Posts tagged Theocracy

Today the Supreme
Court hears yet another corporate first amendment rights case:
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This case is not about
free speech, which has recently captured the outrage of Americans with
Citizens United and the pending McCutcheon case. It is about religious
freedom. Who would have thought that we’d see
the day corporate lawyers would argue that for-profit corporations can
practice spirituality? 
The Greens, who own the chain of 500 arts and crafts
stores employing more than 13,000 people, mostly women, are
evangelical Christians. They claim their corporation is being
discriminated against on religious grounds. The
Greens find fault with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision
providing contraceptives to women. They have a beef with the morning
after pill, claiming it is an abortive, and that their religion
prohibits its use. Because of their personal beliefs, the Greens don’t
believe their corporation should be forced to provide insurance to
their employees, who might access the pill through the coverage for
which Hobby Lobby pays. The Greens have a right to
religious freedom, but their corporation does not.
If this case goes the wrong way, an avenue would open to
the owners of corporations that would allow religious
objections to myriad laws, perhaps even hiring, based on religious
convictions.
In the article “Divine Incorporation”, Move to Amend Team
member Sabina Kahn takes a more in depth look at the implications of
the case.
It is hard to know which idea is more
preposterous, that for-profit corporations are spiritual
beings and practice religion, that corporations are entitled to
Constitutional rights, or that money is protected political speech.Join the fight against Corporate Personhood and all of
its crazy implications that threaten our democracy. If you’re
not already involved, please become an active member of Move to
Amend:

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Legalize Democracy.

Today the Supreme Court hears yet another corporate first amendment rights case: Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. This case is not about free speech, which has recently captured the outrage of Americans with Citizens United and the pending McCutcheon case. It is about religious freedom.

Who would have thought that we’d see the day corporate lawyers would argue that for-profit corporations can practice spirituality? 

The Greens, who own the chain of 500 arts and crafts stores employing more than 13,000 people, mostly women, are evangelical Christians. They claim their corporation is being discriminated against on religious grounds.

The Greens find fault with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision providing contraceptives to women. They have a beef with the morning after pill, claiming it is an abortive, and that their religion prohibits its use. Because of their personal beliefs, the Greens don’t believe their corporation should be forced to provide insurance to their employees, who might access the pill through the coverage for which Hobby Lobby pays.

The Greens have a right to religious freedom, but their corporation does not.

If this case goes the wrong way, an avenue would open to the owners of corporations that would allow religious objections to myriad laws, perhaps even hiring, based on religious convictions.

In the article “Divine Incorporation”, Move to Amend Team member Sabina Kahn takes a more in depth look at the implications of the case.

It is hard to know which idea is more preposterous, that for-profit corporations are spiritual beings and practice religion, that corporations are entitled to Constitutional rights, or that money is protected political speech.

Join the fight against Corporate Personhood and all of its crazy implications that threaten our democracy. If you’re not already involved, please become an active member of Move to Amend:

PS — Want to help in a HUGE way? Join our $28 for the 28th Campaign and contribute $28/month to support the work of Move to Amend. Our monthly supporters are the base who keep us going strong, day after day. $28 for the 28th Members also receive a complementary DVD of our film Legalize Democracy.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced they’ll hear two cases from for-profit companies who think they should have the right to deny their employees coverage for birth control—just because the bosses don’t agree with it. So we took to Twitter to tell the birth control bosses: #HandsOffMyBC!

American Legion pulls park funding after atheist official won’t pledge ‘under God’

Ashta pointed out that the First Amendment of the United State Constitution afforded citizens the right not to speak.

“This section of the agenda says Pledge of Allegiance, and I feel like we’re compelling people to speak,” Ashta explained. “So you either stand up and say it or you don’t, but either way you’re making a statement. If you come to the meeting, you don’t have a choice but to make a statement.”

“I’m not entirely sure it’s accurate to say this is a personal choice, but more of a duty. I have an obligation as an elected official to uphold the constitution,” he continued. “I have a sincere, serious relationship with the law. I study law and constitutional law is of particular interest to me. I think the Constitution is what makes this country great and worth making sacrifices for. Countries with weak constitutions usually don’t last.”

“It really saddens me when I hear people say that they think what I’m doing is disrespectful… I do appreciate the sacrifices people have made so that I can be here at this meeting. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I have no objections to people who do stand for the pledge.”

Morton Grove Post 134 has a comment form, by the way.

Pastor Allen Esses of YesJesusIsLord.org has proposed an amendment to Section 4 of Article I of the California Constitution, which guarantees “free exercise and enjoyment of religion without discrimination or preference.” It has been cleared for circulation by the Attorney General.

