Thursday, May 15, 2014


For generations men and women of faith have claimed that their religious beliefs led them on a path that didn’t match that of their governments. From early Christian martyrs to conscientious objectors to priests, nuns and lay leaders in the killing zones of Latin America they followed their beliefs no matter where it led. However, to my knowledge none of them claimed that their faith shielded them from the legal consequences of their actions. Until now.

There’s a Tea Party favorite who just won the Republican nomination for senate from the state of Nebraska. His name is Ben Sasse. He’s ridiculously well educated and well over in the right wing of American fundagelicalism. He claims that religious liberty is absolute and trumps secular law. Believers should be shielded from legal sanctions for crimes up to and including murder. And no, this article is not on the Onion. 

For somebody with a PhD. in philosophy he obviously hasn’t thought this all the way through. Makes me wonder if they're still teaching critical thinking as the university level these days. And a personal aside here. Why do so many of these believers from this guy to Joel Osteen and many in between look like they’re a couple of stubbies short of a six pack? A few sandwiches shy of a picnic? Not the brightest bulb on the tree? Whatever. There’s just something about the eyes that makes me want to shine a light in one ear and see if it comes out the other side.

Mr. Sasse, you blithering idiot. We’ve spent the better part of two fucking thousand years trying to bring society under the rule of law and we’ve managed to reach only a small percentage of the world’s population. Are we supposed to throw off the judicial reforms under Henry II, Magna Charta, the English Civil War, one dead King, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution for what? You?

The terrorists who flew those flying bombs into the twin towers and the pentagon probably could have argued that they had a deeply held religious belief that striking at the symbols of US world hegemony was the “right” thing to do. From the background information that's available they were reportedly extremely devout. If they had survived should they have gotten a walk for those beliefs? (me going la, la, la, la la for a few minutes), Didn’t think so.

Don’t you realize that if you can make this claim then so can anyone else? That path leads to anarchy. We either live under the law, or we don’t. You can try to change laws you don't agree with but you can't ignore them or escape the consequences for breaking them. Follow your path and we’re back under the rule of the war lord and the blood feud. The headlines of full of what happens in other countries where the law is ignored. Is that truly what you want for the nation you claim to love and wish to serve? 

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