Thursday, June 01, 2006
Hammering Home the Message
.Focus on the Family urges parents to consider seeking help for boys as young as five [in the form of "reparative therapy" designed to turn them straight] if they show a "tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy."
Well, that makes me shift uneasily between wanting to cry and wanting to show certain self-proclaimed experts on the family the joys of roughhousing by applying ball peen hammers to knees and other touchy bits of anatomy.
This is just more in the scary revelations of Michelle Goldberg's new book, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism. An excerpt of the book appears here.
While Goldberg believes that it would take the confluence of a number of natural, economic or international disasters to propel the Christian Nationalists into power as a totalitarian theocracy (none of which are as comfortingly improbable as they might be), she nonetheless predicts that "Christian nationalism will continue to be a powerful and growing influence in American politics, although its expansion will happen more fitfully and gradually."
Together with American Theocracy, the warning bells are too loud for my taste. As Goldberg puts it:
It makes no sense to fight religious authoritarianism abroad while letting it take over at home. The grinding, brutal war between modern and medieval values has spread chaos, fear, and misery across our poor planet. Far worse than the conflicts we're experiencing today, however, would be a world torn between competing fundamentalisms. Our side, America's side, must be the side of freedom and Enlightenment, of liberation from stale constricting dogmas. It must be the side that elevates reason above the commands of holy books and human solidarity above religious supremacism. Otherwise, God help us all.