ONTD Political

Official identity of assailants still unknown after incident at Mayonhika, an ancient site where stone structures were toppled and offerings tossed about

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The Church itself denies involvement.  (different source)
... and the conservative crowd laughed.

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) joked at a conservative Christian event on Friday that he prays President Barack Obama’s days will be “few.”

The first-term senator began his opening statement at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference by telling attendees to pray for Obama. With a smirk, Perdue said, “We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says: ‘Let his days be few and let another have his office.’”

The large crowd laughed.

Perdue did not continue reciting the words, but Psalm 109 is a death wish for one of David’s enemies.

It goes on: “Let his children be fatherless; and his wife a widow. Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the creditor seize all that he has; and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him; nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out.”

Caroline Vanvick, a spokeswoman for Perdue, issued the following response:

"Senator Perdue said we are called to pray for our country, for our leaders, and for our president. He in no way wishes harm towards our president and everyone in the room understood that. However, we should add the media to our prayer list because they are pushing a narrative to create controversy and that is exactly what the American people are tired of."

The Christian Science Monitor noted that conservatives have used this verse in the past to talk about the end of Obama’s days in office.

By Amber Ferguson, The Huffington Post. 06/10/2016 01:37 pm ET.

Source has video.
Gov. Bill Haslam vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible the official state book

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible his state’s official book.

On April 5, the state Senate voted 19-8 to approve a bill making the Bible the state book.
Haslam expressed “some personal reservations” about the bill, according to The Tennessean.

In a letter sent Monday to Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), Haslam explained his veto, saying he felt the bill “trivializes the Bible.”

“If we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, then we shouldn’t be recognizing it only as a book of historical and economic significance,” he wrote, citing an argument used by proponents of the bill for why the proposal wasn’t religious in nature.

Haslam noted that he disagrees “with those who are trying to drive religion out of the public square,” but said it’d be a violation of both the Tennessee and U.S. Constitutions to make a sacred text the official state book.

“Our founders recognized that when the church and state were combined, it was the church that suffered in the long run,” he wrote.

Efforts are already underway in the state legislature to overturn Haslam’s veto.

The Tennessee House of Representatives passed a similar bill in 2015 that was ultimately stalled. Top state officials expressed hesitation over that proposal, including Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) and Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R), who said a similar bill would be seen as “an endorsement of religion.”

By Paige Lavender, Senior Politics Editor, The Huffington Post. 04/14/2016 06:13 pm ET.

Many states have considered bills that enable discrimination against the LGBT community, but Mississippi’s proposed legislation is perhaps the most explicit in this regard. HB 1523 spells out in storied detail all of the different ways that a person should be able to mistreat people for being LGBT without consequences from the government.

The bill does not pretend to be neutral; it only protects people with anti-LGBT religious beliefs and nobody else:

The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:

(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

Assessing what kind of discriminatory situations this would enable is easy, because the bill spells those out as well. So long as individuals are motivated by “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction,” any of the following behaviors would have the endorsement of the government:

Religious organizations can decline to solemnize any marriage or provide any services related to recognizing that marriage.
Religious organizations can refuse to hire, fire, and discipline employees for violating the organization’s religious beliefs.
Religious organizations can choose not to sell, rent, or otherwise provide shelter.
Religious organizations that provide foster or adoptive services can decline service without risking their state subsidies.
Any foster or adoptive parent can impose their religious beliefs on their children.
Any person can choose not to provide treatment, counseling, or surgery related to gender transition or same-sex parenting.
Any person (including any business) can choose not to provide services for any marriage ceremony or occasion that involves recognizing a marriage, including:
Disc-Jockey Services
Wedding Planning
Floral Arrangements
Dress Making
Cake or Pastry Artistry
Assembly-Hall or Other Wedding-Venue Rentals
Limousine or Other Car-Service Rentals
Jewelry Sales And Services
Any person can establish “sex-specific standards or policies concerning employee or student dress or grooming,” and can manage the access of restrooms and other sex-segregated facilities.
Any state employee can openly express their beliefs without consequence.
Any state employee can choose not to authorize or license legal marriages by recusing themselves from those duties.

