No room for religion on board of medicine
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 13:05
There is room for three non-physicians on the 10-member Iowa Board of Medicine. The nomination for a well-known Catholic priest, Monsignor Frank Bognanno, was snuck in at the last minute. While Bognanno describes himself as being “absolutely pro-life," he says it won’t inhibit his ability to remain objective. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad nominated Bognanno for the position and received no opposition, since the Senate did not even bother to vote on the nomination. Bognanno has already begun to serve and will continue to do so until January when the Senate reconvenes and votes on whether he will remain.
The sudden appointment comes after conservative Catholics claim offence to Democrats’ votes to support gay marriage, rejecting a previous nomination of an anti-abortion activist and requiring church-run institutions to pay for the birth control of their employees. These issues have infuriated right-wing Christians and have caused them to fight back with vehemence. It is no secret that Christians are the majority in the United States; however, the First Amendment was put in place to protect the rights of all citizens, not just the majority. It was put there to protect us from the majority. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. Even if there are seats reserved for those who are not medical professionals, there is no room for a religious figure of any kind.
The decisions made by the board of medicine will affect the lives of people Christian and non-Christian alike. Christian groups decry indoctrination in public schools, colleges and the liberal media, yet they do the same by injecting their beliefs into government systems where they do not belong. The line separating church and state must be ferociously protected. Religious slogans have been printed on our money, incorporated into our anthems and recited by school children every day during the pledge of allegiance. These values need to be shifted away from the majority and must be deemed fit to represent the whole of society.
As the line separating church and state becomes more and more blurred, more and more people will fight against it. Just because Christians have the majority doesn’t mean that they have free reign over the rest of us. Catholic priests need only worry about their congregation, the people who want the help and guidance of the clergy. A supporter of Bognanno’s nomination, Tom Quiner wrote in an email that he doesn’t understand why Democrats think "a respected member of the Catholic clergy isn’t fit to sit on the Iowa Board of Medicine.” But this is exactly why. It all goes back to the First Amendment. It’s simply the separation of church and state. The fact that this move was made without a vote is exceedingly more disheartening than the appointment itself.
If we are to maintain the freedoms that we fought so hard for throughout the hundreds of years that our country has thrived, we must prevent such nominations from continuing. This nomination was simply employed to keep Christian ideals alive in the everyday life of all citizens. We must not allow this indoctrination to continue. We must keep the Ten Commandments off of federal buildings. We must remove religious slogans from our currency. We are the melting pot of the world, which means we are any and every person, not just Christians. Just because Christians do not believe in birth control or abortions does not mean they have a say in the choices of others who do not share their faith.