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.

 

To Pray or Not To Pray…That Is The Question


Recently the Church of Satan in Phoenix challenged the City Council when the tried to requested to say the opening prayer at a City Council Meeting. The City Council opens every public meeting with a prayer; a Christian prayer. The Council members reacted by holding an emergency meeting to decide what to do. They took a vote; not a vote on whether or not to let the Satanists say the opening prayer, this of course would have ended up in the State Supreme Courts where chances are the Council would have lost. They took a vote on whether or not to ban prayer all together at their Council meetings. The council voted 5 – 4 to ban prayer, rather than let the Satanists have their say. Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face.

So who really won? Many say the Church of Satan really won, claiming that a ban on prayer is what they really wanted. Some say the Council and it’s Christian members one by not letting the Satanists say the prayer. I would say us Atheists and the Secular won this one. Let’s here if for no public prayer at Council meetings.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Manhattan Declaration


Manhattan_Declaration_full_text

First a note, I refuse to capitalize the words catholic, christian, christianity, bible or god. That being said….

I recently became aware of this document when researching the current Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case. This document written by

Drafting Committee
Robert George Professor, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
Timothy George Professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, VA)

This is a committee of the catholic church and evangelical christians.

is a vital document used in cases like the Hobby Lobby suit and the recently vetoed bill that made to Gov.  Brewer’s desk here in Arizona that looked to allow christian businesses to refuse services to gay customers.

Instead of stating all the obvious civil rights issues I am going to dissect this document using their bible to do it.

This documents preamble begins with citing that theirs is a 2000 year old tradition of resisting tyranny. I stand firm that the worst tyrannical leader in history is god. They try to add to their self-righteousness by acknowledging, very vaguely, any past ‘indiscretions’ by some christian institutions, and claim a christian heritage from those that rescued discarded babies from the trash heaps of Roman cities, those who risked their own lives by helping those struck with the plague and those that rather than deny their faith died in the coliseum. They continue on to say that it was christians that saved not only their literature but that and the art of western culture after barbarians invaded Europe. They don’t however say when.  Here I must begin to interject. History very clearly tells us that the church burned unapproved art that got by their all-seeing eyes to be created in the first place. And the church is solely responsible for the book burnings of non christian literature all throughout history. They also claim sole responsibility for ending the slave trade in Europe. Next is the boast of the hundreds of societies that help the poor, imprisoned and child laborer. I stand alongside the late great Christopher Hitchens that christians have made a career out of the exploitation of the poor.They even go so far as to claim that it was the christians that challenged the royalty of Europe that made modern democracy possible. Really? Wow. But there’s more. They say they have a devotion to human dignity by working to end human trafficking and sexual slave trades. Next is one of my favorite claims. The work they do in Africa to help end Aids. Help? Sure with conditions. The church has conditions that if aids victims practice abstinence and monogamy they will receive their help. They actually claim scientific studies show that the use of condoms has not stopped the spread of aids AT ALL. They have the nerve not to distribute condoms because it promotes promiscuity and does nothing to prevent the spread of aids. They have that audacity to enforce their contraception beliefs on victims of aids.

Now for their declaration, they declare to fight for the rights of the unborn, the sick and the elderly. In other words against abortion, contraception, DNR’s  and assisted suicide. Then there’s the protection of the sacred institution of marriage where they don’t stop at same-sex marriages but continue marching on against divorce, against premarital sex, against cohabitation and against polygamy.

First they tear into stem cell research claiming that there will be mass production of embryos produced to be destroyed. This boils down to the when life begins debate and the actual ‘production’ of embryos. This is not conception from procreation.  And one could argue that the embryos are not destroyed they are transformed into new life as new cells. This is a practice that saves lives. It can prevent people from suffering cure a number of horrific diseases. They are being hypocrites. Their issue with this is really about science creating life instead of god. The argument that global warming can’t be true because only god can destroy the earth man cannot is behind this view, theirs is the view that mankind cannot create life only god can. Well obviously since the splitting of the atom and the industrial revolution mankind can destroy the earth, and obviously science has proved through stem cell research that we can also create life.

Medically speaking life does not begin until the embryo becomes a fetus. That’s my argument there.  Here though I must throw in my question as to who exactly is going to support all these unwanted children? Who is going to raise them? If women get abortions because they can’t care for them stopping the abortion isn’t going to change the fact that these children won’t be cared for. They will either be condemned to a life of abuse, neglect and poverty. But then again a life time of suffering is essential in christian dogma. And what about the pregnancies that are a result of rape and incest. I refuse to adhere to statistics that are supposed to reflect the number of these pregnancies because it is a fact that only a small percentage of rapes are reported let alone make it to court. That however is another issue but a directly related one. Now, if the christians could fix that problem…they can however fix the other problem of preventing unwanted pregnancies in the first place by not fighting the use of contraception. Without contraception, even in the perfect christian delusional world where only married people have sex denying women the ability to control how many children they will have and when is condemning us to a life of legalized prostitution. This is the ultimate oppression of women, it results in a womans inability to obtain an education and to embark on a career or even have a minimum wage job in an economy where it is next to impossible to live above the poverty line without two incomes. And lets not leave out the fact that this ensures countless numbers of children that will be born into and live in poverty lapse of proper nutrition and education. Oh but wait, without the poor who would the christians exploit. Seems to be a little to convenient for their cause.

Now to assisted suicide. This is one of the most blatant forms of abuse there is. These servants of god who claim to spend their life putting an end to suffering are doing anything but yet again. Forcing a person to live in pain is well, fucked up. Speaking as a person who has chronic pain due to spinal stenosis and who has a family history of early onset Alzheimer’s they have no right to condemn me. If I inherit the Alzheimer’s gene, which it is a sure bet either me or one of my two sisters will, I have asked my family to either help me end it when I lose all moments of clarity or to look the other way when I decide it is time. How dare they say that they would be saving me by forcing me to live in a state of dementia and undeniable pain. How dare they impose that on me. And what right have they got to tell anyone that their lives would be of quality if they were only breathing because of artificial means. Aren’t they playing god here themselves? If god has ceased my breathing let me die, not that I believe god has that ability or uses it, who are they to play god?

