Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Rise of Fascism

Yesterday in my normal blog wandering, I ran across this article. Essentially, it's a warning to all those far and wide that the pesky Christians are becoming more than pesky, maybe dangerous. A threat to liberty the world over. Uh-huh. Sure the author chooses to use offensive language and colorful pejoratives such as "Christer", but this is not an anti-Christian stance. It's pro-freedom baby. Before I go on, last I checked I'm a Christian, a conservative, I attend a large Baptist church in Texas no less, and seem somewhat politically involved. Yet, I've got none of the memos. I have no idea whose freedoms on which I supposed to be trampling. Not even on the mailing list. What do I have to do? Build a statue of James Dobson in the front yard? Also, none of my bible thumping-- or as the author might call "fundamentalist religious primitives"-- friends has mentioned it to me either. I think I'm about to get my feelings hurt.

Anyway, some of the most inflammatory derisions come by way of a quote from Martin Kaplan.
"Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, calls the new Christer offensive a drive toward 'theocratic oligopoly. The drumbeat of religious fascism has never been as troubling as it is now in this country,' adding that 'e-mails to the FCC are more worrisome to me than boycotts' in terms of their chilling effect ."

I read that and smirked, figuring that the fascist line of demarcation had been moved. But my blog hero, James Lileks, had a better response on his newest blog creation:
If one means “religious fascism” as the use of the power of the state to achieve a particular moral objective, you could argue that progressive taxation is “fascism,” inasmuch as it assumes that the rich should pay more for the good of all, and this moral imperative should be enforced by law... I suspect Mr. Kaplan subscribes to the fashionable notion that people who email the FCC to complain when a sitcom uses the Eucharist as a running gag – literally – are part of the dark bolus of god-bothered maniacs. Fanatics. Wild-eyed nutbombs who want to unite the world under the rippling banner of God Uber Alles first, and have the miserable sectarian wars after the secularists are dead. James Dobson, Osama – are not both filled with terrible certainties? Is not an email campaign to bring down a TV show the metaphorical equivalent of bringing down a skyscraper? Granted, a writer who jumps from a cancelled show usually lands on his feet. But they have a certain poetic symmetry, no?
No. And anyone who tries to make the point deserves to be struck in the face with a thick, wet, cold haddock... You’re permitted to lodge complaints, but only if you come from a secular perspective. By all means, protest – dissent is patriotic! – but keep that Christer stuff in the church.

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