Brynn Tannehill

Ten Signs We're Becoming a Hideous Theocratic Dystopia

Filed By Brynn Tannehill | July 02, 2014 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: birth control, Christianists, contraception, evolution, genocide, Iran, military, Saudi Arabia, separation of church and state, theocracy


1.) Iran did away with government mandated birth control this year too.

Up until 2014, Iran provided free contraceptives -- including birth control pills -- through its national health program. As recently as 2000, Iranians used contraceptives at a rate similar to the U.S.

After hardliners took over in 2004 things began to change, and forcing women back into more traditional gender roles became a priority. By 2012, Iran announced that the program would be eliminated because the regime wanted to ensure that more women had children (whether they wanted to or not.) After the Hobby Lobby decision, the U.S. is following a similar path.

2.) Conservatives openly oppose separation of church and state.

Many conservative Republican politicians espouse the belief that the Founding Fathers never intended to have separation of church and state, that we are a "Christian nation," and that the Founders intended for Christianity to be the state religion.

Even more frightening, a large number of past and potentially future Republican presidential candidates do not believe in the separation of church and state. This includes Rick Santorum, Rick Perry (who blamed separation of church and state on Satan), Rep. Louie Gohmert ("Separation of church and state means church plays a role in the state"), Rep. Ron Paul, his son Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

3.) In some ways, Iran's national policy is more progressive on transgender issues.

Fatwas issued by both Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khameini both support transition for transgender individuals. Due to Khomeini's fatwa, issued in 1987, transsexual women in Iran have been able to live as women until they can afford surgery, have surgical reassignment paid for by the Iranian national health service, have their birth certificates and all official documents issued to them in their new gender, and get married to men.

This isn't to say it's great being transgender or gay in Iran. There is still a great deal of stigma attached to the idea of transsexualism and gender reassignment in ordinary Iranian society, and most transsexuals, after completing their transition, are advised to maintain discretion about their past. Transgender individuals cannot refuse to have surgery. The Iranian regime uses forced gender reassignment surgery to "fix" the orientation of gays and lesbians in the country.

Still, some of Iran's policies on transgender issues are more progressive than those of the United States, where access to medical care, documentation, and fully recognized marriages is still exceptionally difficult outside of progressive states.

4.) Saudia Arabia executed less people than the U.S. in 2013.

Only China, Iraq, and Iran (and presumably North Korea) execute more of their citizens per year than the U.S. This past year we managed to leapfrog past Saudi "Let's-Get-Busy-Stoning!" Arabia to move into fourth or fifth place (depending if you count North Korea).

5.) Conservatives gush over other hideous, theocratic dystopian nations.

Conservatives in America have a serious man-crush on Vladimir Putin and Russia. Leading right wing commentators and religious leaders like Sean Hannity and Franklin Graham can't get enough of the gay-hating, Anschluss-loving plutocrat.

Putin calls America godless, blames it on LGBT people, and America's Christian right makes him a hero for it. They look at his repression of freedom of speech and association when it comes to LGBT people... and applaud it -- because they believe the First Amendment only applies to Christians, and gays can't be real Christians.

Neither can they stop praising horrific theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, especially for their willingness to imprison and execute LGBT people, as well as their political and legal systems.

The rest of the list is after the break.

6.) Elected conservatives openly say they want a Christian theocracy.

The list is way too long to go into details, but a large number of conservatives who are actually elected officials and judges acknowledge that they will govern not by the law or even by the Constitution, but by the Bible. This includes elected officials like Texas State Senator (and soon to be lieutenant governor) Dan Patrick, Minnesota Supreme Court nominee Michelle MacDonald, and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

7.) Some influential (and even elected) conservatives are openly okay with genocide.

You can't go more than a few months these days without some conservative candidate openly pushing for the systematic execution of LGBT people. Religious leaders like Charles Worley have advocated for genocide. So have right-wing media heroes like the Benham Brothers when they openly support the death penalty for LGB people.

In Mississippi it was State Representative Andy Gipson. In Texas it was former U.S. Senate candidate Larry Kilgore. In Oklahoma it was republican primary candidate Scott Esk. In South Carolina, former Republican Party chair Todd Kincannon tweeted that transgender people should be "put in camps." Even more frighteningly, some politicians refuse to retract these statements when called on them, and Republican leadership is reluctant to denounce them.

8.) Some religious beliefs are now officially more equal than others.

Specifically, if you're rich enough to own a business, then your religious beliefs trump those of your employees. Or, given that "corporations are people too, my friend," it is more important in the eyes of the law to honor the religious beliefs of a few rich people than a lot of not-so-rich people.

Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius has now codified this as a Supreme Court ruling. While some note that the Hobby Lobby decision only applies to "closely held corporations," approximately 90% of corporations meet the definition of "closely held."

9.) U.S. military inclusion of LGBT people has fallen behind Russian Orthodox, hardline Catholic, and Muslim countries.

A recent study by the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies found that the U.S. military ranks 40th out of 103 in LGBT inclusion. This means we're behind a Russian Orthodox country (Georgia), a predominantly Muslim country (Albania), the world's staunchest Catholic country (Ireland), and a communist dictatorship (Cuba).


10.) Iranians think we're a bunch of overly religious nutters because we hate science so much.

Forty-two percent of Americans believe that God created humanity in their present form less than 10,000 years ago, and the number is rising. The percentage of Republicans who believe in evolution -- with or without God's guidance -- is dropping precipitously. These are the people who are probably going to control both the House and Senate come next term.

We rank behind Iran and many other religiously conservative nations in terms of teaching the science of evolution. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are less likely to be strict, and Iranians mock us for our over-the-top, dogmatic attitudes. An editorial in Nature contrasted Ahmadinejad's pro-science policies with those nations that hold "Christian" attitudes towards evolution and stem-cell research (i.e. the U.S.):

"One practical advantage for science in Muslim countries is the lack of direct interference of religious doctrine, such as exists in many Christian countries. There has never, for example, been a debate about darwinian [sic] evolution, and human embryonic stem-cell research is constrained by humanistic rather than religious ethics."

Basically, one of the world's most oppressive and dysfunctional theocracies is ridiculing us for being a bunch of anti-science religious zealots.

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