Lately I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the relationship between conservative Christians and their Islamic counterparts. These days (especially in the decade since 9/11) conservative Christians have been involved in a non-stop assault on Islam.
It’s manifested itself in the opposition to building mosques (not just in Lower Manhattan) and banning Sharia law. Imaginative Christians have even managed to create the impression that there is some kind of destructive cabal consisting of liberals, Muslims, secular humanists and gays. Though the idea of conservative Muslims embracing gays, liberals or secular humanists is ludicrous, Christians have been running with this meme.
Of course what’s really going on here is that conservative Christians fear a Muslim takeover (that will never happen) for strictly theological reasons. After all, the main points of disagreement between the two are all based on whose fairy tale is authoritative. (Jesus…savior of humanity or just a prophet?) Otherwise, on reproductive choice, feminism, gay rights, freedom from religion and the like, they are – unsurprisingly – in sync with each other.
The patently ridiculous idea of linking secular humanists to Islamic radicals illustrates the risible lack of self-awareness of these right wing Christians. In a post at Religious Dispatches, Sarah Posner has done a good job of illustrating this, at least when it comes to one Sally Kern, an Oklahoma politician:
Kern is a dyed-in-the-wool Christian nation enthusiast who believes God called her to run for public office. Her husband, a Baptist preacher, is a member of 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin’s Black Regiment of pastors who seek to take back America from federal government “tyranny.” Membership requirements: candidates must be male, must be “the head of his own home, having his wife and children in subjection to his authority. No henpecked men here.” That’s more than a tad ironic, given that the anti-shari’ah crusaders are all in a tizzy over their claim that shari’ah law subjugates women.Kern made national headlines in 2008 after she asserted that homosexuality is more dangerous to America than “terrorism or Islam.” The following year, she came out with her “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality,” which blamed the country’s “economic woes” on “abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery.”
Secular humanists bear an enormous responsibility here to cry “foul” on both of these movements. Except for externalities and meaningless (at least to us) theological differences, they are both threats to creating a rational future for humanity. Each advocates a return to medieval theocracy, so long as it’s THEIR theocracy.
When Jews wanted to be associated with the majority, many happily accepted the notion of America as a “Judeo-Christian” nation. I say it’s time to turn that on its head and come up with a term to describe this menace.
Let’s call it Christo-Islamic Fascism.