Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
Religious conservatives are urging the GOP to scratch Sin City off its list of potential locations for the 2016 Republican National Convention..Advocates are concerned that Las Vegas’ reputation as a gambling and prostitution haven will discourage conservatives from attending the event and that the city is a “trap waiting to ensnare” convention attendees.
“The GOP is supposedly interested in reaching out to conservatives and evangelicals. Maybe that’s just a front, but if they really mean it this is not the way to do it,” James Dobson, founder of Family Talk, a Christian radio show that broadcasts across the United States, told the paper. “Even though Vegas has tried to shore itself up and call itself family-friendly, it’s still a metaphor for decadence. There’s still 64 pages of escort services in the yellow pages.”
Dobson, along with leaders of the American Family Association, Eagle Forum, the Traditional Values Coalition, and Family-PAC sent a letter to Republican chairman Reince Priebus warning him to choose another destination…
Las Vegas has a strong lobbying campaign behind it. The team includes casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent over $98 million on GOP candidates in 2012, resort businessman Stephen Wynn, and Washington political strategists, according to the New York Times. Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told The Dallas Morning News that while she supports Adelson, she fears that with all of the escorts and prostitutes available in the Las Vegas area, she “can see all the setups that are going to take place.”
Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the conservative blog RedState.com, also expressed concern about the GOP choosing Las Vegas. “Good Christian delegates getting drunk, gambling, stuffing dollar bills in strippers’ g-strings, etc. will be the toast of not just MSNBC, but the front page of the New York Times, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Huffington Post, and more.” he wrote…
Guess he knows the stuff his troops are really made of, eh?
McAllister and some of the folks who worked to get him elected
The married U.S. congressman embroiled in controversy over kissing a woman on his Louisiana office staff may request a federal investigation into the leak of the security camera video showing the incident, his spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Republican Representative Vance McAllister, who took office last November in a special election that he won partly by promoting his Christian values, apologized on Monday after a Louisiana newspaper posted a surveillance video showing him in a passionate embrace with office scheduler Melissa Peacock, who is also married. The scandal erupted when the security video from his Monroe, Louisiana, district office was posted on the website of a local weekly newspaper, the Ouachita Citizen.
Peacock resigned from McAllister’s office on Monday, the congressman’s communications director, Jennifer Dunagin, said.
If you believe.
But McAllister considers the leak to be a serious breach in office security and may send a letter to House Speaker requesting an official investigation into the matter by the FBI, Dunagin said…
The Ouachita Citizen, which boasts a paid weekly circulation of just 5,200 copies, said it had obtained the video from an “anonymous source.” The grainy low-light footage was captured by a handheld camera pointed at a computer monitor showing multiple security camera images throughout the small office building…
The Monroe, Louisiana News-Star…quoted McAllister’s chief of staff, Adam Terry, as saying that a staffer had denied providing the video to the newspaper…
On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said he was glad McAllister had apologized for the incident, but declined to say whether McAllister should resign when asked by reporters…
Peacock and her husband, Heath Peacock, have longstanding ties to McAllister, each contributing $5,200 to his election campaign, according to Federal Elections Commission disclosure forms. Heath Peacock and McAllister had previously worked together at Mustang Engineering, an oil and gas pipeline and services company.
CNN quoted Heath Peacock on Tuesday as saying that he was “devastated” by the incident and blamed McAllister for ruining his marriage.
“He has wrecked my life,” Peacock told CNN. “We’re headed for divorce.”
Eric Cantor burbled a few remarks about the high standards in our Congress. I’m not certain if he’s talking about public record-keeping or what. He certainly can’t be talking about ethics or dedication to service for Americans.
Regular readers recall my dicho about “Republicans would have invented hypocrisy if Christians hadn’t beaten them to it”. Congressman McAllister gets an extra pat on the behind for catching both sides of the ethic.
The Supreme Court in the Philippines has approved a birth control law, in a defeat for the Catholic Church…The law requires government health centres to distribute free condoms and contraceptive pills.
The court had deferred implementation after the law’s passage in December 2012 after church groups questioned its constitutionality.
Supporters of the law cheered as the court found that most of the provisions were constitutional.
The government of President Benigno Aquino defied years of church pressure by passing the bill…It says the law will help the poor, who often cannot afford birth control, and combat the country’s high rates of maternal mortality.
The provisions will make virtually all forms of contraception freely available at public health clinics…Sex education will also be compulsory in schools and public health workers will be required to receive family planning training…There will also be medical care for women who have had illegal abortions.
The Philippines is about 80% Catholic, and with a population approaching 100 million, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia.
The church fought fiercely against the bill, denouncing it as evil and a threat to life. It denounced politicians who supported it, including President Aquino.
While most of the world’s candyass media keeps the focus of their attention on the nice guy with the big ring in Rome – throughout the rest of the world, especially developing nations, the Catholic Church continues with the iron fist in the velvet glove. Fully committed to the suppression of women and reproductive freedom, the church is satisfied with tying society to the ignorance of 14th Century minds.
Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on Saturday, in their attempt promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.
Adorned in purple, members of Ordain Women marched through a hailstorm from a park to the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square, the heart of a four-block campus that is the global home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were seeking unfilled seats at the evening priesthood meeting at the faith’s biannual conference…
In advance of Saturday’s event, church officials had asked Ordain Women to refrain from bringing their cause to Temple Square, saying it would detract from the “spirit of harmony” at the two-day conference, which includes four events open to both genders and the male-only priesthood meeting. In a statement late on Saturday, church officials expressed displeasure with what they called the women’s “refusal to accept ushers’ directions and refusing to leave when asked”.
Ordain Women has objected to being characterized by the church as protesters. “We’re not activists. We’re not protesters,” said Kate Kelly, a Washington, DC-based human rights attorney and lifetime Mormon who last year co-founded the group with about 20 other women. “We’re people on the inside. We are investing in an institution … not critiquing it to tear it down,” she said…
Women are powerless in matters of church governance and can make no autonomous decisions, even at the highest levels, Kelly said.
Church officials declined an interview request in advance of Saturday’s event.
“Ordination of women to the priesthood is a matter of doctrine that is contrary to the Lord’s revealed organisation for His Church,” said last month’s church letter to the group.
If it wasn’t already a painful experience to the women who still believe in a religion which excludes any serious role for them in the policies of that church – I would be tempted to look for something humorous, useless and foolish in the statements of the male insiders on behalf of the LDS Church.
Sadness, disdain for fools who believe they must continue doctrine centuries out-of-date as a bastion against a world that continues to change without their participation – is all I can feel.
Republicans still blame REM
Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the U.S. population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s a difference of about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion.
That raises an obvious question: how come? Why are Americans losing their faith?
The reality is we have nothing to lose – and everything to gain.
Today, we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet…
Downey’s data comes from the General Social Survey, a widely respected sociological survey carried out by the University of Chicago, that has regularly measure people’s attitudes and demographics since 1972.
In that time, the General Social Survey has asked people questions such as: “what is your religious preference?” and “in what religion were you raised?” It also collects data on each respondent’s age, level of education, socioeconomic group, and so on. And in the Internet era, it has asked how long each person spends online…
Downey’s approach is to determine how the drop in religious affiliation correlates with other elements of the survey such as religious upbringing, socioeconomic status, education, and so on.
He finds that the biggest influence on religious affiliation is religious upbringing—people who are brought up in a religion are more likely to be affiliated to that religion later.
However, the number of people with a religious upbringing has dropped since 1990. It’s easy to imagine how this inevitably leads to a fall in the number who are religious later in life. In fact, Downey’s analysis shows that this is an important factor…In fact, that data indicates that it only explains about 25 percent of the drop.
He goes on to show that college-level education also correlates with the drop. Once it again, it’s easy to imagine how contact with a wider group of people at college might contribute to a loss of religion…
That’s where the Internet comes in. In the 1980s, Internet use was essentially zero, but in 2010, 53 percent of the population spent two hours per week online and 25 percent surfed for more than 7 hours.
This increase closely matches the decrease in religious affiliation. In fact, Downey calculates that it can account for about 25 percent of the drop.
That’s a fascinating result. It implies that since 1990, the increase in Internet use has had as powerful an influence on religious affiliation as the drop in religious upbringing.
RTFA for all the variables inside variables Downey examines.
For me, the expansion in easy communications permits access to information, real information in addition to the usual crap, gossip and myth we’re accustomed to in every part of our lives. The classic question – are Americans stupid or ignorant seems to be coming down on the side of ignorant. With diminishing returns for those who profit from ignorance. As the ignorance of Americans also diminishes.
A Texas pre-schooler was expelled from her San Antonio school for swearing — even though she’s probably not old enough to realize what she said.
Three-year-old Arianna got the boot from going to daycare at the Jubilee Child Development Center for saying the “s-word.”
Her mother, Cassandra Wright, doesn’t know where her daughter first heard the curse.
“I don’t condone her saying it but for that to be a faith based daycare I would think that they would reinforce and let her know that’s not a word to say,” Wright told News 4 San Antonio. “I asked her what word did you say, and she told me animal.”
According to the development center’s director, there is a zero-tolerance policy for swearing. “I didn’t think that this would be an isolated incident either,” Alissa Blankenship said.
I’m beginning to acquire zero tolerance for intolerant zero-tolerance fanatics. Doesn’t our nation already have an excess of rigid, conformist 19th Century stiffs.
Doesn’t seem beyond the limits of communications for a school admin, parents and child to sit down and sort something like this out. Or is that too much like work?
An 8-year-old South Carolina girl’s dream of having the woolly mammoth become the official state fossil has been put on hold while lawmakers debate an amendment that gives God credit for creation of the prehistoric animal.
A bill that recently passed the state House to designate the Columbian Mammoth as the state fossil stalled in the Senate after Republican Senator Kevin Bryant added two verses from the book of Genesis.
