My first post on Drinks and Wings was in regards to the conservative attack on women’s health care and specifically, contraception. Since that publishing, there have been more attacks in the forms of legislation and the now infamous Rush Limbaugh rant.
Recently, the Arizona State Senate endorsed a bill that stipulates a woman must bring a note to her employer proving that she is not using the pill to avoid pregnancy. Otherwise, the employer can deny birth control to any woman in the workplace.
I propose an amendment to the above-mentioned bill that would include all males who use Viagra under their insurance plans to notify their employer, give the reasoning why and always wear a floppy foam penis hat during their work day.
The gay community has also come under fire from the conservative right. The leading GOP presidential candidates have all signed NOM’s anti-gay marriage pledge. The lead GOP candidates have also spoken for the reinstatement of the discriminating ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. Where does this intolerance and bigotry stem from?
Sex. To be more specific: the religious view of sex. Religious conservatives are against homosexual intercourse and women having sex out of wedlock. What they fail to realize is that these issues are not about sex; they are about equal rights and health care. These two arguments make the modern-day Republican Party seem reminiscent of the 1960s, when the legality of birth control and interracial marriage were being discussed.
In pushing their agenda, religious conservatives are willing to treat a faction of law abiding, tax payers as second-class citizens and deny women health care coverage. The second question is, what gives them the right in this country to force such legislation that is born from religious belief?
This is not a religious nation; it never was. You don’t have to look any further (but we will) than the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”
Clearly, it states that government prohibits the favoring of one religion over another or the creation of a national religion.
In 1796, the Treaty of Tripoli included a clause that read:
“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen, – and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”
President John Adams submitted the Treaty to the Senate, where it was unanimously approved.
Many of the founding fathers followed the work and teachings of Deism, including Benjamin Franklin, who once wrote, “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”
It is well known that Thomas Jefferson literally cut and pasted his own version of the bible titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Jefferson omitted Jesus’ resurrection, along with references to angels and prophecy. Could you imagine what the reaction would be from the GOP and the Tea Party if our current president were to ‘George Lucas’ the bible today?
There are conservatives that point to our currency as proof of the U.S. as a religious nation due to the inscription, ‘In God we Trust’. However, this did not even become our national motto until 1956 during the Cold War.
In the 1970 case of Aronow v. United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit ruled the following: “It is quite obvious that the national motto and the slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion. Its use is of patriotic or ceremonial character and bears no true resemblance to a governmental sponsorship of a religious exercise.” Essentially the Court of Appeals is saying, “We just thought it was some cool shit to say.”
I firmly believe in the freedom for the people of this nation to express themselves, whether that be in a religious or individual form. When you start pushing your beliefs and agenda into government, and it leads to denying people who they are at their core or the basic right to express their love, women’s health care coverage and advances in scientific research, we have a problem.
In fact, if we were to declare same-sex marriage legal tomorrow, I guarantee you would see an incredible boost in revenue for local economies across the nation. UCLA’s Williams Institute in 2009 showed Massachusetts experienced an economic boost of over $100 million dollars after 5 years of extending marriage to same-sex couples. Local businesses all benefited from the $111 million dollars spent on the thousands of same-sex weddings that have taken place in Massachusetts.
We should strive to care and support one another, not judge and deprive people of basic rights. This is why it has never been more important to ensure the line between Church and State remains where it is.