A page one article by Laurie Goodstein in The New York Times yesterday about anti-Muslim author Brigitte Gabriel caught my eye because of the irony.
The article described how Lebanon immigrant Brigitte Gabriel warns that “America has been infiltrated on all levels by radicals who wish to harm America. They have infiltrated us at the C.I.A., the F.B.I., at the Pentagon, at the State Department.”
I would agree that a few radicals have indeed infiltrated various levels of government, such as the Pentagon.
Remember those high-ranking Christian military officers and Pentagon officials who were featured in a video for the Christian Embassy filmed at the Pentagon? Remember Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin’s remark about Islam? He said, “I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”
Just last week a nonreligious event scheduled to take place at Fort Bragg was canceled, after the Army’s promise to grant it the same support it gave a Billy Graham’s crusade on base last fall turned out to be a lie. FFRF can’t even get the Navy to stop broadcasting (inescapable) evening prayers over the public address system aboard its ships!
As for “infiltration” of our federal government, how soon is forgotten that revelation back in 2007 that our former president was appointing inexperienced graduates of ultra-Christian universities to top federal positions. It was quite the scandal when Monica Goodling, a new graduate from Pat Robertson’s Regent Law School, resigned in disgrace as a top aide to the Attorney General over her role in the political firing of US attorneys.
Are these the radicals Ms. Gabriel is worried about? No, indeed. Gabriel, the toast of the Tea Party who is addressing Christian right gatherings everywhere, is worried that radical Muslims are taking over our government.
Let’s get real. Muslims make up 0.6 percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Religious Identification Survey. Christians of one sort or another make up 76 percent.
Consider the degree of Christian theocratic infiltration of high government office these days:
• Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker says God has told him what jobs to take, whom to marry and when to run for governor! Walker urges people to “turn your life over 100 percent to what Christ tells you what to do.” (For more on Walker’s views, read Progressive editor Matt Rothschild’s excellent commentary, “Scott Walker Believes He’s following Orders from the Lord, March 7, 2011)
• Last month at C-PAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), which was dominated by theopolitics, and this week in Iowa, presidential would-be candidate Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, said America needs to “turn towards God, not away from him.” Pawlenty says “God’s in charge.” He’s not talking about just any old God running our nation. “We believe in Jesus Christ,” he told CBN News.
• Then there’s another Minnesota evangelical in high places, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who claims, “God called me to run for Congress” and labels herself “a fool for Christ.” Bachmann is currently waiting to see if God will tell her to run for president.
• Sarah Palin, who called the war in Iraq “God’s plan,” has also said “God” will help her decide whether to run for president in 2012. (God must be very busy these days deciding who the next president will be.)
• Mormon Fox host Glenn Beck claims “God” reveals himself to Beck. Yes, God even told him to “restore America” and, chillingly, promised the takeover by the “black robe regiment” on our shores.
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Today’s New York Times’ ironic revelation is that U.S. Rep. Peter T. King, R-Long Island, who starts hearings tomorrow over “radical Muslim infiltration of the United States,” was, as the Times put it, “a fervent supporter of a terrorist group, the Irish Republican Army.” Yes, the terrorist panel is headed by a nonrepentant former supporter of the IRA. Doesn’t that make you feel safer?
I would never downplay the very real threat of Islam or Islamist teachings to women’s rights or world peace. I detest many of the teachings of the koran at least as much as I detest the many primitive, blood-thirsty teachings of the Hebrew and Christian bibles. These “holy books” with their common Abrahamic deity all celebrate a monstrous and vain god of vengeance who demands blind obedience, women’s sexual servitude, and the adoption by his followers of a “scorched earth” policy when it comes to us heathens.
But the answer to threats by religious extremists obviously isn’t the marginalization of America’s minority Muslims. The answer isn’t bogus laws like the one in Oklahoma — unconstitutional on its face — to “ban sharia” (where it’s been such a threat!).
Don’t these Christian religious fanatics realize that the U.S. Constitution already bans sharia law? It’s known as the Establishment Clause and it forbids any form of theocracy in our secular nation.
The answer to religious fanaticism is to keep religion and government separate and restore respect for secular principles, as FFRF strives to do daily, and as the Christian right in this country seeks to sabotage daily.
Religious opportunists such as Brigitte Gabriel and Peter King clearly seek to impose their own Christian sharia via the ruse of fighting Muslim sharia.