God and the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party

by LENNI BRENNER

All right, Godless CounterPunchers, we know that you are snickering about Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore’s 10 Commandments rock. Now his eight associate judges have repudiated "Roy’s Rock," and the state’s Attorney General removed it. So all is well. Or is it?

On July 22, the House voted 307 to 119 for an amendment to an appropriations bill. It prohibits the use of federal money to enforce the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals previous ruling that "under God" has no business in the Pledge of Allegiance. The next day it voted 260 to 161 to prohibit funding of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision demanding the removal of Moore’s monument.

Ninety-one of 199 Democrats voted to prohibit funding the "under God" decision, 50 out of 197 voted to ban US money for enforcement of the order against Moore. Cynics felt that this was just populist demagoguery, that they knew that the bill wouldn’t get past the Senate. Except that the Senate had previously voted, 99 to 0 and 94 to 0, to denounce the 9th’s ruling in nonbinding statements.

With Alabama’s court and AG promising to get rid of the 10 Commandments stone, the Senate won’t have to vote on that, but "under God" is still before the courts. As of now, no one has introduced the 11th Circuit Court amendment into the Senate, and it is possible that our Senators will cook up a parliamentary maneuver to evade binding a vote on the House’s handiwork. But if they do, that only postpones the political day of reckoning for our secular liberals until the 2004 elections.

Columnists in the New York Times, the Nation and other liberal journals now agonize over whether they are for Howard Dean or Dennis Kucinich. None of their ruminations mean a thing. Everyone familiar with those publications’ previous endorsements knows that they will tell us to vote for anyone the Democrats nominate, even if they dig up Attila and run him as a peace candidate. But for the Hun’s presidency to mean much, domestically, he’s got to have a Democratic Congress to back him up. Which means that our secular Democrats will be on their knees the night before the election, alongside Moore, praying that all the House Democrats who voted for him, and all the Senators who stood up for "God" against you heathens, get reelected.

Win or lose, liberalism faces its terminal crisis. Secularist organizations are deeply troubled. Secularism was invented by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the Democratic Party’s founders. Library shelves sag under the weight of their warnings about mixing religion and politics. But every hypocritical Democrat’s vote on behalf of Moore or "under God" was a weapon of mass deception aimed at Jefferson’s great "wall of separation between Church and State."

God and the 10 Commandments may be what Judaism is all about, but even the American Jewish Congress, which wants continued support of both parties for Israel, called the House votes "assaults on the rule of law." Mock pious politicians may be ‘good for Israel,’ but their members live here and they fear that politically ‘shrewd’ pandering to the Christian right today can end us up with a Christian government on some tomorrow.

Secularist Democrats have fallen into a pit of their own digging. Ninety-eight, maybe 99 out of 100, share the cynicism of their party on other issues. For example, many secularists are privately for legalizing recreational pot. Yet they have no problem with Dean and Kucinich running like thieves from the issue, which isn’t central to the secular world view. But they know that any Presidential candidate of "the democratic wing of the Democratic Party," will never denounce the congressional Democratic Jesus freaks and panderers to the freaks, and that the reason for their silence is exactly the same depraved vote counting reason they are quieter than Jerusalem Slim’s empty tomb re marijuana.

For all their populist rhetoric, ‘democratic wing’ politicians operate on the basis of a great unspoken truth: Poor people got poor ways. Foolish voters outnumber the wise, not just in Alabama, but in every state in the union. Their strategy is to pander to those fools, black, white and otherwise, by commission or omission, by lying to them, or keeping quite when their party colleagues do, all in the fools’ interests, you understand.

Wannabe leftist candidates also must face that sobering reality. Pander or educate. But if you pander, you never convert anyone into a thinking political being.

Democrats are "crackpot realists." They know that 47% of Americans, 57% of Blacks, believe that God created the world about 10,000 years ago. They court that religious Black vote and desperately pander to white Protestant born-agains, pro-Zionist Orthodox Jewish believers in the Great Ham-hater in the sky, and similar powerful minds. They hem and they haw about gay marriage. But, in the ‘real world’ which they babble about without really examining, one in seven Americans now reject all religions, millions of sincere believers also believe in keeping religion out of politics, there are now over 19 million potheads, and tens of millions of straights accept gay marriage.

