amendment 1









Christian doctrine says that God gave us free will.

The backers of Amendment 1 would take that away.

They want to take away the options of women in Tennessee to make their own health decisions and they have gone to the extreme of trying to amend the Tennessee Constitution to do it.

There is so much wrong with Amendment 1, from the justifications for its passage by the Legislature to lies about how liberal Tennessee abortion laws are and from the arrogance of legislators who abuse their power by injecting their personal political and religious orthodoxy into state law to the absurdity of extremist legislators getting between a woman, her doctor, and the most personal decisions of her life.

But it’s also stupid governing.

Political Arrogance

Amendments to constitutions, whether state or federal, should be few and far between, but these days, Tea Partiers, who profess fealty to the principles and traditions of this country, are running roughshod over the principles of good governance.

Here’s the thing: there is never any valid reason for the political orthodoxies of the moment to be written into constitutions – regardless of which political party is in the position to do it.  And when amendments are passed, they have historically been to expand rights or to align state law with Supreme Court decisions.

Amendment 1 is the antithesis of this.  It’s narrow-minded and it is an exercise in political arrogance, but most of all, it is based on a belief that average Tennesseans aren’t entitled to – and don’t deserve to – make their own decisions without interference from politicians.

If the Tennessee Legislature was so confident that Tennesseans support a change to the Constitution, why did it not put the call for a Constitutional Convention on the ballot instead of their own political prejudices?  If it had done this, it could have even called for a limited convention that addressed specific topics, but clearly, the legislators’ first priority was to prevent any public input into the process that might contradict their dogma on abortion.

The Worst Legislature Proves It Again

Legislators say that the amendment would make the Tennessee Constitution neutral on abortion but at this point, few surpass their ability for perfidy.

The truth is – and they know it – that Amendment 1 would strip the right to abortion from the constitution, and this would be the first time that any constitution in the U.S. would be amended to remove an established right. It would also be the first time the word abortion is added to any constitution and singled out as the only medical procedure outside the zone of privacy.

It is but the latest misuse of power by the legislature that’s been accurately been called the “worst in the United States.”

It’s the Legislature whose members have proposed laws that encouraged the teaching of unscientific lesson plans, that classified miscarriages as murder, that praised Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists, that cracked down on transgendered Tennesseans for using restrooms that didn’t match the gender on their birth certificates, that confused a custodian’s wash basin as a “Muslim foot bath,” that would make it illegal for Muslims to follow Muslim law, that allowed guns in restaurants, grocery stores and parks, that said the governor should fire any employees who are Muslim or gay, that called the Affordable Care Act like the Holocaust, that called for publishing the names of all doctors performing abortions and demographic information about patients that could be used to identify them, and circulated rumors that President Obama was planning to stage a fake assassination to stop the 2012 election from taking place.

Yep, it’s those same folks.

Getting to the Polls

Even in an era where we have become accustomed to the “Big Lie” as political strategy, Amendment 1 is special.  If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, the very last refuge of the scoundrel is patriotism posing as religious dogma.  George Orwell foresaw it: “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it is becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed…”

It’s no wonder that given a choice between discrimination and liberty, the extremists – all while professing an unyielding belief in small government — choose government intervention in personal rights.

Watching the “my way or the highway” political philosophy of the extremists, you’d never think that the majority of Americans do not support political agendas aimed at cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood and the majority of Tennesseans do not support Amendment 1.  Of course, the greatest hypocrisy is at the same time they work to limit abortion, they also work to reduce funding for programs that help children.

And yet, polls don’t matter on Election Day, because the only thing that matters, and which will determine the future of this amendment, are the Tennesseans who go to the polls and vote against this amendment.  Make sure you are one of them.