Now let’s look at their views on marriage and divorce.  I have always defended the Westboro church, you know the god hates fags people, in that they are right. Not right in their actions but in that god does hate fags. The bible very clearly states that he who lies with another man as he lie with a woman shall be put to death. I don’t think there is any way to misinterpret that. This bullshit they spew about not hating the sinner just the sin, well that doesn’t and can’t apply here. God offers no forgiveness of options of repent and be forgiven on this one. This sin is to god so bad that when Lot offered up his virgin daughters to the men that wanted to rape the male guests in his house god destroyed the city of Gomorrah for that attempt of the sin of sodomy but spared Lot before doing so for offering his daughters rather than commit the sin of not protecting a guest in one’s house. That says to me pretty plainly which god sees as the greater sin. For that matter offering up daughters against their will is something god did from the beginning. He himself in a sense raped Mary, or at least his spirit did when it impregnated her without her consent. And I will use scripture against them as they are using scripture for their defense.

Throughout the book of Genesis alone there are numerous condoned, encouraged and even ordered occasions where barren wives gave maidservants to their husbands so that they could have children.  Sarah did it for Abraham,  even after he let the Pharaoh of Egypt take her after lying and saying that she was his sister so that the Pharaoh wouldn’t kill him so that he could have his wife. Sarah gave Abram a woman named Hagar. After Sarah regretted this decision Abram told Sarah she could deal with Hagar as she pleased and Hagar ended up fleeing from them. Well god directly intervenes by sending an angel to convince Hagar to return telling her that she will give birth to a son and promises her many more if she obeys. She does. Ismael is born. Then god decides that he will give Sarah who is not of the age that she has ceased to bleed, god gives back her bleeding so that she too can conceive and give Abraham another son. I must add here the fact that Sarah is also Abraham’s half-sister, they have the same father but different mothers. This decadence is what the christians claim will happen if they don’t put an end to same-sex marriages and sex out of wed lock. Abraham’s story is not over yet. He sent a servant to the house of his kindred to fetch a wife for his son Isaac. It is important to note that Abraham insists that his son marry a daughter from his father’s house. Abraham’s servant took an oath to take his master’s brother’s daughter to be Isaacs wife. In other words Isaac was to marry his first cousin. Out of this marriage comes a son, Jacob. Jacob wants to marry a girl named Rachel but to do so he must be her fathers servant for seven years, which he does. He ends up getting tricked into marrying the older sister Leah but asks to live seven more years as a servant to ‘pay’ for Rachel which he does. Well Leah bears Jacob children but Rachel is barren so Rachel gives him her handmaid Bilhah and she bears Jacob sons. Then when Leah could no longer bear sons she gave her handmaid Zilpah to Jacob to wife and conceive more sons. Their decadence goes even deeper but don’t relate here. Jacob is rewarded with wealth and lands for his fruitful multiplying. And we’re still in Genesis. This is the sanctity of marriage that christians are fighting to preserve?

 

Whatever.

The Government Shutdown


I asked my 17 year old daughter, who is a senior depending on scholarships and student loans for college, this question “How do you feel about this shutdown knowing that there is a very good chance it will delay your starting college next year?” She responded with this “I asked my friend who didn’t know much about it what he thought. I explained to him that basically the Republican’s don’t like ObamaCare and that they wanted to remove contraception from the Act.” To which she said his response was “You mean the President is letting this happen over a couple of pills?”

Now I must take responsibility for some of my daughters lack of complete understanding. I am an old fed up feminist who is always feeding my daughters the injustices against women arguments. It is true that I firmly believe that women’s rights play a huge role in this fight because the Right Wing Republicans emphatically fight agianst our right to choose, against insurance covering the cost of contraception and against women’s equal rights in general. Not only does the Affordable Care Act cover those issues but it also for the first time in history make it illegal for insurance companies to charge women more than men for health insurance. Being a woman has always in a way been considered a pre-existing condition. Women need annual pabtsmears, annual mammograms, are likely to become pregnant at some point in their life requiring prenatal care and so on. I stand firm on my belief that this plays a major role in their posisition.

But, there is so much more to it than that. I am going to say what no one else has. It is no secret the Right Wingers hate Obama and will do whatever it takes to bring him down. Including making the repercussions of this shutdown his fault so he will go down in history with bad marks, but lets ask why they hate him so much. He is black. Plain and simple it is a race thing. Why else would his citizenship be continuously questioned? Why else would he be accused of being Muslim? Why else would being Muslim be a bad thing? These Right Wingers will do anything at the cost of anybody to make him look bad.

Why is it okay for Obama not to negotiate my daughter asked. Well first off it isn’t just him. The Senate refuses to negotiate as well. If the Tea Party is allowed to get away with this what’s next? A shutdown to try to appeal other laws they don’t like? Gay marriage? Abortion laws? Let’s not overlook the fact that they attached to the funding bill the Affordable Care Act that has already been voted on, passed and made into law. It has already gone into effect. There is nothing that the Senate or the President can do anyway. Let’s also not forget that the Tea Party hates government. They are the ones who are anti-American. They are the one’s acting like fascist tyrannical leaders who don’t give a damn about the population.

They are no better than terrorists.

In the past those who stood up for principles, for what was right did so at a dear cost to themselves and many. It has always been the great ones who were willing to lose everything to fight injustices. The Tea Party isn’t standing for any principle, for any just cause or for any point other than to make sure they hurt Obama at any cost.

 

The Middle Ground Is Where Gun Reform Is


It seems to me that the main point that is argued against imposing background checks when purchasing guns is the concern that the government will use the individuals information against them some how. There seems to be a mistrust of our government. I am not going to say there is no reason to mistrust nor am I going to say there is a reason to trust our government. That is not the issue here. So here’s my proposal. Appropriate federal funds to finance the NRA and let the NRA build and maintain the database with the information that is submitted for background checks. Let the NRA have access to information that flags felons, those on the terrorist watch list, those on the no fly list, those convicted of domestic  violence etc.

