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News & Politics News & Politics

What the GOP's religion heavy platform means to Pagans

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM
  • 41 Replies

From a blog posted Jan 05, 2012...it still holds credence since the right seems to be going further to the right.  Maybe it is time that they realize that extremism is not the direction this country wants to go...

I wanted to elaborate on a post I made on my blog yesterday about the results of the Iowa Caucus. I’ve been writing a lot about the Republican Party and it’s pro-fundamentalist Christian agenda. As a disclaimer, I used to consider myself something of an independent. I felt I could vote Republican or Democrat, based on the platform and credentials of the candidate in question. It wasn’t until the GOP sold out to the Religious Right that I felt compelled to register as a Democrat. The GOP had removed any possibility of me voting Republican because as a Pagan I will not vote for a party whose platform marginalizes me as a person, or my beliefs and my right to exercise those beliefs.

I am not and have never been what some people refer to as a bleeding heart liberal. I get a chuckle when I find myself accused of that on various social networking platforms. I despise the politics of the far-left as much as I do those of the far right. I no more want my rights taken away by do-gooders motivated by personal health and environmental health than I do by those motivated by “spiritual” or “moral” health. One wants my freedom to choose what I eat and another wants my freedom to belief what I want. If I don’t want a Big Mac, I will make that choice, thank you very much. And if I don’t want the Bible, I won’t read one. It’s called the First Amendment.

But right now, as I see it, the bigger threat comes from what used to be the far right of the Republican Party. As Iowa brings into focus, these people have over the past decade or so, become mainstreamed. It has been a long process, one I’ve chronicled elsewhere, but the Religious Right’s plans for America have ripened. They have become kingmakers, as witnessed by their machinations on behalf of Bush, under whom America came very close to theocracy. And now they’re back for round 2 and more focused, better funded, and more powerful than ever before, and they have the apparatus of the Republican Party to work for them. Wealthy corporations + major political party + religion = an unholy trinity if I ever saw one.

For me it comes down to this: As I asked on my blog, if these people can render the world’s second largest religion, Islam, a cult without First Amendment protections, where does that leave small alternative religions like Paganism? The message is the same to all of us: the U.S. Constitution was based on the Bible (it obviously was not), America was founded by God (contrary to the facts of the historical record). and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, written to bar the federal government from the establishment of any religion, actually established Christianity as the state religion of the United States (remember Pat Robertson’s “There is no such thing as … separation of state and church … in the Constitution. It’s a lie of the left”?). That’s the narrative. And they’re sticking to it no matter how often we point out those pesky facts.

The base laps it up because the base loves it. The base wants to believe it. And there are enough people out there ignorant of their own Bible, ignorant of history, to actually believe this stuff.

The fact that it’s wrong-headed nonsense won’t protect any of us from the consequences. The Nazis and Communists and other ideology-driven groups throughout history, including the Catholic Church and the Puritans, have been wrong too, but that didn’t help their victims. Remember, conservative Catholics among this bunch actually think the Crusades weren’t so bad after all (so does, significantly, Rick Santorum, who came in second in Iowa) and that the Inquisition actually helped people (it was those Protestants that were the bad guys). They even want to change our school textbooks to reflect this new “history” of theirs.

It is difficult to see a positive outcome for minorities of any type in the event of a Republican win in 2012. We have already seen the direction of their agenda in the Tea Party-driven legislation from 2010 onward, much of it heavily influenced by fundamentalist Christian focus on what is often termed “the culture war,” including especially women’s reproductive rights and marriage equality. Adding layers of bureaucracy to police our bedrooms and our private lives is hardly a move toward smaller, less intrusive government. It never really was about the size of government for the Religious Right, though, but about the focus of that government. It’s permissible to have a big government that does what they want it to do. A big government that focuses on regulation of Wall Street or corporations, on the other hand, is anathema.

