Much has been written and said about the Islamic extremists in the Middle East, especially regarding their enforcement of religious law upon the citizenry. In many cases, this is done at knifepoint, by heavily armed zealots who use their religion as a tool to rule with impunity.
I've written previously
about what I call the Christian Taliban here in the U.S. In most cases - we don't even have the excuse of being forced to abide by Christian "law" - we can vote. So how does this keep happening?
It starts with the notion that public schools should violate the first amendment and teach "creationism" as science. These people consider science to be a form of atheism
, so it's only natural they'd want their religion included as well. In Idaho, even the Republican party is considering a move to include the Bible in studies
. In a comparative religions class, that makes sense (especially as it relates to history), but it has no place in a Biology class - or any other science class for that matter.
You know things are starting to go awry when the Catholic League president publicly comes out against the Pope
who - per their religious beliefs - is infallible. This is when Big Business starts to influence religion (and we know it already influences politics). The unholy 3: Religious Extremism, Corporatism, and Voter Apathy.
As audacious and insidious as this all is, where things really get into dangerous territory is when it starts to affect people's liberty and legal status. Case in point: in GA, a woman has been arrested for taking an "abortion" pill
Jones was arrested Saturday after a county social services worker called police to a hospital, according to an Albany police report. A hospital social worker told police that Jones said she had taken four pills she purchased over the Internet "to induce labor" because she and her boyfriend had broken up.
The social worker told police Jones went into labor and delivered the fetus in a car on the way to the hospital. The fetus did not survive. The police report does not say how far along Jones was in her pregnancy.
WALB-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1Irtzju) earlier that authorities said Jones was about 5 1/2 months pregnant.
While the rationale for the abortion is ugly, it is still within the 2nd trimester, and thus is still legal. This incident is also giving "personhood" to a fetus, which is another tenet of this type of extremism.
In Arkansas, a nurse has been arrested for performing an abortion
A Drew County nurse has been charged with one count of performing an unlicensed abortion and one count of providing an unlawful abortion after authorities say she administered a drug to another woman to terminate her pregnancy.
Karen M. Collins, 32, is not licensed to perform abortions, Drew County Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen said. Collins was issued a court summons in lieu of an arrest warrant and is scheduled to appear in court on June 29.
So giving a person a legal medication
is now illegal if that person uses it to terminate a pregnancy? (can we get the same law enacted for bullets?) Is this the sort of thing people are voting for in these red states? Do they think "oh this doesn't affect me, so I don't care"? It is the metaphorical camel's nose in the tent. States continue to enact these extreme religion-based anti-abortion laws, knowing they'll end up in court, poking at Row -vs- Wade, hoping to chip loose a brick and bring the entire thing down.
If you think that won't happen because the courts are the last bastion of common sense, don't be too confident. The Fifth Circuit court of appeals just handed abortion foes the aborted fetus of Row vs Wade
On Tuesday, a panel of three George W. Bush-appointed judges handed down a sweeping endorsement of the tactics anti-abortion lawmakers adopted in recent years in an effort to prevent abortion clinics from operating. With one narrow exception, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole is a total defeat for abortion providers who hoped to overcome a Texas law that will shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics. Worse for women seeking an abortion, the Fifth Circuit’s opinion would give many other states broad discretion to restrict access to abortion if its reasoning is ultimately adopted by the Supreme Court.
This is in regards to laws regulating abortion providers out of existence via "protecting the patient" restrictions.
This is real - this is happening now, and it could be coming to a state near you. Laws based on religious beliefs should be dismissed out of hand as unconstitutional, yet in states where being more extreme than the next guy gets you elected, this is what you end up with. The difference between Democrats and Republicans on financial and national defense issues aren't nearly as wide a gulf as the differences in "social" issues. The next time you vote, you need to decide if you want a politician to decide your legal status based on his or her
religious beliefs. This is what it's come to; this is what we're up against.