So New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has already said that he does not believe homosexuality is a sin, and who announced his willingness to consider the use of medical marijuana for kids, today signed into law legislation banning gay conversion therapy.
The move makes New Jersey the surprise second state, along with that ‘stronghold of Communism,’ California, to embrace the ban on messing with young kids minds.
At the outset of this debate, I expressed my concerns about government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children. I still have those concerns. Government should tread carefully into this area, and I do so here reluctantly. I have scrutinized this piece of legislation with that concern in mind.
The governor appealed to the findings of the American Psychological Association, which determined the therapy poses “critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”
I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate. Based upon this analysis, I sign this bill into law.
Governor Christie is what passes for a centrist Republican these days. In other words, he is not flat-out insane. He understands the function of government (something Rand Paul does not) and he knows reality tends to intrude itself on political ideology and religious dogma.
The Republican base will be howling mad at a result of this most recent move. and it is doubtful that his refusal to sign three gun control bills will redeem his reputation as a Republican. You remember how stringent those requirements are these days.
Though Christie seems from polls to be a shoe-in when he runs for his second term as governor in November, it is difficult to see exactly whom Christie is positioning himself for come the 2016 presidential elections.
It is not as though he is going to get a nod from the Tea Party, though there will likely be those establishment Republicans thankful to have a sane candidate to present to the American people when the usual gang of religious fanatics fall by the wayside.
Granted, their desperate hopes for Mitt Romney went unrewarded but Romney was merely the best of a very sorry lot. Christie is not going to embarrass himself when he makes speeches or when he engages in debates. And he is unlikely to fall over his own past positions, as did Romney.
He is far and away the most viable Republican candidate in terms of – how shall we say – mental acuity. But of course, the Tea Party is not looking for mental acuity. They are looking for foaming-at-the-mouth blind fanaticism, and they won’t get that from Christie.
Democrats already have Hilary, unless she should surprise everyone and choose not to run (and even Dubya’s daughter Barbara wants her to run). What demographic then falls to Christie in 2016 should he throw his hat in the ring?
Are there enough common-sense Republicans to vote for somebody who isn’t a living clown-car poster?
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.