Christian Right’s 2012 Meme: Atheist Dictatorship or Secular Theocracy

Look at the headline: this is increasingly the song sung by the proponents of theocracy in America. The first at least is a logical possibility: There are examples in history of atheist dictatorships – the Soviet Union and Communist China, for example (though these two are outnumbered somewhere on an order of magnitude by monotheistic – including Christian – theocracies).

But the second is an impossibility: Secularism is not a religion but the separation between government and religious institutions and theocracy is by definition government by divine guidance. If America must suffer a theocracy it will be a Christian theocracy, and a Christian theocracy led by the very seem people predicting the “evils” of atheistic and secular rule. The oldest game in the book, of course, is to accuse the other guy of doing what you’re planning to do yourself as Hitler did in Germany, using the Communists and Jews as his foils.

Here is televangelist James Robison, founder of Life Reach International, courtesy of Right Wing Watch, bemoaning the evils of secular theocracy:

We believe that our rights come from God: nature’s law; nature’s god. We really believe that. And by the way those of you who don’t believe it, I love you.  I love you to pieces. I’m trying to help you.  I’m trying to help you have a place where you can keep preaching your nonsense okay? Where you’ll be free enough to do it because in a crazy world that doesn’t believe in God you won’t have that freedom. But you’re simply wrong and we’re not going to give you the liberty and license to continually assault the word of God, to assault marriage, to assault family and to literally take your secular theocracy and cram it down our throats. We’ve had it. And people who believe in faith and family and freedom, we’re going to stand up and become a city on a hill that cannot and will not be hidden.

Yeah, feel that love. With love like that, who needs hate? Hear that? “We’re not going to give you the liberty…” Hmm mm. Secularism does give you the liberty. Religion? Not so much, as the past 2000 years have shown.

Unsurprisingly, as Right Wing Watch reports, Robison is co-author of Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late, a book about “how Christians can rise up and save America.” Or destroy it.

Here is the granddaddy of all televangelists, Pat Robertson, courtesy of Right Wing Watch, bemoaning the evils of an atheist dictatorship:

Interestingly enough the religious issue is there and it should be but think of the chorus of negative comments about rick Santorum who dared to bring faith into the arena. But it has been brought in by every other president we’ve ever had.  And certainly he quoted John Adams but you can quote Thomas Jefferson or whoever and they all acknowledge that our freedoms come from God. And we take God out of our society and we have lost our freedoms and that is what will happen in a secular society and next thing you know we’ll have as secular atheistic dictatorship and that we don’t want. That’s the way it’s shaping up and we’ll see how it plays out.

Robertson’s words have little to do with reality; no surprise there.  The God Jefferson spoke of was not Robertson’s God and for his trouble, Jefferson was called an “infidel” by the Evangelicals of the time. It’s convenient to overlook facts like this now.

Obviously, the United States is nowhere near being threatened by any “left-wing” dictatorship. The closest we have come to dictatorship was the Presidency of George W. Bush and that dictatorship would have taken the form of a Christian theocracy. We were very close. The threat was eal and it remains real. Each and every time somebody says the Religious Right is dead it comes back stronger than ever.

Look at Rick Santorum, who seems to think he is running for Pope of the United States rather than president. He says he does not intend to foist his beliefs on the rest of us but that is exactly what he is proposing nearly every time he opens his mouth. The threat of a Santorum presidency could not be more obvious.

Where Mitt Romney is concerned the kowtowing to the Religious Right is obviously more for show and they know that. As a Mormon, he will only ever be despised; Gingrich the serial adulterer also has very real problems in that department and Ron Paul carries with him too much libertarian (and anti-war) baggage to ever be embraced.

Ironically, Barack Obama is a Christian and very much a Christian-friendly president. He did virtually nothing upon taking office to roll back the Bush-era assault on the First Amendment. But he has two problems: he is black, and his theology smacks very much of the New, not the Old Testament. Claims that he is a radical leftist fall flat on their face: his policies are so moderate that he has even been identified as a moderate Republican by some analysts. And we have more accountability, more openness in government than at any time before 2001.

