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Home / Opinion / Commentary / Challenging Cathi Herrod, the ‘self-appointed sheriff of wombs and bedrooms’

Challenging Cathi Herrod, the ‘self-appointed sheriff of wombs and bedrooms’

“Congress” and by definition states, “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

These beginning clauses to the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights are rooted in the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657. This religious declaration of independence was drawn up by 30 residents of the New Netherland colony, willing to forfeit freedom, property and their very presence in the New World, to protest Dutch Gov. Peter Stuyvesant’s ban on Quaker worship. In summation, the signers of this historic document stated that no mortal man must come between a Christian’s right to honor and serve his creator according to his own conscience.

That the Center for Arizona’s Cathi Herrod now takes her anti-gay fight to the State Bar of Arizona must not go unchallenged. With maximum effectiveness, Arizona’s self-appointed sheriff of wombs and bedrooms has bullied our state Legislature this past decade, deputizing our elected representatives to do her bidding, enjoined in her mission from God to put her definition of Christian law into state statute. That is her organization’s sole mission.

What becomes then of our “strict constitutionalists,” those who should be upholding our separation of church and state, when Miss Cathi comes to call? If they don’t march to Miss Cathi’s drum, she threatens to have them unseated in their primaries. Thus, they all vanish, as the proverbial Cheshire cat. Sadly, with this single-minded holy war at the forefront, other things have vanished: our thriving economy, the equity in our homes and an affordable college education. Has this horrendous price really been worth it?

As it was divided over slavery in a great war 150 years ago, our nation is now equally divided on issues dealing with abortion and homosexuality. There are millions of good Christians who believe these issues are between God and individual conscience, just as those 30 brave signers of the Flushing Remonstrance, 355 years ago. I have no reservation in stating that Christians with a Taliban or Shi’ite mindset do not well serve the Lord. In dividing a nation against itself, they do the devil’s work.

To borrow an old quote, “Cathi Herrod, have you at long last no sense of decency?”

- Charles “Chuck” Jones III of Phoenix is author of the YouTube vlog chucktellsall.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this letter contained inflammatory language that was removed because it did not meet our editorial standards.

 

9 comments

  1. This piece is ridiculous and full of hyperbole and tripe.
    “Gestapo-like”? Seriously? You come off like a drama queen.

  2. How interesting that Mr. Jones delineates non-traditional marriage, the abortion issue and traditional family relationships throughout recorded history into the simple phrase “separation pf Church and State”.

    Balderdash is the kindest word that comes to mind.

    The initial purpose of “separation of Church and State” was to ensure no State-sponsored religion and very little more (although the revisionist historians would desparately like to read into it a LOT more)

    Statistics from almsot every source emphasize the traditional family as the strongest, least-expensive (comments on prisons, anyone?) and most successful way to raise children.

    Abortion in the US is almost always a matter of failure to use birth control. Although the personal choice of the women facing this dreadful decision is important, perhaps their decision was already made when “unprotected” sex was inititated.

    And, how interesting that the “inflammtory language” made it onto the internet to begin with…come, come, people, let’s all do better.

  3. Such an honest letter, Chuck, about government sticking their noses where it doesn’t belong. I hear you. However like clockwork the self-righteous small government hypocrites trip over themselves trying to get noticed.

  4. To David M. Newlin (writing on July 20th, 2012 at 1:08 pm):

    One could add almost any other issue to the phrase “separation of church and state”, and in fact the Founders did so.

    Ever wonder why this supposedly “Christian Nation” has a Constitution which makes no use of the words “Jesus” or “Christian” in any way shape or form? Whose legal provisions refer to no deity at all? And why the word “religion” only appears in connection with the “Three No’s”? No religious test for public office (Art. 6, Paragraph 3), No establishment of religion (First Amendment), and No prohibiting the free exercise thereof (ditto). It wasn’t an accident or an oversight.