Problem Solved.

 

ACLU Profiles Joe Arpaio’s Officers As A Racial Profilers


The ACLU charges of Racial Profiling against Sheriff Joe Arpaio are discriminatory profiling in it’s own right against the  Sheriff’s department. They made this statement in regards to Arizona’ “show me your papers” law signed by Gov Brewer;

“The new law, which will not go into effect for more than 90 days, requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their “papers” at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.

“Forcing local police to demand people’s papers and arrest those who can’t immediately prove their status will do nothing to make us safer,” said Dan Pochoda, Legal Director of the ACLU of Arizona. “What it will do is divert scarce police resources to address false threats and force officers to prioritize immigration enforcement over all other public safety responsibilities”.

I will address rather lengthy views I have on this issue of immigration laws in the very near future. But for now I have a short but to the point question.

By saying that officers are going to neglect their other responsibilities or protecting other citizens from ‘real crimes’ that threaten our safety by ‘prioritizing’ immigration enforcement is assuming that they will racially profile just because the work for Joe Arpaio who  is known for tough immigration law enforcement, ‘immigration law’ being a key point. He is the Sheriff and these are ‘law enforcement’ officers.

Isn’t that it’s own form of ‘profiling’?

Why Arizona HB 2467 is Wrong


Let me start by saying that don’t have a problem with anyone who would or has taken any oath of allegiance to God or Country, including our President. I do however have a problem with not having the choice. And before I get a comment that my daughter has a choice, being given an ultimatum is not freedom of choice.

First and foremost, ‘So help me God”. Yes that does mean something and yes it matters. No matter what context that statement is used. It does have stronger implications when it applies to an oath of allegiance that could take away life or liberty. Which brings me to the other issue. To swear this oath of allegiance to defend the Constitution when women after 200 years, for that matter since the very founding of this country to not have equality and protection from that very same Constitution is unfathomable. To break that oath would be treason, a crime in some states that is punishable by death or at the very least punishable by incarceration.

And before there are any eyes rolling and thoughts of dramatics on my part remember this. Men, yes I mean MEN, and religion  throughout history, are responsible for every war ever fought anywhere in the world that has cost over  millions lives all totaled, for the Crusades where thousands of people were slaughtered; tortured; burned; hung and disemboweled; beheaded and tortured for not believing in this very same God, for the Holocaust where not just 6,000,000 Jews were systematically exterminated; tortured; starved and experimented on but millions of ‘not normal’ people with disabilities as slight as a crooked nose; the mentally handicapped and those of non-Aryan or German blood, for the Inquisitions; Spanish and Catholic where hundreds of thousands of people were tortured; burned and brutally slaughtered across Europe where towns burned to the ground and whole communities of Jews were walled up in the Ghetto’s some less than a hundred yards from the Vatican gate and right below the Popes window, for the trial and convictions resulting in burning at the stake or hanging of countless women accused of being witches, for the enslavement of tens of thousands of black people, for countless lynchings of black people, for the ongoing suppression; violence; rape and human trafficking of countless women and children, for Female Genital Mutilation, for unspeakable treatment of animals, for the use of Atomic bombs that instantly and slowly; painfully and unnecessarily killed over a hundred of Japanese civilians, for over 1500 Hydrogen bomb tests that kills a countless number of marine life; and indigenous Peoples that rely on the oceans for their food and the slow and painful deaths; deformities and health problems beyond belief of our military personnel who were defending that very same Constitution.

And I’m dramatic? I put nothing inhumane past human beings.

Until that Constitution is rewritten, yes rewritten not ratified; not amended; not added to or altered but rewritten to include every American regardless of race, religion, sex or sexual orientation I will not swear an oath to it.

As far as God is concerned nothing will ever make that happen. Nothing.

Arizona’s Graduation Requirement; Swear an Oath of Allegiance to the United States


This is the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America.

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;so help me God.”

This is the Graduation Requirement; Constitutional Oath.

Beginning in the 2013‑2014 school year, In addition to fulfilling the course of study and assessment requirements prescribed in this chapter, before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:

I, _________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.

AZ HB2467

2013-01-23 House Referred to House FFR Committee
2013-01-23 House read second time
2013-01-22 House Assigned to House RULES Committee
2013-01-22 House Assigned to House ED Committee
2013-01-22 House Assigned to House FFR Committee
2013-01-22 House Introduced in House and read first time

Primary Sponsors of this Bill;

Rep Sonny Borrelli

Rep Carl Seel

Rep T.J. Shope

Rep Steve Smith

Rep Thorpe

Cosponsors;

Chester Crandell

Jeff Deel

David Livingston

All Republicans. The House consists of 36 Republicans and 23 Democrats. The Senate consists of 17 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Governor Jan Brewer is……guess what, a Republican.

I have a daughter who is a Junior this year, class of 2014. She attends a College Preparatory School, University High in Tolleson Arizona. It is a school for gifted kids that students must test into, but is receives state money, ergo it is a public school.

This is VERY personal. I will move my daughter to another state before she will be forced to take an oath with the words so help me God in it before she will be allowed to graduate.

 

My daughter will be 18 when she graduates, however a large percentage of students will be under the age of 18. They don’t even have any Constitutional rights. They can’t vote, they can’t defend the United States of America against any enemies.

My daughter has busted her Ass for the past 3 years and plans on doing the same for one more. She tested in the 97th percentile in the nation and is holding a 3.85 GPA taking advanced classes in a school for gifted kids that requires 3 more credits to graduate than all the other public schools in Arizona.

And they are going to tell her that if she doesn’t swear this oath of allegiance she won’t graduate?

