The move toward American Theocracy by the empowered evangelical 'elite' in the US has made it almost impossible for an atheist or non-christian to be elected to office. Schools are having their curriculum undermined by creationist who wish to revise history, remove evolution from science, and prevent teaching sexual health and pregnancy prevention. Atheist fear reprisals for not being christian and are often discriminated against at work, socially, and most especially in the military. American as a "Christian Nation" is not a free nation or an ethical one.
Please- What ideas do you have on combating this most dangerous decline in American intellectual and social standards? I'm especially interested in ideas from outside the US. Whatever you wish to add.
Sorry about the rant. I've been a bit peeved lately about the whole situation. And I veered off topic, so:
The Hebrews actually came up with a great idea. They were surrounded by polytheistic idol worshipers. Gods were usually associated with particular cities or "nations," and when one nation conquered another, it was seen as evidence that the winners' god was greater than that of the losers. The Hebrews thought their God was the strongest, but as time went on, they insisted he was omniscient and omnipotent. (Not omnibenevolent, though.) So when shit happened, they didn't credit it to the power of someone else's god; they believed that when they suffered, it was because they had screwed up, so Yahweh caused a plague or a drought or an invasion by the Assyrians or Philistines. Their gods weren't stronger; Yahweh was letting them win to punish his people. The sins of some of the people were enough to bring the wrath of God down on ALL the people. (The Romans distrusted both Jews and Christians because they wouldn't take part in pagan sacrifices, which might bring the wrath of whichever god or goddess they considered the protector of their city.) Shift this idea to modern America, and it's easy to see that Hurricane Katrina, for example, hit New Orleans because it was a sinful city, or that the Iraq war, as Fred Phelps likes to say, is God's punishment for America's tolerance toward gays. If we establish a theocracy, they reason, then God's law--or their version of it--will be kept and America, God bless her, will endure. It's sort of a theocratic retelling of "Horton Hears a Who."
Craig, that was a well-written piece. Thanks for preparing it so well.
Thank science for atheism.
there is a book "day of the triffids". it points out the unworkableness (?) of a sociaty built on power strugles and rule from authority. it was made into a movie but the movie censors did not like the original storie line and changed it to a sort of "god(s) fixes everything in the end".
fuck the movie...read the book.
we just need to reject the current structure and start a new one. work only with this current government enough to keep them off our backs and just start a rational society...in real life not just online.
a sort of atheist only country.
but at least it would be a rational utopia.
Sounds like the movie 'Starship Troopers'. The book was a brilliant military/political novel. The movie had the politics stripped out, and the military themes were almost completely reversed. They somehow changed "Always make pickup; never leave a man behind!" into "If someone is in trouble, shoot him yourself, to put him out of his misery."
The movie was a fucking travesty. What's sad is that the action scenes would have been so much more awesome if they had followed the book, too. In the movie, they had a bunch of idiots running around on foot with rifles. In the book, they were mobile infantry, each of them in a 600 pound 'ape suit', with hand flamers; pill-grenades launched from a y-rack on their back; jump jets that could take a man half a mile at a jump; various, assorted nastiness, such as a 30 second bomb that says in the local language, "I am a 30 second bomb ... 29 ... 28 ... 27 ..."; and some members were equipped with low-yield atomic rockets. In the book, every member of the mobile infantry was a walking catastrophe. The opening scene with the individual deployment drops from orbit would have been awesome, too.
Anyway, about your book ... I'm not sure we have a high enough percentage of rational people to make it work. Besides, how do you actually get the power away from the people in the current power structure? The only plans I've seen are things out of Ayne Rand novels, and she was a hypocritical crackhead who idolized serial-killers and other sociopaths.
About 30 years ago the religious right figured out that the best way to influence government was through a political party. They had tried to start a new party and did not get very far so they set their sights on the Republican Party. They ran for committee positions in their local cities and counties. Well, they reached a place where they had to be heard!
We need to do the same! The Democratic party is our best bet.
I think you are right. Unfortunately we have to vote for them because they are the lesser of two evils. I vote Dem and I usually agree with them. I just think you always need a viable alternative in politics. If we vote Democratic and continue to do so they will be able to control more and then we could get even better candidates. I hate the folks who do not vote because the D's are not exactly what they wanted. You think you're going to get the same deal from Reps?
There needs to be a way to help people and yet bring out self sufficientciecy in them. There needs to be a concept of values other than religious put forth. After all- look at how 'pure' some of those preacher-men are. (Don't even get me started on that money ho Joyce Myers. She's a whole book in herself.)
Im still worried about theocracy.
When the book, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood came out, British women thought it was a good story, Canadian women called it creepy, American women said, "How long have we got?"
Be worried about theocracy. Be very worried.
I remember thinking that at the time. "Not totally beyond possibility." They shot that sucker in the south in summer. There were winter scenes so folks were wearing full winter clothes. A few got heat stroke. Since it's a right to work state the extras had little recourse. The Republicans would strip all rights to recourse and kill OSHA if they could. They just don't seem to realize that people who will not act ethically end up with more rules.
I miss real conservatives. Obama is pretty close.
I did not know the book was made into a movie, I'll have to look for it.
I am disappointed with Obama. I think he's believes his decisions are pragmatic, but pragmatism with little regard for it's affect on people is a very conservative trait. You're right, he is pretty close.
I left the Democratic Party for the Greens when they sold out to Corporate money. I don't believe we have an actual Democracy any more, just a facade. Republicorp has taken control, not only in Wisconsin. I don't buy the lesser of two evils argument any more.
"The brutal facts are that we cannot begin to build an economy for all of us when we have a democracy that works only for corporations and members of Congress." George Goehl, National People's Action