Which Constitutional Provision Would Jesus Undermine?

July 19, 2006

The House of Representatives, in an all-to-common fit of facist lunacy, passed a bill intended to strip the Federal courts – the co-equal third branch of our government – of jurisdiction over the Pledge of Allegiance.

“We should not and cannot rewrite history to ignore our spiritual heritage,” said Rep. Zach Wamp (voting record), R-Tenn. “It surrounds us. It cries out for our country to honor God.”

Is that a fact? It might come as a surprise to Rep. Wamp that Jesus had some very clear instructions on how to go about honoring God*:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense, make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. – Matthew 23:14

Rep. Wamp voted for the bankruptcy reform bill, which makes no exception for debts incurred obtaining medical treatment or from “acts of God.” It should be noted that while a college student, Rep. Wamp was accused of writing “hot checks.” Perhaps this was a way of supporting his cocaine habit (see below)?

“Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” – Matthew 23:15

Rep. Wamp – an admitted alcoholic and cocaine addict – consistently votes against bills adovacting rehabilitation over incarceration, voted NO on maintaining right of habeus corpus in Death Penalty Appeals, and voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” – Luke 18:15-17

Rep. Wamp consistently votes in favor of legislation that will increase the prosecution and length of incarceration for juvenile offenders.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:45-46

Rep. Wamp has consistently voted against strengthening the Social Security “lock box” and the financing of numerous government social programs. On the other hand, he has been a consistent supporter of tax breaks and credits for large corporations and America’s wealthiest 1%.

“Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:36-37

Rep. Wamp, who as a Congressman gets traditional medical care for free, voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for Medicare subscribers who can’t meet their co-pay. He also voted YES on a bill that would require hospitals to report patients who cannot prove their citizenship to be reported to the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Finally, despite the fact that Jesus said absolutely nothing about gays and lesbians, Rep. Wamp is an outspoken opponent of recognizing gay marriage and proponent of banning adoption by gay families.

I think if Jesus were around to speak for himself, he’d ask for a more representative spokesperson than Rep. Wamp. In any event, he certainly wouldn’t want this nutcase.

* I realize that there are other spokespersons for God besides Jesus of Nazareth, but Rep. Wamp is a Southern Baptist; I’m sure that he not only believes that only Jesus has the straight poop on what is pleasing to God, but that Jesus is God. So I’m limiting this post accordingly.

Prominent Arizona Bigot Dies; Now is the Time for Reflection, Not Celebration

July 4, 2006

From AZCentral.com:

The head of the ballot effort to prohibit gay marriage and define traditional unions in Arizona was killed in a car wreck early Monday.

Lynn Stanley, chairwoman of the Protect Marriage Arizona Coalition, died in a crash on Interstate 40 while returning to Phoenix from Las Vegas, where she was visiting two sisters.

Stanley’s death cast a pall over what was to be a joyous time for the Protect Marriage coalition. The group collected roughly 300,000 signatures to place its measure on the November ballot, said Nathan Sproul, a political consultant for the effort. Amending the state Constitution, as the Protect Marriage coalition intends, requires at least 183,917 valid signatures.

Stanley, a Scottsdale wife and mother of two, wasn’t active in politics before the anti-gay marriage amendment.

“She was passionate on behalf of the family,” Herrod said.

“We in the pro-family, pro-marriage movement have lost a true friend and champion. She’ll be terribly missed.”

While I didn’t know about this woman before today, I am certain that I would have found her as personally repellant as I find her politics. Lynn Stanley was a lot of things, but passionate about “the family” wasn’t one of them.

People who are passionate about “the family” spend their time strengthening the ties that bind them to the people that they love, not hacking away at the bonds between others. As clearly mean-spirited Lynn Stanley was, I don’t believe that spearheading an effort to deny others the right to express their committment to one another brought her any closer to her spouse, her children, or her siblings, nor do I believe that they will miss her for the role she played as a self-righteous moral crusader in the last few months of her life.

Nevertheless, Lynn Stanley’s death is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for her family, who will no doubt miss the wife and mother that she was. It is a tragedy for her church, where she will be missed as an active congregant and teacher.

It is also an opportunity, however. In the wake of this woman’s passing, men and women who truly believe in “the family” need to step up and let Mrs. Stanley’s family know that however much they might disagree with what she stood for in life, they recognize and sypathize with the pain and loss those closest to her are experiencing because of her death. That’s what “the family” is all about, and I mean it when I say that while its totally appropriate to celebrate the setback her death has caused for the awful movement she lead, it is totally inappropriate to celebrate her death itself. With Mrs. Stanley’s passing, a man has lost his wife and lover; children have lost their mother and teacher. People who are truly passionate about “the family” will understand and relate to this.

I firmly believe in the weeks and months ahead, those who love and miss this woman the most will wish that she had spent a lot more time sharing whatever love and affection she was capable of with them, and a lot less time working to make sure that a select group of people are denied their right to do the same. I believe that if Mrs. Stanley were given the chance to relive the last year of her life, she’d realize what real passion about “the family” is, and come to the same conclusion.