If you're part of secular America – that is, if you're an atheist, an agnostic, a religious liberal or even a mainstream believer who thinks religion should be kept out of politics and vice-versa – then you should be very afraid of what the Republican party has in store for you in 2012... there's something new, something more intolerant, something truly ugly in the works. And if you don't believe me, let's start with Tim Pawlenty, unassuming governor of Minnesota in his day job, fire-breathing Christian warrior and aspiring presidential candidate in his spare time...More at the link.
"The first one is this: God's in charge. God is in charge ... In the Declaration of Independence it says we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. It doesn't say we're endowed by Washington, DC, or endowed by the bureaucrats or endowed by state government. It's by our creator that we are given these rights."Pawlenty trashed anyone who attended "Ivy League schools" or who go to "chablis-drinking, brie-eating parties in San Francisco"... It sounded like a parody of Pat Buchanan's famous 1992 "culture war" speech. Except that Pawlenty is one of the Republicans' two most plausible candidates for president in 2012...
[In 2007 the other plausible candidate Mitt] Romney called for tolerance only among believers, explicitly omitting non-believers. "Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me," Romney said. "And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith."
"Romney described a community yesterday. Observant Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Jews and Muslims are inside that community. The nonobservant are not. There was not even a perfunctory sentence showing respect for the nonreligious."Romney and Pawlenty are the early front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination, and it's a good thing: the most frequently mentioned potential fringe candidates [Palin, Huckabee] are even worse...
In contrast to [founding father President James] Madison, the Republicans propose a theocracy of believers. It is an assault not just on anyone who isn't one of them, but on the American idea, and on liberal democracies everywhere.
24 February 2010
"Republican intolerance of secularism"
Selections from an interesting an no-holds-barred op-ed column in yesterday's Guardian (U.K.):