I had been working on another piece titled “Rethinking Invasive Species” when the news dropped, and dropped, and dropped, like a deluge. Each new bit was disturbing and added to the disturbance I already felt. Needless to say, I stopped working on my piece, and desired to begin on the new news, but it just kept coming. Each day as I thought about it more news dropped, adding to the impact of the last bit.
The stacked GOP Supreme court ripped the right to privacy and self-determination from half the population and twice ramrodded church into state. Now states are forced into paying for religious schools. Here in Maine, where the case was from, the two schools in question are anti LGBTQ, and see women as second-class citizens which are to be ruled over by men. They do not view other religions as valid and thus teach religious discrimination as dogma.
This ruling tramples on church state separation and here in Maine results in the most extreme evangelical schools receiving monies the state sets aside for very rural students to attend a nearby school when their town lacks the population to merit a high school. Evangelical parents sued to force the state to pay for a religious school rather than another town’s public school, and won, with the court deciding this was discrimination against the religion.
This creates a situation where now the most extreme evangelical, bigoted, religious schools get preferential treatment over every other religious school. No doubt this will result in more requests to the state to pay for other schools, and then our taxes will be paid into more religious schools from faiths we do not all ascribe to.
People never seem to think these things through, if you demand that the evangelical school deserves taxpayer monies, then the state must also fund Hebrew schools, and Catholic schools, and so on. Makes me wonder what will happen when Muslims want their own taxpayer funded school? Or The Church of Satan? Or, or, or . . .
Yet the court was not done by a long shot, they also ruled that a coach’s right to prayer is of more import than the rights of others, not of said religion, to be forced to listen to said public prayers on the 50-yard line after football games. How many kids on the team will be forced via peer pressure to join in, or risk the coach choosing more faithful others for more game time? How many of those kid’s alternative religious views are being respected by that? None.
Thusly some Hebrew kid may be extorted by peer pressure to join with the evangelical prayers, just to get game time. Never mind the people in the stands who now must endure this evangelical world view shoved down their throat, whether they ascribe to it or not. Their religious free expression tramples others freedom from unwanted religious evangelism.
What is far worse is the reality that each of these cases is a lynchpin case. For instance, Roe v Wade was based on a rationale surrounding our personal rights to privacy. Overturning it, which the three Trump justices swore under earth they had no intention to do, revoked the personal right to body integrity of every female in America. Now women in some states, even female children impregnated by incestuous rape, can be forced by law to carry the pregnancy to term, even if it kills them.
By overturning Roe v Wade a half dozen other cases, based on the same legal understanding, which they ruled was invalid, are now at risk. Justices Thomas’s consenting opinion says as much, but conveniently leaves out interracial marriage. A right also based on the right to privacy, which the Justice used to marry his insurgent supporting white wife.
All that is holding them in place is the lack of a lawsuits disputing them. If some Evangelical sues and says that making gay marriage legal overrides their religious belief that homosexuality is a sin, and thus discriminates against the religious people who believe gay sex is a sin. Then gay rights to marriage could be overturned, but not just that, the right of married couples to have contraception, the right for people to marry interracially, the right for people to have gay sex without fear of jail, and so on. All based on our right to privacy which this GOP court just shat all over.
Men need to wake up too, because it is not just the women affected. An end to Roe is the beginning of 20 odd years of child support with the pay garnishes to go with it, should the illegal condom you’re not allowed to own, or use, should break. If contraception privacy goes too, a man’s right to own and use a condom is also on the line.
This may even affect IVF directly by restricting the right of the mother to assent to the medical procedures. It could declare in some states that egg harvesting, or the removal of excess fertilized eggs from the woman’s uterus once one has bonded with the uterine wall, are now illegal. A common part of the IVF procedures which might now be ruled an illegal abortion service.
It is much the same for church state separation, by ruling as they did, it just takes another lawsuit to return prayer in school forcing religious peer pressure onto all students not of the ascribed faith.
I wonder how long it will take moderate, loving Christians, to grasp that these Christian Nationalist Evangelicals do not consider them true Christians either? How long will it take America to grasp that these people believe in literal demons, and demonic possession? Already they are calling Democrats, Demoncrats. This is the first step to dehumanizing your opponent, a common step in a runup to war or injustices like concentration camps for re-education of the possessed masses.
