In the Republic of Gilead, a Christian theocracy exists in the place of an elected secular government. The state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private life based on biblical fundamentalism. Those who do not conform are pressed into service as "handmaids" and servants or deported to regions where pollution has reached toxic levels. Martial law has been declared as "hordes of guerrillas" jeopardize the stability of the Republic -- though the threat may be greatly exaggerated.
The foundation of the Gileadean regime is the control of sex and sexuality. They execute gays and lesbians; they destroy pornography and sexual clothing; they kill abortion doctors; they outlaw divorce and ...view middle of the document...
Education, vigils, dialogue, and other "peaceful" gatherings certainly have their place, but they are not enough. A message must be sent to Friends of the Family, Dobson, Bauer and their followers that authoritarian vision and has no place on our air waves, on our television screens, in seats of illegitimate power, or in our city.
But what form should that "message" take?
There are different ideas within movements opposed to Christian Dominionism on this question. Those ideas are largely informed by one's opinion and analysis of CD's leaders and followers. Often, both these leaders and their followers are seen as misguided, but not bad people. They need to be shown the light rather than fought. The rhetoric used by this movement plays a big part in this perception. The word "love" is used frequently as a motivating emotion for actions and ideas. Especially for other Christians, seeing and hearing a man with a big smile talking about the love of the Lord and the need for Christian compassion can be very compelling.
Indeed, many in the rank and file of this movement can be very sweet, caring people. Someone who truly loves their family and also loves God is hard to denounce as a fascist, especially for other Christians. Yes, many of these believers are well-intentioned, but as the proverb goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Historically, many monstrous movements have been made up of nice enough people who "just love their country." This movement is similarly made up of nice enough people who "just love their Lord."
Noam Chomsky said in the film "The Corporation" that it was possible to have a slave owner who was very benevolent, nice to their slaves, and overall a good person. But that person is ultimately still part of a monstrous institution. We have to understand that there are some very nice people out there who want to do some very terrible things in the name of God and love.
In line with this, one tactic is to try to change their minds using Christian reasoning and compassion. While not unheard of, turning people's hearts away from this vile ideology is extremely difficult as their belief in it is often tied into their fundamental beliefs about religion, their position in the...