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Tue

24

Oct

2006

Herding the Sheeple, Voting on Justice
Tuesday, 24 October 2006 14:48

by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

 

“Let’s vote on it.” To most people that sounds like the ideal way to solve any issue. But it can also be one of the most dangerous.

In 1967 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights decision. But a 1968 Gallup poll documented that 72 percent of Americans opposed interracial marriage. Had America voted on the issue in 1968, civil rights would undoubtedly have been defeated.

 

 

 

On November 7, 2006 Americans in several states will vote on ballot initiatives concocted and promoted by the leaders of the evangelical Christian Right and their Republican sycophants. Increasingly, their incestuous relationship is being exposed at the same time their so-called “values voters” are fading into history. The Christian Right is slowly but surely dying, and for good reasons. But apparently they want to kill an independent judiciary before they go.

Examples were provided in an October 17, 2006 article titled “Judicial Activism Prompts Citizen Efforts to Restrain Judges
by Pete Winn, associate editor of Citizenlink.com, a propaganda organ for James Dobson’s Focus on the Family theo-political empire:

South Dakota’s Amendment E is the most ambitious measure – it would allow residents to sue judges over their decisions. Grand juries would be convened, and judges would face removal from the bench if they were found guilty of an infraction.

Montana voters, meanwhile, must decide if they want … the right to have recall elections if they should become “dissatisfied” with a judge.


Suing judges? Isn’t the almost endless appeals process enough to correct any errors made?

Recall elections? If a jurist is elected, isn’t the normal election process good enough for those who become “‘dissatisfied’ with a judge”?

Or are these and other measures just the latest examples of efforts by the leaders of the Christian Right to bring the courts under their control by using the “sheeple” to do the dirty work for them: an all too common practice Cindy Rodriguez exposed with courageous clarity in her Denver Post article: “

There’s a reason followers of the reactionary James Dobson are called “sheeple.”

As chairman of the $145 million-a-year propaganda organization Focus on the Family, Dobson is the ultimate puppet master, giving conservative members of Congress marching orders in exchange for votes from his flock. …

By manipulating religious teachings, Dobson represses his followers with a reactionary societal code: Get married, stay married, procreate and – most important – donate your money to Focus on the Family.

The more his listeners believe, the more easily they can be exploited. That explains why many of those listeners – hardworking middle-class people who are struggling with bills or caring for elderly loved ones – vote against their own interests.

Instead of voting for the party that created the 40-hour work week, workers compensation, and has been pushing for universal health care, they vote for the party of James Dobson: members of Congress who for nine years have refused to increase the minimum wage above $5.15 an hour, yet accept automatic pay raises for themselves each year. …

There is no proof that Democrats knew about Foley’s lurid instant messages, but two Republican congressmen, John Boehner of Ohio and Thomas Reynolds of New York, have publicly stated they told House Speaker Dennis Hastert about it months ago.

So wouldn’t a person of strong moral values at least chide Hastert for his inaction?

Nope. Not when you are a puppet master of members of Congress who use the name of God to pass laws that take away civil rights in exchange for campaign contributions and the promise of votes from the flock. A man of real moral values would urge Congress to increase college Pell grants, expand work training programs, and offer struggling working-class families subsidized day care.

Instead, he vilifies gay people as people who are destroying marriage. Dobson talks about having a pro-life agenda, but never speaks out against the deaths of more than 2,700 American troops in Iraq, or against capital punishment, which is really a euphemism for state-sponsored murder.

The sad part is the sheeple don’t see the hypocrisy and don’t realize they’re being used. [links added]

In his book Marriage Under Fire, James Dobson told the sheeple that if gay Americans were allowed to enter into the state-sanctioned social contract called “marriage,” the world would end: “The culture war will be over, and the world may soon become ‘as it was in the days of Noah.’”

 




Dobson was not alone in using scare tactics to herd the sheeple. Following the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s 2003 decision that “equality” meant “equality” for all citizens in relation to all civil institutions, even the one called “marriage,” Steve Crampton, Chief Counsel of the Center for Law and Policy, the legal arm of Don Wildmon’s American Family Association, bleated, “Unless the people of the State of Massachusetts rise up with one voice in opposition to this lawless and socially destructive behavior, it will destroy society as we know it.” At last check, neither society nor Massachusetts has been destroyed.

Are these truthful, “moral” men? Are these men with the best interests of all Americans in mind? Or are these “shepherds” really demagogues using religion and sheeple for their own self-interests and to build their own political power?

It’s quite clear in the Christian metaphors used: “shepherds” and “flocks.” Shepherds herd and “tend to” their flocks not because it’s in the best interest of the sheep, but because they intend to use and profit from them when the sheep are sold for slaughter.

Dobson, Crampton and Wildmon are not alone in this practice. The founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, Louis P. Sheldon, also defines “hypocrite” and is a distinctly immoral sheeple-herder. While vociferously campaigning against internet gambling, rabidly homophobic “Lucky Louie” and the TVC were accepting “contributions” from Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his internet gambling promoters.

These days America is filled with egocentric, self-proclaimed spokesmen for “God” who also have a dark political agenda based on their theo-political dogma. Jim Weidmann is vice chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Their latest campaign is “Pray for Election Day”:

“In a Christian nation, we have the biblical responsibility as well as the patriotic responsibility to cast our vote for those who govern us,” he said. “We want people to spend time praying that those who are elected will align themselves with God’s laws. We also want them to get out and vote so the Christian understanding is captured in the vote.” [italics added]

“A Christian nation”: should all the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, animists, agnostics and atheists just leave?

“Align themselves with God’s law”: does that include all the draconian Levitical laws as well as those in Deuteronomy?

“The Christian understanding”: does that include St. Paul’s edict to “suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

Or, like Dobson, Crampton, Wildmon and Sheldon, are Mr. Weidmann and the National Day of Prayer Task Force advocating only their version of “God’s law” and “Christian understanding”?

Let’s hope that election day 2006 reaffirms that the light of the Enlightenment has not gone out and that the sheeple are waking up and starting to think for themselves instead of blindly obeying their herders.

 

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