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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Christians, separation of church and state is like your veggies- hard to swallow, but GOOD for you!

I noticed and collected a lot of memes with emotional posts on Facebook after the historic SCOTUS decision on gay marriage. The funny thing is, they are posted in proud defiance or opposition, when everyone already knows and agrees that the SCOTUS isn't the supreme being and it can't change God's laws.

 (Like screaming WATER IS WET!! And we're all waiting for the punchline, the point of difference, the reason for the outrage, while crickets chirp.)

That is PRECISELY the beauty of the separation of church and state. BOTH institutions are protected this way. When/ if we have a Christian president who rules strictly from the Bible and not for the general public well being and freedom, that is when Christianity is threatened MOST (unless we install him as supreme leader/dictator, ditch democracy and go totalitarian, only THEN can rule stay in the hands of Christians. ...well if Christians can muscle through coups, constant civil war and instability...) because with every election you could get a brand of Christianity you think is evil, or Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, or Muslim and all the laws would change.

As long as we value separation of church and state, our right to worship- or not- the way we want is protected, no matter who the top guy is.

It is often said the church is not a democracy- so, if you want to live in a democracy, why do you want to have a Christian president making laws as though he were ruling the church, making church and state one? It might be convenient and simpler for you (if you are Christian) to live in a land ruled by the Bible and have all sins be legislated against, to jail liars and murderers alike, give the death penalty to gossips and homosexuals alike, but that land is not, and I hope will never be, the United States of America.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Confederate flag fight

I've been seeing a lot of posts on this confederate flag business, cheering for the flag, disparaging the flag. So. . .

First I'm going to say I personally don't put any stock in any flag. Pledging allegiance to any thing, especially a flag, is ridiculous to me. *takes cover* Taking pride in your particular neighborhood, state, country, etc to the extreme that you are ready to fight if someone states an opinion or looks at you funny- this over an accident of your birth in a particular place? Why?? An arbitrary border is more important than people starving, people being mistreated by other people, trashing the environment we ALL depend on to live?

On one hand, it's just a flag and it's your right to fly anything you want. Fine. And it's in the past and who cares about flags anyway. They're meaningless. Not to mention, taking down a flag isn't going to get rid of racism, racial profiling, police brutality, poverty and the rest of the inequalities slavery helped entrench. . .

On the other hand,
Why are we up in arms over our "right" to fly this flag that represents division of this country that I'm guessing a lot of people upset over the contentious flag coming down will say they will fight and die for, are so proud to be citizens of, are ready to kick people out of if they aren't sufficiently loyal to ( remember 'love it or leave it'?). It represents to so many the allowing of people to hold others captive and say they are property by law and fighting for this "right".. Like drawing Muhammad, sure, you have the right and it's no big deal to you, but do you really want to be the lout who finds the one thing most hateful and throws it in someone's face simply because you have the right to do it? Your "freedom" to do this trivial thing trumps another human being's right to live in peace? It reminds me of kids all trying to be the first through the double doors in college when we're all going to the same place and have plenty of time to walk several feet to a seat- or adults tailgating and cutting people off on the road- you'll get there, don't be a baby, your time is no more or less important than anyone else's. Your rights and "rights" are no less important than anyone else's. You are not special. I am not special. With all this claiming of trivial rights we are becoming a nation of people to take offense too easily. And I say "becoming" like this is new. . . but that's another soapbox. A nation of babies. We are children. I mean, you can blame Muslims for getting offended at cartoons and black folks for being offended by cloth, but you don't see it's equally stupid or more so to claim your rights are being violated when you can't put cloth anywhere you want or make everyone (not to say all confederate flag supporters are religious, just an example) abide by your religious law (abortion, gay marriage opposition) or say and do hateful things simply because YOU have the right. I know what the response will be. I agree, you can go too far bending over backwards for people, making allowances for all the quirks, but lets have some balance and common courtesy and respect and introspection. And grow the heck up.

7/26/15 edit- I heard a great comparison in the last few weeks on possibly the BBC's World Have Your Say, but maybe Democracy Now or the Diane Rehm Show because I've been listening to all of them and they're mixed up in my head. Some folks want to say the Civil War was more about states' rights than slavery, though this represents a shift from the actual event. Or they want to say that individual soldier's reasons were protection of home, family, farms, their state and not necessarily slavery. A guest on the show pointed out that the same was true for the Iraq invasion. We used 9/11, WMD and terrorism to go to war, those were the reasons (never mind that they turned out to be wrong!). Individual soldiers' reasons for going can be very different- freedom, protection of family or country, responding to a stated need, or because it's their job. It would be false to use those reasons as the reason we attacked Iraq. Ignoring the bigger picture is not accurate or helpful in understanding that time period as in the case of the Civil War.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dual citizenship debacle- or mountain out of a molehill

There was a big stink about Diane Rehm's interview with Bernie Sanders. Maybe because she so rarely makes mistakes and is so far above other people doing this job. Maybe because she's part of the "liberal media" people love to hate. Maybe people love Bernie Sanders that much??? Well, I kind of hope it's the latter.

She did state rather than ask at around 24:20 on her show, you're a dual Israeli citizen, or something to that effect, but I was under the impression she was floating that out there with a pause for him to respond, refute, agree, disagree, etc. I would hardly call it bungling the interview, a massive oops or an accusation, as so many headlines read.

She was just moments before that "accusation" tossing him questions from Facebook, so I wasn't clear as to whether this may have been part of that or not. I also read that an intern may have grabbed the list he is said to be on of dual citizens from a comment on Facebook, so the list has spurious origins/source. True, you shouldn't take these things as fact. But, if there is a rumor that you are a dual citizen, you need to clearly state whether you are or are not and shouldn't be offended unless you have already publicly addressed it, as with the Obama birth certificate issue. If it is legal to be a dual citizen and president, then it will still beg some questions and possibly conflicts of interest. I don't think it is anti-Semitic to ask questions to clarify how this would affect his foreign policy and other positions. Another good reason why I don't think it should be offensive to ask about a dual citizenship rumor given the office he wants to run for and he is in a period of public vetting is that it is so hard to get this information from other sources (also why Diane Rehm should have been skeptical. . .). See this Counterpunch article from a guy who tried.

But now we know it is irrelevant.

So all this for nothing really.

A non issue.