The possibility of an atheist or secular dictatorship of any type is virtually nil. Atheists are far from being a powerful demographic and contrary to fundamentalist fear-mongering don’t go in for forcing others to abide by their lack of belief, in contrast to the fundamentalists themselves. Secondly, secularism established this country through the U.S. Constitution, which should be seen as the highest development of the European Enlightenment. Secularism gave us modern democracy in place of theocracy.

But as with the tried and true “they’re coming for your guns” meme, fear mongering like this sells to the base.  And you can bet that the more Santorum shills theocracy the more we’re going to hear about the dangers of left-wing dictatorship to deflect attention from fundamentalism’s love-child, the man who is the only real threat to our democracy in 2012: Rick Santorum.

20 Replies to “Christian Right’s 2012 Meme: Atheist Dictatorship or Secular Theocracy”

  1. I think this article is certainly pertinent because of the fact that there is a difference between a president having a faith and a president who legislates reality( or attempts to).

    What the preachers above want is faith based government. They keep complaining that if we have an atheist government they wont be able to push their religion which is totally wrong. any government based on religion has to legislate morality in order to justify its existence. I equate living under a faith-based government as living under a Ron Paul based government. It’s called oppression.

    There has never been nor is there now a president who tries to do anything about doing away with religion. All of these people are free to practice their religion. But what these over domineering religious freaks want is for you to practice their religion. And it’s not religion that you go to every Sunday.

  2. “…We believe that our rights come from God: nature’s law; nature’s god. We really believe that. And by the way those of you who don’t believe it, I love you…”

    Oye Vey, is this a crock of cognitive dissonance or what?? This is scripted, folks. This guy IS NOT smart enough to let this just roll off his forked tongue; he’s an actor reading a teleprompter; duh, ya think?

    It really does take blind faith to listen and obey someone like this…
    or this…

    “…the religious issue is there and it should be but think of the chorus of negative comments about rick Santorum who dared to bring faith into the arena…”

    Did you see how he did that? “…the religious issue is there and it should be but think…” classic set up to change mind-control channels to dissonance; these guys do this over and over creating Pavlovian grooves in their listeners head. This is a script; no one can actually “babble” in this illogical progression without intent to deceive.

  3. Yup. this pretty much ties in with what Hraf has been saying all along. In their twisted little minds, being “forced” to co-exist in a secular society is a form of oppression. Sure, they don’t want secular society “crammed down” their throats. Only THEY are allowed to cram their weird beliefs down the throat of EVERYBODY else.

  4. “Secular theocracy” , like “organized anarchy”, is a chimeric bugaboo always invoked by those who wish to impose real tyranny.

  5. The picture of Robinson using the finger sign is astounding. My,my Mr. ROBINSON, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CHRISTIANITY?
    To me, this picture does not give the impression of a warm, forgiving Christian,It make me feel like I just crawled through some slime.

  6. had a headline story yesterday claiming most Americans agree with Rick Santorum, that Satan is real. Also that just a tiny % of Americans are atheists. Even if one agrees that Satan is real (and I don’t, except as the metaphor for true evil), that doesn’t follow that we agree with Rick Santorum on how the country, and especially women, should be shackled by his particular theology. Give me a break, MSNBC, with the misleading headlines. Most Americans probably do not agree with the mad theology of Rick Santorum.

  7. I don’t hate to say it, but it scares me the amount of people who actually believe in the devil. It has to tell me that because they have a God that allows such evil to exist, that he has no power over evil. The very premise of all this is deeply flawed. I would extend that out to saying that if you believe in a God in a devil then you pretty well have to believe in other people’s gods as well. At least believe in their existence if not their theology

  8. Yeah. Tell me how a belief in vampires or werewolves is any sillier than a belief in humanoid creatures ( with hooves and horns ) that live in other dimensions, and have the tendency to jump in people’s bodies?

  9. It is misleading because that % only applies to true atheists. If you include agnostics, the non-religious, and doubters, the number goes up significantly representing a very large minority group.

