My Question for the Religious Right

Alright.  I will concede that maybe I should not post when I both read something that disturbs me and, at that time, also have PMS.  I may tend to be more abrasive and caustic in both my analysis and explanation of my point of view. 

Here is my basic question: why is it that the party who believes in small government as one of its main tenets also thinks that the same small government should have in its limited powers the ability to tell me what to do with my body from the type of sex I can have to medical procedures (or the ability to refuse them) based on their religious beliefs? How is that not a contradiction in terms?? The purist among them would do away with whole departments of government arguing that, not only are they not needed, but they infringe on personal choice and liberty and it is not the role of government to do such things, yet it IS somehow the role of government to make the MOST personal choices in this life for me because a religion sets forth a dogma you would like to impose on me.  That goes against the very basic ideals on which this country is founded.  

It would not be so bad if I had a choice to separate the two, but I don’t.  To vote my conscious on fiscal and small government issues, I have to vote Republican.  To vote my conscious on social issues – especially the right to privacy – I have to vote Democratic.  There is no third option.  If I vote Republican, I get the kind of economic policy that I think is best for our country.  But I run a HUGE risk. The Republicans who can be nominated by the party have to be so socially conservative that I have to fear what they would do to the right to privacy if given half a chance.  So I have to decide which is more important – the economy or personal liberty.  On the flip side, the Democrats generally hold that the right to privacy is sacrosanct in medical and sexual cases, yet they put forth other social and fiscal policies that I feel are outside the realm of government, which is insulting. 

So which principles do I compromise? Which is more important, my pocketbook or my body?

Well, most people I know will go with what is most likely to impact their day-to-day life.  Which means if you are straight, even if the Republicans manage to ban gay marriage and, if you are married, and they manage to pass laws restricting contraception, you aren’t really that effected.  And your personal wealth may increase, so while you disagree with those things, you would rather trample the right to privacy of others and line your pockets than stand by personal privacy issues and have a more socialistic government. 

What the hell kind of choice is that in a free society? I have to compromise my principles either way!

It is wrong.

The reason I get so mad and riled up against the Republicans is because I am most familiar with them and on a lot of things, I relate to them more.  I have voted Republican most times I have ever voted in my life.  And I would be lumped in with these people who somehow feel they have the right to tell other people what they can do with their own BODY. I am beyond offended by this. 

It is the same principle as to why I so vehemently detest racists.  I am Southern. I love being Southern.  I love everything about the South.  With one glaring exception.  I detest our history when it comes to civil rights.  And when the guy down the street starts talking about how glad he is we are white, or other such nonsense I get really, really pissed.  Because HE is the guy who makes other people think I am racist because I am Southern.  He makes all of the rest of us look bad. 

And these right wing evangelicals sicken me for the same reason. If I am a believer and go to church and want to vote Republican, I get lumped in with those who want to trample rights in a misguided attempt to “protect the family.”  They somehow think that because the majority of the country is both Christian and straight, they can get away with pushing their religious beliefs off on the rest of us because they are in the majority.  Even though the most BASIC right that we hold most dear as Americans above all else is the freedom from religious persecution and the separation of church and state. 

This country was founded on the very principle that NO religion should be able to dictate to another because it was the majority belief of the people.  Hell, most of the pilgrims who first came here came to escape that very thing.  But 200 years later we would allow a majority religion to say that since it teaches that certain sexual acts are wrong, they should be banned.  That is the very definition of a slippery slope. 

You may think that it doesn’t affect you since you are straight. But I tell you that if you allow the government to tell you that there are sexual acts two men cannot engage in, then it won’t be long before there are sexual acts that you cannot engage in with your own husband or wife.  How does that sit with you?  You want the sex police telling you what is natural and what is deviant? You want to hand over your ability to make that decision for yourself to some government entity based on someone else’s interpretation of a 2000 year old book, whether you believe it is divinely inspired or not?  You know where they do that?  Iran.  Saudi Arabia.  Afghanistan.  Is this the direction you want your country to go in? 

And I will tell you right now, that no matter how bad you think Obama is and what socialist agenda you think he is pushing that will infringe on your personal rights and liberties, there is NOTHING in his social policy as dangerous as telling you who you can love, marry or sexually express yourself with or in what way. There is no policy of his saying I cannot make medical decisions with my doctor because a religion may disagree with that decision. 

I don’t care whether or not you think homosexuality is a sin and an abomination. In a free society it is not government’s right or jurisdiction to interfere in my most personal decisions. I don’t personally agree with abortion and I don’t think I could ever do it myself.  I also think that once a fetus is viable it should be illegal because you are then interfering with another person’s right to live (and you have had plenty of time to have an abortion before viability), but I cannot agree to across the board outlaw abortion because each woman has to make and live with that choice.  I would  not ever want someone else dictating something so personal to me, so I cannot agree with dictating to others, even if I may personally agree with it. To have a choice myself, I must agree to allow someone to make a different choice than I would make.  That is freedom.  Even evangelicals know that God gives a choice whether to follow Him or not. As the all powerful God, he could just Make It So, could He not?  But He doesn’t.  If He did, freedom and choice would not exist. 

At least I know that when Obama leaves the White House, my paycheck may be smaller and government may have grown, but my ability to be a self determining individual in the most basic and important way possible – whether it be sexual or medical – will still be fully in tact and will not be undermined by a specific religion’s interpretation of what those rights should be. 

Government’s duty is only to protect individuals from others, not ideas, and not from ourselves.  We don’t have the Thought Police here.  At least not yet.  But if you allow the Sex Police or the Morality Police, you are just one step closer every single time. 

Does this not disturb you? How is it that in a society who holds personal and religious freedom so very dear is it possible that a Rick Santorum can possibly rise to prominence with ideas like this?  And conservatives think Obama is more dangerous??  It is horrible socialism to come and raid your paycheck, but perfectly fine for the government to be in your bedroom or doctor’s office?  Which is more important to you?

The economy is so very important, but it pales in comparison to my right to my body as an individual.

For another post on this subject, go here.


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