First go and read this piece on Rolling Stone about Senator Brownback of Kansas. Scary shit!
Now I’ll quote the more choice pieces of the article and register my outrage:
He tells a story about a chaplain who challenged a group of senators to reconsider their conception of democracy. “How many constituents do you have?” the chaplain asked. The senators answered: 4 million, 9 million, 12 million. “May I suggest,” the chaplain replied, “that you have only one constituent?”
Again I’d like to ask, what part of “separation of church and state” did this idiot not understand? Just because of this, I decided to start a Providence chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Brownback likes to say that he is fighting for traditional family values, but his father, Bob, was more concerned about the price of grain, and his mother, Nancy, had no qualms about having a gay friend. Back then, moral values were simple. “Your word was your word. Don’t cheat,” his mother recalls. “I can’t think of anything else.“
So how did such a conservative ass come from this? It happened when he went to Washington and was inducted into the Fellowship, that ultra secret religious organization that is controlled by big business under a guise of prayer. Yet this puke cheats on a regular basis, using his political position to move forward a religious war.
Brownback was placed in a weekly prayer cell by “the shadow Billy Graham” — Doug Coe, Vereide’s successor as head of the Fellowship. The group was all male and all Republican. It was a “safe relationship,” Brownback says. Conversation tended toward the personal. Brownback and the other men revealed the most intimate details of their desires, failings, ambitions. They talked about lust, anger and infidelities, the more shameful the better — since the goal was to break one’s own will. The abolition of self; to become nothing but a vessel so that one could be used by God.
Or used by corporate interests. By the way – widespread conjecture has been published on web sites that some of our most homophobic congressmen that were members of the Fellowship were also having a grand old homosexual time at the weekly prayer meetings.
They were striving, ultimately, for what Coe calls “Jesus plus nothing” — a government led by Christ’s will alone. In the future envisioned by Coe, everything — sex and taxes, war and the price of oil — will be decided upon not according to democracy or the church or even Scripture. The Bible itself is for the masses; in the Fellowship, Christ reveals a higher set of commands to the anointed few. It’s a good old boy’s club blessed by God. Brownback even lived with other cell members in a million-dollar, red-brick former convent at 133 C Street that was subsidized and operated by the Fellowship. Monthly rent was $600 per man — enough of a deal by Hill standards that some said it bordered on an ethical violation, but no charges were ever brought.
Interesting that no charges were ever brought. But then, would we expect the Republican brethren to file such charges against their brothers?
The most bluntly theocratic effort, however, is the Constitution Restoration Act, which Brownback co-sponsored with Jim DeMint, another former C Streeter who was then a congressman from South Carolina. If passed, it will strip the Supreme Court of the ability to even hear cases in which citizens protest faith-based abuses of power. Say the mayor of your town decides to declare Jesus lord and fire anyone who refuses to do so; or the principal of your local high school decides to read a fundamentalist prayer over the PA every morning; or the president declares the United States a Christian nation. Under the Constitution Restoration Act, that’ll all be just fine.
This is the paragraph I find the most disturbing. I do not want this nation to ever become a Theocracy, but apparently Brownback and his cronies think it would be keen to have such a thing happen. I don’t. Anyone that has studied history has found that when the Church has dominion over secular government, bad things tend to happen. Things like the Crusades, or Slavery, or burning at the stake.
This is all about control and nothing more. Their version of morality imposed on everyone else, while they can violate that morality on a regular basis.
Brownback finds the issue of finances distasteful. He refuses to discuss his backers, smoothly turning the issue to matters of faith. “Pat got me elected,” he says, referring to Robertson’s network of Christian-right organizations. Sitting in his corner office in the Senate, Brownback returns to one of his favorite subjects: the scourge of homosexuality. The office has just been remodeled and the high-ceilinged room is almost barren. On Brownback’s desk, adrift at the far end of the room, there’s a Bible open to the Gospel of John.
Of course he’d find finances distasteful. For if we saw his true financing we’d probably understand his true agenda. The agenda is to hand control of our lives to churches and corporations. It is bad enough that we’re already enslaved to corporate America, he wants to be sure we’re enslaved in the religious sense too.
If you were to look at the books in my office you’d find authors like Seymour Hersch, Barbara Ehrenreich, Robert Manchester, Tavis Smiley, etc. But you won’t find a bible in the mix. You will find the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible in my bookmarks but that’s grouped under Religion along with The Council for Secular Humanism, or Jhuger – Kissing Hank’s Ass, or as I mentioned earlier, Americans United for Separation of Church and State