Religious Government Possible? No, and…Yes!

Stay tuned for a potentially surprising revelation about government and religion! (I sound like a local news commercial: “Tonight, we’ll show you how breathing Can Kill You! Tonight at 10.” With such sensationalist and yellow journalism, and the knowledge that local news studios will get money to air fake news from both government and corporate interests, how can local news programs have any credibility whatsoever? Anyway….)

So, CNN.com reports today that Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback is making serious moves toward running for President. This guy is a theocrat pure and simple! He wants a Christian libertarian “government” (I’ll be blogging later on libertarian stuff) where clergy are involved in politics and all sex outside of married heterosexuals is illegal–just to name a few stances.

Read his ideals in his own words: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/9178374/gods_senator/

How is what he wants, a religiously guided and based government, impossible? Take a look at the current U.S. Constitution:

Article VI: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And do a keyword search on the Constitution if you’re not interested in reading the whole thing: Not a single reference to God, Creator, Lord, Jesus, Heaven, Bible, Commandments, etc. De jure evidence that the government was not founded on religious principles. The only Commandments that are referred to in the Constitution involve murder, theft, and lying. Three non-religious crimes that pretty much every culture, government, religion deals with. So, we can not have a religiously based government.

However, and this is what startles me every time I recall it. Thomas Jefferson, one of the principle and primary architects of our government, believed laws and the Constitution itself should be repealed and recreated every generation! He believed no generation should be beholden to the laws and ethics and morality (which shouldn’t be legislated in any case,) of a previous generation, and the laws and very Constitution should be recreated to reflect the current values of the society.

Which means, if the majority of the United States tomorrow wanted a theocracy, we should have one.

Wha-wha-what?! Yep, that’s Jefferson’s idea. Of course, he took it for granted that the American people and politicians would always remember the atrocities done by government in the name of religion, and always realize that human rights are inalienable, and that the Age of Reason would continue and the American citizen would always be a freethinking man of reason, and assumed that each generation of new laws and constitution would reflect that.

Yeah, looking around at our society of religious zealots (Christian fundamentalism like we see today didn’t even really exist until the beginning of the 20th century,) and believers in ghost whisperers and alien abductions and Chi, my hope in the freethinking reason of American society is dead and buried. In any case, a lot of Jefferson’s contemporaries didn’t necessarily agree with him. And in fact, while I think of Jefferson as one of my heroes and agree with him in principle, I’m not sure I can agree with him on this one in practice.

So, the Christian conservatives are going to back Brownback, and fortunately he’s probably not going to even get the Republican nomination. And the idea of a theocracy is ideally possible according to one of the primary creators of our government. Interesting topics to consider.