Jon over at Q & O has (correctly) decided there is a war for the hearts and minds of America.. Then he tries to identify who is fighting for what, puts his uniquely keen mind to the task and leaps to the wrong conclusion… that an influx of Theocracy is a major problem and is being beaten back by pluralists.

He says, in part:

So, yeah, I think we’re winning the war against theocracy. We still argue around the margins, but in the main our culture is becoming more tolerant and pluralistic.

The reality is, social issues have LONG been fought in religious framework… since the civil war and before. Slavery, civil rights for minorities and so on have all been so. Many victories were won under that banner. Indeed, I would submit to you that were it not for the rise of the religious in our country, such issues would not have ever come to the fore… we’d have not fought a war on slaveholders, and we’d not be nearly as pluralistic a country today.
Those issues continue to be fought by the religious left today.. most of the bigger voices in that movement are themselves, preachers. (And as an aside,I doubt Jon would want to roll back those gains gotten us by the religious societies and groups that fought for and won them simply because they WERE religious.. no cries of ‘theocrat’ here, I suppose)

But Oh, dear…..let someone from other than the left… whose connection with religion has always at best been selective, let them play that card, and suddenly the left is all worried about the erruption of a theocracy, and the obviously anti-religious among us declare the problem has been with us for only the last 40 years… (Since Goldwater caused the slpit on the right) and that the Theocracy is already *losing* the war.

Jon raises some good points in the linked post, but misses the point, I think, in what’s driving our current situation…. Namely, the left has, since the 60’s, used religion as a great divider… It’s OK to be religious, so long as you support the left and their secular causes. Witness Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, etc.

There’s other things in play here, such as Jon’s own (apparently) Randian atheist worldview, and I wonder if he would ever be able to judge these matters with any accuracy from that perspective.

There is, however a closing line, which makes me wonder about things;

Unfortunately, procedural arguments are often confused with consequentalist interests, and originalists and States Rights supporters are called homophobic, racist, etc

I’m troubled by the presence of those kind of laws, as pressed by Social Conservatives; I’m more troubled by the evisceration of process, as pressed by liberals and conservatives alike.

This is a conclusion I can live with, I suppose.  As I’ve told him in the past; there’s a major difference between the government making an action or a ‘lifestyle’ legal, and SUPPORTING it, normalizing it, by means of law.  Such matters should be decided at the cultural level, not at the governmental level.


Tomas Kohl has some added comments to these points… and here’s the punchline:

Liberals have overplayed their hand when they tried to push religion from the public space. And the GOP has now the power to restore balance. If it means funding faith-based charities and promoting chastity in public schools, they figured it’s still a good deal, even if the ideals of limited government have to be put to rest. What Sullivan and others are seeing isn’t a rise of theocracy but the pendulum swinging back to the center. And as Barone observed, Americans are too individualistic and freedom-loving to allow it to swing too far.

He has more, of course… RTWT.

Update the Second:
Reader Mike from the Great White North points out that these points play rather well against the comments I’d already made yesterday, and wonders if the left’s anti-theocracy nonsense of today, wasn’t a mistake on their part.

I think it IS a mistake, particularly since they seem to be divorcing themselves from their own religiously driven history. They saw that the Republicans had a numerical advantage among the religious, who have a massive majority in this country.  At this point, in spite of their previous successes among the Religious on social issues, the Democrats tried to deny their religious history, so as to be able to draw a line between religious values and social policy. 

In short, in spite of their own history, in which they connected social issues and religion with great success, they now tried to deride the connection between religion and social values because it no longer helped them electorially, following their embracing of ROE and other such social issues.

That apparent cutting off of their own hands… that intentional disconnect, is why even previously staunch Democrats were suspicious of John Kerry and voted against him. Thing is, I see no movement back to the center from the Democrats, and thus the Democrats will continue their dominance on this for at least the next election cycle or two.