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Religion in Government - The Corruption of the Constitution


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#1 LFC

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:16 PM

I started this new thread because it seems that there is a lot of coverage lately about how some people use their governmental powers to impose their religious on others. First up, a religious test to become a police officer in Williamson County, Texass.

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A Texas judge ruled last week that a case against Williamson County could go forward after a job applicant claimed that commissioners had a religious test for constable jobs.

Robert Lloyd explained at a press conference that Williamson County asked about his views on marriage, abortion and religion during a 2013 interview for a job at the Williamson County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office.

“I was shocked,” Lloyd said, according to KVUE. “I was sick to my stomach when I left because I had never believed that things like this in government would go on.”

Video depositions obtained by KVUE show Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman and other commissioners admitting that applicants were asked about abortion and marriage.

“I asked a question on their view on gay marriage to all the applicants for Precinct 3 Constable and their view on abortion,” Birkman says in her deposition.

Lloyd’s lawyer, Wayne Krause Yang, asserted at the press conference that the commissioners refused to hire applicants who were not Baptists.

“If you don’t go to the church that they go to, you can’t have a job as a public employee in Williamson County,” Yang noted.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#2 LFC

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:23 PM

Apparently the "charge" of being an atheist should disqualify one from being the mayor of Bumf***town Nashville. Nothing like a supposed follower of Jesus using Christianity as a weapon to gain governmental power.

Quote

Opponents of a Nashville mayoral candidate are going on the offensive by insinuating she is secretly an atheist and they have witnessed her omit the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, the Tennessean reports.

Megan Barry, who is currently a member of the Metro Council overseeing Nashville and Davidson County, is being accused of quietly refusing to say the words “under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance, which she denies and audio recordings from the Tennessean contradict.

A campaign ad supporting Barry’s rival David Fox, created by fellow Metro Council member Duane Dominy, says menacingly, “It is important that you know what I have witnessed before you vote…Right after being sworn in, it was pointed out to me that during the Pledge of Allegiance Megan Barry skips the words, ‘under God.'”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 AnBr

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:38 PM

View PostLFC, on 08 September 2015 - 01:23 PM, said:

Nothing like a supposed follower of Jesus using Christianity as a weapon to gain governmental power.

Now what was that about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's?
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#4 Practical Girl

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:49 PM

I can't seem to get info on just how long this has been going on in WilCo, but at least since 2013 and carrying over $200K in fines. Public knowledge for a while, and still- Birkman has 20 months left on a 4 year term, which means she was re-elected even after this became apparent. Huh. This appears to be a Constitutional abuse the people approve of. EDIT: All 4 county commissioners are Republicans.

I wonder how (or if) Lloyd has been voting? While I share his disgust, I can hardly believe that this is a "shock" to anybody in the area.

Good news? Birkman has announced she won't be running for a 4th term having accomplished all her goals. I assume that also means securing a pension. Lovely...
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--- On September 17, 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention, at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, a woman called out to him, saying, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
“A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.”


--- LFC, on Gorsuch ruling: "Awesome. A Christianist who swore an oath to uphold the laws of the nation and bore false witness when he did it"

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#5 LFC

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 01:52 PM

View PostAnBr, on 08 September 2015 - 01:38 PM, said:

Now what was that about rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar's?

Donald Trump called after reading this comment. He wants to know why you hate Emperor Trump America.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 AnBr

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 02:08 PM

See, even Christ commanded separation of church and state.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#7 LFC

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Posted 08 September 2015 - 03:31 PM

WTF. Dreher is all moist and dewy over a preaching police officer spouting scripture and speaking about a criminal's "soul" on a local Crime Stoppers broadcast. Capt. Higgins, you are an officer of the law and you should act like one when representing the sheriff's department.

To be even more offensive, he is demeaning reptiles which are awesomely cool.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#8 LFC

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Posted 10 September 2015 - 03:42 PM

Hucksterbee displays his lack of knowledge on the law, the Constitution, and the role of the Judicial Branch.

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During an interview with radio host Michael Medved that was obtained by BuzzFeed, the former Arkansas governor complained that he had been “drilled by TV hosts” after claiming that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis did not have an obligation to issue same-sex marriage licenses because the Supreme Court’s recent decision on marriage equality was not “the law of the land” until lawmakers codified it with legislation.

“Because that’s their phrase, ‘it’s the law of the land,'” Huckabee explained. “Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land which says that black people aren’t fully human. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?”

Medved reminded the candidate that the 13th Amendment had overturned slavery. And as BuzzFeed’s Christopher Massie noted, the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision by establishing birthright citizenship.

Huckabee insisted that a constitutional amendment would not be required to overturn the same-sex marriage ruling because it was not valid in the first place.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#9 LFC

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 08:05 PM

A high school in Georgia seems to have a problem understanding that whole separation of church and state, having a mass baptism of 18 football players before practice on the school field.

