In a blistering assault on so-called Republican “family values,” presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders exposes the dangerous hypocrisy of the conservative Christian base of the GOP.
Speaking at a rally in Littleton, New Hampshire on Wednesday, Sanders took aim at a longstanding Republican talking point, “family values.”
As the crowd at the Littleton Opera House cheered uproariously, Sanders declared:
Many of my Republican colleagues who come through New Hampshire and Iowa and so forth, they often talk about family values.
They just love families. But all of you know what they mean by family values. And what they mean by family values is that the women of this country should not have the right to control their own bodies.
What they mean by family values is that women are not smart enough to be able to purchase the contraceptives they need.
And furthermore, what they mean by family values is that our gay brothers and sisters should not be able to get married or enjoy the other benefits of the American legal system.
We believe in strong families, but our view’s just a little bit different than our Republican friends. When we talk about family values, what we mean is the United States should end the international embarrassment of being the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave to all of our families.
Sanders is spot on. There can be no doubt that when Republicans use the phrase “family values” they are not talking about helping or even protecting American families. Instead, “family values” has come to represent a mean-spirited agenda fueled by religious superstition and ignorance.
An agenda that would deny women access to birth control, to abortion, to reproductive health services; an agenda that would deny LGBT people basic rights, like the right to marry the one they love, like the right to work and earn a living without fear of discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, like the simple right to be treated equally and with dignity under the law.
Sanders is a friend to freethinkers, and the enemy of conservative Christians. Religious News Service describes Sanders as “unabashedly irreligious” and “the anti-Bible thumper,” noting:
Sanders is the presidential contender most willing to dissociate himself from religion. Though he identifies as Jewish and by Jewish law is Jewish, he has freely acknowledged that he is not a religious person. He scored a solid zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in its most recent scorecard and a 100 from the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Scoring a zero from Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition is a badge of honor, and should be a ringing endorsement to the ears of every humanist, every atheist, every freethinker.
Earlier this summer, in an uplifting viral video supporting Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, the presidential hopeful rejects divine intervention, declaring:
The problems we face did not come down from the heavens. They are made, they are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.
Sanders, the longest-serving Independent in congressional history, is currently a U.S. Senator from Vermont, and a favorite among progressives looking for an alternative to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
(H/T Raw Story)