Posts Tagged ‘bible’
Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday launched another battle to pass sweeping abortion restrictions after a marathon speech by a Democrat lawmaker briefly halted a bill critics say could shut most abortion clinics in one of the nation’s biggest states.
Democratic Senator Wendy Davis, once a teenage mother who went on to earn a Harvard Law degree, was propelled on to the national political stage when she spoke for more than 10 hours to block a measure that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It proved a short-lived victory for women’s groups and abortion rights advocates fighting to stop abortion restrictions across several states. Perry called for another special legislative session to reconsider the proposal on July 1…
I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Texas Republican. They respect the truth even less than they care for women’s rights.
Davis’ filibuster of the Republican supermajority in the Texas legislature was streamed live on some national media websites.
Republicans managed to stop her about two hours before the midnight end to the special legislative session, citing parliamentary procedures, but they were unable to complete voting on the abortion bill before the deadline…
If the measure ultimately passes, Texas would become the 13th state to impose a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and by far the most populous. In addition, the legislation would set strict [phony] health standards for abortion clinics and restrict the use of drugs to end pregnancy.
Republican backers said blah, blah, blah…
The U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, but conservative states have enacted laws in recent years that seek to place restrictions on the procedure, especially on abortions performed late in pregnancy.
The debate rages across the nation. Twelve states have passed 20-week bans, including two states where the bans take effect later this year, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. Courts have alreaady blocked the bans in three of the 12 states – Arizona, Georgia and Idaho.
Folks outside the United States have to understand that the rule of law only means obedience to 19th Century ideology for what passes for Republicans, nowadays. Science, honesty, dialogue, consensus, democracy and respect for all citizens – are meaningless words leftover from some time warp when traditional American conservatism valued those standards.
There have been dramatic scenes in Texas after a bill that threatened to close every abortion clinic in the state was overturned just hours after it was passed.
The law was initially approved by the Republican-controlled senate after a day of extraordinary scenes during which Democrats were accused of attempting to filibuster the bill by embarking on a marathon speech to run the debate out of time.
But Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhust has now reversed his decision after acknowledging Republicans missed the deadline to pass the vote after protesters reportedly shouted them down during the final 15 minutes before the vote deadline.
Republicans insisted they had started voting before the midnight deadline and passed the bill in time. But computer records of the voting were checked and revealed they were out of time.
The new law would have banned abortion procedures after 20 weeks of pregnancy and demanded that clinics upgrade their facilities and be reclassified as ‘ambulatory surgical centres’.
The bill also demanded doctors performing abortions must be granted the right to admit patients to their clinic first by a hospital within 30 miles of the premises…
Speaking before the vote, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said: “If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures.”
During the debate women’s rights supporters had screamed protests from the public gallery while in the hall outside the Senate chamber, hundreds more protesters wearing orange T-shirts queued for a seat.
In dramatic scenes Democrat Wendy Davis was accused of filibustering after she began speaking against the bill at 11:18am and was only halted at 10:03pm, less than two hours before the midnight deadline, after three complaints from Republicans.
Senate rules dictate speakers must stay on topic and remain standing without physical support or breaks for meals or to use the bathroom…
Governor Dewhust eventually halted the speech after determining Ms Davis had strayed off topic when she talked about a sonogram bill passed in 2011.
Texas’ miserable bible-thumping governor, Rick Perry, called this special session of the state legislature just to pass the latest attack by Republican political hacks on women’s rights. He didn’t count on women throughout Texas spontaneously marching upon the Republican-controlled state legislature to do everything they could to impede passage of the bill.
Republicans tried everything in their trick bag to stop Wendy Davis. They ruled she was out of order when one of her fellow Democrats helped her put on a back brace to ease the pain of standing, trying to school the ignoranuses before her.
Meanwhile the visitors’ gallery filled with women from all over the state. Lines snaked out to the street of women clamoring to get in to speak out against this reactionary and patriarchal law. And when Ms. Davis was finally forced to relinquish the podium, the mass of women began to shout out individually and collectively from the gallery.
The tumult forced delay after delay until the Republicans were finally defeated by the clock.