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A Georgia public school is looking into a mass baptism on its football field that was posted on YouTube but later taken down. In a state where football is practically another religion, the video raises questions about the role of faith in public schools.

The video was posted by First Baptist Villa Rica, according to local news channel WXIA-TV, shot before football practice at Villa Rica High School showing 18 players getting baptized.

“We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!” the caption with the video said. The video had been taken down by Tuesday evening.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#10 LFC

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:03 PM

Update: Turns out the Georgia high school understands the separation of church and state quite well, but their football coach doesn't and is still leading prayers after every game.

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Joe Kennedy, the coach at Bremerton High School told King5 that he has always prayed after games, and students have voluntarily joined him. He told supporters the district said he couldn’t lead the players in prayer and he could be fired if he continued to do so. But that hasn’t stopped him, and he hasn’t been fired.

“I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, and it’s been about protecting the freedom of other people,” Kennedy told King5. “It’s about the freedom, and people can believe whatever they want. I’m just exercising my right. The game is over, and I just thank god for every one of these young men that are out here.”

School district policy falls in line with the Constitution, barring the government from showing religious preference, stating “school staff shall neither encourage nor discourage” prayer. The district investigation is trying to determine what role Kennedy, as a school employee, plays in the prayer, because students are allowed to pray on their own as long as it isn’t disruptive, King5 reports.

One of his supporters is apparently a constitutional scholar ... who was dropped on his head as a baby.

Quote

“It’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” Bill Bailey told King5. “If they don’t like it, they don’t have to participate.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#11 LFC

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:22 PM

A court in Albuquerque forced a woman to see a preaching counselor under threat of losing custody of her sons.

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According to KRQE Channel 13, Holly Salzman sought court aid in coparenting her 11-year-old sons with their father, from whom she is divorced. The judge ordered a set of 10 sessions with counselor Mary Pepper.

Salzman says that she assumed Pepper would be a regular couples and family counseling therapist, but “I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying,’” Salzman said. “When I expressed my concerns that I didn’t pray she said, ‘well this is what I do’ and she proceeded to say a prayer out loud.”

Because the sessions are court mandated, Salzman said, “You don’t have a choice. You do it or you’re held in contempt of court.”

Salzman said that she feels that for the court to order her to a Christian counselor is a violation of the separation of church and state. After the first session, she contacted Family Court and left a message expressing her concerns. She never heard anything back.

At her second session, Pepper opened with a prayer again.

“We went back to court. I expressed concerns again about the religious overtones and they stated they hadn’t heard any problems concerning Mary Pepper with religion,” Salzman told Channel 13.

She was, she says, so “offended and disgusted” that she stopped attending the courses altogether, at which point the court intervened and took away her sons.

“It’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” she said.

Fortunately she took action. Hopefully this woman will at the very least be stricken from being used by the court system but preferably fined and stripped of any accreditation that she might hold.

Quote

In order to regain custody of the boys, Salzman would have to complete the sessions. Channel 13 and Salzman worked together to covertly record three of the final sessions with Pepper.

“The meaning in my life is to know love and serve God,” Pepper told Salzman in one of the recorded meetings. “If you want to explore how God was in your past, how God was in your life and not in your life… I know you don’t believe in God which is fine but I now at some points he was in your life in some way.”

Pepper frequently handed Salzman religious tracts and gave Salzman a “homework” assignment, to write an essay titled “Who is God to me?”

“Every session there was some sort of religion that was intertwined with the sessions,” said Salzman.

When Channel 13 spoke to Pepper about blending religion with court-ordered sessions, she said, “I’m a private business that people decide to come through or not. The particular person there was interested in analyzing her belief system.”

ACLU executive director Peter Simonson said, “No one should be put in a position where they are forced to accept training or therapy that violates their own religious beliefs and morals.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#12 Bact PhD

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:33 PM

View PostLFC, on 15 September 2015 - 01:22 PM, said:

A court in Albuquerque forced a woman to see a preaching counselor under threat of losing custody of her sons.


Fortunately she took action. Hopefully this woman will at the very least be stricken from being used by the court system but preferably fined and stripped of any accreditation that she might hold.

Un-be-f***ing-lievable. If this counselor were one of several OPTIONS that the litigant had (and said litigant would have had upfront knowledge such that she would either be OK with it or be able to pick someone else), that would be one thing. Fine. There is CHOICE involved. But, in a metropolitan area to have one, and ONLY one, option, and that option being the God-Talker, something's terribly wrong with that picture. Talk about Coercion!

The RW scream machine would be screaming bloody murder if the ONLY APPOINTED counselor were Pagan, or worse, "Mooslim". Christianity doesn't deserve a pass on this one.

ETA: The counselor also seems to have problems following the prohibition against "false witness" (emphasis mine):

Quote

When Channel 13 spoke to Pepper about blending religion with court-ordered sessions, she said, “I’m a private business that people decide to come through or not. The particular person there was interested in analyzing her belief system.”

