Friday, October 18, 2013
Certainly it used to be even worse, but to this day the Christian majority so dominates American culture as to defy, chronically, the letter and spirit of our constitutional protection against national religion. It is no coincidence that a sect disdaining the first words of the first amendment also shows little regard for “the fatherless and widows in their affliction,” i.e., “entitlements.”
When we were little, or when our parents were young, religious establishmentarianism intertwined with the racism, sexism and extreme homophobia of the day and bolstered a fabric of traditional arrogance that only began to unravel in the 1960s. Nor has the current era seen eradication of that complex of social ills – an extensive remnant persists, more in some regions of the nation than others.
I have been tuning in American Family Radio propaganda during my commute, dutifully monitoring the exasperating rant of religious extremism when I could have been listening to classic rock. As I may have mentioned before, misleading religion nourishes and fortifies the malignant bigotry that drives far-right politics. Call me an alarmist, but the sober realism we call “science” indicates that such disordered philosophy is seriously detrimental to the state, the nation, humanity and the very planet.
One is reminded of a sad paragraph from modern history: In March of 2001, a conservative outfit known as the Taliban turned big antiaircraft guns on a 1500-year-old shrine carved into a cliff face at Bamiyan, Afghanistan – demolishing two very tall Buddha images. Outrage resounded throughout the world, but as common mortals we could not have detected the mystic omen of great foreboding in the profile of that event. Six months later (September 11) we all witnessed the grand-scale sorrow that comes of false religion and fanaticism, and only then – too late – could draw parallels.
It was in those days that the expression “American Taliban” was coined to describe our country’s Christian fundamentalists, since they are very nearly as obnoxious as their bearded counterparts overseas. Lesbian and gay Americans will never see the end of abuse and persecution, if our redneck mullahs have their way. It is they who pretend with fierce tenacity to believe that the president is evil in every respect, they who never tire of trying to mess with science instruction in public schools, and they who play into the hands of a predatory, destructive fossil fuel industry by fortifying stupidity and denial about the ecology. Whereas the Republican Party once represented a worthy and reasonable conservatism, today it has been prodded into the lunatic zone by god-bothering radicals.
Even a Buddhist like me can recognize the Lord Jesus as a Wonderful Counselor, but men have long misused His teaching to generate troublesome religion, and that is the brand I’m talking about. Our state, in spite of considerable native common sense and intellect, is eat up with it. Governor Rick Perry has taken the opportunity, time and again, to collaborate in the presumptuous and unlawful incursion of such religion on the public. Along with the freshman senator from Canada and a number of like-minded politicians, he is embarrassing Texas to tears. If my prayer is answered, they will all have to find another line of work soon. Hurry that judgment day!
at 9:22 PM