Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nanny Statement

Some conservative Christian denominations have issued a proclamation: we’re sniveling busybodies and we’re ready to prove it.

Conservative Christian leaders unveiled a declaration Friday calling on Christians not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other ideals that go against their religious doctrines.

The declaration urges Christians to practice civil disobedience to defend their convictions, even though some signers of the document backed away from the strong language.


“We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them,” the declaration says. It lists the “fundamental truths” as the “sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and the rights of conscience and religious liberty.”

Just to be clear, none of the laws they’re prepared to break require anyone to get an abortion or marry someone of the same sex.

If they want to prevent women from getting abortions, it makes a lot more sense to do everything they can to support the teaching of comprehensive sex education and pregnancy prevention before the conception; wagging your finger and handing out nostrums like “Just Say No” doesn’t work. They’d accomplish a lot more if they would spend their money and considerable lung power working to end rape and domestic abuse. Meanwhile, there are plenty of laws in this country that assault the sensibilities of good people; for example, the Florida ban against adoption of children by gays or lesbians for no other reason than they’re gay or lesbian. I wonder where these so-called defenders of the faith stand on such unfair treatment, not to mention helping the children languishing in a woefully-inadequately funded state system? And if they are so adamant about not one tax dollar going to pay for an abortion, where is their outrage at their tax dollars going to pay for the war in Iraq?

Oh, and of course you know who they blame for all of this.

Although the declaration’s positions are hardly new for religious conservatives, it says social ills have been exacerbated by the election of President Obama, an abortion rights advocate, as well as a general erosion of what it calls “marriage culture” with the rise of divorce, greater acceptance of infidelity and the uncoupling of marriage from childbearing.

News flash: Roe v. Wade was decided when Mr. Obama was eleven years old, and his marriage — to a woman — is intact. The recent examples of the erosion of the “marriage culture” have all been thanks to the fine folks like Mark Sanford, John Ensign, David Vitter, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani? (PS: Trivia question: who was the first — and so far only — president who was divorced?) Do you really want to bring up the question of out-of-wedlock babies with Sarah Palin? Why is it that these people are so worried about someone else’s private life?

It also should be noted that these folks don’t speak for every Christian or every denomination. For each of these orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical church, there’s a denomination that is willing to reach out and support a woman’s right to choose, bless same-sex marriage, and actually put their money where their mouth is when it comes to making an effort to, in the words of Jesus Christ, “love thy neighbor as thyself.”