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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

As we look around the world, we see very troubled times.  We see wars and dissatisfaction.  There is civil war in Iraq.  There is civil war in Syria.  There is civil war in Ukraine.  There is civil war in many countries in Africa.  The Israelis and Hamas are warring again.  This is nothing new.  There have been wars among people since we first learned how to use a club as a weapon to kill someone else.

At first, wars were fought over hunting grounds.  Then they turned to agriculture and water areas.  As man evolved, war became more personal.  Power was the name of the game.  Empires needed to be built and war was the best way to achieve that.  As we evolved more, gods became the rallying cry.  In every civilization, the gods of one people were considered superior to the gods of another.  That led to the justification that we can kill in the name of our gods.

That justification has remained right up to today.  “God is on our side” is the rallying cry to justify waging war against another culture with different religious beliefs.  Now, all wars are not based purely on religion.  They are mostly based on power.  Yet, we justify our desire for that power through religion.

It is this justification that makes it so dangerous for us right now.  The Conservative Christian Cult is sounding the war cry again.  We need to send troops into Syria.  We need to send troops into Iraq.  We need to send troops into Iran.  We need to send troops to help the Israelis in their war against Hamas.  We need to send troops to the Ukraine.

The Cult and their talking heads at FOX News are the ones calling for war again.  They use phony excuses like the President hasn’t been tough enough.  But, what they are hiding is their true reason for these wars.  They actually want to start another world war.  They will even be thrilled to have a global nuclear war break out.  That is because in their fantasy world, they won’t be around to see the consequences of such a war.

The Cult and their talking heads want to start a holocaust.  They want to see Armageddon take place in our life time.  They have been working for years to make it happen.  Now, they figure they have the right opportunity at the right time.  They just need to get their people in power so it can begin in earnest.

Since religion became such a large part in people’s lives, Armageddon has been seen as the “cleansing” of the world from sin.  Those Cult members who truly believe in Armageddon believe it is their duty to bring it about.  That is why they are so eager to get involved in foreign conflicts.  Especially foreign conflicts that involve those “other religions”.  Have you ever wondered why the Cult is so aggressive toward the Palestinians and so forgiving of the Israelis for building settlements in Palestinian Territory?  It is because they know that more Jews living in Palestinian Territory will heighten tension and start the blood flowing.

They aren’t worried about the end of the world.  They want it to happen.  They don’t worry about it because they have fallen into the fallacy that they won’t be around for it.  In the 1800′s a young Baptist farmer named William Miller (1782-1849) predicted the end of the world.  He even went so far as to say it would happen on October 22, 1844.  But, not to frighten his followers, he came up with the “rapture” to protect them.  According to Miller, just before the world ended, the true followers would be whisked into heaven and not face the tribulation the rest of the world would face.

Of course the world did not end on October 22, 1844.  We are still here.  Since many of his followers sold off everything they had this prediction is still called “The Great Disappointment”.  But, the Cult has latched on to this fantasy of the “rapture” and keep telling their followers they needn’t worry about the end of the world since they won’t be around.  When you think about it, it is really scary stuff.  They will tell you that it is god’s will.  Which is a nice excuse so no one has to take the blame.  This is why they are so keen on getting the conflict started.  Their warped belief that their god is stronger than your god has led them to believe they are immune.

One year, a co-worker came to me with a list of candidates he liked.  He suggested that I vote for all of the candidates on his list.  When I asked him why they were so great, he commented that they “were all good god fearing Christians.”  I thanked him for the list.  After the election, he asked if I used his list.  I assured him that I did.  I voted for every single opponent of everyone who was on his list.  I never got another list after that.

Unfortunately, that is the mindset of the Cult.  They want us to elect their followers to office so they can get things started.  They are so wrapped up in their own little make-believe world, that they have no compassion for anyone else.  That is why their fight to gain control of the government is so frightening, and why we need to make sure they don’t get the power they so crave.

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Those are the words inscribed on the Statue Of Liberty.  We have lived by those words for a couple of hundred years.  Yes, there have been exceptions based on racism, but for the most part our immigration system has worked because of the belief in these words.

There was the time when it was illegal for Chinese Immigrants to enter the country.  We have had times when almost every immigrant group faced discrimination after they came here.  The Irish, Poles, Czechs, Italians, etc.  Every group has faced some kind of discrimination after immigrating to this country.

We are facing another example of mass immigration.  Problem is that there really isn’t an immigration system in place anymore.  Republicans in Congress has refused to allow a vote on any immigration reform plan.  They claim they are waiting for the President to “enforce” the laws.  That is a remarkable statement.  This President has deported more illegal immigrants than any President before him.  The Republicans want the current mass immigration problem at the border dealt with by “immediately deporting” all of those children.  Problem is that under George W. Bush, the law he had passed, says that cannot happen.  When especially dealing with children, we need to care for them, and they must be brought before a judge in order to determine if they are to be deported.

So, by not immediately deporting these children, President Obama is following and “enforcing” the law.  If the President should “immediately deport” all of these children, he would not be enforcing existing laws as the Republicans want.  Besides that, if the border is so open, how come we are catching so many people crossing it?  If there was not sufficient enforcement at the border, surely these people would not be in custody right now.

We have faced other “mass immigrations” in the past.  No one will forget the mass immigration of the Irish due to the potato famine.  Even though they were treated harshly when they arrived, no one was calling to close the border to them.  More recently, I was in the Coast Guard when the Boat Lift from Cuba occurred under Reagan.  No one was calling for them to be sent back to Cuba.  We also had to deal with a mass immigration effort from Haiti.  There was the mass immigration from Cuba when Castro took power in 1959.  Hell, even Ted Cruz’s father, after fighting on the side of Castro, paid a bribe to get out of Cuba and into the U.S.

These mass immigration problems are not new.  The only thing new about them is that now we are facing a problem with “those people” instead of “the right people”.  The Irish were allowed in because they were European, but discriminated against mostly because they were Catholic.  The Cubans were looked upon as “victims of communism” so they got a free pass.  The new mass immigration, mostly children, aren’t given that same courtesy.  In the eyes of Republicans, they are simply looked upon as “law breakers” and must be deported immediately.

The self-proclaimed prophet, Bill O’Reilly, said on his show Tuesday, to prove the “difference” between other immigrants and the current immigrants, that his “immigrant ancestors” didn’t accept government assistance.  He fails to mention that at the time of his “immigrant ancestors” there were no government assistance programs.  If there had been, I bet they would have accepted them!

His guest on the show was Kristen Powers, a FOX News contributor and USA Today columnist.  She went after O’Reilly and said:  “We advertise to the world, give us your hungry, your poor, your tired.  But no, not according to Bill O’Reilly. According to Bill O’Reilly, let’s bundle up the children and send them back.”

