Friday, June 10, 2005

Has Liberty Taken a Permanent Vacation from the US?

This is all so un-democratic and un-American. It's hard to express in words the tragedy that dictatorial ideology and prideful superstition have clouded the rational, moderate senses of so many. Can this ever be fixed? Will our children yet live in a country of liberty and free will?

I truly don't know anymore.....

From the Center for American Progress....

America is a deeply religious nation, but it is not a theocracy. Yet, increasingly, the small but powerful assemblage of Christian Right religious organizations are forming overlapping agendas with local, state, and federal conservative politicians. This is both harming religion – threatening to turn "a sanctuary into a political platform," as Rev. Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, president of the Chicago Theological Seminary, points out – and pressing our nation closer to what some suggest is a creeping theocracy.

POLITICIZING FAITH: Perhaps the most alarming example is found in the Ohio Restoration Project. Presbyterian Rev. Dr. John Lentz writes that the group "plans to target 2,000 pastors throughout the state to become 'patriot pastors.'" Those patriot pastors will be "briefed on a specific political agenda" and "asked to submit names of their parishioners" to a large database, which will come in handy when the pastors are "asked to place voter guides in their church pews." This plan is being strongly backed by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R), a gubernatorial hopeful, who "will be featured on 30-second radio ads promoting this group's agenda and supporting the 'Ohio for Jesus' rally set for the spring of 2006."

CONSERVATIVES SEE WARNING SIGNS: Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT) says his conservative colleagues are embracing a "theocracy." John Danforth, President Bush's former U.N. ambassador, says that conservatives have "gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement." And Christine Todd Whitman, former EPA administrator under President Bush, recently warned of right-wing "fundamentalists": "It's the people who will tell you that they would rather focus on SpongeBob SquarePants holding hands with a starfish than they would about Social Security.... It's about a movement here. And that's why I try and define the term as social fundamentalist."

GOOD FOR RELIGIOUS RIGHT, BAD FOR AMERICANS: Even conservatives are turned off by the Bush administration's ideological activism. By a 50 to 37 percent margin, the Wall Street Journal found recently that conservatives think the federal government should be "less active" on social and moral issues. And in this week's ABC/Washington Post poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans said Bush was focusing on issues that weren't important to their lives.

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