Friday, January 15, 2010

Raving Theocrats or Mental Time Travelers?

Before the Tennessee legislature in the capacity of "minister of the day," Courtney Rodgers beseeched the ceiling cat concerning those serving in the US military:

We pray that their sacrifices are not in vain, lost to a godless and apathetic nation. For it has been declared to the world that we are no longer a Christian nation. But as Americans, we cannot turn our backs on our history for it cannot be erased.
Sure, sure, these are falsehoods sitting precariously atop stilts composed of other falsehoods, but arguably, the most deliciously awful thing here is the implication that non-Christian soldiers sacrifice in vain. On Rodgers's account, non-Christian troops are bleeding for a theocracy founded on a creed they don't profess.

This may seem off the wall, but follow me for a moment. Has anyone come out and asked Courtney Rodgers (or like-minded barkers) what year it is? I would not be surprised if her answer was a few centuries off. Note that 1620 was the founding year of the first colony of what became New England, and that 1787 was the year when a famous document constituted the USA as a legal and political entity having nothing to do with god or Christianity.

Between 1620 and 1787, it was not strictly accurate but also not apeshit-insane to say that a "Christian nation" sat where the eastern half of the current-day USA sits.

Perhaps, then, the like of Courtney Rodgers is both actually and clinically delusional, and takes herself to be speaking in the year 1797 (just to pick a round number). In 1797, a rube in the newly-admitted state of Tennessee would not have been completely unhinged to lament a recent change from "Christian nation" to "godless nation" -- she would merely have been ignorant, small-minded, and short-sighted, which was and remains barely noticeable in those climes.

I am offering the hypothesis that people who repeat such claims are sick in the head, and that their affliction detaches them from reality in a way that, unfortunately, does nothing to attenuate their rank unpleasantness or evident stupidity.

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