O’Reilly then got mad, sarcastically telling Powers that she holds “the high moral ground” because she “want[s] an open-border situation that lets everybody in … You want an open-border, you want to accept them all … And I am a cruel barbarian.”  Finally, a comment from O’Reilly that I agree with.  Yes, Bill, you are a cruel barbarian!

This crisis is not what the Republicans want you to think.  They want you to believe this is not about people looking for a better life in the U.S. because their country is in total chaos.  They want you to think that these people just simply want to illegally cross into the U.S. because they will be able to live on government assistance.

That is total nonsense.  These people, especially the children, are trying to escape violence that threaten their very lives.  They come from countries that are fighting drug cartels, and other violent groups.  They are looking to live in peace and freedom.  But, what makes them “different” from the Cubans in the 1980s?  Cubans have a tendency to vote Republican.  Because of the Republican stand against immigration reform, these people, if granted citizenship in the future, tend to vote Democratic.  And, that is what this is all about.

President Obama has asked Congress for more money to deal with the problem.  He wants to increase the number of judges so these cases can be legally expedited, among other necessary things.  But, the Republican Party is already balking at the expenditure.  Why?  Because they want to force the President to do what they want.  Break the law!

I often find it amusing that the Republican Party has wrapped itself in the Conservative Christian Cult’s flag and consider themselves “god fearing, good Christians”.  All of their actions prove that they are just the opposite.  And, they wonder why more and more people are turning away from their “religion”.  Maybe rational people just can’t stomach belonging to a religion so steeped in hypocrisy.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Beautiful words we should all live by.  Too bad the Republican Party won’t!

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Tomorrow is the 4th of July.  It is a day we celebrate our nation’s birth.  All across the nation we will hear the national anthem being sung and end with the words “O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”  Others will stand and say the pledge of allegiance.  It includes the words, “with liberty and justice for all”.

The right-wing will proudly stand tall and sing, or say these words loudly.  They will utter them with false conviction.  They will go on the podium and give speeches rallying their base to “fight for liberty”.  They will use hallow words like “we want to thank all of our men and women in uniform for their service”.  They will utter all sorts of patriotic slogans.  At the end of the day, all of these words and slogans will ring as hallow as they do today.

In Afghanistan our troops will be on patrol.  Fighting for our country.  In Iraq, newly arrived troops will be helping to train the Iraqi Army to fight the insurgents.  All around the world, our men and women in uniform will be working.  The far right neocons will use tomorrow to pump up their rhetoric about fighting terrorists.  They will use that argument to call for a re-invasion of Iraq.

Yet, tomorrow, there will still be millions of people out of work because our Congress won’t do anything to help them get jobs.  Tomorrow, millions more people will have their extended unemployment insurance run out and have no income and face losing everything they spent a lifetime working for.  Tomorrow, women will still be considered second class citizens, especially by the Conservative Christian Cult.  Tomorrow, minorities will still face voter suppression laws in several states.  Tomorrow, LBGT couples won’t be able to get married in most states.

At the birth of our nation, we had to live with the evil “institution” of slavery.  Even though Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal”.  We continued slavery, because, well the slave owners didn’t consider their slaves as “men” or “people’ just as property.  It took a Civil War before this “institution” ended.

We have made small strides in the true concepts of “with liberty and justice for all”.  But, today in 2014, we still have groups of people who are not “free” and do not gain “justice”.  These groups include minorities, women, immigrants and LGBT.  These groups have had their “rights’ trampled on by the far right forever.  All they want is to have equal protection under the law.  Isn’t that what “liberty” really means?

Under the sway of the Conservative Christian Cult, many states are passing very restrictive anti-abortion laws.  The Cult is even fighting against birth control.  I still find it amazing that “contraception” use by women is considered by the Cult as being only for “recreational use”, yet Viagra, and other ED medicines as well as vasectomies are considered for “pro-creation” purposes.  Therefore, these things are still covered under health insurance while many forms of birth control have just be banned by the Supreme Court.

We still have women making anywhere from 80% to as low as 70% of what men make doing the same job.  We have the Cult fighting against such things as violence against women laws, equal pay laws, and ENDA.  We have women all across the nation facing beatings from their husbands just because they are handy.  Women are still victims of rape and yet they are treated as the cause of the rape, not the victim.

The amazing thing is that the Cult is telling women that if they don’t want to get beat or raped, all they have to do is get married.  They claim that feminism is the root cause of all that is wrong with the world.  It is feminism that has caused the decline of the “traditional family”.  Never mind that men set up the “no-fault” divorce clause so they don’t have to pay as much alimony to their wives.  Never mind that it is men who skip out on child support payments.  Hell, there is a misogynist web site called The Red Pill that even offers tips on how to avoid child support payments.  But, no, according to the Cult, it is all the fault of women.

Approximately 40% of all workers in this country work for minimum wage.  That automatically makes anyone with a small family live in poverty.  The Cult and their Republican friends are fighting any move to raise the minimum wage.  They all seem to think that it is perfectly fine for “those people” to work 40 hours per week and live in poverty.  “Those people” don’t do anything meaningful, and should bow down and kiss their employer’s feet for allowing them the opportunity to work and still live in poverty.

Let’s face facts, the only “entitlements” being offered to people in this country are being offered to the super-rich and/or White Christian Men.  We live in a “Corporate Welfare State”.  They are the only people who can even come close to enjoying “liberty”.  That is not what our country is supposed to be.  That is not what I served to protect.  I served, and many others continue to fight for the country that offers “liberty and justice for all”.

While masses of people continue to struggle to survive.  While our Steel Industry faces bankruptcy because of illegal dumping of steel into the country by South Korea threatening over 580,000 jobs.  While our transportation funds, the ones that repair our transportation systems, runs out of money and threatens another 700,000 jobs.  While our military members continue to serve our country, many of them relying on food stamps to feed their families.  Members of the Cult and the Republican Party will give hallow patriotic speeches.

They will loudly use the words of “religious freedoms”, or “liberty from tyranny” or “take our country back”.  But, what they are really saying is if you are not a white male Christian, you have no right to say anything because they believe this is “their” country.  I have seen many political fights in my life.  But, I have never seen such a push to turn back the clock on minority, women, immigration, and LBGT rights like is going on now.  The Cult has all the answers.  It is in “traditional family” where the man is the head of the household and women stay at home.

This gem from Rafael Cruz, Sr., the father of that patriotic Canadian Senator, Ted Cruz says it all:

As God commands us men to teach your wife, to teach your children—to be the spiritual leader of your family—you’re acting as a priest. Now, unfortunately, unfortunately, in too many Christian homes, the role of the priest is assumed by the wife. Why? Because the man had abdicated his responsibility as priest to his family…So the wife has taken up that banner, but that’s not her responsibility. And if I’m stepping on toes, just say, ‘Ouch.’

