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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

From Channel 23 (ABC) in California:

It starts well, but goes downhill, as usual:

For the last few months, the Tehachapi City Council meeting has started off with an invocation prayer, but a letter sent last week from the Freedom From Religion Foundation has Tehachapi residents debating the constitutionality of saying the prayer.

Tuesday night’s council meeting started with the standard Pledge of Allegiance, but unlike meetings over the last six months, no prayer.

There’s still that pesky “under God” in the pledge.

While the council discussed the letter in closed session, the public spoke out in favor of the prayers during public comment.Only one person spoke out against the prayer, but said it would be OK if the prayer was more inclusive.

I think that person probably has their heart in the right place, but as long as there is prayer at all, it will continue to be exclusive to anyone who does not believe in god.

“They’re making schools not give scholarships to other religious colleges,” Councilman Shane Reed said during the meeting. “So, this is the type of group we’re dealing with and I encourage everyone to look at their site and see what we’re dealing with.”

I’m not entirely sure what they are referring to, probably because I think they got their facts wrong.  They are not denying scholarships, they are concerned about the use of taxpayer money in violation of the Establishment Clause.  And they are fighting against “… the Bush Administration’s claim that it can use taxpayer money to support religion without complaint by taxpayers”. I’m guessing they skimmed the information and picked up information on a case that was stated as a precedent for the current lawsuit Hein v. FFRF.  In that case:

Flast v. Cohen (1968) permitted a taxpayer challenge of federal assistance to religious schools. The court ruled that challenges could be heard that question the use of “the taxing and spending power . . . to favor one religion over another or to support religion in general.”

And the typical response already in the comments:

How can this happen? “In God We Trust” is on all our money, but we can’t pray? This world is getting worse. What’s next, “Freedom of Speech?” I’m sadden by the Country that I love is trying to push out the God that loves us and was there when we won our FREEDOM. IN GOD I DO TRUST~! My freedom I’m worried about..

Oh you can pray, on your own time. You may not take time in a government venue to basically hold people hostage and proclaim your faith that they may not share.  It’s called separation of church and state and it’s one of the tenets our country was founded on.  I almost commented there, but at the last moment I saw the sign that said “Don’t feed the trolls”.

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Maybe its the fact that I lean pretty damn far to the left on the political spectrum, but I don’t understand how people can actually want President Obama to fail.  It has been widely reported that Rush Limbaugh has said as such, and repeatedly.  There is even a group on Facebook that is called a conservative protest that in their mission, state that they are looking for Obama to fail.

If Obama fails, we have failed as a nation.  If Obama fails, it is in no small part due to the carnage left behind by President Bush.  If Obama fails, the economy, which is teetering on a precipice, could fall even further, causing nationwide business and personal catastrophe and tragedy.

If Obama fails, everybody fails.  And people, what is so damn scary about Obama succeeding?  Why I can imagine the horrors now, people actually can find a job at a living wage, going to the doctor doesn’t require deliberation because everybody has health insurance, we will no longer have troops deployed and dying in a war that was started based on lies.

I may not be a political scholar or an economist, but I do live in the United States.  I am a middle class mother that wants better for my kids than what we are struggling with now.  I no longer want an era of negativity, where it seems every week there was another crisis or fuck up.  I want my kids to learn compassion for others, and not being afraid of change, because things do change, for better or worse.  Am I fearful of change?  Of course, it’s always difficult to deal with a difference in the status quo and not knowing what the outcome will be, but there comes a point in time where the status quo is not only uncomfortable, but it is unhealthy to stay there.  Such is life.

A society is often judged on how they treat the “least” of their people, the minorities, the homeless, the destitute, the ill.  How will we be judged, and furthermore, how would we like to be judged?  We have a lot of freedoms in this country, freedom of choice, freedom of religion.  For the first time in 8 years we have a president who is not looking to narrow these freedoms but expand them.

In regards to the latest stimulus plan, yes I understand that it is a staggering amount of governmental spending.  But Obama didn’t create this recession, he inherited it.  At this point, it’s either spend or let the banks fail, which I don’t think anybody wants.  Is there another viable solution?

Ours is one of those families who thought that a tough economy would not impact us much, if at all.  We were wrong.  We have a 15 year old car that needs a $700 repair and after a week, we still haven’t decided what to do, we certainly cannot afford to buy a new or used car.  Thank goodness we can car pool.  The value of our house has dropped.  We have two young children, and just to buy the staples results in bigger and bigger grocery bills.  Every purchase I make is made deliberately and without impulse.  Yes we are fortunate to still be able to afford luxuries such as cable and internet, yet should my husband lose his job, we will pull the plug.

Things can not proceed as they have, things must change.

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Fringe Groups

Reading an older review of Religulous today, the reviewer said that Maher purposely picked those wingnuts on the fringes of their respective religions to interview in order to stack the deck in his favor.

As possible (and certainly probable) as that is, I’m not sure it’s entirely accurate.  When most religions nowadays are characterized by their respective wingnuts, I think we need to pay attention.  When one person, especially one person that holds a place of power in their respective place of worship, thinks a certain way, you can be certain that there are many others that agree with them.  That would put them not so much on the fringes of their religion, but smack dab in the middle of it.  And really, who better to talk to than the “man on the street” to get a feel for what is going on with religion today.

Granted, the places Maher went to talk to people (hello Holy Land Theme Park) are going to attract a certain element of people to them, so in that regards, the deck is stacked.  But isn’t it stacked by matter of fact if you really think critically and skeptically about religion in general?

Completely off topic, but why do I have nightmares of “A Handmaid’s Tale” whenever I think of McCain and his odious air quotes when talking about women’s rights in regards to reproductive health?  Is it maybe because he basically said that the government of each state should decide whether or not a woman should prevent or terminate a pregnancy?  The last thing I want is a male dominated government all up in my uterus thankyouverymuch.

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