Posts filed under ‘Religion’
There’s this: Sarah Palin said she’s “taken aback” by Pope Francis’ “liberal” statements.
And then there’s this, my Tweet of the Day:
What happens when we stop teaching U.S. history in elementary school:
Republicans in Hawaii doing what Republicans do:
Help us keep our ad on the air! Please donate $10, $20, $100 or $1,000 today. The Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA) is sponsoring a campaign of radio advertising during October 2013 to warn Hawaii voters what their elected officials are attempting to do during the “special session” of the state legislature starting on 28 October 2013. Democrats are poised to change the definition of marriage to include homosexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and eventually bisexuals with multiple partners. Such radical alterations to society have already led to even more radical demands in other states. Your support is needed to spread the word and warn and mobilize voters by keeping this and other ads on the air.
Geezus. I live in Colorado where “homosexual” civil unions are legal and I haven’t seen any “radical alterations” to life whatsoever.
Well, it’s a baby step. The fact that Air Force cadets were ever required to say “so help me God” at the end of an oath — any oath — is outrageous. I mean, remember that not-so-little-something about the separation of church and state?
Air Force Academy cadets are no longer required to say “so help me God” at the end of the Honor Oath, school officials said Friday.
The words were made optional after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, that they violated the constitutional concept of religious freedom.
Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said the change was made to respect cadets’ freedom of religion.
The oath states, “We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God.”
Cadets are required to take the oath once a year, academy spokesman Maj. Brus Vidal said.
Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, welcomed the change but questioned how it will be applied.
If the person leading the oath includes the words, cadets who choose not to say them might feel vulnerable to criticism, he said.
“What does it mean, ‘optional’?” Weinstein said. “The best thing is to eliminate it.”
Vidal said the oath is led by the Cadet Wing honor chair, a student, and that person will also have the option to use or not use the words.
Religious references in oaths taken by government employees shouldn’t be allowed. Period.
Oh geezus. Here we go again, for the third time:
A ballot measure about crimes and pregnant women will be on 2014 Colorado ballots.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Monday that anti-abortion backers turned in signatures to put the ballot measure to voters next year. The question would direct state lawmakers to add “unborn human beings” to state criminal code.
Supporters say that state law doesn’t adequately punish crimes against pregnant women.
The measure is different than previous attempts to add so-called “personhood” measures to the constitution. Those measures have [already] failed twice in Colorado.
Abortion-rights advocates say the ballot measure under consideration this year still goes too far. They say the criminal code would curb abortion rights and some infertility treatments.More…
The zygote below is not a human being. We can’t leave the definition of “human being” wide open because then it could be which is exactly what the anti-choice folks (i.e. the people who want to force their religious views on everyone else) want.
“Pastor” Terry Jones is like a booger you can’t flick off your finger. On Monday I posted about his latest plan to burn Qurans today — 3,000 of them, supposedly — as a way to mark the anniversary of 9/11.
I got to wondering just now what happened with that and here we are:
Controversial Pastor Terry Jones Arrested Before Carrying out Quran Book-Burning in Mulberry
10 News has learned that controversial Gainesville pastor Terry Jones was arrested before he could carry out his plan to burn nearly 3,000 copies of the Islam holy book the Quran in Polk County on Wednesday afternoon.
Jones planned to burn the books at the county-owned Loyce E. Harpe Park in Mulberry, but was denied a permit, with officials saying he filed his request too late and that he does not have permission for an event of that magnitude.
Jones, who is the pastor for Dove World Outreach Center, earlier told 10 News a lack of a permit would not stop him from sending his message about the religion of Islam to the world from Polk County.
But shortly before he planned to set the books on fire at the Mulberry park, Jones and associate pastor Marvin Wayne Sapp Jr. were stopped in the parking lot of a nearby pharmacy. Their truck was towing a large barbecue smoker, which reportedly had copies of the Quran inside, already doused in kerosene.
Remember Terry Jones?
