I Want a Theocratic Nation!

Looking for the perfect society? Do you think a theocracy, where religion is the law of the land and where God rules over all His peaceful people, is the Utopia we’re all looking for? Can’t wait for the Bible to be all we need to reduce crime, eliminate gangs, and bring prosperity to all? Think again. A theocratic society is one of the most destructive societies known to man. Time and again, theocracies have proven to us—up to present day—that they are not only not peaceful utopian societies, but rather the antithesis of all that is ethical or moral or just in a society. And just for the record, the US is NOT a Christian nation. That implies a theocracy. It implies the establishment of a state religion. There is no state religion in the US, thus we are not a theocracy. We are a secular country.

Historical Background

Let’s look briefly at several time periods where theocracies ruled. Without going into detail, I’ll cite some broad events of European history. Christians generally sweep under the rug that the Crusades destroyed an entire democratic society in southern France in the Middle Ages—murdering some 20,000 people (men, women and children) in their fervor. They seem to have amnesia about why Ireland is in chaos. Oh, here's why: the strained notion of theocracy being the leader of men, instead of men’s brains is the cause. The Balkans has been a tinderbox for centuries—starting with the Serbs and the Turks—and did anyone mention that it's an Eastern Orthodox vs. Muslim problem? The widespread death and destruction in East Timor was as much about about the Muslim majority vs. a Roman Catholics minority as it was about elections for independence. Israel heads off all out nuclear war by keeping the religious right wing of its population from gaining control, then turning that power against the Islamic nations that surround it. And, especially, Christians turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the hundreds of years of Perfect Christian Rule where the Spanish Inquisition caused tens of thousands to die over the simple notion that they might want to choose their own god—but more often than not it was for no real reason at all. John Calvin attempted to make Geneva a perfect Christian city. What ended up happening was what perfect Christianity does...suppress the truth and suppress all that is good and decent. And Michael Servitus was burned at the stake for speaking the truth. What about New England around 400 years ago? Well, Quakers were hanged and burned when a perfect Christian society was established. When Spain attempted the same, Jews were killed, burned and made to leave that country. Jews have been purged in country after country for centuries by 'god fearing Christians'.

Everywhere you look in history, you find that theocracies place superstitious beliefs superior to natural law or to laws that man has worked out in concert.

It's no fair saying that these problems are caused by a few people who weren't following the intent of Christianity. Hey people...that is the intent of Christianity—history is replete with the examples. You can't blame a few people who follow that religion and say they're the bad apples. The religion itself is the apple tree. The bad apples fall from the bad tree. With a theocracy in place, the end result is destruction.

A fundamentalist Christian-based theocracy would inevitably lead to it’s own collapse, but not before bringing down a lot of people, institutions and resources along with it. History is my witness! In fact, if Christian “values” were put into place today in the US, this what you can expect:

Theocracy=Totalitarianism=Violence

When you look very closely you find that a rise in religious fervor parallels a rise in violence. Let’s take modern day examples now. "Reverend" Phelps runs from state to state with his hate-filled family and launches tirade after tirade against gays—even dead ones at their funerals. Women’s right to choose is targeted by murderers claiming to be Christian messengers. Legislators claiming to be born-again Christian stand on the steps of their state capitols and tell us with a straight face that gun control is not necessary, but rather a deeper religious (Christian, of course) conviction is the real answer. I ask you, why do youngsters go on shooting rampages in their schools in the most Christian of rural areas? The more people you have attending church, the more crime there is (the state of LA has more church-goers than any other state in the US—yet twice the national murder rate). The World Church of the Creator supposedly has followers all over the US who “know in their hearts” that violence is the only way to deal with their inadequacies. So, Jews, gays, and other minorities are violently murdered in a Christian manner. Yes, they are a fringe group, but they are Christian aren't they? They use the Bible as their weapon and not a single Christian denomination has attempted to silence them. Wake up people: violence is fostered by and follows religion, and, in the US, by Christian ideals. It always has—and continues to this day. Again, it's not fair to say that these are the views of splinter groups...they're all Christians!

