Archive for womens rights

Power play: Hobby Lobby et al. "not happy until their faith has more influence."

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My Twitter followers often ask me why religious-slash-conservative politicians do what they do despite the potential negative effect on so many Americans. Why, for example, do they persist with their War on Women? Why do they insist that a zygote is a child and force closures of women's health clinics, putting existing lives at risk? Why do they claim they are "pro-life" as they scream their heartless, vicious verbal attacks at-- and put the fear of their god into-- child refugees who are escaping from rape, violent abuse, and death? Why do right wing extremists allow these atrocities to continue? Why are they willing to potentially end lives in the name of their god? My answer is an abbreviated (it is Twitter, after all) one-size-fits-all reply: Power and money.

Power and money are strong motivators. Tossing red meat to rabidly hungry political donors and like-minded voters goes a long way to securing state and federal lawmakers' positions. And by keeping their jobs, they get to extend their influence. It's all about self-interest.

Hypocrisy is an ingredient of Theocratic Stew, too, but that doesn't answer the Why. Besides, some outwardly religious zealots may very well believe their own fevered, ill-conceived blather.

The Hobby Lobby case allows bosses to control and exert their influence over women, women who may hold different beliefs (or disbeliefs) than the corporate "person" that pays them. Rather, they claim it's about their beliefs. Some of us see it differently.

Today on her radio show, Nicole Sandler played an interview with David Silverman. Silverman is the president of AmericanAtheists.org. He was discussing conservatives and their heavy-handed religious policies, but made a very important distinction. To quote Silverman, "It's not conservative, it's theocratic." Bingo.

Which brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, believe it or not, our voices matter:

That's rich, a Christian activist law firm calling itself the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. Equally Orwellian phrasing titles the constitutionally dubious Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the Becket firm has cited to obtain ill-considered U.S. Supreme Court decisions favoring Christianity over sound public policy. ("Law firm in Hobby Lobby win is playing key role in religion cases," July 19)

For truth in advertising, how about "the Becket Fund for Denying Nonbelievers' Rights to Freedom from Religion"?

So what if this firm advocates a Muslim prison inmate's right to grow a beard. That ploy likely will prevail as a bone thrown to non-Christian detractors, but its narrow application betrays the firm's ulterior motive: to set up more far-reaching court rulings to favor the Christian majority.

Edward Alston, Santa Maria

..

The lawyers for Hobby Lobby don't seek religious freedom. As with the recent Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, they seek the right to extend their religious beliefs to apply to everyone else.

All over the world, it's common for those who practice a particular religion not to be satisfied with their own personal religious freedom. They are not happy until their faith has more influence.

In Iraq, this conflict gets people killed. In the U.S., the Supreme Court allows businesses to force employees to comply with owners' religious beliefs.

The freedom of religion in the 1st Amendment prevents the government from establishing a religion. Once the immense power of government assists one religion, all others suffer.

Norwood Price, Burbank

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Your Weekly Upchucks: Shocking Religion News

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Please welcome back regular guest contributor, author of Being Christian -- a racy novel that explores the dark underbelly of the right-wing Christian world -- and the go-to blogger on shocking religion news, hypocrisy, and all things church v. state (weekly upchucks), K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts.

You can link over to her site here for the rest of this post. It’s well worth a look, because I left out a ton of great upchuckable stuff, including antidotes! These are but a few of her weekly "where religion meets your rights" collection:

Your Weekly Upchucks: The place where religion meets your rights

– by K. C. Boyd

Abortion, Contraception And Women

Education

  • Arizona Hurls Again: Mesa public charter school teaches religion.
  • Flinstonian Puke-Fest: GOP candidate for Minnesota House of Reps, wants public schools to teach that humans & dinos lived together.

Fifty Shades Of Hate, Lies And Propaganda

  • Perky Pukery: Primo hater and theocrat Tony Perkins asks: Is it Burger King or Burger Queen

If Media Is The Message

  • Projectile Lies: Bill O’Reilly Advances Extremist Personhood Argument Against Abortion

Politics Nation

  • Poopy On The Upchuck: The Tea Party Isn’t a Political Movement, It’s a Religious One. Obama is the Antichrist, Republicans are heretics, and compromise is unholy.

