I’m a tad late — but not quite! There’s a “Blog Against Theocracy” blogswarm ending today, which has been going on all week. The idea is, well, to write a blog entry against theocracy, send the URL of the post to that site, and have it posted after this week is over.
It just so happens that I know rather a bit about the theocrats’ intentions in North America. I’m not posting from the U.S., but from Canada. However, during the 80’s and early 90’s, living in Alberta, I saw a lot of details about the theocrats’ plans to take over both the American and the Canadian governments. We’re just a bit behind the Americans, but they’re working steadily on that goal up here, the same way it’s happened down there.
When I was a fundamentalist (which, incidentally, I AM NOT ANY MORE), I started as a big supporter of Jerry Falwell’s “Old Time Gospel Hour” broadcasts. Those programs on Sunday essentially served as my church services. I sent them money every month. And eventually, when Falwell (along with LaHaye and some others) got involved in founding the Moral Majority, I got literature from his organization, explaining exactly what these people planned to do, to take over the American government.
They were going to start at the grassroots and work up. They’d get their people into city councils. They’d start their own schools, or turn existing Christian schools toward training their students to be lawyers and lawmakers and nurses and teachers. They’d force out “moderate” and “liberal” members of their churches and take them over, turning them into political organizations. As they infiltrated these “lower echelons” of influence, they’d work their way up, and take over state governments and courtrooms, and work their way all the way to the White House and the Supreme Court. And at that point, their tentacles would be extended so far into every detail of ordinary life that nobody could stop them from turning the U.S. into an outright theocracy. They’d ban abortion, ban homosexuals, ban divorce, ban everything that they disagreed with. Because, you know, God told them to.
Nowhere in there did I EVER hear a commitment to freedom of choice, or the rights of the majority if the majority happened to disagree with what they planned for their country. No, the majority of people would simply Have To Obey — Or Else. God would be the King of America, and the people would have no say whatsoever. To hell with “democracy.”
Around the same time, the theocrats in Canada started plotting the same thing, and of course, I was an enthusiastic supporter. They used to point to the methods used in the U.S., and counsel their people in all the churches to start using these methods. Whatever the Americans were doing to try to take over the government, Canadian fundamentalists wanted to do too. Some of us even dreamed of the day when the provinces of Canada would be American states, and everyone would be united in one glorious Christian country. (That was a minority view; most Canadian fundies just wanted to be a Canadian Christian country, merely “guided” by their American superiors.)
For the last twenty years I’ve watched the fundies put their original plan into action: taking over school boards and city councils and other levels of government. I’ve tried and tried to tell people what they were doing, and nobody believed it. And suddenly, we’re stuck with what we’ve got today, and it’s very discouraging. Because at this point, you can’t solve the problem simply by (in the U.S.) electing a Democrat as president or (in Canada) electing a Liberal government. Because the tentacles ARE STILL THERE. They can suffer a temporary defeat and withdrawal in the visible spots, but the whole structure for controlling society is STILL THERE. So they’ll be back, and swifter than people might imagine.
It’s going to take work to root them out, but truly, that’s what it will take. If we don’t want to see institutionalized persecution of liberals and homosexuals and working women and scientists and so on, we will HAVE TO root the anti-democracy people out of every small school board trustee’s office, every mayoral chair, every law court and state government — unless they take a solemn vow (on the Bible, how about!) that they will adhere to democracy and NEVER try to force their beliefs down anyone’s throat again in an attempt to bypass that democracy.
In fact, what it’s going to take is a similar plan to what theirs originally was: plan to put open-minded liberal people in every school board, every city council and mayor’s chair, every state government, Congress, the Supreme Court, all the way to the White House. The problem is, in this era of “quick fixes,” nobody is going to want to spend 20 years doing it, the way they did.
I hope we’re not stuck. It may take outright institutionalized fascism before a revolution happens and the monsters are thrown out. I hope it doesn’t have to take that. But sometimes I’m not optimistic.