Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
A legal immigrant living in California was denied U.S. citizenship after she identified herself as a “conscientious objector” who will not bear arms for the United States because of her religious beliefs, or lack thereof, in her application.
The application was rejected by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services on the grounds that Adriana Ramiez’s unwillingness to bear arms “is not based on religious training or belief…”
The American Humanist Association has taken up Ramirez’s cause and will represent her in the appeal…
The AHA is seeking that the decision immediately be reversed.
“There is no legal basis to deny a citizenship application because one’s ethical values are secular,” said AHA attorney Monica Miller. “The letter is meant to clarify the mistake being made by officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’s San Diego office so that the application process can move forward.”
The ignoranuses in Immigration are like a lot of bureaucrats who never thought of looking outside the cubicle of their tiny little minds to see if this has already been sorted out by another government agency.
Bill Morico sued United States Selective Service during the VietNam War and won status as a non-religious conscientious objector in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court – setting the operative precedent.
A helluva union organizer for Hospital Workers Local 1199 – I might add.
Walt Disney World has jumped on the bandwagon of businesses pulling their funding from Boy Scouts of America, as the organization still refuses to end its ban on openly LGBT adults.
Charitable contributions will no longer be made to BSA or local troops as part of Walt Disney World’s “Ears For You” grant program…
Scouts for Equality co-founder and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls praised Walt Disney World’s decision.
“We’re never happy to see Scouting suffer as a result of the BSA’s anti-gay policy, but Disney made the right decision to withhold support until Scouting is fully inclusive. Scouts for Equality will continue to advocate for a fully inclusive membership policy, to help build a stronger Scouting community that is eligible for the support of Corporate America.”
As the straight son of a lesbian couple, Wahls has been working to reverse the BSA’s policies of discrimination and exclusion. Since its inception in 2012, Scouts for Equality has succeeded in influencing seven major corporations – including Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Major League Soccer, Merck, Intel, UPS and now Walt Disney World — to end their sponsorship.
Bravo! I give Disney credit for joining a Free America. And kudos to Zach Wahls for his courage confronting an outdated administration. Scouting can do some real good – when ethics come up to constitutional standards.
A pregnant woman is just a “host” for a fetus, according to Virginia state Sen. Steve Martin.
The Republican legislator representing Virginia’s 11th district made the comment in response to a Valentine’s Day card from a reproductive rights group calling on him to protect reproductive health options in the state.
“I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive,” Martin wrote on Facebook. “However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.”
Martin’s claim that he does not “expect to be in the room” or “do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive” is, of course, entirely disingenuous. He is a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid expansion, which would ensure affordable access to healthcare and contraception for people across Virginia.
It should probably go without saying, too, that Martin does not support abortion rights.
The creep has edited his post since everything blew up and he realized that average folks aren’t as willing to join the Republican war on Women as are his acolytes in the anti-abortion movement. Fortunately, plenty of folks on the Left have screengrabs and are using them to reference what he originally said.
The Arizona legislature sent a bill to the Gov. Jan Brewer’s desk Thursday that would carve a massive hole into state law allowing business owners to turn away gay and lesbian customers, employers to deny equal pay to women, or individuals to renege on contract obligations–as long as they claim to be doing so in the name of religion.
Brewer, a Republican who vetoed similar legislation last year, has not said whether she will sign the bill.
“With the express consent of Republicans in this Legislature, many Arizonans will find themselves members of a separate and unequal class under this law because of their sexual orientation,” Anna Tovar, the state senate Democratic minority leader, said in a statement Wednesday after the bill cleared the state Senate. “This bill may also open the door to discriminate based on race, familial status, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability.”
The Arizona bill is one of several bills across the country aimed at providing legal protection to those who wish to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. As of Friday, however, it’s the only one to actually pass, with similar bills in Idaho, Tennessee, and South Dakota being defeated and a bill in Kansas being held up in the state Senate.
While the bills vary in scope, Arizona’s is among the most broad, expanding that state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act to make it easier for individuals and for-profit businesses to bypass neutral state laws or regulations as long as religion is the reason for doing so…
I presume by now the Arizona legislature includes a line item in the state budget for “funds to be wasted defending unconstitutional laws which make bigots feel happy about who they elected”.
A Kentucky snake-handling preacher who appeared in a television show about the religious practice has died of a snakebite after refusing medical treatment…
Jamie Coots was found dead about 10pm local time on Saturday at his house in Middlesboro, Kentucky, according to Middlesboro police chief Jeff Sharpe.
Emergency personnel had gone to his home about 90 minutes earlier after getting a call, police said. They found Coots suffering from a snakebite wound to his right hand, Sharpe said in a statement.
“After examination and discussion of possible dangers if the wound was not treated, treatment and transport to the hospital was refused,” the statement said.
The emergency responders left after failing to persuade Coots to get help but returned less than an hour later, the statement said.
They “discovered Mr Coots had passed away, apparently due to a venomous snakebite”, it said.
Coots appeared in a National Geographic television show titled Snake Salvation about Pentecostal preachers who defy the law to use serpents as part of their religious services.