  10. Actually, it has been postulated that collective human beliefs can create thought-forms that take on a kind of life of their own, but once generated, they need continuing human belief to keep them alive. Hence, the “jealous” Yahweh, who would disappear if people abandoned belief, and the “Devil”, who would dry up and blow away if people quit being egocentric. Are they one and the same? I don’t know…

  11. I remember the rants about atheistic communists taking over and persecuting Christians back when I was a dominionist (30 plus years ago), and was terrified. Their preaching created a paranoia about government conspiracies and I was seeing communists behind every tree. I know that was deliberate (and yes, I’m saying that they deliberately make people mentally ill). Funny thing, but as we learn, THEY are the ones who are and were actually conspiring. I’ve also read things that went back into the early 60s or late 50s and the rant was the same. The things they claimed in the article I read (from that period) as being signs of an atheistic communist takeover were, as I see now, the progression of culture as people realized they were being led as sheep and being exploited for the 1% and NOT to their own benefit. It was the progression of freedom, NOT a plot to take over the country.

    I think that they’re actually trying to bring about the very thing they claim to fear – either an atheistic communist government, or a theocracy that looks the same but with them in control and spouting religion instead of communist party dogma. They keep pushing and pushing and it IS a human tendency to react in the opposite direction to what the human individual perceives people are trying to manipulate them. I suspect that in some sick way, they WANT the repression because it will “Give Glory to God” (through their “suffering”) or they want to completely win because that too would “Give Glory to God”. So in that sick way, they win in either case. (I hope I’m making sense, it’s kind of hard to translate something I’m “seeing” in my mind into words.)

    The problem is, I don’t think God wants people to “glorify” God, especially in that way.

    They need to be stripped of their “worldly” power and reduced to no more important or “better” than their neighbors – us. They need to embrace the freedom that I believe God wants all of us to have – including the freedom to believe or not believe. (They seem terrified of freedom and equate it with hedonism, although the two are not synonyms.) Their actions are counter to the Christianity I embrace… which is based on freedom of conscience, truth, kindness and empathy, and mercy.

  12. Especially when you consider the evolution of “Satan” in “Judeo-Christian” history. In the Jewish Bible in the beginning he’s not the snake in the Garden of Eden – it’s just a snake. The snake became Satan for later Christians. And in Job Satan is just a henchman for YHWH, doing his bidding. And everyone went to Sheol – there was no heaven for good people and hell for sinners – same destination no matter what. But they ignore all that.

  13. Well… one of the recent fads are zombies, and the reality is that they exist – they’re just not “walking dead” but drugged and have been enslaved as the worst form of punishment the culture could devise.

    It’s a fascinating study… the truth about zombies, especially that it was a form of punishment (stripped of even your basic humanity because you’re “officially dead” including your name and rights as a human being, your will drugged out of you, and forced to be a slave).

    The history of vampires is also fascinating… and how they evolved from an explanation for what people sometimes observed connected with corpses to today’s “walking undead”.

    Could it be the same thing for devils?

    I think there is far more to reality than people believe or understand, and many of these things are connected to attempts to explain things in ways that people understand.

  14. I agree. Folklore and myth have always sprung up from an attempt to explain things in the natural world that people didn’t understand. So yes, there is usually a basis in reality when it comes to most myths. However we’re SUPPOSED to know better now.

    We are centuries into the enlightenment and we still have people clinging to irrational supernatural explanations for things, rather than people( such as yourself ) that look for the true sources behind these myths.

  15. There is proof that Rick Santorum has a twin brother; I looked it up on the Youtube! They were separated at birth, because you know, one of them might run for President and the other might get jealous and kill the other one or show up at an embarrassing moment, sort of like Obama’s parents “plan”…I must say…

    And within this truth is the devil trying to “trick” Ricks twin into doing his bidding for a $50.00 gift certificate redeemable at any major department store…I looked it up and it’s all true.

    Here are two the link; one with the devil and one with a werewolf –just compare the smile, the style; if that ain’t Santorums’ twin, oh give me a break, I don’t know any better…

  16. Our worst nightmares and predictions are coming to pass before our eyes. The only hope is that more Americans are sane than not. The fact that this conversation is even happening in the mainstream portends bad things if these fanatics prevail. Scare enough fundamentalists, incite more hate and we’ll see Inquisition and Crusade. Dark Ages in the 21st century.

  17. Watching from the sidelines (I’m not an american and don’t live there), it’s astonishing that anyone could take Rick Santorum seriously. He’s so clearly either stupid beyond belief or entirely venal; possibly both. The idea that anyone could choose for him to run a paper route, never mind a nation, beggars belief.

  18. Not one and the same perhaps, as much as ontologically co-dependant; one cannot exist without the other.

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