How America is getting "back on track"


Before 9/11, an American a politician could get by with being only nominally religious. Now, it helps if he’s “born again”; claims that God inspired him to run for office; thinks God created America to dominate world affairs; considers the Bible a reliable guide to scientific truth; believes our laws are based upon the Ten Commandments; thinks America started down the tubes 50 years ago when the Supreme Court ruled against school prayer; believes that God gives health and wealth to those who please him—making poverty the fault of the poor; opposes abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, the teaching of evolution, and universal healthcare;  and wants America to fully support Israel against its neighbors in order to hasten the Battle of Armageddon and hence the “Second Coming of Christ.” 

However, America is not just rattled by its newly discovered vulnerability. It’s also disturbed by: its impending financial collapse; the increasing number of its people who have no religion; its loss of status in the world to horrid little yellow men who don’t love Jesus; its inability to win wars against semi-literate and poorly armed “ragheads” (aka “sand niggers”) who dont love Jesus;  and the fact that its rich are getting richer, its poor are getting poorer, and its middle class is disappearing. America gives billions to buy the friendship of oppressive regimes the world over while its roads are falling apart, its local governments are laying off teachers, firemen, and policemen, and its people are dying because they can’t afford medical care. The belief is that a “return to God” will bring about a return to the optimistic materialism of the Eisenhower administration (mid '50s) when “In God We Trust” was first stamped on all American money, the words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance, and Christs words about loving your neighbor and doing good to your enemy were ignored, especially in regard to Commies, queers, atheists, and niggers.

In times of fear, religious fervor often grows and religious people start looking for someone to blame for what they interpret as the loss of God’s favor. Well, guess who they have in their sights? Atheists, liberals, socialists, feminists, scientists, environmentalists, non-Christians, homosexuals, unionists, and animal rights’ supporters. Civil libertarians can win victory after victory in court to keep America from becoming a theocracy, but the number of mayors, aldermen, school administrators, teachers, governors, and other officials who are willing to promote Christianity without the least regard for the law, or freedom of speech, or their oaths of office is such that we can’t begin to sue them all. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights that have for so long protected freedom in America are honored less and less everyday and the Bible more and more due to this desperation to get America “back on track.” You can now be charged with terrorism simply by committing what used to be a misdemeanor property crime. Your house or business can be searched without a court order. A GPS transmitter can be installed on your car without your knowledge. You can be locked away for life without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. The FBI can even obtain a list of the books you got from your local library. Pre-9/11, such things were unimaginable.

Evangelical Christians (Evangelicalism is the dominant face of American religion) are enthusiastic supporters of such violations of the Constitution as well as “enhanced interrogation.” This Evangelical contempt for liberty isn’t surprising when you consider that they subscribe to an authoritarian religion which brooks no questions, offers no appeals, and predicts everlasting agony for everyone but themselves. The future is looking ever bleaker for those of us who don’t go along with this unholy alliance of religion and politics, but there is very little we can do about it. I don’t see how the current trend is even a good thing for Christians, because once they silence the rest of us, history would suggest that they will turn on one another. As the saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” but once that enemy has been annihilated, the “friend” had better sleep with one eye open.

What has been most breath-taking  about America’s post 9/11 descent into madness is how quickly and easily the very government that was supposed to protect our rights went about abolishing them, and how few people objected. Most Americans appear ready to buy safety at any cost, not realizing that oppression from within is surely a greater threat than terrorism from without. In the fight against Islamic fundamentalists, our government has the capability of being our ally, but who will help us when the terrorists Christian equivalent is running our government? It is my sad conclusion that the only things that are genuinely important to the American people are junk food, comfy recliners, trash on the telly, and that most hard-assed American patriot of all, the Lord Jesus. Give them these, and they will follow like sheep.


31 comments:

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

So sad... So true!

kj said...

chills.

i blame bush for all of it. obama, i don't know what to say. but i blame congress and tea bags.

we are the underground railroad. in the past it has been the best part of awful times. we know who we are, we nod to one another, and we are not following.

a fair number, i'd say. although, snow, my optimism,, which is strong and old, is currently buried.

i loved this post of yours. thank you
love
kj

Strayer said...

