Patricia Nell Warren

Theocracy = Civil War

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | April 04, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: blog against thocracy blogswarm, blogswarm, New Apostolic Reformation, Scott Roeder, Talk2Action, theocracy

April 2-4 is the "Blog Against Theocracy" blogswarm. I've been worried about creeping theocracy in the U.S., and writing about it, for years. So I'm ready to blog. What worries me: theocracy is now beyond the creeping stage. It's sweeping. It's no longer just a threat, or a term with a weighty dictionary definition.

The lessons of history, for those who care about them, are that it usually takes a civil war to bring in a theocracy. And the United States is now echoing with the opening gunshots of a civil war that will determine whether or not this country becomes a theocracy.

It's time to call the spade a spade.

With every passing month, the theocratic extremists are more and more openly and unapologetically violent -- not only in their words but also in their actions, whether it's murdering abortion doctors or threatening to murder Congressmembers who dared to vote for healthcare reform that theocrats don't approve. But most Americans appear to be unconcerned about how the country is landsliding into armed conflict. Their sensibilities are so deadened by economic stress and apathy and the constant deafening drumroll of tabloid news (forget Tiger Woods, it's the Sandra/Jesse scandal now), that they aren't paying much attention to the important news.

As an example of how backwards and mis-prioritized our country is getting to be -- in February, a 12-year-old girl in New York City was arrested at school and dragged off in handcuffs to the police precinct, where she was kept handcuffed to a post for two hours ...all because she wrote a few words on her desk. Yet the violence-and-murder-obsessed theocrats are allowed to use Scott Roeder's trial as a public forum, and to make open statements that justify their Bible-based policy of murder against other people whose actions they oppose...and nobody drags them off in handcuffs.

The fact is -- theocratic religious extremists are advocating sedition. And the last time I looked, sedition was against the law in the U.S. There is a fine line between free speech and seditious speech, and the theocrats are crossing it.. But our fainthearted government appears unwilling to do much of anything about it.

Sure, the other day, the feds did arrest and charge a few of the Hutaree Militia from Michigan, and charged them with "seditious conspiracy." But this handful of arrests is just a good start -- kinda like the 10,000 lawyers chained together at the bottom of the sea in the old lawyer joke.

Indeed, the Justice Department evidently doesn't consider people like Roeder to be terrorists. His name isn't on the DOJ's current list of terrorists successfully convicted. Most Americans haven't admitted to the enormous power that people like Roeder have to terrorize them. Which he and his anti-abortion conspirators have successfully done, since abortions are becoming almost impossible to get, though most abortions are still technically legal.

When these theocrats are done terrorizing anyone connected with abortions, they'll terrorize LGBT people, and feminists, and immigrants, and non-Christians, and anyone else who is on their long, long blacklist.

So when the terrorists come after you, don't call the DOJ -- it is too busy trying to find Bin Laden. And don't bother calling local law enforcement, because they've got their hands full with arresting schoolgirls.

Over at Talk2Action, the political analysts there are talking about how hard it is to get major news media to pay attention to what the New Apostolic Reformation and other theocrats are up to. No kidding. Most of the major media appear to be as apathetic and stupefied as the public...or else they've bought into the theocratic side. Fox News and its resident theocrat Glenn Beck come to mind, but there are others.

In fact, most of the major media are so asleep that they're not even digging into the obvious and potentially volatile subject of Protestant clergy who molest children, and efforts by Protestant leadership to keep this subject off the radar. A simple Google search will turn up quite a few sites where this problem is discussed. But the best-organized theocrats are Protestants, and they want a Protestant naturally pedophilia is a problematical subject for them.

Meanwhile, why is anybody surprised that the right-wing militia are back in the headlines? Many of these so-called "Christian soldiers" are former military personnel who have the kind of hard-edged training and experience needed for winning a civil war. Meanwhile a lot of us liberals and lefties, poor things, still want to not own any guns.

Another lesson of history: During the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War (which ushered in a theocracy), at least the Spanish left were wide awake to what was happening in their country. So they armed themselves...or else that terrible war couldn't have lasted for three years.

Here in the U.S., I doubt that a civil war would last more than a year. In a few months, opponents of theocracy would be chewed to shreds by the superior firepower and experience of the right's "army."

