Saturday, July 04, 2015

Let Freedom Ring

Freedom of the press. Freedom of speech. Freedom of assembly. Freedom from reality. Former governor of Arkansas Mike "Slappin' Da Bass" Huckabee would like right thinking Americans to exercise some of those rights. Governor Mike suggests civil disobedience as a response to the Supreme Court's ruling on Gay Marriage. "I don’t think a lot of pastors and Christian schools are going to have a choice. They either are going to follow God, their conscience and what they truly believe is what the scripture teaches them, or they will follow civil law. They will go the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, who in his brilliant essay the letters from a Birmingham jail reminded us, based on what St. Augustine said, that an unjust law is no law at all. And I do think that we’re going to see a lot of pastors who will have to make this tough decision."
Interesting that Governor Mike would invoke the name of Martin Luther King Jr., since Doctor King organized his marches and boycotts and protests to encourage freedom from oppression. Kind of like the way marches and boycotts and protests have been organized over the past forty-five years by gay men and women to bring attention to their struggle. These kind of movements are generally founded in the midst of a group that  is striving to have their voice heard. The Supreme Court's ruling is the culmination of this struggle. Well, at least it's a very nice start. 
What isn't clear is exactly what Governor Mike's group of oppressed clergy and right thinking Americans are being denied. As many wits more clever than I have pointed out, legalizing gay marriage does not mean that we all need to start pairing off with members of our own sex. Hetero marriage is still legal, at least as of this writing. Freedom from that kind of oppression is just a touch on the imaginative side. Sure, we live in very interesting,  turbulent times. Republican presidential candidates are soliciting donations from newly legalized pot growers. Okay. One of them is. Socialized medicine has been approved by a group of "unelected, black robed lawyers." Well, not exactly. What is apparent is just how slippery a slope we seem to be on currently. There is a boatload of fear out there, and  if this were 1776, it would make a whole lot of sense to throw some or all of it overboard. The trouble with that is this: fear floats. It is also great TV. Especially during an election. Or the run up to an election. 
Another point in our country's history that Governor Mike would like us  to consider is the Dred Scott decision. The one from 1857 that African Americans could not be citizens, whether they were free or slaves. What if, Governor Mike wonders, no one had stood up to that Supreme Court decision? Well, it seems as though the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, along with the Civil War, pretty much settled that can of bigoted hash. But I'm no Constitutional Scholar. Not like the guy who currently holds the office Governor Mike wants to have. It's a free country, after all, and if you'd like to start up a protest against the restriction of selfie-sticks at Disneyland or get an early start on this year's War on Christmas, it's your right. We are all Americans. 

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