|An auto de fe in the marketplace. Burning the heretics - After Fleury|
I used to be happy that I lived in a democracy. It appears that it is quickly turning into a theocracy before our eyes. We got a taste of it last week when witnessing the new shift in our Supreme Court, which ruled that legislatures' attempts to limit the reach of a grave pandemic ran afoul of "religious liberty."
This sort of ruling is not just endemic to our country, we are seeing similar actions by theocratic governments around the world, like in Poland. The Catholic government recently issued new and very draconian abortion measures that have been met with mass protests in the streets.
On 22 October 2020, Polish Constitutional Tribunal found that abortion in the case of severe fetal defects is inconsistent with Article 38 of the Polish Constitution.
The chief justice, Julia Przyłębska, said in a ruling that existing legislation – one of Europe's most restrictive – that allows for the abortion of malformed fetuses was incompatible with the constitution. After the ruling goes into effect, abortion will only be permissible in Poland in the case of rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s health and life, which make up only about 2% of legal terminations conducted in recent years.
When the clergy runs the show, troubles soon follow. There have been similar rulings in America of late, in Colorado, Louisiana and most notably Tennessee, where legislators passed a stealth bill five month ago outlawing abortion at six weeks that has been recently ratified by a Federal Appeals Court.
Call me old fashioned but I tend to trust women in these matters. While I would personally disapprove of terminating a life because of gender or race I do have a problem forcing a mother to not only carry a brain damaged child to term but to raise and care for the child for the balance of their lives. It sounds easy until you have to do it, I am sure. Some are admirably up to the task. And some mothers are clearly not capable, financially, emotionally, or otherwise. To force this duty on them for the rest of their life seems cruel and barbaric to me. And oftentimes, sadly, the progeny becomes a ward of the state.
We currently have the most religiously unbalanced court we have ever had. Six Catholics, one lapsed Catholic/Episcopalian and two Jews. This clearly does not represent the heterogeneous religious or spiritual views of our country. The GOP, principally Mitch McConnell and Larry Leo and his Federalist Society cronies have done a remarkable job stacking the courts with right wing evangelicals. Thanks, Jim Comey. Without you, none of this would be possible.
Look for more edicts that seek to force our justices' inherent and holier than thou religious beliefs on our society as a whole. They are human and it would be impossible not to. So look for puritanism to win the day, in the near term at least.
Would be nice to have a Buddhist, Methodist or Unitarian on the court or god forbid, even an atheist or two. But that is not the hand that we have been dealt, we instead essentially now have the Catholic court and I personally look towards its future rulings with dread.