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the dread “BLOOD MOON”
courtesy, Getty Images

Yup. There it is. The big bad scary “Blood Moon”. I walked out and took a look at it this evening (Sunday), and at the lunar eclipse. There were even a few bats flying around — whoooo, scary! (NOT)


Now I can check that off the back page of my bucket list, if my bucket list was as long as War and Peace, which it is not. It was a passing minor novelty, an event of interest so long as I had nothing more pressing or interesting to do. (If you are pressed for time, I would encourage skipping the serious stuff, and head down to the fun videos at the end of the post.)


Too be fair, one of these blood moon eclipses came through in 1982; I also got a good look at Halley’s comet when it came through in 1984, and Hale-Bopp in 1997 as well, out in a rural area relatively clear of light pollution, and that was interesting, but not something to produce an adrenaline rush.  Even with exceedingly modest visual enhancement, it was not exciting, although I admit that having had access to a serious telescope for astronomy classes spoils one for some forms of naked-eye celestial observation.


There has been a lot of silly anti-science-based hype about the blood moon, the ‘super’ moon, and the eclipse.  It is prevalent in the crazy fringe religious righties who have hijacked the GOP via the Tea Party.  It appeals to the “end days is comin’!” anti-science ignorati, those who constitute the base for the likes of Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Ben Carson or Mike Huckster-bee. They are defined by superstition passing as religion.


They thrive on scaring the crap out of people, mostly by making up things which have no significant or substantive foundation in objective reality.  In other words, they thrive on right wing propaganda.


It’s time we stop letting the superstitious and ignorant anywhere near authority above the level of making the potato salad for small gatherings. When fact differs from faith, faith is wrong, and fact and reason should supersede stupid or fantasy based, no matter how often or loudly someone is tossing around the word Jesus. If you read that last sentence as dripping with scorn, you would be correct.

From the Inquisitr:


Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Super Moon won’t be that super

There’s a lot of excitement about the “super blood moon” on Sunday night — a total lunar eclipse that will give the moon a reddish appearance. The excitement centers on a few different ideas. One is the notion expressed by some religious groups that a blood moon is tied to Biblical prophecy. More widespread is simply the anticipation of seeing a really amazing celestial sight.

Unfortunately, those who are hoping for a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime view may find themselves disappointed.

What’s more special about this moon than the appearance is timing, or rather, the frequency with which the type of lunar eclipses we refer to as a blood moon are currently occurring. Specifically, when four blood moons occur at approximately six-month intervals. According to NASA, while lunar eclipses of one type or another occur about twice a year, a tetrad of blood moons is much rarer. There will be a total of eight this century.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and science promoter, discussed the blood moon on Twitter today, explaining that while it will appear larger than usual, it won’t be much larger, and that the color won’t be as deep and bloody red as many may expect from the name. [tweet below]

11h11 hours ago

Resist the Hype: The size of today’s “Super” moon is to next month’s full moon as a 16.07 inch pizza is to a 16.00 inch pizza

For some believers, the event is even more special, as they connect it to biblical prophecy. The Red Moon Rapture website lays out some of these prophecies, and how one group of believers feels that they connect to current events. Specifically, all four of the blood moon events in this tetrad fall on or quite near important events in the Jewish calendar, and the group believes it could be a sign that the Rapture is imminent. As with most rapture predictions, though, this largely comes from a few outlying groups, not from any mainstream belief systems.



Conservatives support Christian theocracy.  Earlier this week, one of them in another state put it in writing.  From the America blog:

Yesterday, Win Johnson, a lawyer working directly under Moore, wrote a letter to public officials in the state calling them to defy the Supreme Court’s ruling. As Johnson wrote, in part

Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous. If the public officials decide to officially approve of the acts of the wicked, they must logically not protect the righteous from the wicked. In fact, they must become protectors of the wicked. You cannot serve two masters; you must pick – God or Satan.

…Public official, what will you do? Will you stand up for the law of Alabama, for the people, for the weak and vulnerable, for the law of God? Or will you capitulate? Will you become complicit in the takeover by the wicked?

Johnson is the director of legal staff for Alabama’s Administrative Office of Courts, which runs the state’s court system. While the letter was addressed to all public officials in the state, a spokesperson for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said that it was directed at him.

No. Public officials are NOT ministers of God.  That is why there is specified in the constitution that there can be no religious test for public office.  Conservatives don’t care about the constitution. They want theocracy in spite of it.