Religion Gone Mad

  • Capesce Chuck? An Outrage Beyond All Others: The Use Of Religion to Assault Democracy
  • Penis Licking Upchuck! Right-wing youth leader threatens his ‘gay’ dog on Facebook: ‘Don’t challenge my principles’

Sausage Makers And Their Sausage

  • Snausage Spew: Governor tells Iowans to ‘repent’ in official proclamation for Christian revival at Capitol

Scandal

  • The Drip, Drip, Drip Of Puke: Florida pastor accused of raping clients of homeless shelter

Supremes And Lower Courts

  • Scotal Oath-Chucking: Justice in the United States is for the rich, powerful, Christian male
  • Scrotal Puke-Chucking: The Hobby Lobby Stages of Grief: Stage 2, Anger
  • Regurgitating Racism:. Federal Appeals Court Orders Texas To Issue Confederate Flag License Plates

Theocracy Rising

  • Upchuck’s Family Values: Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, “The Family”
  • Myth Bustin Spit-Up: Who’s surprised here? Researchers: Children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction
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Is You Is Or Is You Ain't GOP Crazy?

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Sheila KihneThe many faces of Sheila Kihne

Minnesota, the 'land of 10,000 lakes,' is also home to a GOP woman running for the statehouse who's coincidentally 10,000 kinds of crazy. The Countess of Cuckoo is Sheila Kihne. She hopes to unseat state Rep. Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie), who she claims is insufficiently conservative to represent the district. Now you know you're onto something when you're running against a certifiable Loon.

So how far out there to the right do you have to go to make yourself electable to right-wingers? Try some of this on for size. Candidate Kihne espouses that single mothers be denied formal wedding ceremonies, according to her blog site.

Raw Story:

“Don’t you think that if you’re having a baby — and you’re not married — that you should forgo the shower?” she asked. “I also think that if you get married — and are knocked up — you should get married quietly. At a courthouse, at a private home.”

Kihne specifically said that there should be no dancing or dinner for prospective brides who are pregnant. She acknowledge that “I’m seen as very cold-hearted with this issue and it’s caused a couple of big arguments in my family,” but insisted on standing her ground against “the idiots in Hollywood who make it look ‘cool’ to tote a baby around sans daddy.”

All she's missing is the reference to the home for wayward women for which, of course, she'd be proposing a cut in funding. It's obvious that the Dame of Dizziness is dead serious in her stand on unwed mothers.

In that same post, she complains that an unwed mother included a portable DVD-player on her Target registry, addressing a complaint about the “extravagant lives” of people who are below her station.

How interesting that a right-wing conservative nutcase like Kihne bills herself as a “small-government conservative,” but is unafraid to insert herself into every aspect of a person’s life. Is it possible she didn't get the Tea Party memo?

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Chris #Christie finally admits that he supports Hobby Lobby decision

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Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court, on July 1 on CNBC:

"Who knows? ... Why should I give an opinion on whether they're right or wrong?"

How straightforward of him. What confidence! Way to take a stand, Governor Hubris. Dance around the issues much?

chris christie dancing

"The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution. The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did. That's now the law of the land."

Now here's Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court on July 17, at a meet and greet at MJ's Restaurant in Marion, Iowa (key word: Iowa):

Christie, responding to a Cedar Rapids man at the event:

"Do I support the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case? I do."

Well that only took two and a half weeks. How blunt and direct of him. Way to go, Gov. Panderer! Oh, and way to appeal to women. What a leader. I wonder how many times he licked his finger before putting it in the air to check who would donate to his 2016 presidential campaign the political wind direction.

HuffPo:

Thursday was the first time Christie had expressed his view on the decision. In fact, a day after the Supreme Court ruled, he told a CNBC host that he would not be sharing his opinion at all.

So Governor Rude-y McArrogant flip-flopped. Who does he think he is, Marco Rubio? Willard Romney? A dolphin?

flipper weather vane

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A Lot of Smart Women Swear, Tricky Dick Nixon!

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The odds were that in some of the newly released Nixonian audio trove, he'd let fly with one fine misogynistic remark to mark the occasion with.

Richard Millhouse, you did not disappoint.

Because it also includes an informative Vanity Fair segment, and a Morning Joe Schmoe segment that brings Vanity Fair to the table is always worth a peek … have a Nixon listen.

Mark Halperin was there to try to destroy the experience, but we are all used to auto-tuning Halperin out.

Talk amongst yourselves about the Christie freshness, but can I get a WTH?! On Nixon?!? Bella Abzug must have sent him into fits. From the Vanity Fair piece, linked above, an excerpt that covers Dick's incredulity about females and language.

Nixon: I mean, you’ve got to stop at a certain point. Why is it that the girls don’t swear? Because a man, when he swears, people can’t tolerate a girl who is a—

Haldeman: Girls do swear.

Nixon: Huh?

Haldeman: They do now.

Peace, I'mOut

Nixon: Oh, they do now? But, nevertheless, it removes something from them. They don’t even realize it. A man drunk, and a man who swears, people will tolerate and say that’s a sign of masculinity or some other damn thing. We all do it. We all swear. But you show me a girl that swears and I’ll show you an awful unattractive person. . . . I mean, all femininity is gone. And none of the smart girls do swear, incidentally.

It