Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think the claims of religious 'dictatorship' in the practical sense of that word are overreaching, but there's a kind of religious expectations game in our politics that's hard to discount.

Here are some questions I'd ask myself:

Can I name a single self-professed athiest who has won the Presidency of the US?

A: nope, not one.

Q: Can I name all the self professed 'Christian' presidents...

A: Give me a minute or two and I could probably have the complete list, though it might be easier to name the Presidents who didn't profess a believe in some Christian God and make some profession of faith, if only symbolic. I think that list would be 0 again.

But of course that might all be just for show and tell 'round election time. I think where things get really interesting is when you start looking at the last few decades in the US. The level of self-identified evangelists and fundamentalists involved in national level politics has sky rocketed. Bush is nominally 'methodists' but he is beholding to and talks the talk of the evangelicals. These are the far, far right wingers. The Monica Goodlings from Regent University are WhiteHouse liasons by design, not accident. Folks like Ted Haggard, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson that we tend to discount as so many rabid talking heads or demogagic fools have real political power and there are people who pour lots of money into their political coffers every Sunday.

And the political dimension is easy to track. John McCaine --who once called Falwell and crew out as hatemongers now has to kiss Falwell's ring to get elected. And--what's worse-- he's doing it. And Falwell, of course, is the same guy who said gays and liberals caused 9/11. Regent University's Pat Robertson thinks we need to assasinate Chavez, etc.  

In that very real sense, the conjoining of political power with religious extremism is happening right here, right now in good ole US of A. True, dictatorship's not the right word. It's more like a theocracy from the bottom up--which, frankly, from my perspective--is probably just as scary, if not worse. I happen to live in Richmond, VA, 90 minutes from Va Beach where Pat Robertson has his strong hold, and about two hours from Lynchburg where Falwell used to make his home. I can tell you these folks are real. And they are nuts.

by delicatemonster (delicatemons@delicatemonster.com) on Tue May 22nd, 2007 at 08:52:59 PM EST
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