Friday, January 21, 2005

Theocratic or Meritocratic Democracy

(You'll have to excuse the ugly adjectivification of government types in the title.)

This is the age of right-wing evangalic conspiracy theories. Today's note from Echidne on god's supposed role in our most recent election.

So, what do we call it when the people of a democracy elect officials based more on their religiously influcenced (or dictated) assessment of a candidate's morality rather than the candidate's technical qualifications?

It's not a Theocracy (yet) where the church directly chooses the leadership of the government. But with how strong an influece religious morality has played in the last election, it certainly isn't a Meritocracy where our leadership is selected based on expertise. Is there a point at which fundamentalists, blindly following their interpretation of Christianity, overwhelm the choices in democracy?

As I see it, fundamentalism leaves minimal room for interpretation of religious principles. As such, the members of fundamentalist groups have little choice in who they elect -- only one candidate lives within the bounds of those edicts -- as described by the religious leaders. So, the religious leaders define which candidates are living righteous lives. As a fundamentalist, you're obligated only to vote for a candidate who agrees with you. If enough American's are fundamentalist, then the religious leadership has effectively chosen the federal leadership.

Sounds pretty fishy to me... loaves and fishy. ;)

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