It’s of no surprise that the strains of crazy in America’s culture wars are growing as 2016 approaches. The usual cast of “conservatives” and “tradionalists” are longing for the days of bigotry from America’s sullied past (and I don’t just mean the George W. Bush years!) — and, of course, they are being courted by self-serving politicians who will do everything possible to cater to the crazies and mine new sources for them.
At the top of the crazy heap is Republican Governor Mike Pence’s signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (set to take effect in Indiana on July 1st), an act designed to give all corporations and organizations in that state the freedom to discriminate against people based on interpretations of, apparently, any religious tenets or books. As if corporations and organizations didn’t have enough power to lord their views over us, here’s a legal truncheon painted up as religion that Neanderthals can bat around and call freedom. It proves that they not only don’t understand the essence of Jesus Christ, but also don’t understand business — why would you want to turn away potential customers?!
In Arizona, Republican Senator Sylvia Allen recently suggested during a gun debate that, in order to combat moral corruption, Americans should be required to attend church every Sunday: “We are slowly eroding religion at every opportunity that we have. We should probably 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.” She’s not yet advocating a law mandating such church attendance, but how long before that can of crazy hits the can opener?
This news headline from Utah today reminds me of the true values I expect to see blossom as the crazy takes full root: Utah parents, fearing apocalypse, fatally drugged children, themselves, police say. Yes, Utah. Land where they’re bringing back death by firing squad because they so love God and the death penalty.
You know I’m all for individuals practicing — even obsessing on — their religious beliefs. Go ahead. Wave around those palm fronds! Or sugar skulls! Or go skyclad and dance around under the full moon! What’s it hurt anbody?
As usual, the people who truly screw things up aren’t the ones minding their own business, worshipping in their own ways. It’s the ones who believe in a One True Way and who are doing everything possible to reach for the legal pens to write it into law that we of the low and pluralistic misguided masses must now submit to their very limited views and biases for our own good and for their own limited insights into the mind of God. The Supreme Court fucked up big time back when it ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely-held corporations can have religious views that affect the lives (and health insurance choices!) of the little people who work for them. The gates to theocracy are being unlocked so that more lunatics can run the asylum.
Basically, the politicians are going to be coming around asking you voters this important question, “Need more crazy or are you all stocked up?”
Please, tell them you’re all stocked up.
Ken “Who are you to think that you can change the world?” Gage
WWH Guest Columnist
Born to Hippie parents in the 1960s, Ken was raised to challenge convention and authority early. When not hosting Shock Waves & Shrunken Heads on Radio Lux, Ken writes Surrealist novels and science fiction.