An Eyeopener…..I, Racist


This was posted on Facebook by a very dear friend of mine. Left me in tears, speechless and as a white woman feeling a responsibility to try to share this with as many people as I possibly can.

 

What follows is the text of a “sermon” that I gave as a “congregational reflection” to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. The sermon was begun with a reading of The Good Samaritan story, and this wonderful quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

Credit for this speech goes to Chaédria LaBouvier, whose “Why We Left” inspired me to speak out about racism; to Robin DiAngelo, whose “White Fragility” gave me an understanding of the topic; and to Reni Eddo-Lodge who said “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” long before I had the courage to start doing it again.


couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people.


To illustrate why, I’ll tell a story:

It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. This conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister:

“The only difference between people in the North and people in the South
is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

There was a lot more to that conversation, obviously, but I suggest that it can be distilled into that one sentence because it has been, by my White aunt. Over a decade later, this sentence is still what she talks about. It has become the single most important aspect of my aunt’s relationship with my Black family. She is still hurt by the suggestion that people in New York, that she, a northerner, a liberal, a good person who has Black family members, is a racist.

This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people. Even — or rather, especially — my own family.


love my aunt. She’s actually my favorite aunt, and believe me,
I have a lot of awesome aunts
to choose from. But the facts
are actually quite in my sister’s favor on this one.

New York State is one of the most segregated states in the country. Buffalo, New York, where my aunt lives, is one of the 10 most segregated school systems in the country. The racial inequality of the area she inhabits is so bad that it has been the subject of reports by the Civil Rights Action Network and the NAACP.

Those, however, are facts that my aunt does not need to know. She does
not need to live with the racial segregation and oppression of her home.
As a white person with upward mobility, she has continued to improve
her situation. She moved out of the area I grew up in– she moved to an
area with better schools. She doesn’t have to experience racism, and so
it is not real to her.

Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn’t need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.


understand, you have to know
that Black people think in terms
of Black people.

We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal — but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father.

Racism affects us directly because the fact that it happened at a geographically remote location or to another Black person is only a coincidence, an accident. It could just as easily happen to us — right here, right now.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

What they are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my aunt, the suggestion that “people in The North are racist” is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” My aunt’s immediate response is not “that is wrong, we should do better.” No, her response is self-protection: “That’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything. You are wrong.”

Racism is not slavery. As President Obama said, it’s not avoiding the use
of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of
the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism. Racism is a cop severing
the spine of an innocent man. It is a 12 year old child being shot for playing with a toy gun in a state where it is legal to openly carry firearms.

But racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced. Racism is
the fact that “White” means “normal” and that anything else is different. Racism is our acceptance of an all white Lord of the Rings cast because
of “historical accuracy,” ignoring the fact that this is a world with an
entirely fictionalized history.

Even when we make shit up,
we want it to be white.

And racism is the fact that we all accept that it is white. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek. Khan, who is from India.
Is there anyone Whiter than Benedict fucking Cumberbatch? What?
They needed a “less racial” cast because they already had the
Black Uhura character?

That is racism. Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

Black children learn this when their parents give them “The Talk.”
When they are sat down at the age of 5 or so and told that their best
friend’s father is not sick, and not in a bad mood — he just doesn’t
want his son playing with you. Black children grow up early to life in
The Matrix. We’re not given a choice of the red or blue pill. Most white people, like my aunt, never have to choose. The system was made for
White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.

But we can’t point this out.

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.

But arguing about personal non-racism is missing the point.

Despite what the Charleston Massacre makes things look like, people are dying not because individuals are racist, but because individuals are helping support a racist system by wanting to protect their own non-racist self beliefs.

People are dying because we are supporting a racist system that justifies White people killing Black people.


see this in how one Muslim killer is Islamic terror; how one Mexican thief points to the need for border security; in one innocent, unarmed Black man shot in the back by a cop, then sullied in the media as a thug and criminal.

And in the way a white racist in a state that still flies the confederate flag is seen as “troubling” and “unnerving.” In the way people “can’t understand why he would do such a thing.”

A white person smoking pot is a “hippie” and a Black person doing it is a “criminal.” It’s evident in the school to prison pipeline and the fact that there are close to 20 people of color in prison for every white person.

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

I’m gonna read that again: “Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

Did you catch that? It’s beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article’s headline, the white people are “shooters” and the Black and Muslim people are “killers.”

Even when we’re talking about racism, we’re using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.

Just let that sink in for a minute, then ask yourself why Black people are angry when they talk about race.

The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.

White people are good as a whole, and only act badly as individuals.

People of color, especially Black people (but boy we can talk about
“The Mexicans” in this community) are seen as fundamentally bad.
There might be a good one — and we are always quick to point them
out to our friends, show them off as our Academy Award for “Best Non-Racist in a White Role” — but when we see a bad one, it’s just proof that
the rest are, as a rule, bad.

This, all of this, expectation, treatment, thought, the underlying social system that puts White in the position of Normal and good, and Black
in the position of “other” and “bad,” all of this, is racism.

And White people, every single one of you, are complicit in this racism because you benefit directly from it.

This is why I don’t like the story of the good samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out.

That’s too easy.

If I could re-write that story, I’d rewrite it from the perspective of Black America. What if the person wasn’t beaten and bloody? What if it wasn’t so obvious? What if they were just systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you to succeed in life?

Would you be so quick to help then?
Or would you, like most White people, stay silent and let it happen?

Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America.

That’s what I want to say, but really, I can’t. I can’t say that because I’ve spent my life not talking about race to White people. In a big way, it’s my fault. Racism exists because I, as a Black person, don’t challenge you to look at it.

Racism exists because I, not you, am silent.

But I’m caught in the perfect Catch 22, because when I start pointing out racism, I become the Angry Black Person, and the discussion shuts down again. So I’m stuck.

All the Black voices in the world speaking about racism all the time do not move White people to think about it– but one White John Stewart talking about Charleston has a whole lot of White people talking about it. That’s the world we live in. Black people can’t change it while White people are silent and deaf to our words.

White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?

So I’m asking you to help me. Notice this. Speak up. Don’t let it slide. Don’t stand watching in silence. Help build a world where it never gets to the point where the Samaritan has to see someone bloodied and broken.

As for me,
I will no longer be silent.

I’m going to try to speak kindly, and softly, but that’s gonna be hard. Because it’s getting harder and harder for me to think about the protection of White people’s feelings when White people don’t seem to care at all about the loss of so many Black lives.

The Constitution; Flawed or Just Outdated?


