Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Afraid of Sharia Law? Take a look at what's happening in our own US Congress

Republicans again appeal to theocracy

Michigan Republican Tim Walberg was a Christian minister before winning election to Congress in 2010 — and he hasn’t entirely changed jobs.

 In a rare Tuesday-night committee meeting at which House Republicans advanced a bill curtailing reproductive rights, Walberg took the even rarer step of lecturing his colleagues on Scripture.

“It is clearly taught by Jesus the Christ himself,” Walberg preached to members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, “for those of us who believe in him — and I understand and I accept the fact that there are those who don’t — but he said render unto Caesar what’s Caesar’s and God what’s God’s, and I think that’s an important consideration for us on this committee tonight.” 

 Claiming Jesus in a political dispute is inflammatory, particularly when you accuse your opponents, as Walberg did, of “a continued attack on religion.” 

The appeal to theocracy Tuesday night was even more incendiary because it was used to justify a bid to strike down a new District of Columbia law protecting women from workplace discrimination if they receive fertility treatments, use birth control or have abortions. 

 Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) took issue with Walberg. “I studied for the Roman Catholic ministry,” he responded. “But I certainly don’t think that it is my job to propound the dogma of my church as a member of Congress.” 

 Replied Pastor Walberg: “While I will not wear my religion on my sleeve, I will not hide my faith.” 


These Dominionists, (Ted Cruz and his pastor father who's anointed Ted as "King," for example) continue to sob about how they're being persecuted here in the U.S. Meanwhile, a U.S. Congressman uses his Dominionist beliefs to justify discrimination in U.S. law and sees nothing wrong with imposing one religious belief over all others.

There isn't one mention of Jesus Christ or God or any deity in the U.S. Constitution. Our laws are not based on anyone's holy book.  The same people who continue to soil their undies over their fears of Sharia law being imposed (by Obama, of course) see nothing wrong with using Christian beliefs as a basis for laws in our secular country.  They are the dominant religion (for now), so they must be right.  Right?

Here's more information on Rep. Walberg, a certifiable nutter:

Meet Tim Walberg: 

A Birther Goes to Washington Tim Walberg, who is returning to the House next year after representing Michigan's 7th district for one term from 2007-2009, brags that he "was a Tea Partier before there was a Tea Party." Indeed, Walberg enthusiastically embraces the most extreme aspects of the Tea Party—from corporate pandering and vowing to cut social safety-net programs to far-right views on social issues and a predilection for conspiracy theories. 

 Walberg is perhaps most famous for his unabashed embrace of "birther" theories. Asked by a radio show caller if he thinks President Obama is an American citizen or a Muslim, Walberg responded: "You know, I don't know, I really don't know. [] We don't have enough information about this President. He was never given a job interview that was complete. "But that's not the issue now. [] He is President. Right now, we need to make sure that he doesn't remain as President. Whether he's American, a Muslim, a Christian, you name it." 

 While other candidates have tried to tiptoe away from their own birther claims, Walberg later doubled down, saying that he would "take [Obama] at his word that he's an American citizen"…and then suggested that Congress impeach Obama in order to obtain a copy of his birth certificate.


Walberg's Religious Right credentials are also stellar. 

He opposes abortion rights, including in cases of rape or incest

As a member of the House, he cosponsored two bills that, according to NARAL, "would end all legal abortion, most common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization". 

He voted against a bill that would have provided for stem cell research. 

 In 2008, Walberg was the only member of the House education committee to vote "no" on extending funding for the Head Start program. 

He objected to a provision in the bill that prohibited Head Start preschools from discriminating based on religion, warning that a Christian parochial school might have to hire a Muslim or "a Wiccan from a coven in Ann Arbor."

Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the lawmakers allow a Bible story to be taught as science. 

 Is this another sign of Christian persecution???? 

 Dismissing Darwin:   Records show teachers and school board members conspiring to teach creationism in public school science class.


Rational Nation USA said...

Whenever strong belief in mysticism, regardless whether Allah or God, trumps sound science and objective philosophy a society is bound to lose liberty and freedom.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't sound Sharia to me?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anonymous said...
Doesn't sound Sharia to me?

That's probably because you share Walberg's beliefs. Suggesting laws based on someone's holy book is very much like Sharia law.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Definition of Sharia law - the code of law derived from the Koran and from the teachings and example of Mohammed; "sharia is only applicable to Muslims"; "under Islamic law there is no separation of church and state"

Some radical Christians claim America is a Christian nation, so therefore, its laws should be based on the Christian Bible.

The US Congressman in this post is proposing laws based on what is prohibited in the Christian religion.

Sounds like Sharia law to anyone who knows how religions believe their holy books are the TRUTH, and everyone else's is wrong.

okjimm said...

I used to love Sharia...boy&howdy....she had the cutest innie-belly button...and OHOHOH was she talented when it came to.....ooops....wrong lady. Never mind.

Connie said...

I was getting ready to sprout my separation of church and state wings when I read your post. Made me laugh so hard I startled the dog and forgot my rant. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you have an awesome night.

Infidel753 said...

It's not entirely fair to compare the policies of modern Republican theocrats to Sharî'ah law. On this issue of abortion, for example, early Islamic theologians taught that it was permissible until either 40 or 120 days after conception (rulings varied), and even later under some circumstances such as danger to the life of the woman. Sharî'ah as interpreted today is generally less permissive of abortion, but still falls short of an outright ban with no exceptions, as some Republicans advocate -- so Sharî'ah is still a little more liberal.

