It is important for a nation’s leaders to prioritize their agenda for the coming year, and it is expected they would assign importance to issues regarding their country’s economic health, national security, and benefits for its people. In his Inauguration Address, President Obama’s priorities for his second term were immigration reform, global climate change, sane gun controls, growing the economy, and he stressed the importance of the nation coming together to assure the Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights is extended to every citizen regardless of gender, sexual preference, or economic station. It has taken a little over a week, but finally as Republicans floundered to find a specific priority besides obstruction, corporatism, austerity, and gun proliferation, they picked up where they left off from the last session of Congress and officially announced their highest priority is imposing policy shaped by right wing Christianity on Americans.
Speaker of the House John Boehner made the announcement to an anti-choice group he addressed at a National Right to Life rally, and he did not have to make it official after Republicans in Congress began the 113th session with a personhood bill, opposition to the VAWA, and balking at immigration reform that includes same-sex couples. Boehner said Republicans were focusing on “working to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” and that it was the GOP’s “most fundamental goal this year” to “commit ourselves to doing everything we can to protect the sanctity of life” and pledged to make legal abortion a “relic of the past.” It is ironic that Boehner is using the Christian bible, a true “relic of the past” as the guiding force for making legal abortion a relic of the past, especially since a majority of Americans believe it is a woman’s personal choice and do not want legal abortion restricted via overturning Roe v. Wade. However, the theocrats have a different opinion, and they will waste more of Americans’ time and money to replace the Constitution with the Christian bible.
It was little surprise Republicans chose religion and the continuing GOP war on women’s reproductive rights as their top priority, especially after failed vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan joined a gang of theocrats to re-introduce a ridiculous personhood bill soon after the 113th Congress was in session with a view to banning abortion, contraception, and decriminalizing rape. In fact, in several Dominionist states, defunding Planned Parenthood and restricting abortion rights began in earnest within a week of the general election and continued shortly after the start of the new session of Congress.
Boehner is not alone in the GOP’s push for theocracy as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul told the crowd at the National Right to Life rally about his intention of pursuing a “spiritual cleansing” and imposing “a gospel that cannot be resisted. We much preach a gospel so full of compassion, a gospel so full of justice that it cannot be resisted.” Senator Paul’s rousing Inquisition-era rhetoric informs what many Americans have warned about for years, and it is the imposition of Dominionist martial law and little else, and it does not stop at attacking a woman’s right to choose.
The House of Representatives is still balking at re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act because they object to protection for same-sex victims of violence, and immigration reform that includes same-sex couples. Obviously, the Republican objections are founded in the bible’s prohibition on homosexuality and abortion, as well as a twisted adherence to patriarchy that provides the bible view that men are born to dominate women. What is telling about Republicans is that they still have not learned one lesson from the voters’ rejection of their extremist religious views they are intent on passing off as governance.
If one sets aside the GOP’s insistence on pursuing an extremist Christian vision of theocracy as a means of dominating women and gays in their war on women and homophobic frenzy, there is the little issue of exactly why they are in government to begin with. Their top priority of imposing a “spiritual cleansing, gospel full of justice, and preaching a gospel full of compassion” to protect the “sanctity of life” of a zygote, or defend the traditional definition of marriage, will not create one job, reduce gun violence, grow the economy, bolster national security, address climate change, or secure energy independence, but it does punish women and gays for their part in re-electing President Obama; all under cover of the Christian bible. Their top priority also wastes valuable time and taxpayer money that is better spent creating jobs or growing the economy because with a non-theocratic (Democratic) Senate and White House, there is little chance their predilection for Dominionism will succeed and, in fact, is doomed to fail.
Shortly after the November election, Republicans renewed their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in the states and Congress, and pass more abortion restrictions in states. Any sane politician would think that after spending the entire 112th Congress assaulting women’s reproductive rights and same-sex marriage, that reiterating those theocratic issues is a horribly bad idea after suffering an electoral defeat for attacking women’s reproductive rights and same-sex marriage. Many theocratic right-to-life groups assailed Republicans after the election for not engaging Democrats on the abortion/rape issue, despite that in races where abortion and women’s reproductive health were attacked in full view of the voters, Dominionist candidates were rejected by wide margins because voters understand woman’s reproductive health is the not the purview of Republicans’ puritanical sensibilities.
Republicans have found themselves in an unenviable position of lacking support from mainstream America that is not founded in extremist Christianity or guns, and instead of abandoning their two-year war on women’s reproductive rights, they have doubled down and made it their top priority for 2013. Although the right wing bible crowd is solidly behind any politician promising to impose the bible’s sanctions on women and gays, the rest of America is moving forward and supporting the President’s agenda of addressing gun violence, the economy, jobs, climate change, and most importantly, equality for all Americans; even women and their right to choose their reproductive health.
The religious right, Dominionists and theocracy advocates, have been attempting to impose their will on Americans for decades, and they have always had willing partners in Republican ranks. It is curious that the party that decries government intervention into Americans’ personal lives insists on spending another session of Congress intervening in a woman’s right to choose and it is down to one decision they determined is the hill they are willing to die on, and it is their choice to support and defend the bible as the law of the land instead of the nation’s founding document. As more Americans understand that Republicans are working toward a theocratic institution dominated by patriarchs wasting taxpayer money and precious time to punish women and make their reproductive decisions for them, they will continue rejecting them at the ballot box because at this point, rejecting Republicans is rejecting Dominionism and its archaic theocratic edicts.
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.