Someone get this man a ‘FLOWBEE‘:
“The Church of England will this week vow to fight “new atheism” in an attempt to combat the rise of secularism and defend Christianity in Britain.”
(Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters)
“Soft-Pedaling Submission: Bill Gothard Denies “Anti-Woman” Theology – 76-year-old never-married evangelist, Bill Gothard, teaches a form of wifely submission that another evangelical theologian has referred to as “the basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context.” Sarah Posner had the chance to speak at length with the controversial religious leader, as well as with critics and former adherents. The picture that emerges shows the risk, and the devastation, of the abuse of spiritual authority.”
The Quietly Crumbling Wall of Separation
“He is correct in asserting that the courts have—due in large part to Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion for the majority in 1990’s Employment Division v. Smith decision—increasingly come to treat the free exercise of religion as just another right, due no more heightened level of protection from government encroachment than any other civil right.” ,…,
“For instance, recall the rhetoric that George W. Bush and his allies continually employed when he attempted, as the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, to expand government’s ability to fund social services through direct grants to churches and other deeply religious groups. He depicted statutory and regulatory barriers that had, in the past, prevented such grants as unfair impediments to churches participating in the nation’s social-service fabric. Bush and his surrogates contended their efforts were attempts simply to “level the playing field”—their favorite catchphrase—for religious groups that just wanted to help their communities like any other service organization that qualified for government funding.
Religious conservatives (along with a handful of moderate and progressive Catholics and evangelicals) have employed similar level-the-playing-field arguments in their attempts to gain government-funded vouchers for use in parochial and other private schools.
But an unlevel playing field for government-religion interactions existed for most of the 20th century due to case law, legislative decisions, and executive-branch regulations that reflected a special view of religion’s place and history in the constitutional order. Supporters of strong readings of both of the First Amendment’s religion clauses believe that the framers set religion apart precisely because they were keenly aware of its unique power to influence society for both great good and great evil. They knew their European history.
The idea had already begun to take root in the courts, and a series of cases regarding government funding for religious entities (most infamously the Court’s 2002 Zelman v. Simmons-Harris decision that gave the thumbs-up to an Ohio voucher program involving religious schools) chipped away at longstanding restrictions on state funding of deeply religious organizations.” Continue
Here is a new one: “Founders Intended to Ban Abortion”…..Really?
By Julie Ingersoll
(Julie Ingersoll ia a Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida. She is the author of Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles and is currently writing a book on the influence of Christian Reconstructionism, recently wrote about Barton’s view of the Constitution and inalienable rights here.)
“According to David Barton, in his recent three-part series, the “limited government” enshrined in the Constitution protects basic rights given by God and is precluded from doing anything else by both the Bible and the Constitution. It also, according to Barton, prohibits abortion.
Yes. That’s right. Barton says that, according to the founders, the first example of God-given inalienable rights, is the right to life. And in fact, in Barton’s view, this first of rights is a bellwether for a number of other issues that are at the top of the religious right’s agenda.”
By Kay Steiger
“Yesterday morning President Barack Obama gave the keynote address at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, a longstanding tradition among presidents since Dwight D. Eisenhower. The breakfast also drew Braveheart screenwriter Randall Wallace and husband of recent Arizona shooting victim…This isn’t anti-religion; this is anti-hatred.”
“The politics of abortion are heating up. The religious right is launching a new campaign to de-fund Planned Parenthood, and end abortion in America. The campaign is being orchestrated around a recently released video by the anti-abortion activist group Live Action.
The anti-choice, anti-abortion, right wing religious fringe is attacking Planned Parenthood like never before. They are attacking in Congress and in statehouses across the country. They want to make abortion illegal.
The group Live Action, led by Lila Rose, was recently caught sending undercover film crews into Planned Parenthood health centers to secretly tape doctors, nurses, and other staff in the hopes of embarrassing the group. However, the tables have been turned on Live Action, and their hoax and attempt at entrapment was exposed by Planned Parenthood earlier this month.
According to Planned Parenthood, Live Action and other fringe groups opposing abortion are spreading lies about their organization in the hopes of eliminating reproductive health care, family planning and sex education for millions.”
“Although Religious Right-style fundamentalists hate evolution, it remains the central organizing principle of biology. We ignore it at our peril.” ,…,
“In central Pennsylvania, a retired chemistry and physics teacher named Tom Ritter is suing the Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, claiming that instruction about evolution is unscientific and advances atheism.
It’s a foolish lawsuit and will undoubtedly fail. (Ritter also wants to abolish public education entirely.) People have tried this gambit before, and it has gone nowhere in the courts.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the courts can only take us so far. I’m thankful for brave federal judges like John E. Jones who struck down intelligent design in Dover, Pa., in 2005, but we have a lot more work to do if we want to preserve the separation of church and state by keeping religion out of science classrooms.”
“What does the Bible really say about sex? Two new books written by university scholars for a popular audience try to answer this question. Infuriated by the dominance in the public sphere of conservative Christians who insist that the Bible incontrovertibly supports sex within the constraints of “traditional marriage,” these authors attempt to prove otherwise. Jennifer Wright Knust and Michael Coogan mine the Bible for its earthiest and most inexplicable tales about sex—Jephthah, who sacrifices his virgin daughter to God; Naomi and Ruth, who vow to love one another until death—to show that the Bible’s teachings on sex are not as coherent as the religious right would have people believe. In Knust’s reading, the Song of Solomon is a paean to unmarried sex, outside the conventions of family and community. “I’m tired,” writes Knust in Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire, “of watching those who are supposed to care about the Bible reduce its stories and teachings to slogans.” Her book comes out this month. Coogan’s book God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says was released last fall.”
Gay Marriage Irony – 13 States still have no laws against boinking an animal…aka “bestiality”:
“While the battle continues in the fight for gay marriage, Mother Jones reports there are still 13 states that haven’t criminalized bestiality. That’s correct, two same-sex individuals in a committed, loving relationship cannot get married in most of these states, but bestiality is just fine.”
“The American ultra right and Christian conservatives, along with nearly all of the GOP are singing his praises, and in the case of the politico’s, either trying to emulate the “Gipper” or at least live in the long shadow of his career and life’s accomplishments.
I’m not, and not just because I’m Canadian.
No, I think that Reagan was despicable on numerous social issues that have left a legacy of hatred, disdain, and hypocrisy on anyone who was not lily white, christian, and upper middle class to wealthy. In particular, nearly everyday as I hear more vilification being heaped on the LGBTQ community, I deem that the true legacy of Ronald Reagan.”
“Claiming that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Paine, etc., were fundamentalist Christians and that they wanted this to be a Christian nation and that the Constitution is a Christian document that comes from God’s or Jesus’s laws does not make it so.”
“Leading scholar says Christianity is overtaking the globe, led by spectacular, ongoing growth in Africa and Asia.”
Look at our world through the eyes of Suzie, a devoutly religious girl who sees divine love and intervention everywhere.
“This cocoon of comfort keeps her ignorant of science and safely away from critical thought, but it sure makes her happy. If you’ve interacted with the deeply religious, you’ve probably met someone in your own life that is just like her.”