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THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE REVISITED?

January 29, 2018

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE REVISITED?

Professor Kennedy’s blog today had to do with Christian nationalism in the pursuit of secular power and the danger of establishment of a theocratic state what with the backing of evangelical leaders of Trump’s authoritarian tendencies in ruling as opposed to governing. She invited commentary, and the following, slightly edited, was mine.

Indeed politics does make strange bedfellows, but I for one do not think religionists will take over America, since America is rather on the verge of or has already been taken over by the rich and corporate class, lock, stock and barrel. That class will have strange bedfellows as well in resisting such a usurpation from religionists with the aid of such unlikely allies as liberals, thoughtful evangelicals, spiritualists and a rapidly growing segment of atheists and agnostics disenchanted with the Falwell/Robertson crowd, a crowd hypocritically willing to forgive anything Trump and others do in their own pursuit of power. In short, I think in the final analysis that both Trump and the Falwell/Robertson cabal will fail in attaining their respective objectives in ruling and that the church-state distinction in the First Amendment will survive.

Never did I think that I would be on the side of the epitome of greed represented by the rich and corporate class, but though our motivations may differ (their unregulated exercise of total greed in the marketplace versus my constitutional government undergirded by democratic institutions), and only because in my estimation government by religionists would be worse, on this limited issue I cast my lot with the Davos/Wall Street crowd of moneychangers. I can do battle with these greedhogs later, after the unholy union of the Trump/Falwell crisis is in our wake.

Should my prediction prove wrong and the religionists take over, I think it would be a Pyrrhic victory for such insurgents because too many Americans have been exposed to democratic idealism for too long to allow more than a temporary takeover by a sect to which a majority of Americans do not belong. America is not united by papal edict as was the Holy Roman Empire of yore (which Voltaire noted was neither Holy, Roman nor an Empire), and it’s impossible to rule or govern when the streets are full of demonstrators and the country is in shutdown mode, as the religionists would find, just as the Romanovs discovered in an early 20th century revolutionary Russia led by Lenin and Stalin.

Such views here expressed do not mean that we must not be vigilant to threats to our democracy, or what is left of it after assaults by Trump, religionists and the rich and corporate class. The solution is political and with a robust pro-democracy turnout in November, 2018, we can send a message to Trumpists/religionists that reads as follows: “Keep the church out of the state’s business; just as we keep the state out of the church’s business” which, by the way, is precisely what Madison and Jefferson had in mind when applying quill to parchment some 229 years ago.     GERALD       E

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