Thursday, July 31, 2014

New smartphone app promises the power to silence Satan

It's called the Shut Up, Devil! app (seriously) which claims to be an innovative resource that puts the power of the Word of God in your pocket. And because it's on your smartphone, which is almost always with you, you're ready to resist the devil whenever and wherever he attacks. Additionally the app features reminders that will help you keep the enemy at bay and silenced in your life.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Invest in bigotry

money down the crapper
The latest money-beg from National Organization for Marriage is titled “Invest in Marriage. Invest in America.” NOM relies heavily on a piece from the Heritage Foundation written by our old friend Ryan T. Anderson and David Azerrad. Brian Brown highlights the following passage:
For those who are concerned about the vitality of the American Dream in the 21st century, strengthening the family ought to be an absolute priority. Far from being a tangential social or religious issue, the strength of the family is a crucial concern—both from an economic and political perspective—and deeply intertwined with the health of the country.

The sheer audacity of NOM and Ryan Anderson

Today, National Organization for Marriage is citing a couple of Ryan Anderson Videos. I'll get back to NOM later. As for Mr. Anderson, he seems to think that he is a great deal smarter than he actually is. In the first video, a gay man asks why he and his potential male spouse should not be able to file a joint tax return. Anderson's oh-so-clever response is to ask whether that should apply to marriages of three or more people. Trying to make the guy defensive, Anderson asks if he is making a “special pleading.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NOM requests $691,025.05 reimbursement of attorneys' fees in IRS litigation

National Organization for Marriage
In papers filed last Friday National Organization for Marriage seeks reimbursement from the government for legal fees in the amount of $691,025.05. I wonder where they found that extra nickel. This is the amount that NOM claims to have spent to prosecute the IRS for inadvertently providing a third party with an unredacted donor schedule.

NOM lost this case in summary judgment. The organization was confined to receive actual damages plus reasonable attorneys' fees. NOM and the government reached a damages settlement in the amount of $50,000.

Presumably someone, either the judge or the US Attorney, is going to request time logs. Additionally there should be some discovery regarding fee arrangements and what was actually disbursed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Brian Brown lost and confused over Virginia marriage equality victory

Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage, needs to brush up on United States history. In a statement released early this evening:
We are extremely disappointed, though not surprised, with today's ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating the definition of marriage in Virginia. It is a terrible abuse of power for a court to abandon the definition of marriage which has existed throughout the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia, was adopted by the people and reflects in law the reality of what marriage is, the union of one man and one woman.

Senator Marco Rubio seeks to appease gays while promoting marriage discrimination

2016 (VP?) hopeful, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wants to work both sides of the street. In Washington D.C. last Thursday, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Catholic University of America hosted a forum at which Rubio gave a speech. According to Rubio:
We should acknowledge that our history is marked by discrimination against gays and lesbians. There was once a time when our federal government not only banned the hiring of gay employees, it required private contractors to identify and fire them. Some laws prohibited gays from being served in bars and restaurants and many cities carried out law enforcement efforts targeting gay Americans.

It's Peter Sprigg vs. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Peter Sprigg - FRC
Peter Sprigg - "Oh shit"
Peter Sprigg, a Baptist minister, is the leading anti-gay propagandist of Family Research Council. Today's ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Bostic v. Schaefer) in favor of equality has not been greeted warmly by Sprigg. According to him:
In joining the judicial stampede to redefine marriage, the court not only radically departs from natural law and human history but omits altogether, as noted in the dissent, the 'necessary constitutional analysis.'

Poor them: "ESPN Blasts Team for Hiring Traditional Marriage Supporter"

David Tyree re-enacts the catch
Making its way through the conservative Catholic echo chamber today is this story about the New York Giants, ESPN and poor-poor downtrodden David Tyree. The dichotomy of argument is stunningly obvious in that supporters of marriage equality seem to be focused on constitutional rights and what is really best for children. In contrast, people who oppose marriage equality seem dedicated to a battle of semantics. According to the blog that is the source of this bit of cognitive dissonance:
If you're a supporter of traditional marriage suppoprter <sic> you have no right to work anywhere, at least according to ESPN and the Human Rights Campaign.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Florida: Christian Family Coalition calls marriage equality a "lynching"

The profoundly unhinged Christian Family Coalition is known for for its incoherent and insane hyperbole. They have outdone themselves. Today, in Key West, Florida a judge declared that bans on marriage equality are unconstitutional. According to Judge Garcia (who is neither insane nor hyperbolic):
It is our country's proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority. … The Constitution guarantees and protects all of its citizens from government interference with those rights. All laws passed by the legislature or by popular support must pass the scrutiny of the United States Constitution, to do otherwise diminishes the Constitution to just a historical piece of paper.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The phony Chase controversy must be bringing in the sheaves

