Saturday, February 18, 2017

Loose change - Items I overlooked

Here's what I found under the couch cushions

Texas AG and Christian crusader, Ken Paxton, released a statement regarding Barronelle Stutzman and the Washington Supreme Court ruling against her bigotry:
The First Amendment guarantees the liberty to speak freely, and the fundamental right to disagree. The government cannot force individuals to create art against their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs. Today’s display of intolerance by the Washington State Supreme Court both defies the Constitution and seeks to outlaw the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Compelling individuals to speak messages against their sincerely held beliefs is un-American and unconstitutional.
What can I say? Paxton is not terribly bright. Flowers aren't “art”; Stutzman is free to be opposed to same-sex marriage and no one is forcing her to do anything other than to obey the law. The Court did not defy the Constitution given that it is abundantly clear from Supreme Court precedence that there are no religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws. Apparently the U.S. Supreme Court is wed to the belief that these actions are entirely constitutional given that they refused to hear a nearly identical case (Elane Photography v. Willock). It is scary that Paxton is an attorney general.

At Heritage Foundation, Rachel del Guidice is pumping the dishonest story about the meat packer who claims that he is being sanction by the USDA for opposing marriage equality. The truth of the matter is that Don Vander Boon has been cited by the agency for cruelty to animals. He is simply using Christianity and gay people to obfuscate his regulatory failures. The Christian right is using this bogus case to petition Trump for an executive order. Kindly tweet this story.

Village idiot Molly Hemingway has declared “I Will Watch A Trump Press Conference Any Time Of Any Day.” I think it was conservative columnist David Brooks who wrote that the things Trump does that appall 65% of us cause the other 35% to adore him even more. Apparently Hemingway found the profoundly dysfunctional press conference enlightening and she likes being lied to. The Associated Press provides a superb piece comparing Trump's hype to factual realities.

Over at CBN they are dismayed that “NFL Flaunts Pro-Gay Agenda with All-Inclusive 'Love' Ad.” The combination of “gay” and “flaunts” remains offensive as a reminder of the treatment of openly gay people in the past. the ad that they don't like is actually quite beautiful:

Also at CBN is a post titled: “'They Want Us Driven Out.' VA Religious Rights Bill Needs a Miracle.” Governor Terry McAuliffe has promised to veto the bill which passed by slim margins. Apparently the desire of McAuliffe not to sign a broad license-to-discriminate means that he wants to drive conservative Christians out of the commonwealth. Seriously? Personally, I do not believe in miracles. If I did … oh, never mind.

From Charisma someone named Alexa Moutevelis Coombs asserts: “No 'Doubt:' New CBS Drama Pushes Dangerous Transgender Agenda.” According to Coombs, the very presence of a trans person is apparently dangerous:
The new CBS legal drama Doubt premiered on Wednesday night, and while it stars Katherine Heigl, Laverne Cox is getting all the attention for being the first transgender to be cast as a series regular on a network TV show—i.e. liberals are forcing the radical LGBQT agenda on American TV viewers again.
Oh those radical queers again. Watch something else hon. Problem solved.

At the always amusing, Lianne Laurence shares: “Ohioans urged to lobby for bill protecting pastors from forced participation in homosexual ‘marriages.’” No, stupid. Clergy are already protected by the First Amendment. Unless they are doing it in a for-profit setting, clergy cannot be forced to officiate any marriage they disapprove of.

Finally, some good news. The Freedom From Religion Foundation convinced the parks and recreation department of a Virginia town — Christianburg (seriously, that's the name) — to cancel an upcoming field trip to Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky by asserting that the trip is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. Sounds about right to me. Well done Andrew Seidel! Seidel is staff attorney for FFRF.

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