Religion and politics, Kentucky style 1

I just finished reading, The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us by Rabbi James Rudin. In the book, Rudin makes a fairly convincing case for a long-term, sly conspiracy to convert the US into a theocracy.

There was still a part of me that would like to believe that Rudin’s conclusions are too far-fetched, that things could never get that extreme. That is, until I read a political report in the Louisville Eccentric Observer about our fair Commonwealth’s legislature, now in session. Some the legislation being considered includes

  • HB489: A bill to outlaw and criminalize all abortions, even in rape and incest cases — there are 39 sponsors of this challenge to Roe v. Wade;
  • HB 277: A bill to permit the posting of “historical documents” — like the Ten Commandments — in public buildings; this potentially unconstitutional legislation passed through the House overwhelmingly, 91-3;
  • HB 290: A bill to make secret the names of citizens with licenses to carry concealed weapons — all other weapons licenses (hunting, for example) would remain public;
  • A bill in the Senate to reduce the consequences of bringing a gun onto school grounds from criminal charges to mere warnings.

It is Rudin’s contention that right-wing Christian factions, now that they believe they finally have a sympathetic Supreme Court of the US, want some state in the Union to enact legislation that defies the 1973 SCOTUS decision stating that women have the constitutional right to have abortions. The Christian Right wants such legislation to be challenged by the ACLU or whomever, so that the latest SCOTUS can take another crack at Roe v. Wade. The Christian Right, Rudin says, is now confident that the Court will overturn the earlier Roe v. Wade decision.

The anti-abortion bill introduced into the Kentucky House looks like just such an effort.

Rudin also contends that the Christocrats, as he terms them, want to transform the US legal system from a secular to a biblical one. They believe the Founding Fathers, regardless of the separation of church and state, established the United States as a Christian nation, one which used the Ten Commandments as a major foundation of its legal system.

Thus, Rudin contends, Christocrats see no problem at all with the posting of the Decalogue in public buildings, despite court rulings declaring many such displays (including those in Kentucky courthouses) as unconstitutional. They will try repeatedly, he says, to introduce legislation in state assemblies to force the issue. That our House here sees nothing wrong with the veiled language — “historical documents,” as if posting the Declaration of Independence or the Magna Carta needs special enabling legislation — is downright scary.

Finally, this business about the gun legislation is probably just another example of the American gun lobby pushing legislative buttons, but Rudin offers the alarming idea that some of the more fanatical Christocrats would favor a civil insurrection against the prevailing political and social order. Easing restrictions against gun use and ownership would play right into their hands.

If you want to be scared s***less, read Rudin’s book. I got it from

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One comment on “Religion and politics, Kentucky style

  1. Reply futuregeek Feb 18,2006 3:15 am

    Kentucky will be an easy target for the Christocrats. The following laws from the Kentucky Code refer to education:

    158.175 Recitation of Lord’s prayer and pledge of allegiance — Instruction in
    proper respect for and display of the flag — Observation of moment of silence
    or reflection.

    158.178 Ten Commandments to be displayed.

    Good post. I’m linking to it.

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