Then there is this;

that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;

Remember the bill begins with this;

 In addition to fulfilling the course of study and assessment requirements prescribed in this chapter, before a pupil is allowed to graduate from a public high school in this state, the principal or head teacher of the school shall verify in writing that the pupil has recited the following oath:

that is not taking the oath freely and without mental reservation. She will be forced to swear an oath to a God she doesn’t believe in.  That is not who she is, that matters. And before any one labels either one of us unpatriotic don’t. She knows more about our government, our history, and our Constitution than most adults. She is the granddaughter of a decorated war veteran. Her mother, and both my sisters were  born at Kirtland Airforce Base. Her Aunt is a veteran. She believes in this country and she obeys its laws and defends it. She speaks out against the religious fanatics who stand on our flag and protest military funerals. When we are at the store or the post office when she shes someone in uniform, whether it is a military uniform, a police uniform or a firefighter uniform she takes the time to approach them and say thank you. She can tell you what almost every proposition means at state election time, she watches the presidential debates, the State of the Union Addresses and any most any other political speech that is made. She knows what the candidates policies are, she understands how Congress, the Senate and the House operate and what there jobs are. She has her own opinions on immigration, on abortion and on medical marijuana. She knows who Gloria Steinem, Billy Jean King, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger and Susan B. Anthony are and what they fought for. She knew what Seneca Falls was when President Obama referenced it in his inaugural speech that we watched together. She stopped and read the Magna Carta, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Constitution when we were at the National Archives in Washington DC. She shed a tear with me when we stood where Martin Luther King gave his I have a dream speech. She knows who the freedom riders were and who Frederick Douglas was. She shed tears of pride when we stood in front of my Uncle’s name on the Vietnam Wall. She shed tears of empathy when we went through the Holocaust Museum. She in not indifferent and speaks out against those who are. She has read a lot of the Bible and has come to her own conclusions. She knows a majority of the Quran, and she understands theosophy. She knows who Constantine was and how he merged the sword with the cross. She knows when politics and religion are being used by our government to manipulate and control.

This is one high school kid who will not fall for this violation of her rights, because she is an American and she knows what that means.

Kristi Stadler’s Suicide Assisted by Lack of Gun Control


Kristi’s suicide though tragic could have just as easily been a murder. That is not to say that I place blame on the Phoenix police for her death, it is to say that if she had killed someone else (which could have very easily happened) then I would place blame on the lack of gun control laws that allowed the Phoenix police to put a gun in the hand of a mentally unstable person.

This deeply disturbing story began more than a decade ago, but the only part of this story that needs to be retold is the end. Kristi Stadler was a woman who had been hospitalized several times for depression. She was on medication and she had an electrical implant to treat her depression. She had attempted suicide more than a few times over a period of 12 years.

This mentally unstable, heavily medicated and suicidal woman legally bought a gun which she had in her hand when she called her psychiatrist to tell her she was going to use it on herself. This mentally unstable, heavily medicated and  suicidal woman who legally bought a gun had it taken away by the officers who responded to her psychiatrists 911 call. These responders from the Phoenix police department upon arrival at the scene where her psychiatrist was waiting used her, the doctor’s, cell phone to talk to Kristi and calm her down and get her to relinquish her weapon.

These same officers, for fear of a lawsuit for violating this mentally unstable, heavily medicated and suicidal woman’s Second and Fourteenth amendment rights, returned this weapon back to her.

With the gun that the police returned to her in her hand Kristi called a crisis counselor named Luis.  And this is what she had to say;

“I went and picked up my gun today because they gave it back to me because they’re very, very stupid, and now I have my gun, and it’s loaded, and I’d like to shoot myself. So there’s my dilemma. I’m a little drunk…when I try to kill myself, I’m usually drunk. It makes it easier. I’ve tried this many times, and I have been unsuccessful, but a gun makes it very easy to be successful in killing yourself.”

Sometime after 4 a.m. the following morning Kristi Stadler shot herself with that same gun.

When Kristi walked into the gun dealer’s where she legally purchased this gun the background check that all gun dealers run before any gun sale should have included her history of mental illness and the fact that she was on medication for depression and the fact that she had an electrical implant to help treat her depression and the fact that she had been hospitalized several times for depression and the fact that she had attempted suicide. More than once. Having been provided with this information the sale should have been denied.

When Kristi had her weapon confiscated the Phoenix Police Department the requisite ‘Brady check’  that they are required to run before returning any confiscated gun should have included her history of mental illness including the fact that she was on medication for depression and the fact that she had an electrical implant to help treat her depression and the fact that she had been hospitalized several times for depression and the fact that she had attempted suicide. More than once. Let’s not forget the reason why the police confiscated her weapon in the first place. What the ‘Brady check did include was the fact that Kristi had never been ordered into treatment by a judge. Having that information and only that information they contacted Kristi and told her she could come pick up her gun. Yet again, let’s not forget the reason why the police confiscated her weapon in the first place. That alone should have been all that was needed for them not to be violating Kristi’s Second and Fourteenth amendment rights by not returning her weapon to her.

A person with a history of mental illness, who is on medication and has an electrical implant to treat depression, who has attempted suicide, more than once, shouldn’t be protected by any amendment rights that allows the ownership of a gun.

Kristi could have just as easily used this weapon she was legally able to own to kill her daughter that was taken away from her by the child’s father, who did so because he feared for the girl’s safety. She could have just as easily used this weapon she was legally able to own to kill the child’s father to prevent him from taking her daughter away, who did so because he feared for the girl’s safety. She could have just as easily shot her psychiatrist when she went to where Kristi was and where the police were dispatched to because she was threatening to use her gun to shoot herself. She could have just as easily shot of those same police officers who responded to the 911 call.

If she had threatened anyone else’s life with her gun like she did her own she would have been charged with the felony of armed with intent to use’ or possibly even with attempted murder. Would the police have returned the gun to her then? No. If the police would have been responding to that kind of 911 call and confiscated her weapon because she threatened to use it on someone else which would have undoubtedly resulted in her being convicted of a gun crime she would no longer legally be able to own a gun.

