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Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in At TMV | 14 comments

**UPDATED** GOP Today: Bob McDonnell’s State Rape, Baptizing the Dead, and Santorum’s Satan Squeal

**updated below**

WASHINGTON – Religious conservatives, their right-wing supporters and Republican allies have finally overstepped and what played out last week was proof. The Susan G. Komen catastrophe, starring right-wing ideologue Karen Handel, now seems like foreshadowing.

Gov. Chris Christie represents what’s left of the small, sane segment of Republican Party leaders and why he likely couldn’t get the nomination this year either. From ABC News:

But Christie doesn’t think a debate over religion is a conversation the Republican Party wants to engage in.

“Do I think it’s the things we should be as a party talking about and emphasizing at the moment? No,” he said.

The Tea Party was the germination of what’s playing out, which inspired the Koch Bros, Dick Armey and an explosion of political opportunists, beginning with Rush, Sean and the wingnut radio bunch, leaching on to the energy. Well-funded and stoked on anger, Republicans harnessed that energy, but couldn’t control it, including in Congress.

Because of the 2010 political malpractice by the Democratic Party, state legislatures turned Republican in record numbers, unleashing a wave of anti-women’s freedom campaigns that culminated most recently in Virginia, which Gov. Bob McDonnell is attempting to navigate with a “compromise.”

Representing a crescendo of events over months that turned into years, in walks Pres. Obama with his free contraceptive mandate and we were off to the First Amendment races, which has tripped up every religious conservative, no matter the party, and right-wing Republicans, as well as moderately perceived advocates, in droves.

The Catholic Church is telling women we shouldn’t use birth control.

Religious conservatives are holding hearings on the issue without a single female witness.

Joe Scarborough compared Obama’s mandate to a federal mandate for female deacons to be ordained in Southern Baptists churches. Even after challenged by his co-host Mika Brzezinski, he dug in; when I challenged him in a column Scarborough unraveled. If Mika Brzezinski’s opinion was valued equally to Scarborough’s the event might have ended differently.

Republicans like Joe Scarborough and religious conservatives, represented so well by Rick Santorum, who is now caterwauling about Obama’s policies aren’t based on the Bible, are entitled to their own ideological beliefs and opinions. They are not entitled to their own facts.

Rick Santorum is bellyaching because of a media double-standard he sees regarding his Super PAC sugar daddy versus Jeremiah Wright.

Pres. Obama can be called a “secret Muslim,” be forced to give a speech on race and religion, but Mitt Romney’s Mormonism can’t be discussed and his spokesperson gets away with stonewalling the press on a subject Romney himself opened up, baptismal of the dead, euphemistically called “proxy baptism”.

People are aware that the Mormon Church and Romney benefactor Frank VanderSloot poured massive funding into the Proposition 8 fiasco in California that was just overturned? How many know the heavy hand of billionaire Frank VanderSloot and the threats he uses to silence critics?

From an important investigative piece by Glenn Greenwald:

Most of those who have been successfully bullied out of their free speech rights are reluctant to talk about what happened for fear of further retribution. But now, VanderSloot may have picked the wrong person to bully.

Jody May-Chang is an independent journalist and an LGBT spokesperson in Boise. By coincidence, she was one of the local reporters who interviewed me last weekend when I spoke to the annual Bill of Rights dinner of the ACLU in Idaho. At the end of the interview, she mentioned to me the series of threats issued to local LGBT journalists and bloggers by VanderSloot. Unbeknownst to May-Chang at the time, she, too, had been targeted for the crime of speaking critically of the Idaho CEO.

What are we saying if we let the traditional media and cable news-tainment show hosts purposefully ignore important facts even when challenged? Or we refuse to question religious institutions and individuals who are flexing their power across the political spectrum in ways that make Jerry Falwell’s dreams seem modest?

Nothing impacts public policy across this country where women are concerned greater than the interference of religious institutions in public policy matters. We’ve also found that religious institutions have taken for granted the ignorance of politicians and the public. Through the exercise of watching the shock when women like myself and many others challenge them that the First Amendment swings both ways, we’ve found religious conservatives, our cable talking heads and the media don’t think that’s important.

But as long as we’re cherry-picking religious questions, is a Jewish president out because he’s not a Christian or because of the offensive notion of possible duel loyalties?

All we need to know is the person is god-fearing, right?

Oh, and not a Muslim.

Sean Hannity still brings up Jeremiah Wright when talking about Barack Obama. Following right-wing radio talking points, Rick Santorum did it this week.

Rick Santorum’s bag man thinks it’s funny to play Old Coot and say women are just too emotional about birth control. Take an aspirin, honey, preferably between your knees.

Religious conservatives across this country, state by state, have decided that state rape is a good idea.

Everyone’s faith is a little bit kooky to an unbeliever. Watch Bill Maher’s “Religulous”, now available online free to see, and you’ll be challenged. I’m sure many people would find my meditation, backed by an Episcopalian and Christian foundation, not only non-traditional but blasphemous for the way I see Jesus Christ after a lifetime of contemplation.

It’s pretty clear after the latest argument on contraception that we could not do any worse with a secularist in the Oval Office.

That won’t happen in America, because religious conservatives and the institutions that back them control the political and legislative processes, as well as the politicians who win elections and the media who reports on it all.

That’s the system Pres. Obama and his administration challenged with the contraceptive mandate, which is no doubt bolstered by polling proving the majority of women in this country stand behind him.

Religious conservatives and their allies in the media and news-tainment shows know they’ve lost the biggest battle of all due to a constitutional carve-out that was as ingenious to create as it was to proffer. It’s clear they don’t intend to go down quietly.

UPDATE: Gov. Bob McDonnell has released a statement, with the crux of it finally getting the point of what has been so outrageous about the state to state war on women by religious conservatives.

Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.

Taylor Marsh is the author of the new book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, which is now available in print on Amazon. Marsh is a veteran political analyst and commentator. She has been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.