UPDATE: These rat-bastard Republicans actually tried to change the time stamp on the voting record printout to save their miserable anti-women law. They were confronted with a side-by-side comparison of the attempted fraud – posted on Twitter.
Farmer Fincher – in Congress – has collected million$ in subsidies – wants cuts in the food stamps program
A Tennessee congressman who supports billion of dollars in cuts to the food stamp program is one of the largest recipients of federal farm subsidies, according to new annual data released by a Washington environmental group.
Using Agriculture Department data, researchers at the Environmental Working Group found that Representative Stephen Fincher, a Republican and a farmer from Frog Jump, Tenn., collected nearly $3.5 million in subsidies from 1999 to 2012. The data is part of the research group’s online farm subsidy database from which the group issues a report each year.
In 2012 alone, the data shows, Mr. Fincher received about $70,000 in direct payments, money that is given to farmers and farmland owners, even if they do not grow crops. It is unclear how much Mr. Fincher received in crop insurance subsidies because the names of people receiving the subsidies are not public. The group said most of the agriculture subsidies go to the largest, most profitable farm operations in the country. These farmers have received $265 billion in direct payments and farm insurance subsidies since 1995, federal records show.
During debate on the farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee last week, Mr. Fincher was one of the biggest proponents of $20 billion in cuts to food stamps in the legislation. At times he quoted passages from the Bible in defending the cuts…
Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, said that Mr. Fincher was being hypocritical. “Not only is he advocating deep cuts to other people’s money while he is getting subsidies, he also voted to increase the subsidies that he benefits from,” Mr. Faber said…
The most significant change in both the House and Senate bills is the end of direct payments, which cost taxpayers about $5 billion a year.
Both the House and Senate bills would use the savings from eliminating direct payments to increase financing for crop insurance, a federally subsidized program that pays 62 percent of the premiums for farmers and covers decreases in crop yields or revenue. About $1.3 billion a year is paid to 15 insurance companies to sell and process the policies…
Food stamps would receive a $4.1 billion cut in the Senate farm bill. An amendment by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, to reverse the cuts by using money from the crop insurance program was soundly defeated after a passionate plea by Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who called crop insurance vital to farmers.
Someone in Washington, DC, please mail me a penny postcard when Congress decides to subsidize premiums to insure how I make my living.
Meanwhile, the sight, sound and smell of a hypocrite like Congressman Fincher is more than any American should have to bear. The aroma of fermenting pig manure is easier to take than a con artist who hustles the American taxpayer for subsidies – then whines about families trying to get by on food stamps like they’re some kind of danger to national freedom.
He should get an honest job.
To promote breast cancer awareness, supporters buy pink shirts, pink shoes, pink mouse pads and a host of other pink products.
Until Wednesday, there was even a pink version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible on store shelves. That’s no longer the case.
Southern Baptist-owned LifeWay Christian Resources is recalling its pink Bible because it benefited a charity with ties to Planned Parenthood. The “Here’s Hope Breast Cancer Bible” was sold at Walmart stores and other major retailers, with a dollar per copy going to the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
LifeWay decided to recall the Bible after receiving complaints that some of the breast cancer charity’s local affiliates donated funds to Planned Parenthood…
The Komen foundation issued a statement of its own, saying that LifeWay’s decision was disappointing and that all funds from the Bible sales would go to breast cancer programs. Andrea Rader, from the charity’s marketing communication department, said LifeWay had pledged $25,000…
Komen has acknowledged that some funds have gone to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings, saying its Planned Parenthood funding paid for 139,000 breast exams and about 5,000 mammograms, detecting 177 cases of cancer in the past five years, according to the charity’s website…
Darlene Jacobs of Mt. Juliet, a supporter of the foundation, said the LifeWay decision was shameful. She says she has raised money for the charity ever since a friend was diagnosed with cancer seven or eight years ago and that Komen does great work…
“I don’t think it is very Christian to take money from poor women who were receiving mammograms with that money,” she said. “Are all the Christians going to boycott Komen altogether…?”
Which presumably won’t be the case. I would hope that most folks practicing one of the 57 varieties of Christianity popular in the United States aren’t sectarian and bigoted against women having rights, women’s organizations supporting a multiplicity of goals, and good sense overcoming religious fanaticism.
