Religion Pimping: Secessionists and Proselytizers on the Public Dole

perry-jesus.gifI’m not the the resident psychologist here, but I really feel hyper-religiousity is a fricking mental disease.  I know it is a social one.  I have no idea why some people feel they have the right and duty to plaster their religious beliefs all over the rest of us, but it is clearly not an American idea.  Here’s the latest whackadoodle attempt to do an end run around our constitution by a cluster of bananas in North Carolina.

The Constitution “does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional” according to a resolution sponsored by North Carolina House Majority Leader Edgar Starnes (R) and ten of his fellow Republicans — a statement that puts them at odds with over 200 years of constitutional law. In light of this novel reading of the Constitution, Starnes and his allies also claim that North Carolina is free to ignore the Constitution’s ban on government endorsement of religion:

SECTION 1. The North Carolina General Assembly asserts that the Constitution of the United States of America does not prohibit states or their subsidiaries from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

SECTION 2. The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.

This resolution is nothing less than an effort to repudiate the result of the Civil War. As the resolution correctly notes, the First Amendment merely provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and, indeed, the Bill of Rights was originally understood to only place limits on the federal government. For the earliest years of the Republic, the Bill of Rights were not really “rights” at all, but were instead guidelines on which powers belonged to central authorities and which ones remained exclusively in the hands of state lawmakers.

In 1868, however the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified for the express purpose of changing this balance of power. While the early Constitution envisioned “rights” as little more than a battle between central and local government, the Fourteenth Amendment ushered in a more modern understanding. Under this amendment, “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,” nor may any state “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment completely transformed the nature of the American Republic, from one where liberties were generally protected — if at all — by tensions between competing governments to one which recognized that there are certain liberties that cannot be abridged by any government.

So, a few folk want a state religion in North Carolina because sectarian opening prayers just aren’t pious enough for them.

A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.

The legislation grew out of a dispute between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In a federal lawsuit filed last month, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.

Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian.

In a 2011 ruling on a similar lawsuit against the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not ban prayer at government meetings outright, but said prayers favoring one religion over another are unconstitutional.

“To plant sectarian prayers at the heart of local government is a prescription for religious discord,” the court said. “Where prayer in public fora is concerned, the deep beliefs of the speaker afford only more reason to respect the profound convictions of the listener. Free religious exercise posits broad religious tolerance.”

Supplanting modernity, science, rationale thought and replacing it with government mandated religious views is the agenda here. Here’s another good example.  RNC Chair Reince Preibus thinks he knows more than doctors.  He equates letting doctors and women decide about the outcomes of late term abortions–and possibly pre-term births–to infanticide.

In an article published Wednesday on the conservative website RedState, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus blasted Democrats for supporting Planned Parenthood, while floating the damning suggestion that the likes of President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) support infanticide.

“The President, the Senate Majority Leader, the House Democratic Leader, and the Chair of the Democratic National Committee (in whose home state this hearing occurred) made funding Planned Parenthood an issue in the 2012 campaign,” Priebus wrote. “They should now all be held to account for that outspoken support. If the media won’t, then voters must ask the pressing questions: Do these Democrats also believe a newborn has no rights? Do they also endorse infanticide?”

Priebus appeared to predicate much of his piece on recent testimony from a Planned Parenthood lobbyist before the Florida legislature. The lobbyist was posed a number of hypotheticals on what the women’s healthcare organization would do if a baby survived a botched abortion.

“Not once in her testimony did the Planned Parenthood representative say the newborn baby has a right to life. Not once did she say anyone has a duty to care for the child,” Priebus wrote. “Whether the living, breathing child survives is up to the adults in the room because, as we now know, Planned Parenthood doesn’t believe the baby has rights.”

Who better knows the outcome of this situation?  The State?  Priestb00 and his merry band of republican religious nuts?

borsThis reminds me of the attempts in Louisiana and other places to drain money from public schools to religious-based schools.  Republicans are horrified to think that religions other than their own might have access to the funds. This is playing out in Tennessee right now.

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee are threatening to block Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill over fears that Muslim schools could receive funding.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Monday that Haslam hinted that he would withdraw his bill after objections from Republican lawmakers that it was not broad enough and that the vouchers could be used by Islamic schools.

Over the weekend, state Sen. Jim Tracy (R) had told The Murfreesboro Post that he had “considerable concern” that tax dollars could go to schools that teach principles from the Quran.

Tracy, who is on the Senate Education Committee and identifies himself as a member of the Church of Christ, insisted that Islamic school funding was an “an issue we must address” before the voucher bill can go forward.

“I don’t know whether we can simply amend the bill in such a way that will fix the issue at this point,” he said.

