Friday, September 30, 2011

Convenient scapegoats.

Harris Himes is a Religious Right activist, who periodically claims to be a pastor and an attorney though both credentials seem to have been called into question. He is the head of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, and an outspoken proponent of using government to impose "Christian values" on the entire culture. Schlafy lists Himes as her state coordinator in Montana, though I wouldn't be surprised if that changes soon.

Himes was recently arrested in a phony investment scheme, charged with bilking a man out of $150,000. Himes and another man, who is also a fundamentalist minister, claimed to be principles in a manufacturing compan,y but records indicate the $150,000 went to pay off credit card debts.

After his arrest Himes went on radio to claim that he is the victim of a conspiracy lead by "the gays" along with "pro-abortion activists." I wonder if "the gays" involved in the conspiracy against Himes includes Schlafly's son.

In celebration of the paranoid delusions of "Rev." Himes, here is a music video by Oded Gross, "It's All Because." Enjoy it.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Has the Christian Right Jumped on the Wrong Campaign?

The story that went around the media, courtesy of a far Right fundamentalist group, was that a poor Christian high school student, Dakota Ary, was being picked on because he's a Christian who, of course, dislikes gay people intensely. Dakota, by the way, even with the long curly locks and a rather feminine-sounding name, is a boy.

The story that went out was entirely one-sided. It claimed that Dakota was sitting in class minding his own business when he was possessed to quietly make an anti-gay remark to another student sitting near him. We were told he did in a manner so as to NOT disturb the class, that it wasn't directed at anyone in particular, and all he was doing was expressing his faith.

I was waiting for more information until I commented, but I was already a wee bit suspicious. The first thing I had to wonder about was how the claim that he did this quietly so as to not disrupt the teaching or the classroom in any manner. If this were so, then precisely how did the teacher hear the remark and report the miscreant to the school, which then suspended him? After all, the fundamentalists insisted that the boy didn't speak loud enough to disrupt the class in any way. That would seem to imply he was so quiet that other students, except the one he was speaking to, would NOT have heard this. Yet, the teacher heard it at the front of the room, during a lecture. So, clearly the teacher could hear the remark over his own voice as he was speaking.

But, if the teacher heard the remark over his teaching voice, then it would mean that other students would have heard the remark over the teacher's lesson as well. And, if other students heard Dakota preaching louder than the teacher was teaching, then, ipso facto, Dakota did disturb the class, contrary to the claims his defenders were spewing to the media.

Having escaped from the clutches of fundamentalists some years ago I also know that they are always tempted to lie in situations like this, for the sake of morality, of course. So, I was suspicious that they insisted the boy also only spoke respectfully and didn't direct his remarks at anyone. I assumed, based on the odds, that this was an outright lie. I assumed, wrongly, that the remarks would be directed at another student.

After a week of the fundamentalist Right whining and crying over the alleged issue of "political correctness," some friends of the teacher are now coming forward to speak on his behalf. And the story that is emerging there is very different than the webs spun by the PR people for the misnamed Liberty Institute, the bigots behind the story.

The teacher and the school are forbidden to speak publicly about the matter while it is being investigated but some individuals have meet with the teacher privately to discuss the issue. His story is significantly different.

The class in question was a course on German and Germany. The teacher, not a student, had been the object of various anti-gay remarks made by Dakota and a few of his friends. They perceived the teacher to be gay and would make snide and snotty remarks directed at him, in his presence. The teacher, Kristopher Franks, is said to have reported these incidents to the school several times already, indicating it was a consistent patter by Dakota and his friends to disrupt the classroom by harassing the teacher.

On one occasion Franks reported that he had posted various German language articles on a board in the classroom. One of the articles mentioned gay politics in Germany and had a picture of two men in it. Dakota and his fellow harassers were seated at desks next to the wall where the article was posted. When Franks was not looking the article was ripped off the board and vanished. Apparently the fundamentalist defense team is not denying this but instead saying it violated the rights of the students by "imposing acceptance of homosexuality" on the classroom. The nonsense there is that "acceptance" can not be imposed. It is an inner state and not subject to the control of others. One can fake acceptance, but that doesn't make it real.

