I could not agree more with this post on theocracy in America from Mike of Primacy of Awesome. According to the Slate article on Monica Goodling (a DOJ attorney) to which he links, 150 graduates of Pat Robertson’s evangelical Regent University currently work in the Bush Administration. Not one, not five, but one hundred and fifty — from that one young college alone. Mike writes:
If you are an Objectivist and you don’t think religion is a serious and rising threat to the country, consider this. What if one hundred and fifty graduates of the OAC worked in the President’s administration? Objectivists would be dancing in the street. Victory would be at hand!
Indeed, yet some Objectivists dismiss the threat of theocracy out-of-hand, claiming that America’s sense of life is a impenetrable barrier against possibility. That’s sheer fantasy, as Ayn Rand would have known:
A nation’s political trends are the equivalent of a man’s course of action and are determined by its culture. A nation’s culture is the equivalent of a man’s conscious convictions. Just as an individual’s sense of life can clash with his conscious convictions, hampering or defeating his actions, so a nation’s sense of life can clash with its culture, hampering or defeating its political course. Just as an individual’s sense of life can be better or worse than his conscious convictions, so can a nation’s. And just as an individual who has never translated his sense of life into conscious convictions is in terrible danger–no matter how good his subconscious values–so is a nation.
This is the position of America today.
… If America drags on in her present state for a few more generations (which is unlikely), dictatorship will become possible. A sense of life is not a permanent endowment. The characteristically American one is being eroded daily all around us. Large numbers of Americans have lost it (or have never developed it) and are collapsing to the psychological level of Europe’s worst rabble. (Ayn Rand, “Don’t Let It Go”)
And yes, although the rise of the Religious Right was little more than a gleam in Ronald Regan’s eye at the time of her death, Ayn Rand clearly expressed concern about the trend in her final lectures at the Ford Hall Forum.
Also, via the article mentioned by Mike, I found this 2001 Time article about John Ashcroft. The man brought his fundamentalist Christianity to work, literally:
Ashcroft’s devout Pentecostal faith, as expressed at the office, has disturbed some employees as well. New guidelines for documents bearing Ashcroft’s signature bar the use of the word pride and the phrase “no higher calling than public service,” both of which contradict the former Senator’s religious views. Each morning at 8 he plays host to what he calls RAMP sessions–for Read, Argue, Memorize and Pray–in his office or conference room. From three to 30 participants chew over Bible passages, commit some to memory and finish with a prayer. Non-Christians are welcome, but many staff members consider the sessions inappropriate, given Ashcroft’s position as guardian of the Constitution–including separation of church and state.
Ashcroft bristles at the suggestion that he’s doing anything improper. “I don’t think the fact that I might want to invite the wisdom of the Almighty into my decision making is a threat to anybody,” he told TIME, leading his questioners into his conference room to point out a wall relief that long predates him, depicting King Solomon’s deciding the parentage of an infant. “Wisdom in making good decisions can be inspired as well as acquired,” he said. If others choose to practice different faiths in their offices, “that’s not my business. I’m not part of any sort of prayer police.”
Just remember folks, theocratic government is nothing to worry about… so long as you’ve got your blinders on.