Senator Orrin Hatch's e-newsletter's most recent edition was entitled "Hatch Dispatch: Religious Freedom Under Attack." What has Orrin stirred up?
Unfortunately the White House sharpened it's attacks on religion this week. The Obama Administration ruled that it was going to mandate preventative services, including birth control and emergency contraception, for health insurance plans, including those purchased by religious institutions to proving preventative services.An "attack on religion," Senator Hatch? Because of public health policy regarding women and their well-being? You ought to know what an "attack on religion" looks like, being a prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - which, if I am not mistaken, was literally driven out of Illinois after it's founder was basically lynched?
|'Maryrdom of Joseph and Hyrum,' by Gary E. Smith|
Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas? , coined a charming little term for a central tenant of modern conservative politics; the "Plen-T Plaint." The "Plen-T Plaint" is a generalized sense of persecution and victimhood. "My life sucks because ["I'm White" / "I'm Male" / "I'm Christian"] etc. I think that the recent trend of American Christians, including Mormons, to bitch and whine about how bad they have it falls under this category perfectly.
In addition to the martyrdom of Joseph Jr. and Hyrum Smith, Senator Hatch may wish to extend his gaze backwards in time a little while - toward, oh, say, the Diocletianic Persecution for an an example of a state attack on religion. Or, if he's being as much of a dick as he genuinely is*, Hatch could just narrow his focus to only modern examples of Christian persecution. He would be rewarded with a rich crop of examples to choose from - ranging from Indonesia to Sudan to Algeria.
Despite the fact that the United States is about 80% Christian and that our national motto and currency both feature Judeo-Christian rhetoric, whiny conservative loudmouths like Orrin Hatch, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, et. al. keep bitching and moaning about how persecuted American Christians are.
Perhaps one of the primary fonts for this veritable sea of bull$h!t is, inevitably, World Net Daily (examples can be found here , here, oh here, how about here, etc.). If you get your news from WND, as an astonishing amount of conservatives do, you live in a world where sinister liberals lurk around every corner, waiting to seize your bible and rape you mercilessly.
|Thank you, Jon Stewart|
If you have even the slightest experience or a faintly active brain stem and a computer, you know that religious persecution - in the real world, not the one WND inhabits, where Obama isn't a legitimately elected President due to his race or the biological processes that create oil are actually a liberal conspiracy - is a vital issue, and a source of suffering for a lot of people, most of whom are not Christian.
I've seen first-hand examples of persecution suffered by Iranian Baha'i, Somalian Bantu Muslims, Nepalese...the list goes on and on. For a privileged white Utah Mormon like Hatch to flap his gums about how bad American Christians have it is beyond absurd.
Obviously, idiotic crap from Hatch like this statement (or his recent bald-faced lie about Planned Parenthood) are dog-whistles and red meat at the same time for the base in Utah, which consists of the most horrible humans imaginable. That said, it would still be nice if people - especially those of the right-wing persuasion - would stop mewling about persecution when they don't have the faintest idea what it really is like.
* - Orrin Hatch is, as I may have mentioned before, the only publicly elected official who has insulted me to my face. It's a long story.