Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gott mit Uns

Dr.J on Romney's "freedom is religion" mis-speech:

I have been a skier for close to 50 years. For the first 30 of those I skied in the Northeast, where I live. For the last 20 or so, I have been lucky enough to be able to ski in the Colorado Rockies, mainly at Breckenridge. I am occasionally asked if I have ever skied in Utah (which does have excellent skiing, so I am told). "No," I reply, hoping to be jocular, "I don't ski in theocracies." Well, now I know that I wasn't being funny.

The true intent of Romney's speech was not to deal with religious freedom, which in the American tradition is as much about the freedom from religion as about freedom of religion. For Romney, it is now quite clear, what he oddly calls "freedom" requires religious belief, that in his terms in turn requires belief in something he calls "God." He also makes it quite clear that if you don't believe in a Goddist form of "religion" as he defines it (no Buddhists allowed, apparently), you are not entitled to freedom.

This philosophy is the essence of theocracy: the melding of government and religion. It happens that it has always turned out that theocracy means government under a particular religion, with the formulation of that government's rules determined by what that particular religion says they should be. Contemporary examples are Islamic theocratic states such as (oh my, talk about irony) Iran and Saudi Arabia, with no "freedom" in the traditional American sense. Although this statement of Romney's surprises some, we should not be surprised. The most important thing about him, the element of him that in my view totally disqualifies him to be President of the United States, is that he grew up in a theocracy and obviously thinks that form of government and governing is the most natural thing in the world. Unusually for this classic flip-flopper on so many issues, on this one he is being entirely consistent. So why the spelling of his nickname above with only one "T?" Why on the belt buckle of every Nazi Wehrmacht soldier was the slogan: "Gott mit Uns."

The United States is not a theocracy, and it had better not become one as long as I am capable of pulling a trigger. If the Saints and the fundies want a religious war, they just need to keep going the way they're going.

No comments: