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Monday, May 02, 2005

A cogent discussion of theocracy

THE UNITED THEOCRACY OF AMERICA by Marty Jezer: "The Founders advanced powerful reasons to promote the idea of government by the consent of the governed. For if government derives its authority from God, which God has the authority? Most Americans would reply 'the Christian God' without thinking of themselves as being provocative or power-hungry. But that would leave me out, and millions of others: Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, agnostics, and atheists, etc. But who does the Christian God represent? Catholics or Protestants? Christianity is not a monolith. Dozens of denominations exist -- and sometimes fight one another. Even fundamentalism has its factions and fissures. … John C. Danforth, an Episcopalian minister and a long-time Republican Senator from Missouri, just resigned from the post of President Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. … 'While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes,' Danforh said, 'the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence. But in practice, nothing is more divisive.' I agree with John Danforth. If we have anything to teach the world it is that people from diverse backgrounds who pray to different Gods and maintain conflicting theologies can live and govern together. Yet, in this time of great peril, we are forgetting this essential democratic virtue and favoring theocratic politicians who would manipulate religious sentiment for their own access to political power."

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