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What Schultheis shows us

As you probably already know, Republican State Senator Dave Schultheis shocked the public last week by accidentally saying something he really meant out loud.

He explained he could not vote in favor (a second time) of a bill that would require HIV testing for pregnant women, because it would help them escape from the consequences of their sexual promiscuity. Well, it wouldn't help them so much as their BABIES, but see, dealing with a sick and probably dying child would teach the mother and her family valuable lessons about the right way to act.

What Sen. Schultheis has done, aside from earning the scorn and contempt of anyone with even a modicum of decent human feeling, is give us a sterling example of why separation of church and state is such a good idea.

Where he went so very wrong was in trying to present his faith-based belief as a rational argument. Not ONLY because he's no good at reasoning through a dilemma and coming to a sensible conclusion that matches his avowed belief system. That part is probably due to lack of practice. Among religious extremists, analyzing beliefs is frowned upon. Hey, they're called beliefs for a reason -- you are SUPPOSED to BELIEVE them without question!

What lies beneath the surface of many faith-based beliefs is an attempt at social control, a desire to make everyone join their world view of shalts and shalt nots and nothing in between. What they claim to want and what they REALLY want are often two entirely different things. Trying to rationally explain a belief like this is likely to result in a bright spotlight blazing directly at how the person of faith REALLY feels. As it did in this case. Oops.

Of course those who freely choose to believe the rules of a given religion and follow it have the fundamental American right to do so. But real life in the real world is infinitely complex. No matter how hard they pretend it isn't, try to pretend that ALL answers can be found in their holy text, or the words of their religious leaders, the stubborn real world doesn't give in and simplify itself to suit their need to ignore the hard issues.

That is why making the law, and judging compliance with the law, must stay within the realm of reason as much as possible. It is not the place for wishful thinking, or rigid adherence to one sole way of dealing with the problems of life.

Sen. Schultheis needs to stay in our memories and be held up as a prime example of how dangerous moral conviction without a damn lick of sense can be.

He expressed this hope. "...it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior."

Perhaps he will clue up and see how very strongly these words apply to him.

I may be a rationalist, but I do believe miracles SOMETIMES happen.


Past Posts (Personal, not Political) can be found at The Neon Nurse’s Charting.


OMG. Hope his opponent at re-election time brings this up.
Oh, my. I hadn't heard about this, but, you know, it just goes to show how far up their collective ass these people's heads really are.

You and I are in agreement about the real goal of such posturing: they want power and control. They want to be considered authorities, and consulted anxiously by people who want their approval — and, of course, permission — on how to live their lives.

The issue at the bottom of it all is fear, I believe. The Republican-fundamentalist-OCD faction is scared to death. Of everything. And they think that, if they can just be in control, they'll be safe. They can't, of course. There's no such thing as complete safety. We all die, and we're all vulnerable to having some random horror occur in our lives at any moment, without warning. That's just the way life is: It ends. Sometimes nastily. And we usually don't get to choose.

But it's appalling the lengths to which people like that will go in their efforts to impose their ideas of order and decency (oh, THAT's a laugh!) on other people.

Sorry you all are lumbered with such a jerk in State Government. On the other hand, we here in Michigan have Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin as our national senators, so there you go. They're more subtle than ol' Whatsizname, but they pretend to be a lot more liberal than their actual voting records support, and with a blatant jerk at least you know where he's coming from.

Bad legislative representation: we haz it.

March 2009



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