Earlier this week, Kim Davis had another legal battle loss, looking to be one of many before she ends her grandstanding against the LGBT with a petulant whine.


After telling ABC Good Morning America viewers that she had a gay friend, the Daily Beast went looking for that friend; that gay friend may not be a friend any more. Davis appears to be out of sync with her town and county:


“Even after this all started, I went in a few days later and we spoke,” he told The Daily Beast. “We talked about how each other were feeling, and how we’re gonna be friends even after all this.”

But after the media frenzy, Black feels like he doesn’t know that woman anymore.

“I really don’t know who Kim is at the moment. I really want to believe that the kind, sweet person who was there when my mom passed away is still there,” he said. “I was friends with Kim in the past, but I don’t know this woman I’ve been seeing.”

Black said Davis’ decision to fight so hard against marriage licenses for gay couples was surprising to him and that he feels she’s taking it to an extreme. Black also notes that Davis didn’t become a Christian until four years ago.

What really bothers Black is how she has has transformed the town of Morehead, Kentucky.

“Kim Davis has become the face of Morehead, and that’s not the face we want to portray,” he said.

Black says Morehead is considered one of the most progressive towns in Kentucky, and that the city council passed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in 2013, one of only six cities to do so in the state. He says many LGBT Kentuckians choose the town as a home  for its diverse and accepting  environment.This is kind of like a sanctuary for people who came to [Morehead State University]. They live here now, they’ve made it their home because it’s so progressive,” he said. “And now it’s like, what is this place we live in? This is not the home we know. We don’t feel safe now. That’s ultimately what she did. She made us feel like our home was invaded by strangers, and she made us strangers to it.”
This is kind of like a sanctuary for people who came to [Morehead State University]. They live here now, they’ve made it their home because it’s so progressive,” he said. “And now it’s like, what is this place we live in? This is not the home we know. We don’t feel safe now. That’s ultimately what she did. She made us feel like our home was invaded by strangers, and she made us strangers to it.”

But taking theocracy to the extreme is what conservatives DO. And that is why every effort at pushing theocracy on government at any level should be opposed, vigorously. Here is just the latest abuse of religion in government to hit the news, demonstrating exactly how the extremist religious right pursues preferential religious treatment, and attempts to control everyone else.

“When citizens of this country approach their government, they do so only as Americans, not as a members of one faith or another. And that means that even in a partly legislative body, they should not confront government-sponsored worship that divides them along religious lines.”

- Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, in a dissenting  Supreme Court opinion

The Kim Davis controversy is like other right-wing efforts to support theocracy and to undo the decisions of the SCOTUS which are mandated by our Constitution as the ultimate arbiters of what is and is not constitutional.  We saw it in the Hobby Lobby decision, we have seen it in other attempts at challenging marriage equality.  When conservatives dislike a ruling, they attempt a do-over and use the litigation as a delay to social justice.


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fashion two-fer: reigious bigot hood AND dunce cap

The Kim Davis fight has been timed and located carefully to provide one last wedge-issue boost to conservative voter turn out in an off-year election in Kentucky.  It’s not about same-sex marriage or individual rights of religious expression, that is a red herring.  Kim Davis is a pawn and a stooge trustingly serving the larger aims and agenda of the radical right.  She might as well appear in public in a dunce cap, (as well as a scarlet letter).


It is always wise not to let the opposition define – or name – the debate, the argument, the issue, but to look at what is involved without their labels.  That might sound cynical, and maybe it is — but it is also realistic.


The governor’s race to replace term-limited popular Democratic governor Steve Beshear takes place in a low turnout year that has neither a presidential race, nor any races for the House of Representatives or Senate.  Even the state legislature elections take place in even numbered years.  The 2015 races tend to get overlooked in all but local media coverage.


not an image of the real Kim Davis
but VERY very similar

If the liberal candidate wins, then BOTH Obamacare/Kynect AND same sex marriage will have a strong supporter in the executive branch; if not, if the tea party extremist candidate wins, then there will be continued organized opposition to both, and continued encroaching theocracy in Kentucky government.


