The moment may be drawing nigh to establish a new organization called the Immoral Minority.
Eligible for membership would be all sexual deviants, cigarette smokers, polytheists, dope indulgers, palmists, pornographers, phrenologist, atheists, monotheists of the quieter sort of all who pray in private and those of any and all religious persuasion who lack the urge to cram their credo down their neighbor's throat.
Excluded from this fraternity of immoralists would be those who mistake the not terribly well-informed creakings of their own minds for the voice of Divinity. That would take in a large number of those smug "ordained" men whom one can see dispensing the Word to the rest of us in their televised chapels when they are not begging for money in the name of their pink plastic Jesus.
These reverends, like everyone else, have a right to proclaim any doctrine, be it religious, economic, political or just plain silly. What is disturbing is our silence: the lack of opposition, the absence of debate when we see them meeting with the Republican presidential candidate and telling him what he should be for and against.
We have the right to wonder if born again isn't born once too often. On every side we immoralists are being assailed by the political parsons who don't approve of the way we live and apparently are intent on seizing the power of the state to make us practice their religion. We would never put up with the high-handed lectures and blue nose sneers from anyone but people claiming to have an inside track with Jesus. Anyone else behaving like the Moral Majoritarians would be denominated as "ideologues," that kiss-of-death word in our politics, but these Christian Stalinists have been getting away with murder. If they want their kids to pray in school, then your kid must pray in school. America, the land of he mandatory missionary position.
We don't have enough government regulation. When these roundheads get into power, we're going to have a U.S. Moral Life Commission in Washington with federal watch and ward bailiffs empowered to mind any citizen's most intimate business. If the Consumer Product Safety Commission is a drag, the reign of the bluenoses will be considerably more irksome.
Theocracy and democracy don't team well together. The English had their experience with Oliver Cromwell and we had ours in colonial Massachusetts and neither could survive: The immoral minority seduced the reverends with the music, the dancing, the he-ing and she-ing and also (let it be said in scandalized whispers) the he-ing and he-ing and the she-ing and she-ing. There is some question as to whether or not truth will always out but none whatsoever that perversity will.
There is the smell of Elmer Gantry about this crusade. Or of Tartuffe, Moliere's pious phony who inserts himself into the household by flaunting the Bible in order to rob the master, marry his daughter and seduce his wife.
Even Tartuffe lacked the gall of these jackleg preachers who get a vibration in bridgework and swear the Lord has told them that the United States should build another aircraft carrier. Effrontery though it be making Jesus secretary of defense is a new wrinkle. You can't turn on the television or crack open a paper without one of 'em condemning the fornicating spirit of the times, while another is announcing a conservative archangel has revealed to him that we need a new naval base in the Persian Gulf.
The born-again ayatollahs preaching fundamentalist pugnacity on our television are as impervious to the give-and-take rationality of sane politics as the old boy with the X-ray eyes in Tehran.
The nonfanatics, Christians and non-christian, perverted and pure, have been too polite for too many months now. Most of us have been brought up to say nothing when an idiot in holy orders makes a fool of himself. We do respect the office of minister of religion, but these reactionary divines presuming that God has told them how to write the next tax bill, have lost their immunity.