According to the friends of the teacher, who claim to have spoken to other students in the class, Dakota and his gang of friends frequently would burst out with anti-gay remarks in class under the pretense of "class discussion." But, it was reported that they did this even when the topics under discussion were not even remotely connected to the topic.

The Liberty (sic) Institute claimed that the discussion in class was on homosexuality. Not so, say others who were there. The topic, in fact, was about religious life in German with various students asking about what sort of religions were practiced there. Instead of whispering quietly to a friend, Dakota supposed said very loudly "Gays can't be Christians." (Exactly why they would want to be remains to be seen.) And, instead of the remark not being directed at anyone, the report is that Dakota was looking directly at the teacher and intended the remark for him.

Sadly this sort of dishonest representation is all too typical among Christian fundamentalists. It would be relatively easy to put together an entire book of the various lies they have told and continue to tell.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Now you know why the schools fail to stop bullying.

For the last couple of days the death of Jamey Rodemeyer has weighed heavily on my mind. Jamey committed suicide after bullies tormented him for the last couple of years due to his sexuality—he was gay.

The state schools are simply unwilling to deal with bullying in a realistic manner. They want touchy-feely hug moments, but without the hugs, which are just "way to inappropriate." What they do NOT wish to do is deal with the bullies.

Tanya Sydner found out her 10-year-son, Griffin, was being assaulted by two bullies while riding the school. The next day she marched down to the bus stop and waited and then boarded the bus to speak to the driver. He made excuses and told her he does the best he can—in other words don't expect anymore from him. She then told off the two monsters on the bus and that irritated the driver who threw her off.

Tanya and her son marched to the school only to be immediately meet by the school's resident police officer. These cops are now routine in the state schools to make to give an air of authenticity to the already prison-like atmosphere.

The school then deal with the issue by making the bullies and Griffin apologize to each other. The fucking morons don't want to take sides, they want to be Switzerland in an war between bullies and victims. But they can't be Switzerland, the problem is taking place on their turf. Imagine these bureaucrats being around at the end of World War II. They would have made Jews apologize to the SS. "Gee, Mr. Nazi, I'm so sorry I irritated you and forced you to gas my family."

This is not the first time the schools have tried this "touchy-feely" sort of discipline where victims and attackers are put on the same moral plane. I have read of other incidents where victims were forced to apologize to their attackers. And then the school told Sydney she is banned from the school, because she complained. When the media asks the morons who run the school to explain they refused to protect the privacy of Sydney and her son. They sent out the typical PR press release that is pure bullshit: "Minneapolis Public Schools encourages (sic) parents to contact their school immediately if there are bullying concerns. Our schools take allegations concerning bullying very seriously and have a protocol to address these type of situations."

Protocol? Right! What exactly was that protocol? It was to force the victim to apologize to his attackers as if he is mutually responsible for being such a tempting target to juvenile thugs. This isn't the first time victims had to apologize to their attackers, and it won't be the last. This ethos is rampant in the schools run jointly by the government and the teacher's unions.

A 7th grade girl in told her Missouri school that a boy had been harassing her, that he assaulted her and then raped her. This special education student was told she was making it up and told to retract her story. One of the results of her mental state is that she wants to please so she did what she was told. Then the school forced to write an apology to the boy in a letter and was expelled from the school. In addition, even though the law says all such incidents of sexual attacks on children must be reported, the school refused to report it.

The next year she was admitted back to school and the boy started harassing her and assaulting her all over. She was so afraid of being kicked out of school that she refused to report it. And then the boy raped her a second time inside the school library. She told her mother and the school again refused to believe her, after all they pushed into retracting her previous accusation.

The mother took the girl to a Child Advocacy Center and DNA samples were taken from the girl showing the presence of semen, which later proved to match the boy she had said was guilty of raping her. The boy admitted his guilt—he had raped her and she was telling the truth all along. The school is being sued. And what is their response to the lawsuit? They claim that the victim "failed and neglected to use reasonable means to protect her self." Yep, they blamed the victim for being raped twice even though they were the ones who refused to believe her when she reported it the first time, and then they punished her.

