Archive for March 3rd, 2012
Why The Separation Of Church And State Must Be Absolute! By Silence Dogood
Consider this, an international organization infiltrating our public school system, passing out literature of indoctrination, encouraging members to ridicule other children for not following promoted beliefs, this organization typically pays no rent for the use of the facilities, takes advantage of tax breaks as a non-profit organization, and uses their presence to undermine academia. Would you suspect this would be tolerated in America, protected under Freedom of Speech, or even Freedom of Religion?
It is become all too common to hear about gays indoctrinating our children.
Or even to hear about how colleges are indoctrinating students.
But what happens when the “indoctrination” is not being pursued by a Gay or Liberal agenda, but rather a Christian agenda?
Yesterday, within the span of 24 hours, the Florida House passed a bill to allow prayer in public schools and another to crack down the supposed threat of Sharia Law.
In a lopsided 88-27 note, the chamber okayed a bill to allow any student to deliver “inspirational messages,” including religious prayers, at public school events. “Look at what just happened in Ohio, ” one law maker said, referencing the recent school shooting there. “The kids need to have prayer at school.”
With all due respect to that unnamed lawmaker, but insinuating religion into a tragic event like this is appalling, unacceptable, and unethical. No amount of prayer, “inspirational messages”, or Jesus will prevent another tragedy like this from unfolding again. Only metal detectors, gun laws restricting a child’s access, and gun laws getting guns out of our schools will accomplish that. Anything short of that is wishful thinking, or as they like to call it, “praying to God”.
However, the real danger is the indoctrination of our children. Katherine Stewart of Truthout reported on Christian Missionaries targeting children between the ages of 10 to 14 for indoctrination. By exploiting “Freedom of Religion,” missionaries insinuate themselves among children, encouraging the belief of Jesus being our only savior, and encouraging those indoctrinated children to pressure “non-believers” to follow their cause.
“We have shared the gospel with over nine millions kids worldwide,” Akam says. The CEF has more than twenty seven different programs, but she quickly focuses on the Good News Club program and its setting, the public schools. “I used to go to Sunday school But when I heard that you can go to a public school and share the gospel with kids who never heard about God, I got really excited!”
…Her aim is to teach us how to lead children to salvation. “What happens when a child says to you, ‘I want you to lead me to Christ?’ she asks. “A lot of people get panicky. The class will walk you through the steps of counseling a child.”
“Ask them, “What is God’s punishment for sin?’ Tell them that the punishment for sin is being separated from God forever.
“Ask a child, ‘Can you think of anything you can do to get rid of your sin?’ Guide them toward salvation by asking questions like, ‘Who is the Lord Jesus? Why did God send his son into the world?
“Ask questions to see if the child understands how to receive God’s salvation. Explain God’s condition for salvation: you have to admit that you sinned, and you have to believe in the Lord Jesus if you want to be saved.
The Joy of doing that [converting children in their public schools] is unbelievable,” Akam exclaims. “You’re hooked!”
Only allowing Christian organizations to gather in our schools, even in off hours, leads to confusion to impressionable children. They are left with the belief that what they are being told is true, with the reasoning of, “If it wasn’t true, then why did I learn this in school?”
Many Americans believe that prayers in schools are innocent enough, and some believe that our children will be better off with more religion in our schools.They look back to the past and simply don’t recall as many school shootings as there are now, and they believe it was religion that saved them from such atrocities. Why do they disregard the fact that children had a more difficult time obtaining firearms back then and it is much easier for them gain access to them now? After an incident like the school shooting in Ohio, why do they not call for an attempt to limit a minor’s access to firearms or possession on school property, but instead turn to Christianity as their only savior? Why is this not deemed dangerous?
It certainly does not appear as though this “innocent enough.” Consider the number of states who have been pushing Creation agendas in our public school system. Now consider Christianity has already infiltrated our public schools, denouncing science as “Satan’s evil words.” In an academic setting where science, facts, math, and literature is being undermined by religious dogma, there is an inherent danger over what we are teaching our children. Are we squashing their natural curiosity to ask “why” with the response, “you must have faith?” Are we teaching our children how we adapt to our environment and our impact on the Earth, or are we simply teaching our children that “God is the caretaker of the world. Only He can create, thus only He can destroy?”
And perhaps most importantly, if we are the land of religious freedom, free to practice our religion without oppression, then where are the origin stories of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Scientologists being taught? If school prayer is limited only to Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion, then why are Mosques not allowed rent free access to public schools for worship; why is it only offered to Christian-based churches?
We must not forget our religious heritage! The Puritans did not come to America to avoid religious persecution. They came here because they were no longer tolerated in England because of their extremist views. It is not that they wanted to practice their religion freely, but rather they wanted to oppress other religions further than England permitted them to. And that is the Christian legacy, to oppress other religions in order to maintain their status quo, their false sense of superiority, to attempt to convert all non-believers in this world, by any means necessary.
