Su AlterNet è stato pubblicato oggi, col titolo «Tyranny of the Christian Right», un lungo excerptum dal libro di Michelle Goldberg, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, Norton, 2006, in cui si delinea un possibile esito catastrofico dell’attuale guerra culturale tra laici e fondamentalisti in America.
The mass movement I’ve described aims to supplant Enlightenment rationalism with what it calls the “Christian worldview.” The phrase is based on the conviction that true Christianity must govern every aspect of public and private life, and that all – government, science, history and culture – must be understood according to the dictates of scripture. There are biblically correct positions on every issue, from gay marriage to income tax rates, and only those with the right worldview can discern them. This is Christianity as a total ideology – I call it Christian nationalism. It’s an ideology adhered to by millions of Americans, some of whom are very powerful. …C’è una curiosa aria di famiglia in questi aspiranti teocrati:
In the coming years, we will probably see the curtailment of the civil rights that gay people, women and religious minorities have won in the last few decades. With two Bush appointees on the Supreme Court, abortion rights will be narrowed; if the president gets a third, it could mean the end of Roe v. Wade. Expect increasing drives to ban gay people from being adoptive or foster parents, as well as attempts to fire gay schoolteachers. Evangelical leaders are encouraging their flocks to be alert to signs of homosexuality in their kids, which will lead to a growing number of gay teenagers forced into “reparative therapy” designed to turn them straight. (Focus on the Family urges parents to consider seeking help for boys as young as five if they show a “tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.”)
Writing just after 9/11, Salman Rushdie eviscerated those on the left who rationalized the terrorist attacks as a regrettable explosion of understandable third world rage: “The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings,” he wrote. “Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multiparty political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex.”In Italia la situazione è differente; ma non abbastanza, temo, da rendere superflua un’assidua vigilanza.
Christian nationalists have no problem with beardlessness, but except for that, Rushdie could have been describing them.
It makes no sense to fight religious authoritarianism abroad while letting it take over at home. The grinding, brutal war between modern and medieval values has spread chaos, fear, and misery across our poor planet. Far worse than the conflicts we’re experiencing today, however, would be a world torn between competing fundamentalisms. Our side, America’s side, must be the side of freedom and Enlightenment, of liberation from stale constricting dogmas. It must be the side that elevates reason above the commands of holy books and human solidarity above religious supremacism. Otherwise, God help us all.