We're not here right now. But if you leave a message with your name, number and time you called...

 

Furious Over LGBT Rights, Huckabee Calls Tax Law For Churches ‘Ridiculous False Sword’

On Fox News, Mike Huckabee slammed the 1954 federal tax law that regulates churches and religious groups from endorsing political candidates.

Mike Huckabee appeared in a Fox News “Fox & Friends" segment this morning and before host Steve Doocy could even finish the intro, the former Arkansas governor unleashed a fury of anger.

The segment, “The Fight for Faith,” covered the right wing’s latest “religious liberty” battle, this time in Houston, Texas. 

Even before Democratic Mayor Annise Parker passed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in May, the religious right was out in force, fighting equality for LGBT people. Expecting litigation, Parker signed the bill into law but opted to place a hold on its effective date until any potential lawsuit were resolved.

One lawsuit came from a group of pastors, and in response, the City of Houston’s attorneys, apparently some working pro-bono, subpoenaed documents from several other pastors related to communications they had over the Equal Rights Ordinance. The subpoena reportedly included the word “sermons,” and now the religious right is claiming there actually is a separation of church and state — finally — and claiming this is a gross violation of their First Amendment rights.

Of course, it is not. 

If you file a lawsuit, there are usually subpoenas, and the pastors should not have been surprised.

But on Fox News, which regularly runs segments titled ”The Fight for Faith,” any attempt to hold pastors to the rule of law is an outrage.

David Edwards at the Raw Story notes that Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy this morning called the City of Houston’s attempts to discover information related to a case in which it is being sued “intimidation.”

“But at its core, when you realize what they’re trying to do, I am astounded at the lack of outrage across this country. Because clearly it’s intimidation, and everybody should be outraged that the city mayor is trying to stifle religious liberty!”

In this morning’s interview, Huckabee claimed “there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits a pastor from saying anything he wants to. There’s this ridiculous sort of false sword that hangs over a lot of churches, the Johnson Amendment, dating back to 1954, which I believe is unconstitutional on its face. It’s never been tested. No church in America — not one church has ever lost its tax exempt status.”

“And here’s the point, this has been used by the government as a means to silence free speech, which is protected by the first amendment. As well as religious freedom, which is protected by the First Amendment.”

Of course, there was the requisite Fox News trampling and dismissing of transgender people, with Doocy stating that the pastors merely want to stop “men from using ladies’ restrooms and stuff like that.”

source

I love how Huckabee has the balls to claim a voting rights infringement.

BTW-  If you use your church pulpit to sway politics, you have moved from a faith based organization to a political action committee.
It’s one thing to practice your religion on a personal level, but to force your dogma on others is fanaticism.
Religious extremism is dangerous. We see what religious fanatics are doing in the Middle East. The religious right who call themselves Christian Conservatives are more subtle, but they are just as dangerous.

andresc64:

The US Pledge of Allegiance

         ==========================
According to USHistory.org
The original Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.
In its original form it read:


"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:


"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration.
read more at UShistory.org
So… basically, the Pledge of Allegiance is a socialist verse.
The more you know. :)

andresc64:

The US Pledge of Allegiance

         ==========================

According to USHistory.org

The original Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,” creating the 31-word pledge we say today. Bellamy’s daughter objected to this alteration.

read more at UShistory.org

So… basically, the Pledge of Allegiance is a socialist verse.

The more you know. :)

Pa. minister faces church trial for performing son’s gay wedding

A church trial has been set for a Methodist minister in Pennsylvania who officiated at his son’s same-sex marriage.

Rev. Frank Schaefer’s congregation in Lebanon County held a vigil in support of the pastor on Sunday.

Schaefer, 51, could be suspended, reprimanded or lose his credentials because he performed a wedding ceremony for his son in 2007 in Massachusetts.

He had informed his superiors about it beforehand and did not face any consequences until April, when a congregant filed a complaint.

Methodist ministers are not allowed to perform same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Schaefer said nothing was more important to him than supporting his son, who he said had struggled with embracing his own sexual orientation.

"Had I said no to my son’s request, that would have negated every affirmation that we gave him over all these years," he said.

The United Methodist Church formally accepts gay and lesbian members but teaches that homosexuality is not compatible with Christian teaching.

Schaefer’s trial will begin Nov. 18 at a Methodist retreat in Spring City, about 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

He could avoid trial by agreeing not to perform another same-sex marriage, but he has decided not to do that.

Three of his four children are gay.

via 6abc

What is it about drugs that makes people stupid? …oh, right.

This was originally posted to ADignorantiun.Wordpress on August 15th. I’m reposting it here because last night a neighbor, for whom I had a fair amount of respect, was sitting on her front steps with her eight year old granddaughter, of whom she has custody, smoking pot.

Like I said before, I’m no prude. But there are some things you just don’t do on your front steps, let alone in front of small children!


  —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-

Can someone please explain to me the need to roll and smoke a blunt -or do any drug for that matter- on other people’s property? Seriously. Is this just a South Philly thing? …or does this happen everywhere?

I wasn’t brought up this way. I was raised to respect others. I was taught that people treat you the way you treat them. If you act like a thug, you can’t get angry when people treat you as such.

I often lament having to live within blocks of a crack house simply because we can’t afford to move. Don’t get me wrong. we live on a great block – mostly. But every once in a while reality comes wandering along with the sweet smelling cloud of ganja gas suspended above his head.

