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Neil, You’re Missing Something

Far be it from me to delve into the technicalities of a particular piece of jurisprudence.

But as a lay person, I feel I can demur against the judicial reasoning that one part of the first amendment runs roughshod over another.

Antonin Scalia Neil Gorsuch seems to believe that the free exercise clause is of far more import than the establishment clause.

It should be common knowledge by now that the impetus behind the establishment clause was that the State stayed out of the religion business, favoring and endorsing none. Fifteen years after the constitution was authored, President Thomas Jefferson made it clear to the Danbury Baptists that while he respected religious liberty, no special consideration was to be granted to a particular faith as far as the United States government was concerned. That brief 1802 missive heralded the idea of church and state separation. And for the most part, the secularization of our government has prevailed, notwithstanding things like the changes to the pledge of allegiance, annoying non-inclusive invocations before legislative sessions and the god bullshit on our money because of our allergies to any form of economic distribution besides capitalism.

Well, the SCOTUS is about to make a turn for the worse, with Neil Gorsuch leading the way. A case is currently being debated that could expand the definition of “religious liberty” in the law’s eyes . It may now mean that government funding for religious institutions is acceptable because the first amendment guarantees free exercise of religion. Therefore, the withholding of government funds (tax revenue that the church does not contribute to, mind you) because of adherence to the concept of refusal to establish amounts to discrimination against them. The plaintiffs further cite the fourteenth amendment, which as you all know mandates equal treatment under the law. If a public school wants to improve one of their playgrounds with government grant money, they reason, then it’s only fair that a religious institution should be able to have access to those funds as well.

This is very tricky legal jiu-jitsu, blowing off the establishment clause entirely to  accommodate believers. It pits the constitution against itself. If this decision slides rightward, you’re going to start paying for improvements to churches.

It starts with something innocuous like surfacing playgrounds. God only knows how far this can go, because the ineluctable tendency in Christian circles is to push, push and push the envelope.

Unbreakable Kimmy Davis

Kim Davis, World’s Ugliest Person Inside And Out, is still blithering to anyone who will listen to her about her beef with teh gay and their marriaging. She should have fucking relegated herself to hiding in a cloister but no, our special snowflake chose public service. As you well know, that is not something she is good at because she thinks some public is better than other public.

On the latest episode of “Truths That Transform” from D. James Kennedy Ministries, the organization’s president, Frank Wright, interviewed Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis about her fight against the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, during which she refused to allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because doing so conflicted with her religious beliefs.

“I was obeying my law,” she insisted.

Sweetcakes, no one has their own law. If we do, then I would like to tax the public for a rainy day fund dedicated to me for traveling the world, acquiring the best opium Afghanistan has to offer and I want to hire the entire Vivid stable to give me blow jobs twice a day. That is my law.

Hm. No one seems interested in my new edict. If I can’t have mine, Kim, neither can you. You were tasked to help the public but got icked out by two dudes wanting to love each other.

So now Kim, though not all that bright, decided to play semantics with some of the unfortunate couples:

“I had couples bring in the whole Supreme Court ruling and I said, ‘You know, I really don’t need to see this because that’s not a law, that’s a ruling.’

Yes. Correct. The one that doesn’t allow the government to make its own laws regarding gay marriage, You ma’am, like it or not, are bound to not do that, as part of a government operation. You and your kind tried to make your own law, and now it is unconstitutional. Your “law” is what caused the Obergfell  “ruling” to happen in the first place.

“And so then I go to the Bible and I’d tell them, [and they’d respond,] ‘Don’t be reading me the Bible.’ Well, you asked why I couldn’t issue you a marriage license and I’m explaining to you, I’m showing you why I cannot. They didn’t want to hear that though. They wanted to shove that paper down my throat and make me eat it for my dinner.”

If I was gay and wanted to get married, I’d probably want to make you eat that paper too or at least brain you upside the head with it for your obstinacy and your bible-thumping. You passed judgment-something I believe you are not to do as a Christian. You used god’s book to make them lesser beings.

I hope you feel good about it, you stupid bitch. I thought you were gone but you’re going to milk this shit for all it is worth.

 

Keep It Like A Secret

The evangelist, Pentecostal movement that is growing in America needs to do one thing, if they do anything:

Save souls. It’s a little confusing. They have personal relationships with Jesus, but they need to tell other people about it.

Every non-Christian and Catholic knows how annoying this is, except for the few that get scared of eternal punishment and profess fealty to Christ during a “witnessing”. They’re just as pesky as Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, without the door knocking. Now, it’s your dad or your mom who has found Jesus by going to a charismatic church and dancing and flailing about because the Holy Spirit moved them. Then they learn how to say very long prayers when you are hungry. All of it is a pain in the ass.

So, to show you just how far this “witnessing” goes, see here:

A 14-year-veteran of the Indiana State Police was fired Thursday for allegedly proselytizing to people he stopped for traffic violations.

