Gays have “the right to live the life they want” but they should not be “coming to our Legislature, demanding we change our state laws so they can feel good about their chosen lifestyle,’’ Smith said.– David E. Smith, prick, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute
So many good lines. So much truth.
I might not be the same
But that’s not important
No freedom ‘til we’re equal
Damn right I support it
As White House petitions go, this one has gotten quite a bit of signatures. It’s call for action is brief and worth re-posting.
This group has been recognized as a hate group by organizations, such as The Southern Poverty Law Center, and has repeatedly displayed the actions typical of hate groups.
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.
I’m no constitutional scholar or political science major, but there are glaring issues with the idea that we could legally recognize Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.
How do you subjectively define hate? How do you determine that the Westboro Baptist Church is a hate group, but the Catholic Church is not?
I’d argue that the Westboro Baptist Church is far less harmful than the Catholic Church to society. They’re a small group of people that most would have no problem defining as crazy. We’re talking off their rockers crazy. So while it’s vile and disgusting to protest the funerals of service members or the deaths of children, the vast majority of people have no problem writing them off. Their position is not acceptable. Their actions are deplorable. No one takes them seriously.
The Catholic Church is the exact opposite. Here we’re talking about a significant number of followers. People that accept the actions and beliefs of the church enough to attend mass on a regular basis. The Catholic Church is against gay rights, women’s rights, and is similarly rewarded with 501(c)3 status. They are just as careful as the Westboro Baptist church to not run afoul of the IRS rules regarding political involvement. And yet they’re extremely powerful. Your gay friend that can’t get married, or can but isn’t recognized by the federal government, has had his life more negatively effected at the hands of the Catholic Church than the Westboro Baptist Church. Your female friend who finds it difficult to access birth control because her employer refuses to cover it, or the pharmacist refuses to fill the prescription, same thing. What we teach our children in school and how we punish bullies, same thing.
I think the Westboro Baptist Church is just as disgusting and vile as the next sane person, but you’re kidding yourself if you think they’re the real problem. They can easily be written off, the Catholic Church and other large religious organizations can not. The Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, and Christian churches of other denominations that have worked tirelessly to limit rights and freedoms they disagree with pose a much greater threat to the welfare and treatment of others than the Westboro Baptist Church could ever dream of.
I originally wanted to start this off with a reference to the phrase ‘guilt by association’. But, given that I very much enjoy calling people out for their flagrant use of logical fallacies, I thought it’d be better to take a different approach.
You’re only as good as the company you keep.
While ‘guilt by association’ makes a direct accusation of guilt, and references only a general relationship, ‘you’re only as good as the company you keep’ seems to imply that the relationship is one you actively maintain. And that, while this relationship may not directly confirm guilt, it can certainly have unintended consequences.
So where am I going with this? It’s an election week, so I’m leaning towards politics. It’s difficult in this country of only two parties. They disagree, to some extent wholeheartedly, on nearly every single issue. A third party doesn’t fair well. But you still have a few options to choose from. To that end I find it downright crazy that anyone would want to keep the company of current Republicans. Here’s why.
- The majority of Republicans would love nothing more than to over turn Roe v. Wade. For nearly four decades this has been their goal. There are no signs of letting up. In the process they’ve seemingly re-defined rape any time it’s convenient. It’s nothing short of disgusting the amount of control they want over the medical decisions of women.
- Despite studies and evidence to the contrary, Republicans insist on preaching the failed lessons of abstinence only sexual education. Safe sex involves contraception and their god of choice forbids it. All forms of it. Not only is it absurd that they should feel the need to force their religious beliefs on others, this is an archaic rule that the majority of believers tend to ignore outright themselves.
- Republicans routinely, and often proudly, reject science. Evolution, climate change, sexual orientation, etc. Seemingly no amount of evidence or facts can change their mind. They don’t just keep the ignorance to themselves. They introduce and pass legislation permitting the teaching of creationism as science and that the theory of evolution is just a ‘theory’. As if they weren’t ignorant enough, simply misunderstanding the use of the word theory in the context of scientific discovery seals the deal many times over. They prevent governments from addressing climate change and promote myths about clean fossil fuels. They block or end subsidies to cleaner solutions but fail to end subsidies to ones that are poisoning people on a daily basis. As if that wasn’t enough science bashing, Republicans have even been known to introduce legislation preventing teachers from discussing sexual orientation. This has the potential of an entire civil rights movement in this country being omitted from history class. The word ignorance is simply an understatement.
