The coming cataclysm?

After hearing about the State Representative, Monique Davis, in Illinois who essentially wants to silence atheists, I couldn't help but wonder if atheists in general or even specifically Objectivists will become a persecuted minority in the not to distant future. Is it something for Objectivists and Objectivists organizations to be mindful of? I think so and here's why.

The United States government is becoming increasingly Christianized, as has been noted by a number of people (such as hear, hear, and hear). The courts have historically kept the distance between church and state at arms length, but the push to bring "Christian" principles into government is certainly very strong today. Issues such as abortion, immigration, environmentalism, and anything to do with children are guided by explicitly Christian foundations. In the last several elections, many Republican candidates, including George W. Bush, explicitly ran on Christian platforms. Bush has instituted faith based initiatives that circumvent Congressional approval. Now Democratic candidates are playing the me-too game by touting their religious beliefs.

Coupled with the growth in Christianity are the increasing restrictions on individual rights. Eminent domain abuses have been legalized in Kelo. Parents are restricted in choosing schools for their children to attend, and sometimes out right denied any right at all. Political speech has already been limited in the McCain-Feingold bill. Other speech categories that our government has attempted restrict include alcohol advertising, porn, real estate advertising, and Internet publishing. And lets not forget about the FCC. There is a real danger to Objectivists from censorship, as Ms. Davis shows is on the mind of politicians.

History shows that the establishment will not quietly relinquish power. Most dramatic changes to government require revolution. It is rare that it is done peacefully. And yet Objectivists want radical change. Not only do they want radical change, they are very outspoken about it. Objectivists will likely garner the attention of the established political powers. And those political powers will want to silence the voice rather than risk losing it all.

Will it come to outright censorship? With America's current cultural climate, its not likely. One of our culture's most respected freedoms is freedom of speech. While there have been limited encroachments, the limitations seemed fairly restricted at this point. Could it change in 50 years? Absolutely. For the reasons stated above, I believe it could change to that extent. I've never had the privilege of reading Peikoff's Ominous Parallels, but synopses of the book suggest that fascism could visit the U.S. if we continue down the roads that Germany took in the 1920s. Presumably, this would include censorship. I believe that if things continue as they are now, within 50 years there will be public discussion about censorship of Objectivist ideas, even if it never passes into law.

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