This is the moral universe of the government schools—they refuse to take sides in real cases of bullying but love expensive programs to talk about bullying in their faux sing-songy voices that are meant to "relate" to the kids. But when it comes to real bullies and real victims they are unable to distinguish between them and see them as moral equivalents. And, that is why bullying thrives in spite of millions spent on "programs" to stop it.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cop beats man with Downs Syndrome

This is another example of police attacking innocent people violently in violation of the law. Gilberto Powell was walking the half block from a friends house to his home. Gilberto, who has Downs Syndrome, is around 5 feet tall. He called his parents to tell them he was coming home but before he could walk the short distance he was attacked by Miami police officers.

The officers claim they wanted to investigate a "suspicious bulge" in his pants. Who do they think they are? The TSA?

Now, a bulge is not a crime. And it is only "suspicious" if you have that sort of mentality. But suspicion is not evidence and individuals walking home can't be stopped and frisked for no reason other than a police officer's fervid imagination. Gilberto insists he did what the police officers told him to do but that they started hitting him and then pulled the colostomy bag he wears out of his pants.

When Gilberto's parents got outside their son was bruised and beaten and in handcuffs.

I have said it before and have to say it again: treat the police as you would a rabid dog. Do not go near them. Do not try to befriend them. Do not try to help them. If you see them avoid them. They can't be trusted. Sure, some of them are tame, but you can't immediately tell which is which. I have reported before that people who merely opened their door to cops who were looking for an address have suddenly witnessed these thugs pull their guns and murder their dog because it was barking inside the house.

I also urge parents to teach their children to avoid police whenever possible. The police are not their friends either. As I have shown on this blog multiple times, with video, police officers are not adverse to attacking and beating children either. And all it takes is saying the wrong thing to set these criminals off.

I wish this were not the case. I wish we were still in the America where a police officer would help you or try to peacefully resolve any conflict they find. They resort to violence quickly and with little rational forethought. And the results are that a lot of innocent people get hurt.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

If you thought the Libertarian Party couldn't sink any lower.

This blogger has held that the Libertarian Party is a hopeless venture and is often more conservative than libertarian—especially after a Root infestation that continues to plague the party. The only decent candidate they had seeking the presidential nomination was Steve Kubby, but Kubby simply would have been a lousy candidate, no matter how good he might be on issues. Otherwise there simply wasn't a candidate seeking the office that could be trusted. They all were deficient, if not ideologically, then ethically.

Today it is being reported that State Rep. Daniel Gordon, of Rhode Island, has joined the Libertarian Party to serve as an LP state representative. Gordon, made a name for himself for some nasty anti-gay remarks directed at a high school's Gay Straight Alliance. Like most extreme Right bigots he mischaracterized the support group made up of students by calling it a "sexual meet-up" group and then asking "Is it really more important for our children to get sexed-up, than learning advanced math?" Of course the main purpose of the GSA groups is to provide support for gay students on campus, many of whom are suffering bullying. As we just saw, a 14-year-old boy in New York just killed himself because of school bullying. So yes, Mr. Gordon, the club is important and no, they aren't there to get sexed-up.

But, according to Gordon, gay students who get bullied probably deserved it. He said, "I don't think there would be much of a problem with bullying if students weren't flaunting their sexuality in school." Hmm, I guess women who get beat up by their boyfriends deserve it as well. (Gordon might say so for reasons that will become obvious in a minute.) Gordon said that the Gay Straight Alliance should be banned.

The mere fact that this man could publicly make such statements indicates he is not a proper fit for the Libertarian Party. But the LP has been taken the garbage the Republicans throw out for a long time. According to a pro-war, anti-gay site run by a former Ron Paul staffer, Gordon called the LP National Direction Wes Benedict that he was sending in his dues and joining the party. This site claims that Gordon is leaving the Republican Party over a "controversy stemming from a drunk driving conviction in Massachusetts a year ago."