He believes this philosophy of the man’s role of the priest so much, he has been divorced twice!  Sounds to me that he has abdicated his role, at least when it comes to his marriage vows of “until death do us part”.

No, as long as we have right-wing pundits calling women “sluts” because they favor birth control or abortion.  As long as these same right-wing pundits are praising right-wing militia groups as “patriots” and not the domestic terrorists they are.  As long as the right-wing opposes immigration reform.  As long as we allow this income inequality and war against the poor and women.  As long as we have powerful groups like the Cult and their financial backers like the Koch Brothers, we will continue to live in a fantasy and hallowly say the words “with liberty and justice for all”.

Until the rights of all people, not just the members of the Cult and their allies, are respected and these terrible laws that continue to harm women, minorities, LBGT, and immigrants are overthrown, we will not live in a country of “liberty and justice for all”.  And that is the true American Tragedy!

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Scalia’s Supreme Court yesterday ruled that “closely held corporations” have the right to refuse contraception coverage in insurance plans for their employees on “religious grounds”.  Yes, I said Scalia’s court.  It has become obvious the Chief Justice Roberts, who said he wanted to “protect the reputation of the court” is nothing but a Scalia follower.  In essence, Scalia has become the Chief Justice of the court by default.

But, all of that aside, let’s take a look at what this really means to the country.  Although Scalia claims this is a narrow case, it opens up a whole can of worms, according to Justice Ginsberg in her dissent.  Since the Christian Conservative Cult won this battle, what is to keep them from refusing to cover other medical practices?  What about those owners who don’t like vaccines?  Will they be allowed to stop covering them?  What about blood transfusions?  Those are just two medical questions.  There are a buckets full of other “social” issues as well.

This decision is possibly the opening of the Theocratic Government we have talked about before.  The Conservative Christian Cult is trying its to name Christianity as the “official” religion of the U.S.  But, they aren’t interested in Christianity in itself, they are only interested in their narrow, prejudiced “Evangelical” beliefs.  They are using their fictitious “war on religion” as their basis for their war against everyone who disagrees with their religious beliefs.

The First Amendment clearly states there is to be a separation between Church and State.  There is a reason for this separation.  During the time of the founding fathers, and shortly before, all states had a formal religion.  If you disagreed with that religion, you faced possible death.  All you have to do is look at our own second grade history books to see what that meant.  Remember the Pilgrims?  The Pilgrims were a sect of the Church of England called Puritans.  They were extremely conservative in their approach, they hated catholics, and they thought the Church of England was “too catholic”.  As a result, they claimed “religious persecution” and moved to the new world to get away from that persecution.

The Spanish Inquisition was another example of persecution.  The Spanish Crown, backed the inquisition which was intended to root out the heretics and either “convert” them back to the true religion, or kill them.  The inquisition went on for a few hundred of years.  And, it wasn’t confined to just Spain either.

New England was settled by Puritans.  Maryland was settled by Catholics.  Pennsylvania was settled by Quakers.  And the beat goes on.  That is why there is a clause in the First Amendment stating the separation of Church and State.  For roughly the first 200 years of our nation, everyone was totally happy with this separation.  Hell, the phrase of “one nation under god” in the pledge of allegiance and “in god we trust” on our money didn’t happen until the 20th century.  Then came the rebirth of the Puritans in the name of Conservative Christianity.

High Court rulings in Roe v. Wade and the school prayer ruling made the Conservative Christian Cult besides itself.  They could not believe that the U.S. Supreme Court could actually allow the separation of Church and State as the constitution states.  That had to be a mistake.  After all, the founding fathers were good Christians, and they surely meant that Christianity was exempt from that clause.

Over the last 30 or 40 years, this cult has waged a war on our secular government.  In order to “turn on” their supporters, they manufactured their “war on religion”.  What they are saying in essence is that “their” religion is being picked on because it isn’t the official religion of the country.

It is so easy for them to tell lies to gain their supporters belief.  For example, take the case of Senior Master Sergeant Philip Monk.  He claimed that he was transferred from his duties and put on leave because he was being punished for stating his objection to same-sex marriage.  The Conservative Christian cult jumped on this as proof of religious persecution.  Problem is that this “claim” turned out to be false.  He was merely assigned because his current duty term was over and he was due for a transfer.  The investigation said”

“The weight of the evidence shows that religion was never discussed between the two.  In the end, this is a case about command authority, good order and discipline, and civil rights — not religious freedoms.”

The report also said that Senior Master Sergeant made false official claims.  The Senior Master Sergeant was notified of his transfer in April which was several months before his claim.

Last Christmas, the VA Hospital in Dallas was accused of censoring Christmas Cards sent to patients.  Fox News Correspondent, and I use that term loosely, reported a statement from the VA Hospital as:

In order to be respectful of our Veterans religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by Chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. After the review is complete, the holiday cards that reference religious and/or secular tones are then distributed by Chaplaincy Service on a one-on-one basis if the patient agrees to the religious reference in the holiday card donation. The holiday cards that do not contain religious and/or secular tones are distributed freely to patients across the Health Care System. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

In fact, the VA statement was a lot different:

In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.

Just a little bit of a difference there, wouldn’t you say?  But, that doesn’t stop the Conservative Christian Cult from lying about the incidents.  They seem to believe that you can actually turn a “majority” religion into a “minority” religion being persecuted simply by saying that is so.  Problem is their faithful believe such nonsense.

The war against secular government doesn’t stop there either.  The LGBT issues, contraception, abortion, women’s rights, civil rights, science, creationism v. evolution are all part of the religious right’s “war on religion”.  They obviously base their arguments on chosen, out of context, phrases from their beloved bible, almost exclusively from the old testament.  If you look hard enough at the bible, and see what you want to see, you can justify anything you want from it.  Apartheid and Jim Crowe Laws were both based on the bible.

Jody Hice, a Republican candidate for a U.S. House seat from Georgia Has another way to make Christianity the religion of the land.  Simply deny that other religions are actually religions.  He says that Muslims don’t have protection from the First Amendment.  He claims that “Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology.  It is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”  So, now a candidate for the U.S. House is determining what constitutes a religion.  That alone should be scary.

When the ACA was passed, Republicans ran commercials trying to convince voters that “the government was getting between you and your doctor”.  Apparently, they don’t have a problem with a corporation getting between you and your doctor!  Why?  Because they want to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.  The Hobby Lobby ruling from the Scalia Court enforces that principle.  Corporations can now impose their religious beliefs on their employees and the government will sanction those beliefs in clear violation of the First Amendment.

