Isn’t it a tad ironic that the people who are most upset about the Pope’s recent comments on politics and the economy are the conservative Christians who made their fame and fortune by commenting on politics and the economy?
Friday, December 6, 2013
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
If, as TPM says, Rush Limbaugh thinks Pope Francis is preaching “pure Marxism,” I wonder what he thought of what the founder of the church was preaching with all his heal the sick, help the poor, and love thy neighbor stuff.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is shocked and saddened that anyone would ever think that the Catholic Church might be anti-gay.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said on Friday that the Roman Catholic Church was being “caricatured as being anti-gay,” even as he lamented the continued expansion of same-sex marriage in the United States and vowed to keep fighting it.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Cardinal Dolan and his clan have fought every advance for gay rights while allowing pedophiles to run rampant through the church and doing everything they possibly can to shield them from the reach of the law and the victims, all the while letting the world think that being gay and being a pedophile are the same thing. And until they denounce hate mongers in the church like Bill Donohue, they’re going to have to live with it.
That’s not a caricature; it’s the brutal truth.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
The Supreme Court will rule next year on whether or not corporations can have faith.
The cases accepted by the court offer complex questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers, along with an issue the court has not yet confronted: whether secular, for-profit corporations are excepted by the Constitution or federal statute from complying with a law because of their owners’ religious beliefs.
The justices accepted two cases that produced opposite results in lower courts.
One was brought by the owners of Hobby Lobby, an arts-and-crafts chain that its owner, David Green, said is run on biblical principles. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver said forcing the company to comply with the contraceptive mandate would violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law providing special protections for religious expression.
In a divided opinion, the appeals court relied in part on the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which said corporations have political speech rights just as individuals do in spending on elections.
“We see no reason the Supreme Court would recognize constitutional protection for a corporation’s political expression but not its religious expression,” Judge Timothy Tymkovich wrote for the majority.
The second case went the other way. A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia ruled that Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania cabinet-making company owned by a Mennonite family, must comply with the contraceptive mandate.
In both cases, the plaintiffs are conservative Christians who object to contraception and don’t want to be a part of allowing their employees to use birth control. Given the current make-up of the Court, it’s 50-50 that they could rule in favor of the plaintiffs and thereby open the floodgates of evangelicals objecting to everything that touches their particular faith, including discrimination against certain people or people of a certain color or ethnicity and have the Court’s tacit backing for it.
That also lets the door swing the other way. Say you have a business that is run by a religious person who is a progressive; a Quaker, perhaps. He or she views over-population as a mortal threat to the planet and therefore requires that every employee, male and female, have contraception coverage on their insurance plan regardless of the employee’s faith and practice. If there are any hard-core Catholics in the company who object to having that rider on their insurance, well, too bad. (Of course, no true Quaker would ever do that.)
It goes beyond health insurance. What if the company owner is Orthodox Jewish and requires that the company allows only kosher food in the building, even for those who aren’t Jewish. Can he be penalized for firing a worker who brings a cheeseburger or clam chowder for lunch?
I will begrudgingly give ground to churches who don’t want to hire LGBT people if their doctrine includes gay-bashing even though I’m indirectly supporting them by allowing them to skate around the tax code. But I draw a very bright line when it comes to for-profit businesses whose owners feel that their own personal religious peccadilloes have any bearing on the lives of their employees.
If you want to make millions of dollars and use the Ten Commandments as your business model, open a mega-church.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Retired General Jerry Boykin has holy locker room fantasies about our lord and savior:
Do you think he looked like the effeminate picture that we always see of him? He didn’t look like that. He had big ole calluses over his hands, right? I imagine he probably lost a nail or two, he probably hit it with a hammer or something.”
“You think his biceps weren’t big bulging biceps, big ole veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, strong shoulders from lifting? He smelled bad! Why? Because he sweated, he worked. You think I’m sacrilegious because I said Jesus smelled bad? No, he was a man! He was a man’s man.”
“He was a tough guy, and that’s the Jesus I want to be like. But we feminize Jesus in the church and men can’t identify with him anymore, not the kind of men I want to hang out with. They can’t identify with this effeminate Jesus that we’ve tried to portray.”
Okay, General, whatever turns you on. Who are we to judge?
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The first day of Obamacare health exchanges had a few snags due to pent-up demand.
President Obama told the GOP to reopen the government.
Pope goes after the Catholic church’s bureaucracy.
