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Right Wing Religious Fundamentalists Raise The Specter Of An American Theocracy

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Religion certainly has its place in America but not in this American government. Yet what we are seeing on a daily basis is a concentrated effort by the Republican presidential candidates and various party leaders to inject religious fundamentalism into this country's political process. This movement represents a clear and present danger to this nation's democracy and it must be stopped in its tracks.

Theocracy is "a form of government whose officials believe that they guided by a divine authority." America is a democracy, a government of the people and rule of the majority. It would be great if America had a government in which policies and actions were guided by ethics, integrity and principles of morality. While we're currently not that fortunate, the last thing we need is one in which right wing religious fundamentalists, guided by their own chosen brand of divine guidance, are in control.

I can't help but hear the twisted messages emanating from the various Republican presidential candidates. You would think that these politicians would use their debates to present specific solutions to this nation's most critical problems. But they have no solutions, they are quite ignorant of American history, and they continuously distort the facts. Their primary objective seems to be to inject their own religious views into the American political process.

Yes, I've heard the arguments from those who say that a theocracy could never become a reality in this country, that the people would never allow it. Well, think about this; corporations now wield enormous power, influence and control over Congress and our entire political system. Who saw this coming, who organized people to stop it? And now how are we going to repair the damage it is doing?

After America entered the 21st century, this country has fallen under the domination and power of the military-industrial complex that has created a massive, terribly expensive war machine. It was done right before our eyes and no one did anything to stop it. So I completely dismiss the argument that the development of a theocratic-based government in America is an impossibility.  

So where is the evidence that would support the premise that such a theocratic movement actually exists? Here are a few of the many examples:

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Rick Santorum, criticizing President Obama's agenda as he spoke to Tea Party conservatives in Columbus, Ohio recently, was reported to have said that "it's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs. It's about some phony ideal. Some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."

The statements that Santorum has made are incredulous. In a 2008 interview with the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life he was asked if Obama was "a secular, liberal, Christian." He said, "I don't think there is such a thing," To take what is plainly written and say that 'I don't agree with that, therefore I don't have to pay attention to it,' means you're not what you say you are. You're a liberal something, but you're not a Christian."

Why is it that this ultra-conservative breed of people has chosen to attach itself to the Christian faith when what they stand for is almost diametrically opposed to what the New Testament is all about? Ask them if they believe in and follow the message found in the Sermon on the Mount that is largely concerned with helping others in need? Their actions and behavior clearly indicate a distinctly opposite belief.

Mitt Romney said that President Barack Obama's administration has "fought against religion and sought to substitute a secular agenda for one grounded in faith."   Romney also said, "Unfortunately, possibly because of the people the president hangs around with, and their agenda, their secular agenda -- they have fought against religion." That's yet another example of how these fundamentalists choose to interpret the meaning of someone else's beliefs.

Here's another quote from someone of that same mindset. On the "Morning Joe" show on MSNBC, Franklin Graham, son of the respected evangelist Billy Graham, was asked by the panelists why he was willing to say that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a Christian but expressed doubt that President Obama is. Graham said: "All I know is that under Obama " the Muslims of the world, he seems to be more concerned about them than the Christians that are being murdered in the Muslim world."

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In America today we are seeing a close association between those who would like to impose their own particular religious beliefs on others and those who want to control and restrict women's individual rights. In most cases these two very rigid ideologies blend together perfectly in the same settings. The views of these ideologues relative to religion and women's rights both seem to be a throwback to times long past. While their message doesn't resonate with the majority of Americans they continue to trumpet it endlessly.

The unstated but obvious platform and agenda of the sociopathic Republican Party, in addition to its warped political positions, includes: eliminating a woman's right to an abortion even if it threatens her life or if she is the victim of rape or incest; they ignore the fact that such a decision should be made between her doctor and herself, not based on any political mandate. This party reserves the right to ban all forms of contraception; it decides who is and who is not a Christian. I had no idea that these individuals have been appointed as the spokespersons of God. Quite obviously they're not, but in their own minds they are; that's what makes their agenda so very dangerous to our democracy.

This endless verbal attack on their rights should be a loud wake up call for the women of America as we approach the 2012 elections. In the 2008 national elections 56% of women voted for Barack Obama but, unfortunately, in the 2010 election their vote contributed greatly to the GOP takeover of the House and the huge gains it made in the Senate. But this time around I think that Republicans have made a terrible mistake in demeaning women and they will pay a huge price for their misogynistic agenda.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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