Here are excerpts from the expatriate Iranian satirist Ibrahim Nabavi's open letter to President Ahmadinejad, in the online Persian daily Rooz:
. . . Oh adorable little boy who makes noise and needs attention!
. . . you had written to [President] Bush to present a solution to the problems in the world. What an excellent idea. But have you noticed that the problem in the world is you yourself? . . .
You wrote to George Bush: '[You intend to] establish a single global society which is to be ruled by Jesus and by the righteous of the earth . . .'
All Westerners, including the Americans, have for 200 years been diligently saying that they are not interested in a religious regime, and that they advocate secularism. Now you say that they are interested in rule by Jesus? . . . Go find the nutcase who taught you these things, fire him, and don't listen to him any more. [Those who taught you] see that you are naive, so they want a laugh at your expense . . .
The letter is available at the Middle East Media Research Institute, an organization that deserves our moral and financial support.
To this point in time, Nabavi is right: explicit calls for a theocracy inside America remain limited to a small group of religious conservatives. But while explicit calls for socialism remain among only a small group of leftists, our country has nevertheless adopted socialist policies impossible three generations ago. The encroachment of religiously-based laws can accomplish a similar theocratic result in less time, if not opposed in a principled way. Fines against the media for "indecency," and "faith-based" initiatives, are cases in point; all such censorship and religious socialism set precedents for even greater attacks on our freedom in the future. The price of a secular society is eternal vigilance against such laws, and intransigent opposition to the ideas and people that make them possible.
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Image: Creative Commons by Gaga Skidmore