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Archive for the ‘Legal Issues’ Category

We have seen the headlines and we have heard the radical right claim that there is a war on Christians.  What better way to deflect your war on democracy than to put the blame on democracy?  If you really pay attention, that is exactly what is happening in this country right now.

A term you have probably never heard before, I am willing to use right now.  Our country, our very democracy, is under attack by a “Radical Christian Agenda!”  Yes, you have all heard a similar phrase used by the right against gays, blacks, liberals, etc.  As in “Radical Homosexual Agenda.”  The truth is, Radical Christians are the real villains who have a radical agenda that will fundamentally change our country.

The other day, Mike Huckabee told an Iowa news radio station the “military is waging war on Christians.”  Really?  The military is probably the most secular organization in the country.  Yes, there are homophobes, Islamaphobes, and pure xenophobes who are in the military.  But, as an organization, the military does not force anyone to believe in any religion.  That is the problem as Mike Huckabee sees it.

The self-anointed prophet, Bill O’Reilly, has been crying about a “war on Christians” for years now.  He started with his ridiculous “war on Christmas” and it has just gotten worse over the years.  He claims Christians are the truly “moral” people in the country.  Sorry Bill, I was taught that purposefully lying is not “moral.”  Quite the opposite.  So, until you fess up to your deliberate lies over the years to make yourself look good, keep quiet about morality.

All of these so-called “restoration of religious freedom” bills around the country really have nothing to do with “religious freedom.”.  The people who are introducing these bills in the various states don’t give a rat’s ass about religious freedom.  What they really want is the right to discriminate against, segregate, and even kill those who don’t believe in their radical Christian beliefs.  If you think I am exaggerating, look at the proposed ballot initiative in California that calls for the “putting a bullet in the head” of homosexuals.

The real goal of this Radical Christian Agenda is to eliminate our democracy.  They want to establish a dictatorship in America that would rival the most gruesome dictatorships in history.  Their goal is to establish a society where their group are the only ones who can say what is civil rights and what is not.  They want to be able to determine that discrimination can only be defined as you not following their radical Christian beliefs.

If you desire to “fit in” you will have to adopt their beliefs.  You will have to accept that same-sex marriage is illegal and homosexuals need to be “eliminated.”  You will have to accept that abortion is illegal and that your belief otherwise will just get you put in jail.  You will have to accept that only white evangelical christians will have the right to vote.

In order to justify their goals, they are quick to point out the atrocities that ISIS is committing in other countries.  What they fail to tell you is that is exactly what they want to do right here.  Only it will be the Christians who are committing the atrocities.

They want to shut down our border with Mexico.  They want to eliminate immigration to any group other than “white European Christians.”  As far as these people are concerned, White Christians, especially White Evangelical Christians are the “supreme race” and therefore are the only people who deserve rights.

The election in 2016 will be a turning point for our country.  If the Radical Christian Agenda wins, it may be the last general election we ever have.  If you don’t believe me, just listen to the wonderful “candidates” the Republicans are fielding.  Listen to Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and you will hear this Radical Christian Agenda being spouted daily.

The only real “attacks on Christians” are the backlash you hear when someone tries to use their “religious beliefs” as an excuse to discriminate against someone.  That is not an attack against “religious beliefs,” it is an attack against bigotry!  If your religion tells you it is okay to be a bigot, I suggest you find another religion.

On the other hand, you see these Radical Evangelical Christians attacking homosexuals, women, blacks, Latinos, and non-Christians.  These same-sex marriage bans, anti-abortion bills, anti-immigration bills, and voter suppression bills all show who the true attackers are and what they are after.

They attack science and education.  They hate evolution and want to ban it from our schools.  They hate America’s true history and want to ban all of the “bad” stuff from history classes.  They want to keep women subjugated to the will of men.  In their eyes, women are only around to have babies, and nothing more.

Anyone who stands up for the rights of others is not a “true American.”  Anyone who stands up for peace and negotiated treaties to maintain that peace is a “supporter of terrorism.”  They are the only ones who are allowed to determine what the truth is.  Your truth is wrong.  Your beliefs are wrong.

There is nothing in the teachings of Jesus that says it is okay to discriminate against anyone.  In fact, just the opposite is true.  He preached peace and harmony among men.  He told you to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  He told you to “turn the other cheek.”  The ministry of Jesus was love, not hate!

