I blogged about two things yesterday: the Davis toad and guns.
Now, granted the gun article was what I considered to be interesting media treatment of a hoplophobe in an apocalyptic environment, but I thought it was relevant, considering what a huge following “The Walking Dead” and its companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead” have. I find the media’s and the entertainment industries portrayal of a complete societal breakdown and its effects on numerous types of people (including those who refuse to acknowledge what’s happening, those who hate guns, those who are willing to victimize others, etc.) fascinating.
Politics is downstream from culture, and I think it’s vital that we understand how popular culture eventually impacts policy, as well as the political views of the public writ large.
And yet, the most heated discussion is taking place on a much more micro level. It’s Kim Davis that is getting all the press. It’s Kim Davis that’s getting all the hits on this blog. It’s the Kim Davis issue that’s getting the debate and the conversation.
Maybe the Davis issue is also a cultural one and deserves the debate. But she’s one person. One intransigent zealot, whose only claim to fame is the refusal to do her job, and brief imprisonment for contempt of court. And yet, she is the one that is causing contention in people who are otherwise allies on the majority of issues.
I don’t know about you guys, but I find this interesting. While this case will eventually have implications nationwide, I find social issues to be generally less critical to the survival of the republic. And frankly, had this case not been littering every news report, my Facebook timeline, my Twitter feed, and every other website I visit, I doubt I would have given it the time of day.
Maybe it’s just me, but Kim Davis just never interested me all that much. And yet, even though I published both posts around the same time of day, the Davis post is the one with scores of comments, while the post I, personally, find more interesting is barely getting a glance.
What I really hate about the Davis issue is that it has become so contentious, it’s causing a rift between people who generally otherwise are allies. There are some good, intelligent comments in response to that entry, but at the same time, I’m frustrated that someone whose only claim to fame is using the cover of religion to discriminate against people at least some of whom ostensibly put her in power and pay her salary, is causing said split when there are bigger, more important issues we face as a country.
ISIL and terrorism writ large.
Soaring debt levels.
Possible government shutdown without a continuing resolution to keep the doors open, so to speak.
And never forget, we still have troops in Afghanistan. We still have service members dying in the war against terror. We still have security issues with which we must deal. But here we are… discussing Kim Davis. At least a good chunk of my distaste for this woman comes from this fact. It’s a micro issue in a world where macro problems are, by definition, much more significant.
Anyway, if anyone has a good analysis of the reason why this Davis woman is so much more interesting to discuss than issues such as gun control, foreign policy, national security, etc., please let me know. I’d love to get some insight.
Because, frankly, I’m a bit flummoxed.
No, you’re not, Kim Davis.
I know, I’m breaking my own self-imposed rule by writing about this toad, but considering she has been screeching in the media about how she’s all victimy and stuff, I figured I’d clear up a few things.
Kentucky clerk Kim Davis says marriage licenses are being issued in Rowan County without her authority and she wants her name and title removed.
And when the deputy clerks issue licenses with her name removed, this entitled bitch says, “uh-uh!” The licenses may not be valid without her signature.
She would object to the documents noting that they come from the office “Rowan County Clerk,” and she would also want an official declaration from the court that the licenses aren’t being issued under her authority.
So, translation: I am the Clerk. I refuse to resign, because I’m entitled to my job and my $80,000/year salary. But I refuse to have legal documents issued under my authority, but I won’t resign and allow others to issue them under theirs.
Essentially, she’s holding the issue hostage.
But… But… But… HER RELIGIOUS FREEDOM!!!
Now, y’all know I’ve defended Christians and their right to hold their beliefs. My stance on churches performing gay marriages has always been and remains that any church should be free to deny or perform the religious ceremony for gay couples (much like any baker, photographer, etc. as a private citizen should have the right to deny any client for any reason, no matter how ignorant), and any congregants who disagree with their church’s actions on the issue can find a new place of worship. Everyone wins. No government interference. The church officials follow their own consciences on the issue, and the worshipers do as well.
This, however, has nothing to do with this toad’s religious freedom, and here’s why:
As the County Clerk, she is the government. She is part of said government. She is required to issue legal documents. Note, these licenses are not religious documents. They are legal ones. No one is asking her to approve of the union. No one is asking her to perform a religious ceremony. She is required – as part of her job – to issue legal documents to people – people who pay her $80,000 salary. If she cannot in good conscience do her job, she should resign.
But… But… But… Kentucky passed an amendment to its state constitution banning gay marriages and unions, and 10th Amendment!
Well, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids states from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” By using her authority as Clerk, Davis is doing exactly that. Gays are persons. They are also taxpayers who pay her salary. She is denying them equal protection under the law, as is the Kentucky State Constitution. And she is doing so, even as she draws her salary from them.
