This afternoon there was a story on WHYY’s Fresh Aire about the radicalized Evangelical movement that’s been behind Rick Perry’s campaign, gathering support and adherents to both their movement and to Perry himself, who doubtless they see as the man raised up by God “for such a time as this” (to quote Esther 4:14). And it’s their mission to “take back” politics, business and culture for Jesus. This is apparently a group of true “prayer warriors” who literally go around conducting spiritual warfare, driving out demons they believe have dominion over an area. (This also includes praying the demons out of gays.)
I’m reminded of what the Angel tells Prior in Tony Kushner’s Perestroika, the second part of Angels in America: “YOU MUST STOP MOVING!” Fact is, if this extremist Christian movement has their way, this is precisely what would happen. We would be hurled back decades. No further progress would be made as humanity waits for the return of Christ and the “end of all things.”
What they want is a theocracy—which is as much to say a theocracy with themselves at the top, just beneath God, to oversee these “seven mountains of culture” the article references with an eagle eye as the God-appointed Morality Police, much in the way that Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans cracked down on what they saw as immorality in England after they sacked Charles I.
So here’s my Crom-Orwellian, worst-case-scenario imaginging of an America run by these “Ravangelicals” (Radical+Evangelical):
Arts and entertainment would be highly censored and flung back into the 1950s, or even further back to a Victorian era morality; where all entertainment is wholesome and “family friendly;” and all to the “glory of God.” The media itself would be tightly regulated, with censoring standards even stricter than they currently are. No “alternative” lifestyles would be portrayed: only that which the Church deems “appropriate for God-fearing Americans to aspire to.” In extreme cases, blasphemy would be a capital offense.
Family would be the cornerstone of society, with single-parent homes penalized and women forced to return to their pre-Feminist roles as homemakers. Divorce would be strictly illegal, even in cases of spousal abuse, and adoption limited to homes only with a husband and wife. DOMA’s legislation would be expanded to not only protect and elevate the nuclear family, but also recriminalize fornication and sodomy. Abortion, family planning and contraception too would be illegal, since to engage in any of these would be to interfere with God’s design for life and sexuality.
Government would be stripped down to its essential functions and run strictly according to Biblical precepts, with Christianity the strong-armed law of the land. Only those who espoused Godly values (regardless of the prohibition of a religious test in the Constitution) would be allowed to hold public office. Business too would be tightly regulated and Old Testament governances, including the Sabbath, reinstituted.
Education would be overseen by the Church, as it once was, and would be largely religious in nature as it used to be in Colonial and 18th-century America. Curriculum would be subject to the approval of the NEA, who would regulate what information is to be taught in the classroom. Creationism would be taught as fact, and any science that does not promote a theocentric universe would be banned. Sex ed would not be allowed since that is the purview of parents within the home.
No religion other than Christianity would be tolerated. Tax-exempt and non-profit status would be stripped from any organization that was not Christian in nature or function. Church attendance and a minimum 10% tithe would be mandatory (the IRS overseeing implementation and enforcement). Any non-fundamentalist or liberal theology would be either censored or closely monitored.
Well, that was fun. Taking the peep-stones off now.