December 14, 2013

Inhofe bill perpetuates culture of fear politics in America

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star


My faith in Washington was restored to some degree this week. A bipartisan budget deal, where both parties made concessions for the betterment of the country came into play and passed the House. Democracy works, and it's beautiful. 

Then our fabulous Sen. Jim Inhofe decided budget reform was boring and a wiser use of his time would be protecting his government from the tyrannical force of the gays. 

Inhofe and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined forces to create the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act, a law aimed at protecting churches from being denied federal tax exempt status by defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. 

Inhofe released the following statement in regards to the legislation with a few of my annotations. 

"The United States has long been a beacon of light in the arena of liberty." I suppose that's true except for the smattering of European countries with more freedoms than we we have, but ok.

"When it comes to religious freedom, our founding fathers intentionally set out in the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution to protect religious institutions from government. It is not the federal government's job to pressure people or private businesses to change policies or values that run counter to their moral beliefs." Most of the founding fathers despised religion, so no. I also like that religion should be separated from government, according to Inhofe. Unless of course a religiously based policy aligns with his beliefs. Too bad hypocrisy doesn't stop anyone from being elected.  "This is why I've joined forces with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure those who hold the religious conviction that marriage is between a man and a woman are protected from any possible future retaliation from the federal government for this moral value." And yet again, he's back to using religion in government as long as it works in a manner he agrees with. 

His co-author was a bit more candid during an interview with the Washington Examiner recently as to why he created this bill. 

“We need not just statements, but we need legislation to protect religious liberty from this kind of potential threat," Lee said in the interview. 

Ok, so we have two men so vehemently homophobic they're willing to waste tax payer money to craft legislation that doesn't have a prayer of passing in the Senate in an effort to prevent something that there is no evidence to show will ever happen. 

Let that marinate for a minute. We elected these guys. 

I support faith. I met some of the most amazing people in the world last week. They saved me from an ice storm and they were Christians. 

But this sort of action is an abuse of belief and democracy. There's no call for it. It's an attempt at a preemptive strike to disenfranchise a minority group of people in the name of religious freedom. It's anything but liberty. It's the same type of fear mongering that has plagued our political process for years, and lately it seems to be aimed more toward homosexuals than anything else. 

This is getting out of control and it's high time we reel in this sort of unsubstantiated garbage before it truly damages the principles on which this country was founded.