Protect Thy Neighbor, a project of Americans United for Separate of Church and State, outlines several hypotheticals for how this discrimination might play out — including impacts beyond the LGBT community. For example, an adoption agency could refuse to place a child with a family if the parents lived together before they were married. A counselor could refuse to help an LGBT teen who called a suicide hotline. A car rental agency could refuse to rent a car to a same-sex couple for use on their honeymoon. And a corporation could fire a woman for wearing pants (though this would likely still be illegal under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act).

Anybody who takes advantage of any of these opportunities to discriminate would be protected from any tax penalty, any loss of contract or grant, any loss of benefit, any fine or penalty, any license or certification, any custody award or agreement, or any setback in employment.

Furthermore, these protections extend even if the disagreement does not involve the government as a party. In other words, anybody can cite their religious beliefs to justify their discriminatory behavior if sued by the victims of that discrimination. When they do, they are entitled not only to victory in court, but compensatory damages as well.

Currently, no city in Mississippi has banned anti-LGBT discrimination under law, but several have at least passed resolutions opposing such discrimination, including Jackson, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Greenville, Magnolia, Oxford, and Hattiesburg. Should any of those cities ever pass enforceable laws, those laws would be voided by HB 1523, which preempts any municipal law that might conflict with it. All of the above forms of discrimination would become legal in the state no matter what laws a city passed.

This bill has already made significant progress through the Mississippi legislature. The House approved it last month by an 80-39 vote and the Senate is taking it up Wednesday.

UPDATE MAR 30, 2016 8:55 PM
The Mississippi Senate approved the bill Wednesday evening by a vote of 31-17. It now returns to the House for concurrence with an amendment.

Virginia Governor Vetoes 'Religious Exemption' Bill

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed legislation Wednesday aimed at protecting opponents of same-sex marriage, saying it would legalize discrimination of the LGBT community and hurt the state's economy.

"We cannot have fear and persecution, people being demonized, we're not going to tolerate that," McAuliffe, a Democrat, said as he signed the veto during his monthly appearance on radio station WTOP.

The measure would prohibit the state from punishing religious groups that refuse services related to gay marriages. Republican supporters said it would protect people expressing their sincerely held religious beliefs.

McAuliffe's veto comes shortly after GOP-backed legislation related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in other southern states drew national condemnation from corporate America and civil rights groups.

blah dity blahCollapse )

abc news
gotta say i wasn't expecting v much w mcaulliffe. he was pretty much a friend / donor to the clintons but he has done a good job of governing so far although most of it is telling the republican side "hell no you aren't"
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A divided Kentucky Senate passed a measure Tuesday seeking to expand legal protections for businesses that invoke religious beliefs in wanting to deny services to gay, lesbian or transgender customers.

The bill cleared the Republican-controlled Senate on a 22-16 vote. It arose in response to last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Opponents said the legislation would promote bigotry, threaten anti-discrimination ordinances in several cities and potentially drive away convention business from Kentucky.

Supporters countered...Collapse )


Does anyone know what's the context for the second part of the video? Lord Jesus.

UPDATE: Apparently this video is from last year. Here's more context via Jezebel. Also, check out this opinion piece from the NYT.

Cruz announces anti-LGBT 'religious liberty' council

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has created a "religious liberty" advisory council for his campaign that seems intent on undermining LGBT rights.

The Cruz campaign announced the council on Monday, the day before many conservative Southern states were up for grabs in the Republican primary on Super Tuesday. (Cruz would ultimately win Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska, although Donald Trump took the lion’s share of the night.)

The Zodiac Killer"s Secret Plan Revealed...Collapse )

Source has the full list of board members.

I know we're all focused on Trump because lol trump, but honestly the thought of Ted Cruz becoming president straight-up scares me.
"The vast majority of nations manage to function without religious verbiage on their money," writes lawyer Michael Newdow.

The phrase "In God We Trust," which appears on the reverse side of a $20 bill, is being challenged by 41 plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Ohio this week.