I have to say it is both. But for the sake of argument let’s just say it is just outdated; there is usually less offense taken from this perspective but there is offense taken none the less. I am constantly amazed and offended when so many people get so deeply offended at any criticism of this document. As if it were sacred scripture or something. That however does not floor me as bad as the offense people take at any hint of criticism of any of its writers.

Let’s just consider what should be undisputed facts and not my opinions, this document was written by politicians, it was written to or towards the English Crown; or at the very least with the King in mind. It was meant to define to the King what the new system of government these revolutionaries where setting up I would think as a show that they weren’t going off half cocked but that they had a plan. Regardless it was written by men who just won the freedom to govern themselves, men who were now free from English rule.

The Constitution was written for a government that would govern 13 independent colonies. Leaders of this revolution were awarded colonies to govern on their own,  independent of each other without a Federal government in the respect that we have today, this aspect is the source of one of it’s biggest flaws I will get to shortly. But their were only 13 colonies not 50 states. It was written in 1787 before there was a president, two years before and it was written by the Continental Congress. At that time the colonies had governors who were appointed by the King. Continental, important term here because it refers to a body of government in the North American Continent i.e. a separate one from the one on the European Continent. It was written by a Congress who wanted to be able to have authority of the colonies that were governed by the Crown. These men did not want those appointed governors to have any authority over them. Remember this was all done in succession from the Kings rule. These were all men with a common goal of independence.

Those fact are key here, especially the fact that these were men with a common goal. They were working together; this is not the mindset of today’s Congress, but then again they are still of the mindset of not being ruled by anyone; remember their was no President at the time and wanted the king to have no authority over them. They didn’t want a future President to either, they still had a nasty taste in their mouth from the monarchy.

To my main point. Those men were working together, they had a common goal; why would the allow for a Congress of different goals and ideals, and one that had 4 times the number of members in it when writing this document? It is obvious to me that they never considered the possibility that there would ever be 50 states, resulting in a larger body of government of men who were not trying to reach a goal of independence? This document was a war-time set of rules, not a document defining a set of rules for a completely independant  nation. (Here is a good place to point out that at the time only white Christian men who owned land had the right to vote, in other words all votes were cast by men of the same mindset, values and ideas). I sincerely doubt these men ever considered a nation of such diverse religious and political beliefs. These men allowed for men of different variations of the Christian faith, men with a belief in god. Yes they allowed for differences in the worship of god but they assumed everyone believed in god in the first place. They left no room for non believers. This fact is abundantly clear by the Declaration of Independence which yes does not mention religion or even suggest religiosity, it does specifically mention god and it does directly refer to god.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

These first words were specifically directed at the king; a king who believed he was appointed by god. The founding fathers were disputing the fact that the king was any better than they were.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

These words were also directed at the king; a king who believed he was given the authority to speak for god to them. They were telling this king that only god had that authority, that god never gave any man that authority. They were not just taking authority away from the king they were giving authority back to god.

But back to the political body of Congress itself. The Constitution was written with a common goal in mind. these men considered that there would someday be differences in political agendas, which is why the allowed for it in the Bill of Rights. they considered that men would worship god in their own way, and they may have even considered there would be men who wouldn’t worship at all but they did not allow for this in these documents; not believing in god was a crime punishable by death in this new America, these rights they were assuring were for god fearing (white) men only. In other words they never considered that citizens that weren’t white, god fearing and male would ever have the right to vote or would ever be voted for; that women or non white, non believing men or women would ever be part of this body of government. These differences in beliefs result in differences in politics. I am pretty sure they didn’t consider that Congress would be voting on abortion rights; gun control (remember they wanted citizens armed in a country that was occupied by the king’s army). They weren’t considering that someday Americans would seek to arm themselves against them, they were men who shared the desire to not be ruled by a foreign monarch, men who wanted to make sure that no one would ever have authority over them; remember there was no president at the time, they I believe assumed that the future president they were allowing for was, like them, a man with the same goals of being free from foreign rule, while not leaving room for error if this elected president was in fact an agent of the crown who could then take back the authority they had taken away; remember the governors of the colonies were all appointed by the king; they were forming this new government from the top down, not the bottom up. They fulling intended these governors would be replaced with elected ones with the same end goal of separation from the crown.

 

So let’s look at the holes these fact created in this sacred document.

  • any member of Congress can filibuster. A filibuster is nothing more than a member of Congress running out the clock. It isn’t as painless as a quarterback running out the clock to prevent the opposing team from getting another chance to score; for starters the House play clock is several hours in comparison to the NFL’s 15 min quarters. Congress’ strategy to prevent the opposing side from scoring is to talk until the clock runs out and there is no time for a vote. Ted Cruz once read Green Eggs and Ham and talked about his kids for over 14 hours to run out the clock.
  • Congress can also decide to vote against a bill without even reading it. This is equivalent to a judge passing sentence without a trial because he knows that a jury won’t convict. In other words the whole democratic majority rule thing doesn’t apply in Congress, defeating the whole reason the people elect politicians to represent them in the first place.
  • A bill for background checks for someone buying a firearm for example can also have in it a section that states abortion would become illegal if the bill passes. Let’s walk past the fact that one law has absolutely nothing to do with the other; a Senator who was elected because of their policy on gun control would most like vote no on this bill because they also have a right to choose policy. These deliberate conflicts in policies are intended to do exactly what they end up doing; prevent the passing of legislation put up for a vote by the opposing party. And these conflicting parts of a bill can be tacked on to a bill that has already been submitted by the opposing party leaving no room for them to choose not to submit it. In other words legislation is voted on so no one can argue that a bill was not considered.
  • The Presidential duty to appoint judges, emphasis on the word DUTY. By rules of this very Congress the President has an obligation to make sure our judicial system has enough judges to assure Americans their 5th Amendment right to due process, and the right to a fair trial. The idea of this system is that everyone is entitled to an unbiased judgement from the courts. A judge isn’t supposed to have personal views influence decisions; they are supposed to pass judgement based on the letter of the law. In the case of the Supreme Court of the United States however this is the  highest authority of what the letter of the law is. The President has a duty to appoint these judges but according to democratic policy Congress is supposed to approve this appointment to assure that once again the majority will rule, to assure that one individual does not have absolute authority. Today’s Congress has simply decided they again won’t do what is the thing under  job description for Senators and vote for the people who voted for them, are flat-out refusing to do their job. The majority doesn’t rule then does it? Any other employee in any position in any other establishment would and should be fired for refusing to do their job. Hell my 3-year-old twins grandson’s get sent to the wall when they refuse to do what they are supposed to. Imagine if a teacher refused to teach, a teacher that just sat at their desk in a classroom of students saying nothing. Imagine a fireman who refused to turn on the hose he was holding standing in front of a burning building full of people who were locked inside. Imagine a pilot of a commercial airline refusing to fly the plane full of passengers who had no way of getting off the plane. Imagine a mother refusing to parent a child, a parent who just sat there watching tv while their baby was lying in a crib unable to feed itself. Imagine a President who refused to get out of bed; who decided they didn’t want do anything all day while an enemy troops were landing on our shores. Imagine a bank manager who refused to unlock the doors; who decided they just wanted to sit in their office all day playing solitaire on their computer. All these people would lose their jobs. But; no one can fire a member of Congress. Even Presidents can be impeached for minor violations like lying about an affair, but a member of Congress? Nope, they can spend 14 hours reading a children’s book to the most powerful assembly of elected officials in the worlds most powerful nation.

