Monday, October 13, 2008

Do We Want That Here?

I was visiting Candace's "Forte Etude" the other day. Her post title came from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ralph was one of the smart guys of America who put us on the Philosophical map back in the day. Up until Emerson, Thoreau,Hawthorne, and many others I cannot remember or even knew existed, what Americans thought came from Europe and was applied to our situation. They broke free of the Euro stranglehold and set us apart intellectually. Politically we had been free for half a century. Finally by the mid 1800s we were breaking free emotionally. The Great Awakenings and Transcendentalism all had their very distinctive American stamp on them. One led to the current fundie like adherence to an outdated book of parables based on the whims of one super being. The other looked forward to the future with a clarity that has so far been able to blunt the effects of over bearing religious dogma. For better or worse, what we thought in the 1800s is coming back to roost now 150 years later.

I had not considered any connection until I read Candace's post. But it would seem that our two primary political parties have decided to embrace one or the other. The Democrats, while appearing to be whack jobs sometimes, do have a preponderance of thinkers and movers who would most likely have enjoyed those walks with Emerson, Thoreau and Hawthorne. Looking to the future of possibilities not the past of folk tales told by guys in fancy robes.

Republicans on the other hand seem to have decided to embrace the ideas and blind faith that created the Great Awakenings. A smart move I guess. Seems we have a new religious revival about every 50 years or so. Tying their horse to that wagon surely has an upside when looking to re-gain power hold onto power, or seek power. The religious right's influence cannot be understated.

That is not to say that organized religion is found on only one side. Millions of Democrats go to church or synagogue. I would guess millions do not. As is the case with the Republicans. It is the purposeful inclusion of theocratic ideals into the platforms or the omission of them that help to create the deep divide that keeps them apart. It is also the inclusion or omission that draws certain people to their political cause.

I am going through all this in an attempt to understand the real reasons I left the Republican side so many years ago. I blame Ronnie most days. He was a loser when he was governor of California and he proved it later by committing treason as President. But I guess I really became disillusioned with the Republicans when the "Moral Majority", Falwell, and Robertson broke what I consider taboos if not laws when they preached politics mixed with religion from their not so insignificant pulpits.

I take the separation of church and state very seriously. I do not care that it is not specifically stated in the Constitution, only inferred. It is a good idea that we all should be concerned about. If you want to know how bad an idea it is to mix religion with politics, just look at the theocracies created under Muslim law. Do we want that here?


Dawn on MDI said...

What I find interesting is the contradiction that the fundies seem to embrace. They want freedom to practice their religion pretty much anywhere - in publicly funded schools, in government buildings, on public street corners - but they don't want anyone else to have that same right. They protest mightily if Greek or Roman mythology is taught in the public schools, if books with pagan or non-Judeo-Christian themes are stocked in the public library, or if the local druid club on a college campus wants to hold a bonfire for Winter Solstice. But they demand that the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship (that's what the group was when I was in college) be afforded time, space, and resources to host events.

And they see NO conflict there.

Go figure.

Candace said...

I've always blamed Ronnie for the demise of the Republican party. He courted the "religious" "right" for their votes and they played him so they could take control of the party. I thought the party might have some chance of change when McCain got the nomination, but no - not since he picked Palin to pander to them. Well, yeah - he screwed up before that by paying homage to Jerry the Fat. Anything to get elected is his motto now.

As to the larger picture, I think you've got a point there. It does seem that the freethinkers gravitate to the Democratic party now, whereas the dogmatic types vote Republican.

The Puritans were basically kicked out of Europe so they came here and ever since we've had this incredibly repressed element in our society that you don't see in Europe. Now they've gained power, thanks to Ronnie, and have just about run the country into the ground with their narrow-minded greed, intolerance, and bigotry.

Hate crimes are on the rise and I fear it will get worse as the economy gets worse. These people need a scapegoat, and of course it will be us "godless liberals."

[end of rant]

Thanks for the plug. :)

Demeur said...

The irony in this is that once the repubs accepted the religious rights' support plus votes they called them wackos and I'm sure still mock them under their breath. And like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football they'll fall for it again. Voltaire would be proud of them.

BBC said...

One thing that bothers me about Obama is that he does have a religion.

Thoreau was great, I live a simple and basic lifestyle also. Most people just talk about wanting to live one while continuing to make their lives more complex.

Especially women, they really are bat shit crazy.

"godless liberals."

That's a crock statement, many so called liberals also believe in god. Obama being one of them.

If she had said "spiritual liberal" she would have made more sense.

On any given day a liberal can piss me off just as much, oh, never mine. I've been through this too many times to feel like going through it again.

Fuck liberals, fuck conservatives, they are just mirror images of each other. They are just stupid words.

Ever hear of a moderate???? Go fucking figure. We're all fucking crazy, we bounce all over the chart from liberal to conservative.

All of us. We're just a bunch of crazy fucking monkeys. And this monkey would like to gag Palin and kiss her tits.

BBC said...

I'd vote for her if she let me kiss her tits for twenty minutes. They're going to lose anyway, but at least I would get in some tit kissing.

BBC said...

How come you have nothing entered? Too busy watching the buxom younger ladies?

Too busy driving myself crazy about the condition of the world to take the time to build one.

I would have to drive my truck over this frigging computer to find the time I guess.

1138 said...

Um I had something to say, and then BBC shook it all loose.

Oh yeah.

I can't understand someone that would even want their own particular religious perversion to be the "one true religion" in charge in an American Christian Theocracy. I mean eventually, the way Christianity is wired, the various sects have to fight for dominance because each says it's "way" is the ONLY way.

I'll take separation over inclusion and submission, because religion never allows itself to stay submissive, and "God told me so" can never be argued in a rational debate.