Conservative Christians claim sanctimony, but what they really want is control.

6320353921_1087e0faf0The vast majority of Americans, contrary to the ongoing efforts of the Religious Right, do not believe they must abide by Christian Conservative views. Subsequently, screams of “Persecution” are ringing out from the Bible Belt. So once again we must re-visit the meaning of Religious Freedom and that poor old misunderstood First Amendment.

You are free to have your own opinions, no matter how ignorant. Everyone has a right to be stupid. But when that stupidity impacts others, expect pushback. If you are unable to alter your opinion when presented with evidence contrary to it, you lose credibility. It is not “Persecution” when you are disagreed with.

You are free to impose your Faith upon yourself but you may not force it onto anyone else. Your views only apply to you. Forcing others to live according to your belief system is not Religious Freedom. That is Religious Oppression.

The United States was formed as refuge from Religious Oppression. America, as a nation, was founded secularly. Saying it is a Christian country is a lie. Is America the nation with a large population of Christians? Yes. Is America a Christian country? No.

The Religious Right forces wedge issues throughout America, justified by their Faith. They say they know God’s Word. Good for them. So why is it that whenever Christian Conservatives “pray for guidance” it seems only a ritual they perform before doing what they want anyway?

No, they use their beliefs as leverage rather than as applied morality. They claim sanctimony, but what they really want is control. For an example, let’s look at their most heated issue, abortion.

Nobody should be forced into an unwanted abortion. That doesn’t happen a lot in America, anyway. You need to live in China for that. Right, Hobby Lobby? The biggest argument against abortion is due to religious belief. This is ignorance on a number of levels.

Whether or not Christian Conservatives can accept this, abortion and birth control are genuinely part of reproductive healthcare for women, which is in turn part of their overall healthcare. It really is that simple.

It’s fallacious to refer to a woman terminating a pregnancy she doesn’t want as a “mother.” If she doesn’t view hosting another organism as welcome in her body, that is her right, and her decision. You absolutely may not force another person to give up their body to sustain the existence of another organism.

This is what the Religious Right demands of women; give up their bodies to sustain the life of another against their wishes. Women must serve as incubators, sometimes at the risk of their own lives. Regardless of whether they were raped. Why? Because God.

You don’t have ANY right to superimpose your religious beliefs over women, or anyone else. There is no debate here, and it’s insane that this is a constant discussion. You do NOT get to determine what goes on in the very personal and private medical decisions made by others.

Abortion_Protest_Confederate_State_Flag_TBWomen have the right to the integrity of their own person. So do men. So does everyone. Women do not warrant lesser treatment for their minor anatomical differences to men.

For Christian Conservatives to say the basic rights of women must be violated in order to uphold a non-existent human’s rights is incredibly ignorant and immoral. Arguing that an aborted blastocyst, or embryo, or fetus belongs to some kind of an oppressed class targeted for murder is not an argument grounded in reality. The obsession with multicellular potentiality is, quite frankly, creepy.

Don’t believe that? Here is a test. Imagine that in front of you lies a choice; a young child is about to take a lethal fall. A Petri dish with a fertilized human egg is also about to drop. You only have time to choose one. Which one do you save?

The child. Of course you save the child, not a few random cells. If that fertilized egg is worth sacrificing a child over, you need to seriously re-examine your life. If you offer the opinion that you are all about saving the unborn, then answer the following questions;

1) How many children have you adopted?

2) How many vaginas are on your body?

If the answer to either of these questions is “none” then sit down and shut up.

But as this site has written before, the basic facts of abortion, the hows, whys, and what it all entails, are lost on most people anyway. Strange that such a hot button issue creating so much division is misrepresented in and of itself. If that weren’t so sickening it would be funny.

The reason why the issue of abortion is so misrepresented while remaining so prevalent is because of the Religious Right. They have repeated their talking points and mistruths for so long that they have taken over the narrative nearly completely. People now argue very passionately about abortion without actually knowing much about it!

This is why Separation of Church and State is so vital. If someone equates that to the holocaust, that is a sure sign of their complete lack of comprehension of basic history. They are to be scorned, not followed. Certainly not elected.

imageBut the Religious Right is happy to re-write history. They have repeatedly tried to insert their beliefs into public education. They are far more interested in proselytization than progression.

Christian Conservatives don’t care what polls say, unless they go along with what they personally believe. The democratic process doesn’t matter to the zealous unless they are the majority, so democracy is really secondary. They’ll never accept anyone’s right to believe differently. They certainly aren’t going to respect others’ rights to live as they wish.

Isn’t it strange how these same people scream for “smaller government” while advocating an elephant in every uterus?

And this lies at the heart of the motivation of the Religious Right. They are not really about bringing the rest of us The Word of God, they are about control. Do what they say and everything will be fine. No gays. No abortions. Women should be subservient to men. Other religions must not be tolerated. Guns for everyone!

You are not persecuted because you do not get your way every single time you want it. If you believe that Conservative Christians are in any way oppressed, you are demonstrably deluded. American Christians have had their belief system flattered more than anyone else’s. The Religious Right is merely acting like a pampered spoiled child, throwing tantrums for not being first in line every single time as they now feel entitled to be. This combination of self-absorption and religious zeal makes for bad countrymen.