Before everyone starts yelling about the Freedom of Religion contained in that amendment, remember, the First Amendment grants each individual the right to religious freedom.  It does not grant authority for any one particular sect to force their beliefs on everyone else.  That is what this ruling is doing.

LGBT rights, abortion, contraception, women’s rights, evolution, science and civil rights are all secular rights of individuals who disagree with the Conservative Christian Cult.  The Conservative Christian Cult argues that their “religious” beliefs on these issues are all that matters.  They consider secular government that protects the rights of everyone else to be evil.  That is why they want to overthrow the government and set up their Theocracy.

The Conservative Christian Cult won’t stop until they either achieve their goal of forced Conservative Christian prejudiced beliefs on the rest of the country, or the country votes these anti-Americans out of office.  If the faithful don’t learn soon that they too will be in the crosshairs of the Conservative Christian Cult leaders, we may soon face a nation that loses its democracy in favor of Christian Sharia Law.  Once that happens, no one will be safe from persecution.

Who knows, maybe the Conservative Christian Cult will unleash an “American Inquisition” in our future.

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The rhetoric on the right is beginning to get very ugly, indeed.  It has always been their policy to outright lie about the things they don’t agree with, then make themselves out to be the victims.  We have seen it time-and-again.  They want to deny civil rights to gay couples, they want to be able to pick-and-choose which laws they believe interfere with their “religious liberties” like the Hobby Lobby case against the mandate for contraceptive coverage in insurance policies.

They also have taken hold of the big lie that there is a “war on Christians’ that was started over at Fox (so-called) News.  That has been the rallying cry for these right-wing obstructionists ever since Fox started the weeping.  They seem to believe that they have the right to discriminate against those who don’t believe what they do.  That includes civil liberties which are not religious based.  They even want the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that corporations are “people” like Mitt Romney tried to sell us in the last election.

Now, the Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, has taken it one step further.  I don’t know how to say this gently, so I am going to come right and say it plainly.  The Governor appears to be calling for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  Speaking at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a group led by longtime Christian activist Ralph Reed, Jindal said”

I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States,” Jindal said, “where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.

He justified his comment by blaming the “silent war” against Christians.  He went on to say:

I am tired of the left. They say they’re for tolerance, they say they respect diversity. The reality is this: They respect everybody unless you happen to disagree with them,” he said. “The left is trying to silence us and I’m tired of it, I won’t take it anymore.

There is no other way to read this.  Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana is advocating for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  What else could be concluded by his choice of words like “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C.”?  I cannot believe that the Governor would be referring to the ballot box as a “hostile takeover”.  Especially since that is the way democracy is supposed to work.  Vote in the people you want who believe in the same things as you do.

No, the use of “hostile takeover”, can only be defined as a violent overthrow. 

In order to place this all in context, let’s take a look at this “war” on Christians.

It all started, naturally, with abortion rights.  The Christian right has been going nuts over this since Roe V. Wade.  Their belief is that “life begins at inception”.  That means there is no other way to look at it.  Since they believe this to be true, they want everyone in the U.S. to believe it too.  They want everyone’s life to be regulated by their belief.  Since the majority of people in this country don’t believe what they do, that is obviously discriminatory against Christians.

They are totally against same-sex marriage.  Their reason?  They call homosexuality a “sin”.  According to them, same-sex marriage is an attack on “traditional marriage”.  We all know that letting same-sex marriage to be legal, “traditional marriages” all across the country will fall apart.

What they are really saying is that they don’t want gay couples getting the same civil rights given to “traditional marriage” couples.  You know horrible things like inheritance rights, or social security rights, or medical coverage rights.  Giving gay couples these civil rights is an obvious attack against the rights of Christians.

Then there is the horrible discrimination against Christians that stem from laws that require “truth in advertising”.  Yes, you heard me, they are against “truth in advertising”.  We have several laws that require truth in advertising to protect the public from false claims from manufacturers about the safety of their products.  Several states have included this “truth in advertising” mantra to “political advertising”.  How horrible!!!

The State of Ohio, among others, has a law that bans people from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about candidates seeking elective office.  In 2010, the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, wanted to put up billboards against then-U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus claiming that he supported federal-funded abortions because he backed the ACA.  There is nothing in the ACA about federal-funded abortions being allowed.

Driehaus filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, saying the ads misrepresented the facts and violated Ohio’s false speech law. The billboard owner feared threatened legal action by Driehaus and declined to post the ads. Driehaus dropped the case after losing his re-election bid and the courts said that the Susan B. Anthony List could not sue over the law because it did not suffer any actual harm.

Now the group is back in court fighting the law again.  According to Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, their claims are true.  Though she offers no evidence to back up her claim.  Their brief when filing the suite says  the statute violates free speech rights and “chills core political speech.”

Dannenfelser goes on to say “If granted, this injunction will allow us to continue our efforts to inform voters without fear of prosecution.”  So she must believe that lying in political ads is justifiable “free speech”.  The largest supporter of her group, the Conservative Christian Cult, wants to put up a copy of the ten commandments in every courthouse in the country to show that our laws are “Christian based”.  I seem to remember that one of these ten commandments reads “Thou shalt not lie”.  If they truly believe this, why aren’t they fighting for the law to be upheld?  Because they reserve the right to lie whenever they want in order to gain control!  If they are not allowed to lie, that is discrimination against Christians.

So, that is the “silent war” on Christians that Jindal decries.  How dare the U.S. Government defend the civil rights of people who do not follow his narrow view of the world?  How dare it defend the rights of gays, women, and minorities?  His worldview doesn’t believe in those rights.  How dare it defend the simple principle that you cannot defame and/or lie about an opponent in paid advertising?  How else can his side win any arguments?  So, of course, this all constitutes a “war” on Christians.

And, what does the Governor envision for the answer to this “war”?  He advocates the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government.  He is making very public and bold statements that there should be a “hostile takeover” of the Government.  Wouldn’t even the most ardent “patriot” consider this language as anti-American?  Wouldn’t they consider the Governor as a traitor?

Apparently not.  All you hear on the right is more cricket chirps.  How long will it be, if the Governor keeps talking like this, before we have another domestic terrorist attack?  How long do you think that some right-wing militia group will heed the Governor’s call and attack more government offices like they did in Oklahoma several years back?

I believe that most reasonable people will come to the same conclusion I have.  Governor Jindal has crossed the line from “political speak” into the realm of “treason”.  There is not other way to look at his comments.  So, Mr. Boehner, when are you going create a special committee to “investigate” this terrible treasonous act?

