Tag Archive for Religion

How stupid does it have to get?

fix stupidA child in Oklahoma who insists humans existed alongside dinosaurs can still get an A on a science test under a newly introduced bill. Creationism is allowed to be taught as fact in Tennessee schools, and Missouri is still trying to pass a bill.

In Kansas, a bill has been introduced allowing teachers to refute climate science.

A legislator in Missouri has sponsored a bill to make it a felony for anyone to propose any new gun safety legislation.

A legislator in Alabama, a woman, has called the fetus “the largest organ in the body.” Uh, that would be the skin, honey.

In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg denies that any homeless people are sleeping on the streets.

This doesn’t even include the petty, vindictive bills and laws that would deny millions of people access to health care through Medicaid expansions or reduce Social Security or Medicare benefits, slash taxes on the rich while increasing them on the working class, slash unemployment benefits for people whose jobs are shipped overseas …

I’m just talking stupid here, not immorality.

I thought we had reached the depths of stupid when Senate candidate Todd Akin from Missouri insisted that in a “real” rape a woman could just “shut that whole thing down” and avoid pregnancy.

It seems we’re still descending, though. Denying scientific fact has become the fashionable thing for the Right to do. It doesn’t matter what kind of proof there is, science is wrong and they feel disrespected when you tell their their religious belief might be metaphor and not fact.

We have come to the point where claims of religious freedom are allowed to trump science in schools and in legislatures. Where does it stop?

Your religion is called faith, and the definition of faith is a belief in something you can’t see or touch or even prove. I understand faith because I’m a Christian.

But I also believe in science, and the two exist nicely side-by-side. The creation story is metaphor. God has no sense of time, so each “day” is an era in the evolution of life. See? It fits, unless you insist God didn’t inspire the Bible but wrote it.

“Well, evolution is just a theory,” they say.

So is gravity. Get over it.

As for the fetus as organ thing and the magical lady parts, I just don’t know what to say except that when someone says something that stupid no one should ever vote for them again.

 

 

You can’t argue with fools

My husband took this shot of me standing next to a young woman who was protesting the hate being spewed bu so-called Christians at Bele Chere.

OK, I probably shouldn’t have dropped the F-bomb.

But there they were, telling me I’m going to hell because I have a beer in my hand.

I’m walking along, minding my own business, looking at the merchandise in the tents at Bele Chere, and I hear someone with a megaphone (because shouting doesn’t irritate people enough, I guess) saying the woman with the beer is a hopeless sinner and headed to hell.

My first thought was that this person knows nothing about me. He doesn’t know I’m a Christian, he doesn’t know about my work advocating for people in need, he doesn’t know anything about me.

I snapped.

“You are SO F*%(ing obnoxious!” I yelled in his general direction.

“Well, if you don’t like what I’m saying, you can move on,” he answered. “But I’m talking about your soul!”

Yeah, right. You’re seeking attention, hoping to offend people so someone will say you can’t use your megaphone to spoil people’s day. Then you can pretend to be persecuted.

I hollered back: “I can move on but these poor merchants can’t. They have to listen to your crap AND lose business because of you.”

These guys are effin’ obnoxious.

They aren’t even from Asheville; most of them travel from place to place trying to make trouble so they can say Christians are persecuted. They crave attention and there’s nothing Christian about their actions.

I guess part of why it annoys me so is that I grew up among their ilk in a very fundamentalist church, where hatred was practiced every week.

When my best friend got pregnant out of wedlock and lost a set of twins in her seventh month, she was told, “See? God punishes.” Her father was chastised for not being able to control his daughter.

They hated gays, of course, and they hated the “godless gooks” (right from the pulpit) in Vietnam. They hated everyone who didn’t agree with them.

They sent children out into downtown areas to hand out religious tracts and “witness.”

That’s what this harassment of festival-goers is about. It’s called “witnessing,” which they do because Jesus told his followers to be a witness.

You can be a witness by allowing people to witness you behaving in a manner that befits followers of Christ. Help the poor. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your enemy.

I would say standing on a street corner telling people they’re going to hell by screaming it through a megaphone isn’t exactly Christlike.

And normally, I wouldn’t even acknowledge their presence, but I’m tired of them.

Two years ago I was with my niece and her two kids when we approached Pack Square, and there they were, screaming about illicit sex. My 3-yer-old grand nephew wanted to know what he was talking about.

Really? I came out for a fun family day and I had to try to explain this nut to my little grand-nephew.

