Sunday, October 9, 2011

And God Said Let There Be Xenophobic, Ignorant Bigots…

I feel the need to expand on my earlier rant about Libertarians compromising with other elements of the Republican party but am not sure to what end any longer. After the Values Voters Conference, I am not sure Libertarians should be anywhere near the Republican Party. The headline coming away is that Ron Paul won the Straw Poll; I wish it had been, “Ron Paul and most of the other candidates ignore event populated by theocratic ignoramuses who should never be allowed near the halls of power.” Of course, in many of the Primaries, the Social Conservative is the activist voter who gets out there and casts a ballot, and there has to be talk of “values,” so the path to victory, at the moment, is to talk the talk, etc. But what exactly is the point? The conventional wisdom is that the Evangelicals will not support Romney due to his Mormon faith, and they have never really been the ones to support Ron Paul, except now he has refocused much of his campaign to play up his opinions on abortion. Will that satisfy people like Robert Jeffress?

It has been a sincere hope of mine that the real problems facing this country would have finally marginalized the “values voter” in this election cycle. How is it that in the times we are facing that gay marriage is even an issue? An amendment to the Constitution to define marriage is going to save us in some way? Will this address unemployment or a $14 Trillion debt? If that is the only issue motivating you to get out and vote this time around, then you have a serious issue. What does it say about us as a country, that a group of people believe that law should be enacted based on what is, in their opinion, sinful? In my home state of New Hampshire there is a push on some fronts to repeal gay marriage. There is one legislator that went so far to say, in discussing the fact that gay marriage has not hurt anybody: “I am not injury-free. The reason I am not injury-free is because of my religious beliefs.” Well that certainly puts things in perspective. We must make law and policy because it has offended some individual’s religious sensibilities? Nearly every single day of my life for the last 25 years (and let’s hope every day after this one) would have offended the religious doctrines of some group be they Evangelicals, Catholics, Orthodox Jews or Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I will make no apologies for that. Freedom and liberty are the hallmark of this country; it is supposed to be the foundation of our society. What we hear from this quarter of course, is that America is a “Christian Nation” that needs to return to the principles of the Founders (if you have time, check out Chris Rodda’s site that refutes most of this better than I ever could). Many of our present candidates believe this to be true, and it is a truly scary notion. This man Jeffress has a history of talking about outlawing homosexuality and forcing Muslims to either convert or leave the country, and the headline from the summit is his calling Mormonism a cult. Are these the Christian values we are supposed to be striving towards? The Constitution and the 1st Amendment, despite the drivel coming from these people, enshrined the notion that an individual’s religion is their own business, a matter of personal conscience. Believe what you will, it will not disqualify you from living in this country, raising your family as you see fit, or serving in some capacity in the government. If you could look at it from a completely neutral perspective, doesn’t that seem to be a better design than to say: PROPERLY PRESCRIBED CHRISTIANS NEED ONLY APPLY? Who gets to decide in that case? Do we have a vote to decide which sects of Christianity will be included in this little club? According to Jeffers, Mormons are already excluded, who else then? Are Catholics allowed? Any Jehovah’s Witness or Amish is so pious as to make the Pope look like a pimp, are they put at the head of this movement? I do not see that happening. Do all candidates have to walk over hot coals or undergo a turn on a witch trial era dunk tank to test their faith? Isn’t better to leave religion out of the equation instead of heading down the road of who is the religious enough to lead this country, which, of course, was the actual intent of the founders?

