i have heard more than one person say lately that if we aren’t careful & alert we might just wake up one morning to muslim theocracy ruling in our halls of justice. they usually go on to say something about how our own national morals are going bankrupt and how the country needs to get back to some decent values. they speak of the good old days, when people looked respectable and supposedly acted the same; when your word was your bond and a matter of honor to uphold; when everybody knew what a family was and looked like, and everybody knew their role and played it.
they say the world is no longer safe. they say that if we as a people came back to our founding fathers’ principles and our faith as one nation under god, we would be less vulnerable to another attack. they say that the patriotic thing to do is to give over some personal liberties and privacies to the trustworthy and protective eye of our military special forces and intelligence branches; they will of course be returned to us when we finally triumph over the tyranny of terrorism and zealotry that is fixed against us.
they say that we are at war with an ideology whose thirst for supremacy would not be slaked by the shed blood of the entire resistant world. this gives our cause a holy impetus; our way of life is endangered and we must defend it. because of the graveness of this threat, they say that for a while torture will not be called torture; unspoken, they believe that those who will endure it at our hands are less human or at least less right than we are so it somehow does not matter that we contradict our policy on the topic. it is only to save lives and we will not abuse it.
some voices have begun to call for the widespread legislation of our morality. they say that abortion should once again be illegal; that women who choose that path at the very least deserve to be penetrated with a device that will make the fetus visible to them before they are allowed to proceed. they say that marriage and therefore family is under attack and that we must preserve them by mandating that marriage be strictly between one man and one woman. they say that abstinence is the best contraception, and that other forms are merely a license to fornicate. they fight to keep the research of stem cells illegal on the grounds of immorality. they say that there is no law higher than the law of god; they believe that what’s good for the church is good also for the state.
and that’s american theocracy, y’all: it’s based on the tenants of christian fundamentalism rather than fundamentalist islam, but it’s every bit as theocratic, totalitarian and non-constitutional; and in keeping with the rich historical tradition of these things, those speaking the loudest of the fear of being taken over from without are zealously about the business of taking over from within.