Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Madman Theory Of Religious Forcefeeding 

picture1 David Brooks imagines the country is on an inevitable slide towards Christian statehood, and suggests Bush not fight the feeling anymore...go ahead and give the Supreme Court nomination to someone who, in his droll opinion, has a "powerhouse" philosophical intellect, such that apologies for the maneuvering of Chistianism into the Constitution can help establish a brave new world of federally-funded parochial schools, Salvation Army shelters, and Old Testament amusement parks:
"First as a professor and now as a judge, (Michael) McConnell has outargued those who would wall off religion from public life. He's a case study of the sort of forceful advocate of ideas you have a chance to leave the country as your legacy."
As if we don't already have enough of a Bush "legacy" to mop up over the next couple decades. But this one could help install mandatory blue laws again and siphon your taxes right into the Catholic church:
"The problem with the Separationist view, he has argued in essays and briefs, is that it's not practical. As government grows and becomes more involved in health, charity, education and culture issues, it begins pushing religion out of those spheres. The Separationist doctrine leads inevitably to discrimination against religion. The state ends up punishing people who are exercising a constitutional right."
Yes, as Jon Stewart says, maybe someday we can look forward to a day when Christians can worship openly, maybe even wear small symbols of their religion around their necks...why we may even one day elect a Christian president...or 43 of them in a row!
"In another case, a physiology professor at a public university was forbidden from delivering an optional after-class lecture at the university entitled "Evidences of God in Human Physiology," even though other professors were free to profess any secular viewpoints they chose."
Imagine! Allowing a "secular" viewpoint in a science class! Truly we have become as beasts!
"McConnell argued that government shouldn't be separated from religion, but, as Madison believed, should be neutral about religion. He pointed out that the fire services and the police don't just protect stores and offices, but churches and synagogues as well."
So the solution to this thorny separation issue is to eliminate fire and police protection for sections of entire communities? And if we don't, that is somehow the logical nail in the coffin of separation of church and state? This is "powerhouse" philosophizing according to Brooks, who is well-known for his own powerhouse brand of logical reasoning, the "madman theory of how the world works". Using this logic, he soldiers on:
""When speech reflecting a secular viewpoint is permitted, then speech reflecting a religious viewpoint should be permitted on the same basis." The public square shouldn't be walled off from religion, but open to a plurality of viewpoints, secular and religious. The state shouldn't allow school prayer, which privileges religion, but public money should go to religious and secular service agencies alike."
Of course. When we start equating "secular" and "religious" such arguments make a twisted kind of sense... if you believe they are equivalent.

But they aren't. Because let's drop the codewords here, Dave. "Religion" as it is used by you hearty advocates of "religious freedom" does not mean the whole brightly colored world of religious and philosophical viewpoints. It means, and ONLY means, Christianity, as at least Roy Moore has enough scruple to be honest about. And that means, in the long run, these people intend to establish a state religion where Christianity is ascendant, and whose theology will be able to eclipse all others through the power of the state.

And that is exactly what the founding fathers guarded against when they wrote the Constitution.

corrente SBL - New Location
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