“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”
― Thomas Jefferson
These words have as much relevance now as when they were written. It is our duty to ourselves, our children and all of humanity to resist the imposition of law whose sole purpose is to supplant one sect over another in the name of arbitrary authority. Freedom is under attack by those that intend to impose law based on an interpretation of religion draped in the flag of christianity. FADA the First Amendment Defense Act seems benign enough, I intend to convince you otherwise.
The predecessor was dubbed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts or RFRA’s. Many of these RFRA’s have been passed throughout the years in various states and at the Federal level. The original intent of these laws was mostly symbolic insomuch as all they did was reaffirm a freedom of religion which was, and still is protected in the establishment clause of the first amendment. Recent versions of RFRA’s have been nullified by courts or amended by legislatures for their blatent, specific discrimination towards the LGBT community. Example’s are Indiana’s RFRA which made headlines due to outrage from the community and allies in the corperate world. Mississippi had a RFRA that went so far as to grant doctors, nurses and health care providers the right to deny health care based on sincerly held religious convictions. The courts thankfully slapped down that insidious law as well. In Texas a bill has been introduced that would allow discrimination toward women based on the reproductive health care choices that they have made. These are but just a few examples of the dozens of ratified and introduced bills every year in the name of discrimination disguised as evangelism.
Throughout history religion has been used to condone attrocities such as slavery, suppression of women and all too often the dehuminization of non theists. The modern evangelical movement began circa 1970 as the moral majority whose mission was to oppose desegregation. Christians mobilized in an effort to suppress a segment of society based on nothing more than their sincerely held belief that the races should not intermix. Failing at a racist endeavor did not disparage them, the movement quickly pivoted to repressing womens rights in the workplace and more profitably opposing a womans right to her own body. If you exclude the racism and took them at their word that their sincerely held beliefs were rooted in their faith, that might be believable. The true colors of the so called moral majority showed during the opposition of President Jimmy Carter, who was, and still is a man that seems to embody the true teachings of christ, who was and still is opposed by so called christians.
The moral majority became a political force within conservatism and started their transition to commercial political christians. After the election of President Reagan four years later they entrenched themselves inside the administration, they were able to suppress any federal funding to combat a viral outbreak that decimated communities by the thousands simply because it was deemed a “gay disease” and “those people are getting what they deserve”. Minority children were contracting this disease at childbirth and still the administration of the moral majority did nothing. Only after a straight white kid from Indiana contracted this disease from a blood transfusion did the evangelicals finally say the word AIDS. Apparently heterosexual white lives are all that matter.
After the Reagan and Bush 41 administration the moral majority seemed to fade as a political force and thus rebranded themselves as the evangelical movement. The movement held on to their basic belief that their Rockwellian version of America was under attack which they construed into christianity being under attack. Enter the Marriage Equality debate, numerous organizations sprung up with significant political power and wealth within the conservative movement (later to be designated as hate groups by the SPLC). The party of freedom and limited government became beholden to those that wish to impose negative rights on citizens based on the belief that since (my historical belief opposes many forms of equality, I must therefore oppose marriage equality based on my theistic dogma).
Before the birth of the moral majority in the early 1970’s no same sex couple had the audacity to apply for a marriage license. One same sex couple did apply for a marriage license in Minnesota at that time, triggering an activist Judge to deny the right for same sex marriages, which was later upheld by an appellate court, these activist judges did not rule on law but on their version of morality. The argument that activist judges somehow stripped christians of their rights is unfounded. Their right to define marriage based on their biblical definition of marriage was enshrined into law totally destroying the seperation of church and state. Enter the Obergfell decision of June 26, 2015 enshrining marriage equality. The Supreme Court was not an activist court, they merely ruled in a narrow majority that the Fourteenth Amendment applied to this case insomuch as….
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” This is not activism this is Constitutionalism, those that opposed equality were the true activists Judges. The Court ruled that denial of equal protection of the laws was unconstitutional. The Fourteenth Amendment was written to enumerate the rights of African Americans at the end of the Civil War, the rights of minorities being constantly under attack by those that oppose equality are enshrined into law thus ending the marriage equality debate. Or so we thought, those that hate have a lot of influence and must direct their hate somewhere else, for if they stop hating, therefore they must stop believing. I wonder who those people may be?
A few weeks ago I wrote about the impending FADA executive order that is reportedly written and only needs the signature of one man to legalize discrimination in the name ironically of religious freedom. The words freedom and religion should never collide in the same sentence unless used to illustrate how opposed they are. Freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Religion paradoxically is the belief or faith in a supernatural controlling power, often times dictating an absurd list of shall nots. Blind faith is inspired by a mythical being that drives this breed of evengelicals to demand the enshrinement of discrimination into law to somehow protect their personal belief that they are free to enact these so called laws of protection against those they dislike in order to protect their belief. Is their belief so shallow that it cannot withstand any opposition?
As evangelicals have entered the political sphere the freedom to practice their faith in houses of worship and homes has become inadequate for commercial christians. This new breed of zealots is using its political capital and considerable wealth to yet again dehumanize a marginalized minority.
A recent interview with Ken Blackwell at CPAC stated that “….the controversial Religious Freedom order that leaked to the press a few weeks ago is very much on the way….” He went on to explain that the delay was in rewriting it so that it can withstand a legal challenge. “In the final analysis, what we want is an executive order that will meet the scrutiny of the judicial process,” he explained. “If there is no executive order, that will disappoint [social conservatives]. But a good executive order will not. So we’re still in the process.” Ken Blackwell was a senior fellow the Family Research Council a registered hate group, he was also head of the Trump transitional team ensuring that the right people were put in place to further the ideological agenda of commercial christians. He later went on to confirm that the former director of Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty, Ken Klukowski, was the one drafting the structure of the order. One of Klukowski’s other endeavors is being a contributor to Breitbart the chosen site for White Nationalists like Richard Spencer who was also in attendance at CPAC.
According to Blackwell this version of the executive order could not withstand a judicial challenge. “Section 1. Policy. The United States Constitution enshrines and protects the fundamental natural right to religious liberty. This Constitutional protection ensures that Americans and their religious organizations will not be coerced by the Federal Government into participating in activities that violate their consciences, and will remain free to express their viewpoints without suffering adverse treatment from the Federal Government. It shall be the policy of this Administration to protect religious freedom.” With bated breath I await this updated version of discrimination that they feel will withstand the Fourteenth Amendment. What they fail to understand is that an individuals freedom ends when it adversly affects anothers freedom. My Freedom is independent to any sincerely held belief of another, one that seeks to dehumanize, humiliate and discriminate in the name of any mythical being.
I do not write this on Transgender rights as I believe that the larger threat is the claim that extra rights (to discriminate) should be enshrined into law for the Evangelicals of this nation. As always we will persist, we will win and, finally shall achieve true equality.