Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine approved the language of the “Personhood Amendment” yesterday morning, moving one step closer to putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot next fall that would effectively make a fertilized egg a “person” under Ohio law.

Despite the attempts to produce reasonable-sounding language for the proposed amendment, anyone who gives it two minutes of serious thought will quickly see its flaws. This amendment would result in a legal nightmare (can you imagine being sued by your own unfertilized egg??), it would have huge, negative impacts on Ohio’s health care industry, tie the hands of doctors and their patients and criminalize most standard forms of contraception and all abortions, regardless of the impact on the mother.

The language of this bill in written to sound reasonable, but it’s not. And why should it be? It was written by four, ultra-right wing, religious extremist MEN, like “Coach” Dave Daubenmire and Dr. James Patrick Johnston.

It’s obvious from the pictures appearing on Johnston’s website that he has a personal predilection for powder blue suits and making lots of babies, but according to the Other Paper, he is also an “uninsured Zanesville family practitioner, Christian radio host, an active anti-LGBT and Operation Save America activist, and one-time Libertarian candidate for state representative in Ohio’s 94th District.”

You’d think as a doctor and a Christian, Johnston would follow of path of healing and love and compassion. But the writings that fill Johnston’s website, rightremedy.org, are instead filled with anger and hate.

For example, Johnston hates ‘the gays’, which he affectionately calls “sodomite activists”, because gayness makes you become either a world famous tennis player, a catholic boy or a serial killer:

Homosexuality kills. Just ask Jesse Dirkhising, Jerry Thacker, thousands of Catholic boys, Rock Hudson, Liberace, Arthur Ash, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Jeffrey Dahmer or any of the top twelve serial killers of all time (who are all homosexuals)

He also thinks we should treat our gays more like Saudi Arabia. According to Johnston: “Saudi Arabia doesn’t have an “AIDS crisis” because “they don’t tolerate [homosexuality]”. Note: The maximum punishment for “sexual deviance” in Saudi Arabia is public execution. And they DO have an AIDS crisis.

James also hates school levies because 1. he home schools his 7 kids (damn them mooching public school kids!) and 2. because “Bible-believing Christians … are against the immorality that is being taught to our nation’s children in tax-subsidized government schools.”

He seems to hate public employees like teachers and school janitors, calling them “the parasites that threaten our freedom.”

He hates the entire state of Mississippi for not passing their own personhood amendment, warning them that “they’ve sown the seeds of death in the soil of the Mississippi delta” and God’s wrath will soon follow.

Johnston is so extreme that he thinks the other anti-abortion activists who helped fight to pass Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, arguably the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation, are a bunch of godless heathens guilty of murder because they are willing to support this “compromise” legislation.

And he doesn’t seem to be too big a fan of African Americans either judging by his piece titled “Obama Is an Uncle Tom and Abuses Black Slave Children“.

James spends his days writing ‘articles’ that liberally quote the Washington Post, the AMA and Leviticus all in the same piece, and all with equal weight. He seems to draw on his vast experience of reading the bible, playing dress-up with his family, and making babies, mixing politics and religion and pseudo-psychology into a hot mess of nonsense arguments focused almost exclusively on bashing anyone who looks, acts or has beliefs different than his, especially people who believe our democracy and legal system have precedent over his religious text.

Johnston even wrote a novel fantasizing about American anti-abortion heroes killing evil, foreign abortionists. In this excerpt, a “dark skinned” abortion doctor with a “thick foreign accent” shoots a local sheriff who tries to stop him from performing an abortion on an “eighteen-year-old college beauty.”

Johnston thinks all law should be based on religious law – his biblical law, specifically – and according to Johnston, if we don’t agree with the U.S. Supreme Court, then “We must defer to the rulings of the Court more supreme than they, whose Chief Justice is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” Johnston openly admits that we should abandon our democratic system of laws and turn the U.S. into a Theocracy.

According to Johnston “our government has become a godless government at war with God” and Christians must revolt. “The soil in America is ripe for the seeds of revolution.” Johnston is a wingnut to the highest degree – a dangerous ideologue who fantasizes about leading an armed revolution against the federal government: “If a state bans abortion in submission to God’s law and in defiance of tyranny, and the feds intervene with force, would not this be a conflict that God would bless?”

And it’s from this perspective that Johnston has written his “Personhood Amendment”.

Johnston is not trying to make life better for Ohioans. He not trying to bring Ohio more jobs. He’s not trying to expand businesses or clean up the drinking water or protect animals or secure voting rights or do any of the things people typically try to accomplish when they propose constitutional amendments.

