I am sure that many of you saw the headline the other days about Mike Huckabee's contention that we live in a "secular theocracy" and that he wants to change that. Now, obviously, this is the sort of nonsense that only a true theocrat could say or believe. The power that the religious have over our government here in the U.S. is difficult to overstate. We are far closer to being an actual theocracy.
My question for the members of TA is what do you think an actual "secular theocracy" would look like? Obviously, churches would lose their tax exemptions, but what other changes would be in the offing if we secularists had free rein? Would we ban childhood indoctrination into religions? Would we ban holy writings? Put believers in mental institutions? Change the pledge of allegiance to say "under no god"?
This isn't a question about your current priorities, which for most of us consist of simply wanting to return to separation of church and state. What would you want our government to do if 90% of Americans were atheists and wanted a government that reflected that fact?
"Secular Theocracy" sounds like an oxymoron. How can a state be secular (separate from religious authority on the government) and yet at the same time be a theocracy (ruled by religious laws and rules)?
What would you want our government to do if 90% of Americans were atheists and wanted a government that reflected that fact?
That would be the definition of anti secularism. The government should not be in the business of being associated with a particular or non belief system. It should remain neutral in not supporting any religious or irreligious activity regardless whatever the majority of the population believes or doesn't believe in.
Yes, it is an oxymoron. That is criticism number one of Mr. Huckabee's claim. That is why I added the part about a hypothetical atheist majority. I expected not only that people would point out the inherent contradiction in his statement but that they might have "pie in the sky" dreams about how they would change society. Just curious.
Wouldn't that nearly qualify as a oxymoron? Secular theocracy.
Ban childhood religious indoctrination? Put believers in mental institutions? Really?
Those measures seem excessive to me. I would still support religious freedom. The emphasis should be on education and ensuring that our children are taught the importance of using reason and critical thought to shape their awareness and understanding of the world we live in.
A wonderful oxymoron. God, I just love the republican primary circus acts! One more boost for Hillary in the general election. (And gooooo Cruz!!)
The phrase "secular theocracy" is an oxymoron. Remove the "oxy" from oxymoron and you get
Mike Huckabee and his ilk..
Mike Huckabee as president is batshit scary.
The world's done Secular Theocracy already, @Mo . It was called Stalinism, or perhaps Maoism.
I confess that I am looking forward to watching Mike Huckabee and all of the other Republican presidential hopefuls (I think there are well over a dozen now, aren't there?) this coming year. It should be absolutely hilarious.
What I wanted to know was what modern, non-communist, atheists would like to see happen in our society. Obviously, like I said, the tax exemptions for churches would have to go. They are blatantly un-Constitutional even now (though the Supreme Court ruled otherwise in an obviously incorrect opinion in 1973). The Greece v. Galloway decision would have gone the other way as well banning prayer before government meetings. "E pluribus Unum" would still be the U.S.'s national motto and the pledge of allegiance would not mention religion at all.
I expected to hear those things and was hoping for more. For instance, if this were a secular theocracy, then would religious people be allowed to hold public office? Give testimony in court? Would they be institutionalized in mental hospitals?
In other words, I wanted to know what our pie in the sky wish list was. Actually, more than just pie in the sky. I wanted to know the worst, even dystopian, notions we could imagine, because by comparing such a list with the actual conditions present in the U.S. today regarding believers the true extent of ridiculousness in Huckabee's assertion would be made plain.
I think the history Cruzism/Huckabeeism will be viewed similarly to other American failures, like prohibitionism, McCarthyism, (hopefully) righteous/careless interventionism, self-destructive reactions to terrorism, climate change denial, and so on. Having those hopes may be overly optimistic, but at least we can clearly see a positive, historical trend in several social issues. What's ironic may be how systematically the pendulum swings so far, either way. Successfully formulating and agreeing to new priorities in national policy seems to require extreme or rogue circumstances before getting addressed.
That's not really an answer to the question. This weekend I guess I just happen to feel less cynical and pessimistic than usual.
Here's an interesting POV that's relevant, ironically from a Republican (or ex?) pointing out how Fox (bubble) News helps our politics play out:
“Many conservatives live in a bubble where they watch only Fox News on television, they listen only to conservative talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, many of the same people,” Bartlett told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday. “When they go onto the Internet, they look at conservative websites like National Review, Newsmax, World Net Daily.”
“And so, they are completely in a universe in which they are hearing the same exact ideas, the same arguments, the same limited amount of data repeated over and over and over again. And that’s brainwashing.”