You said it, brother! The post made me laugh, too. I needed that. Around Linn County, I have to fake being religious sometimes, to get cats fixed, keep more people from yelling at me, you name it. I do fake it so well, with deliberate mistakes thrown in, that go unnoticed, which makes me laugh hysterically afterwards.

lotta joy said...

Uh...well....I haven't had a book from the library in 20 years. I can't eat junk food. There IS trash on the telly, and I sleep in my comfy recliner. How do you feel about owning guns? I've never seen you mention that and I'm kinda curious.

The Elephant's Child said...

Ouch. If this is the post that I inspired I am sorry. Just the same (to misquote Lady Caroline Lamb) it strikes me as 'sad, bad and dangerous to know'. Regretfully our governments have taken us some way down the stripping of rights paths themselves. All in our best interests of course. Security is paramount. Hiss and spit.

middle child said...

If we would return to the Bible and to the constitution...I think things would be alot better.

Lee Johnson said...

Ironically, a popular line I see on conservative message boards is "more and more of our freedoms disappear every day." This is apparently some kind of coded reference either to their occasional setbacks in using government to shove religion down our collective throat or a complaint that Obama is still in the Whitehouse.

While the U.S. is often at the front of the pack in this sort of insanity, in many respects I think the UK has a worse record on protecting freedom. Their libel laws are ridiculous, they've redefined almost any criticism of religion as inciting religious hate, and their love affair with CCTV cameras is straight out of a George Orwell novel.

kylie said...

it would seem to me that a lot of Christians (and not just American ones) expect their faith to be upheld by the church or the state but not by themselves, whereas in actual fact the ONLY way to uphold any religious faith is in the activity of the individual.

Charles Gramlich said...

hard times always bring out the fanatics. It is scary as hell.

Chartreuse said...

You summarise a very sad state of affairs. Initial reaction: thank god I moved to Australia. Considered reaction: but nowhere is really safe from US madness.

rhymeswithplague said...

A lot of interesting stuff here. I couldn't possibly separate the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats, the sugar from the sh*t (oh no, I couldn't possibly have said that), it just all runs together. But regarding your statement "believes that God gives health and wealth to those who please him—making poverty the fault of the poor" that is clearly faulty logic; poverty would be the fault of God.

You do make a lot of good points; I won't say which ones they are. Also, some of the comments to this particular post are very good, even some of the ones with which I disagree.

Little by little, we have an effect on one another.

Marion said...

I pray a lot more than I used to. It makes me feel better. I'm a Christian and a Republican, but I'm nothing like the stereotypes that are thrown at me. xo

ellen abbott said...

I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I agree with you.

PhilipH said...

Good old Winny Churchill once said something like: "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
He was, at the time, a tad upset at being kicked out of government after winning WW2.
Democracy does not mean FREEDOM either. We in the UK have more and more laws restricting our freedom and I guess the USA on the same road.
There is no way that ANY form of government will give satisfaction and freedom. All "leaders" will create their own rules and thus curb our freedom to a greater or lesser degree.
Never mind. We all achieve TRUE freedom when we shuffle off etc.

Snowbrush said...

"i blame bush for all of it. obama, i don't know what to say."

Bush had an excuse. He was a fundamentalist Christian who thought God was guiding him. He was also a moron who had a genetic inability to ever think that (a) some decisions require a lot of thought and input, and (b) he was incapable of entertaining the possibility that he might ever be wrong about anything.

What's Obama's excuse. He didn't start it, but he's sure presiding over the longest war in American history. He's also persecuting medical marijuana users (which he promised not to do), continuing the Patriot Act; he let the people who caused our financial crisis go unpunished, etc. Then there's this whole thing about ordering hits on people. I can't vote for him again. I would feel too dirty. I'm with him like I was with Bush in that I no longer even listen to anything he says because I wouldn't believe him anyway.

Snowbrush said...

"How do you feel about owning guns?"

Ambivalent. They cause a lot more problems than they solve, yet I feel safer for owning them.

"Ouch. If this is the post that I inspired I am sorry"

Why, did it suck, or was it just too much of a downer? It's not about YOU, you know. It just came up because of something you said.

"Ironically, a popular line I see on conservative message boards is "more and more of our freedoms disappear every day."

Yeah, I know. I guess it's a case of walking through life with blinders. I suppose that, in general, conservatives favor economic freedom but want to restrict personal freedom, whereas liberals favor personal freedom but want to restrict economic freedom. I'm with the liberals on this.

