If you follow right wing propaganda sources, like the World Nut(Net) Daily or the right wing Townhall, or the speeches by many conservatives, especially those who seek to be conservative presidential candidates, or the right wing nut megachurch preachers, there is a war on Christianity in this country.
Perennial candidates for president on the right, like Santorum, and Huckabee, want to put their extreme and highly controversial version Christian religion into public schools, on the taxpayer dime.
That is not true. The true threat to Liberty and religious freedom is not against Christianity, but from it,, against anyone and everyone who dares to refuse to conform to the religious right's bigotry and intolerance.
Amendment ICongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
from Conrell University Law School's Legal Information Institute:
The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.
It is consistently conservatives, who give loud but meaningless and empty lip service to loving and supporting our Constitution (hypocrites that they are) who persist in attempting to foist Christianity on the nation, attempting to turn us into a theocracy.
So for example, not only do we have a push for theocracy, we have a push to dumb down education -- PUBLIC education -- by not only a push to repeal testing and standards, but by removing qualified teachers from classrooms and then replacing them with unqualified cheaper babysitters, who could be expected to push garbage, like creationism.
Republican anti-education efforts don’t get much worse than the Tea Party’s own Michigan State Rep. Gary Glenn’s (R-Larkin Township) House Bill 4394.
As Michigan-based Electablog explains,
And continuing from the same piece in Politicus:If Glenn’s bill – House Bill 4394 – becomes law, schools can hire anyone they want. The criteria currently used would be tossed out the window. The bill literally strikes out all of the criteria. In addition, it removes the words grades “9 through 12″ meaning that schools could hire anyone they wish, with or without a teaching certificate, for any grade level. No training as an educator required.
Here is the thing, students who get a quality education -- which should include civics classes, which should include the 1A establishment (of no public religion) DOES create BOTH good citizens AND EMPLOYABLE CITIZENS, who can then support themselves, support their families, pay taxes, and be qualified if we need them to do so to serve in our armed forces. Lack of adequate education is actually a problem for armed forces recruiting -- and serving in the military, which is very much NOT a corporation, is a real and legitimate job choice/ career choice.
Further the notion that one can only be a good citizen if one is indoctrinated in and a current believer in religion -- and let's be candid here, by religion these nutjobs ONLY mean Christianity, they make a fundamentl error. People recognize and understand moral and ethical behavior WITHOUT RELIGION. Further, there are plenty of people who are believers in religion who do bad things, both as private individuals, and in their roles as citizens in the public sphere. So having religion is no guarantee of being a good citizen and not having religious beliefs does not present a risk that someone will be a bad citizen.
That is a right wing fantasy, part of their 'Us vs Them' orientation where they are dishonest about the faults of the 'us' and dishonest and unfair, and just plain bigoted about the 'them' of that equation. So apparently Todd Courser, like his buddy in the MI legislature, Gary Glenn (what is with the redundant consonants?) BOTh fail to grasp the appropriate role of government (which includes providing functional, not religious public education), but which also utterly fails to understand and loyally support the Constitution, notably the 1st Amendment.
This is appallingly unique to conservatives, who present an actual danger by these beliefs to our representative form of secular democratic government and who threaten our very real liberties.
More than that we have the Arizona legislator who would like (but at least does not expect) to coerce everyone in the USA to go to church (again, CHRISTIAN church, none of the Jewish, Muslim, or pagan religions like Hinduism or Buddhism) and again the presumption is this is essential for the success of the nation, and for proper soul-saved citizens. Never mind what the practical results on institutions of religion would be if citizens were actually coerced by the law to attend against their will.
The problem is that even when these right wing FASCISTS know that what they want is not allowed, as we see in Michigan and other states, they try it anyway. Because they do NOT love the Constitution and they do NOT love religious freedom. They love coercion, they love religious conformity, so long as it is strictly to whatever shots they see fit to call in their ignorance, bigotry, and intolerance.
Arizona senator wants to make church mandatoryAllen, as You know, is a Republican from Snowflake, a Tea Party favorite who wants to pretend Arizona is an independent country rather than a state, and who believes government should stay completely out of people lives -- unless she can use her position to help out a son-in-law who got into some hot water over behavior with some of the inmates he was guarding at a women's prison.
But that's another story.
Anyway, Big Guy, they were debating a gun bill at a legislative committee meeting at the State Capitol this week so, naturally, Allen brought up religion.
(In Arizona, complete lack of logic is natural. But, you know that, too)
This was one of those crazy bills in which lawmakers want people to be able to bring concealed weapons into public buildings. Allen got upset because a few people expressed common sense opposition to the idea. Lawmakers here cannot abide common sense.
Allen said, "Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth," adding "that would never be allowed."
Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi (again with the redundant consonants) want to make the Bible their state book.
Mississippi conservatives want to make Christianity their state religion. So do conservatives in North Carolina. Both states have had actual legislation to do so, other red states have had discussions about doing so, or at least desiring to do so.
A poll by the HuffPo and Yougov back in April 2013 found that 1 in 3 Americans want to make Christianity the official NATIONAL religion. Let us be clear, overwhelmingly, regardless of declared party affiliation, this is hugely more a problem from conservatives, attacking actual religious freedom.
From the Huff Po:
Although a large percentage of Americans said they would favor establishing a state religion, only 11 percent said they thought the U.S. Constitution allowed states to do so. Fifty-eight percent said they didn't think it was constitutional, and 31 percent said they were not sure.We are not a theocracy. Theocracies created second class citizens, and it has wisely been observed that the pernicious state religious promotion is the new Jim Crow.
...Republicans were more likely than Democrats or independents to say that they would favor establishing Christianity as an official state religion, with 55 percent favoring it in their own state and 46 percent favoring a national constitutional amendment.
Disclaimer, I've written in the past for both IVN and PoliticusUSA.