I would be willing to bet that our founding fathers; while writing our founding documents; while founding our system of government considered that their successors would be such immature, irresponsible, apathetic and deceitful manipulators of their hard work; of their dreams and of their ideals.

 

Is It Really My Business To Know Your Worth?


I was raised to believe that asking someone how much money they had was rude. I was also raised to believe that someone who brags about how much money they are worth were rude.

I am in no way, by any means what-so-ever defending or sticking up for Donald Trump; and this applies to any or all political candidates, what gives anyone the right to ask demand to see tax returns to prove how much money they have?

Sure we have the right to ask this of those that are paid with tax payers dollars, like Senators, Congressmen and yes the President. We have the right to ask their salary for that office, not how much money they have from any other means. No right what so ever in my opinion.

Of course their are exceptions like if any of these politicians are guilty of some crime involving the money the make I don’t see how it is anyone’s business how much anyone is worth.

What Is Bernie Really Up To?


I have been a little thrown, a little confused and a little snippy at what I saw as absolute condescension from Bernie at Hillary by refusing to concede. The Democratic Party has officially endorsed Hillary as the party nominee; but the official Super Delegate vote isn’t until July 25th. True the majority have pledged they will vote for Hillary but Bernie is running on the momentum the popular vote is giving him and betting he can change some of their minds.

My thinking was that he is either overly optimistic; overly confident or just plain arrogant.He had private meetings with Obama before he came out and publicly endorsed Hillary and he has met privately with Secretary Clinton.

I have been expressing the view that Hillary should take Bernie as her VP to guarantee a Democratic win. But hardcore Bernie supporters are usually hardcore Hillary Haters and many of them have emphatically stated that they will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances and many claim they would go one step further than not voting at all and actually vote for Trump. After asking many of them why they matter-of-factly  express their contempt for her and even add that they would be angry or at least disappointed in Bernie if he did run with Hillary on the grounds that he would be compromising everything anti-corporate that he stands for. Some friends make the case that Bernie can serve best staying in the Senate; the Vice Presidency is a figurehead office. The VP is basically the voice of or speaker for the President; never his own.

I give weight to all sides of these arguments; but still feel bugged at Bernie for continuing his campaign; unless what Bernie is really up to is this:

He knows many of his supporters will not vote for Hillary; no vote is just as bad and maybe worse than actually voting for Trump. Maybe what he means when he says that he and Hillary are standing together as a party to prevent a Trump Presidency is that instead of running together and risk losing those or maybe more votes he is continuing his campaign because votes for him is better than no votes of Trump votes. He is betting the odds…..I hope he is a lucky gambler.

The Positive Patriotism of Hillary


I feel positive again about America, like I haven’t in a very long time. Like when I went to D.C. a few years ago for the first time. Standing there in front of the Lincoln Memorial and thinking about the character of the man that ended slavery, standing where MLK gave that speech while tears welled up in my eyes feeling what heart that man had; with just absolute awe and the first real Patriotism I think I have ever felt. I also felt deep rooted anger and contempt when I was at the Jefferson Memorial reading the engravings in the massive marble wall that read ‘all men are created equal’ knowing that when he wrote those words he owned hundreds of slaves; even fathering many children born out of his rape. and walking through the Holocaust Museum then going to FDR’s extensive memorial knowing that he did nothing for years while Hitler murdered millions of Jews. I have never read or heard any of the past Presidents speeches really but have listened to hours upon hours and read page after page of Obama’s, Trumps and the past Republican candidates; Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s debates, speeches and interviews.

When I am listening to Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz or Ben Carlson I feel, well almost dirty. I feel ashamed and disgusted. Kind of like when looking at the statue of Jefferson or Roosevelt. And all I hear is hate; hate for America or at least disappointment, mistrust and contempt for our President, racial bigotry for him and any other color of person other than white. I hear how fucked up everything in America is; every government program, every political office held by other parties, and how every immigrant is to blame for it all. I hear misogyny outright and I hear the scripture that they refer to as if they were speaking for god. I hear hate.

Hillary speaks with Pride in America, in Obama and herself. She has honor, integrity and a love for this country. What she lacks is that hateful contempt for the institution of government. She makes me stand up a little taller, take a little more pride in this country and gives me an all around sense of glory and a sense of responsibility for our place in the world.

As For The 2016 Presidential Candidates; Here Is Where I Stand


First let me say that I am a Hillary Supporter through and through, have been ever since the United Nations World Conference for Women in 1995, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXM4E23Efvk  . Nothing she has done throughout her years as a Senator and her time as Secretary of State has or will change or lose my support. Everything that happened with Bill Clinton and women; the way she did or did not react or publicly deal with his womanizing ways (yes I believe he is or was a womanizer but do not believe he raped or sexually assaulted anyone. Monica was a big girl who by choice gave him that blow job, she was a willing participant.) Though it speaks to Bill’s character, Hillary’s marriage is none of my business; and as far as I know nothing that happened affected her ability to do her job. That being said, Benghazi? I fail to see how she is at fault for anything that happened that day, as far as I know she asked for more money to secure the Americans in the embassy’s that were attacked that day; yes there was more than one. The Americans that died, as sorrowful as that was, they knew the risks when they went there. They put their own lives on the line willingly as part of their job. Now, how the White House handled the press and what the public was told sure their was a lot of questions there but again; I fail to see how that was Hillary’s fault or responsibility.

