Witte: What Christianity in the United States would look like

Jacob Witte

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” — Sinclair Lewis

Last week I wrote about what a Christian United States should look like, in accordance with New Testament principles and the teachings of Christ. Today we will meet the other side of the coin in the form of what a Christian United States would look like.

Perhaps at the heart of the issue of what a Christian United States would look like is a war on intelligence and rationality. After centuries of learning about the origins of the earth, universe and the natural world, the Christian Right seeks to not only ignore these advances but to demolish them altogether because they go against their narrow parameters of the word of God.

Need proof? You can take a drive down to Kentucky and visit the Creation Museum. This museum has an exhibit which displays dinosaurs and humans peacefully existing together, based on the literal view of the Bible that the universe is a mere six thousand years old, thus having to incorporate the discovery of dinosaur fossils somehow.

This assault on reason is unconscionable coming from the same country which, not fifty years ago, put a man on the moon. And this assault is coming to the classroom. The Christian Right is doing its utmost to chip away at the wall of separation between Church and State, claiming all along the way the United States is a Christian Nation founded on Christian principles.

A mere read through the Constitution, however, says otherwise. The only time the Constitution ever mentions anything having to do with religion, it states, in Article VI, there shall be “no religious test” for any public office in the United States. And, of course, we all know the First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The Right to Privacy would also be eroded at a breathtaking pace. If certain people had their way, sex would never be the same; engaging in homosexual intimacy of any kind would be punishable by law, as likely would be premarital sex and not-for-procreation sex. Abortion would also vanish, taking away the last vestige of women’s reproductive rights that have been fought for for half a century.

Other advancements women have had in the last fifty years would also be washed away. They would likely be put back into the role as inferior and subordinate to the husband in the household. Because women are spoken so low of in the Bible, many on the Christian Right use this as a reason for keeping women out of the workplace and, essentially, used as broodmares for the continuation of the church.

Rick Santorum, former senator and current Republican presidential candidate, has stated publicly he would like to see all federal funding for contraceptives banned and sex should only for procreation. He also called public schools ‘indoctrination centers’ for the left. He said nothing about Sunday School.

Next up, the tax laws would likely be restructured in such a way in which the rich would pay even less taxes, and any means of wealth redistribution or social welfare would come through voluntary charitable means only through the church. Non-Christians need not apply.

The popular Christian textbook “America’s Providential History” claims income taxes as “idolatry,” property tax as “theft” and calls for the abolition of inheritance taxes. Justification comes from Genesis 1:26-27, which calls for mankind to have “dominion over … all the earth,” giving the Christian Right their mandate for unfettered capitalism.

The First Amendment, as mentioned earlier, would, in effect, be repealed. Since the state would be the church, and vice versa, there would be no need for any separation. Also, the freedom to express yourself against the theocracy would likely end the same way it did during the reign of the Catholic Church centuries ago.

It’s rather paradoxical that this faction, in using the First Amendment to get their message across in the first place, would turn around and use it as a way to silence those that would speak out and likely abolish other more moderate versions of the faith and other religions entirely.

Pulitzer Prize winning author Chris Hedges has written extensively on the threat of the Christian Right bringing theocracy to the United States. A graduate of the Harvard Divinity School, Hedges is himself a believer, not one to simply slander religion for the sake of slandering religion.

In the closing paragraphs of his book, “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America,” Hedges explains how we should be tolerant toward the views of the Christian Right, but the way in which we lie down while they attempt to take over American democracy is simply wrong. “Tolerance is a virtue, but tolerance coupled with passivity is a vice.”