Religious freedom, voter fraud and the destruction of the American family

Religious freedom, voter fraud and the destruction of the American family

If I was Andy Rooney-I'd be dead.  But if I were him when he was still alive, I  might ask, "Did you ever notice how much time certain people spend fixing problems that don't exist?"

Voter fraud in national elections is virtually non-existent.  It either doesn't exist or it is so meaningless that it should be at the very bottom of a very long list of things that legislators really need to think about.

You may have asked yourself why, then have so many state legislatures, all of them with Republican majorities spent so much time passing laws addressing the non-existent issue of voter fraud.  Please let me know if and when you provide yourself with an answer.

When the State of Pennsylvania was sued in federal court over the passage of one of these voter fraud laws, they responded,  “There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

Lawyers for Pennsylvania went on to say that they “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere

If you find any ambiguity in Pennsylvania's statements, you may consider changing your medication.  They simply said that they passed voter ID laws in the complete absence of any voter fraud whatsoever.  A remedy for nothing, like a bridge to nowhere.

If you're still skeptical, Republican House Leader Mike Turzai summed it up best when he said, "Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

Clearly, Turzai is not only a dimwit, but he badly underestimated the will of the electorate.

The same scenario played out in Louisiana and other states.  Steve Schmidt, a senior strategist to Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, admitted that widespread voter fraud doesn’t exist in the United States and claimed that the GOP-backed voter ID laws are based on “mythology.”

Much ado about nothing?  Not exactly.  Voter ID laws are part of a larger agenda to limit who can vote and how Americans should live.

Homosexuals destroy the very fabric of family life in America.  Don't ask me what that means, no one's ever said exactly how they do it.  That, however is the official party line.

It rings a bit hollow when you consider that about half of all marriages-among heterosexual couples-end in divorce.  Exactly what it is about a neighborhood that changes when a gay couple moves in remains unclear.

Police records, in fact paint a picture of heterosexual households as a breeding ground for domestic violence, alcoholism and drug abuse.

So much mythology, so much anger.  So much time and money spent tilting at windmills.  You would think that good Christians could find it in their hearts to treat their neighbors with more of the milk of human kindness.  Sort of the way the man at the center of their religion would.

Now we have another hair-on-fire issue and state legislatures are toiling overtime to solve the problem.  From the best that I can discern from all that I've heard, there is a very real danger that a Jewish vocalist might be forced to sing Ave Maria at a Catholic event.

Enter Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

You might point out that such a bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993 and you would be right.  The scope of that law, however is limited to the federal government and ways that federal laws or actions can adversely affect the practice of an individual's or group's religious practices.

It was never meant to allow people to use their so-called religious beliefs to ignore anti-discrimination laws.

Mark, a retired fireman posted on Facebook that anyone who opposes these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts must be an ISIS sympathizer.  That argument is specious, disingenuous, hypocritical   and a giant load of crap.

ISIS is, in fact practicing their religion exactly as they see fit.  So was Al-Shabaab when they attacked a university in Kenya and killed 150 Christians.  In both cases, indiscriminate practice of a fundamental religion was at the core of heinous behavior.

Fred Phelps was the obsessed, homophobic leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.  I'm happy to say that he's dead now, but he and his followers felt that it was their religious duty to appear at soldiers' funerals and tell the grieving families that God hates fags.

It turned out that their hateful speech was protected under the 1st Amendment, but their actions were driven by their religious beliefs.

The irony of Mark's support of these RFRA's is that he stood up to the Westboro Baptists and shielded those grieving families against such a grievous intrusion.  Even Mark realized that there has to be limits to the expression of one's religious beliefs, especially where that expression impacts others.

We are guaranteed free speech, but we can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater or incite others to commit acts of violence.  Human sacrifice, as part of any religious ceremony is also prohibited.

No one is trying to interfere with anyone's practice of their religion.  When you open a store in the public square, however, you are engaging in a civil contract encumbered with responsibilities.

As a store owner, you expect certain municipal services; fire, police and snow removal, to name a few.  In return, you are required to treat all who shop in your store fairly and equally.  You can't discriminate against people because of their race, religion or sexual orientation.

Why should anyone be exempt from that responsibility?  And why is everyone so obsessed about what gay people are doing?

All that abomination stuff was in the Old Testament.  If you want to be an abominator, you need to renounce Jesus and become a Jew.  If you call yourself a Christian, then follow him.

Jesus did away with the dietary laws from the Old Testament, saying that what comes out of your mouth means more than what goes into it.

Interestingly enough, there is not one instance of Jesus condemning homosexuals.  He does, however condemn divorce, yet I've never heard of a case of a baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a divorced couple.  Or a wedding planner refusing to plan a wedding for a couple of divorced heteros.

It's a made up issue.

So, how much religious freedom should one have, Mark?  Is it enough to refuse service to a gay couple, because the Old Testament really calls for them to be stoned to death.  Or is it enough to tell a mother that her teenaged son, killed while defending his country died because God hates fags?

If a gay man on his honeymoon is wheeled into an Emergency Room where the attending doctor is a "good Christian," where do his responsibilities lie? Is to the oath he took to do no harm, or to some imaginary directive to castigate queers?

Like every anti-abortion rider stuck into every piece of legislation coming out of the House of Representatives, this religious freedom restoration shit is deceptively mislabeled.   They should at least have the decency and respect for our intellect to call it what it is.  The Right to Discriminate.

Or just, The Right.

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