Let’s get to the emails; I watch CSPAN, not the news. I think for myself by what those in question actually say not what the press or someone else says they said. Repeatedly those who are in charge of the investigation and all those who she answers to said that the use of a private email is not encouraged but it is not prohibited. She is not the first in a secure position to do so. Personally I probably would have done the same thing given how easy Snowden got hold of information, knowing the leaks within the government and such her private email was probably safer. And I have to point out that Congress is insisting she hand over Top Secret information; TOP SECRET being the key words here, most if not all of those asking for those emails don’t have the security clearance to read them. If they or those who side with them can’t find them, don’t know what is in them then she made a wise decision; she has kept them from eyes that are not cleared to see them.

I firmly believe that those asking are desperately trying to find something they can use against her, especially concerning Benghazi because they have so far found nothing to convict of.

Now we get to the election process. I am not arguing that the election process is at the very least flawed, the whole super delegate thing is very unfair; but that is not Hillary’s fault, she didn’t and isn’t the one responsible for it.

Many of those that hate her do so on the grounds that she is corrupt; that she is bought and paid for, that she caters to the 1%, that she is against the working class. I don’t see it that way; but admittedly I do not know how or who invests or donates to her that is corrupt or unethical. Is she wealthy? Yes, is that a crime? No.

Now on to Bernie; but first let me point out that Bernie and Hillary don’t differ much if at all on most policies; at least not the important ones. They both want harsher gun laws, they both want universal health care, they both want free higher education (except Hillary doesn’t believe it should be free to Trumps kids or even her own for that matter). They both support funding Planned Parenthood and both support equal rights and pay for women.

Bernie in my mind is what my grandma used to call ‘poor proud’. Poor proud is someone who lives like they are poor to prove they are like those that are when in fact they are living poor by choice, without actually knowing the struggle of the lower class and without experiencing the fear of not being able to feed your kids or of becoming homeless. He chose to live in a Sugar shack in college that had no electricity, running waters and had dirt floors; but he did so by choice not because he had no other choice or resources. Don’t let his poor proud act fool you, not only does he make 174,000 dollars a year as a Senator and his wife go somewhere around a 200,000 dollars severance pay after stepping down as president of Burlington College; this was close to here yearly salary. I don’t know how much the Sanders are worth but they are definitely not middle class.

I don’t agree with his free education for all; for those who need it but not for all. I also believe that if he accomplishes this it will lower the quality of higher education; it will be comparable to the poor quality of public education now. This goes for his free medical universally as well. I believe he has the best of intentions but I think he is unrealistic and as my grandma would say…he is poor proud.

But like Hillary he stands for the equality of women, our right to choose, stricter gun laws, cleaner energy, stopping global warming and lowering taxes for the middle and lower class. I don’t know more about his foreign policy other than that he voted against the war in Iraq and he stands against nuclear weapons.

Hillary is the only candidate who understands what is going on in Syria, and the Middle East. She is the only one who knows Foreign policy from the inside. She has already established relationships with other foreign leaders, she has negotiated with them and she understands who they are and what they want and what they will do. I fear Bernie’s higher moral ground attitude will interfere with his policies and his diplomacy with foreign policy.

This is where the thought of Trump in office terrifies me. I am not so much concerned with what he will do to or in the United States, it is what he will do to this country on a global scale. His arrogant third grade attitude; name calling, his bigotry, his misogyny, his lack of understanding foreign policy and his just bomb them all attitude will destroy any and all relationships that have been built with countries like Japan and Russia. His homophobic, Islamaphobic and white supremacy will alienate all foreign peoples and their leaders.

And his support of the NRA will lead to more mass shootings and violent deaths than the already unacceptable rate it is already. His lack of basic manners and his direct political incorrectness; his point to offend; his bullying and his just plain bad manners will only not offend others like him. His reality show on the road to the White House is a testament to the overwhelming number of ignorant people who think Jerry Springer an awesome show.

Yes I will vote for Hillary, and yes the fact that she is a woman adds to her appeal. Not just any woman but a woman who will fight to end the violence and oppression of women world wide. That is the issue that is at the top of my list of wants as far as change in this world; and she alone will not stand on protocol or policy and back down from the fight to end the violence against women.

Trump and National Security


A couple of days ago Donald Trump held a campaign rally in San Diego. He talked about how he would be back in San Diego this fall for a civil suit trial brought against Trump University; how he was able to call his ‘school’ a University is beyond me, and he mentioned the name of the judge that would be presiding over this trial. Gave the man’s full name, and race. He dropped the names of the prosecuting attorneys and the plaintiff’s in the case. He did so of course amid snide remarks about gender, race, personality and physical traits.

This is the man who Republicans want to trust with our nations top secret military information? This is the man who is already being briefed by the CIA on sensitive information? Really?

The Moral High Ground


I have been told in response to my theory that Hillary and Bernie need to be each others running mates to guarantee a Democratic win; or more importantly a Republican/Trump loss that it will never happen because they differ too much in methodology, domestic policy and basic principles when it comes to economics. Most Bernie supporters state they would absolutely not vote for her if he doesn’t get it and I have been told that Bernie Bots will never under any circumstances vote for Hillary if she get the ticket and Bernie runs as her VP.

Even though if you really look at both of them they do not differ that much in philosophy or policy; their big divide is economic and financial principles, or what I see as moral high ground.

Basically the problem between them is that Hillary is Rich and Bernie prides himself; he is what my grandma used to call ‘poor proud’. He chooses to be poor and prides himself on not needing money; or at least not spending money. Because Bernie has money. His wife brings in over 200,000 dollars a year in pension money from Burlington College; he makes 174,000 a year as a Senator. Bernie has money; Hillary just has more; and Hillary spends more money, money that she takes from corporate donors. Donors Bernie is too proud to take money from, but not to proud to make a point; a campaign slogan out of it.

But are those couple of differences, there really only only those couple they stand solid on common ground virtually every where else; are those differences so important that taking that moral high ground would open the way for a Donald Trump Presidency then its time for Bernie Bots to get off their high horses and swallow that anti-corporate pride. Though Bernie would probably be riding a donkey as humble men are supposed to.

But this was before Trump actually became the Republican nominee; the jury is in on this one. What say ye now? Now will you come down from that pedestal so the entire country does not fall into the sewer; that moral cesspool that would be a Trump Presidency?

If not then you have not the courage of your convictions. If not you have not the interest of this country at heart. If not you are no better than than the white trash that will be in the White House if you stand tall on that moral high ground that is anti-Hillary.

Trump’s Show Is Now A Reality


I haven’t posted anything about the current presidential campaign, not for lack of interest; concern or information but because I have actually  been rendered speechless. If I believed in god I would have prayed that Trumps run for the Republican ticket was really a reality show. I couldn’t bring myself to take it seriously.

