Jonah Goldberg

If the Christian base of the GOP gets its way, "All government employees - federal, state and local - would be required to participate in weekly Bible classes in the workplace, as well as compulsory daily prayer sessions." We would all have to carry religious identity cards that "would provide Christocrats with preferential treatment in many areas of life, including home ownership, student loans, employment and education." Non-Christians would be indulged as second-class citizens, "but younger members ... would be strongly encouraged to formally convert to the dominant evangelical Christianity." Homosexual sex would be illegalized, while "known homosexuals and lesbians would have to successfully undergo government-sponsored reeducation sessions if they applied for any public-sector jobs." Dissidents would be on the run, the popular culture censored by bureaucratic Cotton Mathers, and "the mainstream press and the electronic media would be beaten into submission."

All of that is according to James Rudin in his book "The Baptizing of America." I learned about it from a brilliant essay in the August-September issue of First Things, in which Ross Douthat surveys the scare literature demonizing "Christianists," "theocons" and "Christocrats" - people who were under the impression that they were actually law-abiding, tax-paying, patriotic American citizens who happen to subscribe to the Christian faith. Little did they know they're actually all about rounding up infidels and torching the Constitution.

Liberal paranoia isn't solely Christophobic. "On the Media," a public radio program that purports to be an objective watchdog of the press, recently interviewed Lawrence Wright, the author of the acclaimed book "The Looming Tower," who also wrote the script for the mediocre 1998 movie "The Siege," starring Denzel Washington. According to "On the Media," the film was "prophetic" in that Wright had successfully "predicted" what would happen if America were attacked by terrorists. In the movie, Muslims are rounded up and put in concentration camps in sports stadiums, while martial law is declared in New York City. I guess I forgot to read the newspapers the day that happened.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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