Archive for LGBT

The GOP War Against Freedom And Liberty

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2012 by Al Stefanelli

(This is a transcript of Al Stefanelli’s “Voice Of Reason” segment on my American Heathen® Internet Radio Show)

Like many people who fight every day for freedom and liberty for all Americans, I was elated when our President publicly stated that he was in favor and support of same-sex marriages. Was there a political agenda behind it? Well, yeah, of course there was. He’s a politician and this is an election year.

Was it his only reason? No, I don’t think so. The points he made that revealed his reasoning were not unusual and common to those who had at one time struggled with this issue, but eventually came around to the right side of history.

The fact that his proclamation came right on the heels of the debacle that happened in North Carolina went a long way to assuage my anger.

Anger…

Anger? Yes. I spent seventeen years living in North Carolina. The final four of those years I was an unbeliever, but thirteen of those years were spent as a Fundamentalist Christian. Ten of those thirteen years I was a Pastor, so I really wasn’t surprised when the general public voted in favor of a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage. I was, however, incredibly disappointed and very pissed off.

Same sex unions were already illegal in North Carolina, so the passing of this Amendment was little more than a legislative bitch-slap to the LGBT community, fortifying the stance by most state citizens that they are not wanted and their right to be recognized as equal citizens will not be granted.

I wrote about this in my blog last week, and one of the things I stated was that what this has accomplished is nothing short of an expression of hatred in the name of the Judeo-Christian God. Those who voted in favor of this amendment are the lowest of the low. They are the bottom of the barrel, and don’t give a goddamn about efforts to stop the “redefinition of marriage.” All they care about is using their hateful beliefs and their equally hateful interpretation of their holy book to control anyone who does not agree with them.

But, as I said, Obama coming out in favor of same-sex marriage did calm me down a bit. But it was a short-lived calm. Very short-lived.

The Beat Goes On… 

On the same day that President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, the House Armed Services Committee backed measures prohibiting the practice on U.S. military bases.

Missouri Republican Todd Akin and others on the Committee were obviously still pissed off at the whole DOMA repealing thing. Akin claims that the president repealed DOMA as a prop to promote his “Gay Agenda.”

The committee backed an amendment that barred same-sex marriages or “marriage-like” ceremonies on military bases, and as a further slap in the face, they also supported that the Armed Services should not just denigrate LGBT’s, but accommodate the rights of service members and Chaplains who are morally or religiously opposed to anything even remotely connected to homosexuality.

Go Easy…

There are those who say I should let up off Republicans because not all of them are like that. Yes, they are right in the fact that they are not. I know my fair share of progressive-minded Republicans. The broad brush that I paint is not on the canvas of the Republican constituency. It is on the Party, itself.

I am totally, completely and unequivocally right in using my broad brush, because it is not my opinion, but written literally into the GOP Party Platform, which starts out with these words:

“Our platform is presented with enthusiasm and confidence in a vision for the future, but also with genuine humility before God.”

As if that was not bad enough, the GOP claims that this vision and humility toward the Christian God is not just for them, but for all Americans. I find this highly arrogant. Don’t believe me? Their own words say:

“Yet we stand united today because we are the one party that speaks to all Americans conservatives, moderates, libertarians, independents, and even liberals.” 

How’s that for a big, huge, stinking pile of bullshit? Another part of their Party platform is very clear that their official position is, and I quote,

“Republicans across the nation and ever grateful to Almighty God for the political, religious, and civil liberties we enjoy.” 

Remember, this is the same God that is credited with allowing the slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, mutilations, intolerance and the oppression of millions of minorities.

Dissonance…

The GOP is a Party of contradictions. This you can be sure of. In fact, and quite laughably, their platform also states that their core values are – and I quote again,

“…liberty, equality, meritocracy, and respect for human dignity and the rights of women.” 

If someone claims to be a Republican and does not adhere to their own Party Platform, they are hypocrites. Especially when the rights of the LGBT community is concerned, as well as toward women and their rights to have a say about what they do with their own bodies. I cite the official Party Platform again, which states,

“We lament that judges have denied the people their right to set abortion policies in the states and are undermining traditional marriage laws from coast to coast.” 

Want more tidbits taken directly from their official Platform? Here’s one that speaks to medical professionals:

“No health care professional doctor, nurse, or pharmacist or organization should ever be required to perform, provide for, or refer for a health care service against their conscience for any reason.” 

I am sure you recall the stories of pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, or denying women the purchase of over the counter emergency contraceptives. Or physicians refusing to treat patients for a variety of reasons that are directly connected to their religious beliefs. How about this one that obviously speaks to Planned Parenthood and comprehensive sex education:

“We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception” 

In fact, the GOP supports a human life amendment to the Constitution that has been interpreted to be much like those that have been coming out of states that seek to redefine an embryo as a full citizen with all the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment – completely abrogating the rights of the mother and quite possibly putting her at risk for being arrested for murder if she chooses to terminate her pregnancy at any stage of development.

For a party that preaches less government, they sure as hell don’t have a problem regulating the freedom and liberty of all of us. Even to the point of supporting a law that prohibits Internet gambling. Wait, what? Yeah, that’s in their platform, too. In fact, it literally says,

“We support the law prohibiting gambling over the Internet.” 

Total Control… 

Their intrusion into the private lives of American Citizens would be total and complete, and women and LGBT’s are their primary targets. Both demographics are treated horribly and with arrogance and condescension. Same sex marriage takes a direct hit in their official Party Platform, which states, and I quote again,

“Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman. Republicans recognize the importance of having in the home a father and a mother who are married.

Children in homes without fathers are more likely to commit a crime, drop out of school, become violent, become teen parents, use illegal drugs, become mired in poverty, or have emotional or behavioral problems.”

Using this logic, homes where the father has died or is away from home for very long stretches of time – as is with many of our servicemen – also produce these horrible and cretinous children. I won’t even get into their obvious re-interpretation of the First Amendment beyond their statement that the public display of the Ten Commandments does not violate the U.S. Constitution and accurately reflects the Judeo-Christian heritage of our country. Looks like they got help from David Barton with this part of their platform.

Final Thoughts…

The GOP’s efforts against the civil rights of the LGBT community and women is shameful and only solidifies the fact that religion is more harmful than it is worth. It has been used to justify an unending progression of horrific blights on our society. It is extremely apparent that the Republican Party, as a whole, is rabidly anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-church-state-separation and has put these policies at the center of their platform.

As I stated earlier, we have religion to thank for slavery, sexism, racism, homophobia, mutilations, intolerance and the oppression of millions of minorities. It is an irresponsible ideology that comes at a steep price and a totally unacceptable cost to the human species. Fundamentalist religion breeds bigoted, hate-filled, narrow-minded, intolerant and self-righteous fools that are a stain on humanity. When combined with National Pride, the results are not only theocratic, but also extremely dangerous.

On that note, I will leave you with this statement, which was taken directly from the most recent newsletter put out by the Greene County, Virginia, Republican Party:

“The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware – that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment, this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse (sic) but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November. This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it…

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