But seriously thinking about it I imagine him meeting with foreign leaders, leaders whose name he won’t bother to pronounce properly and quite probably not even know what country they represent or where that country is. I imagine some of these leaders may be female, or Muslim, or even just not white; which obviously many of them will not be.

I imagine him ‘firing’ the entire White House staff from the maids to the entire administration and hiring beauty pageant runners-up to clean dressed in uniforms from Victoria’s Secret or designed by his wife; with the entire administrative staff looking like sexy librarians from a music video.

I picture how he will redecorate the Oval Office or the Press Room. I picture his sons being appointed Secretary of State and Speaker of the House. I picture him hosting the Miss Universe Pageant in the White House Ball Room.

I envision his press conferences where he will only answer questions from the pretty reporters.

I picture his entire Presidency be a 24 hour live reality show where we will see him in the hot tub with his daughter so he can show off her hot body he brags about or him doing photo shoots of her sprawled out Lincoln’s bed.

I can see him turning the billiard room into a casino for his inaugural dinner.

I think about Senator’s, Judges, Congressmen and important political allies living it up at one of his casinos on his dime when he wants a bill passed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Secret Servicemen around him would be bouncers from his clubs.

But none of those nightmares compare to this reality; as the Republican nominee Trump now gets CIA briefings and control of party resources and worse the reality of him winning the Presidency and actually having a security clearance higher than anyone else in the nation. Think about this man having the power to launch nuclear weapons. Think about his man having the power and the authority to choose Supreme Court Justices and appoint Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Donald Trump, will have access to classified information. Donald Trump, the conspiracy theorist, the racist, the misogynist, the Islamaphobic, the incestuas; yes I said it; watch any interview he has ever done with his daughter, the name calling;  narcisist who is endorsed by the likes of Mike Tyson; a convicted rapist and David Duke known leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The same man who insists Obama is a Islamic Terrorist; and who accused Rafael Cruz; Senator Ted Cruz’s father of be involved in President Kennedy’s assasination. The man who has made such comments as it would be a “pretty picture” to see a female contestant from “The Apprentice” on her knees. an interview in Esquire in 1982, and that is didn’t matter what the media wrote about him because he had a hot girlfriend with a great ass. Referring to his daughter Ivanka In Rolling Stone he said “She’s really something, and what a beauty, that one, if I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…”

The most horrifying part of all this is the realization that like Hitler, Trump could be an elected leader; an elected leader of the free world.

No Representation Without Taxation


The Revolutionary war began when Americans refused to pay taxes without being represented. They coined the phrase ‘No Taxation Without Representation’.

Well I think it is high time and equally valid to state that there should be No Representation Without Taxation.

 

To argue that religious institutions aren’t represented is absolutely not true. To use as an argument for this that we have a separation of church and state due to the First Amendment is equally false. There is no separation. And the First Amendment was written to protect religion from government not to protect government from religion.

Let me give you a good example;

Congress has a Congressional Prayer Caucus, a Chaplain of Congress (with an office in the Capitol) elected by Congress and paid with tax payers money. Military Chaplains are also paid with federal tax dollars. How again is this the separation of Church and State? How is this not a violation of the First Amendment? It isn’t.

Congress has had a Chaplain since 1774, no that is not a typo, the office of House and Senate Chaplain came to be before the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration Independence was written.

Here are the requirements for Tax Exempt Status per the IRS

Tax-Exempt Status

Churches and religious organizations, like many other charitable organizations, qualify for exemption from federal income tax under IRC Section 501(c)(3) and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements (covered in greater detail throughout this publication):

  •  the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;
  •  net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;
  •  no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
  •  the organization may not intervene in political campaigns;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

IRC Section 501(c)(3)

All organizations, including churches and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:  

  • their net earnings may not inure to any private shareholder or individual;
  •  they must not provide a substantial benefit to private interests;
  •  they must not devote a substantial part of their activities to attempting to influence legislation;
  •  they must not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office;
  • and n the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

 

Congress even wrote special legislation regarding the IRS’ right to audit churches and religious institutions;

Special Rules Limiting IRS Authority to Audit a Church

Tax Inquiries and Examinations of Churches

Congress has imposed special limitations, found in section 7611 of the Internal Revenue Code, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS may begin a church tax inquiry only if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption, may be carrying on an unrelated trade or business (within the meaning of IRC § 513), may otherwise be engaged in taxable activities or may have entered into an IRC § 4958 excess benefit transaction with a disqualified person.

Now let’s look at how much this elected office pays;

Total Salary Expenditures

 

I fail to see how being an elected member of Congress does not influence legislation.

From an article by Paul Singer, USA Today;

“We do what we can to make sure that legislation emerges with what we believe to be American, Christian values,” said caucus member John Fleming, R-La. “We believe that a democracy is only functional if there is a certain level of virtuousness among the nation. Freedom also requires a certain responsibility and that requires a certain moral code. The moral code that we as Americans have lived by for over 200 years is based on what? The Ten Commandments.” 

Rep Randy Forbes VA  and a dozen other Prayer Caucus members traveled to North Carolina in March to launch an initiative called PrayUSA, asking government officials and other to sign a resolution calling for prayer. The initiative is part of “a tactical strategy to effectively challenge the growing anti-faith movement in our Country,” the foundation says.

And the foundation blog advocates strongly for the defense of conservative Christians like Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was briefly jailed for refusing to sign marriage licenses for gay couples.

“Criminalizing Christianity is not the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” reads a blog post on the foundation website about the Kim Davis saga. “Sadly, the balance of power in our country is being undermined within the legislative branch and increasingly supplanted by both executive fiat and judicial tyranny. The government was never designed to replace God and therefore, does not have the authority or right to redefine the laws of nature or of nature’s God…..  We are fighting for our freedoms—silence and inactivity will leave us vulnerable and open to further attack. Christian…it is time for us to wake up and be engaged!”

How is this not influencing legislation?

 

 

While the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the a House and Senate Office of the Chaplain stating that it is a tradition and should be respected it is important to remember that slavery was considered a ‘tradition’ as well.

MARSH v. CHAMBERS, 463 U.S. 783 (1983)

CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.(1)

 A statute providing for the payment of these chaplains was enacted into law on September 22, 1789.

Clearly the men who wrote the First Amendment Religion Clauses did not view paid legislative chaplains and opening prayers as a violation of that Amendment, for the practice of opening sessions with prayer has continued without interruption ever since that early session of Congress.