A group of atheists seeking to drop the phrase "In God We Trust" from U.S. currency filed a federal lawsuit this week in Akron, Ohio, arguing the expression violates the separation of church and state.

The group of 41 plaintiffs is led by Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow, who has previously sued the government to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, but was unsuccessful.

Because the plaintiffs regularly handle money as a part of daily life, the suit argues, the phrase "In God We Trust" imposes upon them each time they do so.

One plaintiff "handles U.S. currency almost daily. As a Humanist, she does not believe nor trust in any g-d," the complaint reads, substituting "God" for "g-d."

It continues, "Rather, her beliefs require that she trust in her own abilities and a general responsibility to lead an ethical life. In handling the money, therefore, she is repeatedly unwillingly confronted with the words 'In G-d We Trust.' Thus, she is forced against her will to accept and re-distribute to others a message that goes wholly against her beliefs. Yet it is neither realistic nor reasonable for her to abandon the nation’s currency and use other forms of payment for all of her transactions."

Michael Newdow, an atheist lawyer from California who challenged the Pledge of Allegiance, leaves the Supreme Court after a hearing in 2004.

Unsurprisingly, the campaign has encountered resistance from religious commentators. Aclj.org, which is associated with the nonprofit religious organization Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., framed the suit as an “attempt to eviscerate our National Motto - and with it our religious heritage.”

Newdow didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. However, in a 2015 blog on Patheos, a website focused on religion, spirituality and faith, he argued that the phrase "In God We Trust" not only violates the First Amendment of the Constitution ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”), but also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits the government from burdening a person's exercise of religion unless it furthers a "compelling governmental interest."

"There is obviously no compelling government interest in having 'In God We Trust' on our money," Newdow wrote. "We did fine for the 75 years before the phrase was ever used at all, and continued to do fine for the subsequent 102 years before such inscriptions were made mandatory on every coin and currency bill. Similarly, the vast majority of nations manage to function without religious verbiage on their money."

By Ryan Grenoble, News Editor, The Huffington Post. 01/15/2016 04:53 pm ET.

“I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct.”

In a speech delivered in 2012, Ben Carson said the big bang theory was part of the “fairy tales” pushed by “high-faluting scientists” as a story of creation.

Similarly, Carson, a noted creationist, said he believed the theory of evolution was encouraged by the devil.

“Now what about the big bang theory,” said Carson at speech to fellow Seventh-day Adventists titled “Celebration of Creation,” about the theory for the origin of the universe.

“I find the big bang, really quite fascinating. I mean, here you have all these high-faluting scientists and they’re saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists that go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization.

“So now you’re gonna have this big explosion and everything becomes perfectly organized and when you ask them about it they say, ‘Well we can explain this, based on probability theory because if there’s enough big explosions, over a long period of time, billions and billions of years, one of them will be the perfect explosion,” continued Carson. “So I say what you’re telling me is if I blow a hurricane through a junkyard enough times over billions and billions of years, eventually after one of those hurricanes there will be a 747 fully loaded and ready to fly.”

Carson added that he believed the big bang was “even more ridiculous” because there is order to the universe.

“Well, I mean, it’s even more ridiculous than that ‘cause our solar system, not to mention the universe outside of that, is extraordinarily well organized, to the point where we can predict 70 years away when a comet is coming,” he said. “Now that type of organization to just come out of an explosion? I mean, you want to talk about fairy tales, that is amazing.”

Later, Carson said he personally believed Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was encouraged by the devil.

"I personally believe that this theory that Darwin came up with was something that was encouraged by the adversary, and it has become what is scientifically, politically correct,” said Carson.

“Amazingly, there are a significant number of scientists who do not believe it but they’re afraid to say anything,” Carson added, saying he would be writing a book, “The Organ of Species,” that shows how the organs of the body refute evolution.

Carson, whose views on creation have caused controversy in the past, is outspoken about his beliefs. He even once famously debated leading atheist Richard Dawkins.

Source has two videos of Carson saying wacky things that I don't know how to embed here.
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