So when Republicans tell America, “We’re Broke!” and push for austerity measures, we must ask them to defend the non-tax exempt status for religious schools and hospitals, which are not places of worship. When Republicans cry over their perceived “war on religion,” we must ask them to defend the religious stance to oppress women’s and gay’s rights! When Christians push for creationism in our schools, we must ask them to defend their obstruction over Mosques being built in their community or near Ground Zero. Just as Christians fear Sharia Law, we must be as equally afraid of secular law based upon Christian fundamentalism. In America, we have the First Amendment Right to Freedom of Religion; implied is the freedom from religious oppression. We must remain free from one religious group oppressing the rights of non-believers, and the threat in America has only been by the Christian “right.”
© 2012, agentleman.
Signs Of Crazy Times Michael Snyder
Do you think that you are free? Most Americans would still probably answer “yes” to that question, but is that really the case?
In the film Edge of Darkness, Mel Gibson stated that “everything is illegal in Massachusetts”. Well, the same could pretty much be said for the United States as a whole.
Our lives are governed by millions of laws, rules and regulations and more are being piled on all the time. In fact, 40,000 new laws just went into effect in January.
Every single new law restricts your freedom just a little bit more. The truth is that America has become a crazy control freak nation where virtually everything that we do is highly regulated. You have probably broken multiple laws today that you don’t even know exist.
We have all become criminals and lawbreakers because almost everything is illegal at this point. Our politicians are convinced that they are “making life better” by piling gigantic mountains of laws onto our backs, and law enforcement authorities are convinced that they are helping society by “cracking down on crime”, but the reality is that our liberties and our freedoms are being strangled by all of this government oppression. This is not the way that America is supposed to work.
Yes, every society needs laws. But the laws should be short enough and simple enough that everybody can read them and understand them.
In America today, there is no possible way that any of us could ever read all of the laws that apply to us. Most of us just live our daily lives and try to do the “right” thing. But there is no guarantee that men with guns will not show up at your door one evening because of some obscure regulation that you have broken.
The following are 19 signs that America has become a crazy control freak nation where almost everything is illegal.
#1 One California town is actually considering making it illegal to smoke in your own backyard.
#2 In Louisiana, a church was recently ordered to stop giving out water because it did not have a permit to do so.
#3 In the United States it is illegal to operate a train that does not have an “F” painted on the front. Apparently without that “F” we all might not know where the front of the train is.
#4 In many U.S. states is it now illegal to collect rain that falls from the sky on to your own property.
#5 In America today it is illegal to milk your cow and sell the milk to your neighbor. If you do this, there is a good chance that federal agents will raid your home at the crack of dawn.
#6 In Washington D.C. it is illegal not to recycle cat litter.
#7 It is illegal to give a tour of the monuments in Washington D.C.without a license.
#8 In the United States it is illegal to sell natural cures for cancer – even if they work.
#9 In the state of Massachusetts it is illegal to deface a milk carton.
#10 In the state of Alabama, bear wrestling is completely illegal.
#11 In Fairbanks, Alaska it is illegal to give alcoholic beverages to a moose.
#12 In Lake Elmo, Minnesota it is illegal to sell pumpkins or Christmas trees that are grown outside city limits.
#13 There is a federal law that makes it illegal to be “annoying” on the Internet.
#14 If you register with a false name on MySpace or Facebook you could potentially “spend five years in federal prison“.
#15 In Hazelwood, Missouri it is illegal for little girls to sell girl scout cookies in the front yards of their own homes.
#16 All over the United States lemonade stands run by children are being shut down because they do not have the proper permits.
#17 In Florida, it is illegal to bring a plastic butter knife to school.
#18 In San Juan Capistrano, California it is illegal to hold a home Bible study without a “conditional use permit“.
#19 In the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it is illegal to make even a single dollar from a blog unless you buy a $300 business license.
Sadly, this list of crazy laws and ridiculous regulations could be thousands long.
We are a nation run by a bunch of control freaks who do not care about our liberties and our freedoms.
Every once in a while, John Stossel does some really great reporting. An example of this is posted below. In this 40-minute video, Stossel goes into great detail about how almost everything is illegal in America today. In particular, the first 20 minutes are absolutely excellent. If you have not seen this yet, I highly encourage you to check it out.
© 2012, agentleman.
Tipping Point: GOPers Start To Turn On Rush Limbaugh
Looks like Republicans aren’t going to stick by Rush Limbaugh this time.
Despite the dangers they’ve faced in the past when criticizing the giant of conservative talk radio, high-profile Republicans are going on the record disavowing Limbaugh’s attack on a Georgetown law student — some are even demanding he apologizing.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), locked in a tough reelection battle with Elizabeth Warren, offered up one of the starkest condemnations of Limbaugh’s repeated attacks on Sandra Fluke, who he has called “a slut” and publicly degraded on air this week.
“Rush Limbaugh’s comments are reprehensible,” Brown tweeted Friday afternoon. “He should apologize.”
Other Republicans are criticizing Limbaugh without going quite as far as Brown. Speaker John Boehner’s office called out both Limbaugh as well as the progressive and Democratic groups rallying their supporters with Limbaugh’s words.
“The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was inappropriate,” Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel told CNN, “as is trying to raise money off the situation.”
Rick Santorum also criticized Limbaugh on CNN but didn’t call for an apology.