It can hardly be thought that in the same week Members of the First Congress voted to appoint and to pay a chaplain for each House and also voted to approve the draft of the First Amendment** for submission to the states, they intended the Establishment Clause of the Amendment to forbid what they had just declared acceptable. In applying the First Amendment to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, it would be incongruous to interpret that Clause as imposing more stringent First Amendment limits on the states than the draftsmen imposed on the Federal Government.

This unique history leads us to accept the interpretation of the First Amendment draftsmen who saw no real threat to the Establishment Clause arising from a practice of prayer similar to that now challenged. We conclude that legislative prayer presents no more potential for establishment than the provision of school transportation, beneficial grants for higher education, or tax exemptions for religious organizations.

A paragraph from writings by James Madison point out that Madison was concerned about respecting the religious rights of all religious sects;

JAMES MADISON: The tenets of the chaplains elected by the majority shut the door of worship against the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority. To say nothing of other sects, this is the case with that of Roman Catholics & Quakers who have always had members in one or both of the Legislative branches. Could a Catholic clergyman ever hope to be appointed a Chaplain? To say that his religious principles are obnoxious or that his sect is small, is to lift the evil at once and exhibit in its naked deformity the doctrine that religious truth is to be tested by numbers or that the major sects have a right to govern the minor.

Though Madison did see the payment of the Chaplain by the National Treasury as unconstitutional, what he deemed a violation of the First Amendment was the appointment of a Protestant, not the appointment of a Chaplain.

 

Living In A Politically Correct World


With all the heated discussions lately about the Confederate Flag and the like political correctness has been charged with being socially wrong. The problem with political correctness is that we all have a different idea about who’s politics are the correct ones. In my mind when you attach the word politics to any thing, especially if it involves behavior, you are automatically creating a conflict. The whole idea of political correctness I would assume was to create a kind of universal list of terminologies that would help those who hold  political office to speak to and or with the general public without favoring or disfavoring any one ethnicity, religion, political party, nationality, gender or age group. It may have seemed a good idea and it may have started with good intentions but I wonder if it hasn’t made communicating more difficult and well, even more offensive.

Being politically correct in itself offends many people. I myself go back and forth on how I feel about this false politeness and pretense of niceness. I see political correctness may have it’s place among politicians as it if fundamental that our elected officials do not favor any one peoples, ideals, religion, or class for they are meant to represent all of us; but does political correctness really have a place among the masses? I for one am damn tired of playing nice with religious people, bigots, ignorant people and most of all the bleeding hearts in the world that think we should all just accept everyone and everything. I for one am tired or worrying about offending everybody when it comes to ideas, politics, religions, cultures and nationality.

Before it comes across that I am insensitive to other peoples feelings let me assure you I am. It is important to understand that when it comes to race, appearances, medical conditions or any other aspect of a human being that one cannot change or has no control over I am absolutely what would be called politically correct. But I don’t need that term or it’s supposed meaning to tell me what not to say to somebody, I know because my parents taught me manners and I have an innate sense of politeness and consideration for other peoples feelings. But when it comes to aspect of humanity that exist by choice everything is fair game and it’s open season. Especially when it comes to stupid people and stupid ideas and stupid behavior or beliefs.

Redneck is not an ethnic slur it is a lifestyle. Skinhead is not a medical condition it is an attitude. Bible thumper is not a religion it is a self righteous attitude; I guess you can tell which one of those groups angers me the most. Nigger is a racial slur. Cracker is a racial slur. Chink is a racial slur. Gook, spic, wop, kyke and pollack are racial slurs.  Retard is an insult. Cripple is an insult. Broad is offensive. Fat Chick is offensive. Street people is judgmental. Bum is judgmental.

At this point I have to express one of my biggest pet peeves that is also the perfect example of what I consider to be the most unpolitical correct tern I know; African American. I have gotten grief over this more times than I can count. I personally do not ever hear an ‘African American’ call themselves or each other such. I do hear black people calling themselves and other black people black; or often times black folk. For starters, not all black people are from Africa and there are many black people in the world don’t live in or have never even been to America, and not all people from Africa are black. Those generations of slaves may have been from Africa but the last few generations of the descendants were born here so they are just American. South Africa is heavily populated with white people and those that are here in America are not considered to be African American. And we don’t call those from Mexico Mexican Americans or we don’t say German American, or Chinese American, Japanese American, Russian; Polish, German or Irish American do we?

And let’s talk about this whole Confederate flag issue. To say that the disrespect towards black people as human beings that flying that flag shows is being politically correct is in itself offensive. Whether or not you want to argue what the flag means or represents to black people it is saying that we are proud and remorseless for the crimes against humanity that were committed by those that owned and condoned slavery. One could also argue that the Swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being and that just because the Nazi’s adopted it to represent their Aryan Heritage and their Anti-S emetic movement that Jews should not be offended by it. It is too bad that these two symbols didn’t have an offensive beginning and that they no longer mean what they were intended to. It is too bad that some stole these symbols and made them their own to represent their hateful and inhumane beliefs and actions but the fact is that they did and it does. If it is ‘just a symbol that it shouldn’t be offensive because that’s not what we use it for’ then why are those that defend this fighting so hard to flaunt them? If it is just a symbol then it should be no big deal to take them down and for it to be wrong to display them. Standing on pride instead of principle is anything but politically correct.

We don’t need political correctness what we need is human decency and respect; or at least no disrespect, towards things about human beings that they have no control over or choice of.

Congressional Prayer Caucus; Violating The First Amendment


Congressman J. Randy Forbes, Founder & Co-Chairman
Senator James Lankford, Co-Chairman

Congressman Robert Aderholt
Congressman Brian Babin
Congressman Andy Barr
Congressman Gus Bilirakis
Congressman Rob Bishop
Congresswoman Diane Black
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Congressman Jim Bridenstine
Congressman Bradley Byrne
Congressman John Carter

Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Congressman Mike Coffman
Congressman Doug Collins

Congressman Mike Conaway
Congressman Kevin Cramer
Congressman Rick Crawford 
Congressman Jeff Duncan
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers

Congressman Stephen Fincher
Congressman John Fleming
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx

Congressman Trent Franks

Congressman Scott Garrett

Congressman Louie Gohmert
Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Congressman Morgan Griffith

Congressman Gregg Harper
Congressman Andy Harris
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler
Congressman French Hill
Congressman Richard Hudson
Congressman Tim Huelskamp
Congressman Bill Huizenga
Congressman Randy Hultgren
Congressman Robert Hurt
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins
Congressman Bill Johnson