In fact, Gordon was thrown out of the Republican Party. All members of the LP national committee were told, with some excitement, that this bigot wanted to join the LP. Now, what is the "controversy?"

Mr. Gordon is drunk driver. Actually he has been convicted three times of drunk driving. Of course, the Republicans wouldn't throw him out merely because he is an anti-gay bigot. Virtually all their candidates for president are anti-gay bigots with the exception of Gary Johnson and perhaps, Jon Huntsman.

Gordon tries to weasel out of it by claiming that he wasn't drunk he was "self-medicating with alcohol." Jesus, that is like the sleazy Republican who took close up photos of his sphincter, posted them on a gay site, and then when caught, said the photos were to document weight loss. Even if the "self-medicating" bullshit was a legitimate excuse, driving while self-medicated puts the lives of others at risk.

Now, the Libertarian Party may miss the bullet on this one. Unless Gordon sent in his dues for LP membership almost immediately after calling the LP, it might be some time before he can mail that check in. And, he actually might need the money for a good lawyer.

Apparently he was arrested and is in state prison and will be there until arraignment on Monday. He is charged with driving with a suspended license and also failing to appear in court to face charges that he had tried to elude a police office.

Gordon had gone to the police to try to file complaints about "cyberstalking" because "people were saying things about him on blogs." Apparently, not only is he weak on rights for gay people, but he doesn't understand free speech either. Yep, sounds like a Republican to me. Of course, he calls himself a Constitutionalist. I find that to be one of the major excuses used by conservatives when they try to claim they are really libertarians. Apparently if they can concoct a claim that constitution is in favor of violating rights, then that trumps their libertarianism.

But while Gordon was trying to get bloggers arrested the police were running his name and found he had "a very extensive record in Massachusetts" and they found that he skipped out on a 2008 trial and that there was an arrest warrant out for him.

It gets worse! The Providence Journal reports that he was previously in jail for five months "on charges of attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and for assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend." The paper says the arrest records are in storage but that what they were able to find indicates "there is no question that Gordon has exhibited a propensity for violence."

Apparently in 1996 Gordon was arrested on assault charges and discharging a firearm. He served time on those charges. Then in 2001 he assaulted his girlfriend and threatened to kill her. He pleaded guilty and served a brief sentence and was put on probation. In 2003 a warrant was put on him on charges of car theft, along with a slew of traffic offenses connected to the incident. Next, in 2004 he was arrested for attempted murder and assault, again on a woman, who told police, "He tried to kill me." This was another girlfriend, so apparently assaulting romantic partners, is not unusual for him. She was upset because he didn't have a job and called him a loser so he tried to strangle her. He was in jail for two weeks that time.

So, just about the time I thought the LP couldn't sink lower in attracting Republican rejects Mr. Gordon comes along. Of course, with all the negative publicity that this is likely to get, the LP may get nervous and refuse his membership. But then, some of their National Committee members aren't adverse to con men. So, will they actually balk at men who act violently toward women, as well as a slew of other problems? We'll see.

But, let's recap this man's "libertarian" record. He has assaulted women. He drives drunk, putting others at risk. He was charged with car theft and attempted murder. He is anti-gay, wants to ban a group, apparently opposing freedom of association and freedom of speech. At least he would make Wayne Root look good—well, only briefly.


We're not bigots but.....

Ever notice how when people say, "I"m not prejudiced, but...." that what usually follows is a statement that proves they are precisely what they claim not to be?

In Elkton, Virginia dozens of angry citizens marched on the city council demanding they do something about a gay pride picnic. They say that they don't want the towns name associated with the event and they want the local politicians to stop it. Beverly Knight said, "I'm not racist. I'm not biased, this is a free country, but we have to be careful as to what we are going to allow attached to our names." Well, this isn't about race, so the "I'm not racist" is about as relevant as Pat Robertson. But, the biased part remains to be seen. As for attaching "our names' to the event, I note that Knight's name is not attached. She is trying to ban the rally from mentioning the town's name.

