First, the good news. Not even the three most maniacal Christian fundies (Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, or Sarah Palin) among the extremist Republicans who want to be president want to stone adulterers, whip or cut off the hands of thieves or impose the death penalty on those who leave Christianity. Before you conclude that no humans could be so inhuman or barbaric, consider this poll from the Pew Research Center: Views of harsh punishment by Muslims shown as a percentage who favor A) stoning people who commit adultery; B) whippings/cutting off hands for theft and C) death penalty for people who leave Islam. (Percentages estimated from bar chart - numbers could be one or two percent off.)
So, let me start by acknowledging a little gratitude about our random good fortune that modern day Christianity, even at its irrational worst, is still less toxic that the breed of Islam that infects Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Nigeria, Indonesia and other Islamic nations. (Not included in the Pew survey for obvious reasons are some of the most virulent theocracies, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, where one suspects the enthusiasm for such atrocities is at least as strong as in the nations polled.)
The bad news is that the Right Wing Christian worst here in America is still god-awful. This is especially so for those who (like myself) do not share the extreme theocratic "fires in the belly" fervor of Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and others of that ilk. This terrible threesome are Christian nationalists. They reject secularism, including separation of church and state. They want the United States of America to be become an official Christian nation, as they think the Founders intended. They do not consider other religions or no religion equal under the law and thereby entitled to the same safeguards, rights and status as followers of their brand of Christianity. Perry, Bachmann, Palin and their Christian Right backers cite some version of Ten Commandments as the foundation of American law, the better to carry out Biblical principles.
What kind of America might follow the election of one of these three horses-ass, wet-dream, rapturous Apocalypse apostles? What kind of America would remain for First-Amendment enthusiasts and defenders of the civil rights that all, including secularists, enjoy today? What would be in store for dissenters and those these super Christians consider adulterers, perverts (i.e., homosexuals), disobedient children and, believe it or not, demonic agents? What are the chances that the election of Perry, Bachmann or Palin would usher in an era of fascism? What brakes might remain to constrain the godly men and women who believe they were chosen to carry out God's will?
Karen Armstrong has warned of the possibility that Christians would welcome a totalitarian state that "leaves no room for any other view or policy, no democratic tolerance for rival parties, no individual freedom.” (Source: Chip Berlet, "Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That's Undermining Democracy," AlterNet, September 2, 2011.)
Other likely goals of Perry, Bachmann and Palin are to convert Americans to their ideology, enshrine biblical codes into the legal system and proceed to see that God’s will, which they divine via voices and other heaven-sent revelations, is done on earth - starting here in these more or less still united states.
It's time, I think, for media people to start probing the Christian beliefs of these three presidential candidates, and exploring for the American voter the implications of such beliefs for insights into the agenda they would seek to impose upon the nation, if elected.
While non-believers can hardly cry, "God help us," we can take comfort from our beliefs that at least no gods will be helping any of them, either. Let's just hope that, as their form of Christianity becomes better understood, no Americans who care about freedom as enshrined in our godless Constitution give Perry, Bachmann or Palin much help in the year to come.