FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Christian Utopia

South Carolina is already a solidly "red" state, but if Cory Burnell has his way, the Palmetto State will become a true promised land for Christian conservatives.

The 30-year-old financial advisor from California (a state he considers a "lost cause") has founded a movement called Christian Exodus, which encourages Christian families to move to South Carolina, with the intent of reforming local and state government under biblical principles. With a fundamentalist Christian majority in place, Burnell hopes to pass laws that outlaw abortion, restrict sexual practices, ban the teaching of evolution and "revisionist history," and allow government displays of Christian symbols.

Although only 20 people have signed on so far, Burnell is optimistic, as over 1,000 more have expressed interest. Taking a county-by-county approach, he believes he only needs about 100 committed people to take political control of six counties. Christian Exodus, he says, could have an "overwhelming impact" on state elections by 2014. According to its plan of action, the group has a goal of placing 2,500 members in key counties by the end of this September.

If Christian Exodus catches on, the movement could gain momentum by attracting support from current South Carolina natives sympathetic to the group's goals. It could also be accelerated if South Carolinians who don't support Christian Exodus feel disenfranchised -- even oppressed -- and decide to move out of the state.

Not all of those who would seem to be logical allies of Christian Exodus are supporters. Among those is Bob Jones University, South Carolina's famously Christian conservative college. "As Christians, it's not our job to start a new country," said Bob Jones spokesman Jonathan Pait. Another interesting paradox is that, through his blog, Cory Burnell supports the impeachment of President Bush for violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution (unwarranted searches and seizures) with his secret wiretapping policy.

How serious is Burnell about converting South Carolina into a Christian utopia? He does not rule out secession from the union, though only as a "last resort" if his hoped-for state laws conflict too greatly with federal law.

Source: USA Today (via AOL), FOXNews.com