Terry Jones is the “Christian pastor” who, in early September, 2010, threatened to burn Qurans on the lawn of his Florida church but backed down after Defense Secretary Robert Gates called and asked him not to. As I recall, Gates told Jones that if he went through with the bonfire, it could jeopardize our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Well, he’s baaack, hoping to do what he apparently thinks is God’s work again:
A Florida pastor whose 2010 burning of a Koran angered Muslims worldwide says he plans to burn nearly 3,000 more on Sept. 11.
The Rev. Terry Jones says he plans to burn 2,998 Korans, one for each person who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, the Tampa Tribune reported Monday.
Jones said he plans to toss the scriptures into an incinerator he will bring to a public park outside the central Florida town of Mulberry, but county officials say he could face arrest because he doesn’t have a permit for the event.
Jones says he doesn’t plan to get a permit.
“We have tried to file for permits, but we feel that a permit is just an excuse to turn us down,” Jones said last week.
From Constitutional scholar Barack Obama:
The Obama administration has taken sides in a significant new test case on the separation between church and state,to allow prayers at the beginning of government meetings. The administration lays out its arguments in a newly filed amicus brief in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case that questions whether the prayer practices at town council meetings of a small town in upstate New York violate the First Amendment. The case could drastically expand the types of legislative prayer practices considered constitutional.
The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves.
My Quote of the Day:
The biggest thing here in the USofA today has to do with the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine:
The cover story is about how “The [Boston] bomber” Jahar Tsarnaev (above) was a “Popular, Promising Student” who “Fell Into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.”
I think the photo choice is brilliant. It makes Rolling Stone’s point: A cool-looking, sexy, regular guy who your daughter goes to school with and might want to date turns into a bomber and a monster when radicalized by what the United States does to his people.
That’s how terrorists are born.
Bombers and “monsters” aren’t born looking like this:
We like to think we can spot them; that they’re somehow obvious, like this guy.
What the Rolling Stone cover/article attempts to teach us is that we can’t spot them and they aren’t obvious. They are everywhere and it’s about time we faced that fact.
What we’re doing as a country — as in killing innocent people with drones and starting wars hither and yawn — is coming back to haunt us and the “monsters” live among us. They are our neighbors and our friends.
The bazillions we’re spending hunting down the very last “bomber” on the planet is getting us nowhere.
Let’s not have a fit about the cover of Rolling Stone. Let’s have a fit about what the U.S. government is doing to turn the Jahar Tsarnaevs of the world against us.
Earlier today Nancy Pelosi was asked what she though about Michele Bachmann’s reaction to the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision (which is here).
Here’s what she said:
12-year-old Maddie Paige was a starting defensive left tackle for Strong Rock Christian Academy in Georgia until she was kicked off the team.
Her mother said the reason given was:
In the meeting with the CEO of the school [Patrick Stuart], I was told that the reasons behind it were one, that the boys were going to start lusting after her and have impure thoughts about her and that the locker-room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys.”
Again, the reason women in the Middle East have to wear burkas is because of exactly this: men supposedly won’t “lust” and “have impure thoughts.”
Posted on Reddit by
Bravo to Stephen Hawking!
JERUSALEM — Stephen W. Hawking, the physicist and cosmologist, has pulled out of a high-profile conference to be held here in June in order to support an academic boycott of Israel, conference organizers and the university said on Wednesday.
The academic and cultural boycott, organized by international activists to protest Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians, is a heated and contentious issue; having Dr. Hawking join it is likely to help the anti-Israel campaigners significantly.
“Never has a scientist of this stature boycotted Israel,” said Yigal Palmor, the spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Organizers of the fifth annual Israeli Presidential Conference, held under the auspices of President Shimon Peres, said they had received a letter over the weekend from Dr. Hawking, a longtime Cambridge professor, announcing his decision.
Most of the news we get about the endless Israeli/Palestinian conflict implies that the Palestinians just won’t leave the poor Israelis alone. That’s because here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. it’s considered sacrilegious to say anything negative about Israel. Yet it’s amazing to me the Palestinians aren’t more militant than they are what with the Israelis forever picking away at them by doing things like this:
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces destroyed over 1,300 olive trees in the south Hebron hills on Tuesday.
Israeli soldiers accompanied officials from Israel’s civil administration as demolition crews uprooted hundreds of olive trees in the village of Susiya, Ma’an’s reporter said.
