Shabbat Shalom! – wishing you the peace of Shabbat. That is, if you can find somewhere where the peace of Shabbat is not being destroyed by aging males intent upon forcing their view of faith and their view of acceptable behavior upon everyone else.
There is a column in the morning newspaper, which describes how the Catholic Church is fearful of a developing atheocracy in the U.S. The article recounts open, public hostility directed toward a R.C. bishop at a bar in Denver. The Catholics, in league with the evangelicals have no problem telling every other U.S. citizen how they must live, what they must accept in the way of legislation written by the corporate churches. However, those churches will not accept that many Americans have no reason to allow churches to run the nation. They see the refusal to allow churches to run the nation as an attack upon religion. It isn’t, but it is an attack upon old men using religion to force their faith upon everyone else.
There are even attempts to hide what the corporate churches are. The Southern Baptist leaders are trying to distance their church from its birth as a pro-slavery force by ditching the term “Southern Baptist.” It won’t work; the hypocrisy will still leak through.
Americans have been taught that this nation was settled by men seeking religious freedom. In actuality the “pilgrims of Massachusetts were such venomous and intolerant men that no one could stand to be near them. They immigrated to the new world in order to set up their view of a theocratic world. Once here, they became the exemplars of intolerant Christianity. Their legacy is blight upon our nation today. We are as plagued by primitive intolerance and the goal of a new theocracy as is Iran. Our preachers are as bad, if not worse, than their mullahs are.
The Islamic world is in drastic need of a reformation that separates religion from state. It needs to distance itself from the semi-literate frenzies that ensue every time some Westerner drops a mass-produced printed copy of the Quran or draws a cartoon of Mohammed or Allah. All other nations need to clamp down on allowing such behaviors to influence national or foreign policies. The Arab world is demanding Syrian forces stop killing civilians. However, no Arab nation is willing to send its armies into Syria to end that killing. The world faces religion-driven civil wars in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, & Egypt. Iran may eventually join that list and, temporarily, stop fomenting wars in other nations.
There’s certainly no peace in Jerusalem. When the ultra-orthodox Jews aren’t trying to build illegal settlements to block habitation by Arabs, they are even more determined to force all less observant and secular Jews to behave as if this were the Hasmonean period just prior to the Diaspora. This attempt at enforcing their theocratic life on all other Jews is the most dangerous force in and against modern Israel.
An Atheocratic United States may scare the Catholics, the Baptists, and all the evangelicals who think that they have the right and duty to force their pie in the sky doctrines onto the rest of us. I hope it does scare them. Maybe the corporate sides of the churches, the part that exists on the pipelined collections that flow upward to Vatican City, Nashville, Salt Lake City, and the Graham compound will realize that limited contributions are better than no contributions.
An atheocratic nation does not scare me, not today, not tomorrow, not next year. It offers hope that we will someday be out from under the thumbs of old men who use fairy tales to keep their incomes sky-high.