Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Morning Wit

Hey, today in 1967 professional revolutionary Che Guevara was executed. If you need further education in the matter, go rent The Motorcycle Diaries.

But when I got around to seeing this, it wasn't Guevara's story I was reminded of. His execution annaversary got me to thinking about the revolutionary Christians in this country. Radical, revolutionary, extremist, call them what you will, they have similarities with many other revolutionaries in history. Unfortunately, not the revolutionaries they wish. As I interact with more and more of the radical right, I keep hearing this same notion, America was founded on religion. The founding fathers built this country on the bible. Really? It's been my experience with most of these righties that they have a limited or no sense of history. Or they really like to cherry pick what they want from history, either way it's a skewed outlook on the facts. Look at the time line, Puritans came here in the early 1600's and the founding fathers did their thing in the late 1700's. That's damn near 200 years. Hell by the time the founding fathers got around to kicking British ass, the Puritans were all but done. Sure the right wishes they could live like the Puritans: branding people on their cheeks for not following their religion, women who were obedient to them to raise their children, rich in trade from the import export business, killing Indians cause they were heathens, rule of local population through the church. No wonder you guys want to role back the clock 400 years. See if you went back to the 200 years or so years of the founding fathers, it might not be authoritarian enough for you. Your religion wouldn't have enough power to crush Planned Parenthood, gay marriage, or the hate crimes bill. And that's the difference between this right wing talking point that America was founded on religion and the facts. Massachusetts in the early 1600's was founded on an authoritarian religion that dominated the local populations, unlike this country which was formed by men who understood what could happen when religion was introduced to government. See history of Church of England. So in essence this country was founded on the ideas that religion is a great thing, but not something that should be controlled by the state or even promoted by the state. And this is where Christians of today seem to have a selective memory because those Puritans the modern extreme right seems to idolize would have branded their cheeks with hot little H's and stuck their pompous asses in the stockade in the town square while their kids pelted them with rotten meat. See it was all about getting rid of your rivals to the old school Puritans. These modern day wishy washy evangelic wannabes would have gotten their asses kicked swiftly and with extreme prejudice by those shiny belt buckle wearing theocratic loving men. With that history in mind, the Founding Fathers set about creating a nation that didn't persecute people for practicing witchcraft, or being a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Zen Buddhist. Now we have come full circle and people like Pat Rob or the late Falwell spend their fortunes working on turning this country into a theocracy where anyone except people involved in their evangelic vision is the enemy. Once again history escapes people like them.

So what happens next? Will this come to pass as a fad or will these evangelic Christians go down as another extremist footnote in American history next to The Branch Davidians in Waco or the original religious thugs the Puritans? I don't know. But I know this, they ain't no revolutionary like Che Guevara.

1 comment:

o w grant said...

Well said, Wit! I don't think I could have added one more thing.