Keep Your God Out of My Government

Last night, the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his nomination in the Republican primary to a no-name Tea Party challenger. I haven’t been staying on top of politics as much as usual, because I’m pretty sick of the continuous cycle of power-hungry jerks that we see in our government. For every guy who is running to make a difference, there are 10 who see the government as a career opportunity. Anyway, after reading through this morning’s headlines and a few of the latest articles, there are a few things that really, really bother me about this election:

  1. How strong can the Republican Party be if its House Majority Leader is voted out of the race by a radical Tea Party newcomer?
  1. The guy is a Bible-thumping crazy.

Please don’t misunderstand #2. I don’t think that religious individuals in general are “Bible-thumping crazies.” Most of the people in my life are religious, and I totally respect their choices—as long as it has absolutely nothing to do with my government. Republicans pride themselves on following in the Founding Fathers’ footsteps…but the truth is that the Founding Fathers would literally have a heart attack if they saw how often Republicans inject religious views into their decisions and platforms.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s results. Here are two tidbits from the winner’s (David Brat’s) website:

Dave respects and values every person he meets because he truly sees them as Children of God. Our Rights come from God and not from Government.”

Dave will protect the rights of the unborn and the sanctity of marriage, and will oppose any governmental intrusion upon the conscience of people of faith.”

Okay, so Problem #1: The guy sees us as “Children of God,” and not voters. First of all, who even says that on their campaign website? He must know that he will alienate the 24% of Virginians who are not Christian, and probably some of Virginia’s 78% of Christians who don’t want the Bible to have a place in the government.

Problem #2: While the Bible serves as the guiding text for millions of Americans, it should not serve as the guiding text of our government. That’s what the Declaration, Constitution, and its Bill of Rights are for. We can have natural rights meaning that “individuals, because they are natural beings, have rights that cannot be violated by anyone or by any society”—and we can have these rights without attributing them to God.

While the theory of natural rights originated from a religious perspective, it has evolved to symbolize our “inalienable rights” we are guaranteed today in America. I do not think that classifying our human and natural rights as “Rights from God and not from Government” is fair, reasonable, or even legal.

Problem #3: “Dave” sees the government as intruding on people of faith, and not the other way around. He’s actually facilitating FAITH intruding on the GOVERNMENT. CaptureI give the guy credit—he did unseat the Majority Leader with a campaign that was run with two flip phones and a basic website. I can almost guarantee his responses and his messaging weren’t focus-group tested and crafted by professionals, and I am sure Virginia voters appreciated his “real” vibe…but electing extremes on either side simply means a continued gridlock in Washington, where this guy is a Tea Party Republican and the guy he’s arguing with is an Extreme Liberal. Sorry, Virginia, I think you made the wrong choice.