Freedom Of Religion

The Corruption Of The Supreme Court, With Five Appointees By Presidents Who Lost The Popular Vote!

With the likelihood that Amy Coney Barrett will be successfully confirmed to be the replacement of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court, we are about to have a Court with five appointees by Presidents who lost the national popular vote, but still won the Electoral College.

George W. Bush lost the national popular vote to Vice President Al Gore in 2000 by a 540,000 margin, but was able to select Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito in 2005 and 2006.

And now Donald Trump, who lost the national popular vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, by a 2.85 million margin, has been able to select Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch in 2017, Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and now Amy Comey Barrett in 2020.

And even more infuriating is that three of these five appointees helped the George W. Bush campaign in the Bush V Gore Supreme Court case, assisting him winning the case in a majority Republican selected Court in December 2000–specifically, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Comey Barrett!

And the right wing Federalist Society, which has been on a 40 year campaign to make the federal court system move to the extreme right on such issues as health care, abortion, gay marriage, gun rights, so called freedom of religion, deregulation of the economy and the environment, suppression of voting rights and labor rights, has fully succeeded in its campaign to undermine American democracy and a sense of humanity!

So when one complains from the right side of the political spectrum at the “horror” of Democrats “packing the Court” if they were to add seats to the Supreme Court, one has to say the level of hypocrisy is enormous, when that has been the commitment for four decades of the Right in American politics.

And who can say that if the Republicans were to win control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency, that they would not be willing to promote “packing of the Court’, so that they could add two to four more seats to the Supreme Court, and make the Court not just the 6-3 margin it will now be, but possibly 8-3 or 10-3, if two to four seats were to be added!

And one more point: Two of the six member Republican majority have had sexual misconduct hanging over their heads, although it has not affected their tenure on the Court, speaking specifically of Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. So the ethical and moral standing of the Court has been damaged irrevocably!

But do the conservatives and the Federalist Society care about this? Not one iota!

Trumpites Put Profit Above Life With Actions In Michigan And Kentucky, And At Houses Of Worship

It is now clear that Trumpites put profit above life, as shown by their marches and demonstrations in Michigan, Kentucky, and threatened actions in North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio, protesting the shutdowns ordered by those states’ Democratic governors and Ohio’s Republican Governor.

A number of Christian houses of worship, run by pastors who are always looking for adulation and money, also have endangered their clueless, gullible congregants by holding Easter Sunday services, and denouncing what they call interference with freedom of religion. That was not the purpose of the states’ governors who worry about the spread of the CoronaVirus.

It is essential for the Democratic governors, along with the intelligent, sensible Republican governors of states, including Massachusetts, Maryland, and Ohio, to hold fast and not give in to pressure to reopen society at a delicate time as now!

Crazy Religious Lunatics Are Undermining National Security And Health!

In the midst of the most dangerous moment for national security and health in our lifetimes, we are witnessing crazy religious lunatics insisting they have the right to conduct Easter and other weekly services, and Orthodox Jews saying the same for Passover services!

They argue freedom of religion, ignoring the dangers they are presenting to their congregants, who in many cases, seem to think that if a clergyman speaks, it is God personified!

Sorry, but the right to worship is not primary over safety, security, and public health, and it will lead to a massive number of unnecessary deaths!

It has already occurred in the South, where the hold of evangelical Christianity is strongest, and also occurred in Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, New York, as well as in Israel.

When will common sense finally come to the minds of these congregants and their clergymen? Only when many have died out of pure cultish behavior?

The answer is to shut down all churches and synagogues for worship, and lock the buildings, and arrest anyone who defies this emergency!

Your right to worship exists only as long as it does not affect the public safety and health, as worshiping in large numbers at this time is “a clear and present danger to others”, quoting a Supreme Court decision of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schenck V US (1919)!

Closing Down Mosques, Requiring Muslim ID Badges, Closing Down Cafes And Diners And Wherever Muslims Meet: Meet American Fascism And The Republican Party Of 2015!

The Republican Party of 2015 has gone so far to the Right that now it can be compared to Fascism in many ways!

Donald Trump asserts that all mosques in America should be shut down, which only incites anti Muslim hatred and endangers all Muslims in the United States.

What Trump forgets is the concept of the First Amendment and religious freedom!  Can one imagine if we had a politician say all Catholic Churches, all evangelical Christian churches, all mainline Establishment Protestant churches, or all Jewish synagogues should be shut down?  Would we ever allow or conceive of such action by any level of American government, which would make us no different than what Nazi Germany represented, as they shut down Jewish synagogues, and in fact, torched and desecrated them?  Have we gone mad as a nation, that we even have a Presidential candidate who can utter such bigotry and fascist tendencies, and sit by and ignore it?