You can mark my words here.  If you are not part of the Radical Evangelical Christian cult, you will be persecuted as much as the rest of us should they gain power.  You will discover that their meaning of “religious freedom” is that you must follow their religion.  Otherwise, you will be considered an “outsider” too.

As the campaign season starts ramping up, please listen to these preachers of the Radical Christian Agenda carefully.  They are lying to you and believe you are stupid enough to buy into their hatred.  History is full of examples of what happens when the public swallows these kinds of lies.  We must fight to ensure America is never included in that horrible history!

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This has been going on seemingly forever.  Banks and other “financial” businesses seem to keep getting away with criminal behavior, because the Federal Government does nothing about it.  It is time for this to stop!

After the 2008 economic meltdown, caused almost entirely by rip-off artists in the banking and financial industries, no one went to jail.  Why?  Because the agencies that are supposed to protect us from these predators, are simply waiting for an offer to join them and make millions of dollars ripping us off.  That is why!

The Department of Education is supposedly in its final review of Navient.  Navient Corp. is an education loan giant.  The company got caught intentionally overcharging about 60,000 active-duty troops on federal and private student loans over nearly a decade.

The company, which neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing, agreed to pay $60 million to troops as part of its settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Department of Justice.  It was after this agreement that the Department of Education started its own investigation.

The American Legion, last month, accused the Department of Education of favoring its loan contractors over service members. “The department seems to be doing everything possible to undermine the Justice Department and the CFPB, and they’re doing a hell of a job,” Steve Gonzalez, an assistant director in the Legion’s veterans employment and education division, said at the time.

This doesn’t start or end with the Department of Education either.  Federal banking regulators planned to publicly accuse the company of violating the Service Members Civil Relief Act until after Navient warned its investors.  This is more about protecting investors than it is about protecting the public.

That is what is wrong with our economic system today.  And, if you think that campaign financing laws contribute to these problems, you are probably correct.  The whole system is stacked against those who need the help.  It seems okay to bilk millions of people using predatory housing loans.

It seems okay to bilk millions of people who just wand an education using predatory student loans, even if those students are military personnel.  It seems okay to overcharge interest on credit cards.  It seems perfectly okay for these institutions to do whatever they want as long as they contribute to someone’s campaign.

Yes, some will tell me how banks like Wells Fargo, and Citi Group paid huge penalties after they got caught.  But their profits from their illegal schemes were far bigger than the fines they paid.  And, they are gearing up to do it all over again with Republicans trying to defang regulations, again!

When are these criminals going to have to start paying for their crimes with jail time?  It appears never!  Even when you get caught ripping off active duty military personnel, you don’t go to jail.

Herbert Hoover once said “the business of America is business.”  That infamous quote came just before the Great Depression.  Today, thanks to deregulation happy Republicans, that quote is “the business of American businesses is to rip-off the population.”

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We have heard all the comparisons that the Republican Party led by their radical Tea Party Movement make about the President being similar to Hitler.  They are usually written off as lunatics, which they are.  However, they have also been quietly working behind the scenes to give us an example of what fascism in America may look like.  That window has opened quite wide in Wisconsin.

For a little background.  In Wisconsin, Justices for the State Supreme Court are elected.  The Chief Justice is not appointed, per se, but gains that title by seniority.  There have also been laws on the books in Wisconsin that explicitly defines when a jurist must recuse himself/herself from a case.  One example is when a group contributes to the campaign of the jurist, and a case involving that group comes before the court.  The jurist must be recused and not involved in the case.

This has led Wisconsin in becoming known for its fairness and jurisprudence.  Keeping potential conflicts of interest away from the courts has served Wisconsin extremely well in the past.  But, all that is changing with Governor Scott Walker.

As you may know, there has been an ongoing investigation into Scott Walkers campaign to fight off his recall a few years ago.  The complaint is that his campaign and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), among others directly coordinated in the campaign.  That is a violation of the law, even for conservatives.

There has been a case working its way through the courts that would stop the investigation.  If Walker’s campaign and these groups did violate the law, that wouldn’t make Walker’s presidential run very effective.  The case will come before the Wisconsin Supreme Court soon.

So, not wanting to take a chance of the investigation going forward and putting Walker in a bad light, he has quietly worked to change the law about the Supreme Court.  And, he is diligently working to make sure that the current Chief Justice, Shirley Abrahamson is removed as the Chief Justice before the case gets to the court.