Swaying weak-minded people with passionate oratory is the hallmark of those such as Jerry Farwell, Pat Robinson, James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Ralph Reed, and others of the evangelical ilk. Indeed, their perfect America would be one where the “bully pulpit” would be manned by one of them—perhaps even a Christian Junta.

Here are just a few of the thousands of quotes from Ralph Reed when he was Exec Dir. of the Christian Coalition:

He already rewrote history by claiming that the country would once AGAIN be governed by Christians--when it was never run by Christians in the first place. And I could quote a lot more people, but I've made my point.

They would have the only reference book necessary to them, they would be able to espouse the 'One True Truth' that’s required and they would have all the Christians looking up at them waiting for the delivery of God’s perfect word. I can see it this way since that's the way Christians take in their 'word' now. They look up to their religious leaders to tell them what's so. After all, they're just worms. How could they be expected to actually read their Bible for themselves when there are clearly others around who have and who know how to manipulate it for their own insidious means. Hmmm, I smell totalitarianism in the works. I think I can name a few of those failed totalitarian experiments: Khomeni, Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and more recently, the Bosnian Serb death camp leader named Radovan Karadzic. (Slobodan Milosovic could be included in this group since his argument was as much religious as it was ethnic, ie, Eastern Orthodox v. Muslim). Each of these political leaders uses or used their religion to wield power and control. In fact, Hitler was a Catholic, was never ex-communicated from the Catholic church and used his Christian upbringing (along with then-existing, Lutheran-induced hatred) to rend Europe apart. (Oh, and how about that Pope Pius, "Hitler's Pope"?)

Theocracy and Government

Moving over to the Muslim countries, in Tehran, Iran in 1999, the coexistence of a theocratic state with a democracy showed what happens when the two ideals clash: demonstrations in the streets, tear gas, shots fired, people killed, people hauled away to jail, newspapers closed. Yes, those demonstrations could have been just like dozens in any country that have happened over the last 30 years. But those demonstrations had special meaning. They were started by educated people realizing what's been taken away from them by clerics. What would you think if your leaders said to you, “Liberties will only be allowed within the framework of the supreme clerical rule established in Iran after the [1979] revolution (CNN, July 13,1999). Hardly a sympathetic statement to an educated ear.

Iran is your modern example that theocracies and democracies can’t coexist, are fundamentally at odds with each other, and do not succeed.

Moving over to Africa you find two countries, Christian ones, that have taken Christianity a step backward. Those two countries are Kenya and Uganda. In September 1999, the President of Kenya (Daniel arap Moi) stated, "It is not right that a man should go with another man or a woman with another woman. It is against African tradition and Biblical teachings." Huh? Well, what you have is another theocratic president espousing incomplete and entirely inaccurate Bible teachings. The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, stated one day earlier that gays were guilty of abominable acts. I assume that means those who have never had sex with their own gender as well. He went further tho and ordered his Criminal Investigations Department to look for gays, lock them up and charge them with this religious felony. He is quoted as saying, "Even the Holy Bible spells it out clearly that God created Adam and Eve as wife and husband, but not men to marry fellow men." How this fits same-sex relationships is not clear since the right to marry the same gender is non-existent in all African countries. What we have is government mixed with religion. What you end up with is Christian intolerance, Christian non-ethics and Christian immorality.

In the US, the Republican political party would do well to take these examples of history and current events into account as they address those in our nation who are listening. You can’t have a democracy and expect to insert or replace it with one’s personal mythology or superstition (read: religion, and in this case Christianity). It won't work. If it works for you then you use it at home. I know all about your mythology, buddies, and it's fraudulent.

The fact that the US Republican party aligns itself with a religious faction is a sign that they have nothing solid with which to base its politics. In the US a political party by its very definition is designed to minister to the secular and practical needs of a people. It is not designed to affiliate itself with or espouse a religious belief system. It is NOT designed to determine what morals you or I will follow. Gosh, I think the Constitution makes that VERY clear. But, despite this, the US Republican party has decided to align itself with right wing Christian conservative religious beliefs. These beliefs are headed by a small group of conservatives who believe in what’s commonly called “post-millennial Christianity”. Simply put, they can’t wait for the “second coming” to “make things right”, so they’ll just do it themselves (it’s not surprising that they’re tired of waiting after two whole millennia). They’ve rewritten history to produce a brand new history of the making of the US. They believe (and the watchword is 'believe') with mass zealousness that the US was founded as a Christian nation.

