Frank Zappa Warned Us Of A Fascist Theocracy In 1986 (VIDEO)

By Kimberley Johnson | 6 April 2015
Liberals Unite

Frank Zappa was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, composer, recording engineer, record producer, and film director.

In 1986, Frank Zappa engaged in a fiery debate about dirty lyrics and censorship based on religious morality in this classic clip from CNN’s “Crossfire.”

Debating with John Lofton, conservative columnist for the Washington Times, Zappa noted that

The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It’s moving America toward a fascist theocracy. Everything that’s happened under the Reagan Administration is steering us right down that pipe.

Asked later in the interview to give “one example of a fascist theocracy” by co-host Tom Braden, Zappa replied:

When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion, and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very very right wing, almost toward Attila the Hun…

Lofton responded: “Well then you are an anarchist. Every form of civil government is based on some kind of morality Frank,” but Zappa set him straight, curtly remarking: “Morality in terms of behavior, not in terms of theology!

You can watch the exchange, below, followed by a partial transcript.

TRANSCRIPT, Frank Zappa on CNN’s March 28th, 1986 episode of “Crossfire”

Frank ZAPPA: I’m not going to give you a civics lesson, but I can tell you one thing: we must not see eye-to-eye on a government that must forbid things in order to protect families.

John LOFTON (Washington Times): What is the government’s role? You’ve told me several times what it should do.

ZAPPA: What about defense? What about national defense?

LOFTON: Our families are under attack from people like you with these lyrics.

ZAPPA: Could I make a comment about National Defense: the biggest threat to America today is not communism. It’s moving America toward a fascist theocracy. And everything that’s happened under the Reagan Administration is steering us right down that pipe.

Robert NOVAK: Oh, Mr Zappa…

ZAPPA: Yes, MISTER Zappa…

NOVAK: Do you really think…I mean…

ZAPPA: I really think!

NOVAK: All kidding aside. Is this country, with the permissiveness, that we are moving toward a fascist theocracy?

ZAPPA: You bet we are buddy.

NOVAK: Do you think that things like this would ever have happened…

ZAPPA: Give me that famous smile, buddy.

NOVAK: When we were twenty, when we were kids…you’re about my age?

ZAPPA: I’m forty-five.

NOVAK: Well, I’m fifty-five. Do you think that when I was a kid that they would permit songs like that to be sold. I mean permissiveness is a game. I mean you’re not really serious if you saying we’re going toward a fascist theocracy.

ZAPPA: That’s right we ARE!

Tom BRADEN: Wait a minute, give me one example of a fascist theocracy.

ZAPPA: When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion, and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very very right wing, almost toward Attila the Hun…

LOFTON: Well then you are an anarchist. Every form of civil government is based on some kind of morality Frank.

ZAPPA: Morality in terms of behavior, not in terms of theology!

LOFTON: Well of course, but look, I mean, I couldn’t believe in terms of your lyrics, I mean, uh….

NOVAK: Wait a minute gentlemen, we have to take a break now.

Reprinted with permission from the author.

Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) is the author of AMERICAN WOMAN: The Poll Dance & The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or follow her on FB.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I have to hand it to both Frank Zappa and George Carlin – they saw signs of the U.S. heading towards a fascist state long before I did…
    There is no question now – Trump is using the dictator's play book page by page, propped up a Republican party that has abandoned all democratic ideals in the pursuit of money and absolute power.

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