I can honestly say that I don’t mind a certain type of religious person. This type keeps to themselves and would not even attempt to push their beliefs on anyone else. They are tolerant of other views and beliefs and respect people from all faiths and all walks of life. This is a minority these days, it seems.
What I do mind is when the institution of religion begins to threaten the well-being of others, believers or not. This is happening in our political climate with this war on women the GOP has decided to fight. It becomes problematic when religion is used to justify discriminatory policies and attacks on certain groups of people. It is clear that the GOP and the Religious Right have an alliance and this alliance may be becoming a bit too powerful for my liking, especially when we apparently have a separation of church and state in this country (right…).
Exhibit A is the relationship between the Susan G. Komen foundation and Planned Parenthood. Komen used to provide funding to Planned Parenthood, but suddenly they took this source of funding away because they did not their money to go toward abortions. In actuality, a donor is able to choose where their funds go, so this was a rather poor excuse on the part of Komen. What’s even more ironic is that this organization is so willing to “prove” that they are pro life that they are willing to de-fund an organization that provides cancer screenings. Call me a fool, but if you’re pro life, you should probably be in support of those already living. Heaven forbid an organization offers abortions on the long list of their services. I know that Komen has done great things, but that does not excuse this big mistake they are making. Planned Parenthood provides, in some cases, life saving services. Plus, if you want all women to have all the babies that are ever conceived, you’d better be willing to step up and provide her with services (ie Welfare), which the GOP clearly despises.
Exhibit B, and the one that really infuriates me, is Rick Santorum. I honestly cannot believe this man is seeking the top political office in this country. He cannot possibly be electable, but still… I have to hear him and hear about him so now you get to hear me complain. From his campaign website “Rick understands that our freedom to practice our faith is not just under attack through the redefinition of marriage, but in nearly every facet of the popular culture.” This is, of course, blasphemous, but can be connected to his war on women. Santorum wants his personal religious doctrine to dictate women’s health care. He said “…contraception is not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. [Sex] is supposed to be within marriage.” This man has even labeled himself as a champion of faith and families. It honestly blows my mind that people still utilize an ancient text to dictate their lives. Not only does he personally use this ancient text, but he hopes to use this ancient text in legislation. It’s just not fair to subject other people to your own religious dogmas. He co-sponsored the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, in hopes that doctors are forced to tell women their unborn child may feel pain during abortion. He also supports and sponsors abstinence only sex education for religious reasons, of course. I would hate to see somebody so out of touch with reality running this country.
Obviously women’s rights issues are important to me. I would never want a government to dictate what services I can and cannot receive or how I should and should not use my reproductive system. What’s worse is that these people actually use religion as a justification. Rick Santorum and the higher-ups at the Susan G. Komen foundation are free to believe what they want to believe. They are not, however, free to impose those beliefs on me or my uterus.