Loner Magazine - The Republican congress, Planned Parenthood & the push for religious extremism

The Republican congress, Planned Parenthood & the push for religious extremism

The far Right are at it again. Fresh off the defeat from the Iran nuclear deal, Obamacare, an improving economy, no doomsday after the Iran deal went through (as predicted by far Right politicians and associations), the political spokesmen for The American Israel Public Action Committee (AIPAC), Family Research Council, Liberty Counsel and the entire military-industrial complex have taken their fight to Planned Parenthood–and the objective is to shut down the entire government if their religious demands are not met.

This latest battle is centered on a highly edited video, produced by David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, in which PP employees are secretly filmed discussing the sale of an aborted fetus. A practice well known in the medical field because it helps produce real tissue for research into various diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s vaccines and therapies. A practice that has been on the books for over two decades. Investigations launched in multiple states found no wrongdoing or illegal practice by Planned Parenthood. In fact, the amount PP charges for this service is comparable to what other research institutions charge for similar services.

If investigations find PP complying with the law, one has to conclude that the use of these videos only serve as a means of attack on the abortion services provided to women and other women’s health-related issues, and not the practice that is been called into question in these videos. The goal of the video was not to formulate discussion about the safety of the process described, but rather to further Christian religious extremism that has come to dominate mainstream Republican politics.

Other examples of Christian extremism can be seen in Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’s assault on equal marriage (and her defense and celebration by Republican candidates like Mike Huckabee), and Ben Carson’s declaration that no Muslim should ever be president of the United States. Expect to see more as the Republican primaries continue and candidates spew their vile ideas to grab headlines and appeal to a non-existent part of their base.

Kim Davis after her release from jail, hand clasped victoriously by presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. “We stand with Kim today,” Huckabee said. “We cannot criminalize the Christian faith.”

As should be expected, when one examines the objectives of the Republican controlled congress, and the objectives of all the presidential candidates, there is no difference. All want to take us back to the 1950s, as Senator Elizabeth Warren proclaimed vehemently in a senate session (watch the smack down below), repeal the Affordable Care Act with no alternatives (despite increased enrollment), undo the Iran Deal, take us back to the 1920s when religion was used to deny inter-racial marriage, and discredit climate change and sustainable environmental policies. Despite data that show their ideas to be wrong, ignorance continues to be widely accepted in Republican politics.


Also striking is the continued push toward a Christian theocratic society. (A theocracy being a form of government in which God or a deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler and the God’s or deity’s laws being interpreted by the ecclesiastical authorities.)
When countries such as Iran use religion as the basis for their laws, it is widely frowned upon; yet in our pursuit of spreading democracy and freedom–Christianity increases.

What makes these arguments ridiculous is the assumption that liberty and religious freedom can only be achieved when the teachings of the Bible are applied to the laws governing an enlightened people. Most of the defense of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has been centered on the belief that religious (Christian) freedom should be protected for public officials carrying out their duties–a concept that in some fashion has guided our foreign policy. If you’re a Muslim or an atheist, religious freedom is not protected because this is a Christian nation.

Extremism-9152014The push for more religion in politics is frightening. Republicans in congress and on the campaign trail are so adamant to fight for Israel, and yet seemingly less interested in women’s health–both on religious grounds. In 2015, I find it both political suicide and irresponsible not to allow women to make their own health decisions; the separation of church and state must be respected.