David Rosman – Columbia, MO –
Welcome to the 21st Century Inquisition.
This is not meant to be an indictment of Christians or Muslims. That would be wrong. The vast majority of men and women of all faiths are good and moral people. It is a small, vocal and angry mob is causing the havoc.
On Fox News Sunday, Newt Gingrich, former Congressman and possible future presidential candidate, sat with host Chris Wallace to discuss his “explosive new book” “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine.” The words that came from Gingrich’s mouth, from a scholar of American history, concerning religion in American would have our Founding Father’s raising from their graves in protest.
I have not had the pleasure of reading Gingrich’s book, but it is on my list. Fox did provide a small quote, “The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” (p. 4)
During the interview, Gingrich quotes the Declaration of Independence as the basis of his statement of law, something the conservative right deplores when a progressive makes the same error.
Then Gingrich takes the words as written by Thomas Jefferson out of the context, “…They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Jefferson, a Deist, did not mean a Christian, Jewish or Muslim god when he wrote the word “Creator.” Jefferson meant, as Albert Einstein contended, a power greater than any god of man’s imagination could. Read the Jefferson Bible and you will understand.
Is Gingrich the newest voice of anarchy?
The language from Christian right-wing extremists is as hateful as the language from the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or any other religious extremists who believe that they are somehow better than all others are, while, at the same time, the ones suffering the greatest discrimination. Egocentrism at its worst.
The United States is not and never has been a Christian nation. The evidence is clear and it is clearly rejected by those who want an American Christian theocracy.
Our Constitution was written to protect a religious plurality, not to give one religion any advantage over any other. We have worked hard, though legislation, court decisions and vigilance of people of every creed, to keep the U.S. from experiencing a religious-based war as seen in Europe and the Middle East. As seen during the Dark Ages, Inquisition and Crusades. We cannot allow our nation to become the great battleground of Pagan versus Jew versus Christian versus Muslim versus Hindu, ad infinitum.
Yet, our Constitution also allows for a vocal theocratic-anarchy. The same Amendment giving us the right to believe in a god of our own choosing or no god at all, also gives the right to open and free public discussion of the issues of the day, even if those opinions are based hysteria, neurosis and psychosis.
My bottom line, my phobia if you will, is that of the uncontrolled growth of religious fanaticism in America becoming more threatening to the existence of this country than anything we have seen in our short history.
I am not fearful of the moderates who use logic and good argument. In fact, those men and women are now in the vision of the extremists’ fire. Who is next on the list to be burned as a heretic? Are we returning to John Winthrop’s Puritan hell?
Listen to leaders of this new movement. Even suggesting that our government is religious based is to declare that they want an America that looks like the Ayatollah’s Iran or the Taliban’s Afghanistan. The same will happen in the United States that happened in other theocratic nations – And it will be the New Inquisition, not the messiah, resurrected in America.
How fearful? Here are a few lines from my upcoming May 27, 2010 commentary in ColumbiaMisosurian.com.
“The Texas Education Agency, TEA (as in Tea Party Movement?) has approved the rewriting of the social study standards for grades K-12 in the Lone Star State.
“I really do not understand why American conservatives have it in for public education. Why do they insist on cutting public school budgets? Why are they trying to destroy centuries of scientific research in the name of religion? Have they learned nothing from history?
“Of course, those who go or have gone to private and religious based schools are not held to the same high standards as our public institutions. Maybe if they were, the United States, starting with Texas, would not be raping the education of our children and grandchildren, the United States Constitution, the United States Supreme Court… The list seemingly goes on infinitum.
“Here is a thought. If a person, law, court decision, governmental agency, newspaper (including columnists) do not conform to the “new” teachings, will we return to a time when intellectuals, heretics, scientists and other non-Christian thinkers in practice or thought are routinely tortured and murdered?”
Paranoid? You bet. Maybe Armageddon is a self-fulfilling prophecy. God forbid.