Logo used by the combined company after its me...
NOM has started a new boycott (oh boy). This time it is Chase Bank that they are pretending to dislike as victims of non-existent persecution. Like their silly campaign to boycott Starbucks, this too shall fail because it is without substance. However, these campaigns are based on bringing in donations regardless of what they actually accomplish. What? You thought that they were issue oriented? These people are flailing about trying to keep a failed organization in business. They exist solely to continue to exist and pay salaries. The idiotic IRS controversy must have peaked so Chase is the successor.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Conservative Christianity has a new chew toy in CDC population estimates

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Today, much is being made of a CDC survey which concludes that about 3.4% of the population is (self admittedly) gay, bisexual or questioning. The common narrative goes “all this fuss over such a minuscule percentage of the population.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Verdugo: Marriage equality 'denies citizens their constitutional rights'

Anthony Verdugo
Only a profoundly nutty Christianist organization could advance the theory that marriage equality denies citizens their constitutional rights. Anthony Verdugo, head of Florida's Christian Family Coalition, in a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, seems content to advance that narrative.

Apparently Verdugo's theory is that courts do not have the right to overturn the will of the people expressed at the ballot. Were that the case there would never have been a Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, or United States v. Windsor. Whether the will of the people is expressed directly or through their elected representatives it is sometimes unconstitutional. That will has been expressed in the past (and present) as racism, anti-Semitism, Islamphobia and homophobia.

NOM's newest shiny object

shiny object
Apparently the folks at National Organization for Marriage think that everyone is as dimwitted as they are. Co-founder and chairman emeritus, Robby George, started a phony controversy over what we now know was a voluntary questionnaire with voluntary questions that JP Morgan Chase employees were invited to complete. Phony or not, it has made the rounds of Christendom. NOM has dutifully commented about, and linked to, every one of these mentions — perpetuating the reverb through the Christian wingnut echo chamber.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chris Christie says 'fuck you' to gays and their children

English: Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie
According to a story in Time Magazine, Governor Chris Christie claims that same-sex marriage is “settled, at the moment” In New Jersey but that Republicans should not abandon the fight against marriage equality.

Speaking to reporters at the National Governors Association on Saturday, Christie said:
I don’t think that there’s going to be some major referee who’s going to say now it’s time to stop … Certainly I’m not going to, because these are opinions that I feel strongly about … It should be done state by state … Absent a change in the legislature, I think at the moment it’s settled law in New Jersey.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Just skip the "dignity" and "love" crap

St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church - Indi...
Yesterday District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree ruled that Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, claiming that it “bears no rational relationship to any conceivable government interest.”Not surprisingly, Colorado's Catholic bishops are displeased.

In a statement issued through the Colorado Catholic Conference the bishops try to advance the usual nonsensical theory which they state as truth:
Upholding the truth about marriage advances the dignity of all people, and it promotes a culture that acknowledges, values and respects the unique and complementary gifts of both a mother and a father in the lives of children.

There are STILL Prop 8 holdouts

PJI's Matthew McReynolds is the one on the right
I have actually been to Yokoi's cave on the island of Guam. Sergeant Shōichi Yokoi was found in the jungles of Guam in 1972 — roughly 28 years after US forces regained control of the Island. One of a handful of WWII Japanese holdouts, his goal was to avoid the shame of being captured alive. Which brings me to the wingnuts at Pacific Justice Institute.

In California, the Christian right is in a tizzy over a new law that substitutes “spouse” for husband and wife on marriage license applications and in family law. PJI's staff attorney, Matthew McReynolds, told Christian News:
What these politicians don’t want people to know is that their actions are illegitimate. Contary <sic> to media myths, Prop. 8 has not been invalidated on a statewide basis. Instead, these politicians are exercising raw power, ignoring the Constitution and counting on the people and the courts not to hold them accountable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

LaBarbera: Homosexual men are stealing husbands from women

Peter LaBarbera
I usually ignore the schmuck unless he does something terribly amusing. In LaBarbera's email blast today (oy veh):
Anyway, while in the Big Apple I took the opportunity to sit down for another recorded discussion with the Harlem-based Pastor James D. Manning, who is bold and politically incorrect in speaking out against the "proud homosexuality" movement. Recently Manning caught the attention of the liberal media by asserting that homosexual men were effectively "stealing" potential husbands from Black women. (I told him that this is true for ALL women.)
Quite a legacy this guy is leaving his children.

