week at the grocery store, my son threatened to take off his pants in the
produce aisle. He stood there, fists clenched, holding his ground.
informing him of the "No shirts, no shoes, (no pants), no service" rule of the
land, I simply asked him, "Did God tell you to do this again?"
"Yes," he said, and off came the pants. I had no idea he wasn't wearing underwear. I swear to, well, God.
But my son
strolled passed the kiwi and the oranges with his beliefs intact. He, and I by allowing
him to break the rules because of his own views, protected his religious
freedom. I told him to go ahead and do what he wants if what he wants are things God
told him to do.
Sure it's OK not to wear pants ("Loose the sackcloth from your
waist ... buttocks uncovered." Isaiah 20:2-4), because, as many of our political leaders today believe, in sharp
contrast to the beliefs of the men who wrote the Constitution, "We must obey
God rather than men."
is, there was not a 7-year-old pants-ing incident at Whole Foods, but can you
imagine if our government—let alone, our kids—were able to use religion as an excuse
to exercise their will as they pleased at any moment?
There are countries around the world these people claim to hate—like Iran—that rule by religion. Which is exactly what these right-wing Christian extremists are trying to do.
In every family there are
rules, rules not meant to be broken for the protection of the greater family
unit. My son's pursuit of happiness must take place within the reasonable
confines of the world around him.
Not just by what feels right to him.
ol' can o' crazy that Kentucky's Kim Davis opened up only makes me realize that there is something seriously wrong with what has happened to
the United States, the ignorance of its founders' intentions and the
interpretation of where we should be going. It is about so much more than the
acceptance of same-sex marriage. It is about defining the separation of Church
to break it to y'all, but the United States is not a Christian nation. It is,
instead, a nation based on religious freedom. People came here to escape
religious tyranny. They came here to practice religions—all kinds—whether it
is Puritanism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam or no religion at all—without interference of the government.
That's a real fact.
Jefferson said our civil rights have no dependence on religious opinions.
This is very clear (much clearer than other parts of the Constitution for which
the same senators and would-be-presidential nominees lay down their lives
defending the 2nd amendment—but that argument is for another day.) Jefferson
wrote, "History, I believe,
furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil
government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as
well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."
And the big man himself, George Washington, said, "We have abundant reason to
rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over
the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship
God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, and in
this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will
not forfeit the protection of the laws."
to say now that we must follow the rule of a Christian god is not only
anti-Constitution, anti-Founding Fathers.
It is straight up anti-American.
Kim Davis is not—and should not—be held on a pedestal, because, she is not working to protect anyone but herself.
"God over Men" way of ruling, advocating for Christian, law should be
particularly concerning to women who care about their autonomy, health and
right to vote. ("Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit
in the Lord." Colossians 3:18)
People of color, people of differing faiths,
gay, lesbian, transgender men, women and children, we should all be very
afraid. If people like Kim Davis get their way and get to take off their pants
in public because God told them to, because they claim religion should be rule
and not actual law, be very afraid.
are countries around the world these people claim to hate—like Iran—that rule by religion. Which is exactly what these right-wing Christian
extremists are trying to do. How is their future any different than those of
these non-secular states?
Davis is not—and should not—be held on a pedestal, because, she is not working
to protect anyone but herself. She is, as Jefferson predicted, one of many abusing their positions, harming the public and availing "themselves for their own purposes."