The first of several debates by the candidates for governor takes place today:


“It will be an opportunity to hear from the three candidates on a range of issues,” said WKYT political editor Bill Bryant is among the panelists questioning the candidates. “I suspect everything from the controversy involving Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis to underfunded pensions will come up during the debate.”
Going into the race, Conway was well-known for his recent high-profile, headline-grabbing failed battle against now Sen. Rand Paul and his emotional decision to not appeal a judge’s order for Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and countries while Bevin most recently tangled with Sen. Mitch McConnell who defeated him in the 2014 Republican primary.
The latest Bluegrass Poll from July 30 showed Conway with a slight lead over Bevin.
In a two-person governor’s race, Bevin suffered because 15 percent of those polled said they are “very conservative” but would cross-over and vote for the Democrat Conway. Bevin needs every one of these “very conservative” votes to win, according to SurveyUSA which conducted the poll which found 13 percent of likely voters remain undecided.
When all registered voters were asked which of the two is better qualified to deal with the state worker pension system, voters split: 37 percent named Conway, 36 percent named Bevin. When registered voters were asked who is better qualified to manage the state’s budget, voters split: 38 percent said Conway, 38 percent said Bevin.

Conservatives do well in low-turnout elections; they do not do well when voters participate in representative government.  To accomplish this, conservatives use wedge issues to turn out their voters, and they those wedge issues tend to be most effective with their most extreme and fringe voters. This is CENTRAL to the Kim Davis issue.  It is an attempt to turn out the religious right, in part by making Kim Davis important, and by extension, making their pro-theocracy a turn-out wedge-issue.  Less useful for this as an an anti-gay wedge issue is the problem for the right that same-sex marriage, like Obamacare, is gaining support on the right, although slowly; hence the need to redefine the issue as religious freedom for right wing radicals.


The legal battle of Kim Davis is nominally about individual religious freedom to persecute others citing sincere beliefs.  Nominally, according to the reference site, means “by or as regards name; in name; ostensibly”.  To name the Kim Davis legal fight ‘individual freedom’ is false; even to name it a fight about gay marriage is deceptive.


The Kim Davis issue is really about larger conservative control of government through the Kentucky 2015 election cycle, especially the election of the next governor; and 2016 election cycle.  It is really about issues like Obamacare, and the most successful state version of Obamacare in Kentucky, called Kynect, and attempts to replace a liberal governor with an extremist conservative successor who is campaigning on repeal of both Obamacare and the extremely popular Kynect.  Candidate Conway is part of the Bashear administration


So HOW Governor Steve Bashear, a supporter of same-sex marriage in spite of his ‘primitive Baptist’ family background handles the Kim Davis controversy is important to far more than the rule of law and the decision of the SCOTUS, in Kentucky.  While liberals call for Kim Davis to be impeached, the Kentucky governor with the Middle Eastern Muslim sounding name understands that is NOT the most effective way to promote justice and civil rights, as a practical matter.


Bashear knows that while in a rational society appreciates why government is and must remain secular, his legislature containing a 9 member Republican majority in the state senate and an 8 member Republican majority in the state House, won’t do their job to ensure secularism.  Bashear is correct when he refers to calling a special election as a waste of money; it would also be politically stupid in the extreme.  Bashear is correct in relying on the courts to slowly and laboriously ensure civil rights for all adults seeking to marry legally in the state of Kentucky.


SHOULD the legislative branch do their job, and impeach Kim Davis. Yes. HELL yes. This should not have to go through the courts, but it is precisely because we have a belt-and-suspenders provision in our government not to rely on only one branch of government built into the system that it works.  And a person who understands the system, the intentionally designed features of our government, like Steve Bashear, uses them to govern effectively.


The legislature at best would do nothing if called into special session; but at worst the legislature could very likely, in view of the current elections in progress, OBSTRUCT same sex marriage in Kentucky further, or at the very least make political hay for the right by attempting to do so and by turning this into more of a wedge issue than it currently is in the governor’s race.


As of recent polls, the two leading candidates for governor were in a statistical tie.  Bashear is smart enough not to tip the boat in favor of the tea party candidate, but rather to let the provisions of government that keeps the Kim Davis issue safely in the hands of the court take it’s course…. which will likely not be resolved until well after the 2015 elections for governor.


Given what he has done in Kentucky, democrats could do worse than put Bashear on the short lists for a possible VP running mate, especially if his successor in this election is another liberal.  He is a man who understands the practical function of government for good, which is I would argue the highest praise one can give a person in elected office.


This is a long post, but if you don’t have the time or interest to read all of it, I encourage you to at least skim the examples, from a variety of current events news, of religion enforced by government officials intruding into the lives of people who should be protected from that by our constitution. They range from losing your kids under a religious judge, to being fired for not going to church, to being stopped in the street and prayed at by cops at a road block that exists ONLY for the purposes of them pushing their religion on you.  I believe the examples below are both shocking but also significant to the arguments of freedom of religion being practiced on the job by people who are also exercising the authority of government at the same time.


