Monday, January 21, 2008

Week of 01/21/2008

Outing a Theocrat
– by David Matthews 2

For quite some time there was a certain word that I’ve been hesitant to attach to any of the candidates running for President in 2008. Not for fear of retaliation, mind you, but because I didn’t think that any of the candidates would be brazen enough about to have this tag attached to them.

But apparently it’s true… someone in that collection of presidential contenders is a theocrat.

Now when I say “theocrat”, I’m not talking about someone who simply has strong religious beliefs. We’ve had plenty of those folks in the running, and there have been PLENTY of people in office with strong religious beliefs. And there’s nothing wrong with someone with strong religious beliefs as long as they can properly do their jobs in a free society without trying to convert everyone over.

Nor, when I say “theocrat”, am I talking about a theo-conservative. We’re currently under the influence of both neocons and theocons in Washington with the neocons pretty much keeping us scared, and the theocons slowly worming their agendas into government. But even though a theo-conservative will spew the fraudulent rhetoric about America being this fictional “Christian Nation”, they will still work within the framework of the current society. They still adhere to the notion that they can force you to convert over to their beliefs as long as they have people in that framework.

No, I’m talking about an actual, honest, tried-and-true THEOCRAT. Someone who actively believes that the government should be REMADE so that it reflects their religious beliefs! Someone who wants to do to America what the Muslim extremists did to Iran in 1978-79, and what the Taliban did to Afghanistan in 1996.

Now in normal situations, an actual, honest, no-bones-about-it theocrat would be something of an oddity in American politics. Sure they exist, but they really would have less clout than a libertarian. At least libertarians actively support the current government infrastructure and the U.S. Constitution, even if they have an issue with some of the abuses. Not so with a theocrat, though. Theocrats REJECT the infrastructure itself! They wouldn’t want to replace it otherwise.

Normally a theocrat wouldn’t last very long in a presidential campaign. Most people are wary of theocrats, especially after what they’ve seen in places like Iran and Afghanistan and some of the other countries in the Middle East where power-mad clerics are the source of so much pain and human misery. A woman being convicted and sentenced to be whipped 200 times for getting gang-raped because she violated some asinine religious law is not exactly the kind of political message you want to spread. Or how about the power-mad clerics that called for the outright EXECUTION of a British schoolteacher because she ALLOWED her students to name a stuff animal Mohammed? This kind of stuff would make the “Swift Boat” and “Willie Horton” campaigns look like amateur hour.

Given those kinds of horror stories attributed to theocrats, it’s easy to see how Christian theocrats would be careful about what they say and how they are perceived. Even infamous televangelist and God Squad leader Pat Robertson had to lay off the God-fearing rhetoric during his failed 1988 campaign for the White House and focus strictly on secular conservative materials. It also explains why Robertson is now endorsing the “9/11 Saint” Rudy Giuliani instead of some of the other candidates who are making religion their sole campaign platform.

That is why I sadly say that we have found a theocrat in the bunch of presidential wannabes.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is that theocrat.

I didn’t want to believe it myself! Sure he’s never hidden his religion. He’s always put it out there as one of his key qualifications to run for president. But one would think that someone like Huckabee would at least temper his platforms as that of a Republican candidate, not as a solidly CHRISTIAN candidate, especially given the early lead he picked up in the Iowa Caucus.

So it surprised me that, in a recent political rally in South Carolina, Huckabee said the following:

I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution. But I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God. And that's what we need to do, to amend the Constitution so it's in God’s standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view of how we treat each other and how we treat the family.

That, my friends, is a statement of a theocrat. Not a theocon. Not a heavily-religious conservative. A THEOCRAT.

Theocons would want to amend the Constitution, sure, but they wouldn’t come out and say that it was to be in “God’s standards”. They would claim that their religion was the justification for their actions, but certainly not the STANDARD. Even an otherwise heavily-religious person would use established euphemisms like “family” or “tradition” or “heritage” or “decency”. Only an actual theocrat would come out and say “Our government needs to be reorganized to adhere to God’s Standards!”

Let’s remember that the U.S. Constitution is the actual FOUNDATION of our government! It spells out what government CAN and CANNOT do! The last time the self-righteous got their hands on the Constitution, they used it to outlaw alcohol for over a decade and thus were single-handedly responsible for turning career criminals into millionaires and turning ordinary people into criminals. Do you REALLY want them to have another shot at it?

And let’s get brutally honest here… by his own words, Mike Huckabee has so branded himself a theocrat. This is someone who is eager to get his hand on the reigns of power and then transform government until it meets HIS religious standards.

By the way, let’s get rid of this rhetorical reflexive question of “whose version of God’s standards do you want to impose on us?” It’s a moot point because theocrats have only ONE version and ONE view of religion that they are trying to impose, and it is THEIR OWN! They are NEVER going to look for a consensus of the various viewpoints, and they certainly will not settle for any kind of compromise. Theocrats do not want agreement. They want conversion. Specifically, YOUR conversion to THEIR religion.

Look at how the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan. Do you REALLY think that they ever wanted a “consensus” when they took over that country and turned it into a terrorist haven? Hell no!

Well the same applies to ANY OTHER kind of theocrat, no matter the religion. Theocrat only one thing from others, and that is their unconditional surrender. That’s why they call it a “holy war”, because it really is a war AGAINST the rest of the world!

Now there are plenty of people who are quick to say that Huckabee’s theocratic statement has pretty much doomed his presidential campaign, but I think that is just wishful thinking at this point. Sure, I’d like to believe that his campaign is over with, but I wouldn’t write it off until he actually announces that he is ending it.

Huckabee doesn’t even have to win the nomination to get what he really wants. Remember when Pat Buchanan ran for President in 1996? Even though he kept on losing in every primary and caucus to Bob Dole, he never backed out. He never even hinted at backing out. He stayed in the race all the way to the Republican Convention, and then only after he made sure the GOP adopted the strict hardcore conservative platform he was looking for. Sure it was Bob Dole’s name on the GOP ticket, but it was Pat Buchannan’s platform that Dole was running on.

Now imagine how the GOP platform would look if Huckabee does the same thing for the 2008 National Convention.

What really scares this commentator is that even if Huckabee doesn’t eventually win the nomination, the strides that he makes sends a signal to the estimated 48 MILLION people who call themselves evangelical Christians that such a religious takeover of the United States IS POSSIBLE. They may not win this time around, but they know that they could have a chance in the next election. 48 million certainly doesn’t fall under the category of “fringe extremists”.

THESE are the folks that are the coming storm for freedom in America. Sure many of them seem disorganized now, but when rallied together under one leader and under one common cause – the forced religious conversion of the rest of the United States through government – and add the continued political apathy of the rest of the voting populace, and you get a serious threat to everything that we take for granted in this country. Some of these groups have been preparing for and yearning for this very scenario for years now! You think Iran is a threat to the world? Imagine a NUCLEAR superpower being run by the same mindset!

These are the folks that Mike Huckabee taps into when he makes theocratic statements.

Yes, terrorism by radical Islamic extremists is a threat to the Western world, but it is not the ONLY threat. The power-mad clerics do not have a monopoly on using force and fear to impose their will over others. They’re just the ones getting all of the media attention right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Polarization, complacency, ignorance and corporate generic force feeding media are helping to facilitate the onslaught of fundamentalism and the creation of theocons. We can only hope that people like you and I can keep the electrcity on long enough to show the country the madness it will soon see and feel.

RJ Evans
"American Heathen®"