Right-Wing Christians Ignore Republicans and Push Extreme Anti-Abortion Amendment in Tennessee

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Interfering, by definition, means becoming involved in the activities and concerns of other people when your involvement is not wanted, and it is certain every American has experienced someone, likely a family member, getting involved in one’s personal life. It is safe to say no American, especially Republican politicians, wants their personal lives interfered with, particularly by strangers. Republicans used that fact to great effect to convince ignorant people the Affordable Care Act was government interference in private healthcare decisions, including getting between a doctor and patient. It was a blatant lie of course, but it did frighten stupid people into believing President Obama was using the federal government to kill sick people by allowing bureaucrats to make life-and-death medical decisions that are supposed to be between a doctor and patient.

Republicans are wont to claim no human being has the right to interfere in private medical decisions, unless they are white male Republicans holding a bible, or member of the right-wing Christian clergy overruling medical decisions between a woman and her physician. One would be remiss not to highlight the fact that the idea that males have the right to control women, and make their medical decisions for them, is grounded in patriarchy and anti-women tenets of the bible. However, in Tennessee the idea that Christian males have the right to control, and interfere with, women’s medical decisions is grounded in a proposed state amendment.

In Tennessee, anti-choice lawmakers are pushing an amendment that gives them, non-medical professional right-wing Christian lawmakers, authority to define and determine under what circumstances abortion should be legal or accessible. The short version of the amendment is “Under no circumstances will abortion be legal or accessible in Tennessee.” That includes complete authority to nullify exceptions for the life or health of the woman seeking an abortion; even in cases of rape and incest. The abortion ban is, intrinsically, unconstitutional and contrary to the Supreme Court ruling that a woman’s medical decisions are protected, as well as being the purview of the woman and her doctor. However, there is a problem for Tennessee Christian lawmakers because voters see the issue as government getting between a patient and their doctor; precisely what Republicans lied perpetually that the ACA intended to do.

Tennessee’s right-wing Christian lawmakers are doing what Republicans and religious right groups across the nation are doing with increasing frequency; defining and determining what constitutes necessary medical care regardless what medical professionals deem “necessary.” Alaska and Oklahoma Republicans proposed measures to let them define what counts as a medical emergency instead of doctors, Michigan Republicans hate abortion rape exceptions, and House Republicans want to forbid incest exceptions, so Tennessee is not out of line with the consensus of Christian Republicans. All of the Republicans interfering with personal health decisions are in league with extremist Christian organizations and Christian corporations (Hobby Lobby et al) that demand authority be given to Christians to have complete control over a doctor and woman’s medical decisions; something that Tennessee voters, even Republican voters, overwhelmingly oppose.

With 71% of voters opposed to Tennessee Amendment One, state Democrats said they oppose the bill “for the simple reason that we trust people to have good judgments for themselves and we do not think that the state legislature should be the one making those decisions. They’re very personal and they’re very private. And we respect people to have their own judgments.” Researchers from Vanderbilt University that conducted the poll remarked that it is instructive to see such massive regulatory over personal medical decisions ‘turns off voters across party lines.” It is likely that voters understand that it would be only a matter of time before Republicans extend the scope of state regulatory overreach in medicine, and use the bible to prohibit medical care for any group they deem violate Christians’ religious right beliefs. One Oklahoma Republican opposes the Tennessee amendment on purely practical medical grounds.

A pro-life Republican, Doug Cox, does not support medical restrictions like Tennessee’s that Oklahoma Republicans put in place giving bureaucrats power to define and determine what is “medical best practice.” Cox is a practicing physician and derided a “mess of restrictions” his colleagues passed “placing the board of health in charge of determining what our best medical practices are. That’s never been done before, and there’s a reason it hasn’t been done before. For instance, one of our board members is an immediate past president of the human resources division of Chesapeake Energy with no medical knowledge whatsoever. She’s out of her bailiwick to determine what doctors should and shouldn’t do while taking care of patients.There is a dentist and maybe three family practitioners, but there are parts of medicine that are out of their expertise. It would be like asking me, an emergency room physician, to set the rules and regulations for brain surgery.”

Another Republican from North Dakota, Representative Kathy Hawken, agrees with Cox and Americans who are not beholden to anti-women religious right extremists. She supports women’s reproductive rights on the grounds of smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and reproductive health. She said, “We need to get out of people’s personal lives. We shouldn’t be there. None of us have gone to medical school, and for that matter, not many of us have gone to law school. We shouldn’t be there.” A physician in Kansas, Cheryl Chastine, said focusing on invasiveness of the government, of the state presuming to make private healthcare decisions for patients as well as for physicians who are practicing, is a valid argument in supporting women’s reproductive health decisions, but she misses a very important point.

There is no arguing with religious extremists. They cannot even use their bible to support their anti-choice stance, so using the hated “government intrusion” into Americans’ personal healthcare decisions will not deter or convince religious fanatics of anything. Although it is safe to say the great majority of Americans recoil at the idea of government being in the doctor’s office, examination room, or surgical theatre prohibiting them from treating patients is sheer religious tyranny, but Christian extremists support the idea if women are the victims. It is important to remember, fanatics in the Christian Right movement regard it their religious liberty and free exercise of religion to make, and prohibit doctor and women from making, medical decisions by government fiat that Republicans happily oblige because “religious liberty;” and therein lies the issue.