Johnston and his pals are simply trying to impose their very-specific, ultra-conservative religious beliefs on everyone in Ohio by changing the Ohio Constitution. Johnston believes if he can impose his version of God’s law on Ohio it might serve as a stepping stone to achieving his dream of a Christian Republic of America. The Personhood Amendment is not about abortion or children or life, it’s about religious extremism and religious extremists who want to throw out Ohio’s Constitution, our entire legal system and our democracy in favor of their own religious text – even if that means taking up arms against the rest of us in the process.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always thought about how much energy it must take to hate so many people with so much vehemence.  I just don’t have the time or energy to hate people.  Ok, I hate rotten drivers and people who think they know everything, but I don’t spend entire days dreaming up theories or looking for the justification to consider others as subhuman because they have different ideas from mine.

  • No surprise DeWine signed it. Get the new petitions ready for us to begin signing as soon as this is final so we can stop another blunder to our lives. Perhaps we also need a competency test for all candidates prior to their being allowed to run to be sure they aren’t racists, over zealous Christians, etc. Ohio is way out of hand with “moralization by those who think their skin color makes them superior.

  • Annekarima

    Poor Dr. Johnson.  Guess he never got to read “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross”.

  • Sounds like a really nice guy. 

  • Umm what does Sodom and Gomorrah have to do with homosexuality? Sodom and Gomoraah were destroyed because of greed.  Even Jesus said Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for greed.

  • Anastasjoy

    Carol, that would be a waste of our time and energy. What would we be getting petitions signed for? Nothing exists yet. Our job is not to pass out more petitions but make sure this doesn’t pass by informing people we know.

  • Anastasjoy

    Actually, this guy should be prosecuted for treason. It’s interesting how the so many on the right scream about how much they “love America” and how lib’ruls don’t respect the Constitution when everything they do seems to be an attack on America and the Constitution. And the ignorance! I cannot believe a guy this stupid is a doctor. By the way, Arthur Ashe (with an e) was not gay, and got AIDS from a blood transfusion when he had a heart attack. I guess any story can be distorted by assholes like this if they can wring a little more hate out of it. What was it Jesus Christ said — hate everyone? More hate!?

  • Thank u for writing this article. Truely appreciated. The Ohio Constitution panel met this past week to do exactly what u stated..change Ohio’s Constitution to serve what they want. The leader  of the House here in Ohio appointed every1 on that panel…it all goes hand in hand..selln off prisons..they must change Ohio’s Constitution..it states specifically that no state land paid for by the state taxpayers can lease, sell, etc.properties…How can they just appoint people n change the Constitution without consent of the people…how an they continue to sell off Ohio’s assets, frack.etc…Where is the Democracy? They pass bills in which they are exempt as well…My students at school asked me how our legislators do what they do, and ontinue to go against will of people. They asked, Ms. G, you teach us/tell us to do the right thing, be honest, stand up for whats right. These people are elected and they are not doing their jobs, how can they do this? I explained that sometimes Democracy takes a little longer n even though what they r doing is hurting people, we must follow the law. My students understand whats happening in our state because it affects them.. They ask me why must we follow the proper steps, peaceful, when they are stealn, etc? I explained so they have to follow the law/etc.The best example they understand is that 2 wrongs dont make it right.n if we want change, we must use our words, bepeaceful, and follow procedure because if we become verbally abusive, etc…we will never be able to legally get them to be accountable…and if we are not in control of our actions in how we deal with it forcing them legally to do whats right, then we cant get done whats needed to put that in motion. Here’s a question Ive been unable to answer.maybe some1 can help me better answer? “Ms. G, if they r not following the laws then they need punished/fired..why is it if u or I were to do something similar, we’d be in jail? Fired? Arrested? Anyone help me here besides, they r legislators n r exempt..above the law…have money…I am sorry I got off topic. any suggestions? thx

  • The Republian Party Presidential Candidates period believes skin color makes them superior…and to think that Americans are dumb..and they continuously think they can lie/create smoke screens, to get their way…over n over, n people at 1st maybe fooled, but the millions given away n no jobs? huge raises, legislators exempt, n their millionaires..n continue to make millions while in office…how is this legal?

  • Its all about money n power…n thinkn they r pulln a fast1 over on Americans who think because the Columbus Disgrace says something, news or elected officials say it makes it so…because we r raised respectn the Democratic process..Hate n prejudice is old old school n thinkn they r superior to americans because we r blind…they hide things, cover up, meet in secret… lie..use fear…to control the people… n justify why they r doing what they are doing…however, they dont “harp” on their raises, etc..mentioned in passn…but get people riled up calln whomever they want the people to be mad at..thugs..terrorists..criminals…n yet the real crooks are them..talk about organized crime…

  • Treason? He’ll have to get in line….You have the Corps, then the Govs they bought….etc….

  • Andrew McKenzie

    I say “Go for it!”  Nothing will sour Americans on Conservatives like having to live under it.  Especially the ‘fiscal conservatives’ who’ve allied themselves with the religious right all these years.  It’s nice that we finally see the conservatives’ true colors. 

  • Andrew McKenzie

    And Lot was righteous, because when the mob at his door demanded he give them his houseguest to gangrape, he offered his virgin daughters instead.

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