But… but… but… putting her name on a license signifies her endorsement of gay marriage, and therefore violates her religious freedom!
No, it doesn’t. It is not a religious act she is being asked to perform, and even though the Kentucky State Constitution defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman,
As the Court has already pointed out, Davis is simply being asked to signify that couples meet the legal requirements to marry. The State is not asking her to condone same-sex unions on moral or religious grounds, nor is it restricting her from engaging in a variety of religious activities.
Surprisingly, the Washington Post analysis I cited above actually supports Davis’ view and says if she believes “that it’s religiously wrong for her to issue licenses with her name on them, ordering her to do that indeed burdens her religious beliefs, enough to trigger the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act. And giving her the more modest exemption from the include-the-court-clerk’s-name requirement might therefore indeed be required by the Kentucky RFRA.” The only problem with this is that if her name is removed as the clerk, then the licenses issues may very well be invalid, and once again, she is holding the process hostage to her religious beliefs.
Look, there are some complex legal issues here, and no one is denying this. This is one reason why government involvement in marriage is such a ridiculous idea, and why I’m a huge proponent of getting the government – whether federal or state – out of the issue altogether.
People who want to spend their lives together should be free to do so. They should be free to leave their estates to one another. They should be free to have children together and raise them with love and care. They should be able to visit one another in the hospital without showing a state-issued marriage certificate, and they should certainly be able to receive the flag from the casket of their loved one when said loved one is killed in action!
No one should be forced – and yes, government is force – to perform a religious ceremony, bake a cake, take wedding photographs, or create wedding bands for any ceremony they find religiously objectionable.
But to turn the tables, no government official – and make no mistake, that Davis toad is a government official – should have the right to deny equal treatment under the law to any taxpayer, thereby imposing their religious beliefs on said taxpayers by refusing to step down, since legally it might be that she’s the only one who is authorized by law to sign those legal documents. What she is saying is, “I will not sign these legal documents. I will not allow my name to be on them. But I won’t step aside and allow anyone else’s name to be on them either.”
As I said, it’s not about her religious freedom. It’s about everyone else’s right to be free from her religious views.
If this toad had any integrity at all, she would turn down the $80,000 salary paid by the taxpayers, that includes gay ones. But no… she’s fine with taking their tax dollars, but not fine with providing to them the services she was hired to provide?
Nope. Unacceptable. Unacceptable morally and ethically. And hypocritical to boot!
No, she is not a martyr.
No, she is not a hero.
No, she cannot be compared to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. or any other civil rights hero, because she is using her government office to deny equal treatment under the law to consenting adults wishing to spend their lives together, and she is hiding behind her religion. Sorry. NO-GO! She’s not fighting for religious rights. Her religious rights have not been violated, unless you consider her right to hold a government job and draw an $80,000 salary paid by the taxpayers a “right,” in which case, please just STAHP TALKING! No, she is not being punished for her religious beliefs. She is free to hold them. She is free to exercise them. She is free to worship as she pleases and to interpret her Bible in any way she wishes. What is is not free to do is use her government office to deny equal protections under the law to the very taxpayers who pay her fucking salary!
She is being punished for refusing to do her job, to which she doesn’t have a right. Get over it. This toad is no Rosa Parks.
As you can tell, I don’t think much of her as a person. I think she’s an attention whore. I think she’s a selfish twat, who if she had any integrity at all, would leave that cushy government job if she believed that something as simple as putting her name on a legal document (NOT A RELIGIOUS DOCUMENT) violates her religious beliefs.
I know plenty of religious people who believe marriage should be only between a man and a woman. I may not agree with them, but I’m not religious, so that’s understandable. They should be free to hold those beliefs without governments penalizing them. They should be free to decline to perform a religious ceremony if it violates their beliefs. They should be free to decline to participate in said ceremony, if it violates their beliefs.
But what they are not and should not be free to do is deny others equal treatment under the law if they are government officials. And that is exactly what Davis is trying to do, while hiding behind her “I’m a religious person” shield!
You may differ with me on the assessment. You may even know more about the law than I do. I freely admit I’m not a lawyer. I also freely admit, my amateur legal assessment may be off. That said, what is NOT off is my assessment that for Davis to refuse to treat all taxpayers equally while gleefully taking home a rather large paycheck funded by them is immoral and unethical. Bakers who refuse to cater gay weddings don’t take money from gay couples to whom they refuse to provide a service. Same with photographers, and any other private companies that refuse to make that a part of their services. Kim Davis still draws that salary from taxpayers, while refusing to provide them with the services for which they pay, and refusing to step aside and allow another government official to do so. That makes her a hypocritical toad in my book.
