It is without doubt that human beings do not like a hypocrite any more than a nation guilty of human rights violations likes being condemned by another nation guilty of committing human rights violations against its own citizens. It is stunning that for a political party that claims incessantly that they, and this country, are devout Christians, Republicans have never heard about Jesus Christ’s condemnation of hypocrites and judgmental sinners. However, being hypocrites of the first order, Republicans likely are very aware of Christ’s criticism of judgmental hypocrites and could not possibly care less.
According to gospel mythos, Jesus once told a crowd of sinners threatening to stone someone they judged was a sinner that “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” The meaning of Christ’s words are self-evident, and yet Republican sinners were beside themselves because the State Department was late releasing its annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” they knew was critical of human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The yearly report on human rights developments, and violations, of the previous year is mandated by Congress and was technically required to be released in late February, but it was delayed and Ted Cruz was furious.
Anxious for any reason to go to war with Iran, Republicans claimed the State Department report’s delay was a plot to avoid criticizing Iran while the P5+1 was in the midst of nuclear negotiations with Iran. In fact, Canadian-American religious freak Ted Cruz penned an op-ed threatening the Obama Administration that if the State Department failed to release the report condemning Iran as a serial human rights violator to give Republicans ammunition to scuttle the nuclear talks, he would write legislation that slashed 5% out of the State Department’s budget for every 30 days the Human Rights report was delayed. In Cruz’s mind, not criticizing Iran was “just unacceptable” and it is likely his warmongering Republican cohorts and their demi-god master Benjamin Netanyahu were prodding him to threaten the Obama Administration.
Whatever the reason for the delay, the State Department’s finally released its annual “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices” that Ted Cruz and Republicans panted for because it did, in fact, criticize the Islamic Republic of Iran for “severe restrictions on civil liberties, including the freedoms of assembly, religion, and press. ” It also hypocritically assailed Iran for imposing “limitations on the citizens’ ability to change the government through free and fair elections,” and for its disregard for the physical integrity of its citizens. The State Department claims that Iran, like America, “arbitrarily and unlawfully detained, tortured, or killed” its own citizens. The report Republicans could hardly wait to be released also railed against Iran for policies the GOP has adopted as an identifying feature of what a political party adhering to the Christian agenda employs such as discrimination and violence against women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT people. In fact, the State Department could easily have substituted the name Republican Party for Islamic Republic of Iran, condemned the same practices, and no conscious American or citizen of any other foreign nation would have batted an eye or disagreed with the assertions in the report; America’s human rights violations as of late are well known around the world.
Iran was not the only ‘victim‘ of American hypocritical judgment. The State Department report also condemned the Cuban government for “the abridgment of the ability of citizens to change the government and the use of government threats, intimidation against peaceful dissent, and harassment and detentions to prevent free expression and peaceful assembly.” Americans may recall that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, another “good Republican Christian” is guilty of the same actions the State Department accused the Cuban government of committing when Walker had peaceful protestors illegally harassed, arrested, and detained to prevent their free expression and peaceful assembly. It leads one to wonder if possibly the State Department delay was to prevent America from being accused of blatant hypocrisy by nations that are certainly aware of Republican-driven human rights violations that America condemns when other countries commit them.
One country the rest of the world, and the United Nations Human Rights Commission, is well aware is guilty of human rights violations, Israel, escaped much criticism America saved for Palestinians. The report “focused heavily on human rights abuses by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority,” but barely mentioned Israel’s excessive force against Palestinian civilians and violence by Israeli settlers intruding on Palestinian land in the West Bank. There was no mention of Israeli attacks on Christians or Christian churches, or human rights violations against Israeli citizens who choose not to adhere to the Jewish faith. Even the Department of State recognizes the unwritten law that it is a mortal sin to criticize Israel without incurring the wrath of Republicans with the power of the purse.
What Congress needs to mandate is an annual report on human rights abuses in America, against American citizens, to avoid the appearance of America being guilty of gross hypocrisy. It is true that the United Nations issues regular reports citing and condemning American human rights violations against its own citizens, but it does nothing but incite Republicans and so-called ‘real American‘ rage against the world’s only impartial human rights organization. Of course, the Republican-controlled Congress is never going to mandate an investigative report that will expose every single human rights violation that are part and parcel of the Republican Party’s agenda.
For example, this year the United Nations Human Rights Commission (HRC) is investigating America’s human rights violations Republicans defend such as racially-biased policing and the epidemic of law enforcement using excessive force against people of color. The U.N. HRC will also closely look at the continued expansion of migrant family detentions, criminalizing homelessness, and denying Americans of the basic human need of clean water. Throw in the unreported number of border killings, ethnic profiling, and unlawful and discriminatory practice of surveilling Muslim communities, and it is a mystery why Republicans wanted a report released condemning foreign governments of exactly the same activities Republicans ardently support and work tirelessly to increase substantially.
It is mind-boggling, really, why Republicans so desperately wanted a human rights violation report released that features human rights violations they are guilty of perpetuating on Americans. Yes, they certainly want a reason to criticize nations like Iran and Cuba, but they also are well aware that the entire world knows that those nations are guilty of the same violations Republicans support, and argue to continue unabated, against people of color, women, gays, and peaceful protestors. The rest of the world, including Iran and Cuba, are aware that Republicans have championed legislation “limiting citizens’ ability to change the government through free and fair elections” at the behest of the Koch brothers and their legislative arm the American Legislative Exchange Council.
America can hardly criticize any nation’s human rights violations when it is guilty of the same violations even if they are not “as violent or severe;” particularly when this ‘exceptional nation’ is supposed to be a human rights leader. It is true that most Americans are appalled when they learn their fellow citizens are victims of human rights violations, and if they were not so entrenched in the idea that America is a human rights leader, they may pay heed to who is responsible for perpetuating this exceptional nation’s human rights violations against their fellow citizens; hypocritical Republicans.
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.