"Little by little, we have an effect on one another."

In everything I write, I try hard to communicate in a way that will work for those who disagree, and this nearly always means you, because I might disagree on some things with a lot of my regular readers, but you're the only one with whom I disagree on almost everything, yet we are friends. Someone asked if I don't get upset with you, and my answer was not yet. I only get upset when I fail to reach you. I believe you have a good heart, and that eliminates a lot of contention.

rhymeswithplague said...

Flattery, some wag said, will get you everywhere (replacing the original word, nowhere).

But not this time. I don't have a good heart, and neither do you. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, KJV)

I forgot, you were raised CofC, so it doesn't matter to you what the Old Testament says.

Snowbrush said...

"I don't have a good heart"

I did say that we disagreed on everything, but as far as you (and, as you claim, me) being the lowdown piece of dog poop that you claim to be, I would remind you that Christ commanded you to be perfect, something he wouldn't have done had he entertained the same low opinion of you that you do. Why MUST we atheists have to half of the hours in our days explaining the Bible to believers? Jesus H Christ, it's hard on us.

"you were raised CofC, so it doesn't matter to you what the Old Testament says."

The one is no better than the other, and I would hold the latter in low esteem even if I had not grown up in the former.

"Never mind. We all achieve TRUE freedom when we shuffle off etc."

Philip, my friend, you are the reverse of Rhymes in that we agree pretty much down the road, and I would not have you otherwise. Whereas I hope to reach people like him, I hope to please people like you, and I often think of you specifically as I write.

"I'm a Christian and a Republican, but I'm nothing like the stereotypes that are thrown at me. xo"

I don't know how you can be a moderate Republican anymore because the only people who ever seem to run for office from that party are the ones who talk as I described. I certainly believe that you are, and I have respect for you, but it really must be hard for people like you to support your party with any enthusiasm.

Snowbrush said...

"I have to fake being religious sometimes"

I'm glad you can have fun with it. As the Apostle Paul said, one must be all things to all people, only you're doing it in reverse.

"nowhere is really safe from US madness."

And don't forget it. Piss us off, and we'll bomb you--and maybe we'll take Canada out on the same day leaving England in a state of apoplexy.

"I'm sure it's no surprise to you that I agree with you."

Thank you, Ellen.

"the ONLY way to uphold any religious faith is in the activity of the individual."

This view isn't popular in America where it's commonly believed that God brings calamity upon, not just the people who displease him, but the cities and even countries that they inhabit. It's like with the early Jews who believed that safety could only be obtained through national purity.

"If we would return to the Bible and to the constitution...I think things would be alot better."

We might be 50% in agreement, although, like the Bible, the Constitution is interpreted differently by different people in many regards

The Elephant's Child said...

'Why, did it suck, or was it just too much of a downer? It's not about YOU, you know. It just came up because of something you said.'

No it didn't suck, and of course it isn't about me. And it surprised me a little that you felt that comment was necessary. I said I was sorry because I didn't like to think that I had brought this ugliness to the forefront of your mind. Triggered a reminder perhaps?

Snowbrush said...

" And it surprised me a little that you felt that comment was necessary. I said I was sorry because I didn't like to think that I had brought this ugliness to the forefront of your mind."

I said it because I didn't know what to think. Heck, don't worry about bringing ugliness to MY mind. It's not like I need you for that. You just gave me an idea for a way to present it.

Rhymes, now that you've informed us all that you're so bad that your mother might as well have been a slug and your father a cockroach, I've come up with a theme song for you. I would suggest that you post it on your blog so everyone will know who they're dealing with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyhJ69mD7xI


All Consuming said...

Excellent post, I agree yet again. It takes time to present such good writing and I appreciate you taking it. x

Mim said...

I like this post, might even print it out to show the hubby, and that's saying something.

I think we're a step away from burka's for woman - I really do.

rhymeswithplague said...

You misunderstood me, Snow. I wasn't informing you about me alone or what my parents might well have been, I was sharing with you and your readers and ancient observation that applies to everyone.

Kendal Rooney said...

Hi Snow,

I've awarded you the Versatile blogger award. You can find the rules here, they are much more clear then I wrote. I love people who speak the truth no matter how much it goes against the norm. It isn't done enough!

http://klahanie.blogspot.com/2012/08/an-award-passed-on-with-ideals-of.html

The Blog Fodder said...

