Friday, November 05, 2004

Thanksgiving Dinner with Theocrats?

Anonymous Lecturer (AL) over at Will to Blog has this to say:

The Maverick Philosophy naively thinks that nobody wants theocracy in the US. And, that the only people that do want theocracy are the Islamo-fascists. Bill, you should come to Thanksgiving dinner with me over at my parents' house so you can meet two people who want theocracy in the US! They're evangelical/fundamentalist Christians who think that their version of Christian morality should be enforced by law. They think that people are free to go to church or not, but regardless of whether you believe in God or not that you should abide by their version of Christian morality. I dare say my parents aren't the only evangelicals that believes this. Try turning on the 700 Club!

BV: My background being Catholic, I am not that familiar with the ways of evangelical/fundamentalist Christians. What exactly do they want to impose by force of law? I need to hear some specifics. To debate this reasonably, we also need a working definition of 'theocracy.'

I suppose I should take a preliminary stab at this. Theocracy, despite etymology, is not rule by God (theos), but rule by those who consider themselves his earthly representatives, namely, clerics, whether priests, or ministers, or rabbis, or mullahs. Now who wants this besides Islamo-fascists?

Are people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson opposed to the separation of church and state? If they are, I need to see some hard evidence. Are these gentlemen opposed to the following: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . ." (First Amendment, U.S. Constitution) Do Falwell and Robertson want to establish their particular brand of Christianity as the state religion of the U.S.? If they do, then I stand with AL in opposing them. Do Falwell and Robertson want to exclude atheists from holding public office?

I have seen Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson on the talk shows, and they seem rather harmless to me. But I could be wrong. Indeed, I saw Robertson last night on Hannity and Colmes. (I borrow this orthographical innovation from Al 'Redundancy' Franken, he of lying liars fame, but of course I ascribe a different meaning to it.) I rather doubt that Robertson is as en rapport with the Divine Will as he thinks he is, but other than that, I don't find him that threatening.

I respectfully submit that AL, in seeing a dire threat of fascist theocracy, may be overreacting to his parent's perhaps extreme brand of Christianity. I persist in my view that leftists 'see' threats that aren't there while failing to see the ones that are. Why worry about a pussycat like Robertson when Osama Yomama is on the prowl? ('Osama' is Arabic for tiger.)