That amendment was ruled out of order but senators this week will debate a new amendment that says the mammoth was “created on the sixth day along with the beasts of the field,” Bryant said on Monday…
Just in case you think the notion of stupid vs ignorant has been resolved in Confederate politics.
The original measure followed a letter to elected officials by Olivia McConnell, an-8-year-old from New Zion, South Carolina.
In it, she pointed out that there is no state fossil, said Democratic Representative Robert Ridgeway, who received the letter and sponsored the measure.
McConnell suggested the elephant-like mammoth because an early find of its remains took place in 1725 on a South Carolina plantation where slaves dug up a tooth, Ridgeway said…
Reaction from some South Carolina residents has been “nasty,” Bryant said.
“Please stop making our state look like backwards hillbillies who believe in fairy tales,” Alex Davis commented on Bryant’s website. “Keep your religious views out of the government.”
Ridgeway said he was surprised at the controversy.
“I was just trying to support a young child who is interested in science,” he said. “We should support children in any endeavor that they seem interested in. That’s one thing the state should be behind.”
The official Republican response will most likely be “the behinder we are, the more behinder we get!”
When a woman walked into a 7-Eleven in Washington on Sunday, she wasn’t just looking to spread the word about Jesus. According to Edgewood police, Enjoli Norde robbed the convenience store of cash and then came back for cigarettes and beer.
Pierce County Superior Court documents allege that the 34-year-old entered the store and asked the clerk, “Do you love Jesus?“
She then allegedly pointed a pistol at the male clerk’s head and said, “You better love Jesus because you’re gonna die; open up your drawer…I like girls, but if you call on me I’ll come back and kill you.”
Norde ran away after leaving the 7-Eleven with $150, according to KOMO.
She returned a short while later, gun in hand, and asked the clerk what his favorite beer was while holding him at gunpoint. She then grabbed a six-pack of that beer and began loading her backpack with cigarettes after sending the clerk out into a hallway.
On her way out, Norde left the clerk a couple beers and threw $15 at him. “Something for you,” she said.
When police tracked her down at the apartment of her mother and grandmother, Norde had a pellet gun, cartons of cigarettes and cash in her possession. She was charged with robbery and harassment.
Police report noted she alternated between asking the coppers if they loved Jesus – and screaming at them in rage. I’d say she’s a little conflicted or is stuck in one of those strange corners of Christianity that prefers murder to love.
Health officials in Canada’s westernmost province are battling a large measles outbreak that is now threatening to spill over the border into Washington state.
As many as 330 cases of the highly contagious disease have been reported since early March in British Columbia’s lower Fraser Valley, near Vancouver, according to Paul Van Buynder, MD, chief medical officer of Fraser Health.
All but two of those cases have occurred among members of an orthodox Protestant sect that doesn’t believe in vaccination…
Four ill members of the congregation live across the U.S. border in Washington and have been isolated, but Van Buynder said Whatcom County officials now think a fifth person — not part of the church — has been infected…
The report comes as New York City health officials are reporting additional cases in an outbreak there, bringing the total to 25, including 12 children and 13 adults. Most of the children were too young to have had their measles shots and only four of the adults had a verified vaccination.
All told, the CDC said, there have been 104 cases of measles reported so far this year in the U.S., although that total did not include the Washington cases and only 23 cases in New York City. Most states had no cases but California is reporting 50.
Measles is officially eliminated in both the U.S. and Canada, but imported cases [and stupid cases] continue to cause disease.
Van Buynder said the Fraser Valley outbreak is epidemiologically linked to a large continuing epidemic among orthodox Protestants in the Netherlands that has been raging since May 2013 and had caused more than 2,600 cases by the end of February 2014.
An earlier outbreak in Canada — 42 cases in Alberta in the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014 — was also linked to the Netherlands epidemic.
The religion defense against vaccination is such crap when you consider the numbers of unvaccinated children – still too young to vaccinate – put at risk by True Believers.
A Catholic nun has caused a firestorm after she allegedly told teens at Charlotte Catholic High School in North Carolina last month that masturbation can turn boys gay, and gay men have up to 1,000 sexual partners.
Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, an assistant professor of theology at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee, reportedly has a history of anti-gay rhetoric. In one of her online lectures, she called oral sex an abnormal act that’s “imported from the homosexual culture…”
In one of her online videos Laurel reiterates that “a man’s desire for instance, for his father’s love, his father’s affection, what happens to it? It can become sexualized. And he can begin to think he has a sexual desire for another man, when in fact, he doesn’t.” She adds that boys who have been sexual abused also use “homosexual acts” as revenge. When reached by phone, Laurel said she hadn’t seen all the reports yet, and could not immediately provide comment.
Aquinas College President Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith defended the school presentation in a statement to the Tennessean, maintaining that, “the presentation was given with the intention of showing that human sexuality is a great gift to be treasured and that this gift is given by God…”
RTFA for notes on this silliness compounded by ignorance. MoJo also maintains a list of stupid abstinence lecturers appearing around the country if you really want to make your brain bleed.