Apparently, the new executive order signed by Donald Trump doesn’t go far enough for religious groups. For me personally I think it went too far, but then again just about everything this president has done has been morally repugnant on so many levels, and hideously transparent on just who stands to benefit.
Case in point, this current order seeks to appeal to “religious” people, which is two-faced in so many ways. In particular, “religious” mostly means Christian, because it is majority religion of the United States of America. The second being that it is a way for the Republicans to try ensure victory in future elections.
This party is notorious for using dirty and underhanded tactics to do this. Whether it be through their oddly racial redistricting practices or voter I.D. laws. So it is no wonder that our elected president would sign into law something that not only allows religious institutions to endorse political candidates (which probably was being done already), but also helps protect them from losing their tax free status in doing so.
I take issue with this mainly because it seems like needlessly legislating something for the sake legislating it. I can remember growing up in the Lutheran Church listening to our pastor talk about politics, and endorsing former president George W. Bush over his political rivals Al Gore and John Kerry.
For most people, up until this point, I am assuming didn’t even know that this wasn’t allowed. The only people that would be policing such an action would be members of a churches congregation, which would make the likelihood of a violation being reported pretty slim. In the event someone found such an action reprehensible, that person would likely just choose to attend a different church more in line with their personal beliefs.
By signing this executive order Trump has drawn attention to an issue most people weren’t even aware of, and makes it seem like Christianity is this generation’s Civil Rights Movement. I’m sorry being Christian doesn’t make you an oppressed person, it just makes you the target for Bill Maher’s bad jokes.
The other issue with this is that people in charge of religion are believed to be wise, regardless of whether this is true or not. Members of religious congregations will solicit their pastor, priest, mullah, or rabbi’s advice on all manner of topics. They look to them for guidance in not only spiritual, but also the personal matters. Meaning, these people have an unusual amount of influence over people who they otherwise shouldn’t
So by default if these people were avoiding speaking out publicly for or against a candidate, they now have the ability to sway hundreds or maybe thousands of people in the way they vote.
One only has to look to the city of Boston and their troubling relationship with the Catholic Church to see this. The church had been deliberately covering up sexual crimes committed by their priests on children. The city which is predominantly Catholic managed to turn the other cheek until reporters from the Boston Globe shined light on the issue.
What is ironic though, is that these assholes don’t think Trump went far enough with his order. They want to basically discriminate on services rendered because of their religious beliefs. This would include things like Catholic adoption agencies refusing service to gay couples looking for a child, not paying for birth control in employee health insurance plans, or Christian hospitals from refusing to conduct certain practices they may ethically disagree with.
First of all, I’d probably be on the side of some of these religious institutions when it came to such things. Granted, it would be taken on a case by case scenario. But here is why I am not in favor of this, and why I’m glad these funny hat wearing motherfuckers didn’t get their way.
Mainly comes down to accessibility and options. If there is an equal number of public institutions offering services that a religiously owned institution (i.e. public vs Christian health care centers) then I would say have at it. This would be fine because people would still have access to services they need.
This isn’t always the case though, and for a person living in poverty they don’t always have the luxury of driving somewhere else to get the services needed or desired, or sometimes it is an emergency and that choice can’t be made.
In particular, religious discrimination in the health care is still very much a thing, despite it being illegal in the U.S. Take for example a hospital in Muskegon, Mich that refused to perform medically necessary abortions. These weren’t the type of abortion a person gets because someone forgot the birth control.
via The Guardian
The woman inside the ambulance was miscarrying. That was clear from the foul-smelling fluid leaving her body. As the vehicle wailed toward the hospital, a doctor waiting for her arrival phoned a specialist, who was unequivocal: the baby would die. The woman might follow. Induce labor immediately.
But staff at the Mercy Health Partners hospital in Muskegon, Michigan would not induce labor for another 10 hours. Instead, they followed a set of directives written by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that forbid terminating a pregnancy unless the mother is in grave condition. Doctors decided they would delay until the woman showed signs of sepsis – a life-threatening response to an advanced infection – or the fetal heart stopped on its own.
As you can see this was a particularly awful thing, and frighteningly this is not an isolated incident, because Catholic Hospitals make up 40-percent of hospital beds in the U.S. That is close to half.
So if services rendered could be evenly distributed between public and privately owned businesses and organizations, then religious groups would be more justified in their anger towards the president. That simply isn’t the case though.