By Sikivu Hutchinson

What is it about “death with dignity” that Christian fascists don’t understand?  Recently the ultra right wing crackpot at the blog American Power came out swinging against dearly departed Satanist Elizabeth Edwards.  Apparently the ailing Edwards wasn’t clear about her submission to God in her deathbed message to family and friends.  In a final Facebook posting before her death on December 7th Edwards said that she was sustained in her life by “three saving graces—my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope."  Blasting her “nihilism” Power wrote that “Edward’s non-theological theology gets props from the neo-communists.”  Of course, “neo-communists” are the ones that molest children and cover it up, bash gays, commit acts of domestic terrorism, and loot millions from poor people on Sundays in the name of…atheism.  Not content with the patriotic tradition of burning blasphemers at the stake, now Christian fascism demands that an individual’s own reckoning with death be policed in the cutthroat blogosphere.  But the bashing of Edwards is just a footnote to the larger trend of right wing demonization of secular and left forces reignited by the Tea Party.  This trend builds on Cold War “better-dead-than-Red” hysteria equating patriotism and “authentic” American citizenship with being god-fearing.  In this universe, communism, totalitarianism, and atheism are the same anti-American McCarthyist mish mash all over again.

Good patriots can never be atheists.  Not even football playing alpha males like Pat Tillman, the army soldier and atheist whose “friendly fire” death was infamously covered up by the U.S. Army.  Tillman made the grievous error of being a dirty infidel and a critic of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East.  During a September interview on the Bill Maher show, Tillman’s brother Richard blasted folk who’d given his family religious blessings and bromides about Pat going to heaven.  Non-believers, skeptics, and humanists have always been conflicted about declarations of how the (“virtuous”) dead will be speedily dispatched to heaven.  Ultimately, the so-and-so is going to heaven or being called “home” claptrap is a lazy way of legitimizing the brutality and finality of death.   It is a mindless deferral of the hard questions about how chance, circumstance, and randomness inform living in the rude crude savagely precarious wilderness of planet Earth. 

Wandering through the savage god-fearing wilds of evangelical America in his book Republican Gomorrah, journalist Max Blumenthal recounts how James Dobson, psychiatrist and oracle of the Religious Right, courted serial rapist and killer Ted Bundy for a Death Row conversion.  According to Blumenthal, Bundy’s leap onto the Jesus train was a crowning achievement for Dobson—a man whose greatest Christian therapy was beating the crap out of misbehaving children...  MORE@

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Comment by Prog Rock Girl on December 27, 2010 at 1:18pm
Edwards didn't even say anything shockingly atheistic. But the rightwingers are in good company: Westboro Baptist Church said the same things about her.
Comment by Shutch on December 27, 2010 at 10:59am
Hi John, yes I was stunned to see the vitriol from the right wing on her -- but of course I shouldn't have been surprised given the renewed dominionist hysteria that characterizes the national climate.  On another note, there is a poignant powerfully written article on the downward spiral of Detroit in the Nov/Dec (?) issue of Mother Jones. 



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