American Theocracy

Samuel Alito and the High Priests Demolish the Wall Between Church and State

Overturning Roe v. Wade is a moral and intellectual disgrace, a regressive attack on the universal human rights of all women in the USA. And those rights start at the very top. In the First Amendment. Atop the Bill of Rights.

Of course, Roe v. Wade is not a First Amendment case. But it is obvious that Samuel Alito’s patriarchal and misogynous opinion is inspired by a theological worldview, albeit couched in legal terms to obfuscate the issue. When any religion is enforced by the state in any form, it should be a First Amendment issue. And it should alarm us all. You don’t have to be a constitutional lawyer to see what’s going down on the high court.

Pictured is a graphic from my new textbook, from the chapter discussing “Freedom and Protest.” You will note that there are six rights in the First Amendment and the very first right is freedom FROM religion. Freedom of religion arrives second. This is also known as the Establishment Clause and it is supposed to provide a wall that separates church and state.

Graphic from: Barry Vacker (ed.), Media Environments, 4th Edition, San Diego: Cognella Press, 2022.

The wording is unmistakable.

The text is clear.

The original intent is clear.

No states rights are mentioned.

Americans are not to be forced to subscribe to religion of any kind.

That is the wall between church and state.

That’s why the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade represents the demolition of that wall, precisely because Alito’s opinion reflects the puritanical religious views of millions of believers across America. I grew up in Texas and saw first-hand evangelicalism growing into a powerful cultural and political force, at least since the Reagan era.

It should be obvious to anyone with their eyes open. An anti-science evangelical worldview is being forced upon women. That’s why Alito’s opinion is morally bankrupt. The goal is not pro-life. The goal is to inflict pain and cruelty and impose biblical domination upon women in a return to a medieval world of centuries past. It is what it is.

We now have a theocracy in America and the high priests are on the Supreme Court, five of whom were appointed by presidents who did not win the majority vote to attain the office. For them, the Bible overrules the Constitution, no matter how they couch it in legal terms. Given the arrogance and wide-range of Alito’s opinion, expect more repressive and authoritarian attacks on women, their doctors, and anyone or any company involved in anything related to reproductive rights and birth control. Similarly, expect repressive and authoritarian attacks on anyone else not favored by the theocrats. It’s all coming. A violent, fascist, theocracy.

With the wall between church and state obliterated, how can democracy survive? That’s why the American theocracy must be resisted at every level throughout culture: politically, intellectually, philosophically, educationally, artistically, socially, and personally. That’s the only long-term hope.




News and ideas worthy of discourse. Fundamentally informative and intelligently analytical.

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Barry Vacker

Barry Vacker

Theorist of big spaces and dark skies. Writer and mixed-media artist. Existentialist w/o the angst. PhD: Univ of Texas at Austin.

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