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.

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.

Where Are They Now?

When Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson could not get their faces on TV fast enough to decry it as a “racist” act.  They shouted from the rooftops at anybody who would listen and those who tried not to that it was a racially motivated killing by a white man (Zimmerman is of mixed heritage) of a black teenager.  When Zimmerman was acquitted, Sharpton called for sit-ins and protests over the decision.

Fast-forward to this week, and I have to wonder where Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson are on these stories:

In Oklahoma, a college baseball player was randomly shot and killed by three teenagers, two black males and one white male.  It has been reported that they killed him “because they were bored” and were caught a few minutes before possibly killing someone else.  The only thing that Christopher Lane did was to go for a run one afternoon, and he ends up being shot and killed.

In Washington, a WWII veteran was brutally beaten and killed this week by two black teenagers.  It has been reported that this beating was also random.

So, I bring up the question again, where are Al and Jessie?  Why are they not classifying these attacks as senseless and racist?  To them, is it only a racist attack when a black person is the victim?  Are white people (and mixed race people like George Zimmerman) the only ones who are racist?  To me, it is people like Al and Jessie who fuel the racial attitudes and tensions that are bubbling to the surface in not holding everyone accountable for their actions.  If they were serious about protecting civil rights, they would call out the racist thugs who shot Christopher Lane and beat Delbert Belton for what they are.  Instead, there has been silence from them, and that is beyond sad.

If you want to know my honest opinion, Al and Jessie are the epitome of hypocrites.  When something happens to a black person, there is not a camera they won’t get in front of to scream about “racism,” but when it comes to the senseless murder of a white college baseball player or white WWII veteran at the hands of black teenagers (and the one white teenager who was involved in the shooting), they remain silent.  Why is this ok with anybody?  To me, racism in any form by anybody is sick, ignorant, and wrong; there is no place for it in my view.

If Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson want to really tackle the issues of racism and civil rights, the best place to start would be with the person they see in the mirror every morning.  Once they eliminate their racist attitudes and view of the world, only then should they jump in front of the nearest camera to decry racism in this country.

Taking Their Ball And Leaving

We all had that friend growing up.  Maybe you were “that” friend” and just don’t want to admit it.  That’s cool.

I’m talking, of course, about that kid who, in the middle of a game where the results were not to their liking, would literally take their ball and leave.  Or maybe they would flip the board over, or try to change the rules.  You get the picture I am trying to paint for you.

In case you don’t remember, nobody really liked playing with that kid too much.

The Republican National Committee is apparently that kid when it comes to politics.

Earlier this month, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus sent letters to both NBC and CNN, threatening them that they would be banned for Republican Presidential debates in 2016 if they continued to go to production and then air a documentary about potential Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.  Today, the RNC announced that they had voted to ban the two networks.

To me, it is nothing short of a childish move for them to pull such an immature stunt.  To think that they had the power to influence what those two networks can and cannot air is the definition of having a delusion of grandeur.  Who are they to tell CNN and NBC what they can and cannot air?  Personally, I don’t care one way or the other if those networks air the documentary or not, just like I really don’t care if they air one about Marco Rubio or Chris Christie.

In barring CNN and NBC from their debates, I guess it never occurred to the geniuses at the RNC that maybe by making such a stink about a potential documentary about Hillary Clinton, they will actually steer more people to back her.  Like any politician, there is plenty to support and attack about Hillary Clinton without the RNC providing her with added sympathy, because that is what she will get from a number of people who will see this as nothing more than an unwarranted personal attack.  It is not like either of these networks is adding “The Hillary Hour” to their programming, which I imagine would be daily programming extolling the virtues of Mrs. Clinton.  If the proposed documentaries (not sure if it is the same and will be aired by both networks or two separate documentaries) are honest and provide coverage of both the good and the bad of Mrs. Clinton’s life and time in the political spotlight, the RNC ban might just blow up in their collective faces.

Of course, what would make the RNC look even more petty and childish would be for Mrs. Clinton to not run for President in 2016, thus making the RNC look like all they did was preemptively put the cart before the horse.