GOP and the Religious Wrong

Just when did the Republican Party become a religious organization? I am disgusted by anti-gay statements made by Republican candidates for the top elected office in the United States. These candidates are using religious-based bigotry to play on the public’s fears in an effort to garner votes from the religious right. Since when is it OK to demonize a class of people in the United States, vowing to strip away civil rights?

Barry Goldwater – Republican Senator from Arizona tried to warn us about this public threat in a speech to the US Senate in 1981.

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

Goldwater issued another warning in 1994 , as quoted in John W. Dean’s book Conservatives Without Conscience:

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

That time has come. Republicans using the name of God have declared war on gay Americans, vowing to repeal all marriage equality laws stating that gay Americans can be cured despite the fact that being gay is not an illness. We have Republican Presidential candidates like Rick Santorum wanting to reinstate the military’s failed DADT policy. Santorum who never served his country in the military, stated the repeal of the policy was “detrimental to soldiers”.  The Republican pseudo-religious group calling themselves the Family Research Council stated that repealing DADT would cause 30% of the military forces to leave the military.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The repeal of the policy has had absolutely no effect, other than to finally end the discrimination against gays and lesbians who serve.

The Family Research Council is listed as a HATE GROUP by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of their anti-gay rhetoric that uses false information to persuade political opinion such as linking gay men to pedophilia and pushing to criminalize gay behavior.  The actions of this group are not unlike those exhibited in Nazi Germany who criminalized, warehoused and executed gays and Jews in World War II.

The Family Research Council isn’t really pro-family as much as it is anti-gay. The FRC awarded Republican Representative Joe Walsh with a pro-family award despite the fact that the deadbeat dad owed $117,000 in unpaid child support to his ex-wife.

With each day that passes, more Americans are beginning to understand how the Bible was misused in the past to bolster personal prejudices and fears in trying to control the masses. It was used to enforce slavery, to prevent interracial marriage and to treat women as second class citizens. Today the minority target is gay Americans. It is NOT OK to bring these beliefs into the political arena. The Separation Clause of the 1st Amendment was interpreted by the US Supreme Court as prohibiting  the same.

Attempting to legitimize this type of bigotry against gay Americans in the name of religious teachings also has a detrimental affect on children in today’s society, giving them a reason to bully others who are gay.

New York State legalized same-sex marriage last year and previously instituted legislation to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation in the form of the Hate Crimes Act of 2000. In 2003 the term sexual orientation was added to the NYS Human Rights Act which among other things, prohibits discrimination in job hiring, public accommodation and housing.

Under NYS Education Law, the Dignity for all Students Act becomes effective July 1, 2012. This anti-bullying law states in part:

§  12. Discrimination and harassment prohibited. 1. No student shall be subjected to harassment by employees or students on school property or at a school function;  nor shall  any  student be subjected to discrimination based on a person’s  actual  or  perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic  group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at a school function.

Gay Americans have faced discrimination and adversity for far to long to have these civil rights (yes they are civil rights protected by the 14th Amendment) stripped away by Republican wannabes wearing religion on their sleeves.

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7 thoughts on “GOP and the Religious Wrong

  1. Robbie

    No offense Jerry but it has always been that way. Where have you been? The republicans have been doing this since day one. It is just more open and agressive now because being gay is no longer a hidden fact.

  2. Kim

    One of the major reasons I never vote Republican. Unless one lives in a house with a mom, dad 2.4 children and a white picket fence, you really aren’t accepted by the party. Everyone answers to a different God but Love is Love! Passing gay marriage in NYS was the right thing to do. The law protects all of us. It protects my children and my children’s children.

  3. Hi Jerry, do you really expect anything different from politicians. Their prime objective is to get elected and then hang onto their seats. Anything else is secondary.

    We have the same problem here in the UK where the two main parties Tories/Conservatives (your Republicans?) and Labour (your Democrats?) try to pander to all types of voter and as a consequence have lost the trust of all.

    At present we have a coalition between Conservatives and the rather insignificant Liberal-Democrats so both main parties put on a pretence about believing that our use of fossil fuels is going to plunge us into Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Changer (CACC). We are pouring hard-earned taxpayers’ money into useless wind-powered electricity generation complexes and domestic solar panel generators just to attract the environmentalists’ votes (plus other agenda that I won’t go into – but think Al Gore, George Soros, etc.).

    BTW, please let me know if you received my E-mail sent 18th Jan. I hope that you respond to it but if you don’t intend to enter into discussion could you pass my E-mail address to associates who may be interested, e.g. the Peeks.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Rob Millan

      For a moment there, I thought your post was a tongue-in-cheek sarcastic remark, especially when you refer to liberals as ‘insignificant’ and wind and solar power initiatives as ‘useless’.
      This isn’t the forum for it, so do advise if you’d care to debate me on these issues elsewhere.


      • Hi Rob, thanks for the response. Although Jerry is not interested in discussing the points that I have raised (and I’d particularly like to discuss “slayer” John O’Sullivan and his wife Barbara Bracci with him) I am happy to chat with you or anyone else about that nonsense CACC hypothesis and the support that the politicians (not only the Liberals) in the UK (the EU, the USA, Australia, etc. etc. etc. and UN) – pretend to give to it.

        I repeat that those Windmills and Solar panels are only useful in niche applications but are useless as far as worthwhile (economic) generation of base-load electricity is concerned, as demonstrated by the Germans and others. Fossil fuels are the most economic solution, with nuclear in second place and there is no convincing evidence that our CO2 emissions are having any significant impact upon the different global climates.

        I leave it to you to start the discussion going.

        Best regards, Pete Ridley

  4. Barbara

    Anyone that interested in other people’s private behavior (the way Rick Santorum is) is some kind of pervert. The other Republicans, I don’t know what their deal is, they want to pander to a small group of Americans who pretend to have values that they don’t really have. Look at the support for Newt Gingrich.
    Why the party should be run by a clique of weirdos pretending to be Christians, I don’t know. I suspect that it is just a useful distraction, throwing some Americans under the bus so that people can feel that their vote makes a difference in how the country gets run, but both parties in reality just act for the 1%.

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