Lighting the Fuse of Revolution?
There’s a grimly fascinating update from “Rightwing Watch” (RW) detailing how the harder core of the religious right is throwing down the gauntlet to the U.S. Supreme Court, to wit:
Legalize same sex marriage nationwide, and you’ll face an armed insurrection. A new Civil War. A Boom-Boom-Bonhoeffer Moment.
Your Honors, You Have Been Warned.”
(RW is an ongoing project of People for the American Way.)
Well, the devil their due: among the many fear-fevered followers of these well-funded mouth flappers, there could well be a few who are ready to lock and load, or plant some Boom-Boom-Bonhoeffer bombs.
After all, rightwing terrorism is hardly a paranoid liberal fantasy. (Can anybody say, Timothy McVeigh & Oklahoma City? Abortion doctor assassins?)
But if the righties on the Supreme Court know their constituents, I suggest they may not exactly be having nonstop panic attacks behind all this bluster.
Why not? Two things: first, I figure they do know the answer to this re-mix of Stalin’s question about the pope: “How many divisions do these Bozos have?”
The answer to which is: none.
Sick folks who could do serious local damage? Yes.
But overthrowing the Republic? Please.
(Besides which, the Kochs will beat them to it, by simply buying it up.)
And for second, I’m guessing some of the Supremes may recall that we’ve seen this apocalyptic christianist movie before, just a few years ago. (More on that presently.)
Anyway, the background of this kerfuffle can be briefly stated: the Supreme Court will soon hand down a decision which may legalize same sex marriage throughout the country.
I’m no lawyer, and ever since my crystal ball caught a serious internet virus, it’s been guaranteeing a landslide win for Mitt Romney; so I don’t make predictions.
Nevertheless, many Very Smart People (VSPs) are optimistic that the Supremes will do just that, rule that all the remaining state bans on same sex marriages are unconstitutional and void.
(Umm — even in –wait for it — Alabama? Yes, Roy Moore. Even. In. Alabama.)
And the righties in the RW report are afraid these VSPs are right, as in correct, so this is their (maybe) final warning to the Supremes, and it isn’t “Stop! In The Name of Love.” It is: Don’t You Dare. Or else.
All right. I said earlier that some of us had seen this movie before. I’m one, and I suspect the righties at the Supreme Court are also in this club.
This earlier “movie” about same sex legalization causing the collapse of our civilization happened in 2010, and involved that institution which tops many polls as most trusted by Americans, the military.
Yes. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Remember?
We’ll spare you a re-run of this tawdry, disreputable law which ran so many good, loyal men and women out of the armed services. Just recall that in 2010, the current president led a drive to get rid of it, which came to pass in September 2011.
During the fight over DADT repeal, a platoon or so of mainly retired fundamentalist chaplains, along with some of their religious right allies (including some of the same cast starring in this spring’s remake) loudly predicted that if DADT went down, the whole U.S. military would soon go down with it.
How so? First of all, they prophesied, all the good chaplains would quit, and take all the morale with them. (That would certainly have disarmed the artillery and drones and the SEALs, right? Well, it would have reduced the noise level, anyway.)
And then, second, all the true christians in the military would follow them out the door.
And third — this is a quote from their Amen Corner in the Southern Baptist Convention — “many parents will not entrust their sons and daughters to superiors who require them to live on intimate terms with open homosexuals . . . .” (After all, Mom, isn’t the army just Bible camp by other means? That’s what those very nice, well-dressed recruiters said at church.)
One, two three — What are we fighting’ for?? If DADT ended, there goes the army. And all our enemies would be free to run amuck across the world.
I wrote about this at the time, with lots of links to the more apocalyptic declarations. And I offered a somewhat different slant on this forecast, if one is permitted to quote oneself:
Now I ask you, for a peacenik, in all of this, what’s not to like?