Last year, I stopped at a merchant and wound up leaving without buying anything because I couldn’t stand the hate coming out of the megaphone set up right next to the merchant. I apologized to her as I left and she said she understood.

So, these clowns are costing local merchants business, but they have a right to use a megaphone to spew hatred while families try to enjoy a day at a downtown festival.

It’s not the beer making this event unpleasant for families. I’m just sayin’.

 

Court affirms gays’ rights

Elizabeth Eve and Kathryn Cartledge have been together for 30 years and raised two daughters. Why can't they marry?

A Federal Appeals Court in Boston issued a ruling this morning that the Defense of Marriage Act denies gay couples their Constitutional rights to the same federal benefits straight couples enjoy.

In all, straight couples enjoy more than 1,000 rights and benefits that are denied to gay and lesbian couples, even in states where such marriages are legal.

The Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, was passed by Congress in 1996 when it looked like Hawaii was about to legalize gay marriage. Of course, since then a couple dozen states have followed suit and either passed laws or amended their constitutions to outlaw gay marriage. Eight states have legalized it: Massachusetts, in 2006, followed by Connecticut, New York, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Washington state and the District of Columbia. Maryland and Washington’s laws aren’t enacted yet and still could face popular votes.

In those states that have legalized marriage between any two consenting adults, gay couples are being denied the same federal benefits straight married couples enjoy. That, the appeals court said, is unconstitutional.

The decision won’t go into effect until the US Supreme Court rules on the case, which I find worrisome, considering the current domination of the court by conservative activists.

Part of the problem here is that anti-gay religious people have been able to mobilize the popular vote better than we who support the right of all consenting adults to make the legal contract we know as marriage.

I’ve known all along that the courts and/or Congress are going to have to step in and assert the rights of GLBT people to marry; states aren’t known for expanding the rights of people on their own. Look at the history of the Civil Rights Movement or that of the Women Suffrage Movement. The majority of people seem to want to preserve their own rights rather than extend equal rights to a minority.

When I ask people who oppose same-sex marriage why they think gays should be denied the same rights they enjoy, they invariably quote religion. But if it’s a religious issue, why is it codified into the laws of a nation where the church is supposed to be separate from the state?

They usually either don’t answer or they use the slippery-slope argument. You know, the one: “If we do this, the next thing you know, people will want to marry their dogs.”

But dogs aren’t consenting adults, nor are farm animals, birds, insects — or children. So don’t start with the pedophilia argument either.

If you have a religious objection to gays being married, then you don’t have to allow them to be married in your church. And you don’t have to marry someone of your same gender.

But you can’t deny people their rights because your religion says they’re sinners.

I’ve had this discussion with plenty of “love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin” types. My argument is that people are born to be who they are.

How can you separate someone from the person they were born to be?

I think we’re all on a continuum — we all have tendencies within us. I’m straight. Some people are bisexual; others are gay or lesbian.  It’s how we’re meant to be, and we all deserve the same right to choose our life partners from among consenting adults.

 

 

 

 

Cry tonight, fight tomorrow

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this frustrated.

A minority of North Carolina’s registered voters just robbed hundreds of thousand of people of their rights.

Our state constitution has been amended to discriminate against people who aren’t legally married all in the name of “family values.”

Now we don’t just have a law discriminating against gays and lesbians by denying them the right to marry, we have enshrined it into our constitution and in the process robbed everyone who isn’t married legally of their rights and benefits.

People who were insured by the employers of their domestic partners will lose their insurance benefits and their rights to any say in the care of the people they love.

Parents will lose rights to their children, and children will lose health benefits.

People who suffer domestic abuse will lose their protections because they aren’t legally married to the person who’s beating the crap out of them. Sure, they can charge their abusers with assault, but they won’t have the added protections they had this morning. No order of protection, no arrest if he comes back to the house, unless he beats her senseless again or succeeds in killing her.

Let’s be clear about this: Amendment One will cause people to die — from lack of insurance, from domestic abuse — all in the process of mixing religion and the law. Because nearly everyone who objects to LGBT relationships does so for religious reasons.

We in North Carolina have taken a huge step back. We have placed hate and bigotry into our constitution, and people will die because of it.

I’m sick to my stomach tonight. I’m going to have a stiff drink and a short pity-party, then I’m going to bed because I’ll need my energy in the morning when the fight begins anew.

I want justice, and I can be damned tenacious.

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