Yes, there is one Muslim school in Memphis that would have access to state funds under the bill.  So, it’s wrong to fund Muslim schools, but you can guess which religious schools should be the only ones funded by government.

Look, I have nothing against other people’s free practice of religion.  There are at least two great places for that to happen.  The places are called THEIR home and THEIR place of worship.  Every place else should be a religion-free zone.  It’s obvious these folks didn’t get a very good education in American history or political thought.  For that matter, the don’t appear to have been well-educated in much else.  OR, they are just plain crazy.  I’m going with the latter.


46 Comments on “Religion Pimping: Secessionists and Proselytizers on the Public Dole”

  1. THANK YOU! And yes, I was shouting…

    • dakinikat says:

      This crap just pisses me off worse than a rattlesnake surrounded by rabid mice. So much crazy to chomp on you don’t know where to start.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I know, it makes you want to put your “shit kickers” on doesn’t it?

      • NW Luna says:

        Late to this discussion, and you all have said just what I’m thinking.

        I am really tired of saying that just when you think they can’t get any crazier, they do.

      • HT says:

        Luna I’m even later than you – I was here earlier but when I saw the “abortion” word I skipped over that part. This time I forced myself to read it. Honestly I don’t think any male should be commenting on abortion ever. It’s none of their business period. Worse for me, there is a global crisis on right now caused by men in banks and men in governments who refused to regulate their buddies mode of money making. People are losing all their savings, some people are living on pet food, people losing their homes, on the streets – that is a catastropy Yet these clowns are focusing on female body parts?

  2. RalphB says:

    Maddowblog: Priebus’s RNC rebranding effort takes a detour

    Update: I heard from the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliate, which said the following in a statement: “Last week, a panel of Florida state legislators demanded speculation about a vague set of extremely unlikely and highly unusual medical circumstances. Medical guidelines and ethics already compel physicians facing life-threatening circumstances to respond, and Planned Parenthood physicians provide high-quality medical care and adhere to the most rigorous professional standards, including providing emergency care. In the extremely unlikely event that the scenario presented by the panel of legislators should happen, of course Planned Parenthood would provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.”

    Perhaps Priebus and RedState can run a correction?

    Not likely, they can’t afford to lose support from the Xtian nutters. And I do mean nutters cause they are genuinely insane!

    • dakinikat says:

      go read the preibus spew’s comments. that blog is a cesspool of crazy

      • RalphB says:

        I’m not that much of a masochist these days. Those people can all got to Hell for all I care. It’s nearly enough to make you hope Hell is real.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        There’s only two ways to go with the name of Reince, you can either end up in the gutter or become the Chairman of the GOP, which is basically the same difference. First off, I want to know WTF kind of name is “Reince”? And were his parent’s as drunk as he always appears to be when they named him?

      • Fannie says:

        Reince names comes from the bottom of the kitchen sink drain………..I know that much.

  3. RalphB says:

    What’s going on in Republican controlled states should scare sane Americans into voting Democratic for the foreseeable future. I only hope that can be enough to turn the tide.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    Yep….NC and TN are fucking religious zealot nuthouses. A couple of years ago the TN State Legislature repealed a law passed by the Nashville City Council that required businesses doing business with the Nashville city government to not discriminate against L/G’s in hiring. Hey, it’s ok to fire the gay in TN, it’s ok to refuse employment to the gay in TN because TN is a “right to work” state, unless you want to work while being gay. Nothing like freedom in Amerika. .

    • HT says:

      Actually from an objective point of view from the Great North, secession may just be the ticket, but forced session via removal of all federal grants, monies and assistance. If the state wants to go alone – let them. If they fail, which they will, refuse to bail them out. Federally remove all military bases, remove all access to military assistance, catastrophe assistance, any assistance. Design a plan to support those who are currently on medicare/Medicaid or other federal assistance plans by bypassing the state. Let them realize their dream – living on their own rules on their own dime without assistance from any other stat. Let them drown in their own rhetoric. I know that sounds really bad, but what did Bush do for Katrina so there’s already a GOP precedet.

      • bostonboomer says:

        How about if us northern states join up with Canada instead?

      • NW Luna says:

        BB, I love that idea!

      • HT says:

        BB sounds good to me. Mind you one of our western provinces is overrun with American oilmen millionaires wanting to be billionaires, meaning they are oil sands privateers. Can we trade – we return all of your privateers and all of the Catholic and Focus on Family people who are overrunning us, and we take all you guys? Our weather is rough in the winter but we do have the most wonderful restaurants and wine bars.