Under Pastor Esses’ amendment, a clause that exempts “acts that are licentious or inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State” would be struck from the constitution, essentially allowing any view to be protected so long as it’s expressed in the name of God. This would include sermons and projects aimed to disenfranchise or libel specific demographics.

Last fall, Lisa Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer who had done some work with the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), was indicted on federal and state charges of exploiting her own 14-year-old daughter. Among other things, Biron filmed her daughter on several occasions while she engaged in extremely graphic sexual activity, and even took her to Canada to have sex with a guy she’d met on Craigslist.  She was convicted on seven federal charges back in January.  Yesterday, Biron was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is located in Scottsdale, AZ.

Last fall, Lisa Biron, a New Hampshire lawyer who had done some work with the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), was indicted on federal and state charges of exploiting her own 14-year-old daughter. Among other things, Biron filmed her daughter on several occasions while she engaged in extremely graphic sexual activity, and even took her to Canada to have sex with a guy she’d met on Craigslist.  She was convicted on seven federal charges back in January.  Yesterday, Biron was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is located in Scottsdale, AZ.

U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and other members of Congress are sponsoring an event to celebrate the 224th anniversary of the inauguration of Washington. The event is called "Washington: A Man of Prayer."

That works only if you don’t know anything about history. The evidence simply doesn’t back up the Religious Right’s claims about our first president. Consider this material, drawn from Brooke Allen’s book Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers:

  • “[Washington] paid little attention to the Sabbath or any other outward manifestation of religiosity. We have various eyewitness accounts of life at Mount Vernon which do not much feature religious observance.”

  • Ona Judge Staines, who had been a slave at Mount Vernon, did not report a lot of religious activity there: “The stories of Washington’s piety and prayers, so far as she ever saw or heard while she was his slave, have no foundation. Card-playing and wine-drinking were the business at his parties, and he had more of such company Sundays than on any other day.”
  • As president, Washington attended religious services regularly but more or less stopped once he was out of office. During the last three years of his life, he attended services a grand total of three times.

  • Washington’s aversion to communion is well known. When he did attend services, he would routinely leave services before communion was offered.
  • On his deathbed, Allen writes, Washington spurned suggestions that he receive a visit from a clergyman. Allen writes, “Washington requested no such supernatural aid in his final hours, though he was well aware he was dying. His last act on earth, in fact, was to take his own pulse, the consummate Enlightenment gesture….”

But what about that famous painting of Washington praying in the snow at Valley Forge? The painting in question was created by an artist named Arnold Friberg in 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial.

It’s based on a story about Washington being seen deep in prayer at Valley Forge that comes from one man, Isaac Potts, who is not considered reliable. In 1918, the Valley Forge Park Commission refused to erect a marker on the spot where Washington allegedly prayed because they considered the story a legend.

But Washington added “So help me, God” to the presidential oath of office! He must have been deeply devout, right?

Once again, there is no evidence that Washington ever did this. We at Americans United got so tired of hearing this story that a few years ago we asked Philander D. Chase, senior editor of the Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia, to weigh in on the matter.

Here is what Chase said: “[N]either we at the Washington Papers nor any other historians, to our knowledge, have been able to find any eyewitness accounts saying that Washington added the words `So help me God’ to the presidential oath at his first inauguration (or at his second inauguration, for that matter). “

Chase added, “I and some other historians think that, given Washington’s notably strong commitment to adhering as closely as possible to the Constitution, it is unlikely that he would have taken it upon himself to add the words `So help me God’ to the presidential oath.”

The people who live here made this possible:

I’ll start with an admission: this photo is more likely demagoguery than not. I could see 9 year-olds being fed this crap much to their detriment by private, protestant schools. Unfortunately, this republic has made the difficult decision to allow parents to fill their minds with garbage like creationism instead of science and fact to hold on to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
That’s not to say that there aren’t theocrats who would like to see all schools instruct children with rubbish like this who lack political clout to advance such causes.

I’ll start with an admission: this photo is more likely demagoguery than not. I could see 9 year-olds being fed this crap much to their detriment by private, protestant schools. Unfortunately, this republic has made the difficult decision to allow parents to fill their minds with garbage like creationism instead of science and fact to hold on to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

That’s not to say that there aren’t theocrats who would like to see all schools instruct children with rubbish like this who lack political clout to advance such causes.

Marriage, not to be confused with Holy Matrimony, is a legal contract requiring a license issued by the state. As such, it is inherently unconstitutional to deny same-sex couples the right to enter into such a contract that is afforded every other consenting couple of legal age.
A great explanation of why marriage is a civil contract, not necessarily a religious union from WATCH: The Most Compelling Case For Marriage Equality In Under A Minute | ThinkProgress