The religious right and their Republican facilitators do not consider using the government to interfere in Americans’ lives “intrusion, interference, or overreach” if it is based on religion; particularly that bastardized misnomer “Christianity.” In April, Louisiana Christian Republicans passed an unconstitutional law to regulate sexual relations based on the Christian ban on “crimes against nature.” In about a dozen Republican states, there are attempts to ban divorce, or at least make it extremely difficult, at the insistence of Christian fanatics at the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage. Republicans only hate government interference if it involves environmental protections, gun safety, enforcing anti-discrimination laws, or forbidding Christian extremists from controlling women and gays.

Americans continue ignoring warnings that the religious right is on a crusade to rule by theocracy, despite the fact that religious fanatics in Republican states are having a great measure of success imposing harsh laws based on bastardized Christian morality that the public overwhelmingly opposes. It is the definition of religious tyranny and theocracy; enacting edicts borne of religion with no founding in democracy or the will of the people. Republicans abandoned any pretense of following the will of the people in January 2009, and with religious liberty as their cause célèbre, they are passing religious edicts in the states at a frightening pace and they all interfere with Americans’ private and personal lives.

All Americans should take note that right-wing Christians first went after women’s reproductive rights, then gay rights, then the right to end a bad marriage, and heterosexual couples right to practice sex in the privacy of their bedrooms. Anyone who still does not believe they intend on a nation under a harsh Christian theocracy rivaling the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been paying attention, and if they have taken note without screaming religious tyranny, they are as much of the problem as Republicans and extremist Christians.




18 Replies to “Right-Wing Christians Ignore Republicans and Push Extreme Anti-Abortion Amendment in Tennessee”

  1. It amazes me that the voters of these various right wing states elect these people and then complain when they enact laws that they do. Then to top it off they go to the polls and re-elect them, or someone even worse. Amazing.

  2. These right wing abbero-Christian extremists are cut from the same cloth as the Taliban religious extremists. They all have a pseudoreligious derangement syndrome, which is very dangerous when mixed with politics. There is nothing Christian in these people’s beliefs or actions. They are hungry for power over other people’s lives, and they have zero tolerance for anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs. They have no respect for our democratic form of government. They want a theocracy based solely on their warped and judgemental and hateful beliefs, which makes them a real threat to our democracy. Many of them are actually domestic terrorists and should be treated as such.

  3. These are what I call Pathological Christians, they even ignore their own book and do as the please. But that book is the problem, it’s vague, fact-less, and convoluted.

  4. The American Taliban. Religious extremists that torment women – only these are “Christians”.

    Jesus would cringe to see what is done in His name…

  5. The article is not accurate. The amendment does not make abortion illegible or inaccessible in Tennessee. What it does do, is provide for some medical safeguards for women who want abortion services.

  6. I see reading is not fundamental to you
    Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.
    What part of that you don’t understand or didn’t they teach you reading comprehension when you were being homeschooled?

  7. I was listening to our nearest local channel on TV last night and this woman was referring to this law, and had the nerve to say that planned parenthood and the ACLU , lied about what this law would do to TN. I told my daughter I think next time I go to Walmart, I’m pinning on my Planned Parenthood and ACLU cards on my shirt and give them all a jolt.

  8. Women should feel relieved they don’t carry the blame of being the culprits that penned so-called ‘holy books’ that are nothing more than the filth residing in the male mind.

  9. I guess I didn’t realize that it’s not that conservatives want to shrink government down so much that it can be drowned in a bathtub – they want to shrink it so it fits in my uterus.

    I don’t think so.

    MY body. MY choice.

  10. What I said was correct, this amendment only changes to state constitution, does nothing to change any laws in this state or US. Why is it that those who support abortion always insults others? Notice that nothing I said insulted anyone.

  11. Again and I quote “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.” Define enact, amend, or repeal. Now if you can do that then you would see what this amendment does to a womens right to choose. Now if you think Ms purty little thing shouldn’t have the right to make choices concerning her own body then say so and stop your double talk

  12. The amendment, if passed, does make abortion inaccessible and prohibited in Tennessee according to the text and will of the extremist Christian legislature. The Supreme Court ruled 40 years ago they are forbidden from doing that.

    Now, try to follow the logic; by changing the Tennessee state constitution, the Christian Supreme Council of Tennessee (Republican legislature) are changing state law; really not an advanced concept even the most “challenged” intellect should be able to grasp.

    By the way, you are tragically befuddled-by-bible for implying that anyone supports abortion. Like the Supreme Court, we support is a woman’s personal and private reproductive health choices; a distinction only a Christian zealot could possibly misconstrue.

  13. Regulating medical services is already something that is done, otherwise no hospital would be able to operate in a state.

    This amendment is meant to be punitive to women, bottom line. It is not meant to make women safer at the doctor’s office – it is meant to chain her to her womb.

    Maybe you don’t look at it in that light, but there are a lot of people who do. And it’s not because we are “for” abortion. No one is “for” abortion. It’s because what we are for is the right to make our own reproductive decisions based on what is best for us, our families, and whoever else we may involve.

    It’s not your choice, Hydroguy. I’m sorry, but it is not. It’s also not the choice of a lawmaker who does not know me and who probably doesn’t even have a medical degree.

    I doubt you would want me making medical decisions for you or to have some lawmaker try to pass an amendment that makes it much, much harder for you to receive care that you need for no reason other than to c…

  14. Many of the zealot’s and teahaters will be gone in November. It will take time to undo all they have done to hurt women and children.

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