Thursday, April 22, 2010

On the Christian Right’s taking back of their America (that never existed)

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Sarah Palin wrapped in a US flag and holding a cross
This is so perfect for this post, it almost scares the crap out of me
[click for full size | source: MotiFake]

Ray Garton over at God is for Suckers! has published what has to be one of the best write-ups on the nature of the United States of America, and what the growing Christian-Right party would want to see happen to the great country. I felt it merits its own post.

On Friday, April 16, Sarah Palin spoke at the Women of Joy Conference in Louisville, Kentucky to a group of women who, like Palin, believe in a religion based on human sacrifice that regularly engages in symbolic cannibalism. During her speech, Palin said, “Lest anyone try to convince you that God should be separated from the state, our founding fathers, they were believers. And George Washington, he saw faith in God as basic to life.”

As tempting as it may be, I will not discuss Palin’s abysmal syntax because that would be like complaining because a duck quacks instead of singing arias. Nor will I go into a lengthy explanation of why these remarks are enough to make little jets of blood shoot out of the eyesockets of any informed American familiar with the Constitution of the United States. There is an abundance of information readily available that proves Palin to be flat wrong. Rather than dissect the mind-blowing inaccuracy of Palin’s statements, I want to address the attitude on display here. It is an attitude Palin shares with her admirers.

According to these people, America is a nation of the Christians, by the Christians and for the Christians. It was founded by the Jesus-loving faithful to be populated by Jesus-loving faithful and its laws and Constitution were based on the bible. Some seem to believe that the Constitution was simply copied out of the bible word for word. These people want prayer to be mandatory in public schools and civic functions – not just any prayer, but prayer to their specific god, the victim of their beloved gory human sacrifice (as depicted in Mel Gibson’s popular 2004 homoerotic BDSM porn film), their lord and savior Jesus Christ. This reveals not only their unfamiliarity with the Constitution and the intent of the founding fathers, but also their unfamiliarity with the bible, which claims Jesus Christ himself told his followers not to pray in public, but to go to their closets where they wouldn’t be seen or heard and wouldn’t make arrogant spectacles of themselves (Matthew 6:5 – 8). Of course, it’s much easier for one to believe the bible is the infallible revealed word of god if one doesn’t know what’s in it, just as it’s much easier to believe the Constitution says whatever you want it to say if you simply choose to ignore what it really says.

These same people are fond of saying, “America – love it or leave it!” For decades now, this slogan has been emblazoned on bumper stickers and T-shirts and has been shouted at anyone who does not agree with those who shout it. The shouters believe that anyone who has not pitched a tent in their particular political camp hates America and takes undue advantage of its freedoms. You disagree with the government when a Jesus-loving, flesh-eating, blood-drinking Christian Republican is in office? Then you hate America and should leave. You agree with the government when a godless, Marxist, America-hating Democrat is in office? Then you hate America and should leave. You don’t support any and all wars in which America participates? Then you hate America and should leave. You don’t go to church? Then you hate America and should leave. You don’t believe in god? Well, in that case, these people will pack your bags for you and, at their own expense, put you on the next bus to godless Europe.

I find this baffling. Most of the people this group identifies as unpatriotic haters of America are simply trying to go about their business in a country that they, in reality, appreciate and love a great deal, a country which they feel not only free but duty-bound to criticize when they disagree with its actions or upkeep. America is, after all, a country where dissent is not only allowed but needed. It is a free society in which you don’t have to agree with anything anyone says, but you have to agree that they have just as much right to say it as you have to say whatever’s on your mind. In fact, America was created by dissenters! Of course, it helps if both sides of the disagreement are inhabiting the same reality. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan so eloquently put it, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” But the “love it or leave it” crowd seems to think that anyone who disagrees with or doesn’t like their America should get the hell out of it.

There’s just one problem. Their America doesn’t exist and never has.

Garton then spends the next 2/3 of the post carefully and brilliantly explaining just how and why their confused version of a Christian-Right theocratic America has never existed and never can – not as long as it retains its fundamental elements that allow it to be recognizable as the US of A, primarily the US Constitution. Elements that the Christian Right would apparently like little more than tearing down in their futile quest to “take back” a country that has never existed, from a version of reality that exists only in their minds.

Be sure to read it all. I think he has their many problems and shortcomings, and particularly, the cause(s) for their recent radicalization (think sudden upswing in fundies, teabaggers, etc.), nailed perfectly.