- While we’re on the topic of sexual orientation, the entire party, save a handful of people who have recently decided to distance themselves from their parties bigotry, has worked to ostracize a significant percentage of American citizens. It’s bigoted and intolerant. Laws to prevent LGBT citizens from being fired for being born that way are regularly blocked by Republicans. Laws to include sexual orientation and identity in non discrimination clauses are opposed as well. The benefits of legal marriage are denied on a daily basis across the country. Republicans are proud to proclaim their support for amendments and laws preventing same sex marriage and all of the rights that come with it. Benefits like child adoption, hospital visitation, death benefits, insurance, and tax deductions. They have no justification for these actions but their bible and tradition.
I could go on, but I won’t. The number of issues that history will deem Republicans to be woefully wrong about is long. The amount of damage they’ve caused this country and will continue to cause this country is immense. This is not about the economy, or jobs, or foreign policy. This is about a party that has no interest in standing up for the rights and equality of the citizens they want to govern. This is about a party that proudly ignores scientific fact on a regular basis. These are not the actions or beliefs of a group of people that have the best interest of this country in mind. This is not about Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. It’s bigger. It’s about a party off its rocker.
So, while voting Republican may not make you guilty of redefining rape, of scientific ignorance, or blatant bigotry, it does reflect on you. When you cast your vote for a party that will, without a doubt, one day be remembered for criminalizing the medical choices of women, ostracizing LGBT children and adults alike, rejecting the science that can and will continue to improve our lives, remember, you’re only as good as the company you keep.
The video below is an old one, from December 2011, but I think it illustrates nicely an idea I’ve had floating in my head for a bit. It’s not an original idea by any means, but one I’ve been trying to figure out a hook for. And here it is from the primaries last year.
After telling Bob Garon, a gay veteran, to his face that he didn’t think he should be treated as an equal human being by Romney, Mr. Garon references Obama, who, at the time, was in the closet, if you will, about same sex marriage.
At least Obama, uh, will entertain the idear. This man is, ‘no way jose’.
And there it was.
As a Republican, Romney has to toe the religious line. There is neither debate nor discussion when you tie a political issue with religion. How will this country ever make progress when things like abortion, any and all forms of birth control, same sex marriage, gay rights, and education are tied to outdated, intolerant, bigoted beliefs and not reality?
I think Barry Goldwater summed it up almost 20 years ago when he said the following:
Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
We need to take the religion out of politics now more than ever.
After watching this video I’ve made up my mind. I could never step foot in the Creation Museum and provide them with one extra penny of income. Even if it is for a good laugh. Never has the word ignorant been such an understatement.
There’s just so much bullshit in here. If you somehow find a nugget of wisdom anywhere in that video, you’re doing something wrong.
Bain Capital, yes that Bain Capital, is shipping the jobs of a Freeport factory to China. Well, not just the jobs. The equipment and an education by, soon to be, former employees are taking a one way trip as well. That knowledge will be lost over time just as it has been in other manufacturing industries. And the former employees, local community, and our country will pay dearly for that.
The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.
But don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. More profit! Oh, and cheaper products from China! Win win!
Eagle Scouts have started returning their medals in response to the Boy Scouts of America reaffirming their bigoted ways.
I am giving back my proudest possessions because I don’t want to have my son or daughter one day say to me, “Did you know you were a member when the Boy Scouts used to not allow gay people to join?” As an 11 year old, I remember my mother’s face contorting trying to hide the guilt after I asked her what it was like attending school in segregated North Carolina. That won’t be me.
This will have a far greater impact on the organization than my choice to boycott their products or keeping my non-existent son from joining. I’m proud of these men for standing up for what’s right; something, it seems, the Boy Scouts probably encourage their members to do.
In other news, the Jim Henson Company has decided it would rather not do business with a bigoted fast food company by the name of Chick-fil-A.
The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.
I haven’t done business with them myself in at least seven years. I would never have done business with them had I known how closely they align themselves with organizations that condem homosexuality and try to ‘cure’ it.
It will only get harder to openly support bigotry going forward. It will mean lost business, lost financial support in the form of donations, it will mean a lack of support by those that are discriminated against, and those, like myself, who feel it necessary to do what they can to support equality. If you think these views will prevail, you’re sadly mistaken.