Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

War between the states

In a confluence of ideologies that should worry everyone, Ken Ham (of Answers in Genesis fame) is giving a talk on October 18 sponsored by the "Institute on the Constitution."

It's entitled "Six Days and Millions of Years," and the topic would appear to be the same old nonsense if it weren't for the sponsoring organization.  Because the Institute on the Constitution is an organization run by Michael Peroutka and David Whitney, two individuals who work hand in hand with the "League of the South," a group dedicated to the secession of the southeastern states to create a homeland for Christian whites.

This isn't the first time Ham and Peroutka have teamed up.  Peroutka, you may remember, is the rich dude who obtained an allosaurus skeleton and then sold it to Ham for the Creation Museum.  But that move was only appalling to science types, who were understandably rage-filled at the thought of a beautifully-preserved dinosaur fossil being used to broadcast silly mythology.

Here we have the intersection of far more disturbing ideas; racism, secessionism, religious sanctimony, and biblical literalism.  Don't believe me?  Take a look at a piece David Whitney wrote in which he claims that only Christians should be citizens of the United States:
Loving thy neighbor means protecting their God given rights as Exodus 12:49 commands.  That means preserving the structure of civil government from all who would pervert the civil government into an agency of legalized plunder, whereby the God given rights of no one would be safe and secure.  This means, as we have seen in the commands of Scripture, that we restrict citizenship to those who, because they are committed to the Covenant of Disciples of Jesus Christ, are willing to submit themselves to serve in the roles of responsibility in choosing leaders who will preserve God ordained order.  Those who will serve as Jurors, committed to do justice in judging the law by the eternal standard of God’s Law.  Those who will serve when called up as Representatives to serve in civil government to do justice by God’s Law, and those who will put themselves in harms way serving in the Militia – only in just wars as defined by God’s Law.
And here's Peroutka on secession:
I don’t disagree with Dr. Hill [League of the South president] at all that this regime is beyond reform, and I think that’s an obvious fact, and I agree with him.  However, I agree that when you secede, or however the destruction of the rubble of this regime takes place and how it plays out, you’re going to need to take a biblical world view, and apply it to civil law and government.  That’s what you’re still going to need to do. We’re going to have to have this foundational information in the hearts and minds of the people or else liberty won’t survive the secession either.  You see what I’m saying?  I’m saying that because I don’t want people from League of the South that for one minute that I am about reforming the current regime, and that studying the Constitution is about reforming the current regime.
Oh, and the man that Peroutka, "doesn't disagree with," Michael Hill, president of the League of the South?  Here's a direct quote from him about the purpose of the League:
Just so there’s no chance that you’ll confuse The League with the GOP or any other “conservative” group, here’s what we stand for: the survival, well being, and independence of the Southern people.  And by “the Southern people,” we mean White Southerners who are not afraid to stand for the people of their race and religion.
Kind of curious, then, that when Peroutka was running for a council position in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and was questioned about his connections to the League of the South, he called it a "smear campaign:"
I am an anti-racist. I have spoken publicly against racism. I've gone out of my way to repudiate racism, and if there are any racists in the League of the South, I repudiate them, and I pray for them.
Well, Mr. Peroutka, it might be a good idea to start praying for the president of the organization, then.

[image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]

Scared?  You should be.  The only reason these people aren't as bad as the theocrats in Iran is that they haven't been given their opportunity to be in charge of things yet.

The intersection of radical politics and religious fervor is terrifying; the politics for its heartless extremity, and the fervor for the gloss of righteous inviolability it confers.  These people can't imagine being wrong, and (worse) can't imagine that their stance is fundamentally immoral.

And heaven help us all if they are ever elected to lead us.

I'll end with a quote from James Waterman Wise (often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis): "If fascism comes... it will be wrapped up in the American flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and the preservation of the Constitution."

And, I'll add, very likely wearing a cross.

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