Kim Davis, Rowan County Clerk, Kentucky doesn’t want to do her job serving the public — the WHOLE public, and now is not serving the public much at all.  She wants her bigotry to supersede the rights of others on the faulty premise of the exercise of religious freedom.


Kim Davis got out of jail and went back to her office this week, beginning the week with a big bang, and ending it with a whimper and another loss in court.


To the religious right, this does not seem like such a big deal; people can get served elsewhere, so what if religion by a government employee is disrupting the function of government, so what if people are suffering very real discrimination in having to go outside their home area to get married.  The inconvenience, cost, and difficulty are exactly what they WANT, the chance to stick their finger in the eye of people with whom they disagree.


That is the most they can hope for as public consensus continues to grow AGAINST their bias and hatred, including conservative opinion locally  but also nationally,


So why should we NOT allow anyone in the capacity of a government official or exercising the authority and legal force of government to also exercise their religious preferences (or preferences they try to justify on the pretext of religion)?


Let’s look at a few of the more egregious examples from the news. From the Free Thinker, reporting below on a part of America outside the 50 states.  This applies as an example because Puerto Rico is a part of the US, subject to the same freedom of religion provision of our own Constitution AND the Constitution of Puerto Rico, which mandates even more specifically the separation of church and state.  And this STILL happened.  It is significant because of two points – that a roadblock for reasons other than police purposes is a really serious intrusion on individual freedom to go about one’s life and business, an intrusion that most people would resent; and secondly because it demonstrates that intruding one’s religion into how government is conducted amounts not only to giving preferential treatment of one religion over others, but to an unfair subsidizing of the practice and promotion of that religion with tax payer funds and government authority.


You should not have to make the choice to refuse to be proselytized to someone wearing a uniform and badge, and carrying a gun and handcuffs.  That is intimidating.


It is also the same argument against Kim Davis (minus guns and handcuffs).

‘In the name of Jesus, step out of your car’

An atheist group in Puerto Rico has lodged a formal complaint against police who subjected motorists to a ‘faith’ blitz on July 1.

‘In the name of Jesus, step out of your car’

In a statement issued yesterday, Elisaul Rodriguez, Vice-President of Ateístas de Puerto Rico (Atheists of Puerto Rico) alleged that a “faith road block” had been set up by Barceloneta City police.

Officers stopped people on the road for the purpose of preaching, distributing written religious propaganda and praying for drivers.

Rodriguez added:

It was a religious activity in which the Christian faith was professed, particularly of an Evangelical variant.
We understand that the Police Department of Barceloneta City has incurred violations to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico …

Article II, Section III says: ‘No law related to the establishment of any religion will be approved and the free exercise of religion will not be prohibited. There will be complete separation of church and state’.
We must also point out that Puerto Rico, as a territory, is under the protection of the Federal Constitution of the United States of America, which also provides a clause for the separation of church and state.

Acts carried out during the “faith road-block” reflected the officers’ personal religious interests and were outside the police departments scope of duty, Rodriguez pointed out. The officers wore their uniforms and badges and:

Used resources provided by the Government of Puerto Rico that should only be used for the purpose of fighting crime, not for personal religious benefits.

This sends the message that the State is Christianizing its citizens, which corresponds to a canonical government and impairs the integrity and impartiality of the State.

Then in ultra-conservative crazy failure Kansas, we have this law suit over a woman being fired for not attending an evangelical church on her own time on weekends, or religious services held in government buildings on government time using government provided resources.


It’s not like this is the only example either of the illegal intersection of cops and religion in Puerto Rico; there was this law suit just two years ago in the case of another cop protesting religious conformity in the police force, from nbc latino.


Do you want the government to have the power to enforce religious conformity with the religion of elected officials?  Keep in mind this is exactly the thing that the crazy radical right fears unreasonably happening with Sharia law – government enforcement of extremist religious people, forcing you to do and to profess belief in things with which you disagree.



The bad old days of puritans, religious police, and an official (or unofficial) state religion. Not an actual rendering of the image of Kim Davis, although there are distinct similarities.