How is this possible?  One of the first rules for conservatives is to make sure than any referendums or amendment to the constitution is put to the vote during times when no one is paying attention and you can expect low turn-out.  For example, most of the state amendments that banned same-sex marriage were passed in off-year elections when turn-out is traditionally low.

These types of laws or changes are never placed on the ballot during a Presidential election because turn-out is high and people actually pay attention.  One such period just came and went in Wisconsin.  On Tuesday, there was a “spring election ballot.”  Walker and his allies added a referendum that changed the way the state’s Supreme Court got its Chief Justice.

This referendum says that the Chief Justice will now have to be voted on by the court members.  The court in Wisconsin has shifted to a conservative majority, and Chief Justice Abrahamson is considered as a liberal.  This conservative shift is mostly a result of groups like WMC having poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into these elections.  That means she is sure to be voted out as Chief Justice.  She is suing over this change, and we will have to wait to see what happens on that.

However, not wanting to wait, Walker and his pals are trying to get her off the court completely.  She is 81 and they are trying to get a mandatory retirement age of 75 passed.  Remember, Justices on the Wisconsin Supreme Court are elected.  Abrahamson was just re-elected to another four-year term.  Walker doesn’t like that, so he wants her out and is willing to change whatever law he can to ensure it happens.

If you think that is fun, the conservative majority on the court lowered the court’s conflict-of-interest standards. They approved changes in requirements for when justices must “recuse” themselves — that is, decline to participate in a case. Now special interests can appear before judges to whom they’ve made campaign contributions — and they can give money to judges even as those judges are presiding over cases to which the donors are parties.

Which brings up the investigation into Walker’s campaign practices.  A majority of the justices received big campaign contributions from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.  However, since they changed the rules on conflict-of-interests, they can now sit in and help decide whether or not the investigation can proceed.

If you are looking for the icing on the cake, the conservative majority decided that there will be no oral arguments. The justices will meet and decide in secret.  Okay conservatives, how is that for transparency!

In a recent report, the Huffington Post said:

As he ramps up for a potential presidential run in 2016, Walker is using his executive budget to take control of judicial salaries; disband the independent council that advises all branches of state government on court practice and procedure; and weaken the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, the state body charged with investigating judicial ethics violations and recommending discipline.

So, as you can see Scott Walker is laying the ground work for what fascism will look like in America.  You have to be honest here.  Any executive who erodes the powers of the courts is creating a fascist state.  The best way to stay in power and establish your dictatorship is to eliminate the separation of powers in government.

That is exactly what Scott Walker and his cronies are doing in Wisconsin.  If there was anyone in this country that can be realistically compared to Hitler, I think Scott Walker is the man.  Remember, he wants to be president, and people like the Koch Brothers and WMC are willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to make that happen.

If his nightmare of being president should ever come true, I hope we will be able to say more than “well, democracy was nice while it lasted.”

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We all like the word compromise when it comes to legislation.  Anytime a bill is introduced, the member sponsoring the bill loves to talk about how this bill has bipartisan support.  In theory, that is a good thing, right?  Well, not always.  Sometimes this bipartisan support is something that actually hurts Americans or, at the very least, rewards corporations for cheating in the first place.

There is just one bill that is making its way through the Congress right now.  That bill would offer a “Tax Holiday” to corporations who have been hiding money offshore so they don’t have to pay any taxes on it.  This is not the first time such a “Tax Holiday” has been introduced or passed either.

In 2004 a similar “Tax Holiday” was offered to corporations who have cheated on their taxes.  Amazingly, it was called “The American Job Creation Act.”  As with most “job creation” bills it failed miserably because there were no teeth in the bill to ensure jobs were actually being created.

At that time, it was estimated that about a half-trillion dollars were sitting in offshore accounts.  The purpose was to offer a reduced tax bill, like 5.5% instead of the 35% they should have paid, to bring that money back to the U.S. and create jobs.  However, that money did not go into research, factories, jobs, or anything else.   It was used by companies to buy back stocks to drive the price of those stocks because CEO compensation includes stock options.

As a matter of fact, rather than creating new jobs, it is estimated that the biggest companies who brought money back actually laid off over 600,000 jobs in the two years following that “Tax Holiday.”  As a result, not only were there no new jobs, many people lost their jobs, and the government lost revenue.