I’m not a prude. Mary Jane and I are old friends. It just would never occur to me to get blazed on the steps of a stranger’s house. It’s arrogant. It’s inconsiderate to your neighbors. It calls attention to yourself, and it’s just plain stupid. Why do it?

At the risk of sounding like the old head that I am, when I was young we smoked weed in private. We knew it was illegal, so we kept it on the down low. These days, young turks think nothing of whipping out a crack pipe while strolling down the street! What the hell, man? Get it together! Little kids live on our block! Do that shit in your own house!

Hanging out on our steps is usually enough to dissuade anyone from toking up on the street. But every now and again some idiot will think we don’t notice and light up. In those cases, just asking the person if (s)he can “please do that somewhere else” is usually enough to send them on their way. But occasionally, some little punk thinks his need to get high is more important than the rights of our neighbors.

The worst is when they try to hide on the steps of the small pentecostal church at the end of our street. Here’s where insolence rises to new heights! What the hell is wrong with people!? Seriously! Have some f*king self respect!

I grew up in an Italian household. Wine was served with every meal. It was a normal part of life. As children, we were never made to feel left out. Our wine glasses were somewhat watered down, but we each had one. If we wanted to taste any of the “adult” beverages, all we had to do was ask. My family knew that the way to make something more desirable is to ban it, so nothing was forbidden. As a result, the mystery was taken out of alcohol. If there’s no mystery, it’s no longer special. We were free to pursue more important things.

Any child psychologist will tell you, the quickest way to get a child to do something it to tell him he’s not allowed to do it. When you remove the restrictions you take away it’s importance. I’m a firm believer in the legalization of marijuana to abate it’s importance. Decriminalization will help reduce drug related crime. Taxing it will help add much needed money to our treasury.

But when I see these kids hiding in doorways or shuffling down the street like zombies, I have to wonder if maybe I have it all wrong.

—————————————————————————————————-

Originally posted Thursday August 15, 2013 on ADignorantium.Wordpress

…but the subject irks me enough to post it again.

WATCH: A Look at “Conversion Therapy”

Controversial therapy seeks to “fix” gay individuals by turning them straight.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill on Monday that bans licensed therapists from trying to turn gay individuals straight through a process known as “conversion therapy.”

Supporters of the bill said that such therapy is especially harmful for minors.  Others who oppose the bill are adamant that other non-licensed institutions like churches and social groups will continue practice conversion therapy without any oversight.

New Jersey is the second state to ban conversion therapy, after California.

————————————————————————————————-

Conversion Therapy is CRUEL!  It’s Child Abuse!

It reenforces the idea that there is something wrong with LGBT people at a time in their lives when they are the most vulnerable.

If you TRULY love your children, you will allow them to thrive.

If you are a young person who thinks they might be Lesbian or Gay, or perhaps bisexual, you are NOT alone. You can find help from people who understand what you are going through. People just like you who want to help. Simply enter “LGBT Youth Services” in your search engine for a listing of organizations near you.

chejustus:

joehillsthrills:

ex0skeletal:

Lucifer (Morning Star) by Paul Fryer

(Installation in the Holy Church in Marylebone, 2008. Anodised aluminium, silicon rubber cord, wax work figure, feathers/aluminium, concrete.)

Got to throw this on my Pinterest as soon as I have a moment.

Holy wow.

Beautiful work.

The Upstairs Lounge Fire: The Little Known Story of the Largest Killing of Gays in US History

A__021_21a
Courtesy of Johnny Townsend

The Upstairs Lounge in the New Orleans French Quarter was a safe haven for gays in 1973. Every Sunday night from 5pm to 7pm, the second-floor bar held its weekly “beer bust”—all you can drink drafts for $1. It was a refuge where patrons could laugh, love, and even worship without fear. The Metropolitan Community Church, the only denomination at the time that welcomed gays and lesbians, often held services in the bar’s back-room theater.

On June 24, 1973, a flash fire tore through a gay bar in New Orleans’ French Quarter. In less than 20 minutes, 32 people were killed, dozens more critically injured and the ones who managed to escape watched helplessly as friends and lovers burned to death before their eyes. It is believed to be the largest killing of gay people in U.S. history. Yet politicians and religious leaders were relatively silent. The powerful Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans at the time, Phillip Hannan, did not offer his support or sympathy to victims. And while all signs pointed to arson, the police investigation ran cold. No one has ever been prosecuted.

In this week’s magazine, TIME tells the story of the Upstairs Lounge Fire, which remains little known and even less understood despite the epic scale of the tragedy. Events like Stonewall have entered the canon of GLBT history, while other, equally significant moments have lingered in the background. But the movement is still relatively young in the arc of American history and as Harvey Milk once said, “A reading of the Declaration of Independence on the steps of a building is widely covered. The events that started the American Revolution were the meetings in homes, pubs, on street corners.”

As the stories of a survivor who remembers that tragic night, the founder of the church whose local congregation held services in the bar and the lead police investigator on the case show, the Upstairs fire was one such event.

Forty years later, the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans apologized for its silence in a statement to TIME: “In retrospect, if we did not release a statement we should have to be in solidarity with the victims and their families,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said via email on June 17. “The church does not condone violence and hatred. If we did not extend our care and condolences, I deeply apologize.” In a month that anticipates a potentially landmark Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the apology is another sign that times are changing.