Donald Trump also declares that we should require Muslim ID badges, reminding us of the branding of Jews with a yellow star in Nazi Germany, and are Americans ok with that, as if so, why not some day do that to other religious groups or ethnic minorities?  And he wants a database established to track all Muslims in America in their daily existence.

Marco Rubio wants us to close down cafes and diners and wherever Muslims meet, making him an American Fascist as much as Donald Trump!  Are we to arrest and imprison all Muslims in America as we did with Japanese Americans in World War II?

Are we to repeal the Bill of Rights and end freedom of assembly, along with freedom of religion, as well as freedom of speech?  Does anyone really think that shutting down public places where Muslims might congregate will prevent them from meeting underground?  Are we out to promote paranoia among Muslims in America, where the 99 percent who are NOT terrorist oriented will be motivated to defend themselves by joining groups that promote Al Qaeda or ISIL (ISIS)?

Are we going to allow those who advocate hate, such as Pam Geller, Franklin Graham, and others who promote Islamophobia, to undermine our nation and its basic values, and create a situation that will incite violence against anyone seen as Muslim?

Do we think such individuals would not be willing to defend themselves in a nation where there are so many firearms, many in the hands of mentally unstable individuals?  How do we gain a sense of peace and tranquility long term, when we are having demagogues advocating violence, warfare, and a native American Fascism?

All decent people MUST condemn Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and all other Republicans who advocate similar Fascist ideas, as well as Pam Geller and Franklin Graham and others of their ilk! They undermine any hope of coexistence, as all they do is accomplish what the evil terrorist groups want the most–the dissolution of America and its values!

The Dangers Of Islamophobia On American Life And The Future

Islamophobia has multiplied due to irresponsible right wing talk shows hosts, politicians, and websites that are exploiting the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya.

Sadly, Mitt Romney is adding to this hysteria by refusing to make it clear that America cannot declare war on the Islamic world, with its more than one billion population. He needs to calm the hysteria, but instead is contributing to it!

It is right that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton denounce the anti Muslim video that has caused demonstrations in the Middle East, and led to massive riots. We as a nation are not responsible for the reckless, divisive, hateful actions of right wing nuts and Christian and Jewish zealots who preach undying antagonism toward the entire Islamic world.

The reality is that we MUST coexist in this world, as a modern day Crusade would destroy this planet that seven billion people occupy!

And if we are not careful, we will have massive violence in this nation against our Muslim population, and massive retaliation by people out to defend their faith and their culture. The Muslim population overwhelmingly has denounced what happened in Libya and Egypt, and are trying to go about their lives and be good American citizens.

Just because there are some radicals does not mean that all Muslims should be painted with the same brush. Leave it to the FBI and CIA to handle that problem, as they have done very well so far!

Indeed, we need to keep watch over our own religious extremists who are willing to be outrageous in their behavior in the name of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and do not care how they divide this nation, and put it under stress and danger, and undermine our national security!

Florida Pastor Terry Jones: Religion Gone Too Far! The “Lynching” Of Barack Obama At His Gainesville Church!

Florida Pastor Terry Jones, who created an uproar over his plan to burn a Koran, causing widespread anti American riots in the Middle East, has now gone even further, and in a way that requires investigation by the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Justice Department for prosecution of a hate crime!

Outside his church in Gainesville, Florida, hangs an effigy of President Barack Obama being lynched, and this is NOT freedom of religion, and requires action, prosecution and prison time for this maniac pastor!

The lynching image of this effigy reminds us of the ugly past in Florida and other Southern, and even some Northern states, and we have passed the time when we can stand by and call it freedom of speech and freedom of religion!

This man needs to be put away because he incites hatred and bloodshed and violence, and is a very evil, sick man who needs psychiatric and psychological intervention, and a long stint in prison to take him off the streets, and stop poisoning congregants with his hate activity that advocates violence!

An Acceptable Compromise: Contraceptive Services For Women Of Religiously Based Employers To Be Offered Gratis By Insurance Companies

President Barack Obama has announced that contraceptive services for women who work for religiously based employers, such as universities and hospitals, will not have to be paid by the religious group as part of their health care plan, but instead will be a requirement for insurance companies to cover without charge.

This takes away the issue of religious liberty, which has been promoted incessantly by supporters of the Catholic Church and other religious groups, and exploited by the Republican Party and its Presidential candidates. Our belief in freedom of religion made it necessary for the administration to reconsider its handling of this part of the Obama Health Care legislation, which itself will be considered as to its constitutionality in the next few months by the US Supreme Court.

