I have decided to start blogging again for a couple of reasons, primarily, because I don't relish conflict at all, and secondly, I feel that I now finally understand that Face book is little more than a virtual cocktail party at which two subjects are absolutely taboo: politics and religion. Unfortunately, with our present theocratical (is that even a word?) "Supreme Corp", that weird concept foisted on us by our founding forefathers, "Separation of Church and State" is down the toilet . . and last, believe it or not, I have actually received the following "threat" on messsaging: "I think letting people know what you are doing is fine, but if you don't stop posting that liberal crap I'm going to have to unfriend you". (Actually this is not a reason at all. I found it really funny that my "friend" thought that this would "shape me up". I wrote back and told him that for his own peace of mind, he'd best "unfriend"me. Then I laughed to myself all afternoon.)
Aside: I am having a hell of a time getting my damn Clear Wire modem to function today! Something wild is going on in the atmosphere I guess.
As I was saying: with the recent Hobby Lobby decision by the Idiot Five (all old men, you will observe) the door has been opened for all the religious crazies to praise Jesus and attack women, gays, lesbians, and probably Muslims and Jews; I guess anybody that "jist don't look right".
Today, the strategists who dreamt up Hobby Lobby's lawsuit aren't resting on their laurels -- they're plotting the next attack.
In the last 24 hours, religious-right leaders have started publicly bragging about plans to use the Supreme Court's decision to legalize anti-gay discrimination. In fact, "religious freedom" legislation to that effect has already been introduced in state legislatures across the country.
Right now, most judges, politicians, and journalists take the right's claims to speak for Christians at face value. Yesterday Supreme Court decision actually said that "no one has disputed the sincerity of Hobby Lobby's religious beliefs"!
But in reality, there are virtually no Christians who won't use birth control or refuse to do business with gays and lesbians, and when I say Christians, I mean real Christians, those who actually believe in the tenets of Jesus Christ's "Love they neighbor as thy self" and accept and respect every human, no matter if they be catholic, protestant, methodist, baptist, seventh day adventist, jew, hindu, muslim and yes, even athiests like Bill Maher; all manner of ethnic groups . . you don't have to be white to be right.
And of course, this isn't just about birth control -- it's about not letting conservative extremists get away with claiming to speak for the entire Christian faith. But with the Supreme Court opening the door to massive amounts of discrimination in the name of Christianity, we now have two fronts on which to fight: separation of church and state and the fact that corporations are not people.
Journalist Ryan Grim put forth an interesting premise today:
The owners of a chain of stores called Hobby Lobby don't like Obamacare. In particular, they really don't like the part that requires insurance companies to cover contraceptives. Normally, people who don't like a law petition the government to change that law. That's how a nation of laws works.
But these men are Christians. The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Christian business owners are special. Their deeply held religious belief that some particular form of contraception is immoral carries more weight than the force of law, five conservative Christian justices ruled. The court -- in a fairly bald admission that its ruling is incoherent -- added that no general amnesty from other laws should be assumed to be the result of its ruling and that its reasoning was strictly limited to women's contraception. Such a limitation raises legitimate questions about the rather perverted and obsessive minds of the five men who made the ruling, but it also carries little legal weight. Precedent is precedent, whether the precedent-setters say so or not.
As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wondered aloud in her dissent, "Would the exemption ... extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus)?
As long as we're doing a la carte law-abiding, Grim writes, here are a few additional ones that could become optional to certain people with deeply held beliefs.
Entire colonies of people are dedicated to the belief that being compelled to wear clothes is wrong. Others don't believe they should be compelled to make love only indoors. Don't wanna see naked people on your Saturday stroll? Hey, freedom isn't free.
Most religions profess a deep affinity for peace (while drenching history in blood in the name of religion, but whatever). Why should religious pacifists be compelled to pay taxes that subsidize war? Why should Randians, believers in Atlas Shrugged, the bible for dorm-room free-market evangelists, be forced to support the evil that is government?
There isn't much more religious of an experience than talking directly with God. Hell, Huston Smith included a section on acid in his definitive book The World's Religions. While we're at it, all drug laws rub up against religious practice. Sorry officer, this is our church.
If you've ever talked to a hemp evangelist, you know belief in the crop borders on the religious.
The Bible is packed with tales of impure women meeting a just end under a pile of stones. Today, in certain countries, they're known as honor killings. Will the court make an exception to murder for the deeply religious?
Female circumcision -- more commonly and accurately known as genital mutilation -- is central to the practice of some religions, according to some people who have strong beliefs. What is a democracy to tell people otherwise? In fact, the same could go for domestic violence, polygamy and whatever else.
For some Amish folk, following a strict religious interpretation of "Do unto others what you would have others do unto you" means selling raw, unpasteurized milk, a practice banned under U.S. law for its potential to carry dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.
To hell with the Violence Against Women Act, when the Quran authorizes you to strike a disobedient wife, as illustrated in Chapter 4, Verse 34. And we don't have to limit the freedom to Muslim men. As Deuteronomy 25:11-12 testifies, "If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity."
One thing is certain. The world has gone mad. And our Supreme Corp is making certain that the good old U.S. of A. is going with the rest of it.