Monday, August 27, 2007

Secularists are illegal aliens in America

I'm working on some longer posts that I'll be posting this week, but in the meantime I'd like to make sure everyone took a second to read this post by Sara Robinson at Orcinus about a preacher featured in Christiane Amanpour's Gods Warriors who stated that non-fundamentalists aren't real Americans.

She writes

Asserting that non-fundamentalists are "illegal aliens" in their own country -- the one that our own ancestors fought, paid taxes, and worked all their lives to build; or risked everything to get to and start over in -- is a potent statement of that exact kind of purity crusade thinking. It's the same libel Nazis told the Germans about their native Jews: We are something other, something less than, something not-American (and thus potentially treasonous), and perhaps not even quite human. We are not like the good volk of the heartland; we are decadent urban intellectuals who seek to corrupt all that is good. Our very presence desecrates the pure soul of the nation. We have been ejected, in their minds, from the protection of American law and the community of American citizens.

For that reason, we don't belong here; and this country does not belong to us. And, underlying it all, there's the hint of a threat that as soon as the theocrats consolidate their grip on power and finish dismantling those pesky rights (they're oh, so close now), they will be fully justified in putting us behind barbed wire, removing us from "their" country by force, or simply dispatching us on sight like the vermin we are.
Putting aside whatever quibbles one might have about what level of alarmism is appropriate to how close or not Christian nationalists are to achieving their goal (I don't think they're close but I think they're far closer than they should be and also think that its not overt violence that we need to worry about but rather the slow and subtle erorison of democracy), the analysis that such out-group thinking is part of a foundation for totalitarian logic is dead on.

And to further add to that, I'd again reiterate than in pre-Nazi Germany the idea of being a "real" German was inseparable from the notion of being a Christian German; which is part of why it was so easy for so many Germans to see Jews as "aliens" in their midst.


C2H50H said...


Another example of eliminationism by the authoritarian, Christianist, right, how charming.

I don't see how it is possible that, unbeknownst to us, our ancestors or we ourselves renounced our citizenship. That leaves only the possibility that these fundies have moved out of America, to some theocratic realm and would like to take the country with them, leaving us with ... what?

As for me, I'm not going to try and make them stay if they don't want to. I'm not going where they are, but I'll donate to a fund to keep the lights on if they decide to come home.

On another front, I feel I should mention that the word "insuperable" should be replaced by "inseparable" in the last paragraph.

Hume's Ghost said...

Correction made.

Fundamentalism as we know it was a movment born in the early 1920s ... modern day Christian nationalists are stretching to try to say that fundamentalism has always been the norm (although some of their intellectual forefathers have opposed secular democracy from the start.)

Which is why the enterprise of historical revisionism is so important to the movement, and why the most nightmarish branch of the "religious right" - Christian Reconstructionism - is the worst offender.