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Sun

28

Sep

2008

Sarah Palin: Heroine of the Christian Fascist Movement
Sunday, 28 September 2008 14:29
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
Sarah Palin’s Vision for America: Ignorance, Injustice, and Discrimination
Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky was correct: “ There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” When she was mayor of Wasilla, the recently anointed heroine of Christian fascism tried to ban more than a few books.

John Stein, mayor of Wasilla before Palin, noted that “as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. ‘She asked the library how she could go about banning books,’ he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. ‘The librarian was aghast.’ … news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker [the librarian] for not giving ‘full support’ to the mayor.”

Dictatorial behavior, to be sure. But then again, fascists are dictatorial. Why not just ban dictionaries? That makes fascist “sense.” Information and critical thinking are anathema to fascists, especially today’s home-grown crop of Christian fascists hell bent on eradicating all knowledge since Joshua stopped the earth-orbiting sun in the sky and replacing “thinking” with “obeying” without question or comment. For Christian fascists a dictionary is the Devil’s Book: it informs people that they’re being suckered and suffocated by logocide and the lies it produces.

Information and critical thinking are anathema to fascists, especially today’s home-grown crop of Christian fascists hell bent on eradicating all knowledge since Joshua stopped the earth-orbiting sun in the sky and replacing “thinking” with “obeying” without question or comment. For Christian fascists a dictionary is the Devil’s Book: it informs people that they’re being suckered and suffocated by logocide and the lies it produces.
 
 Chris Hedges described “logocide” his 2006 book American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America:

Dominionists and their wealthy, right-wing sponsors speak in terms and phrases that are familiar and comforting to most Americans, but they no longer use words to mean what they meant in the past. They engage in a slow process of “logocide,” the killing of words. The old definition of words are replaced by new ones. Code words of the old belief system are deconstructed and assigned diametrically opposed meanings. 

In the Christian Right’s war on knowledge and critical thinking, Palin has some other medieval “educational” ideas to go along with banning books. She wants creationism taught in public school science classes. 
The Bible is the inerrant...word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etc. 
– Jerry Falwell
Perhaps Gov. Palin would like to have Falwell’s “wisdom” inscribed above the entrance to all public school science classrooms. We can close all the science labs. No need for them anymore. Just check the Bible. And if by chance the answer to a question in science, geography or history classes isn’t in the Bible, well, then it’s really not worth considering, is it? And just think of all the money school districts would save on books. The Bible would be the only textbook needed for science, geography, and history courses.  

Palin has similarly plans to resolve those pesky social issues of abortion and equal rights for gay Americans. No abortions, no exceptions. Gays and lesbians are sinners – by choice – and therefore deserve to be shunned, second-class sub-citizens.

“Abstinence-only” is Palin’s replacement for real sex education, despite the fact that it didn’t do much good for her pregnant 17 year-old daughter. But beyond that obvious failure, Palin “thinks” that if a woman is raped or the victim of incest and becomes pregnant as a result, she should not be permitted to terminate the pregnancy. Real people don’t count in Palin’s warped view. Only dogma matters. Perhaps she’ll create “re-education” programs for victimized women to teach them that they were responsible for what happened to them. “Re-education” is the euphemism fascists use for brain-washing. And speaking of “re-education”…

Palin’s current church not only supports but promotes “ex-gay” therapy programs. Such “therapies” have been denounced as “unethical,” “unproductive” and “dangerous” by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, and other professional organizations.

Nevertheless, Wasilla Bible Church’s bulletin recently contained a flier advertising Focus on the Family’s upcoming Love Won Out conference in nearby Anchorage: “You’ll be encouraged by the power of God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality.” Love Won Out is James Dobson’s “ex-gay” program that, according to an FOF CitizenLink article, “will help area churches respond in a Christ-like way to the issue of homosexuality, and offer the Gospel hope of change to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions” [italics added].

Jesus had absolutely nothing to say about homosexuality. And as ReligiousLeft.us has pointed out,

There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew that is equivalent to the English word homosexual. The 1946 Revised Standard Version (RSV) New Testament was the first translation to use the word homosexual [a term coined in 1892].


There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew for “sodomy” or “sodomite.” A Sodomite would have been simply an inhabitant of Sodom, just as a Moabite would have been an inhabitant of Moab, though the word sodomite does not show up in biblical Greek or Hebrew. Any translation of the Bible making use of the words sodomy or sodomite are clear interpretations and not faithful translations.