Snake-handling, which is illegal in most places, is practised as a test of faith and guided by the theory that true believers will not be harmed.
It is particularly popular in parts of Appalachia. Middlesboro lies near the junction of Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and is about 60 miles (100 km) north of Knoxville, Tennessee…
Easy resolution to the question of which ruled this man’s life: ignorance or stupidity?
The many green dots in Louisiana and Tennesee are mostly just regular high schools (there are more), and many don’t teach creationism, so this is a bit of an exaggeration. In Texas, however, the red dots are Responsive Ed schools that can and do teach creationism. The orange dots in other places are largely Christian schools that are publicly funded and do teach creationism.
The public funding for religious schools rolls all the way back to all-white schools set-up after passage of the Civil Rights Act. Confederate states don’t mind refuting the Constitution when it combines separation of church and state with racism. Creationism is just a bonus.
Creationist Ken Ham is having his 15 minutes, following a live debate on evolution held between himself and Bill Nye “The Science Guy”…
And while you’d expect most folks to deem Nye the winner (which they have), Ham is receiving criticism from a source you might not expect: televangelist Pat Robertson.
On the Wednesday edition of his TV show, “The 700 Club,” Robertson indirectly implored Ham to put a sock in it, criticizing Ham’s view that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
“Let’s face it, there was a bishop [James Ussher] … who added up the dates listed in Genesis and he came up with the world had been around for 6,000 years,” Robertson began. “There ain’t no way that’s possible … To say that it all came about in 6,000 years is just nonsense and I think it’s time we come off of that stuff and say this isn’t possible.”
“We’ve got to be realistic that the dating of Bishop Ussher just doesn’t comport with anything that’s found in science,” Robertson continued, “and you can’t just totally deny the geological formations that are out there.”
“Let’s be real,” Robertson begged, “let’s not make a joke of ourselves.”
Every now and then a thread of reality frays loose from Robertson’s coat of many colors. Hey – even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby’s name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired…
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in eastern Tennessee last August ordered a boy’s first name changed over the objections of his parents when they appeared before her seeking to settle other issues.
O. Duane Slone, presiding judge of the state’s fourth judicial district, terminated Ballew’s appointment, effective last Friday, according to court documents.
Slone did not give a reason in his order, but Ballew had previously been cited by the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct for an inappropriate religious bias. A hearing is scheduled for March 3…
Craft wrote that it is the duty of the board to inquire into the “commission of any act calculated to reflect unfavorably upon the judiciary of the state.”
“The word ‘messiah’ is a title, and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ,” the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.
The parents appealed, and another judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional.
…based on applications for Social Security cards…there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011.
Lots of optimistic Christians out there.
Research has debunked parents’ concerns that the HPV vaccine encourages risky sexual behavior in teens.
In addition, women who had not had sex when vaccinated were not more likely to start having sex post-vaccination, according to research coming out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center…
“We hope this study reassures parents, and thus improves HPV vaccination rates, which in turn will reduce rates of cervical and other cancers that can result from HPV infection,” said Jessica Kahn, MD…
Researchers studied more than 300 completed questionnaires from sexually experienced and inexperienced teens and young women between the ages of 13 and 21. The questionnaire asked for participants knowledge and attitudes about the HPV vaccine, beliefs about the need for safer sexual behaviors after vaccination, and about their sexual behaviors.
Participants were surveyed prior to vaccination, and given followup surveys two and six months after getting the vaccine. The responses showed that regardless of a teen’s beliefs regarding the HPV vaccine, it showed no link to subsequent sexual behavior nor did they change their sexual behavior based on whether the vaccine did or did not decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections.
The vast majority of girls seemed to believe that it was still important to practice safe sex and did not believe that the vaccine protected against STIs.
HPV is a common STI that affects 7.5 million girls and young women in the United States between the ages of 14 and 24. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends HPV vaccination for teenage girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26.
Unfortunately, that segment of the American population that learned about sex from a priest or religious pundit – instead of learning what modern science has proven in the last century or so – are not only handicapped, they seem bound and determined to screw up the lives of their children as well.
Silly and spooky beliefs about sex may be the stuff of late-night TV humor; but, in practice, we end up with one more layer of ignorance slathered over the consciousness of the next generation.
At least the study shows that the girls studied are brighter than the parents who oppose vaccination.
Cooking and food storage methods are likely to blame for a Salmonella outbreak at an Alabama church fundraiser…
The Alabama Department of Public Health released its final report Friday on the bad beans at Bean Day, a fundraiser held in October at First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Athens. The beans were soaked in a plastic-lined horse trough covered by plywood…
It was unclear what the trough had been used for previously.
From there, the beans were not held steadily at high enough temperatures at various points in the cooking and serving process, making it possible for Salmonella bacteria to grow…
In all, the health department said 47 people were hospitalized in the two days after the fundraiser and a survey of those in attendance found three more individuals who displayed symptoms.
Think folks may have learned by now that food preparation technology adequate for horses ain’t always safe for human beings?