The United States government may have avoided a government shutdown for now, but beneath the surface what many Americans may have missed was the attempted ushering in of theocracy and an attack on representative democracy.
Since the Republican majority in the House began working on spending cuts there has been a war on women, especially poor women of color, and now because Democrats refuse to join the assault on women, the Christian Conservatives are going to shut down the government based on a couple of obscure verses in an ancient Jewish mythology book from the Stone Age. It is evident that women in America are under attack from Republicans in the federal government as well as many states in America.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reported that in budget talks, President Obama and Democrats agreed to Republican cuts in the budget, but Republicans insist on defunding Planned Parenthood and Title X program that provides contraceptives, cancer screening, and pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease testing. The program was implemented during Richard Nixon’s presidency and Republicans are shutting down the government over $70 million Planned Parenthood receives each year. Republicans also want to cut $293 million in funds that clinics receive from the Medicare program.
Planned Parenthood spends 97% of their funding for cancer screening for men and women as well as providing reproductive health services to 3 million women each year. Under the law, the federal Hyde Amendment prohibits one penny of federal funding to go toward abortions despite Republican claims that Planned Parenthood’s federal funding subsidizes abortions. Their claim is standard fare and patently false, but it plays well to the evangelical Christian extremists and Catholics who have decided the government must follow their biblical mandate to oppress women. The assault on women’s rights is not limited to congressional Republicans; in many states Christian conservative lawmakers are exercising their theocratic mandate to deny women their right to choose their own reproductive health.
Although there are many states attacking women and their right to choose, there are a couple that stand out as incredibly outrageous and despicable. In Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer signed a law that prohibits abortions based on race and ethnicity. The law would require women to disclose a reason for their abortions by verifying it is not because of racial reasons or because of the sex of the fetus. A Christian pro-life group in Texas takes the race issue farther by referring to African-American children as “an endangered species,” and another group took out billboard ads claiming that, “The most dangerous place for African-American children is the womb.” In Alabama, the legislature is considering the Catholic-promoted tactic of declaring a zygote a person, and has begun a campaign that claims birth control is tantamount to an abortion as per the child-rapists in the Catholic Church.
There are theocratic laws in states that put a pregnant woman in jail for two days for falling down a flight of stairs. The theocratic rulers have followed the scriptural admonition that women are in subjection to men, and if a man violently rapes a woman and she reports it, she is labeled an accuser and not a victim. There is no other conclusion but that Conservative Christians in Congress and states are hell-bent on denying any health care assistance for poor women of color.
The new theocratic ruler, John Boehner has had oversight over bills redefining rape, defunding Planned Parenthood, and health clinics because the Apostle Paul said women must obey a man because they are inferior and cannot make their own decisions. The misogynist Apostle prohibited women from teaching, praying in front of a man, or speaking up without a man’s approval. He also said women must acquiesce to being raped if a man demands sex. Under Boehner’s theocracy, the woman cannot claim she was raped unless she can prove she was violently raped, and if the woman is raped by her husband, it is not up for discussion because a man is given scriptural permission to sexually assault and abuse his wife.
The issue of the budget cuts and a government shutdown is not a fiscal issue, it is a religious issue and Americans are going to suffer because Democrats are not willing to follow bible-inspired laws that mandate misogyny. Democrats conceded to many fiscal issues Republican theocrats demanded except for the attack on women and their right to choose.
Christian conservatives in Congress and state capitols claim their actions are to protect the sanctity of life, but the second that fetus breathes air and becomes an actual baby, Republicans abandon their pro-life stance and defunded all programs that provide assistance for poor mothers and their infants. It would be easy to say it is ironic that Christian Conservatives value a fetus but hate the subsequent baby, but there is no irony. It is control of women that the bible mandates and nothing else.
Abortion is a minor issue in this large war on women and Republicans have watched women make advancements and they cannot tolerate it. Republicans are the worst type of misogynist because they have consistently voted against equal pay for women and it is because they have embraced the bible’s admonition that women are inferior to men. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia went so far as to say women were not protected by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal rights for all citizens. The theocrats think women are so inferior that they need a Christian man to make their reproductive health decisions for them, and they are willing to shut down the entire government to achieve their goals. It has been over 40 years since the women’s movement started, and for 40 years Christian conservatives have fought every women’s rights issue that has come along.
At some point, Americans must decide if they really want a theocracy and if women are worth protecting. It is evident that Christians do want a Dominionist takeover of the government and if they cannot get their way, they will shut the whole thing down. Christian males still labor under the vile assumption that women are inferior and need a man to direct every aspect of their lives. That is what a theocracy looks like and for now, the Christian conservatives are going after women and their right to choose. The next step is to deny women the right to work so they can stay home and give birth.
House Republicans are not serious about spending cuts and this latest impasse was not about money; it was and remains about women’s rights. Roe v. Wade made abortion legal and under our theocracy, Republicans are chipping away at the legitimacy of the law by making it impossible for any woman to get an abortion. Republicans were willing to hold the entire United States government hostage unless Democrats conceded and acquiesced to theocratic rule; they lie, cheat, and deceive the public to garner support for their theocracy. John Kyl (R-Ariz) claimed that over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s resources are used for abortions and he knew he was lying when he made his fallacious claim. But that is what good, Christian conservatives do; they lie and cheat to force women to give birth and subject to a man’s will.
In this case a man’s will is that women who have conceived must give birth, and these men, these vile, hateful Christian conservative men were going to close the government to achieve their goal. Any American that ponders how far Republicans are willing to go to force theocracy on Americans should not wonder any longer. American men should consider that a small group of Christian conservatives are deciding the fate of their wives, daughters, and mothers, and either stand up to the forced-birth theocrats or hand over their women to the church immediately for further indoctrination.
American women should fear for their lives because Republicans are intent on controlling their reproductive health, wages, and freedom. Today the theocrats were holding the government hostage over Planned Parenthood’s cancer screening for men and women, contraceptives, and reproductive counseling, and are punishing women in the process. Decent Americans can be grateful that Democrats have rejected the theocrats in lieu of women’s rights regardless if the government had shut down or not; to date, millions of women who use Planned Parenthood for cancer screening and contraceptives are extremely grateful for Democrats’ courage. Where are America’s men?