The Widdershins


Posted on: May 15, 2012

I don’t think it is much of a stretch to finally accept that the idea of the separation of church and state has officially been breached.

The idea that the introduction of religious attitudes and values has become an integral part of our political discourse is now considered the ultimate litmus test in choosing our leaders.

Three hundred years after the Founding Fathers created a document that has been held up worldwide as a bastion to democracy and freedom has slowly been torn asunder by factions of the population who would prefer to ignore the civil and human rights of others by intuiting “god’s will”.

What emerged from this latest nominating process for President of the United States are candidates with personal opinions who mocked this document as they vowed to restrict, deny, and overturn any measure of equality this nation was founded upon.

The current resident of the Oval Office was reluctant to express his views about marriage equality but was unable to ignore the voices that begged for a statement.  Though he declared his support of the right to marry whomever one chose, he then lobbied it back to the states for approval.  Not exactly a courageous move since only the day before the state of North Carolina voted down this measure of equality.

The GOP appears to be solidly in “lockstep” judging by their outbursts in opposition, citing “biblical” renderings along with specious arguments in underscoring their bigotry and it  is troubling.

Refusing to defend and protect the rights of one group suggests that all other groups will eventually face the same contempt.

This weekend alone was an opportunity for black pastors to exhort their flocks against gay rights.  This is a group that has suffered untold discrimination over the past 400 years and for whom blood was shed in their fight for equality under the law.   If there is one singular group out there that knows firsthand the evil of inequality it is the black community.  Yet its pastors, and many of its spokespersons, prefer to deny the same rights and benefits to others by interpreting the bible as the source of their opposition.  Ridiculous.

The atmosphere in this nation is being driven by fanatical fundamentalists who deny evolution and science.  It is a backward approach to governance. While none are being denied the right to believe whatever they choose as their moral compass, they would impose these beliefs on others by the stroke of a pen.  The rights of women and gays are being battered around for the sake of the ignorant and this alone signals a change in the laws designed to protect the minority against the whims of the majority as the separation of church and state slowly fades away.

Theology belongs within the confines of churches, synagogues, and mosques, not on the floors of congress.  Democracy, as we know it, is being bargained away in the face of intolerance.

Why are we not angrier? Why are we so complacent? Why are we “giving in” to these foolish and dangerous tactics that claw at the very fabric of who we are as a nation?

Is it too fantastic to suggest that we are leaning toward a “nazification” by lawmakers who seek to instill some of the very same laws that were introduced over 80 years ago when a regime of nazi fanatics abolished abortion and sought out members of the gay community for punishment?  It is best to understand that these proposals became common law in a country that prided itself on its intellectualism.  The nation bowed in unison.

Are we on the same pathway?  History has shown that there were many opportunities for the German people to rise up in protest but they preferred to ignore the insidious role of the government at a time when it counted by shrugging off the evil being done in their name.

Could it happen here?  Am I way off base in my thinking?  Are we ourselves on the same path of self destruction by sitting in silence in tolerating these horrific displays of discrimination?

Take a look at the crop of politicians who have risen up over the last 10 years and tell me that you are not troubled by the vision of America they wish to impose on the rest.  Take a closer look at the state legislatures that have recently enacted laws against women and collective bargaining then tell me you feel “safe” in the hands of these people.  Take a closer look at the mindsets of these people who look to “serve” and tell me you approve.   Tell me you are not alarmed.

Scary stuff?  You bet.  This is not the time to sit back and hope this stuff just goes away on its own. It won’t.

The reality suggests that we are hanging on by a tread.



So true Pat, did you see what Kansas Gov Brownback has done? Brownback Signs Law Allowing Expansive Refusal of Medication Based on “Belief” About Abortion | RH Reality Check

The law could also allow refusal of even more medically-necessary drugs simply because they may relate to abortions.

Idaho already had a case of a pharmacist who refused to fill a perscription for a woman who needed drugs to stop bleeding, believing that the woman may have had an abortion which caused her blood loss, and the pharmacist received no punishment for the action. How long will it take for that to become the rule, rather than the exception, as the Kansas law goes into effect?

“Assisting in terminating a pregnancy” has already become an overly expansive phrase that many anti-choice activists are applying to even more unrelated situations — from the nurses who refuse to do intake of women in the hospital for a termination to the bus driver who won’t drive a route to Planned Parenthood.

Creating a law that allows a person’s moral convictions — not science — to determine what is “terminating a pregnancy” is legislation begging for legal challenge.

I think we’re all struggling with a sense of helplessness.

Pat, you hit the long ball here, past the bleachers and over the center field wall. Excellent.

You know, one of the best questions a sociologist can ask someone about their desire and need for excellence in their lives and in their communities is the simple question: “Have you had good bread this week?” It demonstrates an understanding of excellence, whether or not the individual will abide mediocrity, and has a high correlation to thriving communities. Politically, we have all been eating lousy bread and putting up with it for the past decade. We have come to expect lousy political maneuvering to the point where we wouldn’t recognize good leadership if it took a bite out of us.

I am so tired of the people who claim to stand for the constitution and when push comes to shove they are the first to sell it out…The GOP is famous for this in evreything they do.

Don’t forget that outside of the religious issues, we also have a President who thinks it’s okay to execute American citizens without a trial. So much for the constitution in that regard.

Also here:

Very interesting piece, on topic, here.

The civil rights revolution was followed by the sexual revolution. Here again, conservatives, as distinct from libertarians, were on the side of government repression. The mainstream conservative movement opposed the legalization of contraceptives and abortion. In this case, unlike in the case of civil rights, the American right did not even pretend to have constitutional reasons for opposing Supreme Court decisions like Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 (which struck down state bans on the use of contraception, including by married couples) or Roe v. Wade in 1973 (which struck down state bans on most abortion). The mainstream right simply argued that conservative Christian beliefs about sexual morality should be incorporated into law. In other words, the very conservatives warning us about the dangers of “mobocracy” when it came to the welfare state had no objection to using the power of government to force their fellow citizens to live their private lives according to the teachings of Thomas Aquinas or the Book of Leviticus, as interpreted by semi-literate Southern Protestant preachers.

Minkhoff@1: I don’t know why your comment ended up in spam again (scratching head) but it is out now.

OMFG! I can’t believe he actually said this:

Jindal On Obama’s Experience: He ‘Never Ran a Lemonade Stand’–abc-news-politics.html

Well really Bobby, neither have you. You were a little policy wonk under Bush41, then came back to Louisiana to tear apart the Health and Hospitals Dept. under Mike Foster, then ran (and lost) for congress, ran again and won and then decided to run for Guv. All you’ve done since then is cut, cut, cut. Except in LA, almost every thing is constitutionally protected except for education and hospitals and you’ve decimated those. Now the budget is 200 million in the whole and he wants to use one-time money, the “rainy day fund” to cover the budget hole. Unfortunately he’s created some little Frankenstein monsters (tea partiers) in the state lege and they are screaming about using the one time funds.

Pat, Really excellent piece. Thanks a lot for the great work.

DYB@10: Nice vid.

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