Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence.
LIBERTY OR BIGOTRY? [TOUGH CALL.…]
The religious right maintains that its religious freedom is being threatened….[Quoting Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Rob Boston]: ‘There is a deliberate campaign to redefine religious freedom as an individual right and turn it into something that gives religious right activists and supporters a new tool to control and harass others….They are essentially attempting to use a noble concept as an excuse for shabby forms of bigotry.
‘Thus, ‘religious freedom,’ they argue, should allow a taxpayer-funded government clerk the right to refuse service to a same-sex couple seeking a marriage license….It should also, they assert, give the owner of a secular business the right to refuse service to anyone who falls short of the owner’s theological beliefs. In other words, ‘religious freedom’ is being turned into an instrument to justify discrimination and oppression. Obviously, that is the opposite of what the concept is supposed to be….
‘[T]heocratic groups wrap their bigotry in a concept we all value – religious freedom – even though what they are doing has little to do with that concept.’
The ‘liberty’ part in ‘religious liberty’ is not intended to empower the believers of a dominant religion, such as, say, Christianity, to give them the ‘liberty’ to impose their beliefs upon everyone else.
And as far as whichever Deity is calling the shots today is concerned [all of Them, actually], these tactics are okay in order for Them to get what They want—whatever the hell that is? If the collection of the various One and Only’s are all on board with a No Rules approach—as evidence clearly suggests when examining almost any attempt by the Christian far-Right to influence policy-making or otherwise impose their beliefs on others not as enamored by magic—shouldn’t it be easy enough by now to find a Deity with some legit’ credibility as a Supreme Being?
How Supreme are the current crop of Supreme Beings if the end result of just about every one of their mandates leads to conflict—and worse? That’s Their best? Jesus!
How can we vote Each One of Them off the island now?
The inevitability of reality and consequences will make their appearance. Fear and nonsense might be effective short-term approaches to keeping the faithful agitated just enough, but they do have a limited shelf-life. Followers who relinquished their right to think for themselves to spokespeople who frequently appear to have the smarts of common plants will soon enough find themselves confronted with those realities and consequences.
It won’t be pretty when the realization dawns on them that they’ve been fed a steady diet—effective, to be sure—of fears which have yet to come to pass, and promises yet to be offered. Recognizing that they have ceded control over their future to charlatans who fanned the flames just enough to preserve and enhance benefits for themselves will lead to some very messy conversations and reactions.
Will those eventualities come before we have enacted legislation and adopted cultural norms too entangled in the nonsense to undo the harm? That might be worth pondering as well.
NOTE: No post next week. Enjoy the holiday weekend
~ My Photo: Sorrel River Ranch Resort – Moab, UT – 08.21.07 ©
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Concerted efforts by Christian Right extremists to weave their highly questionable beliefs into the fabric of public policy must be challenged–vigorously so. The routine demonstrations of hypocrisy which serves to pervert the commonly understood tenets of that faith, and fact-averse denunciations of science or other evidence clearly at odds with the nonsense, imposed anxieties, and promoted fears, have no place in the problem-solving arena of the 21st Century.
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
I was raised as a Catholic. For eight years in elementary school, and four more in high school, I learned what [mostly] priests and nuns taught me. Several decades ago, I fell madly, deeply in love with a wondrous and dazzling born-again Christian who ultimately broke my heart into a million little pieces. The magic, and sorrow, of youthful thinking. That didn’t prevent me from future relationships with devout but less extreme Catholic women. [Not that I am complaining or offering regrets, since I am married to the best person I’ve ever known!]
So I come to this later stage of my life having had a full dosage of less overt but still impactful indoctrination into the ways of God as defined by more overt Christians. My departure from those experiences has come by way of many life events and a great deal of study and introspection.
In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.
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