Bring It On!

More On That Plan For A Theocracy…How About Anarchy?

June 26th, 2008 | by Daniel DiRito |
Anarchy.jpg

Take a look at the following video and tell me you can’t imagine that extreme religious groups in America could ever trigger the same sectarian strife that currently plagues the Middle East. I don’t think the thought is that far fetched…and I’m convinced that the evidence supports the contention that ideological intransigence has led some religious leaders in the United States to the precipice of promoting acts of anarchy.

The gist of this video and many of the sermons that are being delivered in churches around the country is that the Bible is the only valid law. Further, the inference is that it is acceptable to ignore the laws of the nation when they conflict with God’s law. What remains to be seen is the level of resistance that these religious zealots are willing to promote.

To understand how this movement evolved, one need look no further than the last seven years of the Bush presidency. By example, George Bush has given license to those who would elect to undermine or ignore established law in favor of divine guidance. Not only did Bush argue that his actions in office were the result of consultation with a higher being, he has frequently entertained and endorsed the notion that the court system is flawed and continues to engage in inappropriate “judicial activism.”

Yes, he has grudgingly accepted the rulings of the courts…but not without willingly pressing the limits and challenging the conventional wisdom. These actions have established a growing sense of righteous infallibility amongst the faithful and their inclination for divinely driven defiance is palpable. My concern is how far the people his actions have enabled are willing to go should upcoming elections and rulings meet with their disapproval.

I realize what I’m positing may seem far fetched, but if one listens to the rumblings that are percolating in the evangelical community…inclusive of this video and James Dobson’s current assault on Barack Obama…one begins to see a pattern of rejecting the authority of the government…especially if it continues to move in directions that do not uphold doctrine.

The reality of the matter is that evangelicals are still a formidable constituency that has shown a propensity to act in unison. Should that monolithic mentality be applied to the initiation of acts of anarchy, we could well witness the type of unrest that typified the Vietnam War era.

The fact that the last seven years have provided evangelicals a taste of the kind of kingdom they’ve long envisioned only exacerbates the potential for civil disobedience…and far worse. Toss in their beliefs about the end of days and the rapture and a worst case scenario isn’t that much of a stretch. In fact, I suspect there are those who would view acts of anarchy as part and parcel of a preordained plan spelled out in the Bible.

While most Americans are preoccupied with the events taking place in the Middle East and the broader concept of the “war on terror”, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests we need look no further than the confines of our own country to understand the dangers of ideological intransigence.

Let me be clear, I’m not predicting that anarchy is inevitable. On the other hand, I am signaling a warning that we’re approaching a tumultuous transitional period. Unless we’re mindful of the dangers of this smoldering mind set, we’re at risk of being burned by the flames of fanaticism.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

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  1. 14 Responses to “More On That Plan For A Theocracy…How About Anarchy?”

  2. By Liberal Jarhead on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    True - they are dangerous, as a viewing of the film Jesus Camp will show to anyone who doubts it. There are some fundamentalists who are openly pushing to take over the country.

    However, there are some hopeful parts of the picture. First, the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as fundamentalists or evangelicals has been slowly but steadily declining for a couple of decades, and the age breakdown shows that the younger an American is the less likely he or she is to belong to the Bible-thumping demographic.
    Second, a backlash appears to be arising in some parts of the evangelical community against churches involving themselves in politics; some of their leaders are starting to push the “render unto Caesar” approach and urging their peers to give up the partisan politics they’ve been practicing.

    There’s a risk, though, that as the diehards see their power and influence slipping they may get more desperate and aggressive, and they’ve been tying in more and more with the racist fringe of the far right. So we will need to watch them for the foreseeable future.

  3. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    How are the straight and godly to respond? Boycott!

    This is the evidence of a plan for theocracy? May I just say that, as a member of this jury, I have to vote ‘not guilty’ based upon my opinion that the blogger has failed to present any pertinent evidence of the offences charged, either of incipient Theocracy or Anarchy.

    The sermon does not appear to be pushing to take over the government or to push God’s laws upon the rest of the people via legislating God’s laws, let alone leading anyone up to the precipice of promoting acts of anarchy. What they appear to be pushing is just that Christians cease to go to the state to license their marriage.