“There’s nothing more self-righteous than a reformed whore.” - aphorism

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Matthew 7:1-3

“You shall not commit adultery.”  Exodus 20:14

“If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.” Deuteronomy 22:22

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.  And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” Mark 10:11-12

“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Luke 16:18

There is nothing in the Bible, old or new testament, about conversion exceptions or exclusions for adultery. And from Wikipedia about Ms. Davis:

“Davis has been married four times to three different men. The first three marriages ended in divorce in 1994, 2006, and 2008. She is the mother of twins, who were born five months after her divorce from her first husband. Her third husband is the biological father of the twins, who were adopted by her second husband, Joe, who is also her fourth and current husband. Joe supports her stance against same-sex marriage. One of Davis’s twin sons, Nathan, works in her office as a deputy clerk and has taken the same position of denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.”

Kim Davis, county clerk of Rowan county, Kentucky, is a sincere but “cafeteria” (selective Christian) born-again Apostolic Christian.  The Bible has  a lot to say condemning adultery, but very little that addresses monogamy (marriage to only one woman) or same-sex relationships.  The few quotations interpreted against the LGBT and same sex relationships are far fewer and of far more dubious authenticity and significance than those against adultery, which are better established, frequent and unequivocal in interpretation.   Goody for her.  Given the chaos of her past personal life, and her inability to conform to ethical and moral decision making on her own, I can see why she might have needed the crutch of religion, and sought out an extreme version of religion to counter her own extreme poor behavior in her private life.   However, while I was shocked the first time I heard the lead quotation of this post; since then I’ve come to appreciate the validity of the observation that those who are religiously reformed, like Kim Davis, are too-often the most zealously excessive and extreme in their views, and all too eager and willing to enforce those beliefs on others, willing or otherwise, through persuasion or coercion.  Kim Davis, those like her, those who support her, are all too eager and too willing to ‘save’ other people from exercising their right to make a possible mistake in determining their own lives, including who they love and marry, which is the very ESSENCE of freedom.  Instead they seek to impose a narrow, puritanical, theocratic religious nanny state on them, denying them their constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.  I strongly doubt that Ms. Davis would have accepted the interference of a county bureaucrat telling her she could not seek a divorce, or a license to remarry because she would be committing adultery, for example, even though her conversion came while working in the county office as a deputy clerk where this was a real issue, a frequent occurrence – divorces for adultery, and subsequent marriages, including her own.

As a self-styled supporter of Biblical marriage, Ms. Davis has a lot of catching up to do, and it appears she hopes to do so by denying the civil and religious freedoms of others, and instead imposing her own.  Given how badly she screwed up without religion, it is perhaps understandable she now seeks to save everyone else by forcing her new-found (4 years) religion on them to save them from exercising their own freedom of choice and action – and religion. Or maybe she thinks it makes up for her own adultery.


I can’t really see that Davis is a deep thinker, but rather she comes across as a right wing religious fanatic who has become the willing stooge, the compliant pawn, of the radical religious right.


Given how quickly bigot bucks dry up after the first flush of notoriety, it seems far more likely that Ms. Davis is headed for more real life sorrow and catastrophe, not some sort of happy martyrdom that translates into subsequent success, and that her religious conversion and subsequent attempts at anti-LGBT martyrdom will be just one more bad choice in a long line of bad choices.   In her 2014 election, Davis won over her opponent by approx. 6.4% of the vote, and won over her primary challenger by only 0.6% of the primary vote.  With the exception of her son, her employees in the clerk’s office do not support her, and only complied out of fear. From Think Progress:


In an editorial note accompanying its reporting, the Trial Court Review paints a grim picture of life in the Rowan County courthouse after Davis began a symbol of anti-gay defiance. “The takeaways from the Watkins interview are clear. Davis is acting alone in her zealous mission. Her conduct has terrorized not just her staff but everyone that works in the courthouse. And all for a foolish mission aided by out of state charlatan lawyers trying to raise money for their ‘religious liberty’ mission.”

The county seat, per the AP, doesn’t seem to be happy with Davis and the attention it has brought to their county either.  That seems to be far more the action and wishes of outside agitators.  I would argue strongly that it is a mistake for Davis to give greater emphasis to these outside exploiters of her position, over the wishes of her community, given her election numbers just last year.  More than most, her politics need to be local.  The 2014 election was Davis’ first term; I don’t see her getting a second term with her stunt, however piously sincere.   Per the AP this morning:


Residents of Rowan County want things to return to normal

MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — Residents of the eastern Kentucky town where a county clerk was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples say they want things back to normal. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for five days for refusing a federal judge’s order. Her resistance attracted news media and protesters from all over the country and forced residents of this eastern Kentucky community to confront each other with deeply held beliefs they hadn’t been talking about that much. The Rowan County Rights Organization suspended all protests against Davis on Wednesday. Spokeswoman Nashia Fife said it has been a difficult time since most of the groups’ members know Davis and her family. Local pastor Randy Smith said the situation will embolden Christians and gay rights activists alike. But he said both sides can live together in peace.

