Saturday, October 21, 2006
Our forefathers, the very people who Christians love to claim gave them carte-blanch to fashion government according to their own dogmas, were the very people who once and for all denied the validity of the divine right of kings, and told King George to go fuck himself. They knew from hard experience that a government that attempted to establish rule of law based on divine proxy could only degenerate into another form of oppression, so they took a stand and declared that only secular law could protect religious freedom, even if that meant allowing for freedom FROM religion as well. They were men of faith as well as men of reason, and they saw no contradiction in government based on secular realities while keeping faith where it belonged, in the church, in the synagogue, in the mosque, or in the heart. It has been more than 200 years since this amazing document was crafted by this amazing collection of personalities, and STILL, we are so clueless, so self indulgent, so STUPID, as to be arguing about what our constitution really means. And now, in a modern and so-called enlightened age, we have allowed a president and a congress to damage this beautiful creation of ours, staining it with bills that attack the very heart of our freedoms and threaten to return us to the prison of the heart and mind that our founding fathers freed us from.
In the very face of evidence of what happens when you allow religious zealots to infiltrate government and attempt to dismantle it from within, politicians who are taking on the once vaunted conservative elite, namely democrats and independents, are using the same shameless shmoozing of people of faith in order to garner votes. Rather than run on the strength of their own private and personal convictions, presenting who and what they stand for from a secular perspective, they go to churches and assure the congregations that yes, they are still one of them, God fearing people who are somehow better than the supposed God fearing people they claim need to be replaced. It is such a sad display that even deeply religious voters are turned off by their sales pitches. It seems that this new batch of candidates still don't seem to have very deep thoughts when it comes to the mindset that a free, democratic and honest secular government needs to function properly for everybody's benefit. Perhaps it will get so bad that even Southern Baptists, those oh-so righteous and moral Americans that gave us Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, and the dumbest dimwit ever to steal an election, DUBYA, will blink, and realize that even an atheist can respect their interests better than any of these characters ever did. I'm not holding my breath.
I am living in an occupied country. It was invaded using the "fast and cheap" doctrine, bypassing the polling booths in favor of going straight for the throat of democracy. No thought was given to post-coup management, so convinced were our new masters that we would line their paths with rose petals and praise. Even our allies could not help us, so confused were they that WE actually needed THEM more than they needed US. And so here we are, a once envied former super-power, making loud noises at the world while we crumble from within, a sad paper tiger laid low by a robed madman hiding out in caves in the Pakistani wilderness. I feel a very close kinship with those who watched helplessly and chronicled the fall of the Roman empire as their divinely installed emperor played his fiddle and watched it burn to the ground.
I am living in exile, and I never even left my own country.