U.S. expels 3 Venezuelan diplomats in retaliation for them expelling one of ours.
Pirates beat the Reds for a NL wildcard spot.
Tropical Update: TS Jerry moves east way out in the Atlantic.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
House GOP drags the budget and the government to the edge of the cliff.
Syria turns in its homework.
Is the Pope really Catholic?
Lyons, Colorado, may be unlivable for 6 months after flooding.
Tropical Update: There’s yet another disturbance off the Gulf coast of Mexico.
The Tigers beat the White Sox 12-5; Max Scherzer gets his 20th win, and the magic number is 3,
Friday, September 20, 2013
House Republicans vote for deep cuts in food stamps.
Court overturns Tom DeLay’s corruption convictions.
Pope says Catholics should lighten up.
Rick Scott wants to take random drug testing for state workers to the Supreme Court.
Tropical Update: The remnants of Humberto rain on Mexico.
The Tigers beat Seattle 5-4; the magic number is four.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Their Pet Words — Brad Leithauser in The New Yorker tells us about some writers’ favorite words and what it tells us about them.
The word “sweet” appears eight hundred and forty times in your complete Shakespeare. Or nearly a thousand times, if you accept close variants (“out-sweeten’d,” “true-sweet,” “sweetheart”). This level of use comes as no surprise to anyone who loves the sonnets and plays: whether in moments of fondest coaxing and chiding (“When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear”) or abject anguish and empathy (“Bless thy sweet eyes—they bleed”), Shakespeare reliably repaired to a sugared lexicon. It’s similarly unsurprising to learn that “flower” and “flowers” bloom on more than a hundred occasions in E. E. Cummings’s poetry; for him, the rotation of the seasons meant that spring followed hard on the heels of spring. Likewise, one might rightly predict that within A. E. Housman’s verses “lad” and “lads” would tabulate more densely than “beauty” or “life” or even “love” or “death.” For him, “lad” was probably the richest word in the language—a modest, slender triad of letters on which he hung his deepest feelings of fascination, lust, exclusion, and (especially when regarding soldiers in uniform) envy and gratitude.
Every poet, every novelist has his or her pet words. Which words these may be dawns on you gradually as you enter the world of a new writer. The deeper you read, the more likely it is that a fresh line in effect becomes an old line, as a signature vocabulary term rings out variations on previous usages. Of course, with many major authors this process of identifying pet words can be hastened and simplified by consulting a concordance. Either way, you’ll likely discover that your author’s personal dictionary contains an abundance of amiable acquaintances, but a select few intimate friends.
I sometimes wonder what could be responsibly deduced about a poet whose work you’d never actually read—if you were supplied only with a bare-bones concordance providing tables of vocabulary frequency. A fair amount, probably. You might reasonably postulate that Housman was homosexual upon learning that “lad,” “lads,” and “man” together surface roughly two hundred times in his poetry, as opposed to something like twenty appearances of “woman,” “women,” “girl,” and “girls.” Or you might—a deeper challenge—presuppose the existence of an essential temperamental and creative schism between two giants upon learning that “tranquil” and its variants (“tranquility,” “tranquilizing,” etc.) materialize more than fifty times in Wordsworth’s poetry and about a dozen in Byron’s. Doesn’t this statistic present, in stark relief, the posed polarities of the poet as contemplative and the poet as a man of action?
At the end of the day, when darkness falls, a concordance turns out to be a sort of sky chart to the assembling night. It shows how the poet’s mind constellates. Even if we’d never read Milton, we might surmise something of his vast, magisterial temperament on being told that “law” emerges some fifty times in his complete poems. We might surmise something further on discovering that “Hell” surfaces nearly as often as “love.”
Bullies for Jesus — From James Hamblin in The Atlantic, a high school student feels the wrath of God for complaining about religion in his public school.
Earlier this year, while no one was looking, Gage Pulliam took a photo of a plaque that listed the Ten Commandments, as it hung on the wall of his Oklahoma high school’s biology classroom.
Pulliam emailed the photo, anonymously, to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They then sent a complaint to the school district, which asked Muldrow High School to take down the plaque.
The taste of justice was, for a moment, sweet on Pulliam’s godless tongue. Until students protested . By later in the week, his peers had compiled hundreds of signatures on petitions to save the Commandments plaque. The Muldrow Ministerial Alliance began giving away shirts that bore the Ten Commandments, in support of the protest. Parents got into the fray, too. Denise Armer said taking down the plaque was “going too far … What happened to freedom of religion, and not from religion?”
