Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Who Has the Right?

For years I have wrestled with the questions of what justification BushCo and the religious right could possibly have for its assault on the rights of the American people and why it is that so many people seem to willing to follow them in their suicidal quest. Today I think I have an answer to the puzzle.

In reading a book by Chris Hedges titled "American Fascists: the Christian Right and the War on America", I came across a quote from another book written by Rousas John Rushdoony titled "The Institutes of Biblical Law". Published, surprise surprise, in Dallas, Texas in 1973. Rushdoony is the leading prophet of a movement known as dominionism which teaches that American Christians are charged by God with the responsibility of making America a Christian state. So when you see the letters to the editor or hear someone speaking about the need for America to recognize its Christian heritage and declare itself a Christian state, think about this quote from Rushdoony:

"If men have unrestricted free speech and free press, then there is no freedom for truth, in that no standard is permitted whereby the promulgation or publication of a lie can be judged and punished."

The first phrase dismisses the constitution's bill of rights which assigns the right of free speech and free press to each and every American citizen. The second phrase, though, is even more chilling for its implication that there must be a standard by which the powers that be can identify and PUNISH what it perceives to be a lie. What Rushdoony is trying to establish is a "Christian" government with the power to identify citizens whom that government identifies as "liars" (read heretics) and PUNISH them for their disbelief.

Rushdoony's government would be based on the ten commandments and not on the constitution of the United States.

George W. Bush loudly proclaims his Christianity. We all know W to be a man of small thoughts, narrow beliefs and huge ego. Accepting the notion that he is a follower of Rushdoony is not a difficult stretch. If that is the case then, I ask you, why should W be disturbed by the thought of eliminating the bill of rights when his goal is to be the prophet who planted the seeds so that some future "messiah" could supplant it with the higher words of the ten commandments? And how else, other than misguided religious fervor, could he continue to contend that his actions are the moral high ground?

Following the lead of good old friend who has for years kept his identity hidden within his home deep in the Ozark woods, I have long jokingly referred to the religious right as the American Taliban. Now I am seeing that Taliban stick its ugly head up in Washington, D. C. and am firmly convinced that there is a growing population of Americans who swallow the notion that what's wrong with this country is that it has drifted from the moral values embodied in the ten commandments. That's no joke.

Does it not follow as the night the day that such people would ultimately be willing to follow leaders who espouse the notion that this "wrong" is engendered by the fact that we follow the constitution and the bill of rights when we should be using the ten commandments as the basis for all law? (Back to the jokes: Here's an eerie indication of how deep this stuff goes. Try, as I have done in this article, typing the words "ten commandments" in your MS Word program. It will tell you that these words should be capitalized!! Not true, though, of the words constitution or bill of rights! Doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo)

Of course another way that the dominionists argue their case is by insisting that our founding fathers were Christians, too, and so intended America to be a Christian nation. They don't bother to discuss why the founding fathers chose to establish a constitution and a bill of rights as the basis for law instead of just adopting the ten commandments as these "Christians" insist should have been and should now be done.

I do not know that W espouses the dominionist philosophy, nor whether he thinks, like our local chief fascist, Vince Jericho, that the Bible really revolves around the book of Revelations rather than the New Testament, but observing his reckless rushes into war and his disregard for the freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights, I think I have every right to consider the possibility.

What I do believe is that knowing about the goals of the "Christian" right forces each of us who understand this to stand up and speak out whenever confronted by the demands that America should be recognized as a Christian nation. We cannot afford to allow this kind of thinking to grow under the tacitly approving courtesy of silent observation. In fact, we should not only be speaking out, we should be SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS that we will not accept a religious interpretation of right and wrong; That we can tell right from wrong intuitively and that dictating what others should believe is wrong; That we will not accept the ten commandments or any other religious basis for law in this country; That we will not accept Taliban rule in America.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls

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