Mahatma Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
The Christian religion practiced in America practiced over the last 30 years is nothing more than a perverse amalgamation of right-wing political talking points and religious extremism, determined to purify a sinful world not by fulfilling Christ's Great Commission of going and teaching all nations, but by forceful, fundamentalist subjugation of all who hold beliefs differently of their own. In modern-day American politics, where religion has been an excuse for some of the most immoral, un-Christlike behavior ever witnessed, the "Lordship of Christ" mantra found in Francis Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto are on full display in this country.
Fear is a potent motivator for those of a fundamentalist religious worldview, perhaps no more evident in Right-wing Culture War politics. For the fundamentalist Christian, a changing world is evidence of 2 Timothy 3:13's promise that "...evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." The Far Right has made much political hay by capitalizing on their followers' sheltered lives and irrational fear, turning matters of politics and basic human decency into a fight against their morals and values.
The most glaring example of this has been the recent fight I wrote about in a previous post over the Health and Human Services decision to require religious institutions such as hospitals and churches to provide contraceptive medicines at no charge. While this decision was then changed to require the insurance companies the religious institutions use to provide the contraception to its employees, this did not stop those of religious persuasion to declare this an assault on religious freedom and liberty. To people like Peggy Noonan, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan and others, this was glaring evidence of a godless President secularizing the Judeo-Christian United States of America, as if the denial of basic women's health rights was the right of the Church to carry out.
That was, however, until yesterday.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has just passed a "personhood" bill through their House. By way of Republican supermajority, this law passed declares that life begins at the moment sperm fertilizes a woman's egg, essentially turning, as the late George Carlin so eloquently put it many years ago, a woman's menstrual cycle into mass murder. This law passed was the part to deal with contraception, but is not the scariest part of this story.
Along with the personhood bill, the Commonwealth also passed a bill that requires an invasive form of ultrasound to be performed on a woman seeking to have an abortion, requiring probes to be inserted into a woman's vagina in an attempt to shame the woman out of having an abortion, creating unprecedented, shameful intrusion into a woman's body.
I'm a man. I can never know how a woman will feel, or what a woman goes through as they make the decision to have an abortion. But, quite honestly, I am horrified by this. I was sickened by the disregard for a woman's safety, or even the safety of the fetus. For a state to be so ready to allow the mental and emotional scarring of women because of what they so arrogantly believe to be a "matter of convenience" is both dangerous and horrifying.
For all the talk of "small government" conservatism, the Far Right truly has found it. Small enough, in fact, to fit inside a woman's vagina.