Ideology is a Mind Killer

Ideology is a Mind Killer

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why Ted Cruz and his Minions Scare the Crap out of me - Thoughts on Theocracy

By Mel Carriere

If part of your left wing revolution includes gathering all the Bibles together onto a bier and setting it aflame, or, as some of the more frighteningly extreme among you have suggested, gathering the Christians together onto a bier and setting them aflame, then you can count me out.  Even though it most certainly contradicts my blog's slogan that ideology is mental murder, my irrational monkey mind still clings to the comfort of religion, and I proudly profess to be a Catholic Christian.  Therefore, if your quest is to bring back the good old days of Diocletian feeding his hungry kittens with Christian cat chow I'm afraid you scare me just as much as the wacko Puritan witch-hunters on the right do.

"Courageous Conservative," the tag applied to Ted Cruz to help him psychologically manipulate puzzled voters into choosing him for president, is a concept that is equally terrifying to me as religious terror, or as anti-religious terror.  The truth is, if you are a part of white bread America like I am, you don't have to be courageous to be a conservative at all.  If I were to start spouting off about how I love Obama when I go to my family reunion in July, those good people are liable to take me out for a ride in a pickup truck on the dry juniper flats and you might not ever hear from me again.  So when they use the term "Courageous Conservative" to describe Ted Cruz, it is Orwellian Newspeak to a dangerous extreme, containing sinister portents of something dark and dirty beneath.

Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Liberty University, the Grand Inquisitor mill created by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell.  Falwell was the man who advocated that public schools should be taken over by churches and have Christians running them.  He blamed 9-11 on the pagans and everybody else who was trying to secularize America.  He said that labor unions should read the Bible instead of asking for more money because the Bible will help its members work harder when they get right with God.  All of this said with a perfectly straight, albeit pudgy face.

I'm sure that Ted Cruz announcing his candidacy at this institution is not coincidental, but sends a clear signal about what he is all about, and what his people are all about.  Despite my Catholic convictions I am, and always will be, passionately committed to the separation of church and state, because I personally don't want fat bags of wind like Ted Cruz and his mentor Jerry Falwell commanding me to keep my kids away from the Teletubbies on TV because Tinky-Winky is supposedly a symbol of gay pride.

Shockingly enough, there are plenty of Americans who do not share my views about the inimical relationship of church and state, but would seem to welcome a government controlled by Conservative Christians, a sort of Inquisitorial oligarchy that decides what is good for me to read and what is proper for me to watch on TV.  A few years ago I actually had a conversation on this subject with a coworker who is also an ordained minister.

"How can you call yourself a Christian," he asked me, "and say you don't want to be governed by a Theocracy?"

"The only way I would support a Theocracy," I told him, "Is if Christ were the one in charge of it.  Any other human at the head of such a government would become corrupt and would promote their own personal agenda under the banner of God and the Bible."

A couple of coworkers listening to this largely friendly debate were cheering me on, because this mailman slash part-time preacher was fond of bullying people with the Bible, and wasn't used to being contradicted.  Which is another reason why this "Courageous Conservative" label is misleading, because most people just sort of meekly roll over to these loudmouths.

As perhaps also misquoted at one time by Ted Cruz, former President and Constitution Father James Madison said that "if angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary." The problem with theocracy, however, is that angels are not governing men.  Men are governing men and men can be corrupt, autocratic, devious, cheating little monkeys.  Speaking about man in Killer Angels, his novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, author Michael Shaara says "Well boy, if he's an angel, he's sure a murderin' angel." No matter how you try to suppress it, in our worldly bodies biology always trumps theology.  The animal inside of us instinctively wants to do whatever it can to proliferate carbon copies of itself and to push its own agenda in order to do so.  With certain individuals the drive for personal power is so extreme that the only way to hold them in check is through institutional, secular control.  You only need to go back to the days of the Inquisition and warring Popes in Italy to know that theocracies quickly become cesspools of corruption, no different than any other form of governing ideology and perhaps worse, because theocracy disguises these abuses behind a pro-Bible, or a pro-Koran, or a pro-Talmud shield that makes people afraid to question them.

So Catholic or not I won't be voting theocracy in the next election.  Heck, if Pope Francis could run I wouldn't vote for him either.  Instead I'll pull a quote from my own Bible that says "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's."  Maybe Falwell and Cruz deleted this part from their proposed governing Constitution.

Image is from:  "Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 4" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

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