We’ve seen Pagans blamed for 9/11; we’ve seen fundamentalists preach against the “pagan culture” of America (the Catholic Church is issuing the same warnings in Argentina). We’ve seen things like this: “The government schools are anti-Christian, atheistic and pagan, and they are against God, family, and country” and that these Pagan-influenced government schools promote a culture of “immorality and death” We’ve seen the planet attacked and our own devotion to it mocked. We’re back to early Christian rhetoric: we are rock and tree worshipers, people who follow false idols. The Republican candidates endorse this thinking. If they get away with attacking Islam with impunity (and the mainstream media certainly enables these attacks), Pagans can’t hold out much hope. They hate Paganism already: the Bible teaches them too. When their attention focuses on us, we will find ourselves marginalized and disenfranchised as well.

We all have our beliefs; According to the Constitution, all beliefs are equal. According to the Republican base on the other hand, the First Amendment does not mean all religions are equal. We can differentiate here between religious “truths” and the law because to the base, they are one and the same. Because Christianity is true and all other religions are false, and, as Pope Benedict XVI puts it, truth trumps tolerance, U.S. law must recognize the privileged position of the “one true religion.” When fundamentalist Christians (including the entire crop of 2012 presidential hopefuls) talk about “religious freedom” they are talking about their (Christian) religious freedom; the rest of us have none. The consequences for the rest of us – look at Newt Gingrich’s plan – are not difficult to imagine under such a scheme.

We barely dodged theocracy under the Bush administration. We may not be so lucky again, and it is a risk we cannot afford to take.

by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM
4 moms liked this

What is happening is that the Republicans are so far into the conservative Christian right that they have alienated that great moderate middle, people who might agree with them on some fiscal issues but are terrified of their dogged adherence to faith based law.

I think in the long run it will make them marginalized, and perhaps open the door for another party to rise.

blues_pagan
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM
5 moms liked this

That is honestly my issue.  I do agree with some of the things that they say when it comes to the fiscal issues but honestly most of them are so far right on all issues that I simply can't vote for them due to my conscience.  I could never forgive myself if my one vote meant the end to so many of our liberties here in the US.

Quoting romalove:

What is happening is that the Republicans are so far into the conservative Christian right that they have alienated that great moderate middle, people who might agree with them on some fiscal issues but are terrified of their dogged adherence to faith based law.

I think in the long run it will make them marginalized, and perhaps open the door for another party to rise.


Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM
1 mom liked this

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.

lylalane7275
by Silver Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM
1 mom liked this

Why start another post about religion?  It never ends well.  Oh well......carry on.

blues_pagan
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

I hate religion when I posted on one?  Oh you mean, Christianity.  

There is no hate for Christianity in here.  This only speaks on Republicans and why they are pushing out other religions (because Christianity isnt the only religion in the world).

Quoting Billiejeens:

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.


Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Why does the title not say "Christianity" then. Do you not know what you are posting about?

Quoting blues_pagan:

I hate religion when I posted on one?  Oh you mean, Christianity.  

There is no hate for Christianity in here.  This only speaks on Republicans and why they are pushing out other religions (because Christianity isnt the only religion in the world).

Quoting Billiejeens:

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.



romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:45 AM


Quoting Billiejeens:

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.

I don't have a blatant hate for religion.

I think it belongs in its proper place and not in my government.

Where do you find this information on Romney winning "moderates and independents"?

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM
3 moms liked this

I agree with you.  Pagens are no less goofy than other religions.  Delusional, they are.

Quoting Billiejeens:

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.


romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM


Quoting Carpy:

I agree with you.  Pagens are no less goofy than other religions.  Delusional, they are.

Quoting Billiejeens:

The two of you have such blatant hate for religion, that you are each delusional.

Are the two of you aware that Romney won moderates and independents?

Do you understand why Romney didn't win.


Wait....

Are you saying anyone who believes in a religion is delusional?

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth but am trying to get a clarification on what you mean here.

mikiemom
by Silver Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

This, is so true, if you don't mind (it can be in a PM as I don't want this blogger attacked by the ladies on here) point me to this persons blog, I'd love to add him to my google reader.

I absolutely agree with this. It is evident in the other post S/O of a christian nation that people think freedom of religion means freedom to choose your flavor of christianity. Since many of the people who lean so far to the right don't appear to me to have morals and values that I agree with it scares the living crap out of me. Anyone who covers up for and defends child molesters are not good people. People who think that we should just let people around the world starve to death because they didn't have the fortune of being born in America are not good people. People who think it's ok to kill other people based on their religion are not good people.

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