If a church makes the believers see other people not of their faith or political ideology, as demonic, then it does not take much for people to start burning “Demons” in pyres as Christians burned witches in the past. If they truly think your soul is lost, then burning you at the stake to prevent your “demons” from spreading to them is justified, even righteous in their eyes. If you think this is hyperbole, think again. Justice Thomas was citing a judge in his concurring opinion that was famous for burning witches. It was his Christian legal rationale that fueled the Salem Witch Trials, and which Thomas leant upon in his opinion.
That is how far back in time they reached, to before America was even America, to before our Constitution was writ, as a basis for judging and interpreting our Constitution.
Don’t forget Miranda being overturned either. The Miranda ruling forced police to inform citizens upon arrest that they were under arrest. To inform them that they have the right to remain silent; that anything they say can and will be used against them, and that they have a right to an attorney. Miranda is based on our 5th amendment right, but having the police have to say it was a way for citizens to determine if they were under arrest or not, and to be reminded of their rights when entering the legal system.
Miranda was enacted when I was a boy. I first saw it on Adam 12 back in the 60’s. In the 70’s I would learn why Miranda was of merit. Simply put, police can do and say almost anything to a suspect. They can lie, make false claims about evidence or witnesses, and gaslight the suspect for 16 hours or more. it has been proven time and again that innocent people can be browbeat and gaslit by police who have already formed an opinion about the citizens guilt or innocence when they picked them up. Police who are assuming the suspect is guilty can legally gaslight them for hours on end, but at least during most of my life, they had to tell you that you were now under arrest.
Not anymore. Now they won’t even have to tell you that you are under arrest. I wonder how that will help the police violence against black folks? I expect it will make it exponentially worse, like it was in the 50’s.
They also ruled that the EPA does not have the right, despite being appointed to the task by Congress, to enact or enforce any environmental regulation unless it was specifically approved by Congress. We all know how Congress functions with the party in power fighting against the party not in power in order to get anything done results in nothing being done. This ruling will cause such a bottleneck in Congress that no viable environmental regulation can be enforced, and no new regulations issued, as we face the greatest environmental challenge we have ever faced as a species.
The Supreme Court ruled against America ever being able to rise and confront climate change. In short, they just guaranteed that our climate will worsen and make any effort by Americans to lessen the damage we are doing nigh unto impossible.
They are not done either. They have already assented to hear a case next term which could remove all our rights to vote. Our votes would be reviewed by our state legislatures, and if they did not agree with your states popular vote, they could just override it. Thus, all our votes would become subject to the approval of our state legislatures, whether we like it or not. Just like that our votes would become empty symbols.
How long till Brown V Board of Education is up for their review with some White Christian Nationalist suing because their religion demands they stay away from black people, and the ruling forces them to violate their religious ideology?
Never in my life has the court stripped rights from Americans, rather the other way around. Now the courts are overturning and ruling on lynchpin cases which can affect a plethora of other rights. They have already said they will take on Moore V Harper. Is that part and parcel of this slew of coup attempts? Another way to rig the system for the GOP, a judicial Coup de Ta?
We have been rocked by the endless bombshells of the Jan 6th committee. Every few days more data is leaked to the press, followed by another hearing showing the evidential support for that data. More and more rats are fleeing the “Trumpship”, seeking not to drown in the legal woes being unveiled almost daily. Still the GOP continues to lie about the commission, lie about the evidence, and lie about the election. Liz Cheney and Adam Kitzinger seem to be the only two republicans left with their honor intact, and both are expected to be ex representatives very soon.
What the everlasting fuck are we citizens supposed to do with all that?
There is really only one thing we can do at this juncture, vote. We have no choices left; we must vote blue. Our choices are vote Red/GOP/Fascist and enter some version of The Handmaids Tale, or don’t vote at all and enter some version of The Handmaids Tale or vote blue down ticket for the next several elections, both state and federal. Not just this time, but for the next four cycles or more so that the Democrats and Independents can restore our rights, including the right to free and fair elections.
What we want, what we might like, or what we prefer is no longer relevant. We must vote blue and prevent Christian Nationalism from taking over America. We must vote blue to enact changes to the Supreme Court to secure our rights in perpetuity. We must vote blue to counter the rise of Christian Nationalism.
It cannot be a nail biter election if we want to retain our democratic republic. We, the good citizens of America who do not subscribe to Evangelical Christian Religion or its bigoted world view must vote to save our republic before they make it into a Christian Taliban version of America. A Christian Theocracy run by the Christian Evangelical Nationalists who would enforce their religion by law unto all Americans regardless of their religion.
What the everlasting fuck are we to do with all that? The only thing we can, vote.