Found another bone to pick with Chuck Norris, my new favorite fundamentalist asshat. Take for example, his article Mr. President, please tear down this wall!.
There’s really not much more to say than that he’s just completely wrong. He starts off accusing the folks on my side of misinterpreting Thomas Jefferson’s comment on the separation of church and state, which I consider one of the most important things keeping sanity in our government. And it doesn’t get better from there.
Here’s the thing: he’s got an “us vs. them” mentality that pits the good xian people of this nation against the overpowering minions of the devil, whose purpose is to stop xianity at all costs. Of course this is bullshit for lots of reasons, but my favorite is that there’s no real “us” (the mythical “church” of true xians) any more than there really is a “them” (which is open to interpretation but my favorite euphemism is “the world”).
I am honestly terrified that my daughters will learn to think like this, because the dichotomy simply doesn’t really exist. There is no “us” or “them”, just a few billion people, and their globally increasing problems.
Getting back to the story, Chuck implies that tearing down the wall of separation will allow “Christian influence” to enter the public domain (which it would, without hesitation) and (here’s where he’s wrong) that would fix a lot of our problems. Which is unadulterated bullshit.
There is a rapidly growing minority of folks who honestly think that this really is a “christian nation” and that someone has taken the power away from “the church”. We must have done it via teh interwebs when nobody was looking.
Let me say it loud and proud: they’re just wrong. Any one-dimensional analysis of any problem anywhere between more than two individual humans misses the point, period.
Okay here’s the thing: if the wall comes down, our political battles will cease to be left vs right (another false dichotomy) and become sectarian, literally within one election cycle. Considering the next election cycle involves the office of POTUS and will define how our illegal Middle East occupation will end, this is not the time to make such a change. And, you know, the culture wars between social liberals and conservatives was one kind of problem, but at least there wasn’t a lot of jihad involved. Folks seem to think that if the miracle happened and we were to become a monolithic nation of xians, all our problems would be solved. Here’s the problem: most of the muslims feel exactly the same way. Assuming the worst (that the U.S. transforms overnight into a nation of evangelicals by force of the loudest voice winning), I predict two things will happen:
- All real scientific progress in the U.S. will effectively end
- World War III between “the church/elect” and “the world/heathen” (feel free to decide who’s who. It won’t matter)
I really prefer to keep the wall, thank you.
I wonder, but only a little, if I have fallen into the trap of polarization that so many others are. From some other perspective, I’m sure it seems that I have: I see myself straining at one end of the rope in a secular-vs-religious lifestyle in my personal life and in my politics. But that’s not who I want to be.
Oh, what to do?