Or: Observations from the Minister of Troubling Trends
To ring in the new year, Katherine Kersten dutifully reports on the death of religion:
What should we laud or lament in the year just ended? Where should we turn our attention in 2011? One troubling trend, I suggest, dwarfs all others in importance. It's the shrinking influence and declining prestige of religion [she means a particular brand of the Christian religion, of course] in our nation today.
The idea that Katie would “suggest” anything – rather than beat you over the head with it – is, naturally, funny.
Katie has apparently been rummaging around in her basement again, or maybe just reading Bradlee Dean‘s entrails! Anyway, here’s the newest Old Testament prophetess’ evidence of the demise:
Increasingly, Americans see religion as a private matter with little to contribute to public debate -- even on issues with moral dimensions, such as marriage and family, abortion and euthanasia. In the crusade to banish faith from public life, judges order county courthouses to be stripped of plaques listing the Ten Commandments, and activists attack Christian hospitals that decline to perform abortions.
(Did you notice the use of the action verbs banish, stripped and attack? That correspondence school writing course is really paying off for Katie!)
Repent before it is too late.
The real revelation in the column is what Kersten believes about the true purpose of religion: that it should function as an instrument of social control. For if you think that Katie is really interested in a debate, you are as deluded as she is. By her own reckoning, anybody who disagrees with Katie is immoral; anybody who refuses to sign on as a culture warrior on her side is, too. You’re either with us or against us. She takes that loin girding and whole armor stuff very – shall we say deadly? – seriously.
Never mind that there are thoughtful ethical and moral, and yes, religious, positions that take the opposite view or another perspective to the ones that Katie espouses above. When you’re a charming mixture of bug-eyed control freak and religious fanatic like Katie, it doesn’t matter.
Kersten would cheerfully throw (or should I say heave, Katie?) democratic principles over the transom in favor of her religious ones. It has perhaps escaped Kersten’s attention that neither the pope nor the arch-bishop are referred to, much less granted any authority, in either the U.S. or the state’s constitution. But if it hasn’t, that wouldn’t matter to her either.