Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a 25-page memo guiding federal agencies on religious liberty issues. It was an early Christmas present to the Religious Right, since Sessions basically put Christian bigotry over LGBTQ rights and highlighted religious exemptions for all sorts of events.
It’s a memo written on the assumption that Christians are the most persecuted group in America.
“This guidance is designed to do one thing — create a license to discriminate against the LGBTQ community and others, sanctioned by the federal government and paid for by taxpayers,” Vanita Gupta, who led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during the Obama administration, said in a statement. Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, accused Trump of furthering a “cynical and hateful agenda” and said the memo “will enable systematic, government-wide discrimination that will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ people and their families.”
This memo came the same day that the Department of Health and Human Services allowed corporate executives to deny birth control and other forms of health care to employees.
It’s not surprising that Sessions would issue anti-LGBTQ directives. Just about any Republican administration, given today’s GOP, would have done the same thing. What’s especially disturbing about this situation, though, is who Sessions spoke with before releasing the memo:
In a call with reporters, [Alliance Defending Freedom] CEO Michael Farris confirmed to ABC News that Sessions met with the group during a series of so-called “listening sessions” convened by the Attorney General, who says he was “seeking suggestions regarding the areas of federal protection for religious liberty most in need of clarification or guidance.”
Sessions met with a Religious Right group — designated as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which means less than it used to, but shouldn’t be discounted — to get advice on how Christians are threatened. And then he took it. He didn’t ask different groups for advice. He certainly didn’t ask liberal-leaning groups for how they’re being oppressed. He didn’t go to experts. He just signed off on whatever the ADF wanted.
This is why voting for today’s Republican Party if you’re an atheist makes so little sense to me, even if you agree with traditional conservative principles. The GOP is overrun by conservative Christians who can’t see past their own desires, have no obligation to help other people, who routinely set aside their own supposed values if it works out for them in the long run, and who don’t understand that they’re the ones ruining other people’s lives instead of the other way around. Every time you vote for a Republican, this is what you’re getting.
The people who whine about impending Sharia law have no problem imposing their own religious beliefs upon everybody else.
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