Throughout history human beings have devised fairy tales to pass on traditions and superstitions to inform or frighten children and adults alike into following a certain path. It is hardly imaginable that in the 21st Century, an adult would fall for instructions based on a fairy tale, or what an imaginary being uttered as secret knowledge from religious dogma. In America, a segment of the population is making a power play to enforce an ideology with no basis in fact, and as fantastic as it sounds, Republicans are purveyors of superstition and ideology that will bring about the destruction of this country as a representative democracy, and usher in an era of corporatist theocracy.
Republicans have been running on an anti-government theological agenda for the past three years, and their drive to impose biblical dogmata as the rule of law is only matched by their intention to give government control to a small group of wealthy industrialists. Their ideological bent has as its basis a failed economic theory, and they have enlisted religious fanatics to forward their dangerous agenda by instilling fear that Democrats are waging a war on religious freedom. Of course, nothing Republicans preach has any basis in fact, but by citing the bible and tradition, they are garnering support for their agenda.
There are myriad examples of legislation based on the Christian bible, but of note is the current drive to restrict women’s access to contraception and control of their reproductive health. Republicans have also sought to impose the bible’s ban on homosexuality by furthering discriminatory laws that have been ruled unconstitutional, and yet they forge ahead without pause to financially punish gays over their choice of life partners. The Republican corporatism and anti-government agenda has no legitimate connection with religious fanaticism, but Republicans have been successful using the religious right to push their anti-government agenda through fear-mongering and threats that President Obama and Democrats are “out to get them.”
In Louisiana, for example, a group of religious extremists took out an ad in a newspaper that strongly suggested President Obama and Democrats were conspiring to execute Christians. The ad copy displayed a 1920’s photograph of a Catholic priest standing before a firing squad with the caption, “AMERICA is under siege by the same evil (Obama and Democrats) as history shows over and over…We must learn from it or we are doomed to repeat it. We must be triumphant over terror.” The translation is that voting for Republicans is a vote for Christianity’s salvation. It is a recurring theme among evangelical extremists that Democrats, and particularly President Obama, are waging all-out war against Christians and it has given rise to a subculture preparing for a religious war to take control of the government and install a theocracy.
In Kansas, governor Sam Brownback complained the contraceptive coverage rule for employers violated religion’s basic tenets against birth control, and he told a CSPAN call-in show that if women who work for religious institutions want contraception coverage, they can “go work somewhere else.” Brownback claimed denying contraception coverage did not violate a woman’s rights, but it preserved the rights of religious employers who oppose birth control and left women with little choice but to follow church teachings or lose their jobs. Whether Republicans really care about protecting religious freedom or not is impossible to know, but their religious pandering has detrimental effects for women and gay’s ability to earn a living. It is likely that the GOP is using religion as a means of convincing superstitious religious fanatics to vote against their own best interests, and informs their willingness to use any means necessary to push their corporatist anti-government agenda on Americans.
It is astounding that Republicans are campaigning on an anti-government agenda and getting support from religious extremists who will suffer as much as any American as the GOP dismantles social programs and give more entitlements to the rich. The concept of austerity economics is not about deficit reduction or debt because the mammoth tax cuts for the wealthy will add to the nation’s debt problems. However, by using fear of Democrats destroying religious freedom and impending doom and gloom of deficit panic, Republicans have rallied support for their ideological bent that America’s salvation lies in austerity for social programs and extravagance for the wealthy at the taxpayer’s expense. Why else would working-poor religious fanatics who use Medicare, food stamps, and housing assistance support Republicans who promise to eliminate those social safety nets?
America is at a tipping point that will determine the future of how this country is governed, and it is obvious that Republicans will tolerate a theocracy if corporations are allowed to control the wealth in America. The symbiotic relationship between Republican’s oligarchic ideology and religious fundamentalism is a dangerous combination that is gaining momentum with each piece of Republican legislation and unrestrained power they are giving a few wealthy industrialists.
Most Christians, even fundamentalist freaks, understand Jesus’ message that uninhibited wealth and hate for their neighbor is the quickest path to the bible’s proverbial Hell, and yet they support Republican ideology that it is patriotic to give more wealth to the rich and deny basic civil rights to women, minorities, and gays. However, their fear that President Obama and Democrats will rescind their right to religious freedom has driven them to vote against their own best interests and with every Republican victory, America slides closer to a government controlled by oligarchs and theocrats. Republicans will use any means to turn over the government to the wealthy and their corporations, and if it means replacing the Constitution with the bible, then as John Boehner said, “so be it.”
The past three years should be a wake-up call to all Americans that the biggest threat to their freedom, religious or otherwise, is unrestrained power in the hands of a few wealthy industrialists. There may be some Republican legislators who truly believe the Christian bible should replace the Constitution, but what is universal among Republicans is that government, and government by the people, is patently wrong and they will tolerate a theocracy if it allows them to hand real power and real wealth to a few rich families and their corporations. It is indeed tragic that after 236 successful years, anti-government Republicans and their religious supporters will accomplish what no foreign enemy ever could; destroy America as we know it.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.