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Kathy Padilla | April 4, 2010 9:23 PM

You implied that not only was I a liar, but other trans women who disagreed with you in these discussions were as well. A tactic Bailey is associated with. When your mistake was pointed out you did nothing to correct that suggestion but double downed on it. Please show how the analogy isn't apt.

Kathy Padilla | April 4, 2010 9:26 PM

Apologies - that blinked into the wrong thread as my phone messed up.

A. J. Lopp | April 4, 2010 9:34 PM
The fact is -- theocratic religious extremists are advocating sedition.

I have commented repeatedly here at Bilerico that hard-core theocrats, whether Christian, Muslim, or some other faith, ultimately must be seen as subversive to the First Amendment and thus the US Constitution.

If they are against this or that clause in the First Amendment, let them argue honestly and openly that they want the First Amendment re-amended --- that is the proper political process, and any other process, such as civil war or "culture creep" is both subversive and, as you say, Patricia, seditious.

Yes, indeed, let's call the spade a spade! Theocrats are not patriots --- instead, because their religous viewpoints do not go unquestioned in the open political arena, they use faux arguments about Religious Freedom to undermine the proper form of Religious Freedom that we now have in America.

Exactly...When they say "America is a Christian nation," what they really mean is that it is right-wing Christians' duty and destiny to be in charge. People who practice other religions or no religion and people who don't fit into their theological worldview (e.g. us) are to be subjugated and/or criminalized.

I'm glad that groups like the FRC and AFA have shown their true colors and called for our criminalization because the true nature of the "love" they claim to have for us has been revealed as the evil and murderous hatred that it is.

"Meanwhile a lot of us liberals and lefties, poor things, still want to not own any guns. "


Michelle B | April 4, 2010 10:01 PM

I'm pretty sure "a lot" is a subjective term and therefore can't be wrong as long as there are any liberals who don't want to own guns (which there are), so just shouting "WRONG!!" is neither valid nor useful in any way.

I have to say, it's times like these that make me glad I'm Canadian. Then again, once the insane theocrats take over the states, I'm sure they'll have their eye on moving north for land and resources :S But we'll have plenty of time to train the polar bear cavalry while they're busy with their civil war.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." — Sinclair Lewis

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 5, 2010 2:58 AM

I recently had a two day argument with friends of a Facebook friend who were upset at the idea of older carbon dated "gospels" being found that differ greatly from what ended up in the first political book. Of course I refer to the bible. This friend is a wonderful lady who "believes" with the brakes on and through her religious affiliations helps many people. She knows I think of it as hokum but she keeps "praying for me" anyway.

I told them, after torturous debate, OK you can believe that Christianity began when, in 1611 two Seraphims delivered "the inerrant word of God" to King James. I want pictures of the event.

They are looking for the pictures.

They are stupid. They are filling the void in their lives with this stuff to give them a sense of worth and belonging to something greater than themselves. Will it turn into a civil war? I personally don't think it could cause anything outside of "red" states and would be put down as effectively as George Washington put down the "whiskey rebellion."

Since King James was gay perhaps your friend might appreciate that the "homosexual agenda" has included producing the most popular version of the Christian Bible.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 5, 2010 10:25 AM

Nerissa, They are barely functional. They think the Roman Empire fell because they were pagan. It was Christan for the last 113 years (pre 476AD) but it WAS NOT CHRISTAN ENOUGH. Tell them there was no Latin codified bible until 1465AD and they are disbelieving. Tell them that "Misquoting Jesus" shows carbon dated earlier gospels and they are unmoved because science must be being used by the devil. Arrrrrrrgh!

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 5, 2010 10:53 PM

Oh, and re James, yes probably bisexual. First king of Scotland, he was also a believer in the "Divine Right" of kings, amazingly learned, a very wise ruler who was the first to rule a unified Britain.

The key is "divine Right" that papers over anything.

Paige Listerud | April 6, 2010 12:15 AM

So learned, he also authored a book on demonology.

And I don't think he challenged any of the sodomy laws of his time, no matter how many men he fucked or Elizabethan gowns he put on. So much for the divine right of kings.

Sometimes, you can be "learned" about all the wrong things.

Paige Listerud | April 6, 2010 12:31 AM

Ahh, yes.

He also authored a book on demonology. A best seller in his day, I think.

