The Protestant Reformation began in 1517 and the religious wars it triggered in Europe concluded in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia. The first European attempt to colonize America came in 1584 at Roanoke, the fist permanent colony was Jamestown in 1607, and the Pilgrims famously arrived in 1620. All came, in one way or another, due to the pressure of religious conflict in Europe.
Fast forward four hundred years from the first Europeans who set foot here fleeing religious conflict and we find that a small, disloyal portion of Americans who wish to disregard both history and the principles on which our country was founded, seeking to replace our historically secular government with Seven Mountains Dominionism.
Article 6, Paragraph 3 of our Constitution could not be more clear:
“no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States”
This concise barrier to theocracy in America is under assault by a historical revisionist named David Barton. His ‘research’ would be a laughable mélange of fables and outright falsehoods, but for the fact that current and prior Republican presidential hopefuls Huckabee, Gingrich, and Bachmann heed his dubious teachings.
I’m seeing the effect of this doctrine up close and personal. Each quarter I spend two weeks in our nation’s capitol, meeting with House and Senate staff, labor leaders, and various Progressive organizations. Earlier this week I sat having lunch with a staffer at Tortilla Coast, a Capitol Hill eatery with a clear view of Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon — the three House office buildings.
This person is older, as Hill staffers go — someone who came straight out of college and who has spent nearly a decade navigating the currents of public opinions, lobbyist dollars, and the personal relationships with other staffers that go into actually getting laws passed in this country. Their thoughts on the debt ceiling were eye opening.
“This makes no sense at all. Agreements are made, then broken as soon as it looks like there might be forward motion. The Tea Party doesn’t want a deal, it looks like they’re purposefully trying to crash the economy.”
I didn’t specifically hear the word “duplicitous”, but I’m going to apply it to what I’m seeing here in D.C. A big slice of the Tea Party isn’t interested in fiscal discipline, except as a stalking horse to push America one step closer to some sort of breakdown. Once that happens they’ll be in a position to “stop Sharia law”. Conveniently for would-be theocrats, imposing a Christian equivalent to the Muslim civil laws will be the only solution to protect America from this phantom menace.
We’ve had a two party system for the last two hundred years. Sometimes your party is up, sometimes it’s down. When not in the driver’s seat, the minority party has always taken up the role of the loyal opposition. Until now.
America can’t survive with 12.6% of its lower chamber in the hands of a caucus of disloyal religious fanatics bent on tipping us into chaos. This won’t be resolved until the 2012 election, in which we’re going to see a lot of buyer’s remorse from the 55 House districts who sent a Representative who actually joined the Tea Party Caucus. Between now and then we have to keep the heat on the 380 House members, hundred Senators, and the White House.
The bulk of our elected officials are sensible and they have several paths to resolve this faux crisis, but we need to make certain that they do this right over the top of our rotten media and the ridiculous false balance being promoted regarding the so called “debt debate”.