Monday, October 06, 2008

Palin Supreme Court & the Religious Right Racism and Anti-Feminism

Update: There were some major and minor errors in this post which I hope I have now corrected. Published originally on Sunday Oct. 5th. GORD.

It is no real surprise that Sarah Palin would want to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe V Wade which gave reproductive rights to women i.e. the right to an abortion. Palin is an ultra-Conservative and belongs at least ideologically to the Religious Right. She and the Religious Right are against reproductive rights . She is against the use of contraceptives . She has shown disdain or at least an unsympathetic view about female rape victims since she wanted women to pay up front for rape tests to discourage women from trying to prove rape or to have rape charges filed.

One Nation, Under God: America is a Christian Nation/You Aren't a Real American if you Don't Believe in God From Austin Cline,

Lets begin with considering the notion that America is God's chosen nation as in Blessed by God.

When Americans sing God Bless America it is a reassertion of their belief in the exceptionalism of America as a country which has been chosen by God to be the City on the Hill as a beacon to all the world that Jesus and Christianity are somehow integral to the foundation and continuation of America as a nation with " true Christian Values" This is where the religious right begins their argument that America must fulfill its destiny as a Christian Nation. They then move onto such items as the use of the phrase " One Nation Under God" in the pledge of Allegiance and the to the adding of "In God We Trust " on its coins . Each time such phrases are added at first seemingly almost innocuous they later are used to bolster the Religious Right's case.

article One Nation, Under God: America is a Christian Nation/You Aren't a Real American if you Don't Believe in God From Austin Cline,

A basic belief for the Christian Right is that America is a 'Christian Nation.' This belief is one of the most important foundations of every other position they advocate. So long as people believe that America is a 'Christian' nation, it should be easier for them to get the government to adopt laws which are based upon or which promote specifically Christian beliefs or doctrines.
Schools are an important component of their efforts to encourage this belief. Christian schools teach the doctrine outright, but secular public schools cannot -- at least, not yet. For the time being they can only promote a very vague sort of theism which the courts turn a blind eye to by pretending that it's no longer truly religious.

The Pledge of Allegiance, with it's added phrase 'under God,' plays a significant role here because every day most children recite what amounts to a patriotic affirmation incorporating a religious oath. In this manner children are encouraged to see patriotism and theism as essentially linked. Since most tend to come from at least a general Christian background, the Christian god is the only sort of god they'll have in mind when they say or hear 'under God.'

Even if children do not actively and consciously believe that patriotism requires theism, that America is specially blessed by God, or that Christianity is America's defining religion, the attitudes and assumptions necessary for such beliefs will be inculcated over years of repetition. When they are needed, they will be there and they will be ready to exploit.

...The idea that God has "blessed" America is integral to Christian Nationalists' religious and political ideology. This concept of a blessing isn't about God generally blessing humanity, but is instead the assertion of a special relationship between God and America -- a relationship not unlike the one described in the Old Testament between God and Israel. Without this special relationship, much of Christian Nationalists' religious and political agenda would be difficult if not impossible to justify. For this reason, the belief deserves closer scrutiny and greater criticism.

Christian Nationalists did not invent this. Puritans saw themselves as a "new Israel," repeating the biblical story of Exodus by establishing a "City on the Hill" in a "new Canaan" where a purer form of Christianity could develop and which would serve as a moral and religious beacon for the rest of the world.
In John Winthrop's day America's mission was to Christianize the world with Puritan Christianity. In the 1800s the mission was secularized to include "civilizing" the world alongside "Christianizing" it. Today, America has the mission to "democratize" the world, spreading the values of democracy and capitalism. Words change and concepts shift, but the similarities are greater and more instructive than the differences.

Framing America as a City on the Hill or "bright hope of humanity" causes it to stop being just a nation and to become, in addition, a religion. American soldiers are thus portrayed as having entered Iraq not only to liberate its people from a dictator, but also from darkness. American soldiers become missionaries for the True Faith -- the True American Faith. Instead of simply killing terrorists and insurgents, they also cast out demons. Americans themselves are not simply citizens of a nation or even of a great nation; instead, they are the "chosen people," blessed for living in the "chosen land" where a the divine project for humanity has reached its highest fulfillment.

"God Bless America" signs or banners are making both a political and religious statement about America having a special relationship with God that sets it apart -- morally, religiously, and politically -- from all other nations. Not only is this arrogant, but it serves to justify outrageous actions which wouldn't be tolerated if other nations did it.

Palin during her interview with Katie Couric was unable to name other important Supreme Court decisions besides Roe V Wade with which she disagreed. Besides personally disagreeing with Roe v Wade she argues that the decision in that case was wrong because it ignored state rights. The US Supreme Court she also believes goes too far in re-interpreting the American Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. If she insists that State's Rights were trampled upon by the Supreme Court in Roe V Wade then does she believe the Supreme Court has done this in other cases i.e. Brown v. Board of Education.Her attitude is that of the ultra-Conservatives who are less interested in the details of a specific case but that the Supreme Court has gone beyond its mandate when it was taken over in their view by a left-wing liberal elite especially after World War II.

