In the Christian bible, Jesus Christ admonished his followers that “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24). This presents a quandary for so-called American Conservative Christians who, on the one hand, cling to Bronze Age prohibitions that engender discrimination against all manner of people, and yet claim adoration for the Constitution and its guarantee of equal rights. This particular dichotomy occurs often in Republican politics by legislators avowing their devotion to bible dogmata after they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. This past week, another example of conservative contradiction played out when the Boy Scouts of America continued its discriminatory policy of barring openly gay boys from membership, and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders.
The Boy Scouts are a private club, and although it is despicable, they have the freedom to teach young boys to adhere to the bible’s prohibition on homosexuality, but if they are bound to maintain this hate-policy, they have to change the Boy Scout oath to match their anti-Constitutional position. In Article II, paragraph 2 of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) it dictates that “all members of the Scout Movement are required to adhere to a Scout Promise and Law” by pledging that “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to god and my country, to help other people at all times, and to obey the Scout Law.” The problem for Boy Scouts as individuals and an organization, is that they cannot do their duty to god and their country at the same time without breaking their oath, or as Christ said, they cannot serve two masters.
The Constitution is quite clear that every citizen has the same privileges, immunities, and legal protection of life, liberty, and equal rights under the law, but the BSA disagrees with those constitutional protections and it is impossible for boys to do their duty to their country and god without hating one, and loving the other. With the BSA decision banning gays as members and leaders, they have chosen to do their duty to their god, and not their country and its Constitution, and it is curious how they reconcile that hateful contradiction in their oath much less their promise to help other people at all times. In fact, in defending the BSA anti-gay decision, former presidential candidate, governor, alleged patriot, and Christian preacher, Mike Huckabee, praised the discriminatory policy by casting aspersion on the gay community as sexual predators. Huckabee and other Christian groups like Liberty Counsel’s comments are not only false, they are harmful and egregious for drawing a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality that has been disproven for years. However, the point is that these malcontents, by serving and loving their religion, must hate this country and the Constitution according to Jesus Christ.
The issue of choosing which master to serve is not unique to the BSA; it is endemic to conservative Christian legislators, and conservative Christians as a religious segment of the population. Since the start of the 112th Congress, Republicans spent the majority of their time attempting to enforce Catholic and evangelical Christian dogma on the entire population through anti-women and anti-gay legislation in direct conflict of their oath to uphold the Constitution, its separation clause, and equal rights amendment. Legislators’ oath of office does not include anything remotely requiring them to uphold biblical law, and yet they attempted to inflict Catholic prohibitions on contraception and legislate evangelical abhorrence of gays on the entire country. The war on women has as its basis the Christian bible that clearly states women are inferior to men and unworthy of choosing when they give birth or earning equal pay for equal work. In Kansas, legislators passed a law, and Governor Sam Brownback signed it, that allows employers to fire an employee, or a landlord to evict a renter they discover is gay and they used the “religious exemption” appeal to give legal cover to obey god and not the Constitution.
Republicans have even sworn their allegiance to a man-god in violation of their Constitutional Oath of Office by signing Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. Apparently, thousands of Republicans across the country follow the BSA paradigm pledging to do their duty to their demigod Norquist and their country’s Constitution, but choose to serve Norquist and hate their country. Every Republican who signed to serve Norquist violated their oath of office; particularly Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution, and they have served Norquist at the peril of the economy, national debt, social safety nets, and millions of Americans’ jobs. That is the problem Jesus noted in warning his followers they cannot serve two masters without hating one and loving the other; Republicans have chosen to hate the Constitution and love the bible just the same as Boy Scouts are doing their homophobic duty to god, and not their country.
The point is that like the Boy Scouts, conservative Christians and Republicans made an unambiguous choice to serve a master that is not their country, and in doing so have time and again confirmed their hatred for America and its principles. Boy Scouts and Republicans, by serving god, have shown they hate this country and its guarantee of equal rights for all Americans, and Republicans’ pledge to Norquist demonstrates their hatred for the Constitution they vowed to uphold. Conservative Christians, for their part, can hardly claim to love America if they support policies and politicians who openly advocate discriminatory programs based solely on the Christian bible. It is why for a secular humanist, it is impossible to see conservative Christians wrapped in the American flag while clutching that bible to their bosom as anything other than rank hypocrites for supporting discrimination, replacing the Constitution with the bible, and attempting to install a theocracy. What is most disturbing though, is that they are not conflicted or concealing their hatred for this country’s principles any longer, and it informs that what Jesus is purported to have said is true; it is impossible to serve two masters, and with Republicans serving the bible and Norquist, they’ve shown they despise their country.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.