How are you doing?

I ask because it’s been a rough week for those of us who’d rather not live under a theocracy.

If you’ve been managing to avoid the news… First, how? Second, I apologize in advance for bursting your bubble, but we really need you – and all of our atheists and other nonreligious friends – to know what’s going on. It’s essential.

I’ll let Jack Posobiec of Pizzagate infamy explain, as he did to uproarious applause this Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference: “Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely. We didn’t get all the way there on January 6th, but we will endeavor to get rid of it. Amen! All glory is not to government. All glory to God.”

Posobiec’s pledge to dismantle our government began circulating the same day I wrote an op-ed for Newsweek regarding the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that granted “personhood” to pre-embryos. In their majority and concurring opinions, the justices never mentioned the First Amendment, but they did refer to “God” 41 times.

Earlier in the week, Politico and The New York Times unveiled alarming new details about the far-right’s already-underway plot to dismantle the federal government. “Christian nationalism” is an actual bullet point on a document of the group’s top priorities.

I started the piece for Newsweek with a reference to Margaret Atwood, whose dystopian novel-turned-series The Handmaid’s Tale depicts a United States that’s been taken over by patriarchal religious extremists who force women into social, sexual, and reproductive servitude. Atwood’s protagonist, Offred, struggles to understand how this theonomous regime came to power:

“It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen? That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”

All week long, I’ve heard the rhythmic chant of imaginary protesters in my head: This is what the-o-cra-cy looks like. (Though it will remain a figment of my imagination if, according to plan, the-powers-that-could-be invoke the Insurrection Act.)

While what’s happening across our country sometimes feels like a fantastical novel, it is our unfortunate and inescapable reality. America’s secular democracy is being attacked on multiple fronts by people who will replace it with an autocratic theocracy. This is why it’s truly more important than ever that we all be informed about and engaged in this fight. And it is a fight. The Christian nationalists and Seven Mountain Mandate acolytes are saying so loud and clear:

This is spiritual warfare. Welcome to the end of democracy. I’ll be a dictator on day one. God created government. If you don’t like our religion, you’re not getting in. The very God of Holy Scriptures, the Creator, is the source of law, life, and liberty. The separation of church and state is a misnomer. I will end the war on Christians. Freedom is defined by God, not man. Conservatives have to lead the way in restoring sex to its true purpose, and ending recreational sex & senseless use of birth control pills. And on and on and on.

There is too much at stake to disregard these people as fanatics on the fringe, and they have already amassed too much power to not take them very, very seriously and at their word.

Look, I get it. This is a lot to contend with, and I haven’t even mentioned the state legislation we’re tracking that would, among many other things, ban some contraceptives and replace professional counselors in public schools with unqualified, religious chaplains.

There is some good news, though. For instance, unlike Offred, we do know who the theocratic conspirators are. We even have their 887-page playbook. We also know 1) more Americans are identifying as religious nones, 2)  the majority of Americans – religious or not –  support legal abortion and contraceptives, and 3) Americans aren’t giving up their reproductive rights without a fight  – see Kansas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

So, if there is any silver lining to these recent events, it’s that Americans – and especially American Atheists – will be galvanized by these coordinated assaults on our constitutional rights. You can start today by supporting our work with a donation of $10 or more and by signing up to receive Action Alerts from our policy team.

Thank you for your support.

Stay strong,

Melina Cohen
Communications Director

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