Sunday, January 27, 2008

Think a Conjoined Church and State is a Good Idea?

Really? Well, this is one of those "be careful what you ask for because you just might get it" questions. Let's take a look at the last time this happened in the traditions of "Western Civilization".

Although a bunch of wingnut Koolaid drinkers have gone to some length to try to deny it, you don't have to look any farther than Nazi Germany for proof that the melding of church and state is never a good idea.

Take a look at the photographs on this page for a stark visual reminder of what can happen when the church and the state get into bed together.

Not convinced by a bunch of photographs? How about taking a look at the scholarly study, Theologians Under Hitler by Robert P. Ericksen PhD, or, for those with a short attention span, check out the DVD of the same title. The premise of the book and the film is that even the most reputable and "normal" theologians can readily accommodate themselves to the banality of evil and see the attractiveness of a church-state combination.

The right wing can try to weasel out of this all they want, but facts are facts and their denials are Just. Fucking. Wrong!

Okay, I hear you saying, but that was Germany, and they are among the "others". So you want an example in an English-speaking context? How about Oliver Cromwell and his attempts to establish a Protestant theocracy in England after his Roundheads overthrew -- and chopped the head off of -- the English king, Charles I. His genocidal activities against the Irish Catholics are still highly resented in the Irish Republic and among Irish descendants world wide.

Our best and last hope to prevent this in the US lies in organizations such as Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. I am proud to be a member of AU. Please consider joining us, so you can help us make our collective voices heard.

Remember: The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.


Anonymous said...

Farns old buddy, are you saying that if only Hitler had been an atheist, World War 2 never would have happened? If anything, Hitler was more of a socialist... you know like you liberals. That's were "National Socialism" came from. They were into wealth distribution, abortions, a job for all individuals, free health care, free education... hmmm... who does that sound like. What you fail to do is tie in religion as a reason he went to war. Without that, the portion about hitler is meaningless.

You seem to imply that religion was the cause of WW2. Are you saying atheistic governments are any better? Should we take a look at the 3 to 60 million that died do to the atheist Stalin? How about the 40 million died in the communist purges in China?

Like you, I also believe in seperation of church and state. I'm also an aetheist. The constitution states freedom of religion... not freedom from religion and that's where we differ. I realize that this nation was founded by people with christion principles. I don't have a problem with that.

Farnsworth68 said...

Where and when did I say that if only Hitler was an atheist, WWII would never have happened? When did I say that religion was the cause of WWII? That Stalin was better than Hitler? Give it up, PH, you really are starting to flail now.
And, BTW, the Nazis were NOT Socialists. They were a perverted version of corporate-state fascism. There was NOTHING Socialist about them except their name.
See, for example, Nazism and Socialism for the descriptions of the two systems.
Allow me to quote an expert: "Nazism has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism... Marxism is anti-property... I absolutely insist on protecting private property... we must encourage private initiative". -- Adolph Hitler. (You remember him? The guy who refused to nationalize German industry? Yeah, some "socialist" he was...)
In short, if you believe in government control of the means of production by the nationalization of industry, you are a Socialist. The Nazis believed in private property ownership and private ownership of businesses. And that is NOT Socialism.
You could look it up, but that would tend to shake up your world view too much, I would guess.
And don't bother coming back with any number of false comparisons, widely available on the Internets, that set out to "prove" that the Nazis were Socialists. The wingnuttery has been trying for years to hide the fact that their ideology is more closely aligned to that of Adolph Hitler than Karl Marx by attempting to point out that the Nazis had "Socialist" in their title. And let's leave Stalin and the former Soviet Union out of this. They weren't socialists either, despite the use of "socialist" in their name -- nor were they truly communists.
Oh, and thank you for your support for the concept of separation of church and state, but nowhere did I demand -- nor does the AU support -- the complete removal of religion from the public square. What I do demand and expect is that the state will not support any religion.
But that's a common misconception about the mission and function of AU.
Why don't you drop by the AU website, check us out, and see if that changes your mind about what we are all about. Who knows, you might even join us.

Anonymous said...

About Seperation of Church and state... how do you define "What I do demand and expect is that the state will not support any religion." Does that include removing "In God we trust" from our currency? How about swearing on a bible for the President taking the oath...

On the Nazi and church issue... my main point was, what did the church have to do with Hitler being such an evil bastard? You imply that Hitler was the result of a conjoined church and state but offer no insight or proof that Germany's involvement with the Church led to Hitler. Or that Hitler's involvement with the Church turned him into the person he was.

Stalin was communist sure... but he was also an aetheist along with Moa... You could have just as easily written an article saying "Think an aetheist leader and a state is a good idea" and then shown pictures of Moa and Stalin and the slaughter that that resulted to prove your point.

Evil men will use whatever is at hand to perform their deeds. Some have used religion as a cover but as Moa and Stalin show, even aetheists can be evil.

Farnsworth68 said...

If I had my way, yes. The phrase would be removed from the currency and that annoying and unnecessary "under god" from the flag pledge.
I suppose you're among the flock that holds that Obama was sworn in using the Koran.
You missed the point (as usual) on the whole thesis of this post.
Hitler was evil, and he was also pragmatic enough to cloak himself with the trappings of religion in order to further his nefarious goals.
He was not the product of the conjoined church and state; rather he was the creator of it. You're putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.
This post did not take into account atheists, because its topic was "Church and State".
Nice try, though.

Anonymous said...

"This post did not take into account atheists, because its topic was "Church and State".

Of course you didn't take into account atheists, that would have blown your entire article out of the water.

Farnsworth68 said...

Well, since the topic of this post had to do with "Church and State", and since atheists don't have a "church", then you are right. It would have "blown it out of the water"...