Sunday, August 19, 2012

Voter ID laws -- an affront to God

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy. 

-- Proverbs 31-8-9

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

-- Philippians 2:3-4

I have come to the sad conclusion that the voter-ID laws recently been enacted in states by and with Republican-dominated legislatures represent sin against Almighty God.

I know what you may be thinking:  You need a photo ID to, among other things, cash a check, board an airline flight or buy liquor.  Why not to vote?  Remember, however, that those are not rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  (Indeed, the law enacted in Wisconsin was voided by its own constitution.)  Voter fraud?  Virtually non-existent, thank you, Chicago notwithstanding, and even the supporters of such laws admit as much.  Illegal aliens?  Sorry, but for obvious reasons they tend not to vote anyway.

Let's cut to the chase:  This is really about vote suppression, more accurately an attempt to keep people likely to cast their ballots for Barack Obama away from the polls; the Republican Party can't fairly make its case in such communities, so this represents a last-ditch effort to regain power.  The late culture-warrior Paul Weyrich said in 1980, "I don't want everyone to vote," and here in Pennsylvania, GOP state Rep. Mike Turzai even bragged that this state's law was intended to "deliver Pennsylvania to [Mitt] Romney." 

Here's the problem:  The conservative ethos, which is ultimately about concentrated power and wealth at the expense of everyone else, directly counters the aspirations and interests of the poor and especially African-Americans -- hear me, folks, directly.  There are reasons why 90 percent of blacks support Democratic candidates generally, with 95 percent voting for Obama in 2008, and they're not about "welfare goodies" or any of that stuff.  (And his race has nothing to do with it, either.)  Do you think that the Fox News Channel went after ACORN for no reason?  Remember, ACORN sponsored a major voter registration drive targeting the poor.

The law here, upheld last week by a Commonwealth Court judge, is especially onerous because you need a state-required ID with an expiration date -- no store, work, college or military ID would be accepted.  (Many poor folks do not have driver's licenses, which is why it's an issue.)  You can get free state ID cards fairly easily, but, as newspaper reports have indicated, even workers at the state Department of Transportation, which issues them, are a tad confused about the new law and likely to be overwhelmed with requests.  And considering that the political right despises bureaucracy anyway, PennDOT probably won't be able to hire enough workers to process the crush of applicants.

You see the diabolical genius in all this.

But here's the rub:  If liberal Democrats were trying to suppress your right to vote, wouldn't you scream bloody murder?  Heck, you might even consider it "anti-Christian."  So where is the outcry among God's people, especially since many of those being potentially disenfranchised are fellow Christians?

Because I've heard those complaints, I already know that many Christians consider the current president a socialist (nonsense, according to the real socialists) and even a Marxist (ridiculous, because Marxism ignores the spiritual and Obama doesn't do that).  I must warn you, however:  If you ignore the concentration of economic power in the hands of fewer and fewer people, and especially justifying such rapacious capitalism as Godly, you will help to create conditions under which Marxism can occur -- a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you will.

The Pennsylvania law has been appealed to Superior Court, and I don't know when a ruling will come down.  Needless to say I hope it will be struck down, but even if it isn't it still qualifies as an unjust law -- and we all know, or should know, just how God feels about unjust laws.

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