Congressman Sam Johnson

Congressman Walter Jones

Congressman Jim Jordan

Congressman Mike Kelly
Congressman Steve King

Congressman John Kline
Congressman Doug LaMalfa

Congressman Doug Lamborn
Congressman Bob Latta

Congressman Daniel Lipinski

Congressman Patrick McHenry
Congressman David McKinley
Congressman Jeff Miller
Congressman John Moolenaar

Congressman Randy Neugebauer
Congresswoman Kristi Noem
Congressman Alan Nunnelee

Congressman Stevan Pearce
Congressman Scott Perry 

Congressman Robert Pittenger
Congressman Joe Pitts
Congressman Mike Pompeo
Congressman Bill Posey 

Congressman Tom Price
Congressman Dave Reichert
Congressman Reid Ribble
Congressman Scott Rigell
Congresswoman Martha Roby
Congressman Phil Roe

Congressman Mike Rogers
Congressman Peter Roskam

Congressman Dennis Ross

Congressman Ed Royce
Congressman Steve Russell
Congressman Paul Ryan
Congressman Matt Salmon

Congressman Steve Scalise
Congressman Adrian Smith
Congressman Chris Smith

Congressman Lamar Smith

Congressman Steve Stivers
Congressman Marlin Stutzman
Congressman Lee Terry
Congressman Glenn Thompson
Congressman Mike Turner

Congressman Fred Upton
Congressman Tim Walberg
Congressman Randy Weber
Congressman Joe Wilson

Congressman Robert Wittman

Congressman Todd Young

Christian Congress, Christian Nation


First Prayer of the Continental Congress, 1774

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.

Amen.

Reverend Jacob Duché
Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
September 7, 1774, 9 o’clock a.m.

 

This was the first prayer said before a Congressional session. Here is the prayer they said on the 15th of May 2015;

05/15/2015
Reverend Patrick J. Conroy, S.J.

We give You thanks, O God, for giving us another day.

We ask Your blessing upon this assembly and upon all to whom the authority of government is given.

The issues of these days and in coming months remain complicated and potentially divisive. Endow each Member with wisdom and equanimity, that productive policies and solutions might be reached for the benefit of our Nation.

Please send Your spirit of peace upon those areas of our world where violence and conflict endure, and threaten to multiply. May all Your children learn to live in peace.

And, may all that is done within the people’s House this day be for Your greater honor and glory.

Amen.

Tell me again we are not a Christian Nation.

Presidential Thought of The Day That Tells Us What The President Really Thinks


From the Prayer Caucus government website https://forbes.house.gov/prayercaucus/

This ‘daily thought’ expresses the idea of America that has not changed since it’s founding with one small, cosmetic, and condescending guise of not only freedom of religion but of freedom from religion. It is meant to appease the secular and atheist population of These United States of America but it actually does in endorse her contempt, intolerance, and ‘holier than now’ moral superiority those of no faith. This daily thought is a reflection of what is thought daily by those of faith; what is assumed and presumed by those of faith; that everyone believes in god not matter how or where they worship him and even if they don’t worship him; but believing him none the less. Sure our gracious founding fathers fought and died for their religious freedom and for that freedom of fellow Americans taking oaths to protect this freedom at any and all costs while overlooking or perhaps even looking past the possibility of anyone wanting the freedom of no religion at all thus assuring no one could make them worship at all but no where, no where in any document written that gave birth to our nation and systems of laws and justice is there any promise or consideration made for someones right to not believe in god at all.

Read what Obama didn’t write down, hear what he didn’t say and think about what he thought. He thought he was being politically correct and including the secular and non-believers, I think he was excluding us.

My comments throughout are in red letters, yes, sarcastically like Jesus’ words.

05/07/2015

“Presidential Proclamation –– National Day of Prayer, 2015

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2015

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

When women and men of all backgrounds and beliefs are free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world. In America, our Nation is stronger because we welcome and respect people of all faiths, he doesn’t say ‘and people of no faith’  and because we protect the fundamental right of all people to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, he doesn’t say or to have no faith at all and to do so free from persecution and discrimination he doesn’t say from exclusion or forced inclusion. Today, as we pause in solemn reflection, we celebrate the religious liberty the secular and non-believers don’t celebrate religious  liberty, we don’t have religion we cherish here at home, and we recommit to standing up for religious freedom around the world the secular and the non-believing would not commit to  standing up for religious freedom, many of us like my self who are anti-theists would only commit to not standing up for any of them or commit to standing against all of them.  .

For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith –– an essential act of worship and a daily discipline that allows reflection, provides guidance, and offers solace. Through prayer we find the strength to do God’s work: to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife. In times of uncertainty or tragedy, Americans offer humble supplications for comfort for those who mourn, for healing for those who are sick, and for protection for those who are in harm’s way. When we pray, we are reminded that we are not alone –– our hope is a common hope, our pain is shared, and we are all children of God. He isn’t acknowledging those of us who do not believe in god; a pretentious gesture meant to purposely say that even though they are morally superior to non-believer they graciously give all people consideration with absolute pity for us who just don’t know any better.  Those of us who do not believe in god do not share this common hope, those of us who do not believe in gad have a common hope that no one else would either, believers do not share our pain and they are the cause of ours; and no we are not all children of god. There is no god. 

Around the globe, too few know the protections we enjoy in America. Millions of individuals worldwide are subjected to discrimination, abuse, and sanctioned violence simply for exercising their religion or choosing not to claim a faith. Presumptuously condescendingly saying we have faith we just don’t claim to. Communities are threatened with genocide and driven from their homelands because of who they are or how they pray Once again excluding concern for those of us who are threatened with genocide and driven from our homelands because of who we are or that we don’t pray, stating consideration for those that do pray. The United States will continue to stand against these reprehensible attacks, work to end them, and protect religious freedom throughout the world Add another deliberate exclusion of the phrase protecting freedom from religion throughout the world.. And we remember those who are prisoners of conscience maybe just a hint of the suggestion that conscience belongs only to those that have faith; fair enough to say giving the deliberate restating repeatably this thought is of the faithful and or those of any faith; not of no faith–– who are held unjustly because of their faiths or beliefs Is this to say that there aren’t any non-believers who are held unjustly because or their lack of faith and no beliefs? –– and we will take every action within our power to secure their release again restating their is no power used to secure the release of non-believers being held captive by the faithful. .

In the face of tremendous challenges, prayer is a powerful force for peace, justice, and a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow. is this to say that us non-believers don’t want peace or worse that we prevent it? That we are unjust with no hope for or of tomorrow?  Today, as we join together in fellowship, we seek to see our own reflection in the struggle of others, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and to keep faith –– in one another, in the promise of our Nation, and in the Almighty he had up until the Almighty. .