Edited by Bact PhD, 15 September 2015 - 01:36 PM.

Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

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#13 Sinan

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:42 PM

Cultural norms tend to stick harder in smaller, homogeneous communities, that is human nature. If anyone in these communities does not adhere to the norm, the people themselves enforce the norms on a daily basis. This is why so many young people who are truly different leave their home towns. Countless songs have been written by these young people. What is left is the norm, folks who have no problem with the status quo and decided to fit in or just never even considered any alternative. Churches create the same environment in these groups whether they are in small communities or in selected groups within larger communities. The key is to make everyone conform, no deviations, no bending of the rules, no excuses. This is how you get to a point where a Mayberry RFD can exist, where American values begin to form around core values and never changing attitudes. Cities are quite the opposite. You are forced to live with other people, lots of different people. You can carve out a few blocks for your group but the forces of change are always there because you cannot control the environment. Your kid can jump on the subway and get off in a completely different world. Not so in a small community. The story of America is about movements of people first out West, then into small towns and then back into cities. Today, that story line remains intact as the fairy tale we all subconsciously think is what America is all about, the farmer, the cowboy, the hardware store owner, the small town hero. But our story is a few generations out of date. We stopped living on the farm decades ago. We are a nation of city dwellers now. This is why the GOP cannot win general elections. Their story line is small town America. Our story line is a mix of the Castro district, Memphis, Brooklyn, Portland and Cleveland. It's every one every where that make up the gigantic melting pot that is a city. Until the GOP learns how to appeal to the city folks, they are doomed.
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#14 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:49 PM

This is really the privilege that Christianists bemoan losing, and cry about "oppression". They are used to being the default choice that nobody complains about. As soon as someone protests that they should not be the all-purpose default, they think they are martyrs.

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#15 Traveler

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 01:54 PM

Sinan, the POGers are gonna do quite well for a long time still, given their clustering and first past the post elections for local and state governments. Sure they are going to be an ever smaller minority as time goes on, but I don't see them losing control for another few decades. I hope to live long enough to see it.
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#16 Sinan

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 02:28 PM

One of the most interesting points someone made recently was that all of us have a racist part of us that we don't even know exists. They said that it was common for many to say "It will be a long time before we elect another black man". When I first read it, I kind of agreed because I do think it will be a long time before we do it again but their follow on revealed why my thoughts were inherently racist. When was the first time anyone said after a very controversial term as POTUS "that is the last time we elect a white man to office"? I have never heard it in my life.
"anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."
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"A person who reads books lives a thousand lives. A person who never reads lives only one"
George Martin

"Is that a real poncho or a Sears poncho?"
Zappa

"and let not mankind bogart love"

Willie Nelson and Colbert

#17 Bact PhD

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:16 PM

View PostSinan, on 15 September 2015 - 02:28 PM, said:

One of the most interesting points someone made recently was that all of us have a racist part of us that we don't even know exists. They said that it was common for many to say "It will be a long time before we elect another black man". When I first read it, I kind of agreed because I do think it will be a long time before we do it again but their follow on revealed why my thoughts were inherently racist. When was the first time anyone said after a very controversial term as POTUS "that is the last time we elect a white man to office"? I have never heard it in my life.

It's the aspect of the "different" that feeds into it. That "difference" doesn't have to be racial, either. I've been reminded that JFK was not the first Catholic to receive his party's nomination for President. The person doing the reminding, a Catholic, said, "Face it, had Al Smith won in 1928, given how history played out, the backlash against Catholics in high office would have lasted for many decades to come."

I suspect that the first female POTUS, whoever she turns out to be, will have much the same said about her.
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

(About fame) Living for likes, shares and follows is a form of validation. The question is whether it is also the source of our self esteem. If it is, we’re screwed. And, culturally, it seems as if it’s become more and more our shared value. ... Meringue is no longer a sweet and pretty topping but the body itself. ~Charles Perez

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384, via LFC, 12/1/2016

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#18 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:28 PM

The fact that there is only one AA candidate, and he is somewhat of a GOP nut job could also lead in that direction. I'm not sure who the next AA president could be, Corey Booker? Someone we haven't heard of yet? Not to downplay your point, but I'm not sure anyone reasonable would look at President Obama's record and conclude he wasn't up for the job. Obviously the Neo-Confederates and closet racist wouldn't vote for another AA President, but they surely didn't vote for Barrack Obama in the first place! So who among those who voted for President Obama in 2012 is going to say "I wouldn't vote for an AA candidate because the last one didn't work out"?



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Resist!

#19 AnBr

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:29 PM

http://www.washingto...subsidizing-it/
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#20 LFC

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 04:44 PM

Here are some more details on the Georgia mass baptism on high school grounds before football practice, with art!

Posted Image
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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