The protesters began speculating as to who was responsible for the instigating photo. Speculative whispers became cries. When some of Pulliam’s friends–who were among the cohort of openly areligious students at Muldrow High–started feeling heat, Pulliam outed himself on an atheist blog. Sacrificing himself to so that he might save others, Pulliam admitted that he was the one who sent the photo.
Pulliam later said that in the wake of his confession, his mother worried for his safety. She also worried that his teachers might grade him differently. His sister, an eighth-grader, said other students wouldn’t look at her, and “in one instance she couldn’t even get a class project done because her group members refused to talk to her.” Other students “told Gage’s girlfriend that he should stay from them or else they’ll punch him.”
Pulliam’s justification for taking the photo in the first place: “I want people to know this isn’t me trying to attack religion. This is me trying to create an environment for kids where they can feel equal.”
The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) is an educational nonprofit advocacy group. They have 393 affiliated student groups on U.S. high school and college campuses. That number has doubled in the last four years. Their stated purpose is to “organize and empower nonreligious students” and “foster successful grassroots campus groups which provide a welcoming community for secular students to discuss their views and promote their secular values.” This month they launched a program, primarily in high schools, intended to counter situations like Pulliam’s, which they say are commonplace.
The Secular Safe Zone initiative is designed to create “safe, neutral places for students to talk about their doubts without fear of religious bullying.” That’s done by recruiting “allies” and training them to recognize and respond to anti-atheist bullying. The initiative is modeled off of Gay Alliance’s LGBT Safe Zone program, which was started several years ago, in that it allows mentors at schools to explicitly demarcate spaces where “students know that bullying won’t be tolerated.”
School faculty members who affiliate with the program never have to say a thing; they hang the yellow, green, pink, and blue emblem, and students come to them.
“It’s shocking how often people tell secular students that they don’t belong in America,” Jesse Galef, communications director for the SSA told me. “Sometimes there are threats of violence against students who openly identify as atheists … We’re calling on supportive role models nationwide to stand up for these students.” That can include “teachers, guidance counselors, librarians, RAs, even chaplains, who want to create safe places for people to discuss their doubts and be open about their identities.”
A Different Party — Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein follow up their book on the dysfunction of the GOP with an assessment of where they’re going now.
A brighter future for politics and policy requires a different Republican Party, one no longer beholden to its hard right and willing to operate within the mainstream of American politics. After losing five of six presidential elections between 1968 and 1988, Democrats (thanks in large part to the Democratic Leadership Council and Bill Clinton) made a striking adjustment that put them in a position to nominate credible presidential candidates, develop center-left policies responsive to the interests of a majority of voters, and govern in a less ideological, more pragmatic, problem-solving mode. Nothing would contribute more to strengthening American democracy than Republicans going through that same experience. The initial post-2012 election assessment by the Republican National Committee took some steps toward frankly acknowledging their problems with the electorate and suggesting a course of action. However, with the striking exception of immigration policy, it moved little beyond message and process and in no way questioned the party’s absolutist position on taxes or crabbed position on the scope and size of government. That failure to move further made it even more difficult for the few problem-solving-oriented House conservatives, along with some of those in the Senate, to ignore the threat of well-financed primary challenges for apostasy from those absolutist causes.
Republicans have reason to believe the 2014 midterm elections will strengthen their position in Congress, even if they continue on the oppositionist course they set in the 112th Congress. Midterm elections usually result in losses for the president’s party, and if there is disgruntlement over continued dysfunction, voters may take it out on the perceived party in charge. But Republicans also know that there are risks associated with brinksmanship and obstruction, and they could be setting themselves up for a trouncing in 2016. Nothing concentrates the minds of politicians and their parties so much as the prospect of electoral defeat and political marginalization.
Doonesbury — Conventional wisdom.
Friday, September 6, 2013
Far be it from me to knock someone else’s religion as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s faith and freedom. As John Lennon said, “whatever gets you through the night.” In other words, feel free to do whatever you like as long as it doesn’t harm innocent bystanders or force itself on them. If you want to make a deity out of a ’57 Chevy, go for it. But skate over the edge into running other people’s lives, and we have a problem.
That’s what bothers me about the fundamentalist Christians. Not content to wallow in their own particular brand of worship, they feel compelled to share it with the rest of us. And by “share” I mean force it on the rest of the world by shame, lung power, and legislation.