According to B’Tselem, there are 26 outstanding Israeli demolition orders in the village.
In February 2012, right-wing settler advocacy group Regavim petitioned Israel’s supreme court on behalf of an Israeli settlement overshadowing the village, calling for Israeli authorities to implement the demolition orders.
Meanwhile, settlers from Karmi Tzur uprooted 30 olive trees east of Halhul, local Saeed Madiyah told Ma’an.
In al-Malih and al-Madareb, in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces demolished 15 animal shelters belonging to Bedouins in the area.
It’s a heartbreaking situation.
The folks who came up with this hugely unconstitutional, anti-American idea probably think of themselves as uber patriots:
Proposal Would Allow State Religion in North Carolina
Raleigh, N.C. — A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.
I can hear the Founding Fathers yelling Nooooooo! from their graves.
The “Establishment Clause” of the Bill of Rights is in the First Amendment. It was the first thing the founders wrote down when they were thinking about what should be in that document. It was really, really important to them. It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Didn’t we all learn this in fourth grade?
Here’s my Tweet of the Day from my favorite gay blogger, John Aravosis of Americablog:
Not something we straight people think about.
If schools want to teach creationism, fine (though I pity the kids). Go ahead, but don’t use my tax dollars to do it. Public funds should not be used to promote any religion or religious point of view.
Interactive Map: Voucher Schools Teaching Creationism
This week on Moyers & Company, 19-year-old education activist Zack Kopplin joins Bill to talk about his campaign to get creationism out of science classes in publicly funded schools. He discovered that students attending private and parochial schools in states with school voucher programs were taught creationism in addition to — or, in some classrooms, instead of — the theory of evolution.
Using data compiled by Kopplin, this map shows private schools that accept state vouchers [taxpayer dollars] and teach creationism. Hover over each dot to read Kopplin’s findings on that school. To zoom in, double click on the map or use the map tools that appear in the upper left corner.
Go here to access the interactive map. Below is a screenshot of the home page (oy, Florida)
I just saw this ad on Fox News:
The “book that built America.” Really?
Anyone who knows anything about who “built America” knows the Pilgrims sailed to what is now the United States to escape religious persecution. Their goal was to establish a government free of religion. They’d had enough.
This video is taken from a YouTube site called (gag me) “Patriot Update Report.”
Who’s funding this site? Who’s trying to turn the United States into a religiously fundamentalist country…exactly the kind of place the Pilgrims fled?
Uh oh. Republicans are undoubtedly seething and probably working the phones behind the scenes trying to get one of these posthumously awarded to Ronald Reagan:
On Israel Trip, Obama to Get Medal
(CNN) – When President Barack Obama visits Israel next month, he’ll be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israeli President Shimon Peres’ office announced Monday.
Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to receive the recognition, will be awarded the medal for making “a unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens,” according to a release announcing the news.
He’ll receive the award at a dinner at Peres’ residence in Jerusalem, slated to be attended by senior figures from Israeli public life and the Obama administration. The award is given to “private” individuals and organizations that have made “outstanding contributions to bettering the world.”
The rich and powerful don’t have to face charges like We The Little People do:
Pope Benedict’s decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.
It was systemic: Priests. Raped. Children.
And the Catholic church claims to have a lock on what Jesus would do?
I live in “Bronco Country” as in Boulder, Colorado, just up the road from Denver. As you probably know, Tim Tebow spent a year (2010 – 2011) quarterbacking with the Broncos before he was traded to the New York Jets.
The American Taliban tried to turn Tebow into a Jesus-like icon and an anti-women’s choice hero while he was here (it was intense) but it didn’t work. When people found out he was a failure as a quarterback, he wasn’t taken seriously.
Now there’s this:
While Tim Tebow is struggling to find an NFL team that is willing to sign him, he is apparently having no problem booking speaking gigs as the Jets’ backup quarterback is scheduled to address a Texas megachurch whose pastor is notorious for extremist statements about Roman Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, gays and lesbians and President Obama.
Bye Tim. I see you attending tent-style revival meetings in Arkansas in a few years.
