Thursday, January 25, 2007


After reading this, hadda go out and buy a big bag of junk food to drown my blues: "Through a Glass, Darkly: How the Christian Right Is Reimagining U.S. History," in Harpers Magazine, Dec., 2006.
A few snips from this long and frightening article:

Liberals like to point out that many of the Founders were not ... Christian but ... deists or downright unbelievers. Fundamentalists respond by trotting out the Founders’ most pious words, of which there are many (Franklin proposing prayer at the Constitutional Convention; Washington thanking God for His direct hand in revolutionary victories; etc., etc.).


William J. Federer's … America’s God and Country — a collection of apparently theocentric [quotations] distilled from the Founders and other great men “for use in speeches, papers, [and] debates” — has sold half a million copies. “Those who control the past,” Federer said, quoting Orwell’s 1984, “control the future.”


Federer and I were riding together in a white school bus full of Christians ... to pray [where] the Danbury, Connecticut, First Baptist Church once stood. It was in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists that Thomas Jefferson first used the phrase “wall of separation.” [It was on the basis of these] three words [that] the battle over whether the United States is to be a Christian nation or a cosmopolitan one turns. Federer, leaning over the back of his seat as several pastors bent their ears toward his story, wanted me to understand that what Jefferson—notorious deist and author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom—had really meant to promote was a “one-way wall,” designed to protect the church from the state....”

“‘Those who control the present,’” Federer continued his quotation of 1984, “‘control the past.’” He paused and stared at me to make sure I understood the equation. “Orson Welles wrote that,” he said.

1 comment:

Morgaine said...

"Orson Welles." The dumb leading the dumber. A very few people on the Right have figured out how to create a fascist state using Orwell and Hitler as their models. The people below them, like the guy leading the tour, aren't even smart enough to realize what they're doing. The people that follow him are even less educated, so they just swallow the bullshit whole.

How do you pull a society into a higher form of moral functioning? How do you get people who don't know any better to know better when they don't have critical thinking skills?