People who do stuff like that have some sort of inferiority complex; they have to prove themselves better than the schlemiel who doesn’t think of Jesus as their personal savior, and they can’t sleep at night because of their obsession about the gay couple down the street doing unspeakable things in their bedroom. (If my experience is any guide, the most unspeakable thing that goes on in a gay couple’s bedroom is one of them hogging the blanket on a cold night.)
This leads to the paranoia that the world is out to get them, and the fact that only 80% of Americans identify as nominally Christian in some form or another is just not good enough. If someone tells them that no, you really can’t force a biology class to include the pleasant poetry of Genesis or that it is a misdemeanor to block access to a medical clinic, they are being denied their religious freedom. It never occurs to them that banning marriage equality might violate the religious freedom of those Christians who believe that God blesses all unions regardless of genitalia. No, the world is out to get them, and the only way to free themselves from this horrible oppression is to do unto others before they do unto you.
That has led to some pretty wild conspiracy theories on behalf of the Religious Reich. Amanda Marcotte at Salon has compiled a list of the Top Ten, ranging from same-sex marriage being a plot by lesbians to entrap men (which kind of flies in the face of a basic understanding of lesbianism) to the efficacy of birth control pills. My favorite, though, is the hatred of Harry Potter.
JK Rowling is trying to lure your children into Satanism with her Harry Potter books. Hardline Christian conservatives have always been afraid pop culture is a conspiracy of Satan’s to attract impressionable young people, so it’s unsurprising that Rowling’s Harry Potter series, with its portrayal of fantasy magic, made the top of the list of products to be feared. The hysteria hit a peak in 2001, with fundamentalist activists accusing the books of trying to “desensitize readers and introduce them to the occult” and “trafficking in evil spirits.” Things were made worse when the Onion published a satirical article Christian conservatives didn’t realize was satire, causing them to literally believe young kids told the Onion things like, “But the Harry Potter books showed me that magic is real, something I can learn and use right now, and that the Bible is nothing but boring lies.” The furor has died down somewhat, but plenty of evangelical leaders still routinely claim demons can possess your body if you read Harry Potter.
That’s ironic on several levels, the first being that people who base their faith and practice on the literal interpretation of a book filled with magic and talking snakes are carrying on about a book filled with magic and talking snakes.
It sounds to me as if they have a problem with envy: J.K. Rowling became a multimillionaire, and the Harry Potter books are a much better read, at least for the kids.
Right-wing Christians want to spread joy and good news throughout the world, but they really can’t be happy doing it unless they make the rest of us miserable.
Monday, August 26, 2013
News flash: snake oil doesn’t prevent measles.
A measles outbreak in Texas traces to a congregation of a megachurch whose leader, Kenneth Copeland, reportedly has warned followers away from vaccines, advocating for faith healing and pushing the debunked notion that vaccines cause autism. One of Copeland’s churches, Eagle Mountain International Church in North Texas, is the epicenter of the outbreak, which now has hit at least 20 people.
The place ought to be shut down as a public health hazard and the preachers should be arrested for public endangerment.
Of course, that pretty much describes most megachurches.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Pope surprises the press and a lot of other people.
Pope Francis reached out to gays on Monday, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging news conference as he returned from his first foreign trip.
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis asked.
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests. Francis was much more conciliatory, saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.
Francis’ remarks came Monday during a plane journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip in Brazil.
Well, who am I to be churlish and suggest that I’ll believe it when I see it and that the Roman Catholic doctrine that it’s okay to be gay, just don’t “act gay” is still on the books. Get back to me when they celebrate marriage equality and stop calling gay sex a sin.
Still, it’s a change — at least in tone — from the previous two guys. I’ll give him that.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Apparently the state of Indiana isn’t content to just ban marriage equality. They’ve already done that and are working on a constitutional amendment to that effect. Now they’re planning to make it a crime to perform a same-sex marriage.
An update to the state’s criminal code classifies that it’s a Level 6 felony if someone submits false information or lies on a marriage license application. This is actually a downgrade from a Class D felony that was established by a 1997 law, but the adjustment has made news as a reminder that the law exists in the first place. Because the marriage form specifies one “male applicant” and “female applicant,” a same-sex couple could not actually use the form as its written. If a couple were thus to attempt submitting an application in protest of the state ban, they could face a maximum of 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $10,000.
