Wednesday, September 01, 2004

OP-ED The Republican God???



There are many gods in the human world. There are numerous religions and even more numerous are the concepts of the true nature of god. Every denomination has its own take on the nature of god and there are different gods, different supreme personalities, represented within the membership of each denomination.

One thing so many of these believers have in common, is their willingness to use their god to give Universal value to their beliefs and desires. They hold in common, the tendency to track their course through the world, telling themselves that “God wants it this way”. My way or the hell way.

A self empowering claim that excuses all manner of evil in the world.

Such as:

The CDC cuts funding for aids prevention/education programs that even mention safer sex information. A move that can only serve to increase HIV rates among the young. An outcome that benefits only the major drug companies.

A big overseer and implementer of these programs is Tommy Thompson, secretary of HHS and a Devout Catholic. Tommy wants Abstinence-Only programs instead of real education because his rather small minded, short sighted version of god wants it that way. It just also happens to be the side his political bread is buttered on. Coincidence?

The same crew, fronted by the former CEO for drug giant Eli Lilly, Randall Tobias, is taking Sunday school, disguised as education, to the third world where the Abstinence-Only fantasy is even more dangerously inappropriate than in the U.S.

Mr. Tobias was at the world AIDS conference in Bangkok recently, defending the American policy of using its funds to push the Abstinence-Only fantasy in Africa and Asia.

Administration defenders were there also, to try to put a positive spin on American aid being tied to buying grossly expensive American manufactured drugs.

Remember the back ground of Mr. Tobias, the head of the American delegation.

Mr. Tobias gave a fantasy description of the Abstinence-Only doctrine that bears no relationship to how it is described in their own documents or how it is implemented in America. In defending the American drug policy, Tobias went so far as to claim the idea of attaching American aid dollars to the purchase of US manufactured drugs, is to insure that third world patients get the same quality of drugs that Americans enjoy. What a guy.

More lies, for the good of god, no doubt. Many will die as a result of force feeding this unworkable moralistic program to people in some of the poorest places in the world. In the minds and tiny hearts of the religious right, that somehow makes the world a better place.

The moral underpinnings of the Bush administrations’ attacks on health care, education, and the Constitution are inspired by the political aspirations and politically tainted moral dictates of the Christian right. Where a supreme being fits into this quest for earthly power and wealth, is hard for me to see.

What does this say about the god of the religious right in America? How is it fundamentally different from the god of the Islamists?

There were very real and very good reasons why Separation of Church and State was laid as a cornerstone of the Constitution and has been a cornerstone of American democracy.

Americans are setting themselves up to learn, the hard way, why that doctrine was and is so important.

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