Social conservatism is a threat to freedom and liberty. You can not politically espouse social conservatism and claim to be either a strict constitutionalist or a defender of individual rights and freedoms. To levy such a claim is both illogical and incongruous. Time and time again we have heard Social Conservatives claim that there is no daylight between social conservatism and fiscal conservatism. Those who state this are either regrettably ignorant or are blatantly pushing a patently false narrative based on a faulty premise for political control of the populace.
It is not by mistake that the founding fathers constructed a Declaration of Independence that was devoid of specified religiosity or pointed theological doctrine. As a matter of fact, Thomas Jefferson wanted this declaration to read, “All men are created equal and independent. From that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable”. However, this was modified by Congress to read, “All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” This change was made, of course, to appease both the ministers and slave owners but still held to the principle that America should not be founded on any religion.
The Constitution was intentionally left without reference to any Deity whatsoever; to further establish that this country was in no way a theocracy based on Christianity or any other religion. The only mention of religion was the establishment clause that forbade establishing a state religion. This is because the founders had seen the corruption and damage that state based religion had wrought in Europe, especially England. This point was later reiterated and solidified by article 11 in the US Treaty of Tripoli of 1796-97, by a unanimous approval of the 5th Congress and then by the signature of President John Adams.
Our founders were more “Deists” than Christian, meaning that they believed in God but not the religious dogma that those who claimed authority dispensed. It is historically documented that George Washington never took sacrament, not even on his death bed. In 1782, Thomas Jefferson stated, “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”
James Madison once said, “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”
John Adams stated, “. . . Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”
Ben Franklin declared, “When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, ‘tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.”
Well, Mr. Franklin, such is the case today. We are constantly bombarded by political attacks on the freedoms of individuals based on religiosity. Social conservatives, whose motives are anchored in “so-called” Christianity, do not seek to convince through example and witness but through laws and coercion. Then, in the same breath, will condemn those Muslim clerics and mullahs that make and enforce Sharia law in countries that have established themselves as a theocratic or “Islamic” state rooted in religious law.
There is a certain irony in the fact that 13 states have either proposed or passed laws that would forbid the practice or recognition of Sharia law. These states are considered conservative with seven of the 13 ranked among the top ten most conservative states. These states are considered some of the most socially conservative as well. As such, opposition to gay marriage and abortion is high. Yet you have social conservatives laying claim that they are constitutionalist and are trying to take America back to its non-existent Christian roots.
Do they not realize that when they go to abridge the rights of other individuals based not on crimes against anyone else but on religious edicts, it is no different than a Muslim Cleric issuing a fatwa or declaring a jihad? This is not what the founders wanted for this country. To assert anything to the contrary would be an indefensible lie that would further prove one’s proclamation of Christianity undeniably impeachable.
The record of Jesus, which has been the Bible, has never advocated changing the laws of the land. He only sought to change the hearts and minds of the individuals. If God has given us freewill so that we as individuals can make choices, to suppress our choices would be to usurp the will and intent of God. Furthermore, it would go to undermine the very freedoms in which the founding fathers wished to establish and affirm.