“He’s being absurd, but that’s you know, an entertainer can be absurd,” Santorum said. “He’s in a very different business than I am.”
Mitt Romney distanced himself from the language at an Ohio rally on Friday night, but also refrained from criticizing Limbaugh directly.
“It’s not the language I would have used,” he said.
Other Republicans who jumped on the bandwagon Friday:
• NRSC Vice Chairwoman Carly Fiorina told CBS that Limbaugh comments about Fluke were “insulting in my opinion.” She added that Limbaugh was serving as “a distraction from what are very real and important issues.”
• House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who made Fluke famous by refusing to let her testify on a panel about contraception access last month, also said Limbaugh is a distraction. His was perhaps the least condemning criticism of all the Republicans who weighed in Friday. In a long letter, Issa attacked Democrats for using Limbaugh for political gain and claimed his own female staffers have fallen victim to insulting language from callers to Issa’s office opposed to GOP plans to limit access to contraception insurance coverage to workplaces where employers support the concept.
Issa wrote that he does not agree “with many comments that have been made during the effort to examine the constitutionality of Obamacare’s mandates on individual freedom, including the ones by Mr. Limbaugh, I find your narrow focus on this particular comment to be self-serving and dismissive of other inappropriate comments and attacks on Americans of faith.”
© 2012, agentleman.
Four Fiscal Phonies By PAUL KRUGMAN
Mitt Romney is very concerned about budget deficits. Or at least that’s what he says; he likes to warn that President Obama’s deficits are leading us toward a “Greece-style collapse.”
So why is Mr. Romney offering a budget proposal that would lead to much larger debt and deficits than the corresponding proposal from the Obama administration?
Of course, Mr. Romney isn’t alone in his hypocrisy. In fact, all four significant Republican presidential candidates still standing are fiscal phonies. They issue apocalyptic warnings about the dangers of government debt and, in the name of deficit reduction, demand savage cuts in programs that protect the middle class and the poor. But then they propose squandering all the money thereby saved — and much, much more — on tax cuts for the rich.
And nobody should be surprised. It has been obvious all along, to anyone paying attention, that the politicians shouting loudest about deficits are actually using deficit hysteria as a cover story for their real agenda, which is top-down class warfare. To put it in Romneyesque terms, it’s all about finding an excuse to slash programs that help people who like to watch Nascar events, even while lavishing tax cuts on people who like to own Nascar teams.
O.K., let’s talk about the numbers.
The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget recently published an overview of the budget proposals of the four “major” Republican candidates and, in a separate report, examined the latest Obama budget. I am not, by the way, a big fan of the committee’s general role in our policy discourse; I think it has been pushing premature deficit reduction and diverting attention from the more immediately urgent task of reducing unemployment. But the group is honest and technically competent, so its evaluation provides a very useful reference point.
And here’s what it tells us: According to an “intermediate debt scenario,” the budget proposals of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney would all lead to much higher debt a decade from now than the proposals in the 2013 Obama budget. Ron Paul would do better, roughly matching Mr. Obama. But if you look at the details, it turns out that Mr. Paul is assuming trillions of dollars in unspecified and implausible spending cuts. So, in the end, he’s really a spendthrift, too.
Is there any way to make the G.O.P. proposals seem fiscally responsible? Well, no — not unless you believe in magic. Sure enough, voodoo economics is making a big comeback, with Mr. Romney, in particular, asserting that his tax cuts wouldn’t actually explode the deficit because they would promote faster economic growth and this would raise revenue.
And you might find this plausible if you spent the past two decades sleeping in a cave somewhere. If you didn’t, you probably remember that the same people now telling us what great things tax cuts would do for growth assured us that Bill Clinton’s tax increase in 1993 would lead to economic disaster, while George W. Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 would create vast prosperity. Somehow, neither of those predictions worked out.
So the Republicans screaming about the evils of deficits would not, in fact, reduce the deficit — and, in fact, would do the opposite. What, then, would their policies accomplish? The answer is that they would achieve a major redistribution of income away from working-class Americans toward the very, very rich.
Another nonpartisan group, the Tax Policy Center, has analyzed Mr. Romney’s tax proposal. It found that, compared with current policy, the proposal would actually raise taxes on the poorest 20 percent of Americans, while imposing drastic cuts in programs like Medicaid that provide a safety net for the less fortunate. (Although right-wingers like to portray Medicaid as a giveaway to the lazy, the bulk of its money goes to children, disabled, and the elderly.)
But the richest 1 percent would receive large tax cuts — and the richest 0.1 percent would do even better, with the average member of this elite group paying $1.1 million a year less in taxes than he or she would if the high-end Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire.
There’s one more thing you should know about the Republican proposals: Not only are they fiscally irresponsible and tilted heavily against working Americans, they’re also terrible policy for a nation suffering from a depressed economy in the short run even as it faces long-run budget problems.
Put it this way: Are you worried about a “Greek-style collapse”? Well, these plans would slash spending in the near term, emulating Europe’s catastrophic austerity, even while locking in budget-busting tax cuts for the future.
The question now is whether someone offering this toxic combination of irresponsibility, class warfare, and hypocrisy can actually be elected president.
© 2012, agentleman.