Friday, February 24, 2012

Towards—Or Away From—American Theocracy?

Here’s an article I recommend on the dangers of theocracy—not in Iran—IN AMERICA: Timothy Egan’s blog in the New York Times online edition (not the print edition) titled “Theocracy and Its Discontents” (2/23-24/2012). 

The candidacy of Rick Santorum stands for Theocracy in America. Pro-theocracy is perhaps the biggest danger democracy faces today throughout the world. Pro-theocracy is responsible for the “personhood” legislation being considered by some states. Make the fetus a person, and reduce the pregnant woman to servitude. This is not an exaggeration. I explained this in Chapter 5 of my book, How We Are Our Enemy—And How to Stop. Personhood for the fetus is a fundamentalist proposition. The current debate over the funding of contraception is the result of a related fundamentalist intrusion into the political and social realm. These propositions would reduce all women to servitude under fundamentalist ideology.

Put simply: Democracy and theocracy are incompatible.

As for the religion of the Founders, they had their heads on straight. Not only does the U.S. Constitution contain the First Amendment, it also contains Article 6, clause 3, that states, “[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” 

As I explained in Chapter 4 of How We Are Our Enemy—And How to Stop, separation of religion and government is essential to democracy. The current crew of Republican candidates do not believe in this separation. Accordingly, they are a threat to democracy. A terribly lot is at stake in the coming election.

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