The law actually has some particularly troubling language for clergy as well. Even if state law doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriages, religious organizations have always been free to at least recognize them within their faith. That may not be so true in Indiana, where the new criminal code says that anyone “who knowingly solemnizes” a same-sex marriage is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. It remains unclear if a solemnization has legally occurred in the absence of an issued license. Thus, if an Episcopal church, for example, decided to celebrate the union of two of its gay congregants, the priest might be in violation of the law.
Regardless of whether or not you believe in marriage equality, it seems like Indiana is skating way too close to violating the First Amendment in dictating to a religious organizations what they can or can’t do in their sanctuary. Whether or not they recognize same-sex marriages is up to them (see below), but I’m hard-pressed to think of a reason the state has a legitimate reason to bust a church for performing a wedding.
It’s also pretty clear that the proponents of this enhancement to the law didn’t do a lot of research about certain practices in some denominations. For example, the Quakers. In the Quaker tradition of unprogrammed worship, a wedding between Friends is not performed by a clergy-person, but under the care of the entire meeting. All the people present at the wedding (called “A meeting for worship with a concern for marriage”) sign the marriage certificate. That means that in Indiana, the authorities would have to arrest the entire meeting. (When such a law was proposed in New Mexico by a legislator of the far-right persuasion, the Albuquerque Friends Meeting sent a letter that basically said “Come and get us.” The law went nowhere.)
It’s one thing to be against marriage equality and ban it via legislation or referendum. But to criminalize it indicates a level of animus and hatred that violates more than just the First Amendment. It’s a violation of the basic respect for freedom that our laws are supposed to ensure.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act could be voted out of the Senate committee today.
Tico Almeida, founder of Freedom to Work, an organization dedicated to banning workplace harassment and discrimination against LGBT individuals, identified several possible Republican supporters on Monday. Almeida named Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as potential backers, along with Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
All are members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which will mark up ENDA on Wednesday morning.
Yes, that Orrin Hatch, he of the staunch Mormon tradition of being not in favor of anything to do with pro-gay rights.
“My tendency is to vote for the bill,” Hatch told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. He said he wanted to make sure that exemptions for religious organizations in the bill remain strong.
“I have concerns about it but I also think that the language in there is really good language,” he added.
If the Senate passes it — and it seems to have enough support on both sides that it will — it faces certain trouble in the House where the anti-gay nutsery is strong. Expect to hear a lot of biblical imprecations about giving “special rights” to the “radical homosexuals.”
Except it’s not a special right to be protected by the federal government from being fired from a job for being gay. So far that right extends to race, color, creed, national origin, but sexual orientation is not protected, and unless an individual state, municipality, or corporate entity specifically prohibits it, you can still be fired for being gay in a lot of places and there’s nothing to be done about it.
Opponents claim that being gay doesn’t deserve protection; it’s either a choice or it’s a behavior, and people don’t have to be “gay” at work. But then, so is religion; no one is born with a particular faith programmed into them, and they don’t have to show up at work wearing a yarmulke or a burka any more than they have to wear a rainbow flag lapel pin. So if the law is going to protect people from discrimination for their faith, then even if being gay is a choice — which it is not — they should be protected for that as well.
I don’t have a problem with providing exemptions for religious organizations from ENDA. If they truly believe that being gay is a violation of their faith, then they shouldn’t be forced to hire someone who is. (I can’t imagine anyone who is gay and who has an ounce of self-respect wanting to work at a place like that.) I also think that any organization that feels the need to exempt themselves from a law that lives up to the fundamental fairness of equal protection that is supposed to be the foundation of our nation seriously needs to do some soul-searching about their own beliefs.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
American Atheists, a New Jersey-based group, erected a 1,500 pound bench with quotes from various historic figures and documents Saturday at the Free Speech Forum outside the Bradford County Courthouse.
Dave Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists, told The Christian Post that the “unveiling and dedication went amazingly well.”
“We planned for 100 to 200 attendees and about 300 people attended, despite the rain,” said Muscato, who added that there were various protestors at the Saturday event.
“There were seven speeches total, plus an introduction from the County Commissioner, who quoted the Bible several times. …The installation took approximately an hour and a half.”
Muscato also told CP that while American Atheists does not have specific plans for their future monuments, they will likely come in response to any religious displays on government property.
Raise every voice in praise….
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Pope Francis is worried about the influential people at the Vatican.