Some of us have been laboring for decades to find ways of shrinking the military, and rolling back the crusader mentality joined with biblicist homophobia in an ever-growing chunk of the chaplaincy and officers corps.
And suddenly, here it is: kill DADT, and presto, job done, or almost.
Where anti-DADT advocates merely thought they were reaching for equality of service in a hazardous occupation, according to these veteran seers, it will turn out that they were actually the vanguard who dealt the Military Industrial Complex a nearly mortal blow.
What all our petitioning and mass marches and civil disobedience and tax resistance couldn’t accomplish, the Lavender brigades will achieve by a stealth attack.
Well, if that’s how it turns out, I say, Here’s to Irony, and God bless every gay or lesbian who ever hit on a recruiter. [October 2010] >>
Anyway, let’s chase to the cut: DADT did walk the plank, on September 20, 2011. My colleagues and I noted the occasion with a one-minute video, which you should take time to savor:
Then nothing. Or rather, scenes like this, at the return of a ship to dock in Virginia, and the crowd gathered to greet other crew members cheered. (Oh, Rev. Bebee, the horror, the horror!)
Maybe a few chaplains did leave; but like Old Blue Eyes crooned about his regrets, “too few to mention.”
And as for the troops, many of them were indeed drawn from conservative Christian churches such as the Baptists. But not only did they stay in droves, but lots more, including Baptists, still wanted to enlist. (Why? Maybe because jobs were still scarce in Baptist-land, as they had long been; the same goes for Baptist preachers; about half of them now have second jobs to support their preaching habit. That makes the regular pay & bennies of a chaplain’s gig, and the government pension, um, very tempting.)
The result: well, as far as a military collapse was concerned, nada. It’s still out there tearing up way too much of the world. (So my lavender peacenik hopes were dashed.)
The retired chaplains are still out there fuming, but their audience share has been, let’s say, slipping. They even had to endure the surgical-strike mockery of Doonesbury:
And so with the real military done for, gone over to the enemy, just exactly how does the religious right’s joint chiefs of staff (mostly clustered in their bunkers around Colorado Springs, Colorado) plan to bring down the republic? How will they force a rollback of the Nazi-inspired, Hitlerian regime that many insist the Supreme Court’s approval of same sex marriage nationwide would force upon them and a prostrate, ravished nation? Good — if overdramatic– questions.
(Really, they’re talking that way. Looking at YOU, Mike Huckabee, among others.)
I wouldn’t rule out some McVeigh-like strikes here and there, from some on a quest for their “Bonhoeffer moment.”
(For those who haven’t been paying attention, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German anti-Nazi Protestant theologian who, though pacifist-inclined, decided to join a 1944 plot to blow up Hitler. The plot failed and, though a minor player in the attempt, Bonhoeffer was hung by the Nazis.)
And maybe some Nevada cattle rancher will even declare a gay-free Neo-Confederate republic, populated exclusively by heterosexual cacti, cattle and caucasian scorpions.
Then, of course, there’s always that wannabe reincarnation of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Alabama’s Judge Roy Moore.
(Moore, it is worth noting, was an MP commander in Vietnam, who was so strict that he has claimed he had to sleep surrounded by sandbags to avoid being fragged by his own troops. No doubt he’d inspire comparable loyalty for his American Armageddon.)
Maybe all this huffing and puffing will scare the Supreme Court into turning tail, reversing their earlier precedents, or finding some way to avoid making one at all. Like I said, no predictions of the future here.
But if not, if they do pull the chain on the state marriage bans, these bush-league Bonhoeffers in the Rightwing Watch Report don’t scare me.
I’m for nonviolence; but the U.S. government never was pacifist, and between Roy Moore & the 82nd Airborne, I gotta go with the Airborne. And I think even Scalia and Thomas would come to a similar conclusion.
Just get the Secret Service cleaned the hell up, and stay on alert, people. Seriously.
But remember that kiss in Virginia Beach?
Really, I think it was all over right there and then.