The Grand Inquisitors
Pettifer, Ann, The Humanist
Fourteen percent of the American population, given the opportunity, would impose a Christian theocracy on the country. This figure comes from a survey conducted in 1996 by the Gallup International Institute for the American Jewish Committee, the latter having good historical reason to get the wind up when Christian nationalists are on the move.
Formerly separated, Catholics and Protestants are busy burying the hatchet and avoiding old doctrinal differences in the pursuit of a common political vision: one nation of clean cut, conformist subjects ruled by an omniscient, punitive male deity. The god they obviously have in mind is the one who dispatched "his only begotten son" into the world to get slaughtered so as to ransom the rest of us.
How worried should the rest of us be--the 86 percent who would prefer not to live under the 14 percent's god? Realistically, are these new Christian nationalists all that scary?
If the movement was simply a back water phenomenon led by polyester suited, blow dried chaps of the Pat Boone variety, we might rest more easily at night. As it is, the leaders are slick, influential types, masters of propaganda whose goal is the defense and maintenance of a largely unfettered free market. However, as the country comes increasingly under the pressure of the destabilizing forces that the free market brings in its wake, the drive is on to identify scapegoats. The constant bar rage of sermons on the phantom decline …
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Publication information: Article title: The Grand Inquisitors. Contributors: Pettifer, Ann - Author. Magazine title: The Humanist. Volume: 57. Issue: 3 Publication date: May-June 1997. Page number: 30+. © 1999 American Humanist Association. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
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