This is an open letter in response to the comments made by Congressman Grothman regarding the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling. http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/wisconsin-republican-says-marriage-decision-insults-christians-who-died-in-the-religious-civil-war/
I am a Wisconsinite and I recently heard your reaction to the gay marriage decision. I respect your candor and honesty, but you severely misrepresented Pres. Lincoln, the Civil War, and our nation.
Pres. Lincoln was almost certainly not a Christian.”The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” — Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Lincoln the Freethinker”.
Clearly he held a public persona of faith, but as a politician I’m sure you can understand publicly holding a position you don’t personally believe.
The Civil War was not religious war. How dare you simplify the worst conflict in our history. Moreover if it was a religious war, what was the opposing religion? This was not Sunni vs. Shia or Catholics vs. Protestants or The Crusades. It was about states rights, taxation, independence, and slavery. Which brings up the fact Ministers were for slavery and used the Bible to justify limited rights of black people just as you seem to use the Bible against the LGBTQ community. Pastor Ebenezer Warren, in 1861, delivered a sermon entitled, “THE SCRIPTURAL VINDICATION OF SLAVERY”. It was published in The Macon Telegraph. In this sermon, this Christian Pastor speaking to, as you said, “a much more religious country”, said, “Both Christianity and Slavery are from Heaven; both are blessings to humanity; both are to be perpetuated to the end of time; and therefore both have been protected and defended by God’s omnipotent arm from the assaults, oppositions and persecutions through which they have passed.” This seems very similar to the persecution rhetoric Christians have been bandying about since the SCOTUS decision.
Lastly, you speculate the 620,000 Americans who died in that war would be appalled at the SCOTUS application of the 14th amendment. What reason do you have to assume those brave people would agree with you? There were certainly Liberals, Progressives, and homosexuals who died in that war. We are a nation of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Spiritualists, Buddhists, non-believers, and so on. Who are you to speak for those who died for what they believed? You called the judges “arrogant” and yet you claim to know the minds of dead heroes when you don’t even seem to understand the most basic reasons they fought in that great war. Pride goes before the fall Congressman. You are on the wrong side of history and some day someone will be quoting you to show how backwards and regressive our secular nation once was.
Someone who believes Wisconsin deserves better
Tis the season for political reasoning and toting your vote to the poll. Losing my fellow Americans in the title alone? I can feel your despair. From not understanding our over complicated system to having zero faith in the value of the vote, the candidates, even the accurate vote count. I feel you. I am right there too.
I take a breath and look at the planet spinning through space and time. Given our time we have a nearly unbearable onus and invaluable privilege. Let me make the case.
Brief history of voting in America:
So in 1776 (Or there abouts) when the U.S. of A. kicked some and became a Congressional Republic. Only men who own land can vote. Skip merrily through the next 150 years (or there abouts) of slavery, civil war, intercontinental rail road, slaughter of the indigenous and the buffalo, taming the West, protecting Yosemite, inventing the light bulb, producing Mark Twain and the airplane, we arrive in 1919… (or there abouts). Most men, black, some Asians (the right came and went here and there), and Native Americans who served in the military can vote. Then, in1920, women finally get the vote. Think about that. Less than 100 years ago women couldn’t vote in our country. For everyone voting has been a hard won dominion and blood spackled right.
Dissatisfaction with our country isn’t lost on me. The lack of voting indicates why Americans polled have fear, frustration, and malaise about the their country today. Our congress recently dropped below 9% approval rating. We approve polygamy and neo-Nazis more. We are crushed by debt, our police force is constantly in the media for shootings, we are at war, wonder about the NSA in our devices and struggle to raise our GDP. I am elated to be a American, but no longer sure I am proud to be a American.
It cost most people in the history of this country a lot so we can vote. What effect does it really have?
I find myself thinking about my vote in terms of the Presidential Election. In that case, yes. I do feel like my vote is insignificantly insignificant. However our leader in chief, while enormously consequential to this country, is the head of the country and our House and Senate the neck. Our local governments the arms; we are torso, legs, and feet.
Interestingly we show up the most to least statically valuable vote. The presidential vote. Voting for a senator, a rep, a judge, a DA, a local sheriff, or school boards carries far more weight. They are responsible for our highways, bridges, and parks, educators of our children, protectors of us and our homes, our health and retirement, and adjudicate justice when someone violates any of these. Yes, the president is way outside most of our world. Don’t worry about D.C. Our school board memebers, assembly, and mayors are the next leaders of the free world. We led the world in production innovation, space exploration, progressive thinking, and compromise for the good of many. We accomplish our greatest feats under duress. We are best when pressed. America is pressed. Take back our counties, towns, cities, and burbs. We are the locomotion and heartbeat of this counrty. We can put it back to our use by engaging. Let us be great again. Let us demand more of our immediate government. Let us vote.
Google the word “vote”. That’s all you need to get started.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.