Kristi’s father Terry Stadler sued the Phoenix Police Department. His lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton. She noted that the Police followed the law by returning Kristi’s gun to her.  Judge Bolton had this to say;

“Plaintiff suggests that the court develop a new limitation on the constitutional right to bear arms that would require all state and local governments to determine that an individual is not at risk of committing suicide prior to returning a seized firearm, the court believes that establishing such a limitation is a legislative function, not a judicial one.” 

Upon the dismissal of his lawsuit Terry Stadler was ordered to pay 450,000 dollars to cover the Police Department and the state’s legal fees.

Who is to blame for all this? I point the finger at the Right Wing NRA members and their supporters. I point the finger at the politicians who are so greedy for these NRA’s money that won’t cross them for fear of losing the support of these very powerful lobbyists. I point the finger at a system of government that gives organization’s like the NRA power as lobbyists. I point the finger at all the self-righteous ‘Americans’ who use the over 200-year-old constitution written by men who were trying to free themselves from foreign rule and who were arming themselves to protect their new-found untested form of government in a battle for freedom and the outdated amendment that was written during a war that was not fought by citizens armed with the unimaginable types of weapons and ammunition that is  available today in a country with 37 more states than there were at the time these rights were given to the people.

2nd Amendment, The NRA and Gun Control


The Second Amendment;

‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed’.

The Supreme Court decided that the word militia used here is descriptive and not restrictive. I disagree. I don’t know that it should be restrictive but it could be. I do not however believe that it is descriptive. This amendment was written over 200 years when there were actually militias that were armed with muskets and a few years later revolvers (no semi-automatic pistols or shotguns), not for ordinary citizens living in today’s society.

Over the past couple of days, since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the issue of gun control is a hot topic. I am stunned, angered and disappointed that I have been repeatedly hearing all over the media (when the question is raised whether or not this tragedy will put gun control high on a priority list in Washington) how feared the National Rifle Association is and that because they are very powerful lobbyists that the answer to that question is no.

Regardless of mine or anyone else’s opinion on the matter of gun control it should outrage any American that the issue isn’t even brought up out of fear of this organization. It has the aura of The Mafia or a Fascist Regime.  Last time I checked the people and the government were in charge. Not the NRA or any other organized group of radicals.

Getting past the political threat of the NRA, let’s put gun control on the table. Let me start by saying I shot my first gun when I was 10 years old. I started hunting at the age of 13. I bought my first handgun, a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum 3 1/2 inch stainless steel barrel, when I was 18. I also have in my closet the 30-6 that belonged to my dad. When my oldest daughter was 5 years old I took her out shooting with us. With her hands on the grip of my pistol and my hands around hers and the grip we pulled the trigger. It scared the shit out of her and from that moment on any curiosity that might have been sparked about any gun she might see somewhere in our house was satisfied. I also never allowed  my kids to have or play with toy guns, not even squirt guns because I kept real ones in my home and on my and young children don’t know the difference. I have always lived in New Mexico and now Arizona which have some of if not the most relaxed gun laws in the country. The only restriction on handguns in both of these states is that without a permit your weapon cannot be concealed. A gun can be carried in a holster in any and all public places.

Back to gun control.  Here’s what I propose;

First and foremost, legal age to buy a gun should be 21, not 18. If you aren’t old enough to drink you damn  sure aren’t old enough to own a gun.

Second, include in the background check for gun purchase applicants:

  • any restraining orders as a result of domestic violence complaints, not convictions but complaints
  • drug testing, include screening for any applicants required by law to attend AA meetings or any substance abuse classes
  • any mental health history including if the applicant is currently taking antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications
  • applicants required by law to attend anger management classes.

Now before anyone starts yelling that this is a violation of privacy or civil rights let me throw this out there.  The federal government requires all those conditions I mentioned being met before they will give an applicant asking for Social Security Disability Benefits any money, or for those applying for Food Stamps or Welfare.

Next, put a limit on the amount of ammunition and magazine clips any one individual can purchase. There is a reasonable number that can be agreed upon that would be needed for protection. Requests for larger amounts for hunting should require one to show a hunting license. There should be further restrictions here, if the hunting license is for ducks then purchasing a gun or ammunition for shooting polar pears or elephants should not be legal.

There also needs to be a limit on how many guns one individual can own. One limit for handguns and a separate limit for rifles, allowing ownership of both without counting them together.

There are limits on how many drinks one person can have in front of them at one time, there are limits on pills can be dispensed at one time for certain prescriptions,  there are limits on how many dogs someone can own, and there are limits on how many children one adult can babysit at a time.

Anyone purchasing a gun should be required to take a class on gun safety and to take shooting lessons followed by a written test requiring a passing grade as well as a requirement to pass an eye exam.

Let me state that prior to getting a driver’s license you must have had a learners permit for a certain length of time and there is a certain amount of driving time required. Driving and written tests as well as eye exams are also required before the DMV will give anyone a driver’s license.

I hear the protests but I am not done yet.

Hold whoever sold any guns and or ammunition to someone who gets convicted of a crime involving the gun they sold to them responsible to some degree, and charge gun owners whose family members are convicted a crime involving one of their guns with at the very least negligence or reckless endangerment, unless they reported their guns stolen prior to any crime is committed.

One more time before the protests…

Bartenders and liquor store owners and customer service reps are held responsible for selling alcohol to any individuals who gets convicted of DWI or those convicted of vehicular homicide while driving drunk.  Homeowners are held responsible if a child drowns in their backyard pool if there wasn’t a fence.

I absolutely know that what I am proposing will be seen as a violation of certain civil rights.

When dealing with something that can and does kill, civil rights come in second. Owning a gun needs to be considered a privilege, not a right.  Any American who wants the privilege of owning a gun should respect rights of other Americans to be protected from unstable people be able to buy or own a gun.

Besides, anyone who doesn’t have anything to hide has nothing to worry about. Protesters need to get over being ‘inconvenienced’. They need to deal with it.

Now let’s address what kinds of guns should be illegal.

If, as the general protest is, everyone has the right bear arms for protection what in God’s name could anyone possibly need to be protected from that would require an assault rifle or a 16 round Glock 10 millimeter? The name ‘assault’ rifle alone says it all. And a Glock 10 mm? These guns are issued to Forrest Rangers to use in case they are confronted with a polar bear.