A group of Franciscan monks furious at the theft of bibles from their church in Florence have taken the unusual step of praying for the thief to be struck down by diarrhoea.
Monks at the 15th century church of San Salvatore al Monte, which was a favourite of Michelangelo, were irritated when a rare and expensive bible disappeared from the lectern, and they flew off the handle when a replacement bible donated by a worshipper also went missing and within a few hours.
In a note, pinned up in full view of worshippers, the monks say they hope the thief sees the error of his ways. But in case he does not, they add: “We pray to God that the thief is struck by a strong bout of the shits.”
This turn of events will, they hope, “encourage him to carry out no further thefts“.
Not your usual biblical punishment; but, it’s the thought that counts, eh?
Up to 150 students at a Missouri high school that ordered “Slaughterhouse-Five” pulled from its library shelves can get a free copy of the novel, courtesy of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library…
The offer for students at Republic High School comes on the heels of the Republic School Board’s decision to remove Vonnegut’s novel and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” from the curriculum and the school library shelves.
“All of these students will be eligible to vote and some may be protecting our country through military service in the next year or two,” Julia Whitehead, the executive director of the Vonnegut library in Indianapolis, said in a statement.
“It is shocking and unfortunate that those young adults and citizens would not be considered mature enough to handle the important topics raised by Kurt Vonnegut, a decorated war veteran. Everyone can learn something from his book.”
Slaughterhouse-Five, considered Vonnegut’s most influential and popular work, is a satirical novel centered around the bombing of the German city of Dresden during World War Two.
The Republic School District took the move at its April 18 meeting following a complaint lodged by local resident Wesley Scroggins in the spring of 2010.
In his complaint, the Missouri State University associate business professor called on district officials to stop using textbooks and other materials “that create false conceptions of American history and government or that teach principles contrary to Biblical morality and truth.”
The school district members immediately rolled over and stuck all four hooves in the air in response to this heavenly command. Any matted fleece will be combed at shearing time to guarantee Christian purity.
Meanwhile, the real world progressed in its journey beyond the gates of ignorance and obedience – and Republic High School.
Evangelist and revival leader Ernest Cadick passionately preached God’s word, according to pastors in Indiana and Kentucky. But salvation wasn’t the only thing he was selling.
Approaching potential investors in churches, the ordained minister solicited $719,150 over 15 years for oil and gas ventures, then spent the money on himself, according to a federal indictment.
Cadick also used the apocalyptic prophecies in the Book of Revelation to fleece additional churchgoers at Louisville’s Evangel World Prayer Center, according to another indictment returned in state court, allegedly telling them that when President Barack Obama was elected, the dollar’s value would plummet to 3 cents as it was replaced with a new currency.
If they gave him their saving, the indictment alleges, he would fly it to Switzerland, where it would earn double their investment back each month.
Now the 60-year-old traveling evangelist is facing two separate trials — one in state court and another in federal — on those allegations.
He will be tried July 11 in Jefferson Circuit Court on three counts of theft for allegedly taking $29,500 from elderly victims in the Swiss investment scheme.
And he is scheduled to be tried today in Louisville federal court on 16 counts of fraud for allegedly taking money for oil and gas ventures and foreign currency investments and spending the money on himself, according to his indictment…
Long detailed article. Another Christian hustler who would kneel down and pray with his victims to convince them to fork over their savings in return for God’s guarantee of salvation – and more profits.
Investors sometimes make dumb decisions. Investors who make decisions based on “revealed word” and scripture written by a King’s committee in the 17th Century are beyond dumb.
Reenactment honor guard of the 173rd Regiment N.Y.S.V.
With their riders dressed in pressed shirts and denim, sleek, shiny horses clip-clopped through quiet residential streets in East Austin on Saturday, headed for the starting point of the annual Juneteenth parade.
But at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Comal Street, the serenity of a weekend morning soon gave way to an ebullient street party. There, rainbow-colored candies rained from the sky, and children rushed the street to snatch them. From the back of a convertible, a teen beauty queen in a pink gown and silver tiara waved royally. Two dozen line dancers shook their hips, and seven men slapped African drums to a pulsating beat. In his parked cruiser, a police officer rocked and swayed in his seat to the bass-heavy thump of “Billie Jean,” and some of those same early-rising horses pranced in place for the thousands lining the streets.