Have fun trying to convince me otherwise.
What is it they always say? Never discuss politics or religion on the first date, right? I generally violate both these rules on a near daily basis on this blog, because, well, it’s my blog, and I can.
I’ve never let anyone who may be easily butthurt alter my course, because, well, it’s my blog.
And I’ve never shied away from calling out every frothing fundamentalist fruitcake of any stripe and stomping on their petty little feelings. That includes froth-flecked atheists who get chafed labia at the very sight of a cross or the sound of a prayer and frenzied fucktards who leave fake tips to spread the message of GAWD to some poor schmuck of a waiter who makes $2.50/hour.
Lately, dealing with house and financial issues, I’ve blogged about little else. Been kind of preoccupied, ya know?
But my buddy Chris knows just what it takes to bring me back on track (frankly, I suspect he simply wants to see my head explode at frothing fundamentalist fruitcake insanity), so he refers me to this – ostensibly satanic symbols on a school bus, or fucking brake lights to those of us who are somewhat grounded in reality.
Robyn Wilkins snapped a photo when she noticed the shape of an upside down, five-pointed star outlined in the brake lights of a school bus that was stopped in Cordova.
“Anyone who fears a God, if not God and Jesus Christ, should be outraged,” Wilkins said.
She says Christians should be outraged that a symbol that looks like a pentagram would be allowed in the design of a vehicle used to transport children to public schools.
I wish this was The Onion, but it’s not. This drooling fuck weasel is actually outraged at this.
See? This is why we can’t have nice things.
Now, most of us normal critters simply look at the brake lights and say, “Oh! The bus is stopping. We should probably do the same.”
The more creative of us will say, “Hey look! Little stars on the brake lights. Cute!”
But screeching fundatards, who have nothing better to do with their time, will immediately fly into a froth-flecked rage over a simple design and claim it’s some kind of a subliminal satanic symbol.
This particular simple-minded crackpot says Christians should be offended that their children are being transported to school in a bus that has Pagan symbols on it! I suppose her twat is also chafed at the fact that the five-pointed star is also a symbol of Christianity associated with the birth Jesus Christ when the wise men followed a star toward Jerusalem in search of the new-born King, and from there to Bethlehem – to the very location where Jesus was born. The original pentagram (sans circle) was used to represent the five wounds of Jesus, the five senses, the five joys that Mary had of Jesus, and the five virtues of knighthood. And the upside-down star appeared on an LDS temple in Illinois. I don’t think anyone can accuse Mormons of not fearing God or Jesus Christ!
It wasn’t even until the 19th century that all of a sudden an occult author and “magician” decided to ascribe evil to the inverted star! So this drooling nimrod is offended by a symbol that wasn’t even considered “evil” until an occult writer grabbed a hold of it and declared it so! Ferpetessake!
In other words, the star, pentagram, or whatever you want to call it has been around for ages, and it amuses me (or disgusts me) to see ignorami glom onto a “definition” created by a “magician,” whom they would normally shun as yet another devil worshiping heathen, in order to drool their outrage.
But most of all, it’s just an innocent design – at least to those of us who aren’t FUCKING CRAZY and looking for something to get offended about!
You want to be outraged? Be outraged about a Christian pastor being imprisoned and beaten in Iran! Be outraged at the Islamic State threatening to kill Christians if they don’t convert! Be outraged at Christian prosecution in Laos. Be outraged at any number of outrages going on in the world against all sorts of people!
This ass-chapping retardery that somehow became a news story over a stupid break light?
Someone needs a hobby.
AFP reports today that the Assholes of al Q’aida were less than pleased with the Taliban slaughter of 149 people, mostly children, in a Peshawar, Pakistan school.
“Our hearts are bursting with pain and grief over this incident,” Osama Mehmood, spokesman for Al-Qaeda South Asia chapter said in a four-page emailed statement.
“There is no doubt that the list of crimes and atrocities of the Pakistani army has crossed the limit and it is true that this army is ahead of everyone in America’s slavery and genocide of Muslims… but it does not mean that we should seek revenge from oppressed Muslims,” Mehmood said.
“The guns that we have taken up against Allah’s enemy America and its pet rulers and slave army should not be aimed towards children, women and our Muslim people,” he added.
How cute and touching. One set of savages condemning another set of savages for being savages. These are the savages who were responsible for the murder of thousands of Americans, including innocent women and children on those airplanes on 9-11. These are the savages who condemned those who supported Malala Yousafzai – the young girl who was shot by Taliban savages for daring to get an education!