In addition if someone needs 16 rounds,  extra magazines or hundreds of extra bullets to ‘protect’ themselves then either they need to take shooting lessons or they are being assaulted by a tank or an army and no amount of ammo is gonna help.

Now to voice my complaints about the current gun laws.

Gun laws should be written and enforced at a federal level and should be consistent nationwide, not left up to individual states. Plus, defendants facing any gun related charge (including if so charged, those who sold or owned the weapon used) should only be tried in a federal court and sentenced by a federal judge, not in a county or municipal court and not by a local or district judge.

I will end this post on a very personal note.

When I purchased my handgun I took shooting lessons and I was taught by a Marine how to keep, load, carry, clean, disassemble and reassemble my weapon. I never left my weapon lying around when I didn’t live alone nor was it easily accessible to anyone else but myself.

I make these proposals even though I have been convicted for what I feel were unfair gun charges. One of which was unlawful possession of a firearm. I lost my right to vote and to own a gun in 1983, almost 30 years ago, and I have been refused every presidential pardon I have applied for. (The federal law requires a presidential pardon for gun crime convictions that can only be requested once every 7 years).

As  the legal owner of a .357 magnum and a resident of New Mexico, where the only restriction on owning and carrying a handgun is that it cannot be concealed without a permit, I took my  gun with me on a trip to the state of Iowa where handguns are illegal. I take responsibility for not checking the gun laws in Iowa or any state I drove through for that matter and blame no one but myself. But, I don’t agree with or understand how I was convicted of a federal crime for violating a state law.

I fight for the right to bear arms.

I also fight for more gun control laws.

Would more laws be an ‘inconvenience’?  I don’t know, let’s ask the faculty and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

 

Freedom of Speech


“The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker’s opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection. For it is a central tenet of the First Amendment that the government must remain neutral in the marketplace of ideas.”

“Admittedly, these oft-repeated First Amendment principles, like other principles, are subject to limitations. In Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U. S. 568 (1942), we held that a state could lawfully punish an individual for the use of insulting ” fighting’ words — those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

But the sort of expression involved in this case does not seem to us to be governed by the exception to the general First Amendment principles stated above.

The Court of Appeals interpreted the jury’s finding to be that the ad parody “was not reasonably believable,” and in accordance with our custom we accept this finding. Respondent is thus relegated to his claim for damages awarded by the jury for the intentional infliction of emotional distress by “outrageous” conduct. But for reasons heretofore stated this claim cannot, consistently with the First Amendment, form a basis for the award of damages when the conduct in question is the publication of a caricature such as the ad parody involved here. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly Reversed.

Supreme Court Justice C.J. Rehnquist

485 U.S. 46

Supreme Court of the United States

February 24, 1988 Decide

Hustler Magazine and Larry C Flynt, Petitioners V. Larry Falwell

NO 86-1276

The Spastic Tubes Theory


Recently Rep Todd Akin brought the abortion laws to the forefront of the Republican Party platform when he referenced the “Spastic tubes” theory when argued his case for changing the abortion laws for rape and incest victims. This theory is that of Dr. John Wilke which he explains in his book Abortion and Slavery. To emphasize my fear of this man and the Pr0-lifer’s that support him I am first going to give this man’s ‘credentials’. Dr. John C. Wilke is a medical practitioner who was a senior attending staff member at Providence and Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati Ohio where he worked for 40 years. Currently he is president of the Nationwide Educational Life Issues Institute, on the board of Reference Academy of Medical Ethics (AAME). For 10 years he was president of the United States National Right To Life Committee and The United States National Right To Life Federation which he founded in 1984.

He has his own radio show 5 Mins that is broadcast on 400 stations world-wide and his 1 min comment “Life Jewels” airs on over 1000 English and Spanish stations around the world.

Dr. Wilke and his wife Barbara are the authors of Abortion and Slavery, History Repeats and Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Past and Present. In 1971 they published The Handbook on Abortion, Abortion Questions and Answers which has sold over 1,000,000 copies world-wide and translated into 21 languages. This was the first in a series spanning 25 years. In 1985 they published the 3rd book in this series Abortion: Questions and Answers, Why Can’t We Love Them Both? Dr. and Mrs. Wilke have also published 7 books on Sexual Health.

I have selected some excerpts from the Q and A in ‘Why Can’t We Love Them Both?” which contain the Doctor’s theory on why victims of rape and incest don’t get pregnant in the first place. The doctor argues that women can’t get pregnant when raped because their bodies will not allow the sperm to fertilize the egg if a woman was ‘legitimately raped, therefore there is no need legalize abortion for victims of rape and incest. He states his views as ‘scientific fact’ and mathematically concludes that women cannot get pregnant when raped or molested.

I have entered in my thoughts on each answer given in italics after each one. The questions and answers are copied word for word out of the book.

Dr. Wilke, “First and foremost this issue concerns forcible or assault rape, not consensual or marital rape”.

What exactly is consensual rape?

That is an oxymoron. And the law recognizes marital rape; only a male chauvinist would say that there isn’t rape in a marriage, only someone who believes that a woman is obligated to have sex with her husband.

Are assault rape pregnancies common?

No they are very rare.

-I don’t know where he gets this.

Are there accurate numbers?

The Justice Dept. from 1973 to 1987 surveyed 49,000 households annually, asking questions on violence and criminal acts. The results of those reported were: 1973-completed-rapes 95,934, 1987-completed rapes-82,505. The study stated that only 53% were reported to police. Accordingly the total numbers were: 1973-completed rapes-181,016. 1987-completed rapes-155,667. A more recent Justice Dept report using a study designed differently with more direct questions, returned a result of: 170,000 completed rapes and 140,000 attempted rapes.

-For starters let’s look at the years he uses for his statistics. Enough said.

And how many pregnancies result?