One can be assured, however, that politics will be utilized, and that this controversy will not disappear from the Presidential campaign, but it seems a win for women’s rights, as well as religious liberty!

The Westboro Baptist Church, The Supreme Court, And Free Speech

What the author feared would happen has indeed occurred!

The Supreme Court of the United States has, by an 8-1 vote, decided that the hateful, anti gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, headed by the Reverend Fred Phelps, and consisting of about 50 people, almost all his relatives, have the right to disrupt military funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan to protest the fact that gays have rights, and that America is going to the devil because gays are allowed to exist in America!

The fact that a military funeral is a time of mourning and stress for those connected to the dead soldier apparently had no effect on the Court, except for Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who, somewhat surprisingly, was the only dissenter.

So the Westboro Baptist Church can continue its evil deeds and disrupt funerals and promote hate, and the right of privacy of funeral attenders, including the family of the deceased, does not matter!

This despicable group not only has done this dastardly deed to families of soldiers, but also were present at the funeral of the nine year old girl murdered when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was seriously wounded in Tucson, Arizona in January. The only difference there was that a large group of sympathizers of the parents of the young girl formed a wall of resistance to these characters, and kept them much further away from the funeral procession.

This is not, in the author’s mind, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion, or freedom of assembly. To call the Westboro Baptist Church a church is a mockery of the whole concept of religion!

All decent people will deplore this decision, and be embarrassed that Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined with Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and even the ultimate swing vote, Anthony Kennedy, in writing this reprehensible decision!

This is not a victory for free speech, but rather a victory for hate, and insanity, and lack of respect for the dead, and lack of patriotism regarding the military, who sacrifice themselves every day in far off lands!

Surprising, but the author must commend Samuel Alito for having the courage to go against the tide, a man that the author has not highly admired. So I salute Alito for his brave stand for decency!

Arizona Does Something Right: Banning Of Westboro Baptist Church Hate Demonstration At Funerals Of Tucson Victims Of Mass Shooting!

Finally, Arizona has done something right, by its state legislature passing in record time today a ban on demonstrations or picketing by the hateful, sick Westboro Baptist Church at the funerals of the victims of the Tucson shootings last Saturday.

That despicable, so called religious group, which has picketed and demonstrated at the funerals of soldiers who died in Iraq or Afghanistan, because of the group’s hatred of gays, is finally being limited, as what they want to do is shameful! 🙁

So they will be allowed no closer than 300 feet, the equivalent of a football field, and additionally, there will be counter demonstrators dressed as angels who will stand in the way of these hateful crackpots, remaining silent, but blocking the vision of these sick, perverted members of what is primarily a warped group of family members of the so called Reverend Fred Phelps! 🙁

This action has already been followed in Ohio over a military funeral, although the case is now in the Supreme Court, has been argued, and we are awaiting their decision at some point later in this term of the Court.

It is hard to imagine that the Supreme Court would give license to this group by the argument of freedom of religion and assembly and speech, since they have no purpose other than to disrupt and cause emotional harm and suffering upon people who have suffered a loss of a loved one.

To think that the specific purpose of their demonstration is to condemn the Catholic faith of the nine year old child victim makes one want to mourn the loss in this group of what religion and Christianity are all about–to love thy neighbor!

If these are truly Christians, then they are a mockery of the faith!

Elizabeth Edwards’s Funeral And The Westboro Baptist Church: Time To Say NO To Hateful Demonstration At Moment Of Mourning! :(

The author has written before about the hateful Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, led by the Reverend Fred Phelps, a church consisting of mostly his family of about 50 relatives, which demonstrates at military funerals of soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, promoting their hate of gay rights, and claiming America is going to hell!

There is a case in the Supreme Court right now, which will soon be decided, as to whether this is an issue of free speech, assembly and religion, or one of obscene, disgraceful behavior which interferes with the mourning of families at these military funerals of our heroes.

Now, with the death of Elizabeth Edwards, the estranged wife of former Senator John Edwards, a woman much respected, admired and loved by millions of people, the Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket her funeral in the same despicable manner that they do at military funerals. 🙁

It is time for this outrageous behavior to be banned at any point anywhere near the mourners, not only at the Edwards funeral, but ALL funerals, military or otherwise, now and in the future.

To call this freedom of speech, assembly and religion is a total distortion of the meaning of the First Amendment. Such reprehensible behavior should NOT be endorsed or supported, and hopefully, the Supreme Court will soon rule that the Westboro Baptist Church should not be allowed any closer than three miles to any funeral that they wish, with their hatred motivation, to disrupt.

It is time to take a stand against what is wrong, and ban it anywhere near the site of a funeral, and allow the mourners to have peace of mind and solitude as they mourn their loved ones.