All posts tagged Liberties

Via Opposing Views/ Sen. Jason Rapert: I Serve God, Not My Constituents

I’ve lost my ability to make sarcastic commentary about this kind of thing. Maybe it will come back to me. Reportedly, the eagle was not seriously injured. Via BuzzFeed/ Oral Roberts University Students Released A Live Eagle During A Church Service And It Flew Into A Window
(Thanks, Thomas Wirt)

via The Telegraph

From the page:
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, said that Christians and Jewish people who oppose homosexual relationships on biblical grounds were applying double standards unless they also believed in some of the more obscure commands in the Old Testament.

He told a debate on gay marriage in London that religious texts had to be reinterpreted for new generations meaning, he argued, that same sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The debate, co-hosted by the religious campaign group Catholic Voices and the British Humanist Association also heard claims that David Cameron’s plans to legalise gay marriage had more to do with “elitism” and “snobbery” than equality.

Dr Romain, the minister of Maidenhead Synagogue, is a leading figure in the liberal-leaning Reform Judaism which has publicly given its support to same-sex marriage.

He told the debate that Christians could not take references in the Old Testament to homosexuality as an “abomination” literally unless they also practised circumcision or adhered to the Jewish food laws.


This is a great argument for those who would quote the Old Testament verses that condemn homosexuality, and one we’ve been trying to point out for years. So when a religious leader speaks out about it publicly, look out… progress has been made.
If you’re looking for a similar argument for the New Testament verses in Romans, see this response to the Kansas Pastor’s statement that the government should kill gays.

For me, it’s no longer an issue of controversy or disrespecting one’s religious beliefs, it’s completely an issue of equality vs. bigotry. The god of the Bible and those who wrote in his name are very clear about what is and is not acceptable behavior and what is expected of his followers. If that doesn’t sit well with your sensibilities, perhaps you should examine closer the reasons you continue to support a religious institution that would point to those verses to condemn our fellow brothers and sisters, for certainly there’s something in that holy book somewhere that condemns you too.

The Independent: Brazil rocked by abortion for 9-year-old rape victim

From the page:
Police believe the girl (age 9) was sexually assaulted for years by her stepfather, possibly since she was six. That she was four months pregnant with twins emerged only after she was taken to hospital complaining of severe stomach pains.

The controversy represents a PR nightmare for the Vatican. The unnamed girl’s mother and doctors were excommunicated for agreeing to Wednesday’s emergency abortion yet the Church has not taken formal steps against the stepfather, who is in custody. Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop for Pernambuco where the girl was rushed to hospital, has said that the man would not be thrown out of the Church, because although he had allegedly committed “a heinous crime”, the Church took the view that “the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious”…

…The young girl at the centre of the case escaped excommunication only because she is still a child in the eyes of Church authorities. The stepfather, who is 23, was arrested last week, apparently trying to escape to another region of the country. Police say he is also suspected of abusing the girl’s handicapped 14-year-old sister. He is in protective custody, and if convicted faces up to 15 years in prison.

This is outrageous. I have no words.

The Austin Chronicle

From the page:

By the numbers, this is what “pro-life” looks like:
• 22: Texas clinics – providing preventive health care services to women – completely defunded
• $19 million: Remaining annual state budget for family planning, down from $50 million
• 60,000: Women whom the Department of State Health Services estimates can be served with that amount, compared with the average 244,000 served annually since 2005
• 184,000: Women served by the federally funded Women’s Health Program in 2010, now in danger of losing services because of state’s insistence on excluding Planned Parenthood clinics (2011 estimate: 185,000-200,000)
• 11: Texas Planned Parenthood clinics – none of which provided abortion services – closed for lack of funding
• 33,974: Screenings for sexually transmitted infections provided by those 11 clinics
• 1.5 million: Number of Texas women in need of basic, preventative health care service; before last year’s cuts, about 15% of those women were receiving services
• 22%: Anticipated increase in the number of Texas abortions in the absence of access to reproductive health services

It is difficult to summarize how hypocritical and counterproductive is the right-wing assault on women’s health care, disguised as a righteous defense against abortion or Planned Par­ent­hood.

Further reading: The Destruction of Texas Healthcare

via The Christian Post

From the page: The Florida Senate passed a bill on Wednesday allowing student-led prayer or other inspirational messages at public school events, drawing mixed reaction from residents…

…”This legislation could give schools free reign to make students feel like outsiders in the classroom, alienated from their peers, or compelled by peer pressure to engage in religious practices that go against their own beliefs.”

