a few bigots, and started wondering how many of these “desirable” voters are actually out there.  I’m talking about voters who care so much about gay marriage they will disregard every other issue out there to ensure it is never legal.  Voters who find homophobia infinitely more compelling than national security, health care, the economy, or education.  How many of those jackasses are out there, and why do any candidates shift and tailor their positions to cater to them?

Is Marriage Sacred?

One of the arguments against gay marriage is that it threatens the sanctity of marriage.  Is marriage a sacred or a legal bond?

If it is a sacred bond, then government cannot play a role in its regulation without violating the separation of church and state.

If government regulated marriage is simply a legal state between individuals, sanctity doesn’t enter into the discussion at all.

So when an anti-gay rights proponent starts talking about protecting the sanctity of marriage, they are attempting to blur the distinction between church and state.  Don’t let them.