Saturday, May 28, 2005
Our Secret History
That Americans have been denied the pleasures of killing their neighbors simply because they worship at a different church was thought, in those innocent times, to be a good thing. We used to feel smugly superior to the benighted people of countries such as Iraq, where Sunnis drive car bombs into Shiite mosques by day, and Shiites dump the bound bodies of executed Sunnis into the Euphrates at night.
In those days, we puzzled over the reason religious fanaticism would drive countries such as Pakistan and India to the brink of nuclear war. We just couldn't fathom why the people of a country such as Lebanon -- once known as the Switzerland of the Middle East -- would destroy everything they had built in order to engage a senseless and seemingly endless cycle of revenge. We thanked our lucky stars we weren't stuck in a country divided by religious strife such as Northern Ireland.
Lately, we have become aware that some on the religious right are unhappy with this state of affairs. They say this is not a nation of laws, after all, but of God. America, they say is a Christian nation. Our country has a hidden history that they have uncovered and now want to teach our children.
Red State Rabble first heard this revisionist history preached in the Rotunda of the state capitol in Topeka on National Prayer Day. Here's a recent example of this hidden history from Linda Kimball writing in the Sierra Times:
"Once upon a time, not too awfully long ago, America was known as the ‘shining city on the hill.’ America, the most radical experiment in the history of the world, was the only nation to which people oppressed and repressed by old world systems of social classes and castes could be free of the stifling bindings engendered by those man created constraints. She was a Judao-Christian (sic) nation where God of the bible, and not an elite ruling class, was sovereign over all. America was the land of hope, promise and opportunity, where not only all men were equal before God’s eyes, but where all human life from conception to natural death, was gifted by God with intrinsic worth. Because our Founders believed in the existence of a transcendent sovereign Creator, they declared that belief in the Declaration of Independence where it is written that our rights are endowed to us from our Creator and thus are inalienable, which means not from man...
"Alas, America is no longer a shining city on the hill because under the influence of militant atheism and transnational socialism fueled by Darwin’s theory of evolution, she has been turning her back on God and the Judao-Christian (sic) moral principles upon which she was founded. As a result, our once decent, orderly civilization has regressed to a state of ‘almost anything goes’ permissiveness and outright barbarianism where the common good has been displaced by the demands and desires of the few. Human life is no longer sacred and is now liberally aborted away even as militant atheist bio-ethicists are busily seducing Americans, to accept the idea of euthanasia, under the guise of quality of life. Where before, our Creator had endowed all human beings with a natural right to life, secular militant atheists have taken away that right and very predictably, replaced it with the 'right to die.'"
The more astute among you -- and Red State Rabble readers are nothing if not astute -- will recognize that the writer of this revisionist history ignores certain facts about our history, such as slavery.
It also ignores the fact that it is the Constitution that is the founding document of our nation and its laws -- not the Declaration of Independence. The founding fathers are the founding fathers because they are the authors of the Constitution, and the Constitution derives it’s powers not from God, but from…
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
You see, if you are a defender of the rule of law, of the Constitution, of science and reason, you have by definition become a militant atheist and a transnational socialist. You have been dehumanized. You have had a target painted on your back.
You have become a citizen of a country you weren't born in and didn't choose. A country where Birmingham has morphed into Baghdad. Burlington to Beirut. Buffalo to Bangalore. Bangor to Belfast. A country where chaos, religious warfare, even nuclear Armageddon are no longer things to be dreaded, but hopeful signs of the second coming.