Now they are at it again.  It is estimated that approximately $2.1 Trillion is kept in offshore accounts.  This money was profits that companies made in the U.S. but was placed in countries like the Cayman Islands or Ireland where there is very low corporate taxes or none at all.

The funny thing, if you want to call it that, is that most of this money is actually in U.S. banks overseas.  You know, banks like Citi Corp.  Meaning the companies have direct access to that money right here in the U.S. even though they don’t pay any taxes on it.  This $2.1 Trillion breaks out to be about $90 Billion per year in lost revenues to the government.

Money that could be spent on infrastructure.  We already know that transportation infrastructure is broken and nothing has been done for years about it.  $90 Billion per year would not only pay for that infrastructure, but many others too.  This would also create about 1.8 million jobs across the country that were good paying, middle-class jobs.

This “Tax Holiday” isn’t intended to help small businesses.  It isn’t intended to help the average American.  It is designed to help large corporations who have basically cheated on their taxes for years.  Rather than changing the laws that allow these loopholes in the first place, Congress is now willing to create another bogus “Tax Holiday” and claim it is “bipartisan.”

So, as you can see, bipartisan support isn’t always a good thing for the American people.  Sometimes it is just another handout to big corporations who control the purse strings of campaign funds.  Both parties are guilty of pandering to these corporations.

So, as you fill out your tax forms, if not already done, remember you are being ripped off.  Not because your taxes are necessarily too high, but because companies who are making billions of dollars in profits in the U.S. are able to hide their profits offshore and not pay any taxes on them.

The next time a bridge collapses, or a water main breaks, just remember that $90 Billion per year is being denied our government to use to fix these problems and Congress seems happy to let it happen.  Bet they will be willing to raise your gas tax to pay for it though.

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Kansas has a real problem.  It doesn’t have enough money for its budget.  The major reason for this budgetary shortfall is that they cut taxes dramatically, especially on the wealthy and corporations.  The plan was to “encourage” new businesses to flock to Kansas because of their favorable tax codes.

In the four years since, the plan hasn’t worked.  Kansas lags behind the rest of the Midwest in job creation.  Its debt has grown, and the only way the governor has to help reduce the debt is to cut spending on education and social services.  In short, the Conservative Utopia they hoped to create in Kansas, so far, has turned out to be a nightmare.  It even is one of the leading states in the region of people leaving!

So, to place the blame for all of this where I rightly belongs, Kansas has passed a bill that would be considered humorous, if it didn’t hurt so many people.  They actually passed a law that prohibits spending welfare checks and/or food stamps on cruise ships!

It is hard to imagine welfare recipients flocking to cruise ships for vacation when a family of three in a high-paying, more urban county in Kansas receives $429 a month; a rural family gets $386 a month.  On top of this, there is no evidence, and not one of the proponents of the bill have made any argument that welfare money going to cruise ships is a problem.  In fact, it doesn’t exist.

But, the ban on cruise ships is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are other things in the bill that make it even harder to survive on this paltry amount of money.  The new law awaiting Governor Sam Brownback’s signature also prohibits a long list of activities including shopping at jewelry stores, lingerie shops, video arcades, theme parks and even swimming pools.

There is also a provision that bans TANF recipients from withdrawing more than $25 per day from an ATM machine.  But, since most ATM machines do not work in $5 increments, that means you are restricted to $20 per day.  Oh, plus the 85 cents TANF charges and the $2 fee the ATM machine charges.

So, why is it so immediately necessary to pass such a law?  The only answer can be to revive the Ronald Reagan “Welfare Queen” stereotype that got him elected.  The only reason Kansas needs to revivie this is because their Conservative Utopia is failing and they need a “fall guy.”  Who better to blame than the so-called “Welfare Queen” spending all her money on a cruise ship?

“This is not about a real problem, this is not a public policy decision,” says Liz Schott, of the Center on Policy and Budget Priorities. “This is all about politics and creating a wrong impression that public welfare recipients can’t spend their money wisely.”

Kansas isn’t alone in this either.  In Missouri, a Republican state legislator has introduced legislation that would ban “cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak.”  I always believed that seafood and/or steak, in moderation was good for your nutrition.  But, Republicans seem to think that TANF recipients don’t deserve food that is good for you.

Many if not most TANF recipients are “unbanked,” and without a checking account, how will they take out enough money to pay their rent?  It would appear that this law is not based on any understanding of the daily reality of making ends meet on these inadequate benefits.

