Beware of the Christian Right’s Revisionist History
Pushing for a Christian theocracy
Published: October 23, 2013
Since rights come “from God,” in his view, an employer who believes in that God has a right to toy with a woman’s insurance benefits to try to stop her from using contraception. The “rights come from God” argument is used to distort the very idea of religious freedom.
In the right-wing view, “religious freedom” becomes the “right” — given to you by God — to force fundamentalist Christianity on others. That’s how they can claim it’s “religious freedom” to force their religion on others by government-sponsored prayer, teaching creationism in schools, restricting access to abortion and contraception, and banning gay marriage.
As tempting as it is to argue a secular version of where personal rights come from, the smarter move is to refocus the conversation. Where rights come from is less important than emphasizing how important rights are for people’s lives.
The right to vote, to get an abortion, to have food on the table and access to a doctor, to marry whom you like: These aren’t rights because your version of God whispered it in your ear.
We respect these rights because we know that people’s lives are made worse if they don’t have them.
At the end of the day, distracting from real people’s lives is what conservatives are trying to do with all this talk about rights coming from God, and liberals — or anybody who believes in freedom — should allow that to happen.
Amanda Marcotte is a contributor to the Metro Times and a writer at Alternet.org. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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