Thusly, America remains divided. Zealots continually grab for more and more power over everyone. They wield abortion and women’s health like a weapon. They forward insane persecution claims. They subscribe to conspiracy theories that justify racism and hate. They tell you to support the President when he is conservative and scream for armed rebellion with blatantly treasonous statements when he is not.

Those who make up the Religious Right are not truly American. They are closer instead to whom the nation rebelled against. They are not truly Christian. They cannot be, to rail against the poor as they do. To discriminate like they do. To hate like they do.

To justify a child molestor as they do, because he hates the same people they hate.

They will not compromise. They will not reason. They see themselves as morally superior. They will march lockstep to the polling stations. That is how they have become so powerful. They vote. All of them.

But they do not outnumber the rest of us. Nor do they represent all Christians. They use the volume of their opinions to mask the lack of comparative volume in their numbers. They do not have to always get their way. If they do, things will only get worse for everyone.

When everyone votes, rationality wins. Apathy leads to defeat. Get out and vote. Get your family and friends off the couch to come with you. Have a dinner party when you’re all done. These words will be lost upon those that most need to understand them. If they reach you, then please take action.

Chad R. MacDonald has a degree in English literature from Cape Breton University and subsequently received a full scholarship to AMDA in New York City. He is a former security professional, veteran of the hospitality industry, and experienced in both the arts as well as administration.He has been writing all his life, likes baseball, hockey, literature, science, the arts, and marine photography.Chad lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son and their gigantic cat.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Just like in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people go through different stages of development. Once humans get their basic needs met, they can go on to different levels of development. How you think and respond to life, and how you relate to religion and politics depends on where you are in the stages.

    All cultures and all people go through black and white, absolutistic thinking. People at absolutistic thinking have two answers for every category and every question. You are either with us or against us. You are either a patriot or you can go live in some other country. This level is based on following of rules and sacrifice of personal wants for future reward. Evangelical versions of any religion, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, are at absolutistic thinking.

    Another level of human development is relativistic, world-centric thinking. People at this level may have religious beliefs but they are not tied to black and white answers. Relativistic thinkers, when put in an MRI, have their whole brain light up when asked questions, as they access data to answer. Absolutistic thinkers in an MRI only have their flight or fight section light up for questions.

    (You can see an example of this on one episode of Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole. You can see information on developmental stages of humans online also.)

    This also applies to the reactions we see to social issues each day. Commenters online who attack victims of brutality or defend an authority source who was in the wrong are doing so because they have absolutistic, black and white thinking. They believe that if you are good, nothing bad will happen, and authorities are always to be respected. So the person in the bad situation must have done something bad to deserve it. And the authority figure must never be blamed.

  2. I could count the number of true “pro-life” people I have known on one hand. It involves far more than getting a birthing baby to the business end of the birth canal. Do you support any kind of conflict in which violence is done by humans to humans? You are not “pro-life.” Do you support the death penalty? You are not “pro-life.” Do you support abortion rights? You are not “pro-life.” Reading Stanley Hauerwas’ struggle with trying to become a truly “pro-life” person is revelatory.

    I am not “pro-life.” Not because I support abortion rights but because I support so many policies that, in the end, do harm and violence to the children of God. One or two can be supported via Kierkegaard’s “teleological suspension of the ethical,” but only one or two. The rest I repent for before even engaging in them.

    Oh, and by the way, those who try to use any of the Just War theories to justify violence against others can Just Forget it. They can and have been so flexible as to be used to support just about anything.

  3. Great article Chad. I am always struck by the inability of those arguing against abortion to see the further implications of their religion-enforcing conception of governance. Under their paradigm, how are they able to justify drawing a line at forced marriages, to eliminate “improper” households, assuming they favor the rights and their view of the interests of the unborn over the rights of autonomous, taxpaying individuals? Are they willing to volunteer their own sons into state assigned marriages with women assigned to the enforced incubating of unwanted pregnancies, all in the name of the precedence unborn’s rights over the mother’s right to control her own body? This is a version of the Nanny state I don’t think anyone wants looking after their kids, but it is a short and slippery slope from what they are demanding in terms of legislated control, in my opinion.

  4. Well this article certainly succeeded in falling back on two-dimensional stereotypes. Abortion is not a religious issue. It is a human rights issue. And those who oppose it do not automatically fall under the Religious Right who are out for control. Many of us are staunch democrats/feminists/liberals. Just because abortion is legal doesn’t mean it is morally right or should be considered healthcare with no questions asked. Human rights violations have been law all throughout our history, and it takes people to stand up to them for things to change.

    • If a procedure requires a trained medical professional for safe completion, it’s a healthcare issue. Whether it’s moral or not is between the woman, her physician and her conscience. Whether your belief that it is or is not moral is based in religion or not, you don’t have the right to enforce your belief on others. If it’s a moral issue for you, don’t have one.

    • In what context, and according to whom, is abortion a human rights issue? Forced abortion (a la China’s population control policy) is a human rights issue. But voluntary abortion? Cite your sources.

  5. They claim to be pro life, but support war and the death penalty. Yeah, it’s all about control. The church of “do as your told and keep your mouth shut”.

  6. Your article is both descriptive and accurate. ..Conservative Theology seems to end at the time of the actual birth …after that it becomes a matter of compliance to their cult beliefs and fealty to their Leaders….I have always wondered how they have avoided taxation in spite of their connections to the GOP Political Party.

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