As for his divine right, he never challenged the sodomy laws of his country--no matter how many men he fucked or how many lush gowns he wore. I guess that's what "divine right" really means: I'm king and I get to do what I want--the rest of you poor bastards can suck it up.

Sometimes one can be learned about all the wrong things.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 6, 2010 4:36 AM

Please quote a source for your assertion.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 6, 2010 6:26 AM

Oops, my bad, he wrote it as James VI when he sat on the Scottish throne during the reign of Elisabeth I. He, like Elisabeth, was loved by his people and kept Britain out of war. But we have veered well off of Patricia's subject. My apologies.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 6, 2010 6:31 AM

To Patricia

GraciesDaddy | April 5, 2010 6:18 AM
Most of the major media appear to be as apathetic and stupefied as the public...or else they've bought into the theocratic side. Fox News and its resident theocrat Glenn Beck come to mind, but there are others.

...a perfect example of "The Boiling Frog Syndrome."

While I resent most organized religion very much, and acknowledge that the theocrats are getting louder with their drums of late, I am among those who don't perceive as large a threat as Ms. Warren here. Why? These theocrats and militia's seem to crop up and intensify with each economic downtown. The recent arrests in MI and OH didn't surprise me, as these nutcases sprang from regions that are most impoverished with unemployment right now. Quite frankly; idle man/child's will revert back to their 'hey gang; let's play army!' mentality and then justify it with a cloak of religiosity. I'm more worried about singular or small cell fanatics that might shoot up a mall or 4th-of-July parade than I am a wide-scale movement that will overthrow our democracy. I think the threat will wane as the economy picks up. As well; all the surveys and polls I've read suggest that America is becoming steadily less religious over the past few decades, and that heartens me. Is it all something to blog about? Of course it is. But (and call me naive) its not something I'm prepared to lose sleep over just yet. Me? I'm more worried about the bankers and Wall St. taking over government for the time being.

Angela Brightfeather | April 5, 2010 9:24 AM

Over five months ago I began to send emails and call in to Left Radio on Serius radio. The first call was to Micheal Signorelli. He was talking about Religious Righters on his show and the hate talk.

"Hello Michael. Do you have a computer handy? Please look up the word sedition and tell me what you are reading."

He did just that and was referred to the Cornell Law School, on line copies of the Sedition Law and the section in the US Statutes addressing and defining it.

I asked him when he is going to start calling this hate speech out for what it it, sedition and a crime against the US Government. He defended the right wingers and their right to free speech, then hung up on me.

I then called the ED Show, got on with him and asked him the same question, only this time I read the section addressing Sedition and asked him why he is not pushing for the arrest of those who are stepping over this line. He also cited the 1st Amendment and free speech rights.

Three months ago I emailed the Racheal Maddow Show and sent her a copy of the Cornell documents as an attachement. Last week she finally got to putting them up on her show. There they were, right up on the screen, the Cornell Law School logo and the references to the Sedition Law.

But it also took the arrest of those nine Cretins who were going to kill a policeman and then blow themselves up at the funeral to actually have her call it sedition on the airwaves.

I sat there watching and said to myself, "FINALLY!!!" Someone has been using their head and listening. Thank you Rachael.

When these right wing nuts pop up and start to spew hate talk and call for a change in the elected govenment, it's time for us left wing nuts to start yelling in their faces "Sedition".

I have sworn to myself that if these Tea Party idiots who can't even spell sedition show up in Raleigh, NC and one or more of them are holding up signs calling for the death of the President or the downfall of the governement, I will have a copy of the sedition laws with me and will grab a Federal Agent and press for an immediate arrest of those individuals. I believe that this is the only way that we can take back our government.

Our problem right now is that left wing media has taken their sweet time to call this out and they seem more interested at increasing their own ratings by fueling the talk and stirring the base, rather than simply calling for the confrontation and arrest of seditionists who continue to break the law.

Thank-you Patricia for confirming that "our side" can be just as crazy as their side.

Can we send you some canned food for your bunker?

Nicholas Sherman | April 5, 2010 1:03 PM

Thank-you Patricia for confirming that "our side" can be just as crazy as their side.

Can we send you some canned food for your bunker?

