There is a gross misconception among incredibly ignorant Americans that this nation was founded on the tenets of the Christian bible and is therefore a Christian nation. It is this willful lack of information about the nation’s founding that, in large part, is why Americans are not the smartest people on the planet. Maybe they believe that because white Christians make up the majority of the population, the Founding Fathers were wrong in creating America as a secular nation. However, according to a new study, white Christians who believe they own the right to control politics and culture in America are “losing their majority status” across the country and not just in left-leaning states.
According to data from the American Values Atlas and the Public Religion Research Institute that gathers information on political opinions, values, and religion; white Christians are now a minority in 19 states. Stunningly including “traditionally conservative states.” Still, that has not stopped an avalanche of religious right fanatics serving in legislatures and state courts from pushing theocratic edicts on the people and rejecting the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land and it is getting worse.
The Alabama Supreme Court finally revealed this week what it regards as the supreme law of the land when it put an end to same-sex marriages (again) despite a federal court ruling that the state’s ban was patently unconstitutional. When the Alabama Baptist Citizens Action Program demanded that the Alabama Supreme Court put a halt to same-sex unions in the state, despite a federal court order, the Court duly obeyed. Obviously, the Constitution’s 14th Amendment does not apply in Alabama; especially if it conflicts with a verse in the Old Testament where god says he thinks gays are an abomination; not that they cannot marry, just that they are an abomination.
Like every other religious right fanatic ignorant that the Constitution is the law of the land, Chief Justice Roy Moore said, “I can’t explain why more than 20 other states have bowed down to unlawful federal authority; but Alabama is not one of them. A federal judge has no authority in the face of a state court’s opinion on the same matter.” It was an interesting use of the religious term “bow down,” but put more aptly, 20 other states understand and adhere to the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause as law of the land; not the bible.
In West Virginia this week, religious fanatics voted to override Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of yet another unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban because something about bible and fetal pain. Fetal pain at 20 weeks is an impossibility according to all known medical and biological science simply because the nervous system is not present or developed. However, in the religious fanatics’ bible v. science war, the bible prevails. However, in the Christian bible that fundamentalists claim is the supreme law of the land, the immutable word of god says there is no living being, or a person, until a fetus breathes air. Both times Governor Tomblin vetoed the legislation, he rightly cited that the legislation “unconstitutionally restrict access to abortion and will not survive a court challenge.” However, like Alabama, West Virginia’s Christian legislature rejects the Constitution and clings to Catholic Humanae Vitae ideology; something that is not in their precious Christian bible.
What is even more telling about the ideological fanaticism of the evangelical legislature’s actions, is that abortion clinics in West Virginia already do not perform procedures past 20 weeks of pregnancy; the very small number of women who have had to have abortions after 20 weeks were typically facing emergency life-threatening pregnancy situations in hospitals; not abortion clinics or women’s family planning facilities. The president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, said, “With this action today, the politicians behind this law have revealed how far they are willing to go to advance their ideological agenda at the expense of women’s rights, lives, and safety. They should be ashamed.” They are theocrats and being so means they feel no shame.
Likely, West Virginia residents are ashamed of the theocratic legislature as well. According to polling conducted last year the theocratic legislation was quite unpopular with voters who did not want the evangelical fanatics posing as lawmakers to spend more time focusing on passing more religious abortion restrictions. However, that is the problem with religious fanatics serving as lawmakers; they could not care less what voters want any more than they care about the Constitution as the law of the land; they are soldiers in the war on religion.
In Florida this week, a religious fanatic was apoplectic over a city ordinance requiring his church to adhere to normal safety ordinances protecting church-goers and compared it to the KGB waging a war on religion in the city’s behalf. A code officer found the church and coffee bar lacked a sufficient emergency exit and failed to comply with the federal Americans With Disability Act. The officer said that the church and coffee bar’s landlord, Mission Education International, did have a valid business license for the coffee shop with a tax-exemption as a charitable organization, but the church did not have a freely available use and occupancy certificate.
The preacher took umbrage at the city and promptly cried there was a war on religion saying, “I think it’s very important that people are not afraid to practice their faith.” Naturally, the ‘onward Christian soldiers‘ at the evangelical Liberty Counsel joined the religious war and sent a letter to the city demanding that it immediately stop requiring churches to pay for business licenses because they are doing god’s work and in America they get a free ride. However, according to the city manager, Mike Bornstein, the war must obviously be based on some horrible religious misunderstanding because churches are not ever obligated to pay those fees.
Liberty Counsel naturally went on the offensive and claimed the city threatened the landlord with foreclosure and daily $500 fines, but the city’s letter had no mention of those penalties. What the city’s letter did mention was that it was offering any assistance necessary to make sure the certificate would be issued quickly. The letter said, “The application form is simple to complete as your organization has completed one prior for the coffee bar. We also can schedule an inspection at your earliest convenience and apprise you of any improvements that may be required of the space or limitation on the number of occupants allowed.” All of the assistance is naturally free because it is a church and unlike other businesses does not have to pay a fee for anything.
The Florida city, like all of American cities, states, and federal government, does not require churches to pay a business license tax, property tax, income tax, or sales tax because this is America and religion gets free welfare. They are, however, required to obtain a use and occupancy certificate which officials use to ensure they do not pose public safety hazards or break any local, state, or federal laws. But this is 21st Century America and religious organizations, churches, state supreme courts, and theocratic state legislatures are immune from adhering to any local, state, federal, or constitutional laws and they damn sure have a holy book to prove it.
One might think that with a secular Constitution with no mention of Christianity, Jesus Christ, or bible, religious right extremists in the Republican movement would stop pushing theocracy on the people by government fiat; particularly because they are becoming a minority demographic. However, that may be why they are suddenly on a tear to impose their bastardized form of Christianity on the entire nation as well as why they are becoming a minority. Whether it is because they are ignorant of the Constitution as the law of the land, or intent on emulating the Taliban or ISIS is unimportant. They are engaged in a war on the Constitution, democracy, and freedom from religious tyranny and they are not going away.
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.