In the world of politics, the last thing one expects to see are religious edicts as legislation unless one resides in a country that imposes Islamic law. In 2011, Republicans set upon the American people with biblical-based laws that disqualify them from serving in Congress or state legislatures for breaking their oath of office that says they will defend and uphold the Constitution. Instead of defending, or even upholding the Constitution they were tasked to protect, Republicans went on a rampage to impose the bible as the rule of law and specifically ignored the 1st Amendment’s prohibition on Congress establishing a state religion. Republicans have heard of the 1st Amendment; especially since the start of the 112th Congress when they held a reading of the Constitution to inform new and veteran legislators of the document they swore to defend.
There are three primary areas that Republicans in the House and state legislatures chose to impose theocracy. The Republicans most likely took direction from Dominionists to protect the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), defund and end Planned Parenthood, and bestow civil rights protections on single-celled organisms (zygotes). Regardless of legislators’ personal religious beliefs, imposing biblical law on the population by legislation is unconstitutional. No Republican, Democrat, Catholic, or fundamentalist fanatic is allowed to legislate the bible, or their cult’s beliefs, on the government or the population.
When President Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending DOMA, Attorney General Eric Holder cited congressional debate on the bill as containing “numerous expressions reflecting moral disapproval of gays and lesbians and their intimate and family relationships – precisely the kind of stereotype-based thinking and animus the (Constitution’s) Equal Protection Clause is designed to guard against.” Holder’s statement is true, and it is a valid take on why DOMA is unconstitutional. However, there is the issue of acting contrary to the 1st Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” DOMA establishes Christianity’s biblical definition of marriage and the Congress did make a law establishing a religion’s tenet. By the strictest definition, DOMA is unconstitutional on two counts; it was a Congressional establishment of Christianity on the entire country, and it violates the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
Republicans in the House, led by Speaker John Boehner, decided to defend DOMA’s violation of two constitutional amendments because their loyalty to Christian Dominionists supersedes their oath to uphold the Constitution. Christian conservative Republicans promote the bible’s definition of marriage as the law of the land instead of allowing citizens to decide for themselves what marriage means. DOMA’s supporters claim that without the Christian definition of marriage, same-sex couples will destroy traditional marriage and eventually cause American society’s demise. Republicans use fear mongering, scare tactics, and religious bigotry as a political ploy to garner support for enacting theocratic rules like DOMA regardless of its unconstitutionality.
The House Republicans’ assault on Planned Parenthood is part of the ongoing war on women’s right to choose their reproductive health that has surpassed the stated evangelical goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. Despite laws prohibiting taxpayer dollars being used to fund abortions, in 2011, Republicans assaulted Planned Parenthood as an attack on contraception at the behest of Catholics. There is little doubt now, that throughout 2011, Republicans began an assault on birth control and some congressional representatives and Republican presidential candidates inferred as much. Michele Bachmann assailed Planned Parenthood and said that Washington elites (read Democrats) have “declared war on marriage, on families, on fertility, and on faith.” A Texas Republican, Wayne Christian, said “Well of course this is a war on birth control” in commenting on whether Texas’s anti-family planning efforts were a war on contraception. The anti-contraception movement is founded in the Papal edict that bans contraception and Christian fundamentalists and Republicans in state legislatures and Congress joined the Vatican’s anti-contraception effort in 2011.
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that if elected president, he will begin a conversation about “the dangers of contraception in this country.” Santorum, like many conservative Christian Republicans believes that the economy, and indeed, America, needs social conservative (Christian) policies to save the nation. Santorum parrots the Family Values lobby that finds all of the country’s ills stem from separation from god and biblical standards. The movement to transform the country into a Christian theocracy is rooted in Dominionism and it is as great a threat to democracy as corporatism.
One tool the Dominionists and fundamentalists began implementing is the Catholic-inspired personhood movement; it is a prime example of Dominionists’ effort to install theocracy in America. Personhood’s fundamental premise is that the act of sexual intercourse is the beginning of life and that any means of preventing fertilization, or pregnancy, is tantamount to murder of a person who should be afforded the same rights and Constitutional protections guaranteed to any adult citizen. The absurdity of the personhood movement pales in comparison to the unconstitutional imposition of Vatican edicts on all American citizens, but in 2011, Dominionists found willing advocates of theocratic law in Republican ranks.
Perhaps more than obstructing job creation and economic growth, Republican attempts to legislate Christian theology onto the American people is the most egregious of 2011’s Republican legislative agenda. The assault on secular government and the Constitution’s prohibition on imposition of a state religion have gone unnoticed by most Americans for the past 10 years, but bolstered by the fundamentalists in the tea party, Republicans went all-in to change the nature of government to reflect biblical law; it is unprecedented as well as unconstitutional. However, with all Republican presidential hopefuls firmly entrenched in religious conservatism and bolstered by Dominionists’ money and influence, it appears that 2011 was not an aberration, but a preview of more severe assaults on religious freedom and women’s right to choose.
The Dominionist movement has found, in Republicans, enthusiastic participants with government influence who are more than willing to impose biblical law on the entire population, and their first targets are groups fighting for full equality as citizens worthy of the same rights and privileges of citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution. It is unfortunate though, that Republicans have deemed imposing Christianity on the nation more important than fulfilling their oath of office to protect the Constitution and the losers are American people; the winners are Dominionists whose sole intention is transforming American government into a theocracy. Hopefully, American voters are cognizant enough to reject theocracy and, instead, support the Constitution because the option is an Islamic-style religious dictatorship that is not acceptable in America. The Dominionist-inspired Republicans’ blatant assault on democracy, gay and women’s rights, religious freedom, and the Constitution that began in earnest in 2011 will only get worse in 2012 because Republicans are pandering for the evangelical vote and with a Christian voting bloc watching, Dominionists are certain to provide Republicans with the severe tools they need to frighten Americans into supporting a theocracy.