by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.
â€œLetâ€™s vote on it.â€ To most people
that sounds like the ideal way to solve any issue. But it can also be
one of the most dangerous.
In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights decision. But a 1968 Gallup poll documented that 72 percent of Americans opposed interracial marriage. Had America voted on the issue in 1968, civil rights would undoubtedly have been defeated.
On November 7, 2006 Americans in several
states will vote on ballot initiatives concocted and promoted by the
leaders of the evangelical Christian Right and their Republican sycophants.
Increasingly, their incestuous relationship is being exposed at the same time their so-called
â€œvalues votersâ€ are fading into history. The Christian Right
is slowly but surely dying, and for good reasons. But apparently they want to kill an independent
judiciary before they go.
Examples were provided in an October
17, 2006 article titled â€œJudicial Activism
Prompts Citizen Efforts to Restrain Judgesâ€
Pete Winn, associate editor of Citizenlink.com, a propaganda organ for James Dobsonâ€™s Focus on the Family theo-political empire:
South Dakotaâ€™s Amendment E is the most ambitious measure â€“ it would allow residents to sue judges over their decisions. Grand juries would be convened, and judges would face removal from the bench if they were found guilty of an infraction.
Montana voters, meanwhile, must decide if they want â€¦ the right to have recall elections if they should become â€œdissatisfiedâ€ with a judge.
Suing judges? Isnâ€™t the almost endless
appeals process enough to correct any errors made?
Recall elections? If a jurist is elected,
isnâ€™t the normal election process good enough for those who become
â€œâ€˜dissatisfiedâ€™ with a judgeâ€?
Or are these and other measures just
the latest examples of efforts by the leaders of the Christian Right
to bring the courts under their control by using the â€œsheepleâ€
to do the dirty work for them: an all too common practice Cindy Rodriguez
exposed with courageous clarity in her Denver Post article: â€œ
Thereâ€™s a reason followers of the reactionary James Dobson are called â€œsheeple.â€
As chairman of the $145 million-a-year propaganda organization Focus on the Family, Dobson is the ultimate puppet master, giving conservative members of Congress marching orders in exchange for votes from his flock. â€¦
By manipulating religious teachings, Dobson represses his followers with a reactionary societal code: Get married, stay married, procreate and â€“ most important â€“ donate your money to Focus on the Family.
The more his listeners believe, the more easily they can be exploited. That explains why many of those listeners â€“ hardworking middle-class people who are struggling with bills or caring for elderly loved ones â€“ vote against their own interests.
Instead of voting for the party that created the 40-hour work week, workers compensation, and has been pushing for universal health care, they vote for the party of James Dobson: members of Congress who for nine years have refused to increase the minimum wage above $5.15 an hour, yet accept automatic pay raises for themselves each year. â€¦
There is no proof that Democrats knew about Foleyâ€™s lurid instant messages, but two Republican congressmen, John Boehner of Ohio and Thomas Reynolds of New York, have publicly stated they told House Speaker Dennis Hastert about it months ago.
So wouldnâ€™t a person of strong moral values at least chide Hastert for his inaction?
Nope. Not when you are a puppet master of members of Congress who use the name of God to pass laws that take away civil rights in exchange for campaign contributions and the promise of votes from the flock. A man of real moral values would urge Congress to increase college Pell grants, expand work training programs, and offer struggling working-class families subsidized day care.
Instead, he vilifies gay people as people who are destroying marriage. Dobson talks about having a pro-life agenda, but never speaks out against the deaths of more than 2,700 American troops in Iraq, or against capital punishment, which is really a euphemism for state-sponsored murder.
The sad part is the sheeple donâ€™t see the hypocrisy and donâ€™t realize theyâ€™re being used. [links added]
In his book Marriage Under Fire,
James Dobson told the sheeple that if gay Americans were allowed to
enter into the state-sanctioned social contract called â€œmarriage,â€ the world would end:
â€œThe culture war will be over, and the world may soon become â€˜as
it was in the days of Noah.â€™â€
Dobson was not alone in using scare tactics
to herd the sheeple. Following the Massachusetts Supreme Courtâ€™s 2003
decision that â€œequalityâ€ meant â€œequalityâ€ for all citizens
in relation to all civil institutions, even the one called â€œmarriage,â€
Steve Crampton, Chief Counsel of the Center for Law and Policy, the
legal arm of Don Wildmonâ€™s American Family Association, bleated, â€œUnless the people of the State
of Massachusetts rise up with one voice in opposition to this lawless
and socially destructive behavior, it will destroy society as we know
it.â€ At last check, neither society nor Massachusetts has been destroyed.
Are these truthful, â€œmoralâ€ men?
Are these men with the best interests of all Americans in mind? Or are
these â€œshepherdsâ€ really demagogues using religion and sheeple for
their own self-interests and to build their own political power?
Itâ€™s quite clear in the Christian metaphors
used: â€œshepherdsâ€ and â€œflocks.â€ Shepherds herd and â€œtend toâ€
their flocks not because itâ€™s in the best interest of the sheep, but
because they intend to use and profit from them when the sheep are sold
Dobson, Crampton and Wildmon are not
alone in this practice. The founder and chairman of the Traditional
Values Coalition, Louis P. Sheldon, also defines â€œhypocriteâ€ and
is a distinctly immoral sheeple-herder. While vociferously campaigning
against internet gambling, rabidly homophobic â€œLucky Louieâ€ and the TVC were accepting â€œcontributionsâ€
from Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his internet gambling promoters.
These days America is filled with egocentric,
self-proclaimed spokesmen for â€œGodâ€ who also have a dark political
agenda based on their theo-political dogma. Jim Weidmann is vice
chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Their latest campaign
is â€œPray for Election Dayâ€:
â€œIn a Christian nation, we have the biblical responsibility as well as the patriotic responsibility to cast our vote for those who govern us,â€ he said. â€œWe want people to spend time praying that those who are elected will align themselves with Godâ€™s laws. We also want them to get out and vote so the Christian understanding is captured in the vote.â€ [italics added]
â€œA Christian nationâ€: should all
the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, animists, agnostics and
atheists just leave?
â€œAlign themselves with Godâ€™s lawâ€:
does that include all the draconian Levitical laws as well as those
â€œThe Christian understandingâ€: does
that include St. Paulâ€™s edict to â€œsuffer not a woman to teach, nor
to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.â€
Or, like Dobson, Crampton, Wildmon and
Sheldon, are Mr. Weidmann and the National Day of Prayer Task Force
advocating only their version of â€œGodâ€™s lawâ€ and â€œChristian
Letâ€™s hope that election day 2006 reaffirms that the light of the Enlightenment has not gone out and that the sheeple are waking up and starting to think for themselves instead of blindly obeying their herders.