The Values Voter Summit’s Promotion of Religious Tyranny is Un-American

freedom of religion
What do we mean when we say “religious liberty”? Religious liberty should theoretically mean that each of us is free to believe what we want about religious matters, from one god to many gods to no gods. We should each of us be free to go to our respective places of worship. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1782, “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Of course, we know this doesn’t, in practice, happen. The so-called Religious Right says you can’t build mosques, you can’t build Heathen places of worship. Family Security Matters even wants to outlaw Islam. So extreme is Religious Right hatred of Islam that Michele Bachmann told the Values Voter Summit that the United States is actually engaged – as a nation – in spiritual warfare against Islam.

Did you know that? I didn’t know that. I didn’t feel any ripple in the Force or anything to tell me that a spiritual war had begun. I don’t know how exactly this works or who declared it, but it sure doesn’t sound very First Amendment-ish to me. Does it to you?

The wrong-headed and misnamed Religious Right also pushes the idea that only Christians can be elected to public office, despite the inconvenient fact that the Constitution itself, at Article VI, paragraph 3, prohibits religious tests for office.

They want Air Force airmen to swear an oath to their god, which again, such an oath is itself in violation of the First Amendment, placing the Air Force personnel in the uncomfortable – not to mention meaningless – position of swearing an unconstitutional oath to defend the Constitution.

They want religion taught in our public schools, but only Christian religion. They want public prayer, both in schools and in government, but only Christian prayer, all in violation of the First Amendment, which prohibits the establishment of religion.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association even demands that all immigrants should be required to convert to Christianity before they are allowed to enter our country.

In fact, they claim that the First Amendment, which bans the establishment of religion, actually establishes religion. Therefore, they claim that only Christianity is protected by the First Amendment.

This is clearly not religious liberty, but religious tyranny. The same thing, in fact, the Constitution was written to avoid.

As Sarah Jones wrote here yesterday with regards the so-called Values Voter Summit,

Conservatives polled said the most important issue to them was “religious liberty”. This notion got Republicans very excited on Twitter, after they convinced themselves that they could win the White House on it because it’s HUGE. Everyone cares about “religious liberty”.

The problem for the Republican Party is that their definition of “religious liberty” is very exclusionary and thus the opposite of the idea of “religious liberty”. Republicans fight for liberty for Christians, while demonizing other religions, especially their misinformed ideas of Muslims.

In fact, if you look at coverage of the Values Voter Summit, you will see that it reads like one long persecution story, with the people doing the persecuting playing the victims. Look at Duck Dynasty’s Alan Robertson telling the crowd that Satan attacked their clan because they’re so great, and the spiteful Benham twins, church-invaders David and Jason, who lost an HGTV show because of their bigotry, saying they’re “like ISIS victims.”

Even though it’s ISIL/ISIS and their own Phil Robertson- not their liberal critics – who agree that others must “convert or die.” It’s Bryan Fischer – not atheists or secular humanists or liberals – who finds himself in theological accord with ISIL.

I don’t know about that. They look pretty much alive to me, and with heads still attached to necks.

It’s ridiculous, and so over the top that it leaves you wondering if any of the participants really thinks about what they’re saying. You’ve got anti-gay extremist Mat Staver crying about being labeled as an anti-gay extremist, for example.

This is the guy, remember, who, Right Wing Watch tells us,

This sounds pretty extreme to me.

Other issues will at times push the issue of religion out of public notice for a time, but the notion of a national religion underlies all aspects of the culture war, from contraception to abortion, to voting, to equal rights in the workplace and even to foreign policy. The Bible is trotted out as arbiter of local, state, and even federal law, as though the Constitution itself did not exist.

The consequences of such thing lead inevitably to theocracy, the rule by one religion of the country, over every aspect of our lives. Naturally, the Founding Fathers were in a position to create such a government but their extant writings reveal that they loathed the very idea of theocracy. That they chose not to institute such a government speaks volumes.

Their establishment instead of a democracy, the form of government where political power derives not from god or kings but from the people, completely eradicates the Religious Right’s claims that our government is Biblical-based, that our Constitution derives from the Bible.

The Religious Right says it is trying to restore our government to its intended place, but the place to which it aims has never existed, and was never meant to exist, else we would have been there already, thanks to the Constitution.

These so-called Christians want to fundamentally alter our way of life. In the ideal fake-Christian world of the Republican Party, our freedom of religion would be an actual negation of freedom as we were all forced to become Christians.

This is clearly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind, which makes the Religious Right itself un-American. Their activities at the Values Voter Summit demonstrates that their goal is nothing less than abolition of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and the institution of the very religious tyranny the Founding Fathers fought so hard to avoid.

