The problem with Sarah Palin
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Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:05:45 PM EST
In light of John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin
for Vice President, I feel compelled to write this letter.
Consider the following:
Since 1980, both political parties have been to beholden to the narrow and intolerant views of the Christian fundamentalists.
Consequently, our rights and liberties have been abrogated under the guise of being a "good Christian". Fundamentalism, is by its
very nature absolutist, totalitarian. The "believer" can only see in rigidly dualistic, black and white terms. They cannot tolerate ambiguity
or diversity in anyone or anything. For them, there is no room for human self-respect or self-regulating conduct. There is no room for questioning
or rational thought: ("If you think for yourself, you are under the power of Satan."). And in every case the purpose they serve is obvious.
They become remarkable only when seen within the grand, insidious machinery of fundamentalism; designed to build a "Christian America".
By indoctrinating people in this mindset and by inoculating them to believe that nothing is "true" unless it is "Christian," and that anything
can be made true by the decree of the brother-pastor, the machinery of fundamentalism functions psychologically to produce a
"new man in Christ," devoid of will and moral resistance, stripped of social and historical consciousness. This masochistic "morality" sees
the fulfillment of life in its very negation. It is only the supreme expression of what fundamentalism preaches in all its ramifications--
the annihilation of the individual self and its utter submission to external authority. Today, we stand at the crossroads of transformation:
the aggravating strains of alienation, the cultural failure of social skills to keep pace with technological, the general neglect of human
relations, have made the appeal for "control" greater than ever before. It is easier to succumb to over-simplification and dogmatism,
to repudiate the ambiguities inherent in a pluralistic democracy, to demand definiteness, and to embrace a dictatorship; (in this case,
a totalitarian theocracy). But we need to look further: There is tautological assurance that Christians are "saved." One is "saved" from
making decisions, "saved" from the final responsibility for the fate of one's self, and thereby "saved" from the doubt of what decision to
make. One is also "saved" from the doubt of what the meaning of his life is or who he "is." Yet it is dangerous to overlook the deep-seated
unhappiness behind that comforting veneer of being "saved." If life loses its meaning because it is not lived, people become desperate.
People do not die quietly from physical starvation; they do not die quietly from psychic starvation either. What I have said here, needs to
be openly addressed in the media and all public forums. Our public officials and representatives should be made aware-(if they are not)-of this extremely important issue. Our democratic institutions are at stake, and our Constitution is being threatened. Our founding fathers
were painfully aware of the dangers inherent in religious control of government. Clearly, they did not want a repeat of their European
experience. Yet, today, we have another attempt to resurrect a Torquemada/Cromwellian state in post-modern dress. The United States
is a country of diversity. For its citizenry comprise every religious, non-religious, and mystical path. The beauty of a democracy lies in this very diversity. So, I ask you: Why would you want the
VP of the US to be a religious fanatic? This same person would-given the opportunity-deny you of your civil rights and liberties in order to impose their own authoritarian theocracy. Moreover, this seriously brings into question McCain's judgement. After all, the VP is
only a heartbeat away. What if something happens to McCain in office? Does McCain believe Palin is ready to take over on day one ?  Sarah Palin's fundamentalism is heavily imbued with "dominionism" and "reconstructionism". Fundamentalists want the Christian equivalent of  Islamic sharia - a strict, literal interpretation of Biblical law. This includes extending capital punishment to all of the capital offenses in ancient Israel. Included in those capital offenses are blasphemy and Sabbath breaking and worshiping of other Gods. Essentially then all atheists, agnostics, liberal Christians, non-believers, Buddhists and many others would be subject to capital punishment. Perhaps with McCain America will invade Iran but with Palin America will become a Christian version of Iran. Do we want such a person to have access to sensitive national security issues; as well as the welfare of our citizenry? Within American politics, fundamentalism is a viral infection contaminating our democracy. It represents an evolutionary dead-end whose logical conclusion is fascist, totalitarian state. Is it not obvious that the imposition of the evangelical ideology--any fundamentalist ideology for that matter--lies in direct opposition to a free people in a democratic land? Our Constitution, specifically the separation of church and state,  serves as a bulwark against the morality police, who seek to impose faith-based notions such as illegal abortion,  "creationism" and book-burnings upon those of us with rational minds.

In closing, I am encouraging each of you to seriously consider what I have
said here. Also, please read the references at the bottom of this email.

Much peace,
Wayne D. Andrews

The "no religious test" clause of the United States Constitution is found in Article IV, section 3 and states that:

" religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

This has been interpreted to mean that no federal employee, whether elected or appointed, "career" or "political," can be required to adhere to or accept any religion or belief. This clause immediately follows one requiring all federal and state officers to take an oath of support to the Constitution. This implies that the requirement of an oath, even presumably one taken "So help me God" (not a part of the presidential oath, the only one spelled out in the Constitution, but traditionally almost always added to it), does not imply any requirement by those so sworn to accept a particular religion or a particular doctrine.

The clause is cited by advocates of separation of church and state as an example of "original intent" of the Framers of the Constitution of avoiding any entanglement between church and state, or involving the government in any way as a determiner of religious beliefs or practices. This is important as this clause represents the words of the original Framers, even prior to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Likewise, James Madison, (the chief architect of the US Constitution), wrote in his "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments"

(June 20, 1785):
"...3. Because, it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entagled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever? ..."

Since 1980, both political parties have been to beholden to the narrow and intolerant views of the Christian fundamentalists. Consequently, our rights and liberties have been abrogated under the guise of being a "good Christian".

Since 1980 the GOP has been made up of Christian fundamentalists, and lately the Democratic Party has been trying to get votes back by saying, basically, "See, we're religious too!" and are accepting of religious-based legaslative iniciatives (That's why I feel Obama is no longer someone I can vote for.)

But Sarah Palin as the GOP Vice President goes beyond mere "being a fundamentalist." She is a female Dick Cheney: aggressive, arrogant, pushy, non-compromising, in-yer-face, etc. etc. She'll be a pit bull to congress and, worse, to agencies like the CIA.

And THAT, is seems to me, is why she was chosen for McCain by the GOP.

by Ga on Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 02:50:43 PM EST

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