Typically when elected people want to tell you bad news but don’t want to have to deal with it publicly, they will say the bad news on a Friday when the news media won’t spend much time on it since the weekend is the next day. The politician then hopes the whole thing blows over by Monday. Ohio Attorney General David Yost waited until Friday to announce that Ohio will sign-on to a brief for three US Supreme Court cases that will decide if the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQA people. The brief and Yost don’t support protection of course.
Rep. John Becker (R-65) claims to be Ohio’s most conservative legislator. He also claims to be ‘Pro-Life,’ Pro-Gun, and ‘Limited Government’, yet a recent anti-abortion bill he introduced shows Becker to not only not be pro-life or for limited government but also shows he isn’t very bright about basic biology. He’s made Ohio government even more of a laughing stock in the country and it passed a so-called ‘heartbeat’ bill.
Today we have a story from my hometown, Findlay, Ohio. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the city of Findlay complaining about a mural in the municipal building that included a quote from the Holy Bible. Mayor Lydia Mihalik appeared on the ‘Fox and Friends’ show to double down on the church and state violation the mural is causing and to dare FFRF to sue.
The mural is a large painting on the third floor of the Findlay municipal building that has a Bald Eagle swooping over water with the quote “Under His Wings Shall You Find Refuge Psalm 91”.
Religious texts are powerful rhetorical devices because they are subject to interpretation. America has no state religion, but the right wing has strongly endorsed what it preaches are a set of Christian values, making the movement more approachable to the seventy percent of Americans who identify as Christians.
You might think that for people who hold this set of values, Alabama’s Republican candidate for Senate, Roy Moore, would be stoned after five women came forward and made claims that Moore came on to them or worse when they were teenagers. The Christian right, however, seems to have taken a position of denial.
Moore’s not the only one setting a bad example for Christians in politics, either. There’s also our president.
Where Organized Religion and Politics Meet
‘President’ Trump spoke at the ‘Value Voters’ Summit, which is sponsored by anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council, and promptly offered them some red meat to bolster his own ego and failing administration. What better way to distract from failure than scapegoating other people.
A stone marker has sat on the grounds of the Lucas County Courthouse in Toledo, Ohio for the past 60 years. It’s engraved with the 10 Commandments – a set of Christian religious rules. Supporters of the monument claim the commandments are part of our collective legal history so it should remain on the courthouse lawn. In 2006, a federal court agreed. A reasonable person, looking at the full background of how the monument came to be would come to a different conclusion.
The Lucas County Courthouse is located on Adams Street in downtown Toledo. There aren’t many monuments or markers on the grounds but one that caught my eye is a 10 Commandments monument that was donated by a local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in 1957. The Eagles placed hundreds of markers across the country starting in the late 1940s through the early 1960s. The markers were placed on courthouses, public schools, and public parks.