Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

If you do not believe as they do, you cannot be moral

If you lack the capacity to be moral, you cannot be allowed to participate in a democratic form of government. That is an inference reasonably drawn when one listens to or reads advocates of a theocracy in this country.

We just emerged from four years of rule by one who was backed by religious extremists. As I wrote yesterday, of our two major political parties, one (GOP) is controlled by a minority that believes this country was founded as, and should be restored to, a “theocracy.”

Theocracy: “Government of a state by those who are believed to be or represent that they are acting under the immediate direction of God or some other divinity.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 10th ed., 2014, p. 1706.
The “religious” trumpists are a minority within the Christian faith. Through the 1970s they were called “born-agains.” In the 1980s the right wing used the juicy bit of education to cath them. Lee Atwater said avoid racist terms; use synonyms. Vouchers were a hit.

Evangelicals applied “choice” to education, then segregated by race, and circumvented restrictions on public funding of religion. Children, who would be in public schools, are indoctrinated. By 2017 about 1/3 of Christian schools in private school choice programs used curricula created by Abeka, BJU (formerly Bob Jones University) and Accelerated Christian Education. Huffpost, 01/15/21.

“Scholars say textbooks like these, with their alternate versions of history and emphasis on Christian national identity, represent one small part of the conditions that lead to events like [Jan 6] riot at the U.S. Capitol” an episode permeated with symbols of Christian nationalism. Id.

Kids are taught that one group of leaders is backed by their church’s “god” and all other groups at best are duped, at worst inspired, by Satan. This damage has been wrought over the past decades, especially following January 20, 1981.

Micah Beckwith is a preacher who ran in last June’s GOP primary for INCD5. In a 10/24/19 video titled “The Church’s role in politics,” he claims those who say there is a wall of separation between church and State just don’t know our history.

Beckwith quotes Jefferson a couple of times for the notion that “the church” provides the morality America was founded on and notes you cannot be moral if you are a “Hindu, an atheist or a Jew.” Oh - he agreed to debate me, then dodged any such debate.

Truth or falsity of a religious belief and the sincerity of believers are safe from examination by any government. U.S. v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1944). People who say they (1) own a monopoly on morality, (2) are god’s favorites and (3) want political power should be challenged on their beliefs.

With public funds they build a foundation for power. Textbooks teach President Obama fomented the Black Lives Matter protests and trump is the “fighter” the GOP wants. HuffPost, 01/15/21. They also teach “creationism” as science. This harms all of us in the long term.

All of us should be scared, especially Christians. The wars over religion in Europe were fought between two dominant forms of Christianity. The leaders of this virulent right wing do not care.

In one of his posts, Beckwith bragged he’s never lost a debate and that he can see an opponent’s argument a mile away. I infer he believes he would have an advantage over me in debate. That’s okay. His debate skills might be better than mine. I’d like to see.

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