For the record, I don’t believe al Q’aida assholes for a minute that their hearts are breaking. They have no hearts. They have bile and evil, but no hearts. So fuck ’em.
But really, how much of an asshole do you have to be to have these assholes condemn your actions?
Hey, Alabama? Requiring teachers to lead kids in Christian prayer in public schools is… um… unconstitutional.
By way of a voice vote, the House Education Policy Committee passed a bill that would require teachers to recite Christian prayers in public schools every day, even though the majority of members did not vote for it.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, would require teachers to spend no more than 15 minutes in the first class of each day to read, verbatim, opening prayers said before a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, chairwoman of the committee, said she heard more votes in favor of the bill.
“It’s what I heard as chairman,” she said.
Yeah, I’m sure that’s what you “heard as chairman,” but it’s still unconstitutional.
Look, I’m a pretty open minded kind of female. I have no problem with kids having their own little prayer groups, or learning about any religion in a public school. Fact is religion is a part of our culture and history, and to pretend it’s not there by not teaching kids about it is quite frankly stupid.
But notice I said, “teaching them ABOUT religion,” and not “teaching them religion.” There’s a difference.
I have no problem learning the history of different faiths, what they worship, how they worship, what they believe, etc. It’s knowledge, frothing atheist zealots. Get over it! It’s part of history. It’s part of geography. It’s part of current events. You can’t pretend religion doesn’t exist, and knowledge about the different faiths out there is important.
Forcing. Kids. To. Pray. Is. UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
You don’t need a degree in constitutional law to understand that!
The First Amendment prohibits the government from establishing a national religion. It is incorporated, so that states have to abide by it as well. Schools receive local, state and federal money. Ergo, they cannot impose Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Buddhist, Muslim, Rastafarian, Pastafarian or Scientolog… ical (I hesitate to even use the word “logical” in that particular description of Scientology) prayers on kids.
A teacher is in a position of authority over kids. What do you think is going to happen when a teacher leads a mandated Christian prayer session in the classroom? Think there’s no element of coercion? Please!
When the Redhead was 11 years old, he went to a middle school in rural Virginia. He attended a DARE program taught by a local sheriff’s deputy. The Redhead really enjoyed the class. They played games, discussed the dangers of drugs, etc. One day, the Redhead brought home a pamphlet that this particular deputy handed to all the kids in his class. On its surface, it looked like a bunch of optical illusions and puzzles. However, a closer look revealed that it was a publication by these Living Waters freaks.
The pamphlet used puzzles and games to scare kids into accepting Jesus. It told them they could die at any moment, and if they did anything bad like lie in their lives, they were going to hell, unless… they accepted Jesus right fucking now! It told the kids they were sinners. It told them that hell awaits them all, because they were all inherently bad. It even had an optical illusion that used a reverse afterimage to deceive the kids into “seeing Jesus.”
The Redhead thought it was interesting, and it didn’t bother him. But I raised him to be a confident individual unfazed by religious scare tactics. But that doesn’t even matter.
There is no justification – NONE – for bringing scary death cult shit into a public school to scare kids into converting. The entire pamphlet was all about how they could die tomorrow, about how they’ll go to hell, about how Jesus will help them get to heaven, but since they could die tomorrow, perhaps they should stare at this picture and then close their eyes and find him!
How the fuck do you justify trying to scare a bunch of 11-year-olds into having faith?
Here’s a hint, frothing fundamentalist zealots: if you have to frighten, mislead, deceive or intimidate people into your beliefs, maybe your beliefs just aren’t strong or convincing enough to stand on their own merit!
I did contact the school and found out that the materials the deputy handed out were not approved by the school, and that the school officials weren’t even made aware that anything was going to be handed out to the kids! They told me this was the first time anyone had complained about the materials the deputy handed out, which makes me believe that either the parents aren’t looking closely enough, or this is the first time he’s brought that crap into the school.
For the record, I have no problem with anyone talking to my kid about religion, encouraging him to explore his spirituality or various faiths. No problem at all. But if you try to bully or deceive my kid into entering your little cult, I promise you will receive a swift kick in the gonads from yours truly!
But back to Alabama…
Forcing children to say Christian prayers in class with the teacher at the helm is coercive, especially if a child’s family practices something other than Christianity. Yes, believe it or not, there are families – even in friggin’ Alabama – that are not Christian! And guess what, you arrogant, supercilious shitbags! They pay taxes too, including your salaries and the salaries of those teachers whom you want to become accomplices in your little game of religious compulsion. And I’m fairly sure these families would be pretty unhappy if their tax dollars were paying for a coercive religious conversion.
But hey… it’s your state, so you do what you want.
Bring on the lawsuits!