After every State of the Union address the party that is not in the White House gets to give a response as “a counterweight to the President’s message.” This year, the fanatical religious right and a member of the House Freedom Caucus (teabaggers) decided to pre-empt the official Republican mouthpiece’s response and provide a couple of their own bigots to serve as the evangelical “counterweight to the President’s message.”
Thankfully due to forewarning, some Americans likely sat out the President’s brilliant speech and settled for reading a transcript; solely because it was too infuriating just knowing two openly anti-gay religious bigots sat in the audience as a “counterweight” to President Obama’s unwavering support for the U.S. Constitution’s 1st and 14th Amendments.
According to the extremist religious organization Liberty Counsel, a pair of evangelical bigots were invited to attend the State of the Union to protest President Obama’s “trampling the religious liberty” of Kim Davis and Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver. Apparently, there was some kind of “mystery” as to exactly which evangelical Republican invited two anti-Constitution theocrats as “counterweights” to the President’s message and to protest “his Administration’s trampling of religious liberty.” However, it should have been painfully obvious to any American keeping track of who hates gays and equality most, which Republican summoned religious bigots to the SOTU.
A representative of Liberty Counsel, Charla Bansley told CNN on Monday that “We are not releasing the names of the Congressmen who provided tickets for Kim (Davis) and Mat (Staver) because the focus should not be on the congressmen or politics, but on why Kim and Mat are even there. Kim will be in the gallery as a counterweight to the President’s message. She is representing all the Americans who have been adversely affected by the President’s trampling of religious liberty.”
Davis is the Kentucky County Clerk who was sent to jail and met the Pope because she violated her oath of office and the United States Constitution, as well as direct court orders to do her highly-overpaid job. Davis, like a fair number of Americans, cannot fathom the thought of adhering to the U.S. Judiciary, the U.S. Constitution, or her own god’s verses in her own Christian bible. Kim Davis believes like Liberty Counsel, the Family Research Council, and the House Freedom Caucus that America is a Christian theocracy and that as an elected public servant she gets to use her religion as the law of the land.
Because the President has supported the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal rights under the law for all Americans, a Republican representative from Ohio decided to summon the Kentucky county clerk as the “evangelical counterweight” to the President’s message and to represent the pathetic theocrats who think their “religious liberty has been trampled.”
For the record, neither Kim Davis, Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, the Family Research Council, or any other aspiring theocrats have had their freedom to pray, sing psalms, or worship where they want “trampled on.” Of course it is true that from the founding of this nation the U.S. Constitution has “on occasion” prohibited evangelical theocrats from ramming their religious edicts down every other Americans’ throats, but that is in no way in any universe “President Obama trampling on their religious freedom.”
The congressman who invited the “Christian counterweight” to the President’s support of the Constitution is Ohio Republican and “founding member of the extremist House Freedom Caucus” Jim Jordan. The House Freedom Caucus is made up of the same folks who labeled themselves “teabaggers,” but since that term is now a forbidden pejorative, just understand that the House Freedom Caucus now touts itself as “the most-conservative caucus in Congress;” it is also the most theocratic caucus in Congress.
Jordan claims he was completely baffled that it was he who invited the religious bigot to “counter” the President’s message, but that seems seriously unlikely at best. Jordan’s record fairly explains why he wanted an anti-gay bigot to balance President Obama’s defense of the Constitution and equal rights for all Americans.
It is no mistake that the most conservative (religious) caucus in Congress was founded by the likes of Jordan. He voted to ban same-sex marriage in Washington D.C., crusades for a biblical amendment to the U.S. Constitution forever banning marriage equality in America, and he voted to allow evangelical employers to discriminate based on a prospective or current employee’s sexual orientation. That record of support for religion-based discrimination against gays is no more of a mistake than “unknowingly” inviting the likes of Davis to “counter the President’s message.”
Jordan also voted for a “nullification” bill allowing religious states to have unconstitutional supremacy over the federal government on “the definition of marriage.” He is so religiously anti-gay that he supports laws to protect hate speech against gays as a critical aspect of religious freedom. He also voted against the Violence Against Women Act and endorses the Republican anti-LGBT measure known as the First Amendment Defense Act. What is noteworthy about each and every one Jordan’s votes is that they are all founded solely on neo-American Christianity and are in stark opposition to the U.S. Constitution, and President Barack Obama.
Apparently it was the Family Research Council that told Representative Jordan’s office to issue the “counterweight” ticket to a religious bigot like Davis, and Jordan expects Americans to believe that he was ignorant of “specifically to whom it would go.” Oddly enough, Jordan’s office gave a conflicting story to Jordan’s claim that he did not know anything about who he was inviting to protest equal rights and perpetuate the “trampling of religious liberty” story. Jordan said that until Tuesday he knew nothing whatsoever about a warm invitation to an anti-gay bigot. He said,
“That’s — Family Research Council asked us, her family wanted a ticket, and we said ‘OK.’ Yeah, so we gave a ticket to — at the request of the Family Research Council — we gave the ticket to Kim Davis’ family.”
It is an abomination that an avowed religious bigot like Kim Davis, an elected official who “still refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples” because she opposes the U.S. Constitution was invited as a protest and counterweight to President Obama’s message. It is too bad for Davis, Staver, Liberty Counsel, Representative Jordan, the Family Research Council and evangelical deviants across America that their ugly ploy did not counter or take away anything whatsoever from the President’s message.
What Davis’ attendance did accomplish, however, was to demonstrate just how much weight and influence evangelical extremists have over Republicans in Congress that all it took was a “last minute phone call” to one anti-gay extremist Republican to get a nasty anti-gay bigot a seat at the State of the Union to protest this President’s support of the Constitution and its guarantee of equal rights for all Americans; even evangelical bigots like Kim Davis.
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.