Secular law in individual Muslim countries is different from Sharî'ah law, of course. In Iran, for example, the government guarantees access to free contraception, even in the remotest villages in the country. In the US the Republicans would go apeshit at such a plan and not even Democrats have ever proposed it. Iran also teaches evolution in its schools, as do several Arab countries, which makes them less reactionary than Louisiana.

In most Muslim countries homosexuality is illegal and a few (including Iran and Saudi Arabia) even have the death penalty for it, but I've heard Republicans wishing it could be made illegal again here, as it was in several states until 2003.

So comparing US Republican theocracy to Sharî'ah law is in some was unfair to the latter and in some ways unfair to the former, but overall, people like Walberg are not as far removed from their Islamist counterparts as their defenders might like to claim.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Thanks for that clarification, Infidel753. I didn't know the details of Sharia law, but I do know that the extremist religionists on the right claim that it's being implemented here in the US. What they're blind to is the fact that, as you wrote, those extremist religionists, given the opportunity, would be happy to institute Sharia-like laws here in this country against gays and women.

Connie, glad I provided you a laugh.

Howard Brazee said...

One trouble with his logic is when his "Christianity" has values very, very different from the values the Bible shows Jesus Christ having.

So many times, the Religious Right demonstrates values which are opposite of those of Jesus Christ. It's not about Jesus, it's about their own entitlement and dislike of others.

Infidel753 said...

I meant it to emphasize that, incredible as it may sound to their defenders, in some areas the American Christian theocrats are actually worse than Islamic law.

These religious fanatics are a plague on our civilization, whether in America or the Middle East.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Howard, there are countless Christian sects who interpret the Bible in different ways. But it appears that the extremist fundamentalists' interpretations are geared to keeping gays and women in their place.

Rational Nation USA said...

Point of reference.

A Nice Underground Station said...

When a slime bag has nothing new to offer, he offers more of his old fashioned slime, repackaged so people will think it's not as putrid as his original crap.

Infidel753 said...

RN: The Islamic sacred texts have a lot of verses like that which exhort believers not to kill unwanted children. These are related to Muhammad's efforts to prohibit infanticide, which was a common practice in pre-Islamic Arabia. The interpretation of these texts to refer to abortion is a modern one which many Muslims today accept, but it would not have occurred to people in 7th-century Arabia to interpret "child" as referring to a month-old embryo. As I indicated, medieval interpretations of Sharî'ah were more liberal than the modern ones on abortion (and more liberal than what our Republican theocrats are pushing). Even today there are a lot of differing opinions on the subject.

Whether in Islam or Christianity, of course, the real point of strict prohibitions on abortion is to control women and punish them for being sexual

Rational Nation USA said...

Infidel753, We agree. My only caveat, abortions should be performed prior to fetus viability, unless to save the life of the women. Also, late term abortion, never.

Just my personal opinion, one held for years.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Also, late term abortion, never."

RN, you may not be aware of situations in pregnancies where the life of the mother is endangered by an almost full-term pregnancy. If the state rules no abortion whatsoever for any reason, you condemn that mother to death, and leave whatever children she may have at home, motherless.

It is a rare situation, but why should the government pass a law that condemns a mother to death in this situation.

WE have no way of knowing what medical catastrophes can happen in pregnancies. To outlaw an abortion in late term without knowing what the circumstances are, is cruel and inhuman.

Most men don't think about those very specific circumstances. Not all late term abortions are matter of convenience, but in fact are about life and death situations.

That's why I would leave the decisions up to medical experts, not a government that is driven by religious concerns.

Infidel753 said...

I really don't see why anyone other than the woman and her doctor should have any say in decisions about abortion. Whatever issues may exist about the fetus, the degree of risk to the woman, and so on, a doctor who is on the spot is far more qualified to advise the woman than a gaggle of legislators half of whom are such utter ignoramuses about biology that they reject evolution and believe in things like a talking snake and a woman created from a rib. I am quite grateful for the good fortune that, being a man, I don't need to worry about everybody in the world thinking they have the right to decide on rules to constrain my personal medical choices, never mind dingbat theocrats like Walberg threatening to enact them into law. But women must have the same freedom.

Rational Nation USA said...

Thank you for responding with this. In fact I have no problem if a late term abortion is determined by the women's doctor to be eccessary to save her life. I was talking about late term abortions for convience.

Points up why one should never use never, or always for that matter.

Rational Nation USA said...

The eternal philosophical question may very well be, (religion, theocrats, ignoramus legislators, and whatnot aside) at what point and under what conditions does a beating heart and the body it is housed in have the right to continue living? It is clear babies in the womb respond to stimuli and feel pain. At what point and under what conditions does the fetus deserve to be treated as more than just a disposable bag of cells?

If ever there was/is an argument for safe free contraception abortion is it IMO.

Dervish Sanders said...

Liberty and freedom could also be lost if we ever allowed Randian mysticism to override the empirical evidence that supports collectivism. Evidence RN acknowledges.

Time to relegate Objectivism to the dustheap of failed idealogies. Where it belongs - along with religious fundamentalism. Good to see RN is finally coming to his senses.

Rational Nation USA said...

Yada, yada, yada...