Scaling Back Scalia

Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

Headlined at Salon.com today, author and The Atlantic contributor, Jeffrey Tayler, has an excellent piece, Antonin Scalia is unfit to serve: A justice who rejects science and the law for religion is of unsound mind.” Although Tayler takes a somewhat sardonic approach, he digs deep to expose the complete hypocrisy and ignorance that undergirds dominionists such as Scalia, and how they are destroying our democracy.

Taylor’s apt name for dominionism is faith-derangement syndrome (or FDS). It is real and a cause for urgent action. No matter what you call it or what you are advocating for this very day, understand that this is the huge boulder standing in your way of progress.

Sufferers of faith-derangement syndrome (FDS) exhibit the following symptoms: unshakable belief in the veracity of manifest absurdities detailed in ancient texts regarding the origins of the cosmos and life on earth; a determination to disseminate said absurdities in educational institutions and via the media; a propensity to enjoin and even enforce (at times using violence) obedience to regulations stipulated in said ancient texts, regardless of their suitability for contemporary circumstances; the conviction that an invisible, omnipresent, omniscient authority (commonly referred to as “God”) directs the course of human and natural events, is vulnerable to propitiation and blandishments, and monitors individual human behavior, including thought processes, with an especially prurient interest in sexual activity.

Scalia and others in government or running for office who we are naming, and plan on naming, are all Grade-A personifications of the Dominionism cult in America, a behind-the-scenes political and religious philosophy calling for the end of the rule of law to be replaced by (their skewed version of) god’s law.

Dominionism’s effects are present in every branch of government, past and present. Dominionists are marked by their intellectual inconsistency borne of ignorance, accidental or purposeful, and their love of war, low opinion of women, hatred of poor people especially if they are people of color, and flippant attitude towards climate change. Their religious beliefs are more and more being institutionalized in our laws, from the school board to state and federal government. By not mobilizing, and not voting, we have to take full responsibility for allowing this utter disregard for our Constitution. Dominionists circumvent its all-important provision for the separation of church and state with seeming impunity. What are you going to do about it?

Scalia rejects the fact of evolution – the foundation of modern biology – in favor of the opening chapter of a compendium of cockamamie fables concocted by obscure humans in a particularly dark age, evidence that his faculty of reason has suffered the debilitating impairment associated with acute FDS. He therefore cannot be relied upon to adjudicate without prejudice and should be removed from the bench henceforth.

We are urging everyone who sees this as starkly to write, speak, and take action to rescue our hallowed but so very much abused separation of church and state from the jaws of defeat. Religious fakery is permeating our laws and we are all responsible for letting it happen. The provision of the separation of church and state is there exactly because this is a country where someone’s religious choices cannot impinge on our laws in any shape or form. Yet the tortured arguments by christianist office holders, and would-be office holders, are rapidly becoming the law of the land. We have to stop this and reverse this before we are all subjected to what can only be called christian sharia.

Last year at this time, I wrote about Scalia and his American fundamentalist connections (here, here, and here.). We joined the chorus calling for the removal of Justice Scalia from the Supreme Court because he long ago “self-repudiated” himself and we have until now let him get away with it. Today, we have a path forward to accomplish it.

Tayler reiterates the central question, “how to go about declaring a magistrate appointed for life of unsound mind and thus unfit to serve?”

Fortunately for progressives, Dominionism, or FDS if you prefer, contains within it a singular flaw that has been staring us in the face but completely missed by most people. It has to do with how this philosophy, by its very nature, disallows the taking an oath to uphold our Constitution. And we can take action by repeating history’s best example how to go about the wholesale rejection of up to 70% of incumbents in one election year.

Let’s unite as activists to challenge domionism, an indisputable menace to democracy. Its bankrupt ideas, decisions, proposals, and enacted laws are in direct conflict with their author’s oaths of office, the betrayal of which can be considered treason or a high crime. We have to force these imposters to choose between dominionism and their oaths of office, or resign.

Coming up this week, I will be writing more on the largest branch of this cult, The Family (aka The Fellowship), thoroughly investigated by  Jeff Sharlet in his two books, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. The Family operates in secret but we will be highlighting its one very visible part, the National Prayer Breakfast. The mass media doesn’t tell you what exactly goes on there, but we will.

Right now, there are members of The Family only pretending to serve our country and Constitution, as though they took their offices with their fingers crossed behind their back. Although the Family represents a fine machine to spread dominionism here and abroad, we will be highlighting its profiteering purpose and why it is being disguised as a religious fellowship. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (au.org) has been addressing this ably, and I am looking forward to Netroots Nation next month to see a gathering community who will work to save the separation of church and state by taking steps to #stopedominionism in our country.

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The disclaimer attached to all writing about Dominionism is that we do not deny any of these individuals their personal religious beliefs, only that we absolutely demand they do not infringe on church-state separation enshrined in our Constitution. 

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Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner