Last night during his State of the State Address, Gov. Rick Snyder broke very little new ground. Many of us were happy to hear him support further investments in education and to call for an expansion of civil rights for the LGBT community. One glaring point for me was that Gov. Snyder never once mentioned K-12 education in the part of his speech discussing 2014. Only when he talked about the year ahead did we hear about K-12 education and he completely bypassed the profound failures of his administration and Republican lawmakers when it comes to K-12 classroom students over the past four years.
But the most interesting part of the evening was the “response” fashioned by theocrats Cindy Gamrat and Todd Courser. In their jaw-dropping missive, they make clear that, when it comes to religion and government, there is no separation. In their “Liberty Response, the two of them tie religion and government into a single package sent to us from the past, completely ignoring the Founding Fathers’ intent to keep the two indelibly apart.
You can read their full “Liberty Response to the Governor’s State of the State Address…” HERE.
Here are the relevant bits:
Greetings friends and fellow Patriots,
We want to first thank God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for our salvation and His abounding and generous gifts, blessings and His grace, and mercy on our state and nation. It is important to acknowledge that it is only by His power and might that our state and nation remain. It is not the bills or the laws or the regulations that make our state and nation great, rather, it is recognizing who God is and submitting to His authority and dominion in our lives and as a state and nation; without this acknowledgement and also valuing God’s gift of life, then all other steps to set our state on the right course will be amiss.
[Blah blah blah … liberty … blah blah blah … taxes … blah blah blah … tyranny …]
America is a Christian nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and God has given us incredible freedom and opportunity. Let us enjoy all that we have been blessed with as we carry forth with the responsibility to bestow these same freedoms and opportunities to future generations. We are told America is plagued with limited resources and limited opportunities, however the truth is we are awash in boundless unlimited potential that has been restricted from the people by government untethered from our founding documents. […]
In His Grip…
State Representative, District 82
With Firm Reliance on Divine Providence,
State Representative, District 80
I have been watching politics and politicians for quite a while now and I have never in my life seen two elected officials so audaciously incorporating their religious views and beliefs into their political jobs. I suspect there are a large number of their constituents who find their claim that “America is a Christian nation founded on Judeo-Christian values” to be not only untrue but offensive. These two were elected to represent their districts but their words make it very clear that, unless you agree with their extremist religious worldview, you are, simply put, not represented by them.
Progress Michigan sent some of their staff to attend the tea party “Powwow” hosted by Gamrat and Courser two weekends ago (read their write-ups HERE and HERE) and were shocked by the bigotry and religious propaganda they witnessed. In response to Courser and Gamrat’s “Liberty Response”, Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott issued this statement:
This radical, dominionist ideology being pushed by Rep. Courser and Rep. Gamrat shows just how far to the right the Michigan GOP has swung. This is the type of dangerous rhetoric we can expect from a party that refuses to remove people like Dave Agema from leadership positions. Michiganders won’t stand for the regressive and discriminatory ideology being espoused by Tea Party lawmakers.
Gamrat and Courser aren’t your average tea party politicians. Rather than focusing simply on smaller government and lower taxes, they blend extreme, bizarre and frequently historically revisionist views of patriotism, liberty, government, religion into a single philosophy of governance. Courser earned just 55% of the vote in November 2014 and Gamrat only 63%. The citizens who did not vote for them must be shocked to find that they are “represented” in our state government by two theocratic extremists who make no distinction between religion and government with statements like, “We make a mistake when we replace God with government.” Many of their constituents feel the mistake is made when government is replaced with religious dogma they don’t subscribe to.
Fortunately, I have heard from numerous sources that even Gamrat’s and Courser’s own Republican colleagues find them to be toxic and are moving to ensure they are not able to turn our state government into something driven and shaped by Courser and Gamrat’s personal religious beliefs.
Can I get an amen?
[Photo by Chris Savage | Eclectablog]