This week in my political science course, I am charged with the responsibility of covering the topic of fascism.  In my studies and research to prepare for class, I cannot help but notice the connections between organized religion and fascist governments, literally and metaphorically.  Anyone with a solid understanding of world history cannot deny the blood and tyranny that accompany a theocracy.  Human experience is peppered, no smothered, with examples of religious justification for attrocities of all varieties. 

But the the similarities are striking, even when the two institutions are theoretically separated.  Both indoctrinate people with an ideology that requires a surrender of rational/logical/critical thought in exchange for blind faith in authority (divine or human).  Propaganda and symbolism are pervasive.  Both rely heavily on a culture of fear to motivate the behavior of people.  This also requires an intentional eroding of personal power of the individual in order to foster a dependency on the authority and guidance from above.  It is made clear that people cannot be trusted to think for themselves. Rather, because of our sinful, weak disposition, we are encouraged to suspend personal will or reason and adhere to a dogma or doctrine that is provided for us.  Both are arrogant and self-righteous in their absolute nature, attacking anyone who questions their validity.  Great effort is taken to avoid a thorough investigation into historical context, because connecting the dots would threaten the necessary myth that keeps people in conformity.  Truth is whatever the religious or government leaders tell you, even if it conflicts with science, logic, or your own conscience. 

 This is all particularly relavent in the US right now, because our current administration has made it clear that religion and politics BELONG together and neither should be questioned.  In fact, traditional conservatism, as theorized by Edmund Burke in the 1700s, proposes that human reason cannot be trusted and therefore the government must provide a framework of moral values based on long-standing traditions.  Burke actually advocates that the older the moral teachings, the more trustworthy they are likely to be.  Todays conservatives make no effort to conceal the fact that they believe the Bible is the ultimate source for determining moral tradition, and they rely on those teachings to oppose civil rights and encourage submission to authority. 

How can a free society function when critical thought and reason are discouraged (and often punished) and the ethical foundations of policy are rooted in a mythical theology designed to control and convert?  This is where we are going, folks.  Our system of checks and balances and rational interpretation of law has been overthrown by a cult of wealthy elites and brainwashed sheep who believe the moral authority of a supreme diety (as exercised through Christian leaders and our God-fearing administration) trumps personal liberties!  I am not just talking about the fundamentalists!  This ideology is now mainstream in the ranks of conservative politics. 

The scariest part of all of this is the involvement of Americas financial elite.  The marriage of religion and government is far more dangerous when it expands to a love triangle with greed.  There is a documentary that addresses much of this topic in detail.  Watch it.  Think about it.  Do your own research to investigate the claims that are made.  This will NOT be an easy assignment.  You will probably find many reasons why you do not have the time or you simply do not want to be bothered with so much brain-spinning information.  But information is power, and ignorance results in death of conscience and control when you abdicate the thinking to others without informed oversight. Who will look out for you if you are too busy or too overwhelmed to look out for yourself? 

In the words of a Great man, MLK, : ” Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.  Never forget that everything that Hitler did in Germany was legal.  A nation or a civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.”