The Rise of American Fascism

While most people have heard of the Federalist Papers many are sadly unaware of the other side of the debate by Patrick Henry, Samuel Byron, and Robert Yates. Their writings, which came to be known as the Antifederalist Papers, were essentially against the ratification and adoption of the Constitution of the United States. The collection of these essays are rarely used while teaching our national history; instead of teaching that the nation has always thrived because of debates, since the 1870s, there have been attempts to undermine legitimate disagreement and create a national consensus. With the emergence of the American Progressive movement, which has always used the tactics of distortion, disinformation, and discrediting as a means to achieve its goals, honest and legitimate conversation and debate within the nation began to erode.

The reach of American Fascism

The American news has been dominated by the recent decision regarding Indiana’s decision to pass a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It has become a rallying point for many who seek to create a national consensus on the role of religion in the lives of the private American citizen. Already, scores of citizens believe that the doctrine of separation of church and state means that faith has no place in the voting booth. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a war on the public display of religion, no matter how obvious or subtle, from being displayed on the grounds of public school. Some school districts have taken it to the extent that teachers and school administrators cannot have a Bible in their possession while on campus nor can they wear jewelry associated with their faith; however there have been provisions made for hijabs, turbans, and other non-Christian paraphernalia. Anyone seeking a job have also become familiar with potential employers demanding availability on Sundays yet will, by force of law by a politically correct federal bureaucratic machine, make every accommodation possible to assure that Muslim employees have Friday, the Islamic holy day, off. For those who are serious about their Christian faith, they see a war on Christianity and rightly so. It seems that the newest trend in American society and within politics is to not only marginalize Christianity but to deny its practitioners the same rights they portent do demand – the right to act in accordance with their conscience but with the oppression of any view that differs from theirs. What we are witnessing is the rise of American fascism.

While fascism has been incorrectly classified as an extreme right-wing political movement, it is more closely aligned with socialism; both the Italian and German fascists sought to create a national consensus, political unity, national ownership of factories, utilities, social rights/rights of the mass, and even transform religion from deity to the state. These are very left-wing political ideologies; right-wing politics does involve national pride, which is the only similarity that it shares with fascism, but holds the rights of the individual as being supreme and understands the importance of private ownership of property. What we are witnessing in this nation and in front of our very eyes, is the transformation of the United States from a right-of-center nation to a nation dominated with this new American fascism.

Again, at the heart of this current issue of Indiana (and now Arkansas) and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the belief that the law will somehow allow for widespread discrimination of the members of the GLBTQ community. All it takes is to either watch the mainstream news coverage or the Twitter response to various news websites to see how serious the misunderstanding of the facts actually are. Unwilling to wait to see what actually is sorted out and is truly reality, many corporations are taking a knee-jerk reaction in order to prevent themselves from becoming a target of those seeking to silence any debate on the merits of the bill. Those who are attempting to do this are distorting the intent of the law and have even resorted to calling Indiana’s citizenry homophobic, backwards, or even “Bible-thumpers.” Indiana passed a gay marriage bill in 2014 that allows for homosexual marriage within the state; the new RFRA actually does not supersede this law, but was to act in conjunction with it.

RFRA explained and its ties to the Affordable Care Act

The best explanation of these laws working together has been described that a baker or photographer cannot refuse to offer their “in store” services to homosexuals. Refusal of “in-store” services would be seen as a violation of the state’s discrimination laws with the understanding that “in-store” services of homosexuals does not create a religious burden upon the shopkeeper. However, the law would allow for the same baker or photographer the right to refuse a contractual service, such as a homosexual wedding, because there is no requirement that anyone MUST enter into a contract with another party. A contractual service is one that is not normally offered within the scope of the normal operation of the business but something that must beyond normal operations. Opponents of the law state that this is discriminatory in nature and yes, it is; however, this is an acceptable form of discrimination because at its heart is the natural right that has been enshrined in the Constitution, more specifically, the First Amendment clause of the right to peaceful assembly. Since 1789, this clause has come to also include the legal recognition of the right of association.

While those wishing to claim that shopkeepers, regardless of the circumstances, do not have the right to refuse any service to any desiring customer and any discrimination  is wrong, they refuse to recognize the individual’s rights of association and the right to act in a manner that does not violate their conscious; this is also at the center of the debate of the religious objections to the birth control mandate within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Within the ACA was a requirement that employers must provide coverage that includes sixteen forms of birth control, four of which are considered abortifacients – drugs that cause a miscarriage. For many Christians, Hindus, Jews, and others of faith, the mandated providing of coverage for those particular drugs were seen as an infringement of their beliefs. Some business owners, such as David Green who owns Hobby Lobby, decided to challenge the violation of his faith by the ACA. In the court of public opinion, driven by Progressives, this was considered an outrage and Green was even accused of wanting to deny women access to all birth control and not just the abortifacients.

These two issues are one and the same – it is about the attempt of those who desire to create a national consensus through the formation of a completely secular society void of the influences of any religion. For now, the enemy is Christianity but once it has been made irrelevant in society, the next target will be Islam, Mormonism, or whatever faith dares to teach anything different from the desired humanistic and secular cultural concepts. Citing that by objecting to demands to conform to the desired ideologies of accepting homosexual marriage and recognition of abortion as an acceptable birth control, they are claiming those opposed are . Both of these “civil rights” are actually in direct contrast with most religions and specifically Biblical Christianity. Those supporting those ideals demand that Christians do not have the right to discriminate when conducting commerce or owning a business. In their efforts to demand tolerance from Christians, they are doing the very thing they claim (incorrectly) Christians are doing to homosexuals and those who are pro-life. They are demanding them abandon their principles to accept, against their conscious, what the so-called advocates of tolerance and acceptance demand. Again, this is the face of American fascism.

Alan Simmons

Alan Simmons is an adjunct instructor of history at Henderson Community College. He has been teaching at the college/university level since 2004. Within the scope of his degrees, his areas of emphasis are U.S. foreign policy, public policy history, political history, and U.S. history.

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