    This is what leads one to suspect that it will lead to sectarian violence reminiscent of Iraqi Sunnis and Shias blowing one another up in Mosques and marketplaces, kidnapping and beheading one another?

    The proposed solution to what is viewed as unwanted intrusion into the sacred by the secular state is that Christians should “find a Church that will allow you to get married without a license”.

    What they are proposing is that the Church erect its own wall of separation between Church and State.

    Anarchy? Theocracy?

    Not so much.

  4. By Daniel DiRito on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Craig,

    I understand the points you’re making though I believe you’re parsing my words. I’ve not stated that anarchy is underway nor have I suggested we are or will witness the sectarian violence taking place in Iraq. In fact, I mention sectarian strife and unrest similar to the Vietnam War era.

    My closing words are cautionary; not predictive:

    I am signaling a warning that we’re approaching a tumultuous transitional period. Unless we’re mindful of the dangers of this smoldering mind set, we’re at risk of being burned by the flames of fanaticism.

    I cite the video as an example of religious groups promoting the application of Biblical law as the only valid law. Further, deciding that Biblical law is more relevant to the “preservation of marriage and the family” (and thus “licensure” isn’t all that important) seems rather contradictory to the incessant message the right has delivered for years about the need to keep “militant” gays from being granted the right to marry. Either gays are a threat to the “institution” of marriage (insert chosen definition?) or they aren’t. If state granted marriage isn’t godly, then how is allowing gays that right a threat to godly marriage? In other words, isn’t this battle over gay marriage simply a game of definitions?

    If, as this video promotes, the marriage issue can be easily resolved by ignoring the states authority in such matters, what was all the fuss about and why all the opposition to gay marriage? Why was it necessary to characterize gays and gay marriage as the beginning of the downfall of society? (rapture time, anyone?) Why was the granting of gay marriage viewed as a form of anarchy (an unwarranted act of authority by the courts or the state to be denied)?

    In other words, the religious right was fighting gay marriage in order to deny gays the rights and benefits of marriage that come from the state…which would have to be of lesser import than the God given rights and meaning of marriage if we’re to believe the assertions in this video. Again, given the order of authority promoted in this video, why the need to oppose state sponsored gay marriage and cast it as a threat to godly marriage?

    The truth of the matter is that gays have always argued in favor of the rights that come with the issuance of a marriage license (from the government)…not that churches be required by the state to conduct and/or sanctify their marriages.

    Gay marriage aside, the point I’ve made is that the religious right is apt to ignore those legislative and judicial edicts that do not comport with their ideology and that could reach a point of anarchy should the government grant rights and recognitions that religious leaders feel are contrary to, and/or a threat to, Biblical law.

    An example might be helpful. More and more Christians are home schooling their children. If parents decide that the teaching of evolution is contrary to their beliefs, their actions will at some point undermine established science curriculum and pit the teaching of the Bible against science. As more and more of these indelible lines are drawn, there is the possibility that we reach a point where the government is threatened by the acts of those who refuse to participate accordingly.

    In the end, I suspect anarchy is rarely recognized until such time as it has reached the point whereby it is sufficient to threaten the ongoing functionality of the state. By that time, it can easily be too late to reverse or correct.

    Regards,

    Daniel

  5. By Mateo Giovanni on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    F*ck them all,

    Not only around 26,000 top business men have been given DHS training, the power to carry a gun anywhere, and are above the law. The Pentagon selects all MSM news experts, and each top anchor has to go through special Pentagon training as well. The goo’ ole’ minister’s?????? When they have a congregation large enough to dictate it; they as well are given the same privileges as the business men mentioned above, and instructions on how to “handle” THEIR FLOCKS…….COUGH…….SHEEPLE!!! This is all researchable. Use your own Critical Thinking Skills; I did, and read all of this through different mainstream feel good media stories!!!!

    Peace and Freedom

  6. By Chris Radulich on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    I’m all for this. It would be great if none of the religious weddings were legally binding. All the couples would need two wedding or face possible legal nightmares, especially in non common law states. Definitly hurry along the demise of religion.

