I am reminded again that it is time to Blog Against Theocracy. This past week in Indiana and elsewhere in Jeebusland has shown us that the fight isn’t over, the theocrats are on the move (against all deep-fried odds), and their goal continues to be the destruction of democracy.
I’m not anti-religion, and neither is the Blog Against Theocracy. I’m pro-democracy. I don’t care if you believe in the Dead Guy, Scientology, Mormonism, or anything else; just don’t try to force me along for the ride.
I believe strongly in the First Amendment. I don’t want to see anyone lose their rights, I want to see more rights; it is not as if there are a limit. The First Amendment with the much-loved separation of church and state protects the religious as much as it protects atheists, and we should all be grateful.
Get off the cross we need the wood
Jeebus in his younger, happier days.
Y’all Qaeda has a secret weapon, Martyrdom, which tells them that they are somehow the picked upon minority, as they work tirelessly to deny everyone else their rights; you can fill in your own example here, women, LGBTQ, and people of color. We hear the cry from all the usual Xristian Xrazies that the people truly being discriminated against are the Xristians themselves.
And so for a few days we saw The 2016 Goat Rodeo contenders embarrass themselves by coming to the aid of Mike Pence, a man who should have his head checked for termites, when he proudly signed Indiana’s We Don’t Serve Your Kind law under the guise of protecting religious freedom. No one bothered to ask protecting it from whom or what, but it hardly matters; it was pandering to the base and that’s all that counted.
No one asked Memories Pizzeria to cater a same-sex wedding, and yet somehow they made themselves into the victim (of their own construction). Ultimately this pizza joint became the beneficiary of nearly $1M—yes, with an M—raised by Wingnuts to defend them for preemptively declaring that they would not serve pizza at a same-sex wedding (that to this day no one has asked them to do). Not bad for not working for a few days.
We look forward to the first Jewish Deli refusing to sell bagels and lox to the goyim, for religious freedom.
The Right to Life Ends At Birth
We saw again this week that the state of Texas (the laboratory of bad policy) is moving funds around to promote Abstinence Education. What was new was that the Texas Lege took money from HIV prevention to pump up Abstinence Education funding. Texas has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in the country (so much for abstinence education), and a very high HIV infection rate, so this move is almost surely to increase both issues.
When Mike Pence did something similar in Indiana (defunded Planned Parenthood, but work with me), a sudden outbreak of HIV erupted. He is now funding as a trial a needle exchange in a particularly hard-hit county.
And once again we can look at personhood bills, 20-week abortion limits, and other ways that the theocrats want to force women who have unwanted/unplanned pregnancies to give birth. We’ve covered this topic so many times over all the years of Blogging Against Theocracy, it is hard to believe that we are still fighting the forced-birth battle.
The War on Women is a real thing, it is a front in the larger war against democracy that the theocrats are waging.
Grifters Gotta Grift
And now we turn to Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis’ Elmer Gantry without the looks or charm.
What happened was almost comical in the extreme: AiG posted job openings on their website (since taken down) that had requirements of signing a religious belief statement that the world is 6,000 years old and other fealties to his ministries strange precepts, so from the get-go it would discriminate against hiring non-believers. It also said (essentially) that gay people need not apply. Kentucky saw it and said, whoa! That’s a church and we cannot give public money to you.
So Ham is currently suing the state of Kentucky because they have wisely realized that his embarrassing Ark Park is actually a Xristian Mission in disguise. He has already received close to $100M of public funds, set asides, roads, but he wants even more: $18M in tax rebates. Seems like he should be able to raise that money privately: See Memories Pizza.
So again, it is not anti-religious to Blog Against Theocracy, it is pro-democratic. I enourage you to return to your own blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter stream and do the same.
We’ve seen various attempts to codify the theocrats beliefs. We’ve seen banned books, banned science classes, altered history courses; we’ve seen proposals to adopt the Bible as states’ book; we’ve even seen a kid who tried to have her state adopt a certain dinosaur fossil, only to see have proposal become an affirmation that The Flood was real. With the help of groups like Americans United For Separation of Church and State, and the ACLU, these theocratic efforts have been fought in court (and mostly won, hooray for the good guys!), but there always will be more trials to come and battles to fight. Our job is to carry on, not be discouraged, and to resist their attempts to subvert our democracy.
I know that there are some who say that the greatest existential threat America faces is ISIS/Al Qaeda, etc., but I would put our greatest threat with the theocrats we already have here, and many of them are running for public office. You see, that’s how we will lose the country: hucksters wrapped in a flag and carrying a Bible.
[Ed. Note: We’re keeping this on top today. Fresher posts are below.]