Tuesday, July 1, 2014


One of the things my mother taught me never to talk about with my barber is religion; however, I will have to find solace in the fact that you are not my barber. However, in my opinion, the corrupt #Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) #“Hobby Lobby” decision has forced me to address this sensitive subject. Religion is something unique to everyone, even those of us who call themselves Christians, Jews, or Muslims. If you do not believe this, ask a religious person, any religious person regardless of claimed church affiliation, to describe “their” heaven or their hell. Each description will be fashioned to fit that persons desires or interpretations of the most evil of all things, which are personal therefore unique. Of course, some atheists are immune from the dictates of religion except when they, for example, label themselves as Jewish atheist—obviously; a person cannot be such a thing.

Religion is very real. Humankind has fabricated religion around an ill-defined sense we all have of one or more superior beings. Different religions feel comfortable anthropomorphizing that spirit; others describe it only as an omnipresent, powerful spirit. Nevertheless, the sense of a superior being is like the taste of salt or the sense of hunger; we recognize it and allow it to guide us, but are not able to explain precisely why we have such a sense. We can give senses human attributes and even attribute emotions to them: the sense of hunger as evil the sense of affection is good.

Then the United States happened; the people who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution cleverly created a unique form of governance around built around secular laws. In a sense, they endorsed existing religious concepts of humankind to gain acceptance of these documents but were careful not to allow any religion to rule over another; they cleverly excluded religion dogma and doctrine from government. They created for the first time in the human history a government not based on hierarchy but one that centers on individual rights: one-man one-vote. At the same time, they made provisions for the innate peck order or hierarchy dominance by establishing the form of government they did: a House of Representatives for the people, a Congress for the economic elite, the Supreme Court for secular, and not “religious law”. We glibly, sometimes flippantly, describe this as “checks and balance”. When you think about it, the fusion of both religion propensities and biological innate propensities into our lives was truly a remarkable achievement. What is also obvious is that this created an extremely delicate balance; one false move and the delicate balance will disappear and we will return to the caliphate world; God picks the leader; whatever that means.

However, tragically, SCOTUS has now upset that balance. The bigger tragedy is that many, many people endorsed what they have done as the correct thing to do. These misguided approvals centers around one thing SCOTUS has done; the blatant corruption of the definition of religious freedom.

Religious freedom means anyone in the United States is free to worship the way the wish. Of course, there are constraints; they cannot do harm to others such disturb them with loud music, harm people such as nail them to a cross, or use cruel and unusual punishment for sins with the term ‘sins’ meaning anything some guy in a church decides is a sin. For example, they can not cut off a persons head or stone them to death for adultery, or chop off a hand for thievery but they can excommunicate them from their church, not allow women to become church leaders, etc. The most important thing is that they cannot force anyone to follow a specific religious dogma; religion has to be voluntary: that is what freedom of religion means.

With the Hobby Lobby decision, the Supreme Court has violated that fundamental premise, and they did it for political purposes. The ignorance of Speaker of the House #+John Boehner, RNC Chair #+Reince Priebus, talk radio host Glenn Beck, even no-count newspaper columnists such as +Ben Crystal and many other people are willing to sacrifice religious freedom for political gain; they are despicable. They are ignorant of what freedom to worship really means; the way you worship does not mean you can force others to follow your religious teaching. The religious driven prolife movement, which is the Victorian Age anti abortion, anti contraceptive method movement, has the same basis but the Supreme Court has not yet sanctioned that religious belief as secular law; but yesterday they opened the door. The Republican political operatives are tearing down our Democracy with the Citizens United decision and are about to set you in the front pew of “their church” and you still vote for them.     

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