Comments below fold.


We do not see conservatives trying to make THESE more legitimate challenges to the sanctity and success of traditional marriage illegal. In fact we have seen some of the clerks who claim sincere religious belief as a failed excuse not to do their jobs turn out to themselves have multiple failed traditional marriages to their credit, raising questions about how sincerely they really believe in monogamy.

For example, Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who is suing to be able to refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses on religious belief grounds, is apparently on her own fourth marriage. From Snopes:


A 9 July 2015 report from Lexington station WKYT on David Moore’s video noted the rumor that Kim Davis had herself been married four times and stated that her marriage certificate confirmed that fact

My understanding and impression is that Ms. Davis has undergone multiple divorces.


Quite the opposite of supporting traditional monogamy in practice, we see conservatives engaging in more cheating on spouses, more use of pornography (remembering that committing adultery in one’s mind and heart are the same as doing it in the flesh), higher rates of divorce, and high rates of multiple marriages (mostly while ex-spouses are still living). So the concept of one man/one woman until death do us part is just simply bullshit; the right does not defend this kind of traditional marriage. Rather it is more a case of TREAD-itional marriage, where they trample all over it. No, the objection to same sex marriage equality is about one thing and one thing only — screwing over the LGBT community and doing their level best to treat them as second class citizens. Shame shame shame on them; they do NOT deserve respect for their position. They instead deserve to be called out for their hypocrisy and hatred of others, and their desire to harm others.

A federal judge promises to rule later this month on the Davis sincere-religious-belief suit.  Rowan County is claiming they are immune from this suit, since the county is not refusing to issue the same-sex marriage licenses, which could leave clerk Kim Davis on the hook for some considerable cash.  However as her position and suits are being funded by the radical right wing instead of her personally, I’m sure there will be a generous outpouring of bigot bucks in her direction to help defray judgments against her, since it looks highly likely she will lose, and lose big.


Ban pedophiles, not gays.  Gays are not automatically pedophiles or sex predators.  Conservatives know, or should reasonably be expected to know this, but prefer to hate “the gays”/LGBT community anyway, while ignoring the very real predatory pedophilia of heterosexuals.


The crazy, dishonest, and ignorant radical religious right do this by engaging in blatant homophobic propaganda.  Propaganda, as a working definition, is a combination of animus and factually false claims that negatively target a group with the intention to manipulate the emotions of the gullible against them, and occasionally to manipulate the gullible for additional agenda purposes.


The Minnesota Family Council is big on using scare tactics and pushing narratives that are false.  They seek ways to legalize and to try to justify hateful and discriminatory actions to victimize against anyone who does not conform to their extremist agenda.  And like so many conservatives do, they try to assert they are victims, when they are nothing of the kind.  Any group with so little regard for the truth is no supporter of either truth, or anything or anyone other than hate and bigotry.


Minnesota Family Council falsely claims they are “strengthening the family and advancing truth.  All gay kids and adults have families; those families are not ‘strengthened’ by discrimination and hateful propaganda.  Minnesota Family Council has routinely shared supposed news items that were factually false, without ever bothering to do the most minimal fact checking before promoting them.


NO ONE is forcing any church in the United States to alter their ugly religious views or teachings.  There is no valid threat to churches from the Boy Scouts or any other advancement of the LGBT community towards dignity and equality.


The Boy Scouts HAVE had a problem with HETEROSEXUAL pedophile predators in the past, so it is not as if their prior policy was serving them well.  Rather the assumption that heterosexual men were consistently safe with boys was a fallacy that should have been obvious based on the organization’s own pervert files. Just as one law suit was settled in Minnesota, another one was filed against them for the same thing, one of five such law suits in the past two months, with four others currently open.  According to the STrib, the attorney who filed the most recent suit has spoken with other men who claimed to have been similarly victimized, so the numbers of pedophile victim suits may go higher.



At the time of the alleged abuse, Opalinski was a leader for the St. Paul-based Boy Scout Troop 12 and was also an Explorer advisor for Troop 2012.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court; it’s the fifth such lawsuit to be filed in Minnesota in the past two months and the fourth to name Opalinski as the alleged abuser, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The Northern Star Council is facing at least nine lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by former leaders or volunteers, MPR News reports. They were allowed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act – the same state law that has led to the spate of legal action against the local Catholic Church.

