Our Common Good

Documentary shows Catholic positions on abortion, contraception are relatively new  (via The Raw Story)

alexorue:

Hate Group Leaders Tony Perkins & Bryan Fischer Cheer Uganda

For Uganda’s life imprisonment plan for homosexuals, of course.

What sick fucks - but then, they have done all they could to help get this bill passed.  It will probably result in some deaths.  Wonder if they will cheer that as well. 

other-stuff:

In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God—or risk 12 months in prison.

The law and its sponsor, state representative Tom Riner, have been the subject of controversy since the law first surfaced in 2006, yet the Kentucky state Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality, despite clearly violating the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.

My head hurts.

And now an Oklahoma judge has given a teen a sentence to attend church for ten years….

Jonestown reminds us that people can be manipulated by zealots to subscribe with their lives to beliefs which can only be viewed as utterly mad. On November 13, 1978, over 900 people died in that remote South American jungle settlement, but we can project the millions of deaths of women as the result of the religious zealotry of many sects who have led their parishioners into ideological cul-de-sacs which allow no humane conclusions and drive some to positions which can only be described as insane. Shame on those who would so pervert our blessed human options for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The college has one mission: to save America from its downfall, from the abyss into which Barack Obama has steered the country in the past four years. Young conservative Christians are the soldiers in this wa. At Patrick Henry College they will be trained to fight one day on the front - as politicians, filmmakers, or entrepreneurs they will win back American society.  Some have rejected Harvard or Yale in order to study here.

Amrai Coen points out the irony of kids who grew up isolated from American society want to become political activists.

Could these students really govern America some day? I ask myself after a few hours and many conversations on campus.  Most of them have only experienced their own living rooms as their classroom and their siblings as classmates. And these are the students who want to into politics, to pursue a career that is involved in social responsibility, to make decisions that impact the lives of millions of people.

She sees the students as mostly naive or just misguided.  I see something rather more sinister: as the college puts on its Web site, the school is engaged in a war on secular society and seeks to overturn the separation of church and state which is at the core of the American experience…

A female lawyer for an anti-gay Christian group abducted a teenage girl and forced her to have sex on camera while on bail for child pornography charges, it is alleged.

Lisa Biron, 43, was arrested by FBI agents in a Manchester courtroom while awaiting a hearing on district-level charges of possessing pornographic material on her computer.

A few hours later, she was taken into a court in Concord, New Hampshire, accused of taking the teenage girl to Canada, making her engage in sexual activity and convincing her to let it be filmed.

Biron, who is associated with the anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom, was initially arrested after a man walked into the Manchester Police Department claiming he had seen pornography on her computer.

[…]

On Biron’s Facebook page, she lists the Bible as her favorite book.

The heartbreaking story of Savita Halappanavar has serious connections to the U.S. government, our federal policies on women’s reproductive freedom and health care and who gets to determine those policies. As Lynn shows in her piece, the same type of 18th Century thinking that resulted in the death of Savita is in public display here in our own country by U.S. lawmakers and doctors today.

A federal judge Monday rejected Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s request to block part of the federal health care overhaul that requires the arts and craft supply company to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after and week-after birth control pills.

In a 28-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton denied a request by Hobby Lobby to prevent the government from enforcing portions of the health care law mandating insurance coverage for contraceptives the company’s Christian owners consider objectionable.

The Oklahoma City-based company and a sister company, Mardel Inc., sued the government in September, claiming the mandate violates the owners’ religious beliefs. The owners contend the morning-after and week-after birth control pills are tantamount to abortion because they can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s womb. They also object to providing coverage for certain kinds of intrauterine devices.

No organization did more to shape our federal judiciary than the conservative Federalist Society. President George W. Bush raided their membership to identify his nominees to the federal bench. Their annual lawyers’ convention this week features 18 federal judges — plus Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito. In the same year that President Bush headlined their convention, four sitting Supreme Court justices also delivered remarks.

And the Federalists are not simply the breeding ground for new Republican judges, they are also the incubator of the conservative movement’s plans to rewrite the Constitution in the GOP’s image. In 2009 the Federalists published a white paper attacking the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act that was largely ignored by reputable scholars because it’s arguments were terrible. Three years later, the Supreme Court came within a hair of taking health care away from tens of millions of Americans using reasoning similar to the Federalist Society’s paper.

