I think it is time to ask a very dangerous question. I do not do this lightly, but I believe it is time. The question is this. Is it un-American, even treasonous, to pass laws based on religious belief? As I said, this is not an easy question to ask, and it is probably even harder to answer.
We are seeing a lot of state legislatures around the country trying to pass legislation that would basically make it legal to discriminate against another group of people. The purported basis for these laws is called “religious freedom.” I say that the real reason for these laws is bigotry!
This attack on the Constitution is not just in the deep south either. We have seen legislation in states like Nebraska, Arizona, Kansas, and even Hawaii. We have entered a stage in our history where people want their religious beliefs to become the “law of the land.” Isn’t that being un-American? Isn’t that attacking the Constitution?
Not far from where I live there was a controversy a few years ago at a veteran’s cemetery. The controversy centered around the so-called “Christian Flag” flying from the flagpole at the cemetery. Many people wanted it taken down, but the Cult wanted it displayed. There were even threats of violence against anyone who disagreed with it being there.
A co-worker at the time asked me what I thought about the issue since I am a veteran. I told him I was against the flag. Not because of any religious implications, but because those of us who served, served the U.S. Flag and not a foreign flag. Since this flag was not the U.S. Flag, it should be brought down. I also considered the flag a slap in the face to the veterans buried there who were not Christian.
In Arizona, a law was passed that made it legal for business to discriminate against gay couples. In their law, if a baker claimed “strong religious belief” that baker did not have to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. Fortunately, the bill was vetoed by the Governor.
Recently in Oklahoma, a similar bill was introduced. State Sen. Joseph Silk, the Republican chief sponsor of the bill, said: “gay people don’t have a right to be served in every single store.” He then added: “People need to have the ability to refuse service if it violates their religious convictions.” Now if this sounds familiar, remember these were the same arguments used to justify the Jim Crowe laws prior to the passage of the Civil Rights Bill.
As I wrote the other day, a wing-nut in California has submitted a ballot initiative there that would make being homosexual, or at least engaging in homosexual conduct, punishable by “a bullet to the back of the head.” Under this extreme law if you sell magazines considered to be homosexual in nature, you would face a $1 million fine and possibly be exiled from the state for life.
In Alabama where the gay marriage issue is complete mess, GOP State Rep. Jim Hill has introduced legislation that would allow judges and religious leaders not only to opt out of performing marriages that defy their religious beliefs, but also to choose not to recognize them — for the sake of “religious liberty.”
There is a very real possible side effect to this bill known as the Freedom of Religion in Marriage Protection Act. Although intended to stop same-sex marriage it could also pave the way for probate judges not to grant marriage licenses (or divorces) to couples of different religious backgrounds. Wouldn’t this law also allow a Catholic judge, for example, to refuse to marry a Hindu, Muslim or Jewish couple?
Senator Inhofe the other day brought a snowball onto the floor of the Senate to prove that climate change was a hoax. That was bad enough, but he then went on to “quote scripture” to support his claim. We have had several members of Congress quote from scripture on the floor of both chambers. Yet when an elected member of congress used a Koran for his swearing-in ceremony, the right-wing went bonkers.
Contradictions like these have always made me ask if we are a nation based on the belief that “all men are created equal” or are we a nation based on the belief that “all men we accept are created equal?”
We are constantly hearing terms like “Christian In Name Only” and “Republican In Name Only” and “Communist Left.” These are nothing more than code words to say that the person being referred to is not a “Real American” because they are not “Real Christians” and only “Real Christians” are “Real Americans.” Of course, the side caveat to that is left out. Only “Real White Christians” are “Real Americans.”
The First Amendment gives us the “freedom of religion.” That means that every citizen can believe or not believe in whatever religion he chooses. That does not give them the right to discriminate against someone with a different religious belief, because that would be infringing on that other person’s right to their religious beliefs.
These are all very disturbing signs to me. If you look throughout history, countries formed either monarchies or dictatorships based on the premise that one group was better than another group. That is not what America was founded to be. It was founded to be a country where everyone could live in peace with equal rights. In other words, it was founded to be a secular country.
God did not become part of our national politics until the 1900s. “In God We Trust” was not on our money until the 1920s. The term “under God” in our pledge of allegiance did not appear until the 1950s. I have heard outcries from the Cult that military chapels don’t have crosses on them. They claim this is a new phenomenon. It isn’t. When I entered the service in 1970, there were no crosses on military chapels because they were used by just about every denomination, even non-Christian.
It would be just as much a violation of the “freedom of religion” clause for the government to force religious leaders like Priests, Preachers, Mullahs, Rabbis or any other minister to perform same-sex marriage in their churches if it goes against their religious beliefs. That is their right under the constitution. However, that right does not include Civil Servants charged with performing non-religious marriage ceremonies.
If laws like these are allowed to be introduced, passed, signed, and stand what group of people will be next to be “legally discriminated” against? If you think these laws are “absolutely wonderful” how will you feel when your group comes under fire? Bigotry and ignorance never rest. They are always on the hunt for another victim. Which means that no one is safe from their arrows.
I served the United States of America, under the Flag of the United States of America. When the call for help came across the radios I was monitoring, I never asked that person what nationality, race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation they were. I simply put the mechanisms in place to save their lives. I believe that America is based on equality for all of its citizens.
You have probably figured out my response to that question. I believe that any elected government official, regardless of political affiliation, who legislates religious beliefs into law, regardless of which religion is being used, is violating the Constitution of the United Sates. As a result, that official is guilty of violating his Oath Of Office and should be impeached.
Let your arrows fly.