My Take: The Christian 'Taliban' wants to impose their religion on the rest of us
After 50 years, a woman's right to an abortion, and a woman's right to control her own body, are now a matter of states' rights. We will now have a patchwork of states where a woman can get medical help in her reproductive choices. This decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade will particularly affect poor women, especially poor women of color, in red states, many of which have horrible records of helping the poor and providing the poor with maternal care.
The Taliban in Afghanistan have imposed a rigid interpretation of Islam on the country, which especially targets women and girls. Our own Christian "Taliban" is also trying to impose their religion — fueled largely by a literal interpretation of the Bible — on the American people, which in the case of abortion affects women far more than men. It was the men on the Supreme Court who overturned Roe, with the help of one woman.
There is a parallel between those who interpret the Bible literally and those who interpret the Constitution literally, called originalists. They do not see these old documents written by men — living in a different time and in a different culture — as living, breathing documents that need interpretation for each generation. The Constitution was written by only white men, many of them slave owners. The Bible was also written by just men.
Clarence Thomas now wants the court to revisit the Supreme Court's decisions that permit the use of birth control and makes gay marriage legal. Mike Pence now wants an abortion ban in the whole country to be passed by Congress and signed by the president (he hopes it will be him!).
If you think our Christian "Taliban" will stop with abortion, think again. These folks would like to have prayer in school restored. They want American history taught that scrubs it clean of any real critical discussion of the history of racism. By the way, did you notice that Thomas did not include revisiting interracial marriage in his litany? Do you think that is because he, a Black man, married a white woman?
Here, I want to focus on only one aspect of the Christian "Taliban's" abortion strategy: no exceptions for rape and incest. Arkansas and South Dakota, to name just two red states, now have this prohibition in place. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has been pushing for no exceptions for rape and incest for a long time and now she has her wish.
Think what this means. The womb is now a crime scene if an 11-year-old, raped by her father, gets an abortion in South Dakota and in some other states. This is government overreach. The Religious Right is opposed to the government interfering with gun rights, but these so-called Christians seem to have no problem with the government policing a woman's womb. Many in the Christian "Taliban" support capital punishment, but see no inconsistency.
The agenda with abortion is the desire of conservative Christians, especially white evangelicals and the kind of Roman Catholics who make up the majority of judges on the Supreme Court, to impose their religion on the rest of us. Or better put, they want to impose their interpretation of Christianity and the Bible on the rest of us. That happened during Prohibition (Al Capone et al loved it), that happened in the '30s, '40s and early '50s in the censorship of movies. Not censorship of violence, but sexuality. You almost never see a double bed in those old movies. Usually you see twin beds, even for married couples. Yet they somehow managed to conceive kids.
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My only hope in fighting back is to vote politicians out of office who want to impose their interpretation of religion upon the nation, and not vote into office in 2024 a religious fanatic like Pence who kissed the ring of Donald Trump — a twice-divorced man and serial adulterer — for four years.
The hypocrisy of those politicians who did everything they could to keep Trump in office, and are doing everything they can to control a woman's womb, would be just laughable if it were not so tragic for so many women, especially those living in red states who do not have the money or child care to go to a blue state to receive the medical care they once had in their own states.
Many women are doing to die, thanks to the Supreme Court, and many unwanted children will be brought into this world. We will see if the Christian "Taliban" will provide care, resources and families for them. I have my doubts. State governments will now force women to bear children against their wishes. Welcome to red America!
— Henry Idema lives in Grand Haven. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: My Take: Beware of the Christian 'Taliban'