Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Voting for Jesus

While reading POAC today, I came across this link. As I listened to these ladies, who I am sure are very nice people, two things came to mind. First, there is way too much religion in politicking. Second, the Internet has become the single greatest resource for anonymous libel campaigns. I will address the lies that have been propagated regarding Barack Obama later. For now, you can read the facts here and here.

There are two false premises going on in this video clip. One is that it is desirable to base American law on holy scripture. The other is that only Christians and Jews have a right to hold public office in the United States.

I once had a bumper sticker on my car that read, "If you want a country run by religion, move to Iran." That pretty much sums it up. Granted, it is disingenuous to assume that a legal code based entirely on Christian teachings would be tantamount to introducing Sharia Law. On the other hand, consider the similarities between these two sentences:

Recently, 12 states in northern Nigeria instituted laws based on teaching in the Koran.
Recently, Kansas attempted to institute laws based on teaching in the Bible.

Before the comments section blows up: It's not like anyone is calling for amputations and floggings for violations of the law here. Instead, the domestic movement toward a theocracy is much more subtle than that. This leads to the second fallacy noted above.

It is illegal to require a religious test for American public officials. At least that's the official verdict. The First Amendment is pretty clear on this point. The text reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." The church's meddling in affairs of state led directly to Europe's wars of religion, pogroms, and inquisitions. The Founders were not looking for a repeat performance in the New World. Maybe they did not foresee the diversification of religion, but it happened.

Moreover, it is outright discrimination against non-Christians to assume that the legal code should be based on the Bible. Non-Christians are a growing minority and are theoretically protected under the First Amendment. The slippery slope starts with the indoctrination, er... teaching of school children Creationism rather than the scientifically accepted version of the beginning of life. If shenanigans like this continue, expect to see more from folks like this.

Theocracy efforts are doomed from the start. Theocrats practice a form of institutionalized discrimination. Granted, the discrimination is subtle. (How many non-Christians/Jews hold elected office?) Even as we become more accepting of alternate metaphysical world views, there is still a notion that a non-Christian will never be a presidential nominee because such a person would never be elected.

If the American race riots taught us anything, it is that a people facing institutionalized discrimination will eventually rebel. Then we will face a slightly bigger problem to deal with than whether or not it is legal for two men or two women to get married, as is specifically prohibited in a handful of Bible verses, notably in the Book of Leviticus. Of course, the practice of slavery is also sanctioned in the Book of Leviticus. Here is a humorous reaction to that particular argument.

Cartoon by Daryl Cagle. (I hope he doesn't mind the repost.)

If all of this sounds like a veiled attack on Mike Huckabee, it kinda is. The man is rather funny in a good way, but wanting to amend the Constitution so it is up to God's standards has me more than a little concerned.

As for the ladies in the video, they are certainly welcome to their opinions and it is not too difficult to guess for whom they plan to vote. I just think they should get out and meet a few people from outside of their own church sometime.


1 comment:

Wharf Rat said...

What's to blow up? You're absolutely right. If the religious right ever gets their way, it'll be worse than amputations and floggings. They'll probably try to crucify every homo they can get their dirty little fingers on.

Dumb move, 'cause who are they gonna fool around in the airport men's room with then, huh?