Anyone who has studied the history of the founding of the US is well aware that the US was nowhere near being a Christian nation at the time of its founding. The region of North America that was to become the US was colonized fully 150 years before the US became a nation. The original people who arrived were so religiously fanatic that they were kicked out of their country. They were the religious people, not the founders of the US, who were well aware of the tyranny of so-called God-sanctioned governments. In fact, polls at the time of the founding of the US showed that less than 10% of the population of the entire 13 colonies called themselves Christian at that time. I'm not making this up. You can see this for yourself in any large atlas found in any library. Look for the pages on historical geographical boundaries and the population distribution of the time. That's how I found it myself—by accident—since it's certainly not something that a religionist will tell you. You’ll find that along with other interesting statistical information about the early days of the new republic..

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen and Ben Franklin are on record as not being Christians.

Hey, you, Christian religionist, did you forget that those people were the founders of our country? Christians conveniently forget all of this. Most likely, tho, they don’t know it.

Some Christian orators, tho, speak for hours about the Christian origin of this nation as if they were there taking notes while the founders talked. Unfortunately, they are incorrect. Yes, there is plenty of religious activity that accompanies governmental activity. But it's because of the fact that certain members of government were and are members of a church or other religious institution. In addition, during the first days of the republic, legislators lived very far from their homes. In some cases it took weeks to get home. Quite a few amenities of home could be found in Philly and DC at the time...including church services in government halls.

It's when modern legislators push a specific brand of Christianity—fundamental proselytizing Christianity—as absolute truth and expect us to follow them like lost people that's the problem.

By regurgitating (ie, vomiting) the Christian fundamentalist party line, our Republican party has forgotten a very important point about the creation of the US. Our Constitution was written in a time when not a single country had ever been created out of an ideal. All countries at that time were founded because of historical, ethnic or religious reasons. Ours was created because of a set of ideals that a group of men decided on. They didn’t look to Jehovah to write anything on a tablet or on a wall, nor did they create our Constitution out of divine revelation. They founded our country based on man-made ideals in the Age of Enlightenment. There is no reference to Jesus, nor is there a reference to Jehovah or Christianity in the Constitution. Christians craft a stealth method of pretending that we're a Christian nation by pointing to the reference of “the Creator”. Sorry, it denotes the god of nature, not your religion. Don’t take my word for it, read the US Constitution for yourself. And read books that were written by and about the men who created that document. You'll find out for yourself.

Eventually, as the Republican politico-religious system evolves it could end up back to its roots of mainline politics working for people. On the other hand, it may eventually evolve into a religious party outright—perhaps even creating a splinter group. The danger is that even tho these conservatives are small in number now (vocal tho they may be), if we forget what happened in Germany in the 1930s (the Nazi party won with only 15% of the vote) we could easily live thru our own unique brand of religious fervor if not outright religious terror. It's happened before, it's alive in fundamentalist Islamic countries today, and it could easily happen again.

Conclusion

Religious authority fosters violence and mayhem—historical evidence is loud and clear. Religious leadership generates intolerance, hatred, death camps, injustice, black and white morality, and the loss of humanity wherever it exists and wherever it has ever existed. Religion-based nations retard civilization and rewrite history. They require as part of their tenets the suppression of knowledge, thought or discussion; the alteration of past history, ignorance of the present, and the denial of basic human needs. In short, the regression—not the progression—of the people who are governed.

Theocracy fails because the premise is false. Theocracies are based on mythology. Mythology is only story, and by definition, is not truth. Theocracies are not based on anything tangible or provable, much less useful for uplifting humanity. In short, a theocracy is the antithesis of society, the antithesis of civilization, the opposite of a just and humane world.

http://www.mksmith.org/




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