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Religious Conservatives of all ilk are simply people who do not want to think for themselves.  At least that is the conclusion that I came to years ago.  In my thinking, the more conservative you are, the less you want to think about anything.  It is always easier to define what happens around us as “god’s will” rather than finding solutions to the problems.  If there is a school shooting, it was “god’s will” that those children died.  Simply put, god called them to heaven.  That logic eliminates the need for a discussion about the reasons those children were killed.

I will admit, that I am more familiar with Christianity than other religions, but I find the same non-sense coming from other religious conservatives as I do from the Conservative Christian Cult.  This is a problem today, just as it was centuries ago.  If you look at the real world, you will discover that religion is the real root of all evil.

In this country, the Conservative Christian Cult has caused more problems than they have tried to fix.  They don’t care about the poor, they don’t care about women, they definitely don’t care about the LGBT community.  I even have my doubts that they care about children either.  This isn’t as far-fetched as you may think.  Just look at the laws and budgets they are either passing or wanting to pass.  They base their prejudice on the principle that”the bible tells me so”.

Judeo-Christianity is simply a mishmash of two different religions.  Christianity is based on the Jewish religion, though most of the Conservative Christian Cult won’t admit that publicly.  However, whenever they want to pass a law taking the social safety net from the poor and elderly, they easily quote the “old testament” to prove their point that god doesn’t want the social safety net.  According to what I learned growing up, the old testament, which is based on the Jewish Torah, is in the bible simply to prove that Jesus was the savior.  That Christianity is based on the new testament.  But that seems to be lost to the Conservative Christian Cult.

For example, in many states, especially in the south, there is always a big blow-up over the Ten Commandments being posted in public buildings like courthouses.  I have always asked why these Conservative Christians want Jewish law posted in their courthouses if they are Christians?  The Ten Commandments were given to Moses.  Jesus did not give them to Peter.  As a matter of fact Jesus only gave Two Commandments.  Why aren’t these Conservative Christians demanding those be posted instead of the Ten Commandments?  Maybe it is because the second says to “love your neighbor as yourself”.  That isn’t what the Conservative Christian Cult is all about.

Islam is another mishmash of religions.  This religion came about after both Judaism and Christianity were already in full bloom.  Islam wanted to make things more conservative than either of the two older religions.  Hence the talk about the infidels vs. true believers.  If you care to look at their religion, they use the same old testament characters as do the Jews and Christians.  They even acknowledge Jesus as a prophet!

But, to justify my belief that religion is the root of all evils, you only need to look at the bible to prove my point.  All of these religions talk about Moses and the Exodus.  They also talk about Joshua and his “taking” of the promised land.  Funny thing about the wars that led to the formation of the promised land.  The god in those stories actually demands the Jews commit genocide.  That god demands that “all living things, man, woman, and child shall be put to the sword”.   If that isn’t genocide, then we need to find another definition for the word.

Remember, the Nazis tried the old argument of “just following orders” after WWII.  Naturally, it failed as it should have.  But, in the cases above, the conservatives all say that it was okay since god ordered it.  A perfect example of not thinking for yourself.  Just follow orders and everything will be okay.

All through history, religion has been the basis for wars.  Whether you are speaking about pagan religions, the Jewish religion, Christianity, Islam, or any other religion, it was always based on the principle that “god is on our side”.  God seems to prefer only one group of people.  Those who happen to believe in that particular god.

Religion corrupts us in other ways as well.  On one hand conservatives say that god is our father.  Yet, they also preach that if you don’t do what god tells you, you will face total annihilation.  My father was somewhat strict when I grew up.  Yet, I never feared total annihilation if I disobeyed him.  But, if you look at the rest of the wording, you will also discover that this so-called father is also the “lord” or “king”.  We constantly hear words like lord and king in the bible and other religious texts.  Well, lords and kings did annihilate populations if they didn’t “0bey”.  Since these “lords” and “kings” were self-anointed appointments of god, that made it okay.

Today, the Conservative Christian Cult wail against the poor.  They wail against equal rights for women.  They wail against equal rights for LGBT.  They wail against equal rights for anyone who is not part of their Conservative Christian Cult.  Hell, even Louie Gohmert lectured a preacher at a congressional hearing last week because the preacher actually believes in the separation of church and state.

We also hear from Fox (so-called) News and Laura Ingraham about the “War on Christianity” in the country.  To prove their point, Tony Perkins of the of the Family Research Council said in an interview about LGBT rights “I’m beginning to think, are re-education camps next?  When are they going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians?”

One of the wackiest things I heard was a quote from Pat Robertson who told a female caller “don’t complain to me about how he is cheating on you.  He’s a man.  So come on.”  From other quotes of the great Conservative Christian Leader, he would never say the same thing about a woman cheating on her husband.

The whole premise of conservative religion is to maintain the male dominated status quo.  In this country the Conservative Christian Cult is dedicated to maintaining the white male dominated status quo.  They don’t want to think.  They don’t want to discuss issues.  They don’t want to recognize that there may be other ideas in the world besides theirs.  They simply want to sit back and say “it’s god’s will” every time something happens.

Extreme weather doesn’t happen because of global climate change, it happens because god is punishing those who are affected.  Military members don’t die in war because it is war, they die because god is punishing them because America is changing its views on LGBT rights.  School children aren’t killed in schools because gun laws need to be changed, they die because god called them home.  Earthquakes don’t happen because that is how the earth works, they happen because god is punishing us.

Creationism, climate denial, racial hatred, hatred towards the poor, hatred of women’s rights, hatred of other religions are all based in conservative religious beliefs.  Without these hatreds and/or denialisms the whole purpose of their being is threatened.  Each and every religion claims to be “god’s chosen” religion.  With such backing, how could anyone do something wrong to other groups?

Think about it.  Slogans like the “chosen people” or “can’t get to heaven without Jesus” or “you need to be purified to attain paradise” or any number of such sayings, are excuses for religions to set themselves up as exceptional in the eyes of god.  If you are a conservative true believer, you don’t have to worry about anything.  “It is god’s will” is a poor excuse to say “nothing is anybody’s fault!”

I believe that is one reason our founding fathers put a separation of church and state in the First Amendment.  They understood that religious zealotry would do more harm to our democracy than anything else.  That is also why I say religion is the root of all evil.  By using religion, no one has to take responsibility for their hate.  According to the conservatives, it is god’s will to hate the others who don’t believe as you do.  What a horribly lazy way to live one’s life.

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David Brat won the primary election in Virginia that dethroned Eric Cantor.  The funny thing about his victory is that the Tea Party who at first disowned him because of his libertarian principles, now claim him as their own so they can claim “victory” over the “establishment”.  Yes, calling Eric Cantor the “establishment” is a very big stretch.