About 1 or 2 for each 1,000. Using the 170,000 figure, this translates into an overall total of 170 to 340 assault rape pregnancies a year in the entire United States.

One or two out of 1,000? Please explain.

There are about 100 million women in the United States old enough to be at risk for assault rape. Let’s use a figure of 200,000 forcible rapes every year. The studies available agree that there are no more than two pregnancies per 1,000 assault rapes. So much for the numbers. Let’s look at it from another angle and see if that figure makes sense. Of these 200,000 women who were raped, one-third are either too old or too young to get pregnant. That leaves 133,000 at risk of pregnancy. A woman is capable of being fertilized only three days out of her 30-day month. So divide 133,000 by 19 and 13,300 women remain. One-fourth of all women in the United States of child-bearing age have been sterilized. That drops the figure to 10,000. Only half of the assailants penetrate her body and/or deposit sperm. Cut it in half again. We are down to 5,ooo. Fifteen percent of non-surgically sterilized women are naturally sterile. That reduces the number to 3,600. Another 15% are on the p;ill or/are already pregnant. Now the figure is 3,070. Now factor in something that all adults know. It takes from five to ten months for an average couple to achieve a pregnancy. Using the smaller figure, to be conservative, divide the 3,000 figure by 5, and the number drops to about 600. In a healthy, peaceful marriage, the miscarriage rate ranges up to about 15%. In this case, we have incredible emotional trauma. Her body is upset. Even if she conceives, the miscarriage rate is higher than in a more normal pregnancy. If she loses 20% of 600, there are 450 left.

Finally, we must factor in one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that is psychic trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get pregnant and stay pregnant, a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain which is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reductions in pregnancy will this cause? No one really knows, but this factor certainly cuts the last figure by at least 50%, and probably more, leaving a final figure of 225 women pregnant each year, a number that closely matches the 200 found in clinical studies.

-I don’t even know how to respond to that. Here are some statistics I came up with

Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women.

Holmes MM, Resnick HS, Kilpatrick DG, Best CL.

Source: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-2233, USA.

OBJECTIVE: We attempted to determine the national rape-related pregnancy rate and provide descriptive characteristics of pregnancies that result from rape.

STUDY DESIGN: A national probability sample of 4008 adult American women took part in a 3-year longitudinal survey that assessed the prevalence and incidence of rape and related physical and mental health outcomes.

RESULTS: The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.

CONCLUSIONS: Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.

PMID: 8765248 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Why not allow abortion for rape pregnancies?

We must approach this with great compassion. The woman has been subjected to an ugly trauma, and she needs love, support and help. But she has been the victim of one violent act. Should we now ask her to be a party to a second violent act-that of abortion? Unquestionably, many would return the violence of killing an innocent baby for the violence of rape. But, before making this decision, remember that most of the trauma has already occurred. She has been raped. That trauma will live with her all her life. Furthermore, this girl did not report for help, but kept this to herself. For several weeks or months, she has thought of little else. Now, she has finally asked for help, she has shared her upset, and should be in a supportive situation. The utilitarian question from the mother’s stand-point is whether or not it would now be better to kill the developing baby within her. But will abortion now be best for her, or will it bring her more harm yet? What has happened and it’s damage has already occurred.

She’s old enough to know and have an opinion as to whether she carries a ‘baby’ or a ‘blob of protoplasm’. Will she be able to live comfortable with the memory that she ‘killed her developing baby?’ Or would she ultimately be more mature and pregnant unwillingly, she nevertheless solved her problem by being unselfish, by giving of herself and of her love to an innocent baby, who had not asked to be created, to deliver, perhaps to place for adoption, if she decides that is what is best for her baby. Compare this memory with the woman who can only look back and say, “I killed my baby”.

Considering the previous answers and his previous statements that a woman who is legitimately raped won’t get pregnant because her body won’t allow it how compassionate do you think he and his followers really are?

But carry the rapist’s child?

True, it is half his. But remember, half of the baby is also hers, and there are other outstretched arms that will adopt and love that baby.

I don’t see how she could!

Interestingly, the pregnant rape victim’s chief complaint is not that she is unwillingly pregnant, as bad as the experience is. The critical moment is fleeting in this area. It frequently pulls families together like never before. When women are impregnated through rape, their condition is treated in accordance, as are their families. We found this experience is forgotten, replaced by remembering the abortion, because it is what they did. In the majority of these cases, the pregnant victim’s problems stem more from the trauma of rape than the pregnancy itself. As to what factors make it most difficult to continue her pregnancy, the opinions, attitudes, and beliefs of others were most frequently cited; in other words, how her loved ones treated her.

-This is just bull. What an ass! If there is any truth to this at all it would be a result of how people like him treat rape victims.

But many laws would allow for this exception.

That is because many only think of the mother. But we should also think of the baby. Should we kill an innocent unborn baby for the crime of his father? Or let’s look at it this way. Do we punish other criminals by killing their children’? Besides, such laws pose major problems in reporting, and also women have been known to report falsely.

You accuse women of lying?

We don’t have to. Radical feminist guru Gloria Steinem, in a 1985 interview with USA Today said that “to make abortion legal only in cases of rape and incest would force women to lie.” The story of Jane Roe, of the Roe V. Wade decision, is well-known. Norma McCorvey (her real name) fabricated a story, that she had been gang raped at a circus, in the mistaken impression that this would permit her to obtain a legal abortion in Texas. Not until 1987 did she reveal that the baby was actually conceived “through what I thought was love.” Up until 1988, Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program funded abortions, for women who claimed they had been raped, without any requirement for reporting the purported assault to a law enforcement agency. Under this law, abortion clinic personnel issued thinly veiled public invitations for women to simply state that they’d been raped, and the state ended up funding an average of 36 abortions a month based on such unsubstantiated claims. In 1988 the legislature added a requirement for reporting the rape to a law enforcement agency, and the average dropped to less than 3 abortions per month.

-This man and his followers are obviously bias against ‘feminists’. He uses a quote from Gloria Steinem out of context. You have to look at the big picture, which I will paint after the following answer.