  7. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Daniel,

    Sorry but I just don’t see it at all. The folks in the video and the home-schoolers are not, in my opinion, posing any danger at all to anyone. They are stepping back from what they view as intrusiveness from government into what they view as their constitutional rights to religious freedom. Where you appear to see danger, I merely feel a yawn coming on. You may be right but I just don’t see in the evidence you present the same troubling aspects as you see.

    I’m afraid that, as jury-member, having seen your evidence and read your argument, remain unconvinced. I still have to vote ‘not guilty’.

    I may not convince the other members of the jury but I’ll still hang it.

    Chris,

    One of the weaknesses of the video presentation, in my opinion, is that it fails to present the legal consequences of forgoing state recognition. I don’t think those consequences should necessarily persuade someone against state licensure but people ought at least to make the decision with the full knowledge of those consequences.

    However, for the people to whom this course of action would appeal, I suspect that the lack of legal binding will mean little. They view marriage as a religious rite in the attendance of the only ones whose recognition matter: God, the heavenly host and the Christian community. I don’t see how any of this will mean the hurrying along of religion’s demise.

  8. By Daniel DiRito on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Craig,

    You’re certainly welcome to see it as you choose. The home schooling has already become an issue in California though it is in limbo at the moment. We’ll have to see how it plays out but I suspect there could be nearly a half million very angry parents.

    California Resists Home School Ruling

    As an aside, why didn’t I get the memo about the establishment of a jury system? I’m feeling left out.

    I guess that would also mean I never received my Juris Doctor credentials…which seems to nullify the possibility that this is actually a sanctioned trial. Am I allowed to declare a mistrial?

    Regards,

    Daniel

  9. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Daniel,

    What does a degree really tell you about a person? As Judge as well as juror in this trial, I grant you special prosecutorial privileges. However, although you can ASK the judge for a mistrial — I promise to view your plea objectively — only I can declare a mistrial…then again, a hung jury CAUSES a mistrial so you may get your wish after all. :-D

  10. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    As for home-schoolers in California, yes, they may get mad. The thing is, there are plenty of possibilities for dealing with the situation short of the trouble about which you are warning. They can lobby for a change in state law, for an amendment to the state constitution if necessary. Heck, they could move to a state more amenable to home-schoolers. The sort of dangers you foresee are likely only when people are backed into a corner with no viable legal way out. Until the Supreme Court rules that home-schooling can only be done by those with valid state educators’ licenses, the way is clear for individuals to seek solutions that meet their own preferences, or very nearly so. Even then, they could lobby for a constitutional amendment.

    Did I also mention that I’m council for the defense in this trial? ;-)

  11. By Daniel DiRito on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Craig,

    All true though I suspect the trend is shifting away from such “reparative” constitutional amendments being as easily attainable as they have been in the past (although California has been notorious in their number and frequency).

    Assuming this current issue is resolved, there is likely a point where the curriculum is going to become a contested issue. How that gets played out is a crap shoot…but it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that state intervention could be seen by parents as being backed into a corner. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Anyway, as to your status as council for the defense…may I suggest that would preclude you from serving on the jury?

    Since you’re changing the rules on me…or at least violating disclosure guidelines…let me close with an Al Sharpton quote from the climate change commercial he appears in with Pat Robertson. When Robertson states, “It’s the “right” thing to do”, Sharpton quips, “Now there you go again”. Ditto my friend.

  12. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Daniel,

    As I understand it, California is has rules that make getting a constitutional amendment referendum question on a ballot more easily than in any other state. About the only thing I can see standing in the way of such a referendum is that the question has such low level of support that supporters cannot clear even California’s low bar.

    Hey, when I was growing up, all you had to do was call dibs first. What can I say…I called dibs first! ;-)

  13. By Dusty on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Any ballot initiative in Cali that changes the state constitution must have 2/3 vote of the voters as well I believe. I could be wrong however. ;)

  14. By Craig R. Harmon on Jun 27, 2008 | Reply

    Dusty,

    Yes, I’m sure of that. I was just talking about the requirement for getting such an initiative on a ballot.

  15. By John Lofton, Recovering Republican on Jun 30, 2008 | Reply

    Watching Congress on CSPAN, Bush ANY time — hey!, a “theocracy” is looking better every day! Visit us, pls, and comment.

    John Lofton, Editor
    TheAmericanView.com

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