All of the pundits are chirping in with their reason why Cantor lost the primary.  Most agree that it was all because of immigration reform.  Brat called Cantor an amnesty champion.  He said that immigration reform is a bad idea because we already have too few jobs, and these others will take those jobs away from “real Americans”.  Say no more, he wins!

Others are claiming that Cantor just didn’t spend enough time in his district getting his supporters out to vote.  Cantor said he was in his district every week.  But the pundits claim one or two days a week wasn’t enough and he “lost touch” with his constituency.  That is why he lost.

Another grand theory is that his polling was flawed.  I wonder if Carl Rove did the polling for him.  According to one report, in early May his polls showed him with a 34% lead.  Oops!  He lost by almost 12% points.  As we know from 2012 this isn’t the first time Republican Polls were extremely flawed.

There are other reasons being discussed as well.  But, in my opinion, they are all wrong.  The real reason Brat won this primary is simply because he was better able to tap into the “fear and hate” that the right-wing is known for.  He was able to scare the shit out of those “base” Republicans who fear anything or anyone who is different than they are.  He was able to very effectively use the “us against them” argument.  That is why he won.

In terms of economic issues, Brat makes Eric Cantor look very liberal.  He wants to repeal the ACA, but replace it with absolutely nothing.  Not only does he want to repeal the ACA, he wants to do away with employer-based health care completely as well.  According to him, that will free up the problem of “pre-existing conditions” for everyone.  He doesn’t say how, he just says it.  Among his other highlights, he wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare.  His reason?  People take out more than they put in.

Of course Medicaid, Welfare, WIC, Unemployment Insurance, and the rest of the social safety net must be eliminated too.  He claims that the “corporate welfare” state must also end.  But, in order to do that we need to eliminate all income taxes and eliminate the IRS.  How he plans to fund the government, especially the military, he doesn’t say.  It cannot be through tariffs because he wants to do away with them too.  He claims that will lower prices.  He doesn’t mention it will also lower job prospects as well since more companies will move off-shore for cheaper labor costs.

And, naturally, every single regulation governing how business is to be transacted in America needs to hit the wastebin as well.  Forget that it was deregulation in the market that caused the 2008 crash.  Hell, he even says we don’t need to worry about climate change because “rich countries find a way to fix problems.”  How comforting.

Don’t forget about his pandering to the Conservative Christian Cult either.  In his victory speech, he said this victory was “a miracle granted by god.”  I doubt that god endorses fear and hate mongering, but they apparently think so.

Brat is not alone in his lunacy either.  The Republican Party is full of them.  And, they all work the same way.  They play on people’s fear and hate of those dreaded “others”.  Scott Esk, a Republican Candidate in Oklahoma for the State Legislature believes that it is well within the right of the state to “execute” homosexuals!  And, he hasn’t backed down from that position either.

An exchange on Esk’s Facebook page from last summer in which Esk was asked if he believed gay people should be executed, “presumably by stoning.” Esk responded: “I think we would be totally in the right to do it. That goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”

Not wanting to be overlooked for his homophobic stances, Gov. Rick Perry compared homosexuality to “alcoholism” in an interview with the Commonwealth Club of California, he was asked about his view of homosexuality being a disorder.  He responded with:

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that,” Perry answered, reiterating a longtime favorite argument of the anti-LGBT right that sexual orientation is a choice.

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic,” Perry went on to say, “but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

Maybe his next endeavor after leaving office at the end of the year will be to open the very first LGBTA Group.  He will undoubtedly run it like an AA meeting.

Then of course there are those wacky kids on the right who believe that woman’s suffrage has ended western civilization.  Even Ann Coulter thinks that women are “stupid” because they primarily vote Democratic.  Some other nice tidbits for you:

The first comes from David Barton.  He claims that the founding fathers had a reason not to give women the right to vote.  And, it had nothing to do with bigotry:

“The bigotry we’re told they held back then, they didn’t hold.  And what they did was they put the family unit higher than the government unit and they tried to work hard to keep the family together.  And, as we can show in two or three hundred studies since then, the more you weaken the family, the more it hurts the entire culture and society.

Since Barton claims the founding fathers were not bigoted, then I guess he believes it is okay to own slaves too.

Then there is Janis Lane, a Central Mississippi Tea Party President who said:

“There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how they can skewer a person.  The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.”

So why is she involved in politics?

Because women have the right to vote, I am active, because I want to make sure there is some sanity for women in the political world. It is up to the Christian rednecks and patriots to stand up for our country. Everyone has the right to vote now that’s 18 or over (who is) a legal citizen, and every person that’s 18 and over and a legal citizen should be active in local politics so they can make a change locally, make a change on the state level and make a change in Washington, D.C.”

I guess Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham don’t have the monopoly on Republican Women who hate women!

This is what the Tea Party movement is all about.  This is what the Conservative Christian Cult is all about.  They are synonymous and work together to spew this vile speech.  Eric Cantor was defeated yesterday.  The Tea Party is celebrating and planning their next big overthrow.  The Christian Conservatives are celebrating, especially since Brat also believes in the “morality of capitalism” and that it is very okay to get rich even at the expense of others.  Heck even some on the left are celebrating saying Cantor got what he deserved.

I am not celebrating over Cantor’s defeat.  I fear it is a bad omen of where a lot of people in this country stand.  The fear and hate that was tapped into by Brat is not just in Virginia.  It is all across the country.  What all of these nice “white people” forget about immigration reform is that this type of fear and hate is not new.  Today it is all about Hispanics.  Before it was all about the Poles, Irish, Germans, Hungarians, Swedes, etc.

It was the fear and hate towards those groups that basically stopped immigration in its tracks for decades in the 20th century.  Fear and hate is not the answer to move forward.  History has shown us far too many times that fear and hate are directly responsible for the rise of dictators around the world.  That is their rallying cry.  Us against Them!  It’s all Their fault!  These rants have echoed in all corners of the planet.  Unfortunately, it is becoming a louder paranoia in America.  We can only hope that reasonable people rise up and put down this paranoia.  Maybe then we can get back to work on fixing our problems instead of blaming others for them.

That is the true lesson from Eric Cantor’s defeat!

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Sometimes I have joked that it seems like the whole world has taken a “stupid pill”.  I know, it is probably wrong of me to criticize people for their beliefs, which I try not to do.  However, when people start acting “stupid”, I think it is fair to point out their mistakes.  That isn’t criticizing their beliefs, it is calling them out for their errors.

We have a myriad of problems facing our country today.  Yet, there are some people who simply want to whitewash them.  They seem to long for the “good ole days” or “glory days”.  They seem to not want to face reality.  That is “stupid” no matter what your political slant may be.  If we do not face our problems, we are doomed to live in mediocrity at best.  Maybe that is what these people want.