Libertarians are courted to join with the Republicans because of certain intersecting principles, but the overriding principle is supposed to be limited government, and how does anyone see this theoretically centered movement as limiting government? What is the state apparatus that ensures no one is gay any longer, or that all pregnancies everywhere are carried to term regardless of condition? Do we force the Muslims to wear Red Crescent arm bands so we can keep an eye on them, make sure they don’t sneak Sharia law in on us? How far and how deep does this movement go exactly? Does the Federal government mandate that all schools teach the alternate theory that the world is 6,000 years old and man lived in some ridiculous Fred Flintstone-esque paradise with Dinosaurs? That should make us extremely competitive in the world marketplace, wouldn’t you say? If people like Jeffers and his ilk want to live in a “Christian” paradise with proper “moral” laws then let us set them up a little community right next door to the Amish where they can practice their theocracy in peace. What we should never allow is for these people and their bigoted, close-minded ignorance to be placed at the helm of the most powerful country on Earth. If Libertarians are going to compromise to be in the big tent, it should never be on these issues. Every candidate should have strongly come out and blasted Jeffress, called him out as the ignorant, dangerous, small-minded little man he has consistently shown himself to be. Candidates should be saying that if his opinions represent the Evangelical voter, then they don’t want their votes, because they do not represent what is best about America: One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all (for those who do not know this is from the original 1892 Pledge of Allegiance, before “under god” was added in the 1950’s to distinguish us from the godless communists).

2 comments:

  1. Wonder why it is so hard for some to accept the beliefs of others. While eyou claim not to like the" Christians"and having God, in any of his forms, interfering in your lifeand making what some would call moral decisions, you continually berate those who chose to believe differently than you. I do not now, nor have I ever, tried to sway you toward a Christian outlook on anything. However, the hatred you have for those of any faith is quite remarkable. I have seen may treatises on" religion and people killing in the nameof God" but you can point to just as much trouble with the lack of God. I don't believe you to be so hypocrytical that you reverse your discrimination of others on religious beliefs and background. How you chose to believe is totally up to you! Quite frankly, I agree with a lot of your political views. Less government and more free market, hallelujah. This can be accomplished with or without a God head in place. We cannot allow our personal biases to interfer in the process or we become as guilty of bigotry as those we proclaim to be bigots. I believe in God and am as proud to say so as you are to say you don't, however, I am not making a case to say those who don't believe as I do are bigots and wrong in every possible way. If you proclaim tolerence for one, shouldn't it be extended to all. After all that is the American way, which by chance is also what Christ taught.

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  2. @Anonymous I am not anti-religious, I respect all individuals and their faith, whatever it may be. It has never occurred to me to ever ask after someone's faith, for it does not matter to me, it is a matter of personal conscience. My issue is with people who would use their interpretation of God to deny that right to others. To say a Mormon, a Muslim or a Homosexual can't be a part of this country and its government because they don't toe the line of how someone interprets a doctrine is antithetical to the founding principles of this country. Religion is not part of the equation at that point. Once upon a time people justified slavery and racism with biblical references to the “mud-people”, and if in the quiet of their own mind they want to believe they are better than other races because of that, then so be it, but they should never be able to point to that passage in the bible and say we need to reinstitute Jim Crow. I will admit I have intolerance when it comes to “young Earth” people. If someone walked up to me and said the Earth was flat or the moon was made of green cheese, and they believed that because it was the central tenant of their faith, I would still think it stupid. That is the same way I feel about individuals who say the world is only 6000 years old, and all of science is a big conspiracy to deny that fact.
    My point here, and I will admit that I usually write when my blood is up, is that religion should never be used as a wedge like this. I am calling this man Jeffress, the individual, out as a bigot whose small minded view of the world should never be allowed to dictate policy in this country. I do not believe this man speaks for all Southern Baptist, and I do not think all Southern Baptists should be labeled as gay-bashing, Muslim/Mormon haters (though they should reexamine who they have at the helm at this point). I think this man is an asshole and I will make no apologies for that. I know there was a full house in that convention hall that gave the man some resounding applause every time he opened his mouth and spewed more crap, and they can be lambasted as a group, in my opinion, for that.
    I will never say someone cannot practice their faith or serve in the government because of said faith. I will also never tolerate someone saying no one else has that same right because they do not live or abide by the moral tenants set out by a particular religion, that is always going to get a very unpleasant response from me.

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