      • NW Luna says:

        I visit B.C. frequently for culture, (Bruce Cockburn concerts), and for recreation, usually in summer. I was just up there weekend before last for FibresWest and a wonderful spinning class (too bad I couldn’t teleport JJ up there!).

        Vancouver is such a cosmopolitan city. Could not afford to live there, though. Southwestern BC is much like western Washington state for climate and geography.

  5. mjames says:

    This is what happens when you give the lunatic fringe an inch. The media had no business ever presenting this claptrap as proof they were fair and balanced in their news coverage. Here’s the truth: on the one hand, we have a group of lefties who want justice and equality for all; on the other hand, we have a bunch of phony-Christian secessionists who sure in hell sound more like Pontius Pilate than the Jesus I learned about in Sunday School a millennium ago. Please, please, let these idiots secede. Please. I can’t take much more. They are defiant brats with the collective brain power of a slug.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      SC & NC, like TN, GA, MS, AL, LA, AR, GA, KY, WVA, TX will never secede, they all receive far more from the Federal Government than they pay in taxes and all rank below #30 Michigan on the per-capita income scale . The secessionists just like to prance around on Confederate Battle fields in full Civil War regalia and pretend like the south still has a chance of rising again. I live just a couple of miles from a civil war battlefield, they will be play acting their glorious civil war victory within the next few weeks.

    • RalphB says:

      Secession would look better to me if I lived north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    • Fannie says:

      It’s the whole fuckin’ confederacy coming right at us.

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    Sorry for going OT but this story on NPR’s All Things Considered caught my attention this afternoon. It’s about the insider trading indictments for the SAC Hedge Fund folks. The ATC link (only 4 minutes long) is here: The founder of SAC, Stephen Cohen, hasn’t been indicted although his ex-wife is suing him for fraud. This guy paid $60 million for a home in the Hamptons & $155 million for a Picasso. Frankly, I can’t wrap my head around that. When I heard the $155 million all I could think about was how many people & animals that I could help if I had that kind of money. Guess I’m stupid and/or naive, but I don’t know how these kind of people sleep at night with the overwhelming need in this world. Hell, children going hungry in this country. Schools underfunded. The list goes on and on. Anyway, here’s a link to a piece on Cohen:

    • NW Luna says:

      These people sleep at night because they think their needs are more important than anyone else’s.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for this post, Dak. This tenth amendment crap is getting way out of hand.

    Love the cartoon, but the clump of cells can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl for quite awhile. They all start out as females. Don’t tell the wingnuts!

    • NW Luna says:

      I’m reminded of back in the early Middle Ages IIRC, abortion for Xians was allowed for a longer amount of time if the fetus was female than if it was male. Beats me how they thought they could tell the sex in advance.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    More crazy from NC legislators: Senate bill seeks to curb college vote

    A bill filed in the state Senate Tuesday would carry a tax penalty for parents whose children register to vote at their college address.

    Senate Bill 667, known as “Equalize Voter Rights,” would remove the tax exemption for dependents who register to vote at any address other than their parents’ home.

    “If the voter is a dependent of the voter’s parent or legal guardian, is 18 years of age or older and the voter has registered at an address other than that of the parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian will not be allowed to claim the voter as a dependent for state income tax purposes,” the bill says.

    • NW Luna says:

      Next move is a tax on all Dem and Independent voters.

    • RalphB says:

      All that inside the beltway horseshit about the GOP learning from 2012 was just that, horseshit. They haven’t changed a damn bit, except get worse. Voter suppression and intimidation will be their real goals. Asshats!!!

  9. bostonboomer says:

    North Korea has authorized nuke attacks on targets in the U.S. Hagel and Obama have activated missile defenses.


    • NW Luna says:

      I think it’s sabre-rattling.

      How potent are North Korea’s threats? ….

      The latest series of threats are being seen as “bluff” because the North’s leaders know a nuclear attack would be suicidal and impractical, given the North’s rudimentary missile programme.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Of course it’s saber rattling. I think it’s funny, but According to the CSM, there are indications Kim Jong Un may be losing control of the military. He might not even be rational.

        I doubt they could bomb the U.S., but if they attack South Korea, things could get out of control.

      • NW Luna says:

        Can’t we just throw Kim Jong-un in with the nutcases from the Repug Party and ship ’em to another planet far, far away from here?

    • RalphB says:

      China is probably the power to watch. They will most likely be talking to N Korea, if they aren’t already.

    • roofingbird says:

      The Japanese must be thrilled with that possible missile flight path from/to Guam.

    • NW Luna says:

      The US had already planned to send a Thaad system to Guam, but not under these circumstances, analysts say.

      OK, I feel better.