frankly, i could have picked any one of hundreds of articles to link to, but a particular quote from a Missouri GOP State Rep struck a chord with me:
“This is about sending a message to the federal government that we don’t like things rammed down our throat.”
this kind of rhetoric is becoming increasingly commonplace. while many laws are allowed to be set by the States, some things are Federal territory - things like civil rights, for example. but some areas of our country have become so Religious that they are attempting to bypass any Federal law that goes against their Religious beliefs.
in this case, the law in question is the Obamacare mandate requiring contraceptive care. this is not the Bishops at it again, but this Bill is essentially a state version of the "Respect the Rights of Conscience Act" that was shot down in the Senate 2 months ago. this isn't about Catholic employers, but ANY employer who wishes to deny it's employees any kind of healthcare that goes against their conscience.
while the issue itself is complex (and absurd), the idea behind it is what i'd like to discuss. suddenly, we find ourselves in a country where States are directly taking on the Federal gov't. they are making laws and daring the Administration to "come and get them". we've seen this in states defunding Planned Parenthood, such as Texas and Arizona. in Texas, the Feds said that they would defund the state's total Women's Health Program. to that threat, Texas has said, "good, us too". so much for our Gov't having teeth.
in Mississippi, they have successfully all but eliminated abortions through legal means. abortion in Mississippi may be legal, but good luck trying to get one there. where has the Federal gov't been to defend it's citizens from laws that abolish a federally protected right?
now Missouri is joining the fun, sticking a proverbial finger in Obama's face, all but daring the gov't to do something about it. perhaps they are gun shy during this election year. or maybe they are waiting for the SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare. but what i find shocking is how brazen these state houses are being at snubbing the Federal gov't, and with all things, Obama's biggest accomplishment - his Healthcare Plan. you'd think he'd be all over this like white on a Republican. yet i hear crickets from his side, and very loud, viscious, and daring speech on the other.
perhaps this "poll" is what is happening out there in Jesusland:
i put poll in quotations because of the source (forgive me for linking WND) - it was conducted by the Knights of Columbus. yet, even if it's a flawed poll and doesn't represent the vast majority of Americans, it says that 3 of 4 people think Religious Rights should be put above the law. even if it's 3 out of 4 totally batshit crazy wing-nuts, that is a scary thing for so many people to believe. it's the kind of belief that leads to serious stand-offs, and not just in the Courts.
the idea of "no-compromise" is spreading from the Republican politicians to Republican citizens. they see their leaders setting the example, and i fear they are following them to a T. and just like much of the nonsense we are seeing from Republican politicians, it stems from Religious beliefs. at some point in time, the role of Religion in American law and politics needs to be re-defined. right now, the line is too blurry.
we hear that there is a War on Religion in America, and they may be right. will the Federal gov't have the guts to take on this War and remind the entire country that Religion has it's place, but it is not in our secular laws or gov't. will the Federal govt, regardless of who is in the White House, stand up to States that are egregiously making laws that violate Federal law? will the Federal gov't stand up for citizens that live in States that are denying citizens their rights? God i hope so.
"Now it seems states are competing to be more and more religious."
and if this trend continues, then what? there are movements in a least 3 states to secede from the US (http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/states-looking-into-secession).
i wonder how the Federal gov't would respond if they tried.
@Write4U - Agreed and they need to give up their nice, little federal benefits to their states if they can't play nice and abide by federal laws. If they want to be their own islands, let them and let them have no federal protections and see how long they last. I also can't help but think of Arizona and good ol' Sheriff Joe being sued by the federal government, we need to see a LOT more of those kinds of actions.
@Booklover - It used to be and not so very long ago, if a politician announced they belonged to a specific sect of Christianity, it was political suicide... (BTW I are stuck in a whacky religious state! Can I haz adoptive parents at 45? Preferably European....???)
Maybe my parents will adopt you but, they are secular Europeans living in the US.
And to think Pat, there are 30 states down here that have constitutional laws stating that marriage is between a man and a woman, 30 states! It's disturbing. Your post regarding Sharia made me think of something I saw this morning over on Diaspora... It said "The fact that you can't sell your daughter for three goats and a cow means we've already redefined marriage." Now why didn't I think to make that into yard signs during the NC primaries???!!!
lol.. so when they get hit by a car or stabbed/robbbed.. or disease from coke/pepsi sets in...
the 'state' will fund them LOL idiots...
all for 'one gov' and one for all.. feudalism has nearly tore up Europe hello!
they came here to get away from the injustice.. just to be fooled again? i think not
secular USA or bust! neo-fascists fail!
Hahahaha! Nice map Pat, but I lived in Michigan and err uhmmm... there are places there... OMG Jebus Christ!
adding to this theme, NJ Governor Chris Christie has announced that his state will willfully ignore Federal law and allow sports gambling in NJ casinos.
"We intend to go forward," the Republican governor said. "If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us. We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented."
not that i give a shit about whether or not this happens, but isn't it a tad bold to say, "yeah, we know it's against the law, but fuck it, we're going to do what we want to do and good luck stopping us."? has this kind of thing happened before and i missed it?
@Johathan - Absolutely spot on! This state with our position as 4th highest in unemployment, couldn't make it a week without their federal funding and yet still we go round and round over issues concerning putting tolls on interstates (they own them since they run through the state dontcha know), rejecting federal funding for Planned Parenthood (no kidding they tried and sadly it looks like they're going to waste more taxpayer money going back to court on this same issue...), then there was the latest debacle of an unconstitutional amendment to the state constitution regarding marriage (I see that costing the state taxpayers a ton of money for litigation soon...)
Seriously they don't even respect state law enough to enforce it and protect the smallest of our citizens (long story), so federal laws down here... meh, they don't mean a thing to our legislators, pull their federal funding and watch the rats scamper back into their holes when the taxpayers come out with their pitchforks hungry and angry.
Curse you 15 minute edit!!! Sorry I flubbed your name Jonathan!
Jonathan, you're welcome, and thanks for your comment.
"It will never happen but I’d love to see the feds say that from now on any state can refuse to comply with federal rules in any area they wish."
i actually think it may happen. hell, it already happened with Texas. the Feds cut off their $35 million in funding for it's Women's Health Program b/c of Texas defunding Planned Parenthood. Texas Governor Rick Perry first said that he'd find the funding himself, and later said that if he couldn't find the funding he'd just drop the entire program. now all this is in the courts.
it's easy to drop a program that benefits poor folks. but would Texas take a similar stand on Education if the Feds threatened to remove their funding from that? if, for example, Texas wanted to teach Creationism (well, they kinda do) and told the US that they were going to do so whether the government objects or not.