Impending Implosion

There is a confusion on the part of cultural, more casual Christian Americans as to why it is that Atheists, secularists and humanists even concern themselves with other people’s beliefs. The thing is, it’s not the irrationality of fundamentalist Christianity that anyone cares about per se’, but the way that they manifest themselves upon everyone in America via politics. Those of us with a historical acumen regarding the true nature of a theocracy care because we understand the socio/political implications of Christianity, and how it would affect the American legislative process if allowed to impose itself upon the state. Moreover, without the burden of irrational guilt and fear which religious faith accords, we have the ability to apply history to present day American politics objectively, rather than from the subjective perch of religious self scrutiny.

Which is to say that historically, Christianity and politics have not worked out well.

What most “conservatives” within the GOP fail to realize is that the traditional American values that they hope to propagate will be undermined if Christian Dominionists further erode the wall of separation between church and state. History has shown that if neglected, not only would Christianity –by its very nature– undermine the Constitution and dominate the sociological and legislative landscape, but would also war within itself until a singular Christian entity reigns. Political conservatism and Christianity is an unholy alliance.

Perhaps, you’re thinking that Christian infighting could, and would never happen in America. Or that Christian Americans are above such petty disputes. Well, if history is any barometer, it would be all but guaranteed. The tenets of the faith demand it.

Christian infighting within our borders is hardly unprecedented. In fact, in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists where the phrase “Separation of Church and State” was coined, the Danbury Baptists were concerned that a religious majority might “reproach their chief Magistrate… because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ,” thus establishing a state religion at the cost of the liberties of religious minorities. Jefferson’s letter was a response to a particular group of Christian Baptists being concerned that other Christian churches were becoming too politically influential. And it is the very thing that Christian fundamentalists hope to impose unto the American populace today in the form of Dominionism.

Moreover, the sixteenth century Protestant reformation led by Martin Luther (no K) and John Calvin were a direct response to church-state oppression. The ensuing Roman Catholic counter-reformation was the equal and opposite reaction of any ruling organization having their authority challenged. It was violent, bloody, and it all happened because different groups of Christians differed in their opinions as to the interpretation of the scriptures. It tore Europe apart, and we have seen this conflict play out in Northern Ireland (among other places) until this very day.

What are perceived as subtle differences in faith now, surely will manifest into a full scale conflict.

The principles are the same with what is occurring in the Middle East, with warring factions of Sunni and Shiite Muslims killing one another over whose side Allah is on. I have to be honest, I still don’t understand what the hell it is that they are killing one another over. I’ve heard reporters refer to either side as “extremists”, and “moderates”, depending on which way the political winds were blowing. But the reality is, it doesn’t matter if we Americans can understand the subtleties of Islamic interpretation. It’s only important that they do.

They do, and their killing one another over it.

So sure, Christian Americans all feel comfortable uniting under the same political banner now, but how long would it be after one particular Christian sect acquires too much political power before socio/political strife erupts within Christian Americana? How long will it be Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, and the rest of the Christian mosaic go to war with one another over discrepancies in scripture interpretation? Do Mormons really believe that they will be tolerated within the Republican party forever?

The Christian market share will only allow for short term political alliances. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. But make no mistake, this will end just as every other marriage of convenience does… loveless and destitute.

Just as the present day GOP is constantly trying to “out-conservative” one another over gun control and global warming, they are already starting to jockey for position at the right hand of Jesus. Already there are elected officials who not only want to teach the biblical story of creation in science class, but who have made overtures at writing laws based upon Mosaic principles. For instance, there is no constitutional basis for not allowing same sex marriage, but the Dominionist mindset won’t stop until homosexuality is criminalized. The justification for doing so is in the bible. As it has been with every other conservative issue, the candidate who make the most extreme proclamation will become the standard bearer for the Republican party.

Whenever a Republican primary is dependent upon Christian extremism, the crazy gets amped up.

To the objective observer, it all seems irrational. Christians vying against one another over political influence is like watching two nerds fight over whether Star Trek, or Star Wars was the superior franchise. To us it makes little sense. They’re both space shows, right? Yet the religious reflecting pool infrequently allows for similar objectivity. Christians rarely have the capacity to see themselves in either Muslims, or Science Fiction geeks.

But unlike Christians and Muslims, nerds don’t kill one another over their passion.

Which brings us to the main point behind Christian Dominionism within our political system. As it is with corporatist profiteers who exude a “hoarder-like” obsession with acquiring money –rather than collect a house full of old newspapers and pizza boxes, or even an amount of wealth that could never be spent in the lifetimes of several successive generations– The Dominionist psychosis demands that they gather unto themselves the unrestricted ability to impose their sense of self-righteous indignation, and their will upon the rest of us. And that is even more mentally deranged than your average hoarder.

Although power in itself is a corrupting force of nature, power achieved through god is never shared. It is the absolute power that corrupts absolutely. However throughout the first two hundred and fifty years of this nation’s history, we’ve been spared the oppression of church brutality. The civilizing component to Christianity in America has been church/state separation.

But here’s the thing about Christian Dominionism within our legislative process. As they push for Mosaic law to be imposed on the United States –much as Sharia has been imposed in the middle east– the larger umbrella of Christianity will surely give way to intra-faith war. Much as the Shiite and Sunni are in constant bloody battles over –what seems to outside observers to be– minor discrepancies within Islamic tenets and interpretations of the Koran, could it be long after Christian Dominionism becomes the major political influence in America before like-minded blood is shed between Catholic and Protestant? Does anyone with the slightest sense of history believe that the “Born Again” American evangelical lobby will ever capitulate to the will of the Vatican?

And as long as the axiom holds true that he who holds the keys to heaven controls the world, there will be violence committed in Christ’s name, and the keys to heaven will be coated with blood.

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About Rich Woods

Rich Woods is the author of the critically acclaimed books, UnLearn Vanilla Marriage, and Yahweh to Hell. He is also a columnist, sociologist, and satirist who has performed seminars around the country. He's also made several TV and radio appearances. Transitioning from a blue-collar background has given Mr. Woods a unique perspective --and an even more unique elocution--among his peers. Raised Catholic, Mr. Woods is now a very public atheist who champions the separation of church and state. He's an advocate for non-traditional relationships, including --but not limited to-- negotiating non-monogamy, as well as being a vocal opponent of political correctness. Throughout his career, Woods has had colorful metaphors hurled in his direction from both liberals, and conservatives. To be honest, most of the vitriol comes from the Tea Party. However, he considers one of his greatest accomplishments having been called "Harry Reid's Lapdog" , and referred to as being "just like Rush Limbaugh" from two different sources within minutes of one another. Originally from Queens, New York, and presently residing in central New Jersey, Rich Woods is madly, and hopelessly in love with his wife Jane since before they were wed in 2002, and is the proud father of two successful, brilliantly creative, young adult children. Try as he might, he can't juggle.

Posted on June 3, 2013, in Religion, Socio/Political and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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