During the 2004 Presidential campaign, one of my friends was so pre-occupied by this issue, she literally could not understand why I would vote for Bush, since it was clear to her that he intended to usher in a religious state.
Yeah. I have noticed that all the women of my acquaintance are now wearing burkhas; holy communion is being forced down the throats of unrepentant leftists; and there has been a dramatic decline in sexually explicit material everywhere.
Why, last week I was forced to enter a church (they were having a bake sale).
What in heaven's name are these people thinking? How do we make sense of something so bizarre? Clearly this is completely emotion-driven, as the reality around us and facts have nothing to do with it.
President Bush has repeatedly reassured people about his personal faith and his practice of religion is not different in any respect from previous presidents. At his news conference last week he said:
As I said, I think faith is a personal issue. And I take great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.
The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim.
And that's the wonderful thing about our country and that's the way it should be.
But this does not reassure them. Bush is now in the 5th year of his Presidency. When is this supposed theocratic state going to be imposed?
The hysteria about this topic is to my mind unbelievable. And, since I am a psychiatrist, when the emotional reaction to something is all out of proportion to the reality, I begin to look for a psychological explanation.
Displacement is a psychological defense mechanism where there is a separation of emotion from its real object and then redirection of the intense emotion toward something less threatening.
When was the last time you heard of a Christian fundamentalist nation? When was the last time that Christianity killed non-believers and tortured those who ran afoul of the religious laws?
If you answered, "the middle ages"--you are correct.
Why just a few weeks ago, there was a peaceful transition of power in the only christian theocracy in the world--the Vatican. Not a single person was killed or tortured.
However, there is a religion-- now, today-- that encourages its adherents to kill non-believers. That relegates women to second class citizenship and makes their sexuality a sin punishable by death. There is a religion practiced today that rules as a totalitarian theocracy in a number of countries; and its religious leaders regularly give permission to its beleivers to kill Americans. Devoted believers of this religion piloted airplanes into American buildings, killing thousands. They would do it again if they get the chance. Devoted believers in this religion behead people who disagree with them and can be convinced to blow themselves up in order to kill people they don't like.
Which of the two religions described above do you suppose is the real threat to America and its citizens? The one that advocates peaceful solutions to problems? Or the one that advocates jihad and death to America?
However comforting it is to believe that Christianity is the religion that poses a threat to freedom and democracy, the Real World will eventually intrude on such fantasies. While these clever people "bravely" confront the straw man they have set up, the real danger will slip in unnoticed and without hindrance.
When do you suppose the "secular humanists" and Leftists will organize a conference to discuss the threat that Islam poses to their political freedoms? Don't hold your breath.
I would suggest that if "smiting theocracy" is the goal, then they need to grow up and deal with the anxiety, helplessness, anger, and rage they are feeling; then focus on the real danger we face as a country.
UPDATE: If you would like a taste of what a REAL theocracy does, please read Dymphna's latest piece at Gates of Vienna: "Thank Heaven For Little Girls"