Pope Francis has admitted the existence of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican’s secretive administration, the Roman Curia, allegedly exposed during a leaks scandal, according to a Latin American Catholic website.
Back in February Italian media claimed that a secret report by cardinals investigating the leaks included allegations of corruption and blackmail attempts against gay Vatican clergymen, and on the other hand, favouritism based on gay relationships.
“In the Curia, there are truly some saints, but there is also a current of corruption,” the pope is quoted as having said during an audience last week with CLAR (the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious Men and Women).
“There is talk of a ‘gay lobby’ and it’s true, it exists. We have to see what can be done,” the 76-year-old pontiff is quoted as saying on the Reflection and Liberation website, which was flagged up by religious news agencies on Tuesday.
Wait until he sees next year’s Easter processional:
Friday, June 7, 2013
Not everyone can grasp the concept that not everyone believes in a magical sky faerie. Via Crooks & Liars:
A Texas Republican congressman said on Wednesday that he opposed atheist chaplains in the military because they would tell the parents of dead soldiers that their children were just “worm food.”
During Wednesday night’s House Armed Services Committee hearing, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) explained that he had offered an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow humanists to join the chaplain corps to provide better counseling services for atheist soldiers.
“I don’t offer this to be provocative, I certainly don’t offer it as an attack on else’s choice of faith,” Andrews remarked. “But it seems to me that for whatever number of people — it’s either tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands — who wear the uniform that they have this option to receive counseling when they believe they need it in such a situation.”
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), however, said that he “couldn’t disagree with this move any more vehemently.”
“You can’t use the word chaplain with atheists because they don’t believe anything,” he insisted. “They don’t believe in a faith, they don’t believe it.”
“I can’t imagine an atheist accompanying a notification team as they go into some family’s home to let them have the worst news of their life, and this guy says, ‘You know, that’s it. You’re son’s just worms, I mean, worm food,’” Conaway added. “I couldn’t disagree with this more.”
Actually, atheists believe in lots of things, and not all of them agree about what they believe in — or don’t believe in. It is possible to be a chaplain and not believe in God or a god; for example, there are plenty of Quaker chaplains — even in the military — and for a lot of Quakers, not believing in some mythology is the reason they’re Quakers in the first place. And it is possible to be soldier who is an atheist and who really doesn’t want or need a chaplain to counsel him or her in a time of need with something that runs counter to their own faith and practice — or lack of it.
But apparently Mr. Conaway, who doesn’t seem to know anything about any other faith than his own, doesn’t really care about anybody else and their own beliefs.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Supreme Court will hear a case deciding whether or not a town council in upstate New York can open its meetings with a prayer.
For more than a decade starting in 1999, the Town Board began its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month.” Town officials said that members of all faiths, and atheists, were welcome to give the opening prayer.
In practice, the federal appeals court in New York said, almost all of the chaplains were Christian.
“A substantial majority of the prayers in the record contained uniquely Christian language,” Judge Guido Calabresi wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. “Roughly two-thirds contained references to ‘Jesus Christ,’ ‘Jesus,’ ‘Your Son’ or the ‘Holy Spirit.’”
Two town residents sued, saying the prayers ran afoul of the First Amendment’s prohibition of the government establishment of religion. The appeals court agreed. “The town’s prayer practice must be viewed as an endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint,” Judge Calabresi wrote.
Cue up the Chorus of The Poor Persecuted Majority who will tell us that there is no place safe in America for them to impose their faith and practice on the rest of us whether we want it or not.
Solution: put an imam in the rotation as “chaplain of the month” and see how quickly they decide to bag the whole thing.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Because of the rampant oppression of Christians throughout the land, we have to resort to teaching our kids about Jesus Christ whether they want to hear it or not.
A high school in central Mississippi allegedly forced students to watch a Christian video and listen to church officials preach about Jesus Christ.
The American Humanist Association’s legal center filed a lawsuit against Northwest Rankin High School in Flowood on Wednesday, accusing the school of violating the student’s First Amendment rights.
The school has held at least three mandatory assemblies about finding hope in Jesus Christ this month, according to the lawsuit. The assemblies showed a video laced with Christian messages about overcoming personal hardships through Jesus Christ and were allegedly led by local church officials.
To them, the First Amendment is really a plot by the federal government to deprive the good Christian citizens of their right to spread the gospels.
Let’s see what happens when a local imam or rabbi (or Quaker, for that matter) asks for equal time.