Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Great Society vs Today's ChristoFascism

The remnant of "Camelot" will surely warrant prayers ...
for his swift death - from ChristoFascists.

May 22

It's a rather dull day as religion and politics go. The big news, of course, was the fact that Senator Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. However, neither Pat Robertson nor any of the Christian Right have commented by saying it was God's wrath upon Kennedy's liberal ways. To be fair, we must give them time since comments of that nature take an effort to construct properly. Maybe Robertson is waiting for a natural disaster to strike Kennedy's hospital, who knows. Robertson is, after all, is almost as big on natural disasters as Jerry Falwell was.

I looked at the On This Day in History list and the only thing that struck me was the Lyndon Johnson "Great Society" speech. So, I dug a bit further. Here's the pertinent segment of his speech to the University of Michigan commencement on May 22, 1964:

We are going to assemble the best thought and broadest knowledge from all over the world to find these answers. I intend to establish working groups to prepare a series of conferences and meetings—on the cities, on natural beauty, on the quality of education, and on other emerging challenges. From these studies, we will begin to set our course toward the Great Society.”

Johnson pushed through legislation for his Great Society which was vaguely modeled on FDR's New Deal. Of his efforts, Medicare, Medicaid still survive, but there were a host of social programs that do not exist anymore. Why not? They were technically killed by Reagonomics, but theoretically they were destroyed by conservatives and, dare we say it - today's ChristoFascists.

The Wikipedia definition of ChristoFascists:

Christofascism allows Christians, or disposes them, to impose themselves upon other religions, upon other cultures, and upon political parties which do not march under the banner of the final, normative, victorious Christ.

Is ChristoFascism a perjorative term? It probably is, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is an apt description we have for theocratic authoritarians. Interestingly, Conservapedia has no definition of ChristoFasicsm.

Here's a very insightful Bob Nichols (Democratic Underground) way back in 2002 commenting on ChristoFasicsm:

Why are fetuses and embryos more important than non-born again humans outside the womb? Or, what is it that makes the "pre-born" sacred and the "post-born" unworthy of unconditional Christ-like love and caring?

A part of the answer is that the Christian Radical Right believes in the anti-gospel doctrine of Original Sin. This was not part of Jesus' teachings, but invented a few centuries later by a helpful "Saint" Augustine.

So "pre-born" embryos and fetuses are sinless, just like Jesus, and then are sinful at the moment of birth and are believed to be going straight to hell. ...The Christofascists stand in trembling ecstasy ready to be raptured up when Armageddon erupts in the MidEast - and soon, they hope. Dialing up global thermonuclear war is their fondest desire.

Christofascists are consumed by their constant conservative desire for absolute, authoritarian certainty rather than truth. Their grasping belief in the pre-Christian view of God as a vengeful, arbitrarily violent Yahweh sets them up perfectly to follow the commands of any authoritarian leader. These triumphant and confidant sounding leaders are always God-ordained and are granted strict unconditional obedience from the sheep in the pews. The ChristoFascist leaders are all too willing to be judges, juries, and executioners of the unsaved non-believers.

Author Christopher Hedges calls Fundamentalists "American Fascists," but the latest crop of preachers - Word of Faith movement - are even more adamant on promoting their own authority; they make hay out of the needy and the greedy. In a sense, they are more dangerous than what we would consider the common, everyday fascist: they say God is leading them, so you have to bow down to them in turn.

So where does all this do to Lyndon Johnson's dream of a "Great Society"? It gets us as far away from it as possible.

They all had dreams of a greater America. Hard to believe that two of them came from Texas.

This photo was taken just moments before the end of "Camelot"

Pray for Ted Kennedy, if you dare.