NOM's Nixonian money-beg - defending the 'silent majority' from corporate bullies

Brian Brown - NOM
National Organization for Marriage has run out of reasons to exist. Neither they nor the Church (for which NOM is a proxy) are in a position to do much about same-sex marriage. That freight train is headed to the Supreme Court. Lately, NOM has tried raising money off of the evil IRS, Mark Regnerus. Now it's Mozilla and Chase Bank:
… a small cadre of radical activists is enjoying increasing success in the corporate world imposing their agenda through bullying and intimidation. Tragically, their strategy of confrontation and intimidation has real impact on ordinary, good citizens all across the country.

One of NOM's core missions is to stop this kind of discrimination and bigotry and defend these people's rights. Won't you please join us in upholding our mission … by making a generous donation today of $35, $50, $100 or even $500 or more if you are able?

ADF money-beg opposing 'radical atheists' and the ACLU

Anti-ACLU-2
According to the Christianist lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom our country is in great peril. Once again heterosexual-white-Christian-males are an endangered species. Who knew? ADF's latest gimme is titled “A message to Christians from the ACLU and the Obama Administration.” According to the mullahs that message is to keep your faith at home. Seriously.
It’s no secret that for many years the greatest threat to your religious freedom was the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Since it was founded in 1920‚ it has been on a mission to undermine America’s Judeo-Christian foundation.

AFA jumps right in on the phony Chase story

According to the hate group American Family Association; “Chase Bank asks employees' loyalty to LGBT.” The email from these "persecuted" and always pissed off uber Christians continues:
Each year JP Morgan Chase sends its employees a survey asking questions related to management and other non-controversial issues. This year, the survey included very personal questions for the first time. See OneNewsNow [AFA's phony news blog] story here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

So who is asking the Catholic Church to change its teachings on gays and marriage?

Brian S. Brown
Oh I suppose that there are a few people who would like to see the Church evolve on gay issues. Nevertheless, most people of most faiths are selectively observant. I love pork while the overwhelming majority of Catholics use contraceptives.

Today. National Organization for Marriage is linking to a piece in Legatus Magazine. The magazine is the organ for Legatus which is yet another conservative Catholic venture funded by Tom Monaghan, Domino's Pizza founder and owner of the Detroit Tigers. The piece is titled Family under fire and it's the usual conservative Catholic end of the world blather:

Monday, July 7, 2014

NOM continues to lie about the Regnerus 'study'

Mark Regnerus
It takes some set of balls for National Organization for Marriage to trot out the infamous Regnerus study.  Just today, there is a new study confirming what every other scientific study has concluded. Children raised by gay couples are as healthy and happy as their peers (and possibly more so). Yet, according to NOM today:
Compared with children raised by their married biological parents, children raised in same-sex households are much more likely to have received welfare growing up, have lower educational attainment, report less safety and security in their family of origin, report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin, are more likely to suffer from depression, and have been arrested more often.

The study also showed that children of lesbian mothers are almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance …

Robby Making Mischief - Again

Robert P. George
Princeton professor Robert P. George is not just a True Defender of the Faith™. Robby is also a professional victim. Making the rounds through the Holy Echo Chamber is his latest bit of mischief. According to Robby, a "friend" of his sent him the following message:
I've worked at Chase for the past 11 years. Yearly (sometimes skipping a year though) the bank will send out an Employee Survey to gauge how the employees feel about the bank and the management team they report up to. Every year that's all the questions ever related to: the bank in general and management. But this year there was a question that had many of us scratching our heads.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Christian News Network seems mystified over Burger King's support of Pride

With 13,000 restaurants worldwide and revenues of $2 billion I doubt that Burger King is terribly concerned with the ramblings of the far right Christian News Network. It seems that Christ's own news network is in a snit over Burger King's Proud Whopper.

The Proud Whopper comes in a rainbow colored wrapper with the inscription: “We are all the same inside.” It will be sold through today at one Burger King restaurant on San Francisco's Market Street, that was at the heart of the route for last weekend's 44th annual San Francisco Pride Parade.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

NOM continues its campaign of deceit to raise money

National Organization for Marriage
Today National Organization for Marriage is glorifying a letter to the editor of a small paper in Everett, WA. NOM creates a flase narrative which is repeated by an incurious member of the general public. NOM then cites what is published as some sort of validation. It is circular misinformation. I'll get back to the letter but first some background.

The holier-than-thou crowd at NOM has a penchant for dishonesty. Frankly, when it comes to prevarication, we are no match for NOM. Equality activists are just not terribly competent at spreading falsehoods. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that we are winning the marriage contest. We can assert the facts without the obvious demagoguery.