Proper-wing reactionaries are nonetheless combating a misplaced trigger
America wants an opposition get together. Concepts should be examined, debated and deliberated. We want an opposition just like the Grand Outdated Social gathering of Everett Dirksen, William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater, a celebration with constructive concepts.
Onerous to imagine now, however the Environmental Safety Company was launched throughout the Nixon Administration, and Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren, a Democrat, to move essentially the most liberal Supreme Court docket. Consider what might have been achieved if that Grand Outdated Social gathering had not been contaminated by the non secular proper and its MAGA slogans. Nonetheless, the final election provides some hope.
America has advanced. It has change into a extra pluralistic and egalitarian society. From the start, that has been America’s future. The ideas of freedom and equality, enshrined within the Declaration of Independence and Structure, ensured that eventual final result. America was certain to change into multi-racial, and white euro-People will quickly now not be the bulk. It’s inevitable.
America has additionally advanced to change into extra secular. With the advance of science and drugs, Secular Humanism has proven itself higher in a position to tackle societal wants than non secular beliefs.
Faith is shedding its following, not as a result of it has been undermined by some nefarious conspiracy, however as a result of it has not fulfilled its promise. Neither the hypocrisy of the scandalous abuse of youngsters and cover-ups by Catholic clerics nor the preachings of anger and resentment over Christ’s messages of affection and charity by evangelical ministers has helped the reason for Christianity.
But as America has advanced, the Republican get together has regressed to change into a celebration led by Hen Littles who unfold “the sky is falling” rumors, e.g., “They’re coming on your weapons”; “they’re grooming your kids”; “they’re attacking your non secular freedom”; “they’re stealing your vote.” Such claims are as unfounded as a chunk of the sky falling on Hen Little’s head.
Nonetheless, their goal is to instill worry in a receptive viewers and sway public opinion. Instilling worry is an efficient technique that religions have used for hundreds of years, warning of hell fires and fearsome gods.
Ron DeSantis, along with his “Don’t say homosexual” invoice and Orwellian “Cease Woke Act,” which dictates what can and can’t be taught in Florida colleges, has change into the chief Hen Little. However different would-be autocrats compete for the honour and threaten free society.
Unable to understand what is sweet about modernity, the conservative proper clings to a doubtful view of the previous whereas spreading worry to retain energy and affect.
This could not shock. The advance of western tradition has additionally maddened others, together with the Muslim Taliban, who additionally view it as a risk to their faith, and Vladimir Putin who, along with the chief of chief of 100 million Russian Orthodox Christians, justifies the warfare with Ukraine as a holy warfare towards Nazis and western decadence.
However the right-wing reactionaries are combating a misplaced trigger. The final election suggests that almost all voters have moved past the groundless grievances of the far proper. The Republican get together could be smart to maneuver with them, to simply accept the trendy world, imperfect as it’s, and work with Democrats to seek out rational methods to enhance it as they as soon as did. And let go of the outdated worldview of the Christian Nationalists. The get together’s survival could rely on it; there isn’t any going again.
After 3,500 years of Judaism, 2,000 years of Christianity and 1,400 years of Islam, none of those religions has introduced peace to the world. However they’ve been a supply of battle and terrorism. Muslim jihads and Christian Holy Wars, the Inquisition and the 9/11 assault on the World Commerce Middle. Even the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol had vital non secular connection.
And 1000’s of years of placing the worry of God in folks could have made them compliant, nevertheless it has not made them completely satisfied or glad their wants and needs.
And it has not made them virtuous. Christian-dominated nation-states sometimes have larger crime charges. Why would anybody suppose that additional reliance on historical perception programs will, in one other 100 and even 1,000 extra years, make issues higher? But 4.3 billion God-fearing folks, together with the Christian Nationalists, adhere to those historical faiths.
Secular Humanism, starting simply 250 years in the past, has produced a significantly better final result. In secular America, with legal guidelines and governance based mostly on cause moderately than worry, human rights have steadily superior to kind a extra simply society. American tradition has flourished and prospered by means of advancing racial and gender equality and particular person freedoms. Throughout these similar 250 years, authoritarian and theocratic nations barely progressed as they continued to constrain liberty and deny equality and non secular freedom.
Islamic nations particularly stay certain to barbaric customs like torturing and murdering blasphemers. If Trump’s latest BFF, Nick Fuentes, will get his means, the rightwing will usher in an American model of essentially the most draconian Sharia regulation, a kind of throwback to Cotton Mather and burning witches.
Endorsing Humanism doesn’t require abandoning one’s non secular beliefs. Our Structure ensures that proper, and it’ll at all times be revered. However is it not time for the non secular proper to understand the successes of Secular Humanism? The American folks have flourished as a result of our authorities and establishments have relied on cause moderately than subjective beliefs.
Faith has an essential place in our society. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t have any place in our authorities, simply because the founders meant. The separation of church and state has been revered all through our historical past and ought to be now. How can it’s that Christian Nationalists, who take into account themselves patriots, fail to understand the genius of our Structure?
Over the past two generations, the non secular proper has gained energy and affect. And it has made a concerted effort to advertise Christianity and to interchange our secular authorities with a Christian theocracy. Certainly, 61% of Republicans favor declaring America a Christian nation, and the Christian Nationalists brazenly marketing campaign for it. Ought to that ever occur, it will likely be to everybody’s detriment, Christians included.
However that shouldn’t occur. We the folks can’t enable it to occur. The sky is not falling. And America was constructed to be inclusive from the onset. Founding Father James Madison acknowledged the hazard of the choice when he posed, “Who doesn’t see that the identical authority which may set up Christianity, in exclusion of all different Religions, could set up with the identical ease any specific sect of Christians, in exclusion of all different sects.” Can the 61% of Republicans see the sunshine in Madison’s phrases?
Bob Topper, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a retired engineer.