“If fascism comes to America, it will not be identified with any “shirt” movement, nor with an “insignia,” but it will probably be “wrapped up in the flag and heralded as a plea for liberty and preservation of the constitution,” wrote in a 1936 issue of The Christian Century. Nobel Laureate recipient Sinclair Lewis put it even more succinctly when he warned, “It [fascism] would come wrapped in the flag and whistling the Star Spangled Banner.”
No one who has followed the rise of the Christian Right in national politics over the course of the past three decades should be surprised by Monday’s Supreme Court decision to grant corporations religious personhood. It was as predictable as Pat Robertson saying something stupid about gay sex. The hyper religious conservatives on the bench of the nation’s high court, all of whom were appointed by Republican presidents, see the federal government as being controlled by ‘secular humanists’ who wish to make war against the purity of the Christian belief system. Like the 89 million Americans who count themselves as evangelicals, they seek total cultural and political domination.
Not only is the Christian Right the most politically agitated and reliable voting bloc of the Republican Party, but it is also emboldened like no other time in their warped history. With recent efforts to legalize discrimination against gay Americans defeated, the Hobby Lobby case against the Affordable Care Act has reenergized the theocratic wing of the GOP base — the wing that is now the party’s fuselage. Throw red meat to their holier than thou rationalizations and they won’t care what big business does to this great nation. They care for one thing – turning America into a theocratic regime. Don’t be fooled by the flag-waving and the obnoxious hyper-masculine jingoistic platitudes; the Christian Right does not love America unconditionally. They love America on the condition that representatives they help get elected are carrying out their political agenda.
There are many complications that will arise from the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision.
The language of “religious liberty” and “free enterprise” are deified in American political culture and discourse. Those words are blinding and disorienting; therefore, they are also concepts that are not critically interrogated.
For example, “religious liberty” and “free enterprise” were used to justify slavery, as well as Jim and Jane Crow. The move towards privatized schools, “urban academies”, and publicly funded religiously based secondary and primary education are the direct heirs of the “freedom academies” that whites used as a means to resist integration and the Black Freedom Struggle in the South and elsewhere.
So, twice a year, the Kochs convene a secret summit of superrich supermen to plot strategy and pledge millions of dollars to their political transformation of America. In June, about 300 of the billionaire brotherhood gathered with Charlie and Dave at the St. Regis Monarch Bay Resort on the Southern California coast. As investigative reporter Lauren Windsor wrote in The Nation, the Koch confab, which bore the heroic title of “American Courage,” took over the entire luxury resort, including its golf course and restaurants, for three days, at the cost of nearly a million bucks—not counting charges for guest rooms.
David Koch provided a keynote talk, modestly titled “Saving America,” and attendees were treated to a feedfest of right-wing boilerplate from a gaggle of GOP congress critters summoned to the summit. The billionaires were especially delighted to hear Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell assure them that he would defend to his last sour breath their right to buy our elections.
Then, reports Windsor, the 300 Koch-headed supermen pledged to do just that, promising to put up $500 million this year to turn the U.S. senate over to Republican control.
The dead bodies of three Israeli youths were found yesterday in the occupied West Bank after over two weeks of uncertainty. The three Israelis–19-year-old Eyal Yifrach and 16-year-olds Naftali Fraenkel and Gilad Shaar–had gone missing June 12th after attending a yeshiva in a West Bank settlement. They were most likely killed by two Palestinian militants.
Israel’s response to the abductions has been to essentially hold every Palestinian responsible for the crimes of a few. In response to the discovery of the bodies, Israel’s policy of collective punishment—a war crime under international law— has continued, with vengeful targeting of the families of the alleged suspects.