Saturday, March 28, 2015
What do Indiana and ISIS Have in Common?
Lately I have refrained from writing any posts in regards to the escapades of the Tea Party and the
right wing conservative Republican reprobates, settling instead for just watching them self destruct in the next election. But the actions of the Christian right in the past few months and especially of Republican Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signing the "Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law has really got my blood boiling. This so called religious freedom law actually makes if legal for any business to refuse service to anyone the business owner deems to be in violation of his or her religious beliefs. In other words if you don't fit their model of a "good Christian" you don't get any service. It is quite obvious that this law is actually an anti gay law since it is aimed at the LGBT community. There are also states like Arkansas and others mainly in the deep South and "Bible belt" in the country that either have similar laws or are about to enact them. Ordinarily I would not be this upset, as I cannot foresee a visit to such holes as Indiana or Arkansas, which I would akin to a trip back 500 years into the past. But their are are many more implications of these laws that are extremely dangerous to us as a democratic country.
It is true that the main focus of these laws is to deny rights to the LGBT community and legalize discrimination in dealings with members of the community, but the discrimination will not stop here. The people pushing these laws, Right wing conservative Christian Republicans, argue that their "Christian faith is being attacked by gays and others who are trying to deny them their religious freedoms. They believe that the only religion is their brand of Christianity. So after it is okay to deny service to gays it will be perfectly legal to do the same for Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and naturally Muslims. Once this is accepted practice they will further hone their discrimination to include Christian sects they do not particularly agree with, such as Catholics, Unitarians, Episcopalians etc.
These laws are a blatant violation of the doctrine of separation of Church and State and must be addressed by Congress, if they have the guts to go against the religious right and the American people. The proponents of such laws and a vast majority of Conservatives actually believe that the Constitution established Christianity as the state religion. They believe that our founding fathers intended that the United States be a Christian nation. They totally refuse to believe any facts presented to them which prove otherwise and they totally deny the separation of Church and State.
This country is spending millions of dollars a day and sacrificing the lives of our service men and women to fight religious fanatics overseas who are determined to force their religious beliefs of the rest of the world and deny rights to those who disagree or are of other faiths. The US is fighting the implementation of dreaded Sharia Law in societies of our allies in the Middle East, as our friends in the UK and Europe are faced with extremists trying to make Sharia the law of their land. The most terrifying and dangerous thing that is happening is that the while we are fighting extremists abroad our own religious fanatics here at home are forcing their beliefs on everyone else. There is absolutely no differences between members of ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram and members of the fanatic Christian right in the US. Just as Islam has been hijacked by radicals in their religion, Christianity in this country has been hijacked by radicals promoting their brand of religion and bigotry. If we continue to look the other way or placate the Christian right, as most of our politicians tend to do, we are all in danger of losing our rights as Americans.
How can we stop this attack on our democratic rights and freedoms? Well the most important action is to vote? The percentage of the American public who vote in our elections is deplorable. The religious right and Conservative fanatics, such as the Tea Party are able to gain influence because they get out and vote while the rest of us sit on our butts and then complain when it's too late. Another thing that must be done is to take away the tax exempt status from churches. By giving this tax exemption we are enabling churches to preach bigotry and discrimination and the denial of rights to fellow Americans. While our military is fighting hate abroad, our churches are preaching hate back home! This situation is not just a passing political phenomenon it is a dangerous trend leading to disaster.