from www.tucsoncitizen.com – The religious think-tank Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) www.azpolicy.org dominates the religious conservative movement in this state. CAP is profoundly non-libertarian, profoundly non-freedom loving and I cannot imagine for the life of me how their authoritarian theocratic, interventionist policies can be called conservative with a straight face.
Shouldn’t conservatism be anti-big government, anti-statism, anti-interventionism, and about you doing your own thing while I do mine? Conservatism should be above all protecting constitutional rights like freedom of religion, and speech. Instead these so-called conservative Christians are more interested in using government to shove their religious dogma down everyone else’s throat and forcing others to adhere to their religious prohibitions. To call them Christian fascist would hardly be unfair.
CAP is openly and unabashedly theocratic, and authoritarian. Their website claims to be putting “your biblical worldview into action” and they see no problem with using the government to do this. Nearly every Republican legislator is a supporter of their absolutist authoritarian legislation.
If a more libertarian Republican runs for the state government, CAP sees to it that they will have a well-funded Theocratic primary challenger. They boast having written or supported over 100 bills that have been enacted into law.
They have enacted or supported the following:
Laws lengthening the period one has to wait to get a divorce (lengthening some undoubtedly abusive marriages.
Placing restrictions on gambling
Tightening lottery restrictions
Requiring daily recitation of a portion of the Declaration of Independence in 4th-6th grades
Excluding same-sex couples from Marriage
Discriminating against same sex couples who wish to adopt (This is really quite sad, as there are many children in need of good homes, and same sex couples will certainty have a better reason for wanting to raise a child, than forgetting to go to the drug store. Such laws are pure bigotry).
Forbidding comprehensive, medically accurate sex education in public schools, in favor of failed abstinence only education (This essentially, keeps young people in the dark about protecting, themselves from the unintended consequences of their sexuality, and has been highly associated with unprotected sex and accidental pregnancies. Furthermore I can hardly imagine anything more authoritarian than using government schools to tell people how to conduct their sex lives. If anything we should be giving students all the necessary and relevant information and let them make their own decisions. It strikes me as highly repressive to impose sex negative attitudes on young people, as well biasing them with false information demonizing contraception).
Regulating the distance between sexually-oriented businesses and churches (Churches should not be given special treatment under the law).
Requiring informed consent for human egg donation
Pushing for state endorsement crisis pregnancy care centers, which are often explicitly religious in nature and designed to discourage abortion (I believe the state should be left out of these decisions).
They endorse obscenity prosecutions for consenting adults who make pornography.
Requiring informed consent for abortion (Frankly, if someone does not wish to discuss this with their parents it is probably for a good reason. For example, some parents are abusive.)
They’re for banning embryonic stem cell research.
They support outlawing abortion as well as making it harder to license clinics that practice abortion (I reject, the notion that anyone has the right to commandeer someone else’s body against their wishes. Furthermore there is no logical reason why a cluster of cells with that has yet to develop a central nervous system should be given any such rights. I see the intuitive appeal of the pro-life position, but imposing it on others is utterly authoritarian. If you oppose abortion don’t get one and feel free to expound on the merits of your reasoning, but having the state impose your prohibitions on everyone else does nothing but legitimizes your position).
Requiring fetal pain information to be given to women for abortions past 20 weeks
They support prohibiting physician assistants from prescribing medication abortions.
They lobbied to forbid nurse practitioners from performing surgical abortions.
In addition to laws like these, CAP favors laws that give religious institutions special exemptions from laws all other organizations have to operate under and other forms of special treatment. This creates a legal frame work that is biased in favor the Christian religion.
They favor allowing state licensed professionals to violate the requirements of their position for religious beliefs (I am of the opinion, that if you want to keep a job, you do that job, and if your religion prohibits this, than do not hold that job. If you think the requirements of the job are too stringent, then work to have them change, but religious exemptions are rubbish. This is largely because one can claim that doing just about anything is against their religion, from working on Sundays to serving black people)
Exempting churches from being forced to file as political campaigns when they speak out on ballot measures.
They favor exempting clergy from behavioral health licensing.
They also favor exempting religious organizations against rules forbidding discrimination in government contracts.
As anyone can see, they tend to restrict many liberties as well as promote government favoritism for religious institutions over secular ones. I personally favor a free market of ideas and values and dislike anyone who wishes to impose their ideas or prohibitions on anyone else. I would like to think that more Christians would feel the same way. What good is it for people to live under Christian morality if it is forced on people by the state? Accepting the Christian code of conduct should be between the believer and his god, rather than between the believer his God and government. Christianity should be about having free will and making your own choices. I cannot help but think that a Christianity forced to use the state to impose its prohibitions is anything but a weak one and a failure in the free market of ideas.