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LGBTQ people suffer when religion & government mix
A pair of recent decisions from two of the southern federal Circuit Courts of Appeals should be alarming us all. Instead, they’re only alarming a handful of us – because, overall, our community still clings to the inexplicable belief that religion can be our friend or, at least, a friend that we will be able to use to defend ourselves from certain others who also claim religion to be their friend.
Of the two recent decisions, only one has a direct LGBTQ component. Even so, it is truly difficult to say which one is the more disturbing, though the non-LGBTQ one, United States v. Brown, probably deserves the nod.
The Brown in question is Corrine, a former member of Congress from Florida, convicted on a slew of counts, the specifics of which are strangely irrelevant for purposes of what makes one of the opinions in her case problematic.
What does matter is that she was convicted by a jury. On appeal she took issue with the trial court’s decision to not allow “Juror 13” to contribute to rendering a verdict.
Shortly after deliberations began, “Juror 8” informed the judge that “13” had said, “A Higher Being told me Corrine Brown was Not Guilty on all charges” and that he “trusted the Holy Ghost.”
Do those sound like the words of someone who is going to make a decision based on earthly evidence?
What the LGBTQ community has never learned is that, when religion merges with government and science is reduced to having no more standing than faith, our religions and faiths and beliefs (or lack thereof) will never be recognized when they conflict with the particular religion and faith and belief of those who have seized power – legitimately or otherwise.
Once religion enters the government picture, everyone loses – at least everyone not sitting at the table of power.
A major church and state case ignites ungodly amounts of debate at US Supreme Court
Few topics arouse the passions of Americans like god and government and whether the twain shall meet.
This was demonstrated by the many “friend of the court” briefs filed ahead of tomorrow’s hearing at the US Supreme Court, where the justices will consider arguments on a major case that could have implications for the separation of church and state.
A flurry of 44 filings—a number rivaled only by similarly contentious cases on inflammatory issues like gun rights, abortion, or immigration—urged the court to consider the cultural consequences of the matter. The justices’ decision will either hamper religious freedom or erode the precious barrier between church and state, depending on which side the brief writers support.
The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret
The memories come to her in fragments. The bed creaking late at night after one of her brothers snuck into her room and pulled her to the edge of her mattress. Her underwear shoved to the side as his body hovered over hers, one of his feet still on the floor.
Her ripped dresses, the clothespins that bent apart on her apron as another brother grabbed her at dusk by the hogpen after they finished feeding the pigs. Sometimes she’d pry herself free and sprint toward the house, but “they were bigger and stronger,” she says. They usually got what they wanted.
As a child, Sadie* was carefully shielded from outside influences, never allowed to watch TV or listen to pop music or get her learner’s permit. Instead, she attended a one-room Amish schoolhouse and rode a horse and buggy to church—a life designed to be humble and disciplined and godly.
2 Mass. Priests Suspended Amid Decades Old Abuse Complaints
French trial exposes how church covered for predator priest
Senators demand review of Army Reserve sexual assaults
Kanye West’s new religious fanatic friend joins anti-LGBTQ “freedom march”
Rapper Kanye West announced he will appear at Awaken2020, a stadium-sized prayer rally hosted by some of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives.
Now one of the organizers of the event has announced he will join an upcoming anti-LGBTQ “freedom march.”
Related: If you’re boycotting Chick-fil-A, why aren’t you protesting Adidas & Kanye West?
Pastor Lou Engle will join “former homosexuals” in Boston to help lead a “rainbow revival.” Engle has said America has become like Nazi Germany because of gay rights. He helped fan the flames of hate in Uganda at a time when this nation was debating whether to enact the infamous “Kill the Gays” bill.
Kanye West’s Dark Turn to the Anti-Gay Christian Right
Virginia Declares State of Emergency After Armed Militias Threaten to Storm the Capitol
In response to what he described as “credible intelligence” of threats of violence at an upcoming gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency and will temporarily ban individuals from carrying firearms on Capitol grounds.
