Carroll County Times

Tom Zirpoli: Fundamental flaws in reasoning

Like with immigration reform, many mainstream Republicans would prefer to take the abortion issue off the political table. But Republican fundamentalists, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, along with a few other GOP governors, continue to keep the issue in the national headlines with their insistence on signing laws that would effectively close most Planned Parenthood clinics in their states.
Their aim, of course, is to reduce the number of places poor women can obtain an abortion. But because these Planned Parenthood clinics mostly serve the general health-care needs of poor women in their states, combined with the refusal of these governors to expand federal Medicaid funding for the uninsured offered through Obamacare, one has to wonder how these governors can call themselves pro-life.
For the fundamentalist wing of the GOP, their religious beliefs form the foundation of their political beliefs to the exclusion of other people's beliefs and rights. They don't believe in evolution because it challenges their religious beliefs. So they write laws mandating the teaching of creationism, which is based on biblical stories, not scientific knowledge. They are anti-science and anti-education because science and education expose them to facts that conflict with their beliefs.
State Sen. Aaron Osmond, a fundamentalist Republican in Utah, wants to outlaw compulsory education in his state. Osmond doesn't like what he sees in Utah's public schools where, he says, "our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness."
Osmond's philosophy about educating our nation's children is, "Let's let them choose it, let's not force them to do it." You have to give Osmond credit. At least he is honest about his intent to end public education for the general population. Most of his fellow fundamentalists take the indirect approach and slash public education funding as low as the law allows.
To the fundamentalists, education is a dangerous thing. After all, their kids may learn certain facts about evolution and start questioning their parent's beliefs. In school, especially public school, their children may be exposed to other kids that don't look like them or practice the same religion. Fundamentalists don't celebrate diversity, they avoid it.
Fundamentalists don't understand the concept of religious freedom. They insist that everyone accept and follow their beliefs. An example of this is a recent bill passed by Republicans in the North Carolina Senate that would ban American Muslims from practicing their religion. They call the bill the "Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act of 2013." In fact, only Christian families, faith and freedoms are protected.
Interestingly, fundamentalist Republicans are very similar to the Muslim fundamentalists they criticize. Neither understands the concept of religious freedom and both are intolerant of other faiths or beliefs.
Fundamentalists blocked the public option for health-care insurance coverage because they didn't want the government involved in health-care decisions. Yet, they pass laws requiring women to undergo intrusive and medically unnecessary procedures before having an abortion. Obamacare allows for a women and her doctor to make these decisions. In many GOP controlled states today, Republicans mandate unnecessary medical treatment plans aimed at harassing women who disagree with them.
So who is practicing socialism?
Like the Muslim fundamentalists they criticize, Republican fundamentalists are keenly interested in regulating women and sex. Virginia's GOP candidate for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, for example, recently petitioned the Supreme Court to uphold Virginia's ban on oral sex in his state. Indeed, while Cuccinelli wants to regulate what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms, he is repulsed by the idea of regulating oil drilling off the coast of Virginia Beach or, for that matter, any business or industry that contributes to his campaign.
For fundamentalists of all stripes and religions, it is all about them and their desire to regulate the rights of others. Some talk about freedom but have absolutely no clue as to the meaning of the word.