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The key to a functioning democratic republic is not a common righteousness. Rather, it's a harmonious diversity in which there is an appreciation for differing perspectives buttressed by an on-going tradition of keeping sacred the long-time legal reverence for individual rights and freedom.

It's THAT freedom the we have seen denigrated through political rhetoric that portrays America as a global victim somehow authorized to extract vengeance against imprecisely defined "others";

that insists we can justifiably redress perceived wrongs against us with belligerant and rash behavior contrary to what even our president has described as "core values."

It's THAT freedom that we have seen denigrated through religious social rhetoric that portrays American Christians as a social victims somehow authorized to assert themselves at the expense of the Bill of Rights - attempting to formalize social vengeance against imprecisely defined "others";

that insists they can justifiably redress perceived wrongs against "others" with belligerant and rash behavior contrary to what even our president has described as "core values."

Although it may not be necessary that those reading these lines immediately get out of their pajamas, turn off the computer and go picket the nearest Christian service, it is necessary that we pay attention to the voting patterns and habits of the last 15 years. In particular we ought to note the increased intensity of so-called "moral-values" voters who have been apparently stampeded into the only political action required of them by their own activist Christian politcal celebrities.

They must continue to vote every two years.

They must be stampeded into keeping our Christian-in-the-White-House IN the White House, accompanied by his re-elected loyal congressional Republican crusaders on their horses with flags flying, lances ready and swords drawn.

Showdown Coming

I see the "showdown" as not between conservative and liberal Christians nor as between conservative Christians and a coalition of every other citizen in this country.

What I see is the possibility of conservative Republican congress persons (are there any radical religious Republican women elected?) driven by the radical religious horses that got them there actually going so far as to legislate something that seriously alters how life is lived in this country.

I see these foolish people - remaining however a minority and not representative of traditional conservative Christians. I see these foolish people triggering a showdown between right/left and liberal/conservative that explodes in an uncontrollable way - forcing everyone to choose sides when they badly would not want to choose - a choosing that literally has no socially redeeming value for the foundation of human freedom and personal rights in America.

It's one thing to enact laws the keep taverns 200 feet from churches. It's something else to enact laws that seriously alter our national habitual understanding of - for example - our Bill of Rights and a separation of church and state.

If that happens, these radicals who thought changing the laws was all that was needed will have no clue as to why rioters don't "play fair" just because "it's the law now." They will not be prepared to cope with mass refusals to quietly allow themselves to be taken off to jail instead of rioting and striking back.

If Taliban-like laws were enacted we could see narrow-minded militant literalists become self-appointed God-approved executioners of the new laws - acting against the gay, non-Christian, politcal liberal or abortionist in the tradition of those who perpretrate hate crimes.

The first time a jury in a community dominated by literalist thinking found such a person not-guilty I think these radical religious politicians would find themselves with more than they could handle.

Would you just sit around and moan if periodically a van came down your street and you watched as your gay neighbors, your neighbor who had a private abortion, or liberal speaker-outers were loaded up and hauled off?

Not for long ...

That's the naivete behind the assumption that making a law enacts a specific morality which everyone will observe becase we are all afraid of the law and the consequences of breaking it.

That's the tragedy that could come to pass so long as our public patriotism has the substance of tissue paper and we live afraid of paper tigers.

America has a chance ... lest all the rebels die.

Arthur Ruger 2006

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.