We may have "one nation under God" in our pledge of allegiance (thanks a lot, President Eisenhower), but for most Americans the Unites States is first and foremost a secular nation, ruled by the constitution rather than the precepts of the Bible.
Not everyone is comfortable with that, however, and more and more we are seeing those people fight for the right to convert the country to the Biblical theocracy that they envision our founding fathers wanted. From creationist insertions into debates on state animals to endorsing the King James Bible as official state book, what used to be a subtle quest to convert God's law to the law of the land is becoming more blatant daily.
So how do we get from constitutional law to biblical law? All it takes is three easy steps, all completely dismissing the constitutional separation of church and state.
1) First the candidate campaigns at church: There's been an ongoing issue with churches allowing candidates to in essence campaign to their members, or church leaders advocating on behalf of certain candidates. As tax exempt entities, churches aren't allowed to get involved in political campaigns, and could lose their tax exempt status for violating that rule. But what happens when pastors themselves run for office? Well, in this case in North Carolina, it's hard to figure out where the sermon ends and the stump speech begins — especially when it comes to filling the donation plates.
"We're going to take an offering for Dr. Harris, for his coming and preaching, also for whatever you want to do otherwise for supporting him in this campaign," said Rev. Bill Saylor in a video after senate candidate Mark Harris spoke in his church. "I hope you will think about it. He has some materials in his car. If you would like to get more materials and pass them out and thereby get better known in this area, and then when the primaries come, you and all of your friends can vote for him. Amen?"
2) Next the candidates vow to support judges who believe in God, not the constitution. So what happens once someone who believes we should follow the Bible instead of the constitution is elected to office? He or she begins nominating people who believe the same thing. That's the goal in Iowa, where social conservative group The Family Leader held a candidate forum and made senatorial candidates one up each other on supporting biblical law. One candidate said he would only support judicial nominees who showed they had faith, because a "secular" worldview was likely to make them a bad judge, and another vowed to use "biblical standards as a 'litmus test' for nominees," according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
3) And then those judges uphold the Bible, instead. Now that your theocratic candidate has won, and he or she is only confirming "faith based" judges, you can bet those judges are going to uphold new, religious-based laws. Case in point: Alabama's Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Roy Moore, is already known for his battle to keep the 10 Commandments monument in the state house. Now he makes his intentions to rule based only on biblical law even more blatant with a decision that once more defines a person as having legal rights at the moment of conception. Why? Because God gives life, and God's law trumps all others. "From local to international, all law flows from the divine source: it is the law of God," writes Moore. "The law of nature and of nature's God binds all nations, states, and all government officials—from Great Britain to Germany to Alabama—regardless of positive laws or orders to the contrary."
There you go: use churches to support and endorse candidates, have those candidates only appoint and support religious judges, and then when biblically-based but unconstitutional bills are passed, you have the judges lined up to rule in favor of the laws staying in place.
Three easy steps to theocracy, coming soon to a state house near you.