The Bible really does not fully address the topic of homosexuality. Jesus never talked about it. The prophets never talked about it. In Sodom homosexual activity is mentioned within the context of rape (raping angels nonetheless), and in Romans 1:24-27 we find it mentioned within the context of idolatry (Baal worship) involving lust and dishonorable passions. 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 talk about homosexual activity in the context of prostitution and possibly pederasty.  

Nowhere does the Bible condemn a loving and committed homosexual relationship. To use the Bible to condemn such a relationship, as we see, involves a projection of one’s own bias and a stretching of the Biblical text beyond that of which the scriptures speak. 


But it’s clear what Love Won Out and Focus on the Family mean by “respond in a Christ-like way”: the way Christian fascist James Dobson wants them to. Brian Elroy McKinley said it well:

Move over George Washington. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, wants to take your place as father of our country. But rather than being a true father – one who helps us mature into individuals – he is little more than another Pharisee, setting himself up as a religiously-based political dictator bent on getting us to support his personal view of legislated morality.

And what's even worse, Dobson goes to great length to use Scripture to support his view, and yet according to Time magazine he doesn't even have any formal theological training. In short, Dobson, using his position as a radio psychologist, has set himself up as our moral authority and asks us all to blindly follow.


Dobson thinks he and he alone knows “God’s” thinking, hence the statement in the Love Won Out flier: “God’s love and His desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality” [italics added]. What does it matter if some people and families are destroyed by “ex-gay” rhetoric and programs?

Like Dobson, Palin claims she’s all about “family values.” More logocide. She and Dobson are in full support of legislation – including a Constitutional amendment – that would relegate some families to a deep, dark closet. No social, legal or economic recognition. Like all Christian fascists, Palin is anything but “pro-family.” She and they acknowledge and value only those families that fit into and will support their Master Plan.

In a recent letter to the editor, “ Same-sex marriage benefits society ,” Harry A. Turner exposed Christian fascists’ anti-family, anti-community, pro-bigotry, pro-discrimination agenda in relation to California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the existing right of same-sex couples to marry and have their families recognized:

Marriage is not just a contract between two people; it is a contract that the couple makes with their community, which is why there is always a witness. This is a bountifully fruitful bargain for society. The partners agree to take care of each other so the community doesn't have to. In exchange they are deemed a family, binding them to each other and to the society with a myriad of legal and social ties. Marriage makes people on average, healthier, happier and wealthier. For a couple raising kids, marrying is likelier to make them healthier, happier, and wealthier, too. Marriage is our best line of defense against financial, medical and emotional meltdown. It stabilizes communities by formalizing responsibilities and creating kin networks (aunts, grandparents, cousins.) Its absence can be calamitous, whether in inner cities or in gay ghettos. 

Because parents want happy children, communities want responsible neighbors, employers want productive workers, and governments want smaller welfare case loads, society has a powerful interest in recognizing and supporting married same-sex couples. … 

America needs more marriages, not fewer, and the best way to encourage marriage is to encourage marriage, which is what we are doing now by bringing same-sex couples inside the tent. On the other hand society can be denied its stabilizing benefits and same-sex couples can be sent back to their shadowy world of lesser citizenship… 

And that’s exactly what McCain’s and Palin’s “family values” intend to do: send certain people and their families “< back to their shadowy world of lesser citizenship,” despite the fact that marriage is a  civil institution and access to it, a civil right :

If marriage was simply religious, there would be no civil benefits. No tax breaks, no inheritance laws, no social security benefits, etc. and above all, the preacher wouldn't need a piece of paper from the state saying he/she can legally marry others. 

Regarding the legal benefits of marriage, your preacher is acting as a representative of the state (man’s law) when he/she marries you, not a representative of God. God can not grant you legal benefits since they are of man, not of God. …

This is about man’s law, or, as many call it, civil law, which makes it [marriage] a civil rights issue, not a religious one. 


Just as Palin has no compassion, no respect for victimized women and would seek to increase their suffering through her “no exception” stand on abortion, she has gone out of her way to hurt a very small group of people and their families in her home state:

...early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees. At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court. 

Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional. But her reluctant support didn’t win fans among Alaska’s gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage. 

“Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?” he said. 


John McCain is an old man stuck in old times and old ways of thinking. Sarah Palin is a young woman stuck in ever older times when religious dogma replaced critical thinking and was used to promote ignorance, inflict pain and suffering, and justify discrimination and hate. As one of Palin’s fellow Christian fascists put it, 

I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.
 
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