You said reporting was a problem?

The problem is requiring proof. If the woman goes directly to the hospital, her word is accepted. But, sadly, through fright or ignorance, she may not report it and quietly nurse her fears. She misses her period and hopes against hope that it isn’t what she thinks it is. Sometimes months ago by before finally, in tears, she reports to her mother, her physician, or some other counselor or confidante. To prove rape then is impossible. The only proof of rape then is to have a reliable witness corroborate the story, and such a witness almost never exists.

-It is unbelievable that this man assumes that every woman would do what he suggests. In tears she finally tells her mother. How could anyone accept any of this as factual information? Again, I don’t know where he gets this stuff, her word is accepted? Really? Hospital personnel cannot and do not make assessments on whether a woman is raped or not. They do a rape kit. That’s all. They can provide information on where to go for help and can offer them a way to call law enforcement. That’s it.

What proof would be needed early on?

Reporting the rape to a law enforcement agency is needed. Any hospital emergency room will handle this. If done within a day or two, she can be examined, given medicine for sexually transmitted diseases and counseled. Her word will rarely be questioned. But if it is many days later after a missed period, her word may not be enough.

-Let’s look at why rapes aren’t reported. It is not due to the reasons Dr. Wilke claims. First, her word is never enough. Rape has to be proven in court. As a rape victim I can personally attest to the treatment of rape victims by law enforcement and in court. Today it is not as bad, there has been significant improvement by the police in the attitude about rape but it is still not good. I, like most women, are subjected to their personal life being put on trial. Whether or not they are virgins, whether or not they are have had several sexual partners, even how they dress and the places the frequent. I don’t care if you are a prostitute in the middle of having sex, if at any point you say no or stop and the man does not it is rape. REGARDLESS.

What percentages of rape pregnancies are aborted?

Less than half. The balances carry the baby to term. In one study of 37 rape pregnancies, 28 carried to term.

What is her chief complaint?

Perhaps, surprisingly, it is not the fact that she is pregnant. Her chief complaint is “how other people treat her.” This should be very sobering to everyone. How is she treated? Do others understand the trauma she has experienced, and love and support her? Or, do they avoid her and act as if it was partly her fault, or worse? Just think, if all such victims were given generous love and support, many more than at present would carry their babies to term.

-I would like to know how many women feel that way, seriously. And again, he offers so much love and support.

What is she could not cope with raising the child?

We must let these women know that it is all right to feel that way. We truly understand. That does not mean, however, that the baby is unwanted. There are innumerable arms outstretched, asking for a child to love. Any number of couples will want the child. She should be supported and encouraged if she chooses to place the child in a loving adoptive home.

-Let me point out the practical here. Who is going to pay for the prenatal care?

What of incest?

Incest is intercourse by a father with his daughter, uncle with niece, etc. It usually involves a sick man, often a sick mother who frequently knows it’s happening (even if not consciously admitting it), and an exploited child. Fortunately, pregnancy is not very common. When incest does occur, however, it is seldom reported and, when reported, is hard to prove. Most pregnancies from incest have a very different dynamic than from rape and must be counseled in a very different manner.

Even strongly pro-abortion people, if they approach an incest case professionally, must be absolutely convinced before advising abortion, for abortion is not only an assault on the young mother, who may well, be pregnant with a “love object”, but it may completely fail to solve the original problem. It is also unusual for wisdom to dictate anything but adoptive placement of the baby.

Love object?

When pregnancy does occur, it is often an attempt to end the relationship. In a twisted sort of way, however, the father is a love object. In one study, only 3 of 13 child-mothers had any negative feelings toward him.

In incest is pregnancy common?

No. “Considering the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in general, incest treatment programs marvel at the low incidence of pregnancy from incest. “Several reports agree at 1% or less.

How does the incest victim feel about being pregnant?

For her, it is a way to stop the incest; a way to unite mother and daughter, a way to get out of the house. Most incestuous pregnancies, if not pressured, will not get abortions. “As socially inappropriate as incest and incestuous pregnancies are, their harmful effects depend largely upon reaction of others.

-This is hard to even give a response to. There is usually a sick man involved? Really? And the presumption that there is usually a sick woman, ie the mother, who doesn’t do anything is just more evidence of his attitude towards women in general. To suggest that the victim gets pregnant as a way of stopping the incest or to reunite her with her sick mother…wow. To say that 3 out of 13 victims had negative feelings toward him? Again where does he get this stuff? Victims of incest, especially daughters raped by their fathers are confused by the entire issue. I blame Christianity and those in society who have for hundreds of years said that one should honor they father, obey thy father etc. And these victims not understanding what is happening to them because the father usually convinces them that is how fathers love their daughters, or they say it is because they are bad or they threaten harm to someone the victim loves if she tells.

-And incest can be between brother and sister and cousins, and ‘socially inappropriate’? How about unacceptable and illegal.

-This man and his large following are dangerous. When I don’t understand where they get their ideas from, and how anyone could possibly believe any of this, all I have to do is remember that they are Christians, that believe Adam and Eve and Cain populated the earth.

Thank You Barack Obama


I would like to personally thank you President Obama for suing my home state of Arizona over SB1070. Thanks to you we have now spent millions of dollars of legal defense. Thank goodness we had Arizona Kids Care, Reduced Lunch Programs, State Health Insurance, TANF, and Unemployment Benefits that we could ‘borrow’ money from to pay for it. And you assured those unlucky illegal immigrants not to worry about their welfare benefits or not having extra teachers to teach their children how to speak English. The Census the State requires all American citizens to fill out will be used to get all the money they need for all the students in every district. And if necessary they can simply get rid of those expensive school buses and those ridiculous PEP programs and Honor Society programs. In addition, the State Troopers and Border Patrol are so grateful they don’t have to do the Federal Governments job by taking illegals into custody and deporting them back across the border. All they have to do with all those Illegal drop houses and Cartel drug deals happening all over the state.

And last but not least the State of Arizona loves you crazy sense of humor….a moat, with alligators in it. That’s just silly.

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