Gotta love The Onion:
Citing his advancing age and deteriorating health, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy Monday, saying he no longer possessed the strength and energy required to lead the Catholic Church backward. According to the 85-year-old pontiff, after considerable prayer and reflection on his physical stamina and mental acuity, he concluded that his declining faculties left him unable to helm the Church’s ambitious regressive agenda and guide the faith’s one billion global followers on their steady march away from modernity and cultural advancement. “It is with sadness, but steadfast conviction, that I announce I am no longer capable of impeding social progress with the energy and endurance that is required of the highest ministry in the Roman Catholic Church,” … “While I’m proud of the strides the Church has made over the past eight years, from thwarting AIDS-prevention efforts in Africa to failing to punish or even admit to decades of sexual abuse of children at the hands of clergy, it has become evident to me that, in this rapidly evolving world, I now lack the capacity to continue guiding this faith back centuries.”
This isn’t all parody. I will never forget the hateful message Benedict delivered last Christmas. One would think a Christmastime message would be full of hope and joy, but not from this guy.
This is how crazy they’re getting.
This would be Generations Radio host Kevin Swanson on his show this week:
And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.
Simultaneously sad and hilarious:
Two Arizona lawmakers are stirring Constitutional debate and threats of legal action after introducing bills that would require the state’s students to express love of country under God.
House Bill 2467, sponsored by Republican state Rep. Bob Thorpe, would require all public high school seniors to take an oath to “support and defend” the U.S. Constitution and proclaim, “so help me god.” A second proposal, House Bill 2284 sponsored by Republican state Rep. Steve Smith, would require all public 1-12 students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The oath, as proposed by Thorpe, reads:
I, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.
I came across that at the same time I came across this:
The Founding Fathers were wise, wise men. They believed in the separation of church and state. They believed in the separation of church and state so much, the “So help me God” line at the end of the presidential oath of office we hear these days, was not included in the oath as written in the United States Constitution.
This is Article II, Section 1, Clause 8:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Again, there’s no “So help me God” at the end.
The lock the Israeli lobby in the United States has on the discussion of Israel’s occupation of Palestine is truly astonishing. Check out what the New York Times — a newspaper which says it offers “the world’s finest journalism” — did today when it told the truth (oops!) about that:
Screenshot #1. Note the headline: “Palestinians Set Up Camp in Israeli-Occupied West Bank Territory:”
Uh oh. Israeli-occupied? That’s basically banned language around here because Israel doesn’t do things like that, or so “the worlds finest” journalists would have us believe. Look at how the headline reads now: “Palestinians Set Up Tents Where Israel Plans Homes:”
The State of Israel was established in 1947:
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the United Nations partition plan of Mandatory Palestine. On 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.”
The Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over territory ever since, which makes this comment by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu so ridiculous:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized President Shimon Peres on Tuesday, after the latter called him to move forward with Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
“Contrary to voices I’m hearing over the last few days, urging me to rush forward, to give up, to withdraw, I think that in a political process one should act responsibly and not in a rush, with a realistic approach and not a hasty one,” Netanyahu said.
No, let’s not “rush” or make any “hasty” decisions Bibi. Let’s wait another 65 years and who-knows-how-many more deaths. Geezus. What an utter lack of leadership.
The Pope took another step toward marginalizing the Catholic church today:
Pope Benedict used his annual Christmas message to denounce gay marriage, saying that it destroyed the “essence of the human creature.”
In one of his most important speeches of the year, the Pope stressed that a person’s gender identity is God-given and unchangeable. As a result, he sees gay marriage as a “manipulation of nature.”
“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said at the Vatican on Friday. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.”
The Pope has said that gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, is a threat to world peace.
I’m sorry Pope, you’re ignorant. My brother is gay and he has felt gay all his life. If he were to “deny [his] nature,” he would have ignored his feelings and tried to fake it as a straight man. He didn’t manipulate anything. Who in their right mind would “deny their nature” and choose to be gay when there are people like you out there using an occasion when the world celebrates peace and love to spread a message of hate? I mean, my brother is a threat to world peace?! Really?
Couldn’t you just have sung a Christmas carol or something?