Another, "I'm-not-a-bigot-but" whiner was Tammy Hammer. She bitches, "When you say Elkton, that pertains to everybody that lives in Elkton, and we don't like that." Tammy, dear, the word for that is bullshit.

One of the local yokels, Pastor Homer from the Bible Holiness Church says his opposition is "not a position of discrimination or hate. We just don't feel like tagging it with Elkton was necessarily a reflection of Elkton values."

I did a small amount of digging that proves Homer, Bev the Bigot, and Two-faced Tammy, are just lying their asses off.

Does everybody in town attend the Elkton Church of God on E Street. Oh, no, they can't, otherwise there wouldn't be people at the Elkton Freewill Baptist Church, or the Elkton Pentecostal Church, the Elkton Presbyterian Church, the Elkton Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Elkton United Methodist Church, or the First Baptist Church of Elkton. Apparently using the world "Elkton" only means "everybody that lives in Elkton" when it comes to a gay pride event. I noticed that a local TV station said that numerous ministers—anyone want to bet they were fundamentalists?—were at the protest but they all refused to be interviewed. No doubt because they represent the churches that actually use "Elkton" in their name, proving the name doesn't have to be for everyone, but can just represent a small number of locals.

The problem with that selective demand—that only gay groups avoid using the name Elkton—proves that when these bigots insist they are not bigots, and wouldn't dream of discriminating, that the very thing they deny they are doing is precisely what they are doing. Excluding only gay groups from using the name Elkton is what discrimination means. I have to ask if everyone in town uses Elkton Family Dentistry, or if everyone goes to Elkton Eyecare, I'm pretty sure that not everyone is buried in Elkton Cemetery, and clearly most people are not residents of Elkton Manor, or go to Elkton Family & Children's Medical Center, or buy only at Elkton Pharmacy. Does everyone wash their car at Elkton Car Wash, and store the porn mags they don't want discovered at Elkton Mini Storage? We also have Elkton Emporium, Elkton Florist, Elkton Motel, and Elkton Pawn & Trading.

Now, with all these churches, and all these businesses, using the word Elkton, without even pretending to represent "all the people of Elkton," then the only possible conclusion one can draw is that these protests are precisely because the people in question dislike gay people. If Baptists, Pentecostals, doctors, florists, gravediggers and pawn shop owners all have access to the name Elkton, without asking anyone's permission first, then an attempt to exclude gay people, and only gay people, is absolute proof that Beverly, Tammy, Pastor Homer and all those other cowardly ministers are bigoted and they do want to discriminate.

As I said, the moment someone tells you, "I'm not a bigot" and then immediate says, "but...," you can safely bet that what will follow will be bigoted. Beverly, Tammy, Pastor Homer and the rest have proven my case.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

UPDATED: Death by bullying.

Did bullying push teen to suicide?:

Sadly, another kid has killed himself after bullying over his sexuality. Yet the Right-wing continues to deny bullying is a problem and tries to downplay what is happening. Here is a second video on the story.

Jamey, according to press reports, "routinely blogged about school bullying." Routine! What was done about it? "I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?" Another day this month he wrote: "No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you're the ones calling me faggot and tearing me down."

But the bullies followed him posting anonymous messages on his blog. One said, "JAMIE IS STUPID, GAY, FAT, ANND UGLY. HE MUST DIE!" Another wrote, "I wouldn't care if you died. No one would. So just do it : ) It would make everyone WAY more happier!"

The boy's parents say he was having a hard time because of his sexuality. Most particular he was concerned about how much worse the bullying would get in high school. Jamey's mother said that because of his sexuality "some of his classmates used those issues as an excuse to say horrible and malicious things about him."

Now, I want to say this loud and clear: NO, BULLYING IS NOT A RITE OF PASSAGE. And, if you call this sort of bullying "normal" then your moral compass needs adjustment. This is a real problem in the schools, where kids are warehoused by the state and where thugs, some of them teachers, have free reign. Every libertarian should be aware this is going on, and that kids are forced by state law to endure these things because of mandatory attendance laws. As long as kids are required to attend government schools then the first obligation of the school is to protect them from thuggery.

