Arun Anand Ahuja – College of Education
An egregious form of state-sponsored bigotry exists in nations with a state religion, and the USA is heading that way. It is one thing for throwback cultures such as the Arab world to bully minorities with state-mandated Islam. It is one thing for the starving, superstitious people of India to elect a fanatically Hindu Prime Minister, as is likely to happen. It is one thing for even Germany to be led currently by the “Christian Democratic Union,” even though their Nazi Wehrmacht implemented anti-Semitic, homophobic Christianity with belt buckles saying “GOTT MIT UNS.” God is with us. From which it is still one thing for so many Ukrainian “protesters” to be exposed as fascist Neo-Nazis comprising the Svoboda party that has sponsored candidates who are Christian clergy.
But it is quite another thing for our own country to first set a more evolved example to others with our government required to stay away from respecting any one religion, then go about systematically breaking down the wall that insulates government from corrosive dogmas of majority religion. We are after all a unique epiphenomenon mirroring the world’s diversity.
But it is happening, from town councils all the way up to the White house.
For starters look at the small town of Greece, NY. It is the White House no less that has filed a brief supporting continuation of all those Christian prayers at each legislative meeting of their council.More intimidating is overtly pro-Christian behavior in larger, hence ostensibly less parochial towns.Take Albuquerque for instance. Why have some police been seen wearing a cross? And why was there so much insularity to an official police function being held in a church being protested, as in APD brass saying, “The ACLU can go to hell.” Maybe they are disappointed that right up to 1987 the seal of Bernalillo County had on it a Christian cross, and the ACLU got it removed.Moving higher, it is at the level of the states that Christianist politicians have decided they are going to be the most effective. Thus the Republican governor of New Mexico has seriously cut down the staff at the state-run Museum of Natural History. Why? Because so many Christians that form her base see the Earth as being a mere 6000 years old and thence paleontology as a farce?In states all over the country, there is the so-called “War on Christmas,” with state senators in the Deep South sounding like plantation owner claiming Yankees were warring on his right to own slaves because the Bible approves of slavery.Texas was a slave-owning state at one point, and their arrogant labelling of themselves as “God’s country” has spilled into education at the grade school level with some of the most explicitly pro-Christian delusions when it comes to government-mandated textbooks for science. Once they got that camel’s head in the tent, they have now come up with the “Merry Christmas Law,” where they use the most devious of arguments claiming it is Christmas that is being attacked in schools; so now you can legally set up explicitly Christian displays in their public schools during Christmas, our only mandatory national holiday, when Christians make it clear who they want to rule us all by singing “Glory to the newborn King.”
Moving up to the federal level, white Christo-fascists of the Tea “Party”, spearheaded by the likes of Michelle Bachmann, have log-jammed the legislative process in Congress, most notably with the filibuster against Obamacare by their poster boy and Texan henchman Ted Cruz, during which he got to recite Christian prayer to an entire captive nation paying him for the time.
Finally move up to the President himself. Clinton quoted publicly from Christian scripture. Remember the news photograph of him leaving a church with Bible in hand? He once remarked that to understand him one had to know that he was a Baptist. Then we saw President Bush pay special visits to the Pope while his Attorney General Ashcroft held daily morning Bible study at DOJ.
After Bush, Presidential candidate Obama staunchly claimed he was a “proud Christian.” Once he became President and the shootings happened in Aurora, he showed up and quoted Christian scripture. When the shootings happened in Newtown, he showed up and quoted Christian scripture. But when the shootings of Sikhs happened at the Sikh temple in that in Wisconsin, he showed up not at all.
Now move across branches to the Judiciary. You would think that with the establishment clause in our Constitution, the High Court with its singular job to enforce the Constitution would at least be the body to come down hot and heavy. But no, five of their nine judges are Catholic and their reticence is scary.
In academia, many Christian colleges are getting federal dollars from the pockets of all taxpayers, including those who are not Christian or have no religion. This includes diploma mills who when questioned as to the quality of their education smile piously and say: “We are a traditional Christian university.”
Every time you see one of their graduates from their Schools of Law become a legislator, you should cringe. What exactly is their agenda? That if a Christian should commit a hate crime against a gay man, said defendant should be deemed not guilty by reason of religious belief?
Finally look at the kick-butt arm of federal government: our military. It is riddled with Christian zealots. As a consequence it is no longer true that wars make soldiers turn to God; it is proselytizers like General Petraeus who make soldiers turn to a firebrand Christianity that teaches them to kill and torture in the name of Jesus, anointed first by Christian pastors with salaries fully paid up by the state.
This is reminiscent of European countries spreading Christianity forcibly through the Inquisition, most egregiously the Portuguese in India, where the eyelids of gentle natives were taped open so they were forced to see their children being tortured to death with one limb severed after another, unless they converted.
But the real Jesus was a peacenik. In proclaiming he was the light of the world, he was referring to the healing, forgiving light of compassion. If there is any light in so many explicitly political Christian mullahs in the U.S. today, it is the haughty spotlight of their spying on those they dismissively label “non-believers.”
Way back they ran government boarding schools that pressured Native American kids into Christianity. Yesterday they were welcomed into the Oval Office to push for legalization of Christian immigrants in their dwindling congregations. Tomorrow they will achieve in reality the fiction they now broadcast: “THIS HERE’S A CHRISTIAN NATION!!”