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Christopher Hitchens believes that the latter argument is strongest and, moreover, that it has been much stronger by recent events in which evangelical Christian chaplains have tried to abuse their position to promote their own religion without justification.
Hitchens makes the very good point that it's difficult to fight a war against theocratic opponents when there are theocrats at home:
We are engaged in a war with theocracy, and we have at our back the armor of the U.S. Constitution, which expressly forbids the establishment by the state of any religion or (no less important) any "religious test." There is no possible splitting of this difference. ...It may not be long now before we hear demands that Muslim chaplains be allowed to conduct separate (and perhaps sexually segregated) ceremonies in the ranks, and what I want to know is: What will our Christian, godly campaigners say then?
Defense of the Constitution and of Madisonian principles, if invoked at that too-late point, will be portrayed by Muslims as discrimination. The evangelicals have already prepared the way for such a stupid outcome, with all the litigation and time-wasting in Congress that it will require. Their activity is a clear and present danger to the national defense, and ought to be regarded and treated as such.
Hitchens makes a very good point in asking what the reaction would be if Muslim chaplains made requests like those being made currently by evangelicals. The sad fact is that many evangelicals make demands which they would never accept from others. Why?
Not because they are hypocritical (or at least not quite); instead, they sincerely believe that as Christians they are justified in receiving special privileges from the American government. They believe that the American government should promote their beliefs over the religious beliefs of all others. This is part of what makes them so dangerous: they really do seek a sort of theocracy in which they, evangelical Christians, rule and dominate over all others.
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- Dominionism & Dominion Theology
- Christian Reconstructionism
- Leading Christian Reconstructionists
- Reconstructionism & Christian Right: Common Goals, Beliefs
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