To be sure, as of now, no for-keeps revolutionary can get elected President. But a serious radical candidate in 2004 most assuredly can recruit a massive movement out of those already gigantic minorities. And always remember that the Democrats lost to Nixon in 1968 and 1972, yet Nixon lost the Vietnam war. That’s because it wasn’t Democrats Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern who organized hundreds of thousands into the antiwar movement. It was a few thousand Trotskyists and Stalinists who called the demonstrations.

And today no sane person expects Dean or Kucinich to call for an anti-war movement. Not here, and certainly not within the military in Afghanistan and Iraq and Saudi Arabia. That plain and simple truth automatically disqualifies them as genuine ‘peace candidates’.

James Madison to Edward Livingston

July 10, 1822

Notwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst. And in a Govt. of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together. It was the belief of all sects at one time that the establishment of Religion by law, was right & necessary; that the true religion ought to be established in exclusion of every other; And that the only question to be decided was which was the true religion. The example of Holland proved that a toleration of sects, dissenting from the established sect, was safe & even useful. The example of the Colonies, now States, which rejected religious establishments altogether, proved that all Sects might be safely & advantageously put on a footing of equal & entire freedom; and a continuance of their example since the declaration of Independence, has shewn that its success in Colonies was not to be ascribed to their connection with the parent Country. If a further confirmation of the truth could be wanted, it is to be found in the examples furnished by the States, which have abolished their religious establishments. I cannot speak particularly of any of the cases excepting that of Virga. where it is impossible to deny that Religion prevails with more zeal, and a more exemplary priesthood than it ever did when established and patronised by Public authority. We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt.

LENNI BRENNER is the editor of 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis and a contributor to The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at BrennerL21@aol.com


Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 28, 2015
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance
Howard Lisnoff
Bernie Sanders: Savior or Seducer of the Anti-War Left?
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?
John Halle
On Berniebots and Hillary Hacks, Dean Screams, Swiftboating and Smears
Stephen Lendman
Cleveland Police Attack Black Activists
Patrick Cockburn
Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS
Ralph Nader
Sending a ‘Citizens Summons’ to Members of Congress
Clancy Sigal
Scratch That Itch: Hillary and The Donald
Colin Todhunter
Working Class War Fodder
Gareth Porter
Obama’s Version of Iran Nuke Deal: a Second False Narrative
Joshua Sperber
What is a President? The CEO of Capitalism
Zoe Konstantopoulou
The Politics of Coercion in Greece
Vacy Vlanza
Without BDS, Palestine is Alone
Laura Finley
Adjunct Professors and Worker’s Rights
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode Three, Where We Thrill Everyone by Playing Like “Utter Bloody Garbage”
Weekend Edition
July 24-26, 2015
Mike Whitney
Picked Out a Coffin Yet? Take Ibuprofen and Die
Henry Giroux
America’s New Brutalism: the Death of Sandra Bland
Rob Urie
Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone
Michael Lanigan
Lynn’s Story: an Irish Woman in Search of an Abortion
Paul Street
Deleting Crimes at the New York Times: Airbrushing History at the Paper of Record
ISMAEL HOSSEIN-ZADEH
Making Sense of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Geopolitical Implications
Andrew Levine
After the Iran Deal: Israel is Down But Far From Out
Uri Avnery
Sheldon’s Stooges: Netanyahu and the King of Vegas
David Swanson
George Clooney Paid by War Profiteers
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They Say Paraguay is in Africa: Mosaic of Horror
Horace G. Campbell
Obama in Kenya: Will He Cater to the Barons or the People?
Michael Welton
Surviving Together: Canadian Public Tradition Under Threat
Rev. William Alberts
American Imperialism’s Military Chaplains
Yorgos Mitralias
Black Days: August 4th,1914 Germany and July 13th, 2015 Greece
Jeffrey R. Wilson
“It Started Like a Guilty Thing”: the Beginning of Hamlet and the Beginning of Modern Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Star Whores: John McCain, the Apache and the Battle to Save Mt. Graham
Pepe Escobar
The Eurasian Big Bang: How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington
Charles Larson
The USA as a Failed State: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Robert Fantina
Israel and “Self-Defense”
John W. Whitehead
The American Nightmare: the Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System
Leonidas Vatikiotis
Rupture With the EU: a Return to the Cave Age or a New Golden Age for Greece?
Murray Dobbin
Harper is Finally Right: the Canadian Election is About Security Versus Risk
Brian Cloughley
Meet General Joseph Dunford: a Real Threat to World Peace
Manuel García, Jr.
The Trump Surge and the American Psyche