Yes, I am referring to the “conservative movement” on the other side of the political spectrum.  It isn’t hard to see why they refuse to look reality in the eye and make changes that are needed.  By definition, conservatism is stuck in the past.  That is what conservatism is all about, and what is wrong with it.  It wants to return to the “glory days” they remember.  Problem is when you look back on the “glory days”, they weren’t always so glorious.

I realize that I have a slanted view of the world.  In my youth, I was actually called a “radical”.  My son now calls me slightly left of center.  It just goes to show how much the scale can move over time.  Or, rather how much the definitions of words can change over time.  And, that is the real problem today.  That is what is at the heart of the stagnation in Washington and all across the country.  That and the fact that conservatives live in a fantasy world that can be called “stupid”.

The real irony in all of this is that the “glory days” these conservatives claim they want to return to were actually anything but conservative.  They were times when America was reaching for the stars both figuratively and literally.  They were times of innovation.  They were times of creative thought.  They were times of change for the better.

In those days, the labor movement was strong.  Approximately 40% of the workforce belonged to a union.  The middle-class was thriving and most people were happy, more or less.  It was also the times of the Civil Rights Movement and the start of the Woman’s Movement.  It was when President Kennedy said we should put a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth before the end of the decade.  And, we did.

They were also very troubling times.  We were suffering through the Vietnam war.  Young people were rebelling against the establishment.  African-Americans gained most civil rights but at a dear price.  There was a lot of backlash against the Woman’s Movement.  There were protests in the streets.  A President was assassinated.  Another President resigned from office in disgrace.

We went through very rough economic times starting with the oil embargo.  We witnessed long lines at the gas station.  People began to think that the future could not possibly be better than the past.  Yes, those were the so-called “glory days” that conservatives claim they want to return to.

The problem they face is that they don’t want to return to the good aspects of those times.  They don’t want to return to the times of innovation and creative thought.  They don’t want to return to the times when we fought for civil rights of everyone.  They don’t want to return to a thriving middle-class or to unions.  They, apparently want to return to their “good ole days” of Jim Crowe.  They would rather see corporations hiring thugs to bust unions than allow the working class a fair wage for their labor.

They claim that they want to return to the Reagan Years.  They are still hawking the discredited theory that lowing taxes on the rich “trickles down” to the masses.  They are still hawking the theory that unions are the root cause of economic problems.  They are still hawking the old ideas that whites are superior to other races but with much “softer” language.  They are still hawking the adage that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

Their “base”, led by the Conservative Christian Cult, denies climate change, or at least that man is contributing to it.  They deny evolution. Hell, they deny science.  They deny creative thought.  They prefer to raise a generation that “listens to what they are told” instead of formulating their own ideas.  They are against civil rights.  They are against women’s rights.  They are against gay rights.  They want to live in a world where everyone does exactly what they “tell” them to do.  If you go against their ideals, you are un-American.

Yes, the far right thinks that we should not be able to think for ourselves.  They are led by the Canadian Senator Ted Cruz, the faux Libertarian Rand Paul, and the Xenophobic Congresswoman Michelle Bachman and the Heritage Foundation.  These are their heroes.  These are the people who want to fundamentally take away civil rights.  Who want to stop education in its tracks and raise a “stupid” generation.  Why else would they defund public education as they have if that was not their goal?

They are the people who say they are fighting for “liberty” and then vote to take away those “liberties” from anyone who is different from them.  They are the ones who say they want a “bigger tent” and accept minorities yet continue to stall immigration reform and pass voter suppression laws.  These “small government” people want to dictate what a woman can choose or not choose when it comes to their health decisions.  Instead of relying on the woman’s decision after consultation with her doctor, they want the state to determine the course of action she is allowed.  Of course they justify all of this by claiming they are doing “god’s will”.

They claim to be “fighting for what the American People want”, yet they continuously vote against bills that the vast majority of the American People want passed.  Their solution to fair pay is not to raise the Federal Minimum Wage, but to eliminate it.  They want to deny millions of Americans proper health insurance.  They are quick to blame the victim in cases of rape and incest.

In essence, what these people are doing is taking their daily dose of “stupid pills”.  In and by itself, that doesn’t bother me too much.  What does bother me is that they want the rest of America to take “stupid pills” with them.  Unfortunately, the far right and their allies the Conservative Christian Cult have renewed their prescriptions.  Maybe it is time to see them for what they really are.  Stupid!

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I have come to the belief that idiocy is running amuck in America.  Not really a surprise determination.  More specifically, it is shining brightly in the Republican Party in Texas.  Yes, the Republican Party is truly bereft of sanity these days.  But, come on now, the party in Texas has taken it to new heights.  Not content being the real party of big government, they want to take it even further.  Oh, you don’t think the Republicans are the party of big government?  After each of the last several Republican Presidents dating back to Nixon, the government bureaucracy was bigger than when they went in.

Now, of course they claim to be the party of small government and ” personal liberty”.  But, as we all know that is a fallacy too.  They are all for the “personal liberty” of carrying guns, but they are totally against the “personal liberty” of women discussing their health options with their doctors and making up their own minds.  No, that isn’t “personal liberty”, that is feminism.

It is bad enough that the Republican Party still has in its platform that they against same-sex marriage.  Now, the Texas GOP is attempting to add another piece going against “personal liberty”.  In their infinite wisdom, or lunacy, language that would endorse psychological treatment that seeks to turn gay people straight may soon be part of their official platform.  Maybe it is because California and New Jersey have already passed legislation that ban licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight and they are afraid it could happen in Texas.

Under this new plank, the Texas GOP will “recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”  According to them, being gay is a psychological condition similar to any other mental illness.  All you need to do is see a shrink and you can be healed!  What a bunch of crap!

In spite of this stupidity, there are still gay conservatives in Texas who are members of the Republican Party.  They are even trying to remove decades-old language in the platform that states,  “Homosexuality tears at the fabric of society.”  Naturally, they have a real fight on their hands in removing such language.  Hardliners even wanted to change the word “homosexuality” with “sexual sins”.  But don’t worry, there is no conflict between church and state here.

“I really beg my social conservative colleagues to let this issue go,” said Rudy Oeftering, a Dallas businessman and vice president of the gay Republican group Metroplex Republicans. “It’s your opinion. It’s your belief — but it’s my life.”   To show the battle they are facing, Republican delegate Elizabeth Hunter, 20, said she didn’t see any reason for removing language that describes being gay as tearing at the fabric of society.

“I don’t see anybody leaving the Republican Party because of that language,” she said. “I think it would actually encourage someone to join when they see that the Republican Party takes a strong stand rather than standing in the middle.”

