Carrier’s Comments in November, 2008 Catalyst Newsletter
Federal tax law bars me from a partisan directive to you on how to vote. I wouldn’t presume to do that anyway. The intent of the separation of church & state is to bar the government from promoting, or persecuting, any religion in order that the religions have the latitude to speak to social trends & issues. The church should not be beholden to, or afraid of, the government. To suggest that religions should remain silent on political & social issues is to stand the principle on its head.
The last two presidential elections were swayed by widespread deliberate violation of the 501 C-3 tax code by conservative religions. Turning a blind eye to this blatant violation of the separation standard shows how the government and the church can align in a perverse and corrupt attempt to seize control of our common society. This followed the systematic establishing of numerous Christian radio stations crowding in on the public radio frequencies and the funding of rampant hate talk radio on the commercial stations.
The former “Fairness Doctrine” was abandoned and concentrated corporate wealth had its privileged say. The assumption was that our liberal society was going astray and religious, economic, and military conservative values should be imposed.
This season we have begun to see how bankrupt such ideology is, and not just in the economic sense. The decent concerns of conservatives (individual initiative and responsibility, concern for fetuses, etc.) were used to start an unjust, unneeded war, drain our jobs and wealth to the service of unrestrained, unethical international capitalism, institute the “legal” foundations for a police state, and run roughshod over science and ecology. Even evangelical conservatives see this dangerous folly, but few dare to apologize for the lasting harm done to our country and other’s.
If democracy is the innocent reflection of the character of the people, the root issue here is us. Informing us are the myths, religions, and authorities catering to or leading our character. Somehow, despite the rampant propaganda, the American populace saw through the hype and voted against it in the 2006 mid-term election. It seemed only the comedians (Al Franken, Michael Moore, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, etc.) provided perspective. Now, MSNBC has joined Free Speech TV and Public Television, and even Fox News has to appear to pretend to be “balanced and fair.” Slowly, our media catches up to our character, though on the Internet, it’s quicker. In other words, Americans are smarter and more principled than the spin-doctors’ skills. Karl Rove is good at what he does, but Americans are seeing that what he does isn’t good.
Despite the trend to become a bloated, belligerent empire that is internally crumbling even as it expands its military and economic might, I have affection and hope for America . The value of our time in history is to see how lost we are, especially compared to the vision in our founders and us. The people flounder for lack of vision. They flourish when it is awakened. Let us awaken the vision inherent in America ’s potential. Fear, hate, and greed betray us. Bravery, love, & oneness befit us.