Sunday, April 08, 2007
I was thinking this should be easy. Then I realized why it wouldn't be. To me the argument is clear. Religion has no place in an equal and just government. Ever.
This particular subject in the United States is centered upon the encroachment of Christian fundamentalists in government and then the implementation of policy determined from religious beliefs. One particular religious belief.
In Canada the threat of a theocracy is minimized by the existence of the The Charter of Rights and Freedoms contained within an open-ended, written constitution. However, the Christian fundamentalist crowd, most of which are of US origin, have congregated around the seat of power in Ottawa with anticipation that the Conservative government of Stephen Harper will give them voice, access to legislation and involvement in policy decisions. They won't get far given Harper's minority government, but should he achieve a majority expect the Christian right to become more powerful and more influential in the policy decisions of such a government.
It can be successfully argued that the canons of laws in many countries emerged from the dominant religion of those countries. It can also be argued that the laws are seriously flawed and until religion is extracted from the common law those countries, to a greater or lesser degree, share an odious attribute: the subjugation of any and all people who do not subscribe to the dominant religion.
The truth is, it is nearly impossible to distinguish a theocracy from a one-party state. Ideology replaces reason, research is bent to fit religious dogma and science is dismissed as heretical. Worse though, is that freedom, the word, is tossed around where no true freedom exists. And the leadership of such states requires adherence to a religious doctrine they themselves often ignore or feel is beneath them.
Of the theocracies that have existed or exist today, every one of them is responsible for the suppression of freedom and the marginalization or elimination of those who cannot be called adherents. In all of them, totalitarianism exists to destroy religious opposition. Even so-called tolerant theocracies have an element of exclusionism which sees segments of their populations denied rights and privileges.
It all starts with the courts. And once the Supreme Court of a country is taken over by the theocratists, the results are predictable.