Education Omits: Say No to Theocracy

Over the last year, it's become clear to me that religion has morphed into something dangerous to American democracy. I have a bias against gun-totin' religious fanatics of any stripe.That's not to say I don't believe in "the right to bear arms," I just think it is hypocritical and deluded to do so while mentioning Christ, Jesus, or God in the same breath. 

When I pick up a man-made tool, then use it to slay another, I don't want to be less than honest and say, "God says this is OK." It's not OK. For believers, to kill and murder others is a sin. To say it isn't is to lie to yourself. But to slay your fellow man, even as a nonbeliever, is wrong, too. 

So, at the start of this blog entry, this is a hypocrisy that one cannot abide. But human beings swim in hypocrisy. We perceive the world, and our perceptions are flawed. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind:
Who is pure in heart? Only those who have surrendered their hearts completely to Jesus that he may reign in them alone. Only those whose hearts are undefiled by their own evil--and by their own virtues too. 
The pure in heart have a child-like simplicity like Adam before the fall, innocent alike of good and evil: their hearts are not ruled by their conscience, but by the will of Jesus.

But let's not confuse God's reign in our hearts with believer's laws in society. In secular society, there should be no rules made by believers. Believers are corrupt, and no absence of scandal supports this. As Tony Campolo put it (paraphrase from memory), "In a church, like a hospital, the sick are found." Don't expect them to be pure in heart.

A MisDirection

It has always been there but my own beliefs and stories I absorbed growing up insulated me from the negative effects...made me turn a blind eye, so to speak. It was only until the race is nigh done that I stopped to look at the bystanders, the road upon which I ran, and what compelled me to run, and ask, "Is this true?" 

I suppose that my "Aha!" moment came with the reading of Clint Smith's How the Word Is Passed, Lies My Teacher Taught Me, and other books that show American history to be a lie as taught in schools. That Americans should make reparations, reconcile with a violent, brutal history of oppression against non-whites and the other simply for profit.

That is a terrifying concept, isn't it? 

Why can't religion and politics stay separate? It's clear from history (if one actually can find it and read it, not the fictional accounts in K-16 textbooks) that religion has been used (and continues today) to subjugate the masses. 

As a Catholic reading about Spanish conquest of the Indigenous Peoples in Americas, I am horrified and disgusted and repudiate/reject those actions. I'm inclined to lean towards the idea that an alternative narrative is needed for humanity going that does not involve the use of supernatural beings to justify acts of violence, subjugation, and discrimination against human beings due to their differences (e.g. skin color, gender). 

Another question that comes to mind is, "Why, when so many have it so good, can't we focus on ensuring those benefits are available to all? Are resources still so scarce that small groups of people must impose their will on others?"
Christianity is in constant danger of Christofascism... "[w]e fear christofascism, which we see as the political direction of all attempts to place Christ at the center of social life and history" and that "[m]uch of the churches' teaching about Christ has turned into something that is dictatorial in its heart and is preparing society for an American fascism".[4][5]

Christofascism "disposed or allowed Christians, to impose themselves not only upon other religions but other cultures, and political parties which do not march under the banner of the final, normative, victorious Christ. Source: Wikipedia, Christian Fascism

From Fanaticism to Fascism

Is it any wonder that people have taken the next step from fanaticism to fascism? And that they have conspired to control government, from January 6th to the Supreme Court? Hey, I'm no expert on these subjects, but it's increasingly obvious to me that some Americans are moving towards a future that disregards the Constitution, becoming revisionist historians...making fantasy, reality.

Read those quotes and you may think, "Oh, those founding fathers never said those things about religion." But the truth is, they did. I can honestly say that I NEVER saw those quotes from Tom Paine, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, or John Adams in a school history book. And that's a problem. 

That's why it's a surprise to see remarks like those below made by Congress person:
“The church is supposed to direct the government,” Boebert said, according to the Hill. “The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our founding fathers intended it.”

“I’m tired of this separation of church and state junkthat’s not in the constitution. It was in a stinking letter and it means nothing like they say it does,” Boebert also remarked, reportedly prompting applause. Source: The Guardian
While I realize some are protective of their beliefs, religion (hey, I went to Catholic school from K-12 and studied religion), I am reminded of Gamaliel's words when asked about Jesus:
Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.
In truth, what I am struck by is the fact that in this case, religious fanatics like Boebert and other Christian Nationalists that supported January 6th insurrection, are fighting as if God didn't exist. 

As if God lacked the power to make things right, if He was so inclined to do so. Their words and actions suggest that they do NOT believe in God or Jesus the Christ who is all powerful, all knowing. 

Instead, that they must act on His behalf as if he were some poor deity, dependent on the handouts of believers armed with AR-15s and self-righteousness.

It's enough to make any person say, "I reject you and all your works."
Legislative Oath of Office
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Judicial Branch: Supreme Court Justices
"I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as [TITLE] under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.'' 
Source: Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government

The Establishment Clause

In The Guardian article cited above, the following appears to repudiate, as all Americans must, the words of Boebert and her apostles. Americans must hold the Constitution a more precious text, a Covenant with each other if America is to succeed. And those who cannot put it above their own flawed perceptions of the belief (whatever those may be), must be shown the error of their ways or exit right.

The Constitution is a sacred trust. Boebert's words proclaim her a traitor to the oath of office.
Boebert was alluding to an 1802 letter that Thomas Jefferson – who was president at the time – sent to a church organization. In this correspondence, Jefferson said that the American public had constructed “a wall of separation between Church and State”, the Hill said.
Despite Boebert’s remarks about the letter, the first 10 US constitutional amendments – called the Bill of Rights, as they sought to confirm the “fundamental rights” of US citizens – were ratified on 15 December 1791. That means they predate the letter.

The first amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

This reference to religion is the “Establishment Clause”. The Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute explained that this clause “prohibits the government from making any law ‘respecting an establishment of religion’”.

“This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another,” the Institute continued. “It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.”
I'm just an old educator with a blog that no one reads. My father fought in the Korean Conflict, and retired from the Army with a Bronze Star with "V" for valor. In good conscience, I cannot support these heresies, whether as an American or a person who has spent so much time studying under the tutelage of Catholic schools, discussing with non-denominational Christians, and watching with horror how "Christian evangelicals, or Christian Nationalists" are working to bring about a theocracy in America, so that they may hasten the Second Coming of Christ.

It really is enough to make you want to eschew childhood fantasies that you were brainwashed with and go become a humanist, free from the fascist fanaticism of those who claim to believe in a gun-totin' Christ.

The lamb has become a wolf. It reminds me of a quote Thomas Merton introduced me to:
“As long as we remain sheep, we over­come. Even though we may be surrounded by a thousand wolves, we overcome and are victorious. But as soon as we are wolves, we are beaten.”
I have faith that science, facts, critical thinking will triumph over ignorance, fanaticism, and fascism. If not...well...

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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