Snowbrush, what an awesome post. You said it like it is. And raised a good point that the allies of the Religious Right would do well to ponder. Once they finish off their first priority enemies, the ones you listed, they will begin to devour themselves. The French Revolution, the Communist Revolution in Russia and in China. The "christians" who don't measure up to the standards of the power structure will be sent to the guillotine.

Snowbrush said...

"what an awesome post."

Thank you. I'm glad you didn't have to double your meds. Strayer was right about that being a funny comment.

"I've awarded you the Versatile blogger award."

Ooh, an award. I'll look at them there rules to see if I can accept it, but in any case, I thank you very much.

"I wasn't informing you about me alone or what my parents might well have been"

I knew perzactly what you meant, but when you focus on the fact that everyone is in the same boat, that lessens your own guilt, doesn't it? ("Yeah, I robbed the cookie jar, but everyone else did too.") So, what do you think, when Jesus told you to be perfect, he knew you didn't have a hope of doing it, but he still commanded you to? Was he acting like a sadistic father who knows his child can't reach something that is on a high shelf, but he tells her to reach it anyway so he can laugh at her failure? Or did he tell you to be perfect just to remind you of what a hopeless piece of filth you are, conveniently ignoring the fact that it was he who made you that way? Yessirree, good old Christianity. We're all born hopeless sinners, but the God who can do anything can't forgive without blood being shed, so in his great mercy he accepted the blood sacrifice of an innocent being (himself!), so he could wash us clean in a torrent of gore. It sounds like something a schizophrenic might dream up on a really bad day.

"It takes time to present such good writing and I appreciate you taking it. x"

Thank you, dearie.

"I think we're a step away from burka's for woman - I really do."

It's a strange world when women who couldn't be where they are without feminists don't only fail appreciate feminists, but actually attack them for being un-Christian and anti-family.

rhymeswithplague said...

I hope you don't think that just because I don't attempt to counter every thrust and parry of yours with a coup de grace or cutting remark of my own that you are in any way convincing me or changing my mind or wearing me down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Snowbrush said...

"I hope you don't think that just because I don't attempt to counter every thrust and parry...that you are in any way convincing me or changing my mind or wearing me down."

No, no, no, no, no. You're beyond redemption (sorry, I just couldn't resist), yet I respond to you for MANY reasons. For example: I like you, I find it satisfying within myself to write as I do, I want you to understand me even in the absence of agreement, you aren't the only one who reads my responses (although I know of only two people--you being one--who read every one of my posts and every response to all of them), and because I really do hope that you will tell me how you see the things I ask you about. As for the case in point, do you not find my question about the seeming contradiction between Jesus' command and the verse you quoted to be a worthwhile question? If you do, why not answer it if you have an answer. I'm not trying to suck you into an endless argument (I couldn't do it if I did want to); I would just like to know what you think. In your church, does no one ever wonder about such things? Do you never wonder about such things?

C Woods said...

Snowbrush ---as usual you say what you mean and pull no punches. I agree with almost every point in your post. Our only difference is that I will vote for Obama ---not because I think he's done a great job, but because the alternative is much more distasteful to me. Also, I blame Republicans and the Religious Right for preventing some meaningful legislation that might make things better.

I just read recently, about how the right is always blaming progressives for being unAmerican, yet it is the right who wants to dismiss the parts of the Bill of Rights that insist of the separation fo church and state, want to limit our freedom of speech, etc. Isn't it they who are unAmerican?

(You might want to check out my recent comment about Pat Robertson on my blog.)

To Middlechild: Return to the Bible? Sure, women can be worthless except as property. Gays and adulterers (even if only in their hearts) would be stoned to death. Disobedient children can be put to death. You will commit an abomination if you wear clothing made of a polyester/cotton blend. Women who are raped will be forced to marry their rapists. That all sounds like fun, doesn't it? What kind of family values do you see there? The Constitution does not mention God ---not once ---and that was done deliberately. So what is in the Constitution that we are not following and you'd like to bring back?

Stafford Ray said...

When George W Bush went off to Iraq to put the torch to Gog and Magog, I was really spooked and nothing that has happened since (maybe except Obama) has done anything to ease my anxiety! Keep talking Snow.