Not Alone

You are not alone. Just check out this video:

Not what you were expecting? Did you see the twist coming? I did because it was posted on Twitter. I was planning to just respond with some snarky comments (“Oh, you have gay friends? Well, OK then!”) but then THIS came to my attention:

Look, you can believe what you want about God. You may think God doesn’t consider a marriage to be between two dudes or two chicks. OK, that’s fine. But when you don’t believe that the state should recognize such marriages, that those relationships are and should be legally inferior, that’s where you are going to run into problems. And if people give you funny looks for saying that, then so be it. Gay people have endured much worse.

SSM is Not Like Abortion

One of the things I’ve been neglecting by not doing much blogging is holding Ryan Anderson’s feet to the fire. He hasn’t been inactive lately, by any means. So to kick things off for the new year, let’s tackle one of his latest instances of foolishness.

In the video below, a distraught middle-aged woman complains to the panel that her young niece looked at her like she was “a horrible person” when the woman told her niece she thought marriage was between a man and a woman, and looked to the panel for some help with “How are you guys winning [millenials] over” to the side of bigotry (OK, that’s my word…)?

And “Dr.”* Anderson’s (looking increasingly like Grizzly Adams–not such a fresh face now) response? Comparing abortion to same-sex marriage: “My generation is more pro-life than my parents’ generation, and there’s no reason why the same thing can’t happen on the question about marriage.”

Oh, but there is. It’s a bit like comparing support for nuclear weapons programs to believing it’s acceptable for men to wear pink.
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Arizona SB 1062 dissected

Let’s take a closer look at the bill currently sitting on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s desk, awaiting her signature. It is SB 1062 “AMENDING SECTIONS 41-1493 AND 41-1493.01, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION.” Full text available here (pdf) for now. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, take my analysis with a big grain of salt.)

First of all, this is amending an existing law, not creating a new one. Arizona already has a law to protect religious freedom. This amendment extends its reach to ridiculous and unenforceable proportions.

What are some of the key changes? (Additions to existing law in bold and caps).

In Section 1:

19 5. “Person” includes a religious assembly or institution ANY
20 INDIVIDUAL, ASSOCIATION, PARTNERSHIP, CORPORATION, CHURCH, RELIGIOUS ASSEMBLY
21 OR INSTITUTION OR OTHER BUSINESS ORGANIZATION
.

Cue Mitt Romney: “Corporations are people, my friend!” Apparently in Arizona, corporations may also have religious beliefs. This ought to be a warning sign that things are starting to go off the rails in Arizona when any business entity is given “person” status in relation to religious practices and beliefs.
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Arizona, What the Fuck?

While my attention was elsewhere the Arizona legislature passed an anti-gay discrimination law similar to the nonsense that was considered in Kansas.

What the fuck?!

The Arizona legislature gave final approval to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays, drawing backlash from Democrats who called the proposal “state-sanctioned discrimination” and an embarrassment.

The 33-27 vote by the House Thursday evening sends the legislation to Republican Governor Jan Brewer and puts Arizona back at the forefront of a polarizing piece of legislation four years after the state enacted an immigration crackdown that caused a national furor.

from the Guardian

Of course, the GOP supporters claim this is about preventing discrimination!

“This bill is not about allowing discrimination,” Yarbrough said. “This bill is about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

So if someone’s “faith” tells them to kill infidels, we should probably protect that too, right? My faith tells me to punch those fucking jackasses in the nuts. I’m so over this bullshit.

If Jan Brewer signs this, she and all those who voted for it should be impeached for failing to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

The People of the Gun

Guns & Ammo column backing Illinois gun law brings vitriolic backlash, costs writer his job

I don’t have the time I’d like to properly comment on this story, but it makes me sick. What sort of compromise can we hope to achieve when one side will tear apart one of their own for calmly and rationally expressing a viewpoint that deviates even slightly from the extreme?

The one thing I will point out is this response from a gun rights advocate:

I’m going to stop there. Anyone who says “I believe in the Second Amendment but–” does not believe in the Second Amendment. They are not friends, they are not frenemies, they are enemies of The People of the Gun.
More than that, whether or not these nominal gun rights supporters (e.g., President Obama, Senator Charles Schumer) “believe” in the Second Amendment is irrelevant. As stated above, the right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, stemming from our natural right of self-defense. It doesn’t require belief, faith or political justification.

“The People of the Gun”? It’s like a religious fanaticism, and it’s nearly impossible to reason with religious fanatics; rational thought doesn’t enter the picture. There’s more to pick apart in this statement, but I really do need to get back to work, so I’ll let you read the full piece for now, and try to post more later.

Scum of the Earth

Tea Party Group Founder Calls For Class Action Suit Against Homosexuality

It is for people like this that the phrase “scum of the earth” was coined. You’d be hard pressed to find worse people who openly extol their wretchedness and who aren’t already behind bars or on a “Most Wanted” list.

“Peter,” Scarborough said, “the whole issue of a class action lawsuit, you and I have talked about this a little bit. I just wonder if you’ve explored that, talked to anyone about it. Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that. Any thoughts on that kind of an approach?”

OK, I am legitimately curious as to who this lawsuit would be against? Of course, Peter [LaBarbera] likes the idea, responding “Yeah I think that’s great. I would love to see it.”

And then:

LaBarbera went on to say, “We always wanted to see one of the kids in high school who was counseled by the official school counselor to just be gay, then he comes down with HIV.”

Yeah, he said they “always wanted to see” a high school kid get HIV. I mean, really? These people profess to be Christian? Disgusting.

Meet the new pope, same as the old pope

As you’ve no doubt already heard, the Catholic Church has elected a new pope, the former Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina. He’s taken the name Francis, which is apparently a big deal to those who pay attention to papal names.

What will be different? It seems like this guy has been focused a lot on the poor, and eschews many of the trappings and perks of his office (unlike the last guy, for sure). So that’s different. And the world would probably benefit if the Church really put a top-down priority on helping the poor for a change.

But in other areas? Well, not much good news there. He takes the same old very conservative stances on homosexuality and contraception. He has spoken out against gay adoption and same-sex marriage, calling the later “a real and dire anthropological throwback”, which oddly enough is how I would describe the Catholic Church.

Is Your Religious Freedom At Risk?

I’m a bit late to the game here, as this was posted on 9/05 and I didn’t see it until it was linked to by Truth Wins Out. But it’s very relevant and fits in well with what I’ve been blogging about, so it’s still worth sharing here.

The piece is How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions by Rev. Emily Heath. Go read it!

Done reading? Welcome back. It seems like certain religious folks have as much trouble understanding religious freedom as they do freedom of speech. Perhaps intentionally? Is this piece going to open any minds? I don’t know, but we can hope.

Today is Yom Kippur. To all my Jewish readers: umm…happy atoning?