So when a legal argument — even a bad one — is featured in a Society publication or at their national convention, the whole country should take heed. The misreading of the Constitution floated by the Federalists today is likely to wind up in an opinion by Justice Scalia tomorrow.

The Federalists picked an inauspicious moment for their annual lawyers’ convention this year — barely a week after President Obama vanquished a man who would have passed out even more black robes to their membership. So there was no lack of bitterness at their meeting this week. When one of the liberal speakers the Federalists invite as sparring partners for their conservative Illuminati suggested that state lawmakers should work with the federal government to provide health care for the least fortunate, an audience member audibly called out “she’s a fascist.”

The biggest loser in last week’s election was probably the religious right, however, which not only saw their hated president reelected but also witnessed what is likely the beginning of the end of anti-gay discrimination by American governments. So the convention’s panel yesterday morning on “The Future of Religious Liberty” opened with a barbaric yawp at social conservatives’ recent defeat. George Mason law Professor Helen Alvaré, a speaker who literally travels the globe speaking out against the dangers of “sexual expression by empowered women,” opened the panel by complaining about how President Obama’s reelection campaign convinced the nation that the religious right’s priorities are anti-woman — “women were invited to vote as if their ladyparts depended on it, but the last time I checked … Christians are not looking to excise those.”

Yet sitting just a few feet away from Alvaré was conservative scholar Michael Uhlmann, who suggested during the panel that current law, which exempts religious employers from parts of federal anti-discrimination law, should go much farther and exempt many for-profit companies as well. After the panel, ThinkProgress spoke with Uhlmann to give him a chance to clarify what he meant by his claim that far more companies should be able to ignore laws banning discrimination in the workplace. His response did far more to justify fears that conservatives desire a war on women than anything President Obama said during the campaign:

MILLHISER: The Catholic Church has a First Amendment right to say “we will not hire women for certain positions.” If I start an HVAC company, I do not have a right to say I will not hire a woman.

UHLMANN: Maybe not. Maybe, maybe not.

MILLHISER: Do you think I should [have the right to not hire a woman]?

UHLMANN: Presumptively, yeah. Why not? If, in fact, as it appears to be in the case of Hercules or Hobby Lobby, these are in fact rather religiously-devoted people that are running these enterprises.

To be fair to Uhlmann, he was unwilling to say that employers absolutely have a right to refuse to hire women — only that they “presumptively” have that right — but his proposed rule would, at the very least, require women unjustly fired for being women to jump over some very high legal hurdles before they could get their job back.

If the Federalist Society does not want people to think conservatives are anti-women, they should stop promoting speakers and policies that are anti-women. A good start would be disavowing the idea that companies have a constitutional right to fire someone for having a vagina.

Health authorities in Ireland are investigating the death of a pregnant woman whose husband says she was denied an abortion following severe complications.

Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died of septicaemia a week after presenting with back pain on 21 October at University hospital in Galway, where she was found to be miscarrying.

After the 31-year-old dentist was told that she was miscarrying, her husband reportedly said that she had asked for a medical termination a number of times over a three day period, during which she was in severe pain.

But he said these requests were denied because a foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told at one point: “This is a Catholic country.”

Political watchdog and secularist groups are asking the U.S. government to investigate whether Catholic bishops and a Christian evangelical group headed by preacher Billy Graham should lose tax breaks for telling followers how to vote in this year’s election.
“This election signaled the last where a white Christian strategy is workable,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education organization based in Washington.

Christian Right Failed to Sway Voters on Issues — NYTimes.com

(via annaetc)

Um, who told them it was “workable” this time? (via blissandzen)

“It’s that the entire moral landscape has changed,” he said. “An increasingly secularized America understands our positions, and has rejected them.”  Not just the secular, but other religious and spiritual Americans rejected the positions not based on acceptance and compassion and respect. 

Sadly, these kinds of stories are horrid, but not surprising.  Those who speak or act the most forcefully  against something are often trying to block their own secret desires.  Especially, it seems when there is a religious factor involved.