    These matters were fully discussed during the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. Patrick Henry (an opponent of the document) wanted Virginia to send it back with suggested changes. He wanted the Preamble to expressly state that all our rights came from “the Lord, Jesus Christ”, and that the Bible was the supreme law. He also wanted the “No Religious Test Clause” rewritten so that there could be a religious test: belief in Jesus. His proposals constitute one of the first attempts to add a “Christian Amendment” to the Constitution. All such proposals have been rejected everytime they arose.

    Church/State separation is about our rights, as individuals, to govern our lives by our own religious beliefs, without anyone using the “heavy hand of government” to impose their views on us. That’s the very thing Ms. Herrod is trying to do.

    After all, there are many religious groups that favor or allow “non-traditional” marriage and families (Reform Judaism and the United Church of Christ, to name two), and abortion (or more correctly, the right for individuals to decide, not the church and not the state).

    It is you who utter balderdash, and engage in historical revisionism, when you claim the more limited purpose for this principle. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to the words of the REVEREND Isaac Backus – Founding Father and Baptist minister. Here’s what he said in support of the “No Religious Test” Clause, while debating ratification of the Constitution:

    “. . . nothing is more evident, both in reason, and in the holy scriptures, than that RELIGION IS EVER A MATTER BETWEEN GOD AND INDIVIDUALS and therefore no man or men can impose any religious test, without invading the essential prerogatives of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Source: The Debate on the Constitution – Part One (The Library of America, 1993), Page 931 (emphasis added).

    As for those statistics you cite, will you use them to ban single-parent families? What about other statistics that show the effect wealth, education, not to mention other factors have? Shall we pass laws requiring children be removed from all but the most “perfect” families, and denying “less than perfect” potential parents the right to marry?

    (This, of course, even assumes those statistics are correct, or relevant!)

    It’s funny how you never hear “conservatives” campaigning for laws that prevent the true “threats to marriage”: adultery and divorce. I wonder why?

    As for the causes of abortion: yeah, I’m sure women being raped, or children being molested by their fathers, simply “forgot” to ask if their assailants were wearing a condom! And, of course, you ignore medically NECESSARY abortions, usually the product of intercourse between a husband and wife (who wanted to have a baby, but got a crisis instead).

    You, sir, are the perfect example of why we need church/state separation most of all in these areas. You are arrogant, ignorant, self-righteous, and presume to make moral judgments for others!

    And given your “inflammatory” rhetoric, I make no apologies for mine. Like so many ideologues, you can “dish it out”, but you can’t “take it”. If you can’t stand the political heat, stay out of the political kitchen!

  5. But I have a question, just what is the letter referring to when it talks about when it says Herrod is taking her anti-gay fight to the State Bar of Arizona?

    Anyone know?

  6. It seems Ms. Herrod, you are turning Christianity into the Taliban. What man or woman has been authorized to play God with peoples’ lives? Certainly, not you.

  7. Religious lobbyists should not be allowed to influence state laws. Have we forgotten separation of church and state?

  8. Going down this path disturbing path is the reason I find the GOP lacks credibility and refuse to support extreme GOP.

    GOP Sen. Candidate Todd Akin Arrested 8 Times for Anti-Abortion Extremism — “Had to be Carried Out by Police” | Alternet

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-sen-candidate-todd-akin-arrested-8-times-anti-abortion-extremism-had-be-carried?akid=9647.212057.Y0Sq2w&rd=1&src=newsletter738395&t=8

  9. Going down this disturbing path is a reason I find the GOP lacks credibility. I refuse to support the “extreme” GOP that has been taken over by zealots. What man or woman has the right to play “God” with peoples’ lives?

    GOP Sen. Candidate Todd Akin Arrested 8 Times for Anti-Abortion Extremism — “Had to be Carried Out by Police” | Alternet

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-sen-candidate-todd-akin-arrested-8-times-anti-abortion-extremism-had-be-carried?akid=9647.212057.Y0Sq2w&rd=1&src=newsletter738395&t=8

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