There is a movement in America by conservatives to force strict adherence to the Founding Fathers’ original intent in the Constitution as if conservatives have a monopoly on exactly what “original intent” the framers had in mind in 1787. It is especially interesting that teabaggers and neo-cons demand strict adherence to the Constitution when they have made it their goal to pervert the document to fit their holy Christian bible’s inequalities the Constitution protects against. The 1st Amendment guarantees the freedom to practice any religious belief and prohibits the government from establishing a religion whether it is Islam, Buddhism, Wiccan, or Christianity. However, there is a concerted effort underway to establish Christianity as the state religion and the Christian bible as the Constitution and the proponents are exclusively teabaggers, Republicans, and all manner of conservatives.
Conservatives are promoting movements in America to use the bible to promote inequality and deny the 14th Amendment’s prohibition on any state from denying a citizen’s equal rights under the law. The 14th Amendment is an extension of the proposition that “all men are created equal” in the Bill of Rights and extends Federal government protection to individual states. The point is that the Constitution is very specific in protecting all citizens from federal or state government invasion of individual liberties and freedoms, but the strict Constitutional originalists (Christian conservatives) want to abandon that part of the Constitution for scriptural reasons.
An Iowa social conservative (fanatical Christian extremist), Bob Vander Plaats, has devised a pledge for Republican candidates to sign that if ever enacted, would without doubt establish the Christian bible as the Constitution and effectively prohibit homosexuality and birth control in the United States. It should come as no surprise that Michelle Bachmann (TP-MN) was the first to sign the pledge, and it is expected that every Republican presidential candidate will sign the pledge either because they are true believers in fanatical Christian fundamentalism or are pandering to the fundamentalist voting bloc. The pledge is standard fare for conservative Christians and targets same-sex marriage specifically and homosexuality in general. It also is an endorsement for Civil War slavery and should please every racist in the Republican Party; but that is another article.
The pledge underlies the homophobia rampant in the conservative Christian segment of the population and seeks to abolish divorce, enact a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, reject Islam’s Sharia Law, and a plethora of pro-god-marriage pronouncements that are anti-gay and anti-equality. Based on conservative Christians’ hypocrisy and ignorance of the Constitution’s most basic guarantee of equal rights, it is not surprising that most, if not all of the potential GOP presidential candidates will sign the homophobic bible-inspired pledge, and one would hope that such a vile document does not represent the views of most conservative Christians, but it does.
Last week on the Friday before the 4th of July, a Pastor of a Methodist church gave an interview to an opinion columnist who was writing about sermons recognizing the importance of the Declaration of Independence. The minister was chosen because Methodists are not considered nearly as extreme as evangelical Christians, but extreme or not, the minister verified that without a doubt, most Christians endorse the language and practices enumerated in the pledge as a matter-of-course. The minister began explaining how important it was for all Christians to support the Declaration of Independence and its assertion that, “all men are created equal… with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The journalist seized the opportunity to pin down the minister on the subject of equal rights for women and gays and the minister bristled that any “decent American man” would think women or gays deserved the same rights as “good Christian Americans.” The writer pointed out that Jesus Christ commanded his followers to love all people equally and admonished his disciples against judging anyone, but the minister was nonplussed in defending the bible’s prohibition on homosexuality and pointed out that as far as same-sex marriage was concerned, god said marriage was between one man and one woman. The interviewer reminded the minister that throughout the bible, god’s chosen servants had multiple wives, but the preacher demurred and said that “if god let them have a thousand wives, it was not a contradiction, but a misunderstanding of god’s mysterious ways.”
The preacher also pointed out that since woman was “fabricated from Adam’s rib, she was inferior and had to subject herself to a man as if he were god.” The interview devolved into a tense standoff between a bigot and a humanist and luckily ended without violence. The writer explained that the tragic part was that the preacher firmly believed gays and women did not deserve the same equal protections the Constitution, and particularly the Declaration of Independence, guaranteed to all citizens. Subsequent phone interviews with a random sampling of Christian preachers verified that the consensus was that gays and women do not deserve the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights. Since Republicans took control of the House and many state legislatures after the 2010 midterm elections, it is easy to see that the views of the most extreme Christian fundamentalists are rampant in the Republican Party.
Every legislator in the country pledges an oath of office to defend the Constitution, and in a bit of irony, the pledge that Republican presidential candidates are expected to sign reaffirms that oath. Whether or not the Republicans and conservative Christians understand that they are in violation of their oath in denying equal rights to every American citizen is in question, but the more logical explanation is abject hypocrisy. Michele Bachmann may be a moron of epic proportions, but even a cognitively challenged buffoon like Bachmann has to know the Constitution’s equal protection clause does not exclude women and gays from its purview.
It should frighten every American citizen that any candidate would sign a pledge that promises, if elected, will support discrimination against any group of people regardless the group. There will always be extremists who advocate for legislation to deny equal rights to gays, but it is virtually unbelievable that in 2011, politicians and presidential candidates would overtly campaign to disregard the Founding Fathers’ “original intent” in guaranteeing equal rights based on ancient Jewish mythology. And yet that is precisely what is happening in every state in the union as well as in the Federal government. The first indication that there is at least one presidential candidate willing to stand up for the Constitution’s equal protection clause was when President Obama ordered the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in court because it is unconstitutional. However, supporting and protecting the Constitution of the United States is an oath and President Obama is not a hypocrite or a liar like Michele Bachmann and the other class-of-bigots campaigning for the Republican nomination for president.
Although it is disturbing that Republicans are actively campaigning to foster hatred and discrimination against the gay community, it is the source of bigotry and unconstitutional discrimination that should frighten the life out of every American. Throughout history, the greatest human atrocities man is capable of were inspired by religion, and primarily Christianity. The Crusades and Inquisition will look tame compared to what the Dominionist teabaggers and Republicans will unleash if they are allowed to continue legislating inequality and discrimination from the bible. The bible is not the Constitution, but true believers who claim to support the Constitution and advocate for following the Founders’ original intent are on a path to theocracy with the bible as the binding legal document and law of the land.
If any American thinks the Republicans supporting the bible’s bigotry and inequality will stop at discriminating against gays and women, they should go peruse the Church’s practices during the Inquisitions. There is no group immune from religious fervor and there is nothing as dangerous as a bunch of Christians with a lot of power. No individual will be safe and McCarthyism will look like a Sunday picnic. Women and gays will be hit especially hard and no single woman or childless married woman will escape the wrath of forced-birth evangelicals; if it sounds alarmist, then peruse the pledge the Republican presidential candidates will sign. Maybe after reading what is waiting for women and gays without a theocratic government, the importance of truly supporting the Constitution will take on a bit more urgency. The alternative is living in the United States of Christianity ruled by Dominionists and oppressive theocrats who will be holding a bible in one hand and a whip in the other. The Constitution will be long gone and so will gays, ethnicities other than whites, science and reason, and equal protections that were once guaranteed by the Constitution.