I got the following from Jen McCreight’s blog at http://www.blaghag.com/2010/06/nevada-tea-party-candidate-says-rape.html, which I quote almost verbatim:
Sharron Angle is the Tea Party candidate running as a Republican in the Nevada senate race.
MANDERS: I too am pro-life, but I’m also pro-choice. Do you understand what I say when I mean that?
ANGLE: Well, I’m pro responsible choice. There’s choice to abstain, choice to use contraceptives … there’s all kinds of good choice…
MANDERS: Is there any reason at all for an abortion?
ANGLE: Not in my book.
MANDERS: So, in other words, rape and incest would not be something?
ANGLE: You know, I’m a Christian, and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.
So, what I’m getting from this, as did Jen, the author of the above blog, is that this women (and I know that there are plenty of others like her) believes that rape and incest are part of God’s plan! Holy freaking moly!
This is the kind of thing I’m always going on about when I dis on religion. People are perfectly free to have any beliefs they like, but when you start imposing those beliefs on others, that’s when it is wrong and dangerous.
I certainly don’t go around telling women that they should have abortions if they like, because that’s not my decision. And if I were a politician (Thor forbid!), I certainly wouldn’t try to force that belief on someone who didn’t believe like I did.
Where religion becomes really insidious is when it is used as a baseball bat to beat other’s over the head with, especially when implemented as public policy.
Religion usually demands faith in some kind of magical, mystical dogma be it an all powerful begin, sacred writings, or usually, both. Religion also usually requires obedience to its rules and dogma. And since religions are normally practiced by groups of people (often numbering in the millions to billions) it has a power that no other single entity on earth has, except, perhaps for totalitarian governments. In fact, the difference between most religions and most totalitarian governments is almost insignificant, except that many of the people living under a totalitarian government don’t buy into the bullshit they are fed, whereas most people who are members of a religion do.
This makes religion all that more dangerous to a free and open society, for if the people of that society are blissfully accepting of things like the above idea then personal freedom and liberty, hard fought for and hard won, is eroded and stifled.
Religion has no place in public policy or public life. Religious beliefs are personal beliefs. To have a specific religious faction hold up its beliefs as actual or would be law goes against the ideas of liberty that our modern democracies are founded on. Any government founded on any kind of religious law is automatically a totalitarian state by definition.
If the right wing Christians were to have their way, we’d be living in a country with Christian laws, but how is that any different than, say, Iran with its Islamic law, or the Taliban with theirs? The fact is that it isn’t any different at all. Christian, Islamic, Jewish, VooDoo; it really doesn’t matter because what you have, in the end, is a totalitarian state that imposes its concept of morality and law on everyone and brooks no dissent or opposition.
It is crazy people like Sharron Angle who are the most dangerous to our democratic society, even more so than terrorists, for while terrorists will try to strike at our buildings and infrastructure, their effect is limited by their numbers and the physical restraints of money and materials. But, people like Angle are infinitely more dangerous because they can infiltrate the very core of our society. They can strike at the heart of our political processes and institutions, limited only by the voters who elect them.
Once again, it seems, we need to fight for our liberties and freedom, but this time, we won’t be fighting with guns, but with words. Those of us who value our freedom must speak up and call out those who would foist their beliefs on others. We need to do this everywhere and with everyone we meet. But we must leave our baseball bats at home and use reason and common sense to persuade. We must teach our children how to think rationally and critically. We must teach the tool of critical thinking to everyone we encounter.
This fight isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but it is no less important a fight than any war we have ever fought for freedom and liberty. This is a war for the minds of everyone, everywhere and it’s a war we can’t afford to lose.