Michele Bachmann’s (and Rick Perry’s) Bogeyman

“We are confident that no one can harm us if God is with us….there is nothing more we can do except depend on almighty God. If a person does, then he is assured that the Almighty will help him, have mercy on him and he will succeed.” Yes, this does in fact sound like Presidential Candidates Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry at one of their rallies or prayer groups. In fact, it’s Mullah Omar the deposed Afghan Taliban leader.

Mullah Omar believes, like Bachmann and Perry, that his god is the only one, that religion and government cannot be separate and that Islam (Bachmann and Perry say their Christianity) is God’s chosen religion.

As we all know, Mullah Omar also believes that women should be subservient. Although his ideas are much more drastic, Michele Bachmann agrees that “The Lord says: be submissive, wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

Bachmann and Perry’s good friend Bryan Fischer actually elaborates:

“If you look at the Scriptures, I believe it’s clear that God has designed men to exercise authority in the home, in the church, in society, and in government. So let me repeat that – that is my personal take on what the Scriptures indicate about the way God has designed man and woman to work: God has designed men to exercise leadership and authority and headship in the home, in the church, in society, and in government.

Now then the question becomes what if God can’t find any men with the spine and with the testicular fortitude to provide the kind of leadership? Well, what he’ll do is He’ll send a woman to do a man’s job.”

Testicular fortitude? I feel like I’m in the dark ages.

Bachmann also says, and I believe that the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would also agree, that when “Your involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement. And that is why it’s so dangerous. It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.” Actually Ahmadinejad never says anything bad about gay people because he thinks there aren’t any gay people – in his country anyway – but he’d probably certainly agree on the Satan thing.

Since these belief systems are so close maybe they should put their activism into making peace with the Taliban’s Mullah Omar and work out all those pesky issues the U.S. has with Iran. Then, Bachmann can concentrate on god and praying the gay away with her husband.

Mullah Omar wants his own Taliban dominion over all people and the New Apostolic Reformation movement wants that too. They “believe Christians—certain Christians—are destined to not just take ‘dominion’ over …the ‘Seven Mountains’ of society.” Now here is the really good part, “As a first step, they’re leading an “Army of God” to commandeer civilian government.” (http://tinyurl.com/5uz4a6w) An Army of God?? It sounds like a bad terrorist novel, but its not. In case you don’t realize, this is the name of the Christian anti-abortion terrorist group. They justify killing in the name of god much like the Taliban justifies suicide bombers.

Despite our history of the separation of church and state, Americans seem to be getting used to this Christian propensity to delve into their personal lives – who they marry, what kind of sex they should have, how they should be taught – unless it has to do with gun control, but that’s another story.

The idea of a theocratic government is not new. From Israel to Saudi Arabia, religion is entrenched in the political authority of many countries. In most you will find equal rights and democratic principles very compromised, but there is no argument about gay marriage or abortion – those things are often just illegal and grounds for imprisonment, torture and the like. No worries though because all that matters it that you know your religion is superior to others and that little detail about all people being created equally can go right out the window along with the right to equal protection and representation under the law.

Seriously, aren’t we all tired of this nonsense about fighting over religion? Can’t we put our energy into something else like getting people back to work so they stop thinking about religion? Can’t we see all this gay marriage and abortion talk is a cover for marginalizing people who are different or have different beliefs?

Let us remind ourselves a bit about history and perhaps we will remember that this age old dialogue is kind of like war, it has no winners. During the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholics pretty much terrorized Muslims and Jews who would not convert, Adolf Hitler justified killing millions because they were Jewish and over 8,000 Bosnians were eliminated based on the fact that they were Muslim. The former Soviet Union and today’s China just killed or persecuted people for admitting they had any religion at all and China still imprisons scores of Christians. Unfortunately these are not the only examples of people using religion in order to justify overpowering, marginalizing and/or exterminating others.

Christians, protestant, Catholics and endless groups of evangelists, argue about which sect is the right one. Muslims and Jews do the same. Even Hindus and Buddhists have sects. Regrettably, all of them use these differences to justify separation or repression of people, crusades, wars and invasions because others are not “chosen” or “don’t follow the right book.” And, further, it is all justified by “god.”

In the US, the tradition, although endlessly challenged, is to separate church and State. It is not only outlined in the First Amendment, it is right. People’s religious and spiritual preferences are and should be their own. Further, they should not be imposed on anyone.

In today’s GOP campaigns the influx of religion is worrisome. The very idea that you should govern according to a book called the bible, which not everyone believes, while praying the national debt or even being gay away is not only an excuse for ridiculous intolerance, it is a ploy to curb critical thinking, cooperating or working toward fixing real problems. This idea of forcing people through law or decree to define their social and, now political, life according to Christian or any other religious ideologies is archaic at best.

All this frankly seems no different than any other form of religious fundamentalism. While Mullah Omar and bin Laden “wanna bes” try to scare their own people into believing that the Christian bogeyman is trying to get them, the U.S.’s own New Apostolic Reformation movement is convincing Americans that Musliam Sharia bogeyman is waiting to capture them into and force them into a godless society . New York Congressman Peter King is so brainwashed that he is holding hearings to demonize people based on religion. States like Oklahoma feel the need to pass laws telling judges they cannot make decisions based on Sharia law. This is totally absurd, no one can usurp U.S. law unless I guess you would like to throw your church right into the state and blow the current U.S. Constitution to pieces. It is completely paradoxical that this movement wants to support the constitution and at the same time destroy it.

I’m hard pressed to understand how America is tolerating it all.

We have big problems and they need to be solved. Michele Bachmann can pray, but on her own time. Remember she is still in Congress. I’d rather see my tax money used to fix problems instead of create conflict between Americans because of their religion.

She, and all of Congress for that matter, should either roll up their sleeves, stop blaming everybody and their mother, get off their religious ranting and get to work or find another job. Congress controls the purse strings – they are responsible. That should be the issue not Christian principles as defined by her, Perry or anyone else, all of which are designed to scare people into beliefs and submission while distracting constituencies so they don’t have to deal with the economy, the financial crisis, two wars and a non-existent foreign policy.

Americans must stop this rubbish in its tracks. No disrespect to those who believe in god, but he doesn’t run this country, Americans do. It’s a democracy. If we mess it up its our fault. If praying helps you by all means go for it, in your own place on your own time.

All in all, just because people don’t act like you, look like you or believe in your religion does not mean they are inferior or they should be punished. It means that you must dig deeper and figure out why you’re allowing yourself to succumb to fear those that seem different and feel like they should change or be chastised.

Sometimes what scares us the most is the mirror image of ourselves. And, in this case, one bogeyman is looking an awful lot like the other.

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