But Brownback and the Kansas Republican lawmakers don’t really care about these people’s lives.  They needed a scapegoat and welfare recipients and TANF recipients are perfect for the job.  Instead of focusing on their failed policies, they are looking to distract the issue to a target they know will be easy fodder.

Brownback and his Republican cronies need to fix the problems they created in Kansas and not look to lay blame on others.  But then, this just proves Republican “supply side” economics only slows down the economy and bankrupts the budget.  But don’t worry, you can always blame those on welfare and TANF.  All in the name of catering to your donor base.

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As soon as the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran was announced, the right-wing went to war against the President.  What else is new?  As you remember, they started firing volleys before any deal was even announced.  Remember their letter to Iran?

But, things have gotten a lost worse since the deal was announced.  According to the right-wing, we are “giving away the house” with the deal and getting nothing in return.  It will surely mean that Iran will be nuking Israel within two months of signing any deal.

Of course, Netanyahu hit the talk shows yesterday complaining that this was a bad deal.  He claims that Iran is going to be able to have a free hand in making nuclear bombs if the deal is finalized.  But, he let loose with a few quotes that somehow makes his argument sound hollow, at least concerning the actual deal.  According to Netanyahu, the deal is bad because it does not force Iran out of the terrorism support game.

On ABC’s “This Week” he said:  “They’re not going to use it for schools or hospitals or roads,” Netanyahu said of the potential economic boost from sanctions relief. “Martha, they’re going to use it to pump up their terror machine worldwide and their military machine that is busy conquering the Middle East now.”

That would make the real concern for Israel’s Prime Minister not a nuclear bomb being achieved by Iran, but rather their support of terrorism.  That is a fair concern.  Israel does face many dangers and has many haters in the region.  But, one thing Netanyahu could do to help calm down a lot of this hatred is to sit at the negotiating table with the Palestinians and work out a peace deal recognizing the Palestinian State.

Of course that would mean he would have to stop the settlement program on the West Bank and that would piss off his own right-wing.  Since Netanyahu has publicly stated that there will be no “Palestinian State as long as I am Prime Minister,” the prospects of calming down the Mideast problems are slim to none.

Which brings us back to the deal’s framework that was announced.  I will be honest, as Republicans say, “I am not a scientist,” and most of this deal requires some scientific knowledge about nuclear material to fully understand it.  But, from what I understand of the deal, the so-called experts say it will hold back Iran from gaining any nuclear weapons for at least 10 years.  Some on our side of the Atlantic think that is too short and that we should just bomb the facilities.

Well, John Bolton – who places more faith than anyone in the power of bombs to solve problems – says that an enthusiastic application of explosives to Iranian nuclear sites could set the program back a whopping three to five years.  Call me silly, but 10 years seems longer than three to five years.  Besides, who knows what the two sides will look like after those ten years?  Things could be good enough to go back to the negotiating table.

Of course the whole deal is going to be dependent on whether or not Iran agrees to the verification process that will be necessary.  The one thing Ronald Reagan said that I do agree with is “trust but verify.”  Somehow, I think that if that policy was good enough to negotiate with the Soviet Union who was far more powerful, it should be good enough to negotiate with Iran.

There is nothing in the framework that would preclude sanctions to be imposed again if Iran breaks the deal.  That is the hammer that the world can use against them to ensure their compliance.  Besides, the sanctions do not immediately come off.  Iran needs to comply with the deal first.  What was announced was a “framework” not an actual finalized deal.  That still needs to be hammered out.  This can still fall apart.

Yet, the Republican Presidential Candidates all hate the deal.  Most have even gone so far as to say they would scrap it on the first day in office if elected.  One of their biggest claims against the President is that our “allies don’t trust us” anymore.  What better way to gain their trust than to break our word on you first day in office?

Remember, this deal is not just with the U.S.  It is with the 5 plus one nations.  These nations include France, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China.  Their support is critical in making any deal with Iran stick.  If the U.S. decides not to go along with it and everyone else does, Iran will still have the vast majority of sanctions lifted by these other nations.  We will not be able force to Iran to the table again because acting alone won’t be enough to affect their politics or economy.  As a result, Iran would become even more dangerous than it already is.  And, it would be our fault.

Finally, what other options are there?  This question has been raised to these candidates and they don’t want to answer the question.  When asked what they would do if there was no deal or if they scrapped it, they don’t offer up anything.  The reason they don’t offer up anything is because the only other alternative is war.