Contrary to the common mis-perception among conservatives, the target of pedophiles is often one of accessibility rather than sexual orientation.  We consistently see conservatives demonstrating extreme ignorance on a wide range of issues relating to sex, gender, sexuality and sexual orientation, and reproduction.  This is just one more.



RFRA & the Conservative Riffraff

by Dog Gone on July 8, 2015 · 0 comments

bad religion logo

RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) is not a justification for discrimination, no matter how conservatives try to use and abuse it.  This use of RFRA and of religious belief are wrong, bad, and flat out evil.  It is also generally, broadly illegal.


Those conservatives who seem to be bent on misusing freedom of religion are wrong, but they also tend to be the riffraff, the fringe, the mouth breathers, knuckle daggers, Bible-thumping mouth-foamers of the radical right who are too cray-cray to merit serious consideration.  These are not the educated serious thinkers on the right, and these are not people who anyone would view reasonably as statesmen and women.  These are not the people who should be in charge, of ANYTHING, as distinct from rational people of faith across the spectrum of political thinking., riffraff:

noun: people, or a group of people, regarded as disreputable or worthless:
a pack of riffraff.
the lowest classes; rabble

adjective: worthless, disreputable, or trashy.

These are the extremists who have hijacked the GOP.  The GOP needs to hijack their party back, they need to expel these crazy extremists, or the party will fracture and die out, like the Whigs which preceded them.


That does not seem to stop them from trying to get attention or their evil and hateful way.


Conservatives as the right side of the political spectrum, regardless of parties, has always been pro-discrimination, pro-unequal treatment,pro-injustice,  pro-subordination of others.  We have had to pass civil rights laws, and had ill treatment adjudicated BECAUSE conservatives won’t treat people fairly and equally without the coercion of law.  Rather we see conservatives having used terrible violence to coerce conformity to their discrimination.


Conservatives also believe in an ‘immaculate conception’ notion of business creation, by which I mean the belief that any business can be created without the contribution of others, notably government provided services like infrastructure (roads, utilities, educated workforce, customers, fire and police services, etc.).  Nope, it’s just the business owner and divine fertilization, in the minds of conservatives.


This is factually false.  But it is also the core premise underlying the current attempt by conservatives to claim a right of businesses to discriminate, and to assert a religious right to treat people differently by refusing service to some (aka public accommodation).


I cannot come up with a better definition of public accommodation than that provided by wikipedia:

Within U.S. law, public accommodations are generally defined as entities, both public and private, that are used by the public. Examples include retail stores, rental establishments and service establishments, as well as educational institutions, recreational facilities and service centers. Private clubs and religious institutions were exempt. However, in 1984, the United States Supreme Court declared the previously all-male Junior Chamber International, a chamber of Commerce organization for persons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six, to be a public accommodation, which compelled the admission of women into the ranks.

One of the premises of a right of the public to service is that the public provides the context and framework, the infrastructure, in which business operates, and which are essential to business to exist.  But more than that, it is a foundational premise of equality that people be able to expect equal treatment in the public sphere, that separate is not equal, that disparate or inferior is not fair or equal, and that refusal of service causes harm.


Courtesy of Findlaw for a partial list of court cases relating to civil rights decisions relating to the conservative laws being overturned that mandated or gave legal cover to discriminate, INCLUDING ON THE BASIS OF SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS:

Shelley v Kramer, 1948, overturned the right to exclude property sales on the basis of race, used to keep neighborhoods segregated;
Brown v Board of Education 1954 and 55(I and II) ended segregated education, invalidating separate but equal (hint: it was never equal, but consistently inferior);
Bailey v Patterson, 1962, overturned segregation of transportation facilities (public or private, inter and intrastate);
Loving v Virginia
, 1967, overturned prohibitions of inter-racial marriage, in which the Bible and sincerely held religious beliefs about the separation of the races figured prominently;
Jones v Mayer
, 1968, another decision that prohibits in property sales and property rentals, (regardless of sincerely held religious belief, or any other pretext or justification);
Griggs v Duke Power Co., 1971, (yes – THAT Duke Power that funds/ owns conservative candidates) overturned discriminatory education and IQ testing for employment (again, based in part on a sincerely held religious-based belief in racial differences);
Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Serv., Inc. 1987 banned same-sex sexual harassment violated the provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964  (the court did not make an exception for sincerely held religious beliefs motivating harassment or bullying);
Add to this list any of the Bob Jones University court decisions that religion or religious beliefs (sincere or otherwise) was not an excuse or legal pretext for discrimination;

This has not been an encyclopedic listing of cases, rather it is a sampling only.  Religion is not a legitimate or legal basis for discrimination.  In some locations, like the state of Oregon, these protections extend to gender and sexual orientation, and this has been the trend in civil rights.