The lawsuit claims Hamilton gave Pyle a warning ticket for speeding, then asked her what church she attended and whether she was saved.

She says she did not feel free to leave while the questions were being asked. She filed a formal complaint about the stop. 

Well, it’s good to know that someone thinks this is not OK. It’s not religious freedom. It’s harassment, if you want to boil it down. Your intentions are good, officer. But shut up anyway.

 

 

 

Hungry Freaks, Daddy

Here’s another oh-so inclusive activity from a school in Missouri:

...video surfaced of evangelical pastors leading students in prayer in Hollister, Missouri during lunchtime in the school cafeteria.

As it turns out, school officials actually allow this a few times a week, and the Christian group that proselytizes to the students is the only religious group that has been allowed to interact with students on public ground that is supposed to be secular.

Why, Christians? Just why? What makes you so special that makes you think this is OK?

…(the) goal is to indoctrinate kids into Christianity at a young age, because as Branson Junior High Principal Bryan Bronn said in 2014,

“Somebody once told me that if you wanted to reach students and you wanted to be serious about being, as Jesus called us to be, fishers of men, then you need to be serious about where the fish are at. And we all know that fish travel in… schools.”

Wow. You just cherry-pick a shiny thing in your book of fairy tales, and you think it means to teach children how to be little Christians. You’re not cute, and you’re not amusing. You’re a pest, and so are all the rest of you Christians to think it’s OK to infringe upon the rights of a child with a conscience. Because they have them. You may be the majority faith, but you are not the only one and it’s very uncool to assume that everyone is.

Video of the prayer is at the link, as is a takedown of Bristol Palin.

 

 

Shove Your Beliefs Up Your Ass

A while back, I wrote about an Oklahoma bill that would require clergy to sign off on all marriages.

Everyone knows that it was the backlash to Obergfell. But that bill didn’t just take a giant shit on gays, some of its splatter could have easily hit atheist couples.

Now it’s Kentucky’s turn to be motherfuckers in the same vein:

 New legislation in Kentucky would allow those with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to discriminate against atheists.

The new legislation is designed to allow conservative Christians to discriminate against same-sex couples without fear of legal consequence; however, the legislation is so broad and so poorly written that it would allow discrimination against gays, atheists, interracial couples, interfaith couples, and anyone else that is offensive to a person’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

SB 180, titled “An Act Relating to the Protection of Rights,” creates a statewide group of “protected activities” and “protected activity providers” to afford immunity from any federal or state laws

In other words, interracial couples, atheists, LGBT people and others can be denied services by businesses and the government for religious reasons even though federal law explicitly forbids discrimination.

Stay vigilant, gang, because they are trying to drag us back to an era that they romanticize, an era that hid its sickness, that hated change, and was nice and white and heteronormative and Christian. Vote like your life depended on it, freaks- because if you read this blog and know me, it does.

 

 

Civil Wrongs

For a lawyer and educator, Ted Cruz is manifestly ignorant of law and ought to know better than I do:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has built his presidential campaign around defending “religious liberty.” This weekend, he hosted a “Rally for Religious Liberty,” which highlighted the many stories of wedding vendors who have faced legal consequences for refusing service to same-sex couples.

In an interview with Ed Berliner of Newsmax, Cruz suggested that he believes a gay florist should have as much right to refuse service to a Christian couple as the reverse:

CRUZ: Imagine if this were inverted. Imagine if there were a gay florist — now I know that’s hard to imagine, a gay florist — but just go with the hypo[thetical] for a second. Imagine if two evangelical Christians came to a gay florist and they wanted to get married, and the florist said, “You know what? I disagree with your faith. I have problems with your faith.” You have no entitlement to force that florist to provide flowers at the Christians’ wedding. We are a pluralistic nation that tolerates diversity.

Before I point out what’s wrong with his little scenario, I’d love for Ted Cruz to elaborate on why gay florists are “hard to imagine”. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Comedy is not your strong suit, slick. I don’t know what his strong suit is, because he’s a fuckup and a nobody as far as Americans are concerned.

Now grasp hold of this, Ted. We have this little thing call the Civil Rights Act that covers you from being discriminated against by the business community for being religious. However, discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation is quite legal, except in cities or municipalities that have anti-discrimination laws forbidding it. I expect that to be fixed on a national level as soon as we rid ourselves from conservatives again(knock on wood).

So your premise that everyone is allowed to discriminate because it their business to serve who they wish is false. You’re trying to make it OK to do it by saying its OK for other groups to do it. Try again, Buzz.

This guy is a snake and people actually voted for him and might vote for him again. He doesn’t have a Chinaman’s chance of winning the nomination, so we can take comfort in that. But this “management reserves the right to deny service” concept writ large is fucking dangerous.

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