Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Even Children Can See It's Wrong

America today is not the freewheeling place millions of Americans remember it being when they were young and strolled the streets with their friends.

It's not that America is a more dangerous place. In fact, as the recently released FBI Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistic report proves, America in general, is the safest it's been in many years.

If you listen to the right-wing media though, there seem to be victims everywhere you look in America. From the poor little billionaires being "attacked" for acting like selfish, arrogant jerks, to the fake Christians terrified they or their kids might have to sit next to a gay person in a diner, the right wing in America continues to see boogiemen everywhere.

As Jonathan Chait pointed out Tuesday, when they're caught lying about an issue like the Affordable Care Act, conservatives and Republicans today immediately crumple into a metaphorical fetal position and cry that they're the victims. They even claim to be victims in their inability to pass major legislation like immigration reform, even though - as Greg Sargent has consistently proven - the only people who are victims are the Americans still waiting for Republicans in Congress to do any kind of worthwhile legislating.

Nowhere has this false meme of victimhood been more obvious lately than in the attempt to legalize bigotry and 'Jim Crow'-style treatment of LGBT Americans through a series of laws in states all over the country, generally referred to as "religious freedom" laws.

In truth, these proposed laws do absolutely nothing to protect the rights of any American of any religion to worship as he or she sees fit.

In fact, as Cecile Richards pointed out in the Daily Beast on Monday, these "religious freedom" laws - along with the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga cases that the Supreme Court will hear next month - are simply legal fictions, designed to allow both for profit corporations and not-for-profit organizations like religious groups to pick and choose which laws the people running them would like to follow.

Want to have slaves in America today? Under these "religious freedom" laws, you may be able to simply claim you're a Christian, and quote Leviticus 25:44-46. Want to beat your wife and get away with it? Christians also have that covered multiple times in the Bible. Most other religions have similar justifications for heinous acts from murder to vandalism that are authorized under their tenets, even if the civil laws of the land don't allow it.

Of course, we realize that those examples sound ridiculous. Then again, so does the idea of attempting to make a class of Americans into second-class citizens, using legal attempts at nullification, which is what these bills would do to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Americans.

The fact that so-called Christians are pushing so hard to have bigotry enacted into law, in America, at a time when Americans are more rapidly than ever accepting gay and lesbian Americans as their equals, is both sick and sad.

The sheer terror that many of those on the right seem to have right now, that the view of America they have may be under siege from an evil force is something we can totally empathize with.

The problem is, the force that is committing those acts of exclusion and evil is the one in their own mirrors - a fact that even children can see.

Too bad right wing Americans can't seem to.