Call It What It Is

As the Friday deadline creeps up on Arizona Governor Jan Brewer regarding a potential veto of SB 1062 in her state, I think it might be time to call the bill what it is.  If you are not familiar with the bill, it was passed under the guise of “religious freedom,” along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor, and Democrats voting against passage.

The bill would make it legal in Arizona for businesses to discriminate against a patron based on their sexual orientation.  Unreal.

So, let’s call that bill exactly what it is…it is hate.  It is hate mixed with fear, and it is being passed off as religious freedom.

Supporters of the bill claim that doing business with gay people somehow violates their right to practice their chosen religion.  I don’t stoop this low often, but I think an exception is necessary.  That is a stupid argument made by small-minded and simple people.

Can someone please tell me how someone’s sexual orientation infringes on another person’s right to practice their religion?  The simple answer is that it does not.  Which brings us to the essence of this bill in Arizona.

It is hate, pure and simple.  Now, I know that not all conservatives or Republicans hate homosexuals, but the voices in that camp sure are louder than the voices of reason.  John McCain’s opposition is being drowned out by the hate-filled ramblings of Rush Limbaugh, and sadly, more people look to Rush to give them their opinions than listen to voices of reason like John McCain (at least on this issue he is being a voice of reason).

I am sick and tired of people hiding behind the Bible and religion to spread their hate.  I thought the Bible was all about love and forgiveness and atonement for sins, but too many people use it as their handbook for hate.

Supporters of this bill that legalizes hate will scream loud and proud (although why would they be proud of being hate-filled people?) that their right to practice their religion is being trampled on by serving gays.  Wrong.  Plain and simple.  Serving homosexuals does not infringe on anybody’s right to practice their religion.  If you think otherwise, you need to think again.

Let me put it another way.  What if Governor Brewer does not veto and allows this type of discrimination to take place?  What would the outrage be if this were law and a Muslim business owner or Jewish business owner refused to serve someone who is a Christian?  I bet Arizona Republicans would be beside themselves if that were to take place.  That, my friends, is hypocrisy in the truest form.

Life, Liberty,…

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Above is Section One of the 14th Amendment (source).  Pretty cool stuff.  I think so because it protects the rights of ALL American citizens, and does not make any exclusions based off of any character trait, lifestyle choice, skin color, religion practiced or not practiced.  Nope, not a single exclusion.  As citizens of this country, we all have the same rights.

Which brings me to the decision that new Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made regarding his state’s ban on gay marriage and the fact that it is a violation of the Constitution (article).  I applaud his decision to fight the ban and bring the Commonwealth into the 21st century and into compliance with the United States Constitution.

As some commenters in the article linked to above have pointed out, marriage is a civil right, and thus not subject to being voted on by any electorate, and also is subject to adherence to the Constitution.  Since we are not a theocracy, arguments pointing to a religious definition of marriage really do not stand up too well; Iran is a theocracy, so they can go ahead and define marriage how they want, but here in America, that is not the case.  Pretty simple if you ask me.

Just Plain Cruel

A few weeks back, I wrote a post asking for input on the case in Texas where a pregnant mother who is brain-dead is kept “alive” to basically act as an incubator.

Today brings a disturbing update, that the fetus has severe deformities.

I would love your thoughts.

For Informational Purposes Only

As cold temperatures, brutally so in much of the country, invade this weekend, you will hear or read comments from those who wholeheartedly dismiss global climate change.  They operate off the original misnomer, “global warming,” and run from there.

For informational purposes only, I want to take a minute to poke holes in their dismissal, in the form of definitions.  Like facts, these are difficult to ignore for people who wish to engage in reasonable discussion, but people still try.  All definitions will be compliments of The Free Dictionary online.

First, weather:

The state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure. (source)

Take special note of the words “at a given time and place,” if you will.

Next, we have climate:

The meteorological conditions, including temperature, precipitation, and wind, that characteristically prevail in a particular region.  (source)

Of note here would be the word “characteristically.”

For kicks, let’s explore one more word, global:

 Of, relating to, or involving the entire earth; worldwide. (source)

Notice the words “entire earth,” which if we take them at face value, do not mean only the conditions outside your window or door.

Discuss if you like.

What’s Your Take On This?

I ran across an interesting article today, and instead of writing a prolonged entry on my take on it, I thought maybe I would share the article and ask what other people thought.  I am hoping some sort of discussion (a civil one) will take place in the comments section.

Anyway, here is the article.  Please comment with what you think.

First and Foremost

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The first thing you read on this page is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  It’s pretty straightforward if you ask me, but others seem to have allowed confusion to set in.

The confusion I am referencing surrounds the suspension by A&E of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for comments he made during an interview with GQ.  Mr. Robertson is certainly entitled to his opinion, there’s no doubt about that.  Conservatives from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to former half-Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin are being very critical of the suspension, claiming that A&E is curtailing Mr. Robertson’s First Amendment rights.

They are wrong.

Just as Mr. Robertson has the right to his opinion and to voice said opinion, A&E has the right to suspend or fire him for voicing his opinion.  Last I checked, A&E is not Congress, and as such is not bound to allow anybody who represents their network to speak freely on any topic.  In this case, A&E is the employer, and Mr. Robertson is their employee.  A&E has a brand to protect, and if they think that a representative of their brand (Mr. Robertson) is not casting them in the light they feel is appropriate, they can respond in any manner they see fit.  Free enterprise, if you will.

I find it oddly ironic that people like Jindal and Palin constantly rail against “government intrusion” into our lives and into private enterprise, yet want to criticize A&E for acting as an entity in the free market.  You cannot have it both ways.

Put Down Your Pitchforks

With Christmas a mere nine days away, the “war on Christmas” is in full swing.  Except, as I pointed out previously, there really is no “war on Christmas” at all.  Nope.

“But,” you might say, “stores put ‘X-mas’ on displays, and that shows that they are taking the ‘Christ’ out!”  Wrong.  Put down your pitchfork and learn something (I just learned this myself, but I have to admit that I am not offended at all by “Christmas,”  “X-mas,” or “Happy Holidays” either).

As it turns out, using the abbreviation “X-mas” is not really taking Christ out at all; in fact, it harkens back to the 1500s (as least) and is rooted in Greek (source).  In Greek, the letter “X” is pronounced “Chi,” which itself is shortened from “Christos.”  For more, I recommend reading a blog with an aptly titled tagline, “Feed Your Brain.”  There is a really solid explanation there.

But, before you get offended the next time you see “X-mas” displayed somewhere, tell yourself that the display honors the Greek spelling and move merrily along.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!