These were just a few of the sights, sounds and rhythms of Juneteenth in Austin.
Juneteenth commemorates the bittersweet anniversary of the day — June 19, 1865 — when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger landed at Galveston to deliver the news that the Civil War had ended and that blacks were free from slavery. The news was old. President Lincoln had delivered his Emancipation Proclamation some 2½ years earlier, but slavery continued in Texas and the South.
Commemorating the struggles of forefathers and the slaves is the cornerstone of all Juneteenth events, festive or otherwise, said many lining the parade route.
“I think it’s important that we remember our history. Therefore we can always face the future,” said Rudy Hicks of Pflugerville, who with Judy Connor and her 6-year-old granddaughter Jasmine, watched from the shade of a tent outside a family member’s home. Hicks said he has attended the parade since he was a child.
“Sure.. you say that now.. but just think how remarkable it would
have been if I had been RIGHT ! “
A.C.Grayling says his book…doesn’t attack religion, it’s a positive book, there’s nothing negative in it. People may think it’s against religion – but it isn’t.” But then he says, with a mischievous twinkle: “Of course, what would really help the book a lot in America is if somebody tries to shoot me.”
With any luck it shouldn’t come to that, but Grayling is almost certainly going to upset a lot of Christians, for what he has written is a secular bible. The Good Book mirrors the Bible in both form and language, and is, as its author says, “ambitious and hubristic – a distillation of the best that has been thought and said by people who’ve really experienced life, and thought about it”. Drawing on classical secular texts from east and west, Grayling has “done just what the Bible makers did with the sacred texts”, reworking them into a “great treasury of insight and consolation and inspiration and uplift and understanding in the great non-religious traditions of the world”. He has been working on his opus for several decades, and the result is an extravagantly erudite manifesto for rational thought…
Who does he think will read The Good Book? “Well, I’m hoping absolutely every human being on the planet.” He’s sure that a lot of people will wonder just who he thinks he is, to have written a bible, but doesn’t appear particularly troubled by this prospect. “The truth is that the book is very modestly done. My wife did give me a card,” he giggles, “that said, ‘I used to be an atheist until I realised I am God’. And I know that on Monty Pythonesque grounds there’s a good likelihood that in five centuries time I will be one, as a result of this.” He lets out another little chuckle. “But I certainly don’t feel like one now, that’s for sure.”
The little jokes and kindly bearing can make Grayling sound quite benignly jovial about religion at times, as he chuckles away about “men in dresses” and “believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden”, and throws out playfully mocking asides such as, “You can see we no longer really believe in God, because of all the CCTV cameras keeping watch on us.” But when I suggest that he sounds less enraged than amused by religion, he says quickly: “Well, it does make me angry, because it causes a great deal of harm and unhappiness…”
… We have to try to persuade society as a whole to recognise that religious groups are self-constituted interest groups; they exist to promote their point of view. Now, in a liberal democracy they have every right to do so. But they have no greater right than anybody else, any political party or Women’s Institute or trade union. But for historical reasons they have massively overinflated influence – faith-based schools, religious broadcasting, bishops in the House of Lords, the presence of religion at every public event. We’ve got to push it back to its right size.”
Atheists, according to Grayling, divide into three broad categories. There are those for whom this secular objection to the privileged status of religion in public life is the driving force of their concern. Then there are those, “like my chum Richard Dawkins”, who are principally concerned with the metaphysical question of God’s existence. “And I would certainly say there is an intrinsic problem about belief in falsehood.” In other words, even if a person’s faith did no harm to anybody, Grayling still wouldn’t like it. “But the third point is about our ethics – how we live, how we treat one another, what the good life is. And that’s the question that really concerns me the most.”
Exactly the same round robin of reflection I encountered and resolved when still a teenager. The atheist part came first and easiest. Studying materialist philosophy – especially as a dialectic, a mirror of physical processes in science – took a bit more work and brought an enormous amount of satisfaction in knowledge.
A study habit I’ve never lost and never will.