Tuesday, February 28, 2012

American Taliban?

As if the aptly named politician Rick Santorum were not already sufficiently stomach-turning (and he was), his recent comments about not believing in the separation of church and state combined with his toxic views on the rights of women have really pushed him beyond outrageous for me. What sort of country would Santorum like to lead if by some horrible fluke he were actually elected president?

I have a pretty good idea from a couple of amazing "science fiction" books I read and reviewed here in 2006. Octavia Butler's dystopian novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents present a near future America where white ultra-right-wing religious politicians have created a Christian version of Taliban society. It comes complete with Bible-sanctioned suppression of women and even slavery.

Despite the dark circumstances, these books are really wonderful, uplifting, life-affirming, and even spiritual in nature. But the starting point in 2027 is scarily plausible. As I wrote in 2006:
My biggest impression of this pair of books is that the environment within which the story takes place rings all too true. It struck me as the future “facts on the ground” of an America that continued to ignore “inconvenient truths” of global warming, poverty, inequality, and abuse of power until it was too late, and then gave even more power to religious fundamentalists, who blamed the problems of society on the victims, and on superstitious ideas along the lines of “these problems are God’s punishment for the wicked ways of people who are not enough like us – good, God-fearing, white, conservative Christians.”

1 comment:

CHC said...

I have always found it ironic how the fundamentalists maintain that they are "under attack" while they go on the attack. Much as Rush Limbaugh decries victimhood in the same breath as he whines about the so-called liberal media. I just wish I had been more indoctrinated by all those lefty college professors in my engineering labs way back when.