So, the Republican Party in Texas thinks that being homosexual is akin to mental illness.  If you happen to be homosexual, according to them, you can get healed by simply seeing a shrink.  Of course, these are the same people who object to same-sex marriage by declaring that same-sex marriage is an attack on heterosexual marriage.  You know, as I said before, if people are allowed to have a same-sex marriage, all those heterosexual marriages are going to break up in Texas.

Of course the Tea Party is behind all of this.  Their Conservative Christian Cult is behind most of these anti-liberty laws and platforms.  I bet there would be an uproar if someone started a campaign that says all Conservative Christian Cult members can be “healed” through psychological treatment.  That being part of this Conservative Christian Cult is actually a mental illness.

I bet they wouldn’t recognize the “legitimacy and efficacy” of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their Conservative Christian Cult lifestyle.   Hell, FOX News could make headlines out of that story for at least the next 10 years!  What a ratings boom that could be.

 

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It seems that the National Rifleman’s Association wants to bring back the old days of the wild west.  They seem to believe that every citizen should carry weapons wherever they go.  States like Georgia agree with them.  They passed a sweeping law that allows people with permits to carry guns everywhere they go, even bars, school zones, government buildings and churches.  They did provide a provision where churches and bars can refuse to allow guns into their establishment.  They even provided a whopping $100 fine if you violate such bans by the churches.

I am a retired serviceman.  I believe in the second amendment.  I believe that people have the right to own guns.  However, I also believe that owning guns carries certain responsibilities as well.  Like receiving training in the proper handling and use of a gun, then being required to hold a permit to own such a gun.  I also believe that the government has the right to prohibit certain groups of people from owning guns.  In order to ensure these people do not purchase guns, universal background checks are necessary.  Hell, even the NRA says that criminals and people with mental illness should not be allowed to carry guns.  But, they oppose background checks to weed them out.

This ongoing “wild west” mentality has to stop.  What the NRA and backers of such bills as Georgia’s Safe Carry Act of 2014 don’t tell you is that even in the “wild west” towns usually prohibited people from carrying guns in town!  That’s right.  You could own a gun, you could carry a gun, but if you went to town, you were required to check your gun at the Marshall’s office.  You were given it back when you left town.

Seems that these town marshals discovered that a lot of drinking coupled with a lot of guns meant a lot of people were killed.  That was something they did not want in their town.  When you consider the power struggle between the Earps and the Clantons in Tombstone that resulted in the shooting at the OK Coral, the premise for the Earps to take action was the fact that the Clantons were carrying guns in town.  A violation of the town’s ordinance against such “carry”.

Taking into consideration our own history of the so-called “wild west”, I find it ever interesting that groups like the NRA think that returning to those times is the right thing to do.  But, they don’t want the ordinances about NOT carrying guns in town.  I also find it amusing to believe that it is necessary for some people to think they need to carry a gun into church.  Maybe they just want to make it easier to shoot abortion doctors like the one shot to death while attending church in Kansas several years ago.

Georgia State Rep. Alan Powell, a co-sponsor of Georgia’s gun bill said “we had numerous churches testify about wanting to protect themselves from criminal elements. At times, when they’re counting tithes, for example, deacons weren’t allowed to carry a weapon.”  How about locking the door?

Fortunately, many churches in Georgia are pushing back.  The Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches in Georgia have opposed this law and have specifically told their church members to “leave their guns out of the pews”.  Robert Wright, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta said “Jesus did not preach a gospel of self-protection, a gospel of live by the sword, die by the sword.  Quite the opposite.”

He went on to say “Weapons in a place of sanctuary seem to me to be inconsistent with a God of love.” The prince of peace isn’t spelled P-I-E-C-E. It’s P-E-A-C-E.”  How about that, someone with common sense.  He has my backing, for what it’s worth.

However, the Georgia Baptist Convention, made up of 3,600 Baptist churches throughout the state, lobbied on behalf of the bill largely because it gives its churches more autonomy, allowing each to determine on their own whether to allow firearms.

“We think it’s important that churches be able to make their own decisions,” says Mike Griffin, a pastor and lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Convention.  Gee, what a surprise!

The whole idea of carrying guns whenever and where ever you want has become an epidemic.  You probably haven’t noticed, but those crazy kids who call themselves “patriotic militia” are still hanging around the Bundy Ranch.  They have even put up checkpoints on the roads near the ranch.  Other people who live in the area are becoming more and more nervous about them.  Some report that these Militiamen are actually demanding to see ID when someone tries to cross their checkpoint.

Apparently, they think they are the law in that part of Nevada right now.  The neighbors of Bundy want them to leave, but the Governor won’t do anything about it.  Why?  Is it that he is so terrified of the NRA?  Is it because he agrees that these vigilantes should be protected by the state?  He claims it is a local matter to be handled by the Sheriff.  Even if the Sheriff wanted to move them out, he would be seriously out-gunned if anything happened.

Florida recently passed a law that allows any legal citizen, with or without a permit, to carry a gun after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.  I guess they want to be able to avoid looting.  But, they are going to unleash a real problem with this law.  Since it will be legal for people without a permit to carry a gun in such cases, how many “accidental” shootings will happen?  We should find out soon.  Hurricane season is upon us.  I wonder how Governor Scott will console someone who lost everything in a hurricane and then loses a family member due to an “accidental shooting”?  Bet you won’t see that on FOX News!

Speaking from experience as someone who did relief work after such disasters in the past, I must admit, I would be somewhat hesitant entering a disaster area knowing just about everyone could be carrying a gun.  I like helping people in trouble.  That is what we are supposed to do.  But I am not fond of the idea of being “accidentally” shot by someone who doesn’t know how to use a gun.

Meanwhile, in a little watched or reported on event, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case over whether Americans have the right to bear arms in public.  In the case, John Drake, who operates an ATM business, was challenging a strict New Jersey state law that requires people wanting to carry a handgun outside the home to demonstrate a “justifiable need.”

In dismissing the complaint, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court of appeal decision stating that the New Jersey law is consistent with the Second Amendment.

In the end, I cannot help but wonder what makes so many people think that carrying a gun is the answer to all of life’s questions.  I especially find it difficult to defend these so-called “defenders of the second amendment” when they believe they should take guns into churches and school zones.  Statistics show that people who own guns are twice as likely to be killed by a gun than those who do not own a gun.  Furthermore, the vast number of people killed with guns are shot by their own gun!  As the Wicked Witch of the West said, “what a world!”

Yes, citizens should be able to own guns.  But, society should also pass reasonable laws to limit who can purchase a gun.  It should also be allowed to place certain areas off-limits to carrying a gun.  As these people like to say, if it was good enough in the good ole days, it is good enough now.  The good ole days included bans on carrying guns in town.  We should at least be allowed the right to ban guns in public.  Even the Supreme Court agrees with that!

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