I look at the response from Jamey's school and I'm appalled. They speak about all the counseling they are offering to the students who are still alive—I assume that includes the little thugs who told Jamey to go kill himself as well. The school speaks about everything it does to counsel—counseling provides jobs and the teacher's unions love that. What they need to do is remove the students who do the bullying. But, the school didn't say a single thing about what they tried to do to prevent the bullying. So, the bureaucrats are there to hold the hands of bullies after their victim dies. How nice! Next time, do something about it before you have a dead body on your hands.

There is one other issue that Jamey's death raises. And I know some people won't like it. Tough shit, I'm not in the mood, not when another kid has killed himself. Jamey wrote about the death of a beloved relative and a friend. He wrote that he would soon be with them and was looking forward to seeing them again. The belief that there is a life after this one is not only false, but malicious. It devalues this life by pretending there is a better one waiting for people. I know that is not popular because most Americans believe this crap, but it has to be said. Telling kids, some of whom are suicidal, that there is a "better life" awaiting them after they are dead is only encouraging them to take their life.

Now, here we have a Christian activist giving their line about such issues. His view is that bullying is hardly an issue that we should be concerned about and that it's just part of growing up. NO! IT'S NOT!! When kids are bullied and kill themselves it is something we should be concerned about. And, whether this is normal is not the issue. Throughout history many horrible things were normal, which no longer are so. So it ought to be with bullying.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Should we accommodate religious intolerance?

Some years ago I owned a business, and as is normal, it was open to the public. A man enters and moves from one section of the business to another and then comes out to complain that a black man was in the other section. He literally demanded to know why I was “letting people like that” come into the business. The black man had done nothing wrong, he had a skin color this bigot found offensive.

It took me a few seconds to figure out what was actually happening. I think it took a bit longer than normal simply because I couldn’t fathom someone actually complaining that I allowed black people to enter my business. I just assumed it had to be something else and not something so blatantly ugly and hateful. But, it was ugly and hateful; it wasn’t something else. When that dawned on me, I, in no uncertain terms, told the bigot that my business was open to everyone and if he didn’t like it he was invited him to leave and he would not be missed.

Now, what if the man told me he held sincere religious beliefs about the inferiority of black people and that they pose a threat to his world-view because God damns them? Does god-talk mean we have to cut people slack?

Racism in the West often had a religious foundation to it. Having escaped fundamentalist Christianity I can assure you that I heard Baptist preachers claiming that the Biblical “curse of Ham” damned the black race to an inferior position for eternity. This wasn’t all that long ago either. Mormons were rather racist and claimed it was all about theology as well. Of course, after the civil rights movement the Mormon “prophet” faked a revelation from God that said black men were now allowed to join the Mormon priesthood—which is open to all other men, but not women, no matter their race.

Recently some Orthodox rabbis in Israel were making a stink about the military because at various events female soldiers were allowed to sing. Apparently, and I admit I did not know this, it is Orthodox religious law that men may not listen to a woman sing in person. Apparently God made exceptions for CDs, radios, DVDs and the like—which is rather progressive of him. The rabbis want male soldiers exempted from events where women might sing.

Admittedly I’ve heard some female singers that were rather offensive, but it just never dawned on me that some god-monger might invent a deity that finds all female singers a problem. But this controversy is going on now in Israel.

Closer to home we have a woman who is a rather fanatical Catholic and a prolific breeder as well, having seven children—not allowing birth control will do that. In the mode of the insane Jennifer Roback Morse, this woman, Stacy Trasancos, is deeply offended that gay people exist and that she sometimes has to look at them.

Stacy says seeing gay people means they “are imposing immorality on me” and that now she has a “hard time even leaving my home anymore to do something as simple as visit the park. And this is freedom?” Stacy is deathly afraid she will see gay people. This Massachusetts baby-maker is very upset that she went to a public pool and “there were homosexual couples with children” present. Apparently that may cause her kids to ask questions, “I’m not ready to answer.” As for the pool, “The truth is, now I don’t really want to go back.”