Yes, there are basically two ways to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  One is through diplomacy, which is always tricky, and the other is through an invasion.  After almost 14 years of war, Americans are not ready for another one in the Mideast.  If you think Iran’s military is a pushover, you better think again.

The real reason the Republicans are so against this deal is not because it is so bad, it is because they don’t want a deal with Iran.  Their puppet-master in Israel is telling them that the only answer is war with Iran.  And, they are willing to fight the war for him.

As a result, we are getting more of the same fear-mongering about Iran that we got about the old Soviet Union.  It appears that our conservatives aren’t happy unless there is some kind of cold or hot war going on somewhere.  And, in order to keep their fear-mongering alive, they are even willing to break our word with our allies.

What a wonderful way to conduct foreign policy.  Break your word to you allies, and bomb your enemies.

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I know I have written several times about these laws being discriminatory.  However, as you all know, when I discover I made a mistake, I am willing to say so.  Maybe, I have made a mistake here.  Maybe we should be thanking Indiana and Arkansas for pointing out just how much our religious liberties have been trashed by governments everywhere.

At first I always wondered why it was okay for a baker, for example, to refuse to serve same-sex couples and still serve adulterers.  A florist in Georgia set me straight on that one.  She said it was okay because “they were different kinds of sin.”  Wow, I never thought of that!

Apparently, I never picked up on the lessons in religion where we are allowed to choose which sins we won’t tolerate to honor “Jesus who died on the cross for us” as the same florist says.  Somehow, I came out of those classes believing that sin was sin.  I also remember those teachers telling me that you can go to hell for lying just as much as murdering someone.  Maybe they never heard that we are allowed to choose the sins we don’t like either.

But, even more importantly, these laws do open up a whole lot of things that have been considered taboo in this country.  For starters, what about polygamy?  Both the Mormons and Muslims believe that men are allowed to have more than one wife.  The Muslim faith says a man can “have no more than four wives.”

The Mormons don’t put a number on how many they can have.  And, remember, according to Mormons, they are the only ones who will be able to have sex in heaven.  The rest of us are out of luck on that one.

When the backlash to these laws started, conservative critics said that we need to know what is in the law.  Both laws say “the state shall not substantially burden a person or business religious practice unless it can prove that doing so “(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.”

I don’t see how a government can prove a compelling governmental interest in outlawing polygamy.  If all parties are adults and agree to polygamy, that should be enough to allow it.  Besides, most of the characters in the Bible that Christians like to honor had multiple wives!  Polygamy was a fact of life in those days.

Even abortion is now covered by this law as being legal.  If a woman states that her religious beliefs say it is okay for her to have an abortion, and the doctor providing it can say his religious beliefs say it is okay to provide the abortion, what possible “compelling governmental interest” is there to stop the abortion from taking place?  That would be placing a “substantial burden” on the individual’s religious practices.

Almost all religions that I have studied say the marriage is for life.  Remember those religious vows that you take that say “until death do us part?”  According to these laws, anyone who disagrees with divorce and remarriage will have the right to deny service to anyone who falls into this category as well.  That is very unlikely because if florists and caterers and bakers exclude divorced people, they would probably go bankrupt since that is the majority of their wedding business.

Even same-sex marriage is now legal in these states no matter what the Supreme Court finally rules.  If two people believe that their religious beliefs do not prohibit them getting married, then the state has no “compelling governmental interest” in refusing a marriage license to them without creating a “substantial burden” on their religious practices.

These are just four examples to show just how liberating these laws really are.  We didn’t even know that we have had our religious beliefs trampled on.  We never knew that an ardent catholic could refuse to take photos at a wedding of a divorced person before.  We never knew that the ban on polygamy was really our liberties being trampled on.  We never knew that bans on abortion were trampling on our religious liberties.  We never knew that it was always illegal for the government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages.

These laws, like so many around the country, are a godsend.  Now, we can do whatever we want in the name of “religious liberty” and the government has no right to “substantially burden” us with any law that disagrees with those beliefs.

So as you can see, we should be thanking the legislatures and governors of Arkansas and Indiana for their bravery in opening up this whole new world full of liberties we never knew we had.  On the other hand, how much do you wanna bet that the Christian Cult who introduced these laws never thought of all of this!

 

 

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