The governor said at a press conference Wednesday that authorities believe “armed militia groups plan to storm the Capitol” during the January 20 rally.
He also said that law enforcement had intercepted threats and “extremist rhetoric” similar to what was observed prior to the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here,” he said.
Kanye West joins stadium “prayer rally” with some of America’s most anti-LGBTQ activists
Rapper Kanye West announced he will appear at Awaken2020, a stadium-sized prayer rally hosted by some of the nation’s most anti-LGBTQ religious conservatives. After West’s announcement so many people rushed online to get free tickets to the event, the group’s website crashed.
West, who’s erratic behavior has seen him suddenly becoming a rightwing Christian and devout worshipper of Donald Trump, has been pushing his new gospel album recently. One of the songs is an ode to Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain most frequently identified with religious controversy over LGBTQ rights.
Florida Republicans submit 4 anti-gay bills on last day to file
Tennessee Will Allow Adoption Agencies to Ban LGBTQ+ Parents
Indonesian mayor plans LGBT raids after infamous rape spree, outraging activists
Group threatens to sue after blessing of 'official Bible' for swearing in Space Force commanders
The MRFF issued a statement expressing the organization's outrage over the ceremony, saying the group "condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism which occurred at yesterday's 'blessing.'"
The less we brag, the less they'll hate. (If we are all equal, what is the need?) 09-Jan-2020
White Christian America ended in the 2010s
Like the tumultuous adolescent years of human development, the changes during the teen years of the 21st century disrupted American identity as we’ve known it. These transformations have come upon us quickly, upending long-standing assumptions — particularly among white Christians — about the American social fabric. And as with teenagers, they have created a lot of anxiety and fear about the future.
Of all the changes to identity and belonging, the century’s second decade has been particularly marked by a religious sea change. After more than two centuries of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance, the United States has moved from being a majority-white Christian nation to one with no single racial and religious majority.
The Supreme Court will hear 2 major cases about when religious schools can ignore civil rights laws
The Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it would hear a pair of cases concerning the “ministerial exemption” to employment discrimination laws. Broadly speaking, the “ministerial exemption” provides that religious “ministers” are not protected by civil rights laws in their workplace — so a church could, for example, fire its preacher because the preacher is black.
A letter to my racist in-laws
“It’s because you have foreign blood in you, that’s why you live 350 miles from home,” my uncle says to me. Noah* is sat next to me. Embarrassed, I look down into my dinner and mumble “well, what about my brother? He’s always lived close by.” I try and disrupt his logic. “Well he’s different, isn’t he?” My uncle carries on talking. I stop listening. I’m angry. Why has no one interrupted him? Why is no one sticking up for me?
It’s Easter Sunday, 2018. I’m at my parents’ house for a family gathering with both sides of my family. My uncle is white. My dad is white. My mum is brown. I’m mixed race. My mum was born in Mauritius, she moved to the UK when she was a baby in the ‘50s. My parents, who have been together since the ‘80s have never addressed the issue of race. I think they just wanted to keep their heads down in the hope that things would get better. Racist comments like those from my uncle are commonplace at my family gatherings.
Noah is my partner. He’s white. His family are racist too.
Are Kids Naturally Racist?
How to deal with unaware racist parents
I Stood Up To My Racist Dad Because It’s Time To Break The Cycle
Indiana School Board Member Says 'Cry Me a River' Over Trans Suicides
Activists in Evansville, Ind., caught a school board member on video appearing to dismiss their concerns about safety for LGBTQ kids.
This week, ten members of the Tri-State Alliance — a social service and educational organization serving LGBTQ communities in southeastern Illinois, southwestern Indiana, and western Kentucky — attended a board meeting of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County School Corporation to ask for greater protections for queer students.
After the meeting, the activists confronted school board members, according to posts on the group’s Facebook page.
The Tri-State Alliance says board member Ann Ennis claimed there was no support on the board for addressing suicide concerns among trans students.
