all ___ are created equal?

Posted on Wednesday 20 December 2006

It’s about the same thing that got "All men are created equal" into our Declaration of Independence instead of "All people are created equal." We fought a Civil War over it, and it still took another hundred years for African-Americans to gain a semblence of their rights. It took a century and a half for women to have their right to vote, and the Equal Rights Amendment still hasn’t been passed. Labor Unions have been through the same process, and are currently disenfranchised. Now, we’re building a wall to keep the Latinos out.

Now it’s the Religious Right and their "Family Values" instead of the KKK or the White Supremists who are championing the cause. The Christian Right arose in the mid 1970’s in reaction to: The Equal Rights Amendment, Roe v. Wade, and the election of a genuinely Christian man, Jimmy Carter, who was a civil libertarian. It was actually a real Christian in the White House that they rose up to fight against. Why he even suggested that we slow down on the highways to decrease our oil comsumption. Since then, they’ve elected three Presidents – Ronald Reagan and the Bush’s, and done everything in their power to say "All of us are created equal" – "us" being straight white guys with money and a family. They have currently put two men in the White House who are both incompetent and dishonest, and hardly Christian by any parameters I know.

It doesn’t have anything to do with unborn children. They’ve done nothing for the unwanted, disenfranchised children in America. If anything, they’ve made their plight much worse. It doesn’t have anything to do with homosexuals. They just want them to either go away or stay out of sight. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus Christ – a true champion of the wretched of the earth – or Christianity. It has to do with selfish prejudice, and xenophobic fear – hide in the suburbs, go to a megachurch, home school the kids to keep them out of the schools, and hope everyone else goes away [unless they’ve come to do the lawn or clean the house]. How any minorities, women, homosexuals, or Christians can support these current people they’ve put in the White House and look at themselves in the mirror is beyond my understanding.

Dark days, these – a major assault on our Constitution, our Courts, people who are different, science, the less fortunate among us, and a war of conquest in the Middle East to get their oil to boot. Onward Christian Soldiers!

The Equal Rights Amendment passed the U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives, and on March 22, 1972, the proposed 27th Amendment to the Constitution was sent to the states for ratification. But as it had done for every amendment since Prohibition (with the exception of the 19th Amendment), Congress placed a seven-year deadline on the ratification process. This time limit was placed not in the words of the ERA itself, but in the proposing clause.
Arguments by ERA opponents such as Phyllis Schlafly, right-wing leader of the Eagle Forum/STOP ERA, played on the same fears that had generated female opposition to woman suffrage. Anti-ERA organizers claimed that the ERA would deny woman’s right to be supported by her husband, privacy rights would be overturned, women would be sent into combat, and abortion rights and homosexual marriages would be upheld. Opponents surfaced from other traditional sectors as well. States’-rights advocates said the ERA was a federal power grab, and business interests such as the insurance industry opposed a measure they believed would cost them money. Opposition to the ERA was also organized by fundamentalist religious groups.
Like the 19th Amendment before it, the ERA barreled out of Congress, getting 22 of the necessary 38 state ratifications in the first year. But the pace slowed as opposition began to organize – only eight ratifications in 1973, three in 1974, one in 1975, and none in 1976.
The political tide continued to turn more conservative. In 1980 the Republican Party removed ERA support from its platform, and Ronald Reagan was elected president. Although pro-ERA activities increased with massive lobbying, petitioning, countdown rallies, walkathons, fundraisers, and even the radical suffragist tactics of hunger strikes, White House picketing, and civil disobedience, ERA did not succeed in getting three more state ratifications before the deadline. The country was once more unwilling to guarantee women constitutional rights equal to those of men.
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark United States Supreme Court decision establishing that most laws against abortion violate a constitutional right to privacy under the liberty clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus overturning all state and federal laws outlawing or restricting abortion that were inconsistent with the decision. It is one of the most controversial cases in U.S. Supreme Court history.
The decision in Roe v. Wade prompted national debate that continues to this day over whether terminating pregnancies should be legal (or more precisely, whether a state can choose to deem the act illegal), the role of the Supreme Court in constitutional adjudication, and the role of religious views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade became one of the most politically significant Supreme Court decisions in history, reshaping national politics, dividing the nation into "pro-choice" and "pro-life" camps, and inspiring grassroots activism on both sides.

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