Later she saw a gay couple with kids at the park and now laments “I find myself unable to even leave the house anymore without worrying about what in tarnation we are going to encounter. …I can’t even to normal places without having to sit silently and tolerate immorality.” By the way, she then also laments the presence of immigrants as well, but bigotry is rarely limited to just one group.BTW: she really doesn't know if the people are gay or not and I imagine that she imagines gay people far more often than is the case. The women in the park rubbed each others back and that clued told her they were lesbians. Of course, I see straight women do that with other straight women. Perhaps the two women were sisters? But when you imagine gays to be monsters you see monsters everywhere.

Having to see gay people is to Stacy being forced to “tolerate immorality.” Okay, let’s run with that. Am I being forced to tolerate irrationality every time I see some Jesus-addict pray in a restaurant? Does the church I drive by force me to tolerate irrationality? I think these religious people are irrational and often, particularly in this case, rather creepy and pathetic. To obsess that one may see a gay couple in public, and to hide in one’s home to avoid this, is actually rather sad. It is her right to be fearful and terrified, but given her tendency to produce litters of children she should be aware that with each additional child the chances that one of them would be gay grows. With seven kids there is already a decent chance one of them is an embryonic homosexual and then she won’t even be safe in her own home either.

We are told we should “tolerate” such things. More importantly we are supposed to give way to these prejudices precisely because they are religious. For instance, we are supposed to accommodate religious beliefs in employment. So, if someone won't work on one particular day, because they imagine a deity told them to chant and lament the state of the world on that day, employers are supposed to alter work schedules to fit that belief.

We have an entire political campaign run by the dowdy, porcine Maggie Gallagher that argues that American marriage law should be founded entirely on the imagined god that lives in Gallagher’s head.

Constantly the rest of the country is being told they must accommodate the religious fantasies of the god-snorters. Yet, we also must not question these beliefs. We are told that sincere religious beliefs are immune from criticism and questioning. But what is a religious belief?

At the basis it is a belief that someone holds and which he or she claim is religious. That is all. We can’t say it is based on God’s revelation to them since they all differ about what their God wants and we have zero evidence a god revealed anything to them. All we have are their claims. The mere fact that someone calls a belief religious is supposedly enough to make it immune from scrutiny. Now, if someone says that they believe in evolution, because of various facts, that is science. If they say they believe in creation because God said to, that is not science; that is religion.

Religion is claimed knowledge about reality based on imaginary sources, not rooted in reality, and supposedly exempt from rational inquiry or criticism.

And, the Republicans want us to base the law of the nation on such notions. Most Republicans would laugh at the idea that female singers are offensive. But many of them would applaud this paranoid baby-machine in Massachusetts. To them the belief that female singers are offensive is just plain silly, but the belief that seeing gay people in public is offensive makes perfect sense. Why? Because they don’t believe the nonsense of Jewish orthodoxy, but they do believe the nonsense in Christian orthodoxy, that’s why.

The bigoted theology that says the black race is cursed by God to be servants to the white race doesn’t establish American legal policy. Nor should it. So, why do we allow any theology to determine the law? We don’t just need separation of church and state, we need separation of theology and state. Just because your god is a teetotaler is no reason to impose prohibition on others. And, just because you imagine God wanted marriage to between one man and one woman (if you are Maggie Gallagher) or one man and many women (if you are Joseph Smith), doesn't mean the law should deny marriage contracts to gay couples.

Now, I have to applaud fearful Stacy in one sense. If she doesn’t like seeing gay people then she shouldn’t go in public. And yes, Stacy, that is freedom. The equal freedom of all people to use the public parks is part of freedom. Just because Klanners don’t like seeing blacks doesn’t mean we are infringing on their liberty by not hiding blacks away. And, just because you hate gay people so much that even seeing one causes emotional pain, does not justify anti-gay policies, though it may justify therapy. I’m just hinting, for what it’s worth. A little less time on your knees and a little more time on the couch might do you a world of good and, it might make you a better mother—just in case one of your own turns out gay.

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