On a video posted to the group’s Facebook page, Tri-State Alliance President Wally Paynter can be heard calling Ennis transphobic.
Trans Woman Sues Pharmacy for Revealing Her HIV Status
Utah school fires substitute teacher who told 5th-graders 'homosexuality is wrong'
Ellen and Science Confirm: Rich People Only Care About Themselves
Surprised that Ellen DeGeneres was seen yukking it up with George W. Bush at a football game last weekend? Don’t be! Rich people love hanging out with other rich people. So, since Ellen’s a multimillionaire, the 43rd President of the United States is a multimillionaire, and Charlotte Jones Anderson—the Dallas Cowboys’ Executive Vice President who invited both of them to Sunday’s game—is a multimillionaire, it actually all makes perfect sense that they’d all want to socialize together.
Still, it is confusing to think about how DeGeneres, one of the nation’s foremost openly gay celebrities would, could look past Bush’s years of using the bully pulpit to advocate against LGBTQ rights—not to mention, uhhhh, the unnecessary wars he started in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have killed millions of people and traumatized countless others.
Ellen tried to explain away the cognitive dissonance of all this on her talk show Monday morning, saying that “just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.” But disagreeing about the Bush administration’s ongoing legacy of global violence against Muslim people seems like more than just a difference of opinion.
Does Ellen not understand why people are disgusted by that video of her and W. palling around at the football game? Does she just not care?
(Paul continues on with the observation that "the love of money is the root of all evil." 1 Timothy 6:10 Miller emphasizes that "it is the love of money that is the obstacle to faith, not the money itself." Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!")
Are the rich more selfish than the rest of us?
BEING RICH MAKES YOU MORE SELFISH, FINDS STUDY
Millennials Aren’t That Into God, Patriotism, or Having Kids: Poll
Voting Republican has become an activity analogous to reminiscing about air-raid drills or complaining incessantly about back pain: ordinary for boomers, but a marker of eccentricity among the young.
In 2016, Donald Trump commanded the support of only 28 percent of voters under 30, according to Pew Research. His disapproval rating among Americans under 35 currently hovers around 70 percent. And millennials’ antipathy for our Republican president isn’t personal; the Fox News grandpa-in-chief might be especially unappealing to the rising generation, but the kids don’t have much use for the GOP’s kinder, gentler reactionaries, either. Less than 30 percent of millennials wanted Republicans to retain control of Congress last year. And in broader measures of generational opinion, both millennials and Gen-Zers evince higher levels of support for liberal ideological premises and policy proposals than any older cohorts.
This is a big problem for the GOP. For a while, a rightward drift among boomers — combined with millennials’ woeful turnout rates — kept Republicans from paying much of a price for refusing to update its agenda for the rising generations. But in 2018, the oldest Gen-Zers entered the electorate, and millennial turnout surged. As a result, for the first time ever, millennial, Gen-Z, and Gen-X voters collectively cast more ballots than boomers or “silent types” for the first time ever in a midterm election.
This state of affairs leaves the Republican Party with three options for preserving its medium-term competitiveness in national elections: Adjust its platform to better meet the demands of younger voters, ramp up voter suppression efforts, or pray that the kids will age out of their liberalism.
Michigan police officer investigated, on paid leave after KKK items found at home
A Michigan police officer is under investigation and on paid administrative leave after potential buyers of his property toured his home and found items inside related to the Confederacy and the Ku Klux Klan.
Robert Mathis, who is black, and his wife, Reyna, toured the home of Officer Charles Anderson, a member of the Muskegon, Michigan, Police Department. On the tour they were confronted with multiple Confederate flags, and a framed document in one of the upstairs bathrooms.
That old, yellow paper turned out to be an application to the Ku Klux Klan.
Straight Pride Organizer: 'We're a Totally Peaceful Racist Group'
Shocking video shows Florida cop shoving handcuffed suspect face-first into concrete wall