You may have noticed a new phenomenon creeping up in this country, it is this trend of our laws taking a backseat to religion. Whether it is the action of not following laws or court rulings in the name of religion or dictating laws based on religion, our country is slowly being destroyed by our religious right politicians. They are morphing us into a theocracy.
Not what the Founding Fathers had in mind:
"The Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The Treaty of Tripoli -- John Adams, 1797
"In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws." George Washington, 1793
"The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State." James Madison, 1813
"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." Thomas Jefferson, 1814
Yet here we are, knee deep in Evangelical Governance.
The recent reaction to the SCOTUS decision on legalization of gay marriage is really the poster child for this religious zealousness that has taken over. Government clerks are refusing to issue gay marriage licenses in the name of their religion, despite Judge's orders directly telling them to issue the licenses.
When did it become all the rage to dismiss court orders in favor of the Bible? Those pesky court orders telling them to do their taxpayer funded Government job should be followed in a normal democracy, yet it's not happening. Hence the destruction of the civil rights of those seeking the licenses. Not to mention absolutely no regard for the law.
But it's not just the clerks. The Attorney General of Texas, who ironically swore to uphold the law, went one step further and told these same clerks they in fact did not need to issue these licenses. Is he ignorant of the Supremacy Clause as a practicing lawyer? Probably not, but in his world the Bible comes first the law comes second, and this is a fundamental illustration of the deterioration of our democracy. The sentiments by the Attorney General of Texas have been echoed by many of our elected officials in Washington.
It goes on from there.
The unprecedented war on women and their reproductive rights is another example of the religious crazy. We wouldn't even be having a discussion on birth control and abortion if religion wasn't deeply incorporated into our conservative politicians.
The same can be said about the decline of science and and intellectualism, there is a deep long history of the religious dismissing science and advancement in the name of religion. It still holds true today. Senator Inhofe recently cited the Bible -- using the phrase "Biblical Evidence" as proof that Climate Change doesn't exist. He is the Chair of the Environment Committee. Senator Ted Cruz is the Chairman of the Subcommittee for Space, Science and Competitiveness and also claims that Climate Change isn't real.
Yes, they named these two science deniers to lead Science Committees in Congress on your taxpayer dime.
I weep for this nation with leadership like this.
How did we get to this?
Religion wasn't always incorporated into right wing politics. Barry Goldwater, a well known conservative, stated that "the religious right scares the hell out of me" and "All good Christians should kick Rev. Falwell in the ass." But Conservatives, starting with Ronald Reagan, embraced Falwell and allowed people like him to dictate social policy in our democracy -- all the while remaining tax exempt. But, it has only gotten worse since then. They now outwardly preach breaking laws in the name of religious freedom-- something called Nullification which is Unconstitutional.
Where do we go from here?
Faith is personal. And it needs to be kept personal and away from government. It is only the people of this country who can stand up and stop this destruction of law and order and instillation of Biblical rule. It can be done, there have bee some major wins in this fight recently, but unless the religious right is weeded out and cut off from our government we do not have a true democracy nor do we have separation of church and state. And that is a travesty for such a great nation such as ours and it is an insult to the Founding Fathers who fought for exactly the opposite.