Religious expression is an individual liberty and shouldn’t be put to a vote like a Prom King or Homecoming Court, Johnson added.

From the page:
“We don’t think religion, or irreligion, belongs in state capitols. But if a state is going to permit a nativity display, then we want to be sure that the views of the 16 percent of the U.S. population that is not religious are also represented.” – Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of Freedom From Religion Foundation

Newt Gingrich said he’s worried the United States could be “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists,” in the foreseeable future. I don’t think he understands what it means to be an atheist… and this guy wants to be President. Anything to scare the bejeebus out of those righty Christians and get them to vote GOP.

Oh yeah, Hagee and his megachurch can eat my shorts!

via The New York Times

From the page: Citing a crisis of national identity and mass confusion among Americans about their nation’s motto, the House on Tuesday voted on a resolution “reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States.”
The resolution, smaller than a law but bigger than a wish, is designed to clear up any confusion over the motto’s official status and to encourage schools and other public institutions to display it, said Representative J. Randy Forbes, Republican of Virginia and the measure’s sponsor…

…The motto’s words have been the subject of discussion before. President Theodore Roosevelt wrote a letter in 1907 explaining the logic behind leaving “In God We Trust” off a $10 gold coin.
“To put such a motto on coins,” Roosevelt wrote, “or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege.

From the page:

“Ultimately, the claim that a fertilized egg is a person is an insult to rationality and morality. It is irrational to the point of absurdity to grant a microscopic clump of cells, a fertilized egg, the same legal and moral status as an actual person living and breathing in the world.”

via National Humanist |

Further reading: Doctors call Mississippi “personhood” initiative dangerous

This concert was in 1993, just in case you were still thinking this was a “new movement.” But perhaps this anthem is more relevant now than ever before. People across America are finally rising up off their couches and gathering in the streets. Are we going to let them turn this Land of the Free into the Land of the Imprisoned?

The quote he’s shouting in the beginning comes from Eldridge Cleaver. Say what you will about his politics, the Black Panthers, his religious conversions and what-have-you, but this quote still provides clarity and insight all these years later: “They have deadly weapons with which to inflict pain on the human body. They know how to bring about horrible deaths. They have clubs with which to beat the body and the head. They have bullets and guns with which to tear holes in the flesh, to smash bones, to disable and kill. They use force, to make you do what the deciders have decided you must do. They will use all that is necessary to bring you to your knees.”

Still don’t think the government is doing all that is necessary to bring it’s citizens to their knees?

I want to know why our prisons are overflowing with non-violent offenders. This isn’t just a rant about drug-law reform or prohibition, I think you all know by now how I feel about that. This is about taking a good hard look at the stats and starting a conversation about what is required to implement a system with a better semblance of balance. Now, think about this for a moment: there are more black men in prison right now than there are in college. Nearly one in three black males aged 20–29 are under some form of criminal justice supervision (imprisoned, jailed, on parole or probation) and one in nine black Americans will be incarcerated between the ages of 20 and 34. To add insult to injury, the majority of African Americans (ex. 55% in Chicago) are labeled felons for life, and, as a result, may be prevented from voting, accessing public housing or student loans or other public assistance, not to mention the negative impact this has on their families, dependents, and community.* Does that sound like freedom to you? No? Me neither.

*Stats taken from: and

From the page: The FBI has been targeting American communities for investigation based on race, ethnicity, national origin and religion according to documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union and its affiliates that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents show that FBI analysts across the country are associating criminal behaviors with certain racial and ethnic groups and then using U.S. census data and other demographic information to map where those communities are located to investigate them.

Viki Knox, Union Township New Jersey Teacher, Investigated For Alleged Anti-Gay Facebook Posts

From the page: Viki Knox, a 49-year-old special education teacher at Union High School and adviser to the school’s student prayer group, reportedly posted on Facebook that homosexuality is “a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation,” and a “sin” that “breeds like cancer,” the Star-Ledger reports.
“Union is not South Orange/Maplewood where one out of four families consist of two Mommies or daddies… Why parade your unnatural immoral behaviors before the rest of us?” Knox wrote. “I/we do not have to accept anything, anyone, any behavior or any choices! I do not have to tolerate anything others wish to do.”

“Hateful public comments from a teacher cannot be tolerated,” Paragano wrote, according to the Star-Ledger. “She has a right to say it. But she does not have a right to keep her job after saying it.”

Knox was escorted from school property, but Martin declined to confirm whether the teacher was suspended, 1010 WINS reports. Knox also had no defending comments.