Friday, June 17, 2011

Does the United States want a theocracy?

The interesting question for Republican voters in 2012 will be whether they want a right wing religious extremist*, someone who has stated the United States would be better under a theocracy**.

A certain percentage of Americans would agree with that, but others might not be eager for a theocracy but would vote for a candidate who said what they wanted to hear as they ignored that person's religious zeal, or as it was toned down for the campaign.

So how popular will Michele Bachmann be as she runs for the Republican nomination? And if she wins that, how will the numbers play out in a general election-- assuming that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee (not a given) who also says he is a Christian but at the other end of the religious spectrum***?

Keep in mind, as best I can understand this lady, she is the real deal. She believes this way. This isn't about getting the vote. She has lived her life following the dictates of her religion following teachers like Francis Schaeffer (who I also read back in the days). Bachmann isn't a hypocrite about it. This is her life truth which makes her the logical successor to Mike Huckabee for the religious right.

Palin, who might be more popular, cannot really stand up to Bachmann if there is a debate between them as clearly Bachmann knows her doctrines, is very intelligent, and can argue a viewpoint consistently. None of this you betcha for her.

Now I do not know if she is a christianist or a Christian because I haven't seen enough of her discussion on how she can get past the commands of Jesus for instance to feed the poor or heal the sick; but if a voter is a rock hard, religious fundamentalist, who has their mind set on doctrine put out by religious leaders of the last say 50 years, she's a logical choice.

The issue though is how many Americans do believe the Bible is the absolute last word for what should be done regarding government? The world does seem to be in a time of division with those who have turned totally from religion, such as myself (and yes, that means not New Age either) and then those who believe religion dictates every choice possible (and that's not just Christians). I think the religious types are in far greater numbers-- if you count all religions anyway. I think for an atheist to be elected president is as unlikely as a gay at this point anyway.

A theocracy demands a leader who can govern according to a god's dictates. That leader must either get messages from God or believe all the answers are in a holy scripture written or dictated by god, which they have the ability to interpret. Voters who want someone like that, or have a leader, who claims it, will have to evaluate how close they think that person is to God-- and even if they believe in a god, do they think it's how he/she/it operates?

There are those who want to end Democracy in this country because voters don't use good judgment, and want instead a government that governs more like they think it should be done. A god ruled political force would be right up their alley. How big a percentage of Americans is that? At one time I would not have thought the United States would go for it, but recently I read 92% of Americans believe in God. Where does believing in God lead someone?

For some, a theocracy seems to represent security. If a god their god is running things, won't they go better? For those, who think that way, it might be good to look back on the Bush years where he claimed a god his god was running things. How well did that work?


*By extremism, I do not mean someone who is violent but rather who takes their religious views to what I consider an extreme level by denying what they see, what science has proven, and they depend instead on their faith. They will deny evolution, science, not worry about global climate change with a god there to tweak things and a possible rapture before it gets too bad. Current religious leaders often help them form their doctrine using bits from their Scriptures to suit their agenda. To me, it is at the extreme end of believing to think that every word in the Bible or any 'holy' doctrine has to be literally true.

** theocracy--
a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance especially a state ruled by clergy, or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided. God is in short recognized as the head of state.

*** the other end of the spectrum where it comes to say Christianity would be one who read the Bible, tried to live as Christ taught, might belong to a church but as with Reagan may not attend regularly, but might still believe in prayer but not as an absolute must happen way.


Robert the Skeptic said...

One of the strongest defenses to falling into a theocracy are all the variants of Christianity. WHOSE religion will end up being the ruling one?

One religion which has this as a long term goal are the LDS. Mormons put great effort into placing themselves in leadership positions within a community. They are the ones most organized and well positioned to install a theocracy should that come about.

la peregrina said...

Henry VIII reign was a theocracy and he ended up killing people for not thinking the way he did about religion. He actually made not believing what he believed to be religious truth, his truth, treason. Never mind that many of his religious beliefs contradicted one another.

It always amazes me how quickly and easily people are willing to give up their freedoms just to have some semblance of order in their lives.

wally said...

I think the average evangelical Christian would welcome a theocracy in principle but would soon rebel against it once every aspect of his life was under the thumb of the government. Even the most fundamental religious leaders agreed that Prohibition was a mistake. And that only dealt with alcohol. You cannot legislate morality.
I’ve read a few of Francis Schaeffer’s books and never came to the conclusion that a theocracy would be a good thing. He was influenced by John Rushdoony whose writings are probably the primary catalyst to the birth of the religious right. He taught that it is the Christian’s duty to establish an Old Testament theocracy to create God’s Kingdom on earth in order to usher in the Second Coming.
There’s not enough room here to discuss this fully, but in my own reading of the bible I see a different mandate for mankind. There are no political solutions for spiritual problems. If people who think of themselves as Christians would simply read the bible instead of books about the bible they wouldn’t be led astray by these extremists. It’s not hard to compare what contemporary religious leaders are saying with what the Bible says. There’s a lot if discrepancy between the two.

Ingineer66 said...

Speaking of politics and religion or atheism or whatever you want to call it. Have you seen that San Francisco has a measure on the ballot in November that if approved will make it illegal to perform a circumcision within the city.

The irony of this action is just amazing. First off the expense to put something so ridiculous on the ballot, but the fact that they would outlaw circumcision but want free government financed abortions on demand with no parental notification seems a little conflicted to me. And both the Jewish and Muslim communities are claiming religious discrimination and I think they have a point.

Rain said...

I think San Francisco's law is ridiculous. Put out the information on the pros and cons but let parents decide this and it's not just on religious grounds that many have supported circumcision. Sometimes the left and right can each sound ridiculous to me