With the election bandwagon in full swing, it becomes apparent that the number of complete religious nutters contained within the US Republican party appears to have grown. More examples have arisen, we have now had Richard Mourdock, the Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, who explained “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”. He is not alone and is in competition with the many other daft things being pronounced by other leading lights, for example congressman Paul Broun (R-Ga.) who said the week before that evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
What are we to make of such gibberish except to simply label those making such claims as complete kooks, yet the thing that is more interesting is to ponder over is how the electorate will respond. The deeply religious love it, but there is quite clearly a growing tide of rationalism firmly rooted in the younger generation, so if the Republicans stick to their religious-driven agenda, then they face being completely wiped out … perhaps not in this coming election, but certainly in the decades to come as the older more religious pass, and a younger more rational generation rises up.
Some might wonder if a political policy that is founded on a religious basis is such a bad thing because many do equate religion with decency and morality. As a response to such thinking there is a rather good article at Religion Dispatches by Sarah Posner where she basically nails it and explains why faith-based policy-making is destructive to democracy and humanity:
We’ve become far too tolerant of religious explanations and religious excuses for public policy decisions…. But really we should be questioning why politicians are given a pass when they undergird their policy positions with God’s will.
Does God intend climate change, and the global catastrophe that will ensue if it’s left unchecked? Does God intend that some hardworking people will make a lot of money, while the slothful will stay poor, and deserve it? Does God say taxes are wrong? Does God say women should be submissive to their husbands? Does God say slavery is sometimes justified? Does God say we should all own guns? Just because some people answer “yes” to these questions doesn’t mean their interpretation of God’s intentions should dictate law and policy.
The core flaw in any backing for faith-based policies is that when you vote for those that truly believe that they know what a God wants them to do for you, you are voting for a theocratic dictatorship, and that quite frankly will never end well, history is littered with examples. Perhaps it is time to remind the US voters that their secular republic was founded by people whose ancestors fled from religious persecution, and that creating their very own variation of the same might not be such a great idea.
Personally, I have confidence that the US voters are not all daft and that a majority do not have an appetite to keep on voting for a party that is rapidly degenerating into huddle of wingnuts, and so if the current trends continue within the US Republican party, then their slow slide into the dustbin of history truly is inevitable.