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Bring back the Blacklist! Outing Religious Zealotry in Politics

Written By: Brandon Kelly

Date: August 2012

In the same way the McCarthy era bred finger pointing and accusations that forever labeled people “commie bastards!” the present political climate here in America should be prompting a similar response from our citizens; but instead of calling people commie bastards we should be outing them as the “religious zealots!” that they have proven themselves to be.

Not unlike the Puritans voyage to the New World which, to be clear, was really more an exodus out of Europe due to their extremist views, religious zealots should be extracted from the ranks of political office to make room for more reasonable representatives with ideas anchored in reality and not inextricably linked to their own religious idolatry.

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, when increasing numbers of our children are going hungry and are homeless, the questions that have entered the political sphere revolve not around solutions to these problems but rather around what a rape victim can and cannot do with the microscopic cells that were injected into her by her assailant.

Today’s McCartheists interrogate with one mission, not to determine if you are un-American, but rather, if you are for or against abortion. In fact, as I type these words, the Republican party is working to construct language for their new party platform. And the one piece that they all agree on is their stance on abortion. This is the paramount issue of the year 2012? I argue this is the issue that will bring our country to its knees and perhaps make us ripe for the picking – hear that China?

To care not about the poisoned food supply, the damaged and depleted water tables, our dependency on foreign oil, nor China’s relentless attempts to steal information vital to our nation’s prosperity and security. NO, it’s what goes on inside a womb that counts. I can’t help but hear Clinton’s campaign slogan “It’s the economy stupid” which it still is, no doubt, but instead elements within our own electorate would have us believe that "It’s the uterus, stupid!" or rather the ability to control what happens inside them.

But what of the unborn children you ask?

The artist, Tori Amos, was quoted as saying that the abortion debate itself wasn’t even about children but rather about control over women and specifically over their sexuality. I can’t say that I doubt that, in fact, if a women’s sexuality is an asset then how can you blame politicians for trying to monopolize it in the same way they attempt to steal from every other coffer and special interest group.

Let’s be clear here, this issue is only an issue because a segment of the American population, who are extremists in their religious views, has an opinion on the matter. The rest of the country I suspect if asked would list about twenty different issues that represent a clear and present danger to our nation.

It is in times like these when you may just want to close your eyes and hope for the best. But when the inmates are running the asylum, maybe it’s just the parking lot attendant who is standing outside watching the bedlam who needs to take action. Maybe he needs to leave his post and make that call.

But who can we call when it’s the very people who are in place to protect this nation that are its undoing?
When people are looking for guidance in a situation some reach for their religious tomes. But when it is religion itself, which has been distorted and co-opted by extremists, as in the example of Osama Bin Ladin and our own homegrown Christian communities who have lost their way, where do we turn?

We must go back to the beginning, which for this nation is not that long ago. The founding fathers knew a thing or two about the ways that religion can be used as a negative force. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness… it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Not bad founding fathers! New guards. We need new guards, clear minded, thoughtful people with some education or experience to raise their hands, not just in the forums created by the inmates which stand to limit real and true dialogue.

And while the separation of Church and State is not embedded within our constitution, it is an accepted social construct by intellectuals, but then again, our congress isn’t exactly chock full of those kinds of nuts is it?

America, land of the free, not land of the “free to believe exactly what we tell you to”.