Did you read the Sedition Law, if you had you would realize what Patricia is saying is correct and these people should be held responsible for their actions.
They all hide behind free speech. When Bush was holding the office of President anybody speaking against him were considered traitors, after all we are still at war.
Funny how things are different when you don't like the elected officials.
I had to tolerate Bush and his cronies for 8 years as well as the Republican corporate puppets in congress. I got out there and helped change things through the ballot box but these right-wing nut jobs just want to grab thier guns because they are to lazy and stupid to do things in a democratic fashion through the ballot box.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 5, 2010 1:38 PM

I agree about the dangers posed by theocrats and their enablers but I think that the truth is that theocrats are trailblazing an American version of fascism. Theocratic and far right groups are interpenetrated and largely represented in both the Democrat and Republican parties. They're pandered to and permitted to institutionally thrive in both parties.

Liberals and antifascist conservatives and other ideologues of the right centrist Democrat and Republican parties, are dumbfounded by the threats posed by theocrats and fascists and cowed into submission by their audacity.

Fundamentally that's because they share much the same agenda.

Like Obama and McCain, Palin wants to bust unions, enrich the looter class and stop the outcry for socialized medicine, immigrant workers rights and other measures of economic democracy. They all support wars of imperial aggression to steal or control natural resources and support measures to gut constitutional protections. They all support kidnapping, torture, concentration camps and murder as legitimate tools of war and diplomacy.

Where they differ is in the use of violence against us, women and minorities. If fascists, disguised as theocrats came to power we'd be subject to pogroms and wider levels of violence in very short order. Unions would be crushed, they'd promote violence against African Americans and a return to Jim Crow, a 'legal' form of slavery and attacks on women's right.

They're nowhere near taking power now although they'll continue to promote violence against the AA and LGBT communities and audaciously attack both Democrats and Republicans. In spite of the views of liberals and accommodationists, racism is alive and just as threatening as ever. The election of Obama galvanized racists in numbers and virulence in a way we haven't seen since the voters rights movement of the 1960's. Unlike Dixiecrats (North and South) and racist Republicans, the Teabaggers and radical christer cultists are not hesitant about making racist comments or calling for violence.

As I said, conservatives, liberals and accommodationists are clueless about how to fight it. They're roadkill waiting for the bus to run them over.

The emergence of the hard right is a direct byproduct of a deep political polarization driven by a shattered economy and involvement in wars. For the last 30 years workers were horrified as their standard of living was first eroded and then beaten down by Reaganomics, Clinton's NAFTA and deregulation of predatory lenders.

Immediately on the heels of Clintons Dixiecrat agenda came the wholesale pillaging of the economy by the looting class under Bush and now under Obama. The result is an obstinate real unemployment rate of just under 17% (Bureau of Labor Statistics U6) and mass homelessness, both well within Depression levels.

Those factors are also the engine driving a renewal of the left, the radicalization of our GLBT communities and widening circles of working people. youth and folks in 'minority' communities.

In response to this polarization the Republicans, with Democrats in tow, are moving right. A recent addition to the political grouping are the Teabaggers, a bold, lawless hard right wing party that has contempt for the two major parties and their pretensions of being democratic.

Like Nazis in Germany and Mussolini's Black Shirts, the new American Right isn't playing by the rules - they revel in being audacious, violent know nothings. For now they're not large enough or organized enough to pose the danger of fascism but that can change quickly, particularly if a fuehrer type appears or the economic or military war situations deteriorate dramatically.

The job of suppressing right wing violence will have to be taken up by trade unions, minorities, women and the GLBT communities. Although liberals and conservatives are clueless about how to proceed trade unions and the left have a long history of putting fascists in their place.

Bill, I agree with you that this American brand of theocracy is heading us towards an American fascism. As I have written in other posts, the European fascist movements had heavy support from right-wing church people, both Catholic and Protestant.

And yes, the American ultra-right may not be as organized and potentially fascist as it could be...but right now it IS way more organized than the clueless left or the clueless middle.

I do disagree, tho, on their closeness to taking power. In my opinion, they're closer than many of us think. Rather than staging a coup, they may well use the "legal route" by getting more of their people into office in the upcoming elections, so they can actually use the democratic process and get it to commit suicide by voting itself out of existence.

After all, look at the legislation unfriendly to democracy that has already been voted into place!

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | April 5, 2010 9:08 PM

No one can predict the pace of events but for now the Teabagger movement lacks a cohesive, disciplined, mass paramilitary party like the Nazi's or the Blackshirts. What they do have is a large layer of racists enraged over Obama's election to organize around.

