Religious nutballs – including the fake president – expand 19th Century “morality” attack on American women

❝ The Trump administration moved Friday to place new restrictions on access to abortion, as the Health and Human Services Department prepared new regulations that would effectively bar organizations that receive federal family planning money from providing abortions or counseling women about how to get the procedure.

The much-anticipated proposal — which has not yet been officially issued as a rule — would greatly expand limits on what activities organizations such as Planned Parenthood can provide.

And it almost certainly will set off a new legal battle over abortion services.

❝ According to the White House, the proposal would require recipients of Title X family planning funds to establish a “bright line of physical as well as financial separation” between federally-funded family planning services and any programs where abortion services are performed or discussed…

❝ “This ‘gag rule’ is not only unconscionable, but it undermines medical ethics by forcing healthcare professionals to withhold accurate and timely medical information from patients,” said Dr. Jenn Conti, a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

“As a provider of comprehensive reproductive health care, it is my number one priority to keep my patients safe and honor the trust they give me. If I can’t mention the word ‘abortion,’ then I am not providing my pregnant patients who want to know all of their options with complete, accurate, unbiased medical information.”

As far as this voter is concerned, this is a litmus test for political candidates who want my vote. A right to know, the right to full family planning access I fought for over decades. A freedom women and men of conscience fought to achieve as a constitutional right for decades before I was born and sadly must continue to defend against hypocrites and reactionaries.

Judge Rules That Bars Can Refuse Service to Trump Supporters

❝ A Manhattan judge ruled…that there’s nothing “outrageous” about throwing the president’s supporters out of bars — because the law doesn’t protect against political discrimination.

Philadelphia accountant Greg Piatek, 31, was bounced from a West Village watering hole in January 2017, just after Trump took the oath of office, for wearing a “Make America Great Again” cap, according to his lawsuit…

❝ “Anyone who supports Trump — or believes in what you believe — is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!” Piatek claims the staff of The Happiest Hour on West 10th Street told him after he and his pals complained about the rude service they were getting from a bartender…

❝ “Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates,” Justice David Cohen said in tossing the case.

RTFA to chuckle over the silliness Piatek and his lawyer came up with when they realized they were on shaky ground.

Paul Ryan shoves House Chaplain out the door


That’s Father Conroy on the right. Not far enough to the Right for Ryan.

❝ The chaplain of the House said on Thursday that he was blindsided when Speaker Paul D. Ryan asked him to resign two weeks ago, a request that he complied with but was never given a reason for.

The sudden resignation of the chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, shocked members of both parties. He had served in the role since he was nominated in 2011 by Speaker John A. Boehner, a fellow Catholic. In an interview, Father Conroy was categorical: His departure was not v chickened out on running for oluntary.

❝ “I was asked to resign, that is clear,” Father Conroy said. As for why, he added, “that is unclear.”

“I certainly wasn’t given anything in writing,” he said. “Catholic members on both sides are furious…”

❝ Father Conroy’s resignation is all the more contentious in Catholic circles because Mr. Ryan is a Catholic conservative, whereas Father Conroy is a Jesuit, a branch that is viewed by some as more liberal.

Even-handed fairness isn’t a strong suit among very many conservatives in Congress. Apparently, Ryan feels he can get away with truly royalist behavior now that he’s chickened out on running for the House, again.

Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

❝ In the last couple of decades, there had been signs, however modest, that eleven o’clock on Sunday morning might cease to be the most segregated hour in America. “Racial reconciliation” was the talk of conferences and the subject of formal resolutions. Large Christian ministries were dedicated to the aim of integration, and many black Christians decided to join white-majority congregations. Some went as missionaries, called by God to integrate. Others were simply drawn to a different worship style — short, conveniently timed services that emphasized a personal connection to God…

Black congregants — as recounted by people in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Fort Worth and elsewhere — had already grown uneasy in recent years as they watched their white pastors fail to address police shootings of African-Americans. They heard prayers for Paris, for Brussels, for law enforcement; they heard that one should keep one’s eyes on the kingdom, that the church was colorblind, and that talk of racial injustice was divisive, not a matter of the gospel. There was still some hope that this stemmed from an obliviousness rather than some deeper disconnect.

Then white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump by a larger margin than they had voted for any presidential candidate. They cheered the outcome, reassuring uneasy fellow worshipers with talk of abortion and religious liberty, about how politics is the art of compromise rather than the ideal. Christians of color, even those who shared these policy preferences, looked at Mr. Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, his open hostility to N.F.L. players protesting police brutality and his earlier “birther” crusade against President Obama, claiming falsely he was not a United States citizen. In this political deal, many concluded, they were the compromised.

What’s important to many white evangelicals obviously ain’t the words they declare to be holy writ. Politics of religion can be just as opportunist as any other.

Senate Republicans + Pence confirm Brownback as anti-LGBT, anti-science, anti-economics official dimwit

❝ {Sam Brownback] Donald Trump’s anti-LGBTQ nominee for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom [preparing for Sunday Services]. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote after Brownback’s nomination failed to earn a majority of votes in the Senate. Despite last minute drama on the Senate floor, Brownback now joins the ranks of other anti-LGBTQ nominees put forward by the Trump-Pence Administration…

One of the nation’s least popular governors, Brownback has an extensive history of opposing equality at every turn and has promoted discriminatory laws in Kansas. In 2015, Brownback shamefully attacked LGBTQ state employees by stripping away non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Later that year, following the landmark ruling declaring marriage equality law of the land, Brownback issued another blatantly discriminatory executive order against LGBTQ Kansans. The measure prohibited the state government from taking action against taxpayer funded organizations that deny services to same sex couples based on religious beliefs. As governor, he also orchestrated a policy change that would make it nearly impossible for transgender Kansans to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity.

If you keep up with Republican ignorance and stupidity you’re already aware of the economic disaster that is Kansas – courtesy of Brownback and other trickle-down pimps. They may have to apply for foreign aid once reason – or the nearest facsimile – is re-established in Congress.

A new home – if you’re not up to fighting for democracy

❝ In a widely read manifesto posted in 2011 on his survivalblog.com, JW Rawles, a former army intelligence officer, urged libertarian-leaning Christians and Jews to move to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and a strip of eastern Oregon and Washington states, a haven he called the “American Redoubt”.

Thousands of families have answered the call, moving to what Mr Rawles calls America’s last big frontier and most easily defendable terrain. Were hordes of thirsty, hungry, panicked Americans to stream out of cities after, say, the collapse of the national grid, few looters would reach the mostly mountainous, forested and, in winter, bitterly cold Redoubt. Big cities are too far away. But the movement is driven by more than doomsday “redoubters”, eager to homestead on land with lots of water, fish, and big game nearby. The idea is also to bring in enough strongly conservative voters to keep out the regulatory creep smothering liberty in places like California, a state many redoubters disdainfully refer to as “the C-word”.

That’s “liberty” punctuated by gunfire – not democracy.

❝ Estimates of the numbers moving into the Redoubt are sketchy, partly because many seek a low profile. Mr Rawles himself will not reveal which state he chose, not wanting to be overrun when “everything hits the fan”. But Chris Walsh of Revolutionary Realty says growing demand has turned into such a “massive upwelling” that he now sells about 140 properties a year in the north-western part of the Redoubt, its heart. To manage, Mr Walsh, a pilot, keeps several vehicles at landing strips to which he flies clients from his base near Coeur d’Alene.

What? You expected hippies in VW Kombis?

RTFA for the glorious alternative truthiness.