If there is only one thing Americans need to comprehend about religious Republicans, it is that they absolutely hate the Founding Fathers for creating a Constitution that guarantees equal rights for all Americans. It is true that from the nation’s founding when Thomas Jefferson created the Declaration of Independence and declared that “all men are created equal,” it did not really include “all human kind,” but over the course of a couple hundred years and some hard-fought battles, America did eventually become a nation of equal rights for all. Sadly, those hard fought battles, federal and state laws, and Constitutional amendments have never convinced religious Republicans that their bastardized version of Christianity is not the law of the land. So they continue unabated passing unconstitutional religious legislation nullifying the Constitution and establishing religious laws.
Despite pushback from nearly every sector in America, two more Republican states in the former Confederacy passed legislation this past week eliminating equal protections under the law and legalizing discrimination based on what evangelical Christians believe their god wants. Less than two weeks ago the Republican cult of right-wing Christians panting to impose their own iteration of Sharia Law in Kentucky and Texas made the news. This week it was Georgia and North Carolina Republicans who passed unconstitutional religious legislation for the sole purpose of denying a wide swathe of the population their constitutional rights based on evangelical fanaticism.
Both states’ laws are being portrayed as protecting evangelical bigot’s religious freedom to punish non-compliance to their interpretation of Christianity. However, the laws have nothing to do with protecting a person’s right to worship, pray, sing psalms or give up their money to religious con-men. No, these red-state religious laws are for the sole purpose of nullifying the Constitution’s 14th Amendment and legalizing discrimination, and bullying, against an ever-growing number of Americans.
The Georgia law, H.B. 757, although more appropriate for theocracies such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, ISIS, and the Taliban has nothing to do with “religious liberty” and everything to do with “negatively impacting virtually every marginalized group in Georgia.” The crux of the bill states that no agency or any part of the government, federal or state, “may interfere in a person’s exercise of religion, even if their actions are against the existing law.”
The Georgia law goes so far as to provide evangelicals with an exemption from any and all laws “if the person offers a religious reason for violating any federal or state law or statute.” To make matters worse, the law states that a person does not have to actually “be part of any established religion in order to claim ‘religious liberty’ protections;” the idea is to give any person the legal right to punish other American with impunity if they claim doing so is part of “their” religious belief.
No one is safe and no law enforcement agency or court can protect the victims by theocratic design. The law is deliberately vague and does not single out any group specifically. By not citing “a group” evangelical fanatics are free to punish every group they despise whether their bigotry is based on race, religion, or gender. The only thing the law does not do, yet, is reward imposition of religion. However, that aspect cannot be far off if ISIS or the Taliban are any indication of what “the religious” intend to enact.
As hateful as Georgia’s law is, North Carolina’s new theocratic law is even worse. Religious Republicans convened “a special emergency legislative session” to quickly pass a theocratic law banning cities, counties, and the state legislature from ever passing an anti-discrimination law; it also eliminated the state’s existing protections against discrimination. Just for good measure as part of the Republican religion, the theocratic law also bans any community, city, or county from ever raising the minimum wage.
The emergency session bill, HB 2, was passed in a special session, and was immediately signed into law by Republican Governor Pat McCrory Wednesday night. As Senate Democratic leader Dan Blue said, “This bill repeals 50 years of non-discrimination efforts and gives Republican lawmakers in Raleigh unprecedented control over our city and local governments.”
The bill passed in the North Carolina senate by a vote of 32-0 because ever Democrat walked out of the chamber in protest. The Democratic Leader Dan Blue continued, “North Carolina Republicans want to pass what is the single most discriminatory act in the country. This is a direct affront to equality, civil rights, and local autonomy.” It is also a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment and the guarantee that all Americans have the same equal rights; it is a guarantee that religious Republicans have despised for decades, if not two centuries.
The language in the North Carolina law, besides demonstrating the religious Republicans’ hatred of the Constitution, also shows their hatred of veterans. The bill, now a state law, puts an immediate end to any and all anti-discrimination protections for veterans across the state.
Prior to the law’s passage, at least two North Carolina jurisdictions, Greensboro and Orange County, had anti-discrimination ordinances in place banning bias based on military or veteran status. That was an abomination to religious Republicans so they included in the new measure a prohibition on cities and counties from ever again passing protections for veterans or service members. These are the loving Christians politicians are terrified of crossing and it is a mystery why that is the case.
For a religion allegedly founded on love for all humanity, the Americanized version of Christianity is no different than the bastardized version of Islam the fanatics in the Islamic State (IS, ISIL, ISIS, Daesh) practice religiously. What makes what is happening in Republican-controlled former Confederate states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi and now Georgia and North Carolina so much worse than Sharia Law is that the Founding Fathers included protections from maniacs imposing theocratic laws on the citizenry. However, it is glaringly apparent that religious Republicans despise the Founders as much as they hate the Constitution or they would not pass blatant religious laws in a secular society.
This epidemic of religious Republicans passing theocratic laws in the states reveals that what they hate most about America is that the Founders failed to make the Christian bible’s Old Testament the law of the land. It is apparent that these theocrats have never heard of, or read, any part of the so-called “New Testament,” or one word uttered by their religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ. If they did they would know that these laws, like their hate-driven version of Christianity, are contrary to everything their “lord and savior” preached and allegedly was hung on a cross and crucified to protect. Worse yet in 21st Century America, their hate-based religion is contrary to the law of the land and one still cannot fathom why no politician or court in the land identifies these theocratic laws as what they are; establishment of a hateful religion resembling the nasty fanaticism driving the fundamentalists in ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
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.