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Letter: Concepts of democracy, theocracy are mutually exclusive

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

It is a very human desire to make others in one's own image. In the past several decades, the GOP has offered evangelical/fundamentalists hope that their view of life could somehow become the law of the land. It seemed like it should work. Our nation would become a sort of democracy/theocracy, ensuring that America would once again be a "Christian nation." All along, there has probably been too little discussion of the fact that the concepts of democracy and theocracy are mutually exclusive.

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Our country's founders knew this, and built certain protections into our Constitution, which ensured that the government must never embrace one group's idea of God to the exclusion or detriment of another's. They did this because they and their European ancestors had learned that state religions become as vile and as oppressive as any secular dictator.

It is becoming apparent that evangelicals have to some extent been strung along by the Grand Old Party. The Republican's "Big Tent" seems less friendly albeit a bit more diverse.

In David Kuo's book about why he left his job as a special assistant to President Bush in the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, "Tempting Faith," Kuo reveals that the administration took unfair advantage of conservative Christian voters. He says that national Christian leaders received hugs and smiles, but behind their backs, they were called ridiculous, goofy and out of control, and their agendas given only lip service. In Karl Rove's office, Kuo says that religious leaders were referred to as "the nuts."

Former U.S. representative and House majority leader, Republican Dick Armey, says in the book, "The Elephant in the Room" by Ryan Sager, that, "James Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies." He complains about political pressure from Dobson on issues like prayer in schools. As Armey puts it, "these issues are easy for the intellectually lazy."

Evangelical Christians and many liberals have long held a number of things in common. Both groups care about the poor, the sick, the elderly, prisoners, the downtrodden as well as the victims of the excesses that can occur in our capitalist system. These are noble similarities and now another ... both groups find themselves side by side, on the outside of the big Republican tent, looking in, both wondering why there are so many gays in there. I suspect it's because of the mammon they're serving.

Michael Olson

Clearbrook

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