12 Replies to “The Values Voter Summit’s Promotion of Religious Tyranny is Un-American”

  1. Those on the religious right seem to be the opposite of what they claim to be.

    They say they are Christians, but they are more like the anti-Christ since they apparently reject most of what Jesus was supposed to stand for.

    They also say they are constitution loving Americans, but they’re obvious ignorance of the founding father’s intentions make them both un-American and anti-constitution.

    When you take into consideration the right’s interpretations of the Constitution and the BuyBull, one can only conclude that they have some very serious reading comprehension issues. I guess that’s why they hate education so much.

  2. Even if these people got their way, and got all non-Christian religions banned, they would not rest content with that. Next, they’d start trying to exclude Catholics, or Mormons, or JWs.

  3. I fondly remember the days when religion was still in the closet…..wish it had stayed there, but that’s no doubt unrealistic, so now that they’re out we need to find a way to integrate them into society – oh, wait, they’re already integrated, and flouting their religiosity in our faces, marching in parades, openly doing disgusting things in public (see WBC), if this doesn’t stop it’ll be the end of civilization as we know it.

  4. If the Rapture happened tomorrow, these religious bigots would be enraged at the discovery that their distorted beliefs were the reason they were being Left Behind. They love to play Christian Chutes and Ladders, until they realize the ladder they chose was really a chute.

  5. These ChristoLizards are a threat far greater, and far more immediate, to our National well-being than AQ, the Taliban, and the various derivatives of these will ever be.

    The fact that we finance them via tax exemptions is just plain preposterous.

    They should be charged with both sedition and treason.
    But then… the Catholic SCOTUS thugs are in sympathy with these lizards, aren’t they.

  6. Real “Christians” have no idea who these people are and what they stand for. They think christian rule would be just fine, without understanding these people do not think of them as christians. They claim to be persecuted, yet have no idea of how they are persecuted or what is happening around them by people such as Bryan Fischer.

    They have a huge shock coming.

  7. All I can say is that regardless of what certain polls say, there are polls out there that claim that over 70% of Americans identify as practicing Christians, but as we all know people will often say things in order to appear to support certain things in order not to be excluded, or to be included. I’ve seen polls that also say that the number closer 30% are actually practicing believing Christians, with other bible based religions, Catholics, Amish, LDS/JW, Episcopalians, Methodists, etc, combining for about another 25%, & other religions, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, various Native American beliefs, etc, about 15%. So, there are about 30% of us who claim no specific faith, or claim Agnosticism, Scientology, or Atheism, which seems more in line to me. And then you have to realize that a large number of these %’s don’t actually practice or participate in their religion. It’s just to say that they belong to something to avoid ‘The Look’. And religion is on the downslide, i…

  8. As far as people claiming to be Christian, I have a quick little story. I ran into a cousin yesterday that I hadn’t seen in a while and he was telling me about having arthritis in his hands and how he prayed it away. We talked a while longer and I said I would look him up on Facebook and friend him so we could stay in touch.

    This morning on my news feed I saw a post from him to someone else and he was talking about partying the night before and was saying eff this and eff that and so on. I think that is probably representative of a lot of those 70% of Christians in the polls. They were indoctrinated as children and are too fearful to just say they don’t believe.

  9. I did not know this: Before Ronald Reagan was inaugurated in 1981, and introduced the phrase, “God bless America,” as his standard speech closing, it had only been used once by a president in a major address. That president was Richard Nixon and he used it during an Oval Office speech on April 30, 1973, in an attempt to contain the Watergate scandal. Reagan’s use of the religious rhetoric was a dramatic change in presidential addresses. According to David Domke and Kevin Coe, writing for Time Magazine in 2008:

    From the inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 — which most observers view as the beginning of the modern presidency — to the end of Carter’s term in January 1981, Presidents gave 229 major addresses. Nixon’s use of “God bless America” was the only time the phrase passed a President’s lips.,8599,1735972,00.html

  10. So, can someone please explain to me why these Christians are so supportive of Israel when, in fact, they don’t like Jews and wouldn’t have one in their home. Why is it just Muslims and not Jews who are the infidels who need to be forced into conversion or killed? Jews and Muslims are both semitic people of religions that believe their religion to be superior to Christians. So, what is happening here? Are Jewish immigrants to be required in this scheme to convert to Christianity also? And if South and Central Americans are all Catholics, how will requiring immigrants to convert to Christianity help them in their war against those immigrants? This is too confusing. :)

  11. The Religious Right are wannabe Christians. Yet they detest the social gospel teachings of Jesus. To equate the Good Samaritan Parable with the ACA is an ultimate sacrilege.

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