Behold a new iteration of conservative Christianity at war WITH ITSELF.

Yesterday, in the news, a Montana man applied for a second marriage license to legally marry his ‘second’ wife.  Conservative social media went crazy claiming  this was the inevitable next step in their (made up) liberal war on Biblical marriage. From CBS News:


Montana man seeks license for second wife
HELENA, Mont. – A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage.

…The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.

…Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”


Anyone who actually reads the Bible would be aware that it mandates polygamy, and in particular that Levirate marriage especially requires that a man marry all of his brothers’ wives and get them pregnant, if any or all of the brothers die.   But the Bible permitted polygamy, concubinage and sex slavery, but that was men having multiple women, never the other way around.  From the old testament, specifically the Pentateuch first five books of the Bible) aka the Torah:

Deuteronomy 25:5-10

“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, ‘I do not wish to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’


Anyone who has followed the course of OPPOSITION to gay marriage would be aware of the funding by Mormons of Prop 8 in California, and other anti-gay marriage legislative initiatives.  From the Atlantic:

The Mormon Money Behind Proposition 8
Californians Against Hate released figures Tuesday showing that $17.67 million was contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August to groups like Yes on 8. Contributions in support of Prop. 8 total $22.88 million. Additionally, the group reports that Mormons have contributed $6.9 million to pass a a similar law, Proposition 102, in Arizona…

Karger said Californians Against Hate came up with the figures by cross-referencing donor information from the California secretary of state with Brigham Young University alumni lists, church memberships, and other personal documentation that could identify Mormon Church members. He said the surge in support has been an attempt to boost the church’s social standing among the greater religious community.

“For whatever reason, they’re trying to get some respect from other religions,” he told The Advocate Tuesday. “They’ve always been looked down upon by the Christians, the Catholics, and evangelicals.” Success with the marriage amendment would give the church credibility, Karger said.



The Battle of the Alamo in Texas in the spring of 1836 lasted 11 days, following a 13 day siege of the fort. The Battle was ultimately lost, not even a Pyrrhic victory, but it became a famous and unifying loss.


The modern opposition, no matter how vehement those who are in opposition CLAIM to be, lasted less than 24 hours, not even the 24 days of the Alamo conflict.


Raw Story notes:


Texas county clerk reverses course, starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses

Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections.

Some counties in other socially conservative states such as Kentucky have declined to issue such licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The controversy could result in a new round of lawsuits over gay marriage.

Katie Lang, clerk of Hood County, southwest of Fort Worth, said staffers will issue the licenses although she will not do so based on her Christian beliefs, which she believes are protected under the Constitution.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said county clerks who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Paxton, a Republican, said those officials could expect to be sued but would have ample legal support.

“Several groups have publicly expressed their willingness to help government employees who feel their religious rights have been violated,” a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said.

Legal experts said same-sex couples could seek injunctions compelling clerks to issue licenses and easily win, based on the Supreme Court decision. They also could file civil suits seeking damages from counties that are largely rural and short on funds for a prolonged legal fight.

But clerks could try to request pre-emptively an injunction or judgment that says they do not have to issue the licenses because of religious liberty, said Texas A&M University law professor Meg Penrose.

Counties in the most populous areas of Texas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.

Out of 254 counties in Texas, 114 are ready and willing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, according to the Dallas Morning News. Nearly 100 other counties said they were waiting for software upgrades and gender-neutral application forms.

So we have 214 counties out of 254 that are cooperating with the recent gay marriage SCOTUS decision.


From the Dallas News earlier this week:


Benefits to be extended to spouses of Texas’ gay state workers
AUSTIN — The state bureaucracy is moving forward to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, even as statewide elected leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have lambasted the landmark ruling. Starting Wednesday — less than a week after the decision — the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System will extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees. That means the list of employers providing same-sex partner benefits will include the state’s largest: the state itself.

I expect that the remaining pockets of opposition are going to crumble. But if they do not, I expect not only action by the DOJ, but from individuals like those who brought suits that rose to the level of the SCOTUS decision. …READ MORE