"The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is
that someday they might force their beliefs on us."
Dichotomy or Incongruity???
One question that I have is why is there a big increase in the religious agenda in US politics in the last 40 years especially? The US was founded with separation of church and state as a strict ideal and over the last century there have been attempts to chip away at that foundation and with things like additions of “in God we trust” supplanting “Epluribus Unum” on the currency and “under God” supplanting “Indivisible” in the pledge of allegiance. Because of these things and no doubt other grey areas, it looks to some as though this is a Christian Nation or at least a godly one. These are just a few examples, just symbolic changes, and the Fundamentalist Christians are now using them to claim the US was founded as a “Christian” nation.
Conservatives in this country can’t get elected to high offices any longer without the approval of the religious right it seems, (otherwise John McCain would be president instead of Obama) and we have a huge gap financially developing between the truly wealthy and everyone else. It’s so wide a gap that many are claiming the middle class is disappearing altogether.
So I ask why and I propose the answer: some have decided to try to use religion as justification for their wealth and for the continued promotion of laws and policies which keep them wealthy.
"How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when
one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit,
he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an
authority which declares 'God wills it thus.' Religion is
excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
The fact that we have the unfortunate works of an Atheist – Ayn Rand author of “Atlas Shrugged” that have stimulated a whole bunch of other people to be supporting her weird social Darwinist policies in government, only serves to confuse the issues and give the religious right something Atheist to point to in their defense. The conservatives and religious’ use of Ayn Rand as cover should not protect them from the justified defense of separation of church and state.
(And it should be noted Ayn Rand never adequately addresses why the poor who are starving to death, aren’t rioting in her world – but then perhaps her world is the just the point of view of the wealthy elite in the Hunger Games. As in: if we don’t see it, then it didn’t happen, and we don’t have to care, which is a very un-Christian view of the world. If any such Religious right politicians have not in fact read their New Testaments but have read Ayn Rand, then that explains why they have this huge blind spot. Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament was clearly against the tyranny of wealth. In fact if you had Jesus and Tyler Durden from Fight Club in the same room it would be fun to see which one would win in the fight over how to unshackle the world from rampant consumerism – but I digress.)
To put a personal spin on this, I remember meeting in the early nineties a young woman who had done volunteer work for an organization called “Fundamentalists Anonymous” (FA) This organization was trying to help people who were trapped in a Fundamentalist Church, to help them get out – it was almost like rescue from a cult as in these folks felt they could not just stop because they would lose everything, spouses, children, homes, all their friends. Anyway my friend related one story of a time when she spoke with one of these people trying to get out. She said they told her their church in all its efforts, witnessing, revivals, indoctrination etc. their church as a part of a larger organization of their faith, had a plan and an overall goal of controlling the US government by the end of the century.
Yeah sounded like wacky conspiracy material to me as well,