She tosses out the old chestnut about States' Rights without either explaining what this would actually entail. She has bought into an ideology even though that ideology of States Rights is that of anti-Civil Rights except for those dealing with bearing arms or maybe states once again could make " Lynching " an acceptable act as it is traditional to certain States. There are still ultraconservatives and their racist supporters who feel the Supreme Court and the Government betrayed the South by making "Lynching " a criminal offence and insisting that Separate But Equal was not doing justice to all Americans. Would she therefore wish to overturn all such decisions. For instance this could mean allowing the States to decide on Civil Rights matter so that those states who wished to re-instate Jim Crow laws could therefore do so. This would also mean overturning decisions regarding voters' rights at least at the Sate Level of elections if not also at the Federal level.. Once one opens this can of worms there is no end to it. Yet those in favor of States Rights often claim that these rights are fundamental to the American system of governing. For the most part it is just a means to an end which is to return to racial segregation & the overturning of the rights of women such as the Right to An Abortion or the right to equal pay or insisting that a state will decide which rights are to be enforced and which are not.So state run prisons , schools, hospitals, orphanages all would be permitted to act whatever way they wanted depending on the will of a state legislature.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
"We conclude that the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
—Chief Justice Earl Warren

and from Important Civil Rights Legislation and Court Decisions

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) - This landmark decision allowed for the desegregation of schools.

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) - Allowed for any accused individual to have the right to an attorney. Before this case, an attorney would only be provided by the state if the result of the case could be the death penalty.

Heart of Atlanta v. United States (1964) - Any business that was participating in interstate commerce would be required to follow all rules of the federal civil rights legislation. In this case, a motel that wanted to continue segregation was denied because they did business with people from other states.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 - An important piece of legislation that stopped segregation and discrimination in public accommodations. Further, the U.S. Attorney General would be able to help victims of discrimination. It also forbid employers to discriminate against minorities.

Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964) - No poll taxes would be allowed in any states. In other words, a state could not charge people to vote.

Voting Rights Act (1965) - Probably the most successful congressional civil rights legislation. This truly guaranteed what had been promised in the 15th amendment: that no one would be denied the right to vote based on race. It ended literacy tests and gave the U.S. Attorney General the right to intervene on behalf of those who had been discriminated against.

see: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

and US Supreme Court: Expanding Civil Rights

also check out: Abortion Rights, Privacy, Sexual Autonomy: Christian Right is Wrong on Abortion By Austin Cline, in which he argues that Roe v Wade decision is based on privacy and family rights .

For a selective list of articles dealing with the Religious Right In America see: About.Com: Chritian Right in America

NBC The Palin problem-Rachel Maddow-Sept. 30, 2008
GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin reportedly couldn't name another famous Supreme Court case other than Roe vs. Wade in an interview with CBS News Katie Couric. Has Palin doomed the ticket? Rachel Maddow is joined by Time Magazine contributor Ana Marie Cox.

Palin Cheerleader for Ultra-Conservatives , Neocons & The Religious Right

The Young Turks-Vice Presidential Debate Wrap-Up
Oct. 2, 2008/ Watch more at

Sarah Palin has also asserted on various occasions her belief in Creationism or Intelligent Design which should be given equal time alongside of Evolution in American schools. Intelligent Design is not a competing scientific theory but is rather an elaborate piece of pseudo-science masquerading as science in an attempt to sneak the teaching of Fundamentalist Christianity into the school system and into the public square. By this means Evangelical Christians will be able to teach that the Bible from Genesis to the Book of Revelation contains a great deal of scientific and historical truth. In this way they can introduce a literal innerrant reading of the Bible into the schools. One of the other problems with this is that not all Christians or Jews or Muslims believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible . There are large numbers of Christians who regard much of the Bible as using figurative speech , metaphors , parables, stories, poetry , allegory etc. So those who may be described as liberal are therefore according to Evangelical Christians as not being true Christians or as apostate & heretical. So liberal Christians should be as wary of these Conservative Evangelicals as those who are not Christian and those who are secularists . Sarah Palin and her ilk pose a danger to a free and open society which believes in tolerance of those of other beliefs or religions.

The Young Turks-Let Palin Be Palin
Palin Thinks Humans & Dinosaurs Co-Existed

Given she is against Roe v Wade & is Pro-State's Rights. Is she against other decisions such as 1954 Brown v Board of Education
The Young Turks
On Roe V Wade- Pro-life stance & State's Rights
Oct. 2, 2008
Liberty rights in the 14th amendment

Another astounding belief of Sarah Palin is that she believes homosexuality is just a life-style choice . I thought the question had been decided that people who are homosexual did not some point chose to be homosexual but rather discovered that's who they were. But the Religious Right sees them as sexual deviants who made a conscious choice but given the right psychological or spiritual intervention they could then chose not to be homosexual. So yes it appears she does want to re-ignite the culture wars . The only true Americans are those who agree with Sarah Palin on anything from the Iraq Wat to hating Islam to expanding the American Empire to her version of Christianity from which her basic beliefs are derived i.e. her anti-Abortion stand to her support of Creationism, Prayer in the schools ," laissez faire " capitalism , America, as God's chosen nation , limiting Gay Rights, etc. But it would appear that she is in favor of limiting freedom of speech for instance in regard to anyone criticizing the administration that is those in authority especially in a time of war should be considered traitors who ought to be silenced . And she is more than likely in favor of banning any speech whether in the media or books which can be characterized as being seditious or as UnChristian or Un-American.

Palin Chose Not To Be Gay! Its a lifestyle Choice !

The clip of the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin released on 9/30/08.

Palin says homosexuality is a choice and that she CHOSE not to be gay.

and so it goes,

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