Theocracy and Nationalism are NOT, American values
In fact, they're a threat to human rights... everywhere
If you look around the world today, you will find that most acknowledged theocracies, are also the worst offenders of human rights, sometimes genocidally so. For the purpose of today’s short post, (it is the holiday season with lots of chores still on my list), I will also throw in the rigid ideology of other types of belief systems, like China’s official but remote affiliation with actual communism.
When any belief system becomes rigid and intolerant, it is also typically the same, in regard to how controlling they are of their citizens. Controlling also inspires grievous abuse. They go hand-in-hand. Some of the most common examples are China, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. Few realize how other nations like Russia employ theocratic ideology as part of their control system over Russian citizens. Even here in the US, disgraced former three star General, Mike Flynn is involved in trying to create a theocracy to lord over US citizens. Flynn, like most of America’s radical, intolerant and hateful Christian Nationalists advocate for an American theocracy with their aberrant version of Christianity at the core of their beliefs.
Like my professional educator father, I also have a life-long passion for comparative religious studies. I am fascinated with understanding just how each serves its followers. Of note, most theocracies are also oppressive and intolerant belief systems that impose rigid and abusive controls over their subjects.
I live within a couple miles of one of those hard, right-wing mega Churches pastored by a guy named John Hagee. The difference between the harsh, judgmental, intolerant and abusive Christianity that he preaches, couldn’t be further from that preached by half my cousins on my mom’s side, mostly in rural Missouri.
Within Islam, 95% or so of Muslim communities are the same as my family’s Christian beliefs, loving, tolerant and open. The same applies in Judaism and other religious movements around the world. Like all power, remember the old saying; “use your power for good, not evil.” Putin uses his former KGB agents running the Russian Orthodox Church for the same reasons that the Ayatollah in Iran uses rigid and intolerant Shia Muslim teachings… for the sake of power, not G-d. The recent massive uprisings in Iran, initiated by courageous Iranian lionesses shows just how despicable Iran’s brutal theocracy is to the long-suffering citizens of Iran.
Israel’s new Prime Minister is affiliated with a Jewish version of Mike Flynn’s holy war belief system in a very similar manner. During the Cold War, communism was used the same as Putin uses Russian Orthodoxy. Modi in India wields a rabid, intolerant and violent version of Hinduism called Hindutva, the same way that the Taliban uses their radical Islamic beliefs.
Now, I consider myself an intensely spiritual person who respects all loving and tolerant forms of religious beliefs. As we head into a season that celebrates a wide variety of religious beliefs, let’s all try and remember that if you believe in a loving God or similar, please demonstrate by practice, the actions required of you to embrace your fellow man while not excluding them with hate and intolerance.