Saturday, March 26, 2011

"Family' Advocate Says Constitution Doesn't Protect Muslims

The First Amendment, which explicitly protects freedom of religion, according to one "pro-family" advocate, is only for Christians. Bryan Fischer, one of the most extreme theocrats in Religious Right, now says the First Amendment only exists to "protect the free exercise of Christianity." Fischer runs the American Family Association, which primarily unleashes its hatred toward gay people. But now Fischer seems to want to broaden his disrespect to everyone other than "Christians."

Consider, for a second, that Fischer is excluding all non-Christians, not just Islam. In Fischer's mind Jews have no rights to freedom of religion either. Neither would non-believers, Buddhists, or a large percentage of the American public. And, if this Constitutional right only belongs to Christians, then wouldn't government be required to define who is, or isn't a Christian.

Some of my Catholic friends were horrified to discover that fundamentalists like Fischer don't actually think Catholics are Christians. Most of them exclude Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Scientists as well. In fact, if truth be told, they don't believe that most people who say they are Christians are actually Christians.


Does Fischer really want governmental bodies giving doctrinal tests to determine whether someone is sufficiently "Christian" in order to enjoy Constitutional rights to freedom of speech, religion and assembly? Given that the Founders never attempted to define Christianity it could easily be conceived that any doctrinal test could be written so as to exclude fundamentalists from Constitutional protections.

Fischer says American Muslims  are only "entitled" to religious freedom "out of courtesy" and  have "no First Amendment right to build mosques in America." Fischer says that is a "privilege" and that it is one that should be revoked "if, as is in fact the case, Islam is a totalitarian ideology dedicated to the destruction of the United States." What he is saying is that all Muslims should be stripped of the right to practice their religion, and that mosques should be banned in America.

If the Founders specifically wanted to apply the Bill of Rights to Christians only they would have explicitly said so. But what they said was actually quite different and quite explicit. They said Congress "shall make no laws" regarding religious freedom. They were quite explicit in other sections that rights granted were not for all. For instance there are restrictions as to who may run for public office. But there were no diminution of rights based on religious beliefs, or the lack of them. And religious tests for public office were specifically forbidden. The idea of religious tests to enjoy fundamental rights was never considered by them.

Fundamentalists are constantly claiming, on the flimsiest of evidence, that "secular humanists" and "liberals," along with numerous other favored scapegoats, are trying to strip them of their rights. In reality they are the opponents to natural rights since such rights apply to us as humans and we are all equally human.  They want many human denied rights quite regularly. There is an Orwellian/Freudian element to the fundamentalist.

The Freudian element is their tendency to project upon others the totalitarian impulses that they find so difficult to resist. Their obsessions with "sin" in others is far too often a reflection of what they fear most in them self. They scream about their freedom while actively working to deny others the same freedoms they claim.

The Orwellian aspect is how they twist language to mean the opposite of what it normally means. For instance, giving gay couples the same right to marry that heterosexuals enjoy, is called a "special" right. On one hand they will claim that God gives people rights but on the other they will claim that rights are privileges. Fischer, who has previously claimed God is the author of rights, says that when it comes to Muslims  religious freedom is a privilege that can, and should, be taken away from them. Rights are God-given, except when they aren't.

Has Mr. Fischer given any thought to the impact his anti-freedom sermon can have on Christian minorities in Muslim countries? Isn't he actually justifying Islamic jihads against Christians in Muslim nations? If America is a "Christian nation" and thus can strip Muslims of their rights, then precisely why do fundamentalist demand religious freedom for Christians in Islamic nations.

I am sure Mr. Fischer is not ending his jihad against gay Americans, just broadening his campaign of hate to include American muslims and other non-Christians.

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