The Congress, by Public Law 100–307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.” Can we call upon him to issue a proclamation designating the second Thursday in May as a “National Day of No Prayer”?

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2015, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths  How about we citizens thank ourselves in accordance with our own ideas, and consciences and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings for our hard work, and I join all people of faith yet again an exclusion, maybe even a stand against of non-believers in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection because we can’t ask god since we don’t believe in him; from their judging eyes don’t accept him and therefore aren’t worthy of his mercy and not deserving of his protection as we seek a more just world.Slightly suggesting we non-believers are un just. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty–ninth.

BARACK OBAMA”

Is The Supreme Court Ruling On Hobby Lobby Right Or Wrong?


I know that my readers and those that know me will assume they know which side of this issue I am on. But they will be wrong.  I have never been shy about my contempt for religion and though this Supreme Court Ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby’s objection to the company insurance covering 4 kinds of  ‘contraception’ on grounds of protecting their religious freedom I don’t necessarily see this as a religious issue; and the Supreme Court doesn’t see it as only a religious issue, it is a moral one.

It is important to understand that the objection is not against all contraception, it is against Plan B (the morning after pill), Ella (which works up to 5 days after sex) and 2 different IUD’s (Intra Uterine Devices). The argument is that these are aborticides and not contraception. Though I can see their view on Plan B and Ella I do not agree that IUD’s are aborticides, none the less this is the argument.

Here is the section of the ruling that I find to be the most important;
(3) HHS argues that the connection between what the objecting parties must do and the end that they find to be morally wrong is too attenuated because it is the employee who will choose the coverage and contraceptive method she uses. But RFRA’s question is whether the mandate imposes a substantial burden on the objecting parties’ ability to conduct business in accordance with their religious beliefs.The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. In fact, this Court considered and rejected a nearly identical argument in Thomas v. Review Bd. of Indiana Employment Security Div., 450 U. S. 707. The Court’s “narrow function . . . is to determine” whether the plaintiffs’ asserted religious belief reflects“an honest conviction,” id., at 716, and there is no dispute here that it does. Tilton v. Richardson, 403 U. S. 672, 689; and Board of Ed. of Central School Dist. No. 1 v. Allen, 392 U. S. 236, 248–249, distinguished. Pp. 35–38.

Let’s pull out this sentence and look at it on it’s own; The belief of the Hahns and Greens implicates a difficult and important question of religion and moral philosophy, namely, the circumstances under which it is immoral for a person to perform an act that is innocent in itself but that has the effect of enabling or facilitating the commission of an immoral act by another. From that sentence let’s pull out the words moral philosophy. 

I will say that my own personal views on abortion are very conflictive. I think that morally abortion is wrong except in cases of incest and rape. However I do agree with a woman’s right to choose, to a point. This all boils down to ‘when life begins’ dilemma. I am of the opinion that an embryo is not ‘alive’ but a fetus is, this means that after 8 weeks I think abortion is murder. I also feel that by 8 weeks there is no reason why a woman would not have made the decision to have a baby or not. That being said the difficulty lies in what is moral and what is immoral. I find it rather hypocritical of Christians to preach morality given the immoral acts of God throughout the Bible. However we happen to agree on the immorality of abortion, but disagree on when life begins. I admittedly commend the owners of Hobby Lobby for standing by their convictions.

BUT; when I pull out this sentence It is not for the Court to say that the religious beliefs of the plaintiffs are mistaken or unreasonable. I have to say hold on. It is this stance of the Court that enables acts like female genital mutilation to not be illegal. Morality must be judged when it is inflicted on another human being. I a woman wants to cut off her own clitoris that is her business, but when she cuts of the clitoris of another female this is immorality at it’s peak. The same applies to circumstances involving keeping someone alive by artificial means and a loved one wants to pull the plug but another loved one cries it is against their religion to do so. If the person being kept alive would not want to be kept alive that way then pull the plug, in turn if the person being kept alive had the religious belief that it would be wrong then don’t do it. This goes for acts of rape and incest as well as any oppression of any other human being or acts of violence against them. One cannot commit an immoral act upon ones self.

 

 

Supreme Court Rules Town Council Prayer Constitutional


The Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the Town Council in Greece N.Y. to continue their practice of prayer before their monthly Town Council meetings, ruling it was not unconstitutional. It was the opinion of the justices that because the council welcomed all faiths who wanted to invoke prayer at the meetings they weren’t violating the First Amendment. It was their opinion that it wasn’t the fault of the council that the town was predominantly Christian and that they should not be expected to extend the invitation to clergy outside the county. The council was more than willing to welcome and in fact encouraged  Buddhists, Hindu’s, Jews, Muslims and even Atheists who wished to invoke prayer before council meetings to do so, I guess the fact that Atheists don’t pray escaped them.

It was also the opinion of the courts that they would uphold the long-standing tradition of seeking guidance from our creator when making political decisions that was started by our founding fathers over 200 years ago. They actually applauded those who were wise enough to seek this divine wisdom that would help them to uphold our countries morals and values that have shaped our political system from the beginning.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that deny a womans access to birth control and to legal and safe abortions. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws regarding the teaching of creationism in public schools while prohibiting the teaching of evolution. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that weren’t passed concerning the violence against women. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that keep effective pain relieving drug marijuana away from those with cancer and other chronic pain patients.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of female genital mutilation. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect the religious practice of polygamy involving underage girls that are denied education past the eighth grade. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect priests found guilty of raping children. These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that protect commanding officers who don’t prosecute  rapists in the military.

These morals and values are the same ones that have led to the policies and laws that don’t provide freedom from religion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hobby Lobby sues President Obama


Hobby Lobby is just one of many businesses to sue the President over ‘preventative services’. Basically laws have been passed making it mandatory for employer’s health insurance coverage to include morning after pills and birth control pills. Hobby Lobby is suing on the grounds that it is unconstitutional to make a business go against its religious beliefs. I have one question here, does Hobby Lobby only hire Christians? If not then aren’t they violating employee’s right to not be Christian? I fail to see how this and any other religious groups are being asked to go against their beliefs. If one believes that birth control is a sin then don’t use it. If those whose beliefs are that it is wrong to use these pills were being forced to use them then okay, but this is not the case. I don’t see anywhere in the constitution where businesses are protected in their right to impose the owner’s religion on its employees. If Hobby Lobby doesn’t hire non-Christians then they are breaking the law, an employer isn’t even allowed to ask what religion an employee is. And then there is the issue of how does an employer know what prescriptions any employee has or gets covered by insurance or not? Isn’t that confidential? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” — The First Amendment

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