Politico reports on a poll out yesterday that says "28 percent said they are a “supporter” of the movement, while 26 percent said they are an “opponent” of tea party activists...

Forty-three percent of the independents surveyed said they support the tea party, while 49 percent of Republicans said the same. Only 8 percent of self-identified Democrats back the tea parties."

'As Mr. Doudou Diène, a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, stated after visiting several states in the U.S:

"Racism and racial discrimination have profoundly and lastingly marked and structured American society.

The U.S. has made decisive progress. However, the historical, cultural and human depth of racism still permeates all dimensions of life and American society." ' .

The full fury of the new right will fall on GLBT folks and AA communities.

No fascist group has ever been elected. At the insistence of big business, Hitler was appointed by Hindenburg, who was supposed to stop Hitler with almost 44% of the vote. Mussolini was appointed by Victor Emmanuel II, who subsequently became 'Emporer' of Ethiopia and Albania after using armed force to crush unions and the left. Franco led a military uprising to overthrow an elected government.

So for now we have to build unions and build and coalesce the left. Liberal and conservative groups are impotent when it comes to dealing with the right.

Each fascist regime and its move to power has to be looked at individually. And it's true that, in Spain in 1936, the Falange's ultraconservative uprising was aimed at destroying the newly elected Popular Front leftist government.

But in the German federal election in March 1933, 12,277,000 German voters out of 3,900,000 voted for the Nazi Party. This was the European-style multi-party system and 11 parties were competing for seats in the Reichstag. The popular support (coming mostly from German Protestants) gave the Nazis 43.9 percent of the vote, and 288 seats in the Reichstag.

While the victory didn't mean an absolute majority for the Nazis, it did give them enough leverage to achieve what looked like a "legal" takeover of the government. Just a few days later, with one of the other parties in coalition with the Nazis to create a majority vote, the Reichstag passed Hitler's Enabling Act, which gave him absolute power.

Since Hitler had already been appointed Chancellor, the election also amounted to giving him a popular vote of confidence. It was the last election in Germany until after World War II.

solna blanchard | April 5, 2010 11:34 PM

Based on both the bigger picture, which is troubling enough, but also on the personal I have to agree with Patricia that all of this is coming together much faster than we would like to think. The government is infiltrated with big money, private interests and makes deals behind closed doors. There is no responsibility from any of the elected officials, or those who might wish to do something, know they can't do anything under the present conditions.

It is not crazy, pointless nor paranoid to realize we face a potentially lethal situation. I appreciate that Patricia had the courage to point out the connection between the growing aggression of the right wing theocracy and giving a timely warning to watch out and protect yourself and your loved ones. The more we observe the patterns of power and all the multiple ways they use people to create an atmosphere of fear, the more prepared we can be for the worse possibility when it happens. Lets not get on the cattle cars this time.
It is all tied together - banks, big pharma, extremists of all kinds, racism, it all works to keeps people enslaved to fear and hence weak in the face of their absolutism.

The militia types need to be treated by the Feds and portrayed in the media as common criminals. The worst possible thing to do is to allow them to be portrayed (by themselves, fellow travelers, and irresponsible pundits) as patriots. Many of these militia types and anti-abortion "justified homicide" types have records for domestic violence, including beating or molesting children and teens, or general drunken violence (bar fights, road rage, and the like). Publicize prior convictions.

Americans don't like to think of themselves as being on the same level as child rapists.

The truth is, for every violent extremist that commits an act, there are dozens of sympathizers who provide "moral" and actual support, and feel proud of themselves for doing so. Sympathizers can be scared off by fear for their own public reputation.

"so they can actually use the democratic process and get it to commit suicide by voting itself out of existence."

This quote is best appreciated while wearing a tin-foil hat.

This post is a necessary wake up call. As a poli sci grad student, I perked up a bit. Left secularists can reason themselves away, pleading for common sense to heal the mania of tea partiers and the like - without much success at all. The passion driving radical right wingers goes beyond reason and articulation. That religion fuels it shows what secularists are missing - that religion in some way fuels the passion beyond the specific doctrine in which it manifests. The formal negation of belief in political action is creating its own impasse for secular progressives. Some thinkers point to a belief or love in democracy itself, an idea that seems pretty inspiring in contrast to the seditious, antidemocratic mobilizations that Warren describes.