Have you ever found yourself really shocked that some Muslim extremists want to force everyone to live under Sharia Law? I think that most of us in the U.S. can say yes. The idea that adulterers should be stoned, homosexuals put to death, women whipped for not covering themselves head to foot or going out of the house without an adult male family member as chaperone puts most of us ill at ease. At best, it seems socially backwards, pretty much Dark Ages motif, certainly not something that one would find acceptable in an advanced nation in the 21st century.
Well, what about the Christian Right in the United States, or should I say the Republican Party? I’m pretty concerned about these guys just now. At one time the Republican Party represented economic conservatives who were for the most part socially progressive. Somewhere along the line, however, the Republican Party’s economic conservatives seem to have signed a pact with the devil, so to speak, in order to produce a majority and win elections. Remember Reagan Democrats? Flag waving social conservatives, and they seem tame to the Tea Party faction that has hijacked the country’s agenda recently.
This country was founded on Enlightenment principles put forth by such luminaries as John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, etc. recognized the tyranny of established religions, and frankly a great many were not Christians at all, but Deists. They purposely established a republic that separated governance and religion. They framed this separation of church and state in our Constitution. All citizens have been free ever since to practice whatever religion they choose, or to choose no religion at all.
Yet the Christian right chooses to ignore these basic historical facts and chooses to pursue an untruth, “that America has always been a Christian nation, as established by our founding fathers.” Not! Furthermore, these Christian rightists desire to pursue social activism of a very restrictive sort and desire to make it a part of our legal system as well. It is not enough for these right-wing activists to enforce social mores on America as a whole. They wish to enshrine their belief system in law, for all to obey.
There are a few flash points that these activists push day after day. They all believe in the sanctity of an unborn fetus, no matter how early in its development or how viable its humanity. They want to outlaw all abortions. Frankly they want to keep day after pills illegal as well. What next? Outlaw all birth control so that sex for procreation only is enforced? I really don’t think that is so far-fetched in the minds of many of these extremists.
In addition, this group wishes to rescind any advances that the gay community in America has made over these past few decades. In their eyes homosexuality is a crime against God and nature and should be punished as such. Forget any real scientific research and the reality of an innate predisposition towards sex with one sex or the other. Got that? People are born homosexual or heterosexual. Not a lifestyle choice or a sinful way of life. So let’s just get over those Old Testament demands for punishment of the man who lies with another man, or for that matter a woman who lies with another woman. Yet the Christian right wishes to make homosexual behaviors illegal and punishable by law. Some extremists wish to take away the basic rights of any citizen from homosexuals.
Then there is a wholesale denial of proven science. Creationists, fundamentalists one and all, who think because it says in the Bible that God created man and all the beasts of the Earth in six days (He rested on the seventh, remember.) , have taken the whole thing so literally that they think the Earth and all its inhabitants were created by God just as they are now, and the Earth is only about 10,000 years old. Let’s get something straight here. Science is that which can be proven by observation and testing. Evolution is science. Carbon dating, proving that the Earth is billions of years old and now extinct animals once walked the Earth, that is science. It has been proven. Religion, is that which cannot be proven but is believed, based on faith. Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Wiccanism, Zoroastrianism. These, my friends, are all religions, faith, not science.
I have to remind you that the Catholic Church excommunicated Galileo for the crime of saying that the Sun, not the Earth was at the center of the universe. Faith, not science. Now, in the same vain, religious fundamentalists want to teach creationism alongside evolution, as an alternative theory, as if the two have the same weight. One is science. One is faith.
Who are these people. Recent research shows that the Tea Party is made up in large part of people who are of the religious right. Think Michelle Bachmann, whose husband runs a clinic where they profess to have the ability to cure homosexuality, what one friend calls “Pray away the gay. Think Rick Perry, who holds large public prayer meetings. And this is a small segment of the Republican right-wing extreme. However, recent research shows that the Republican Party as a whole appears to have been hijacked by this religious extremism that hopes to engulf our nation. A recent Gallup Poll showed that 70% of Republicans, nationally, do not believe in evolution. This is very scary ladies and gentlemen.
These are the people who not only wish to dictate our economic mores, but our social mores. These are people who, I can only conclude, are dumb as rocks. I don’t want them directing our nation. Most of the world agrees with me. We’re in really big trouble if this is the direction from which our leadership is to come. Sharia is fundamentalist Islamic Law. This is fundamentalist Christian Law, and frankly there is not a great deal of difference. They are both steeped in ideas at least a millenium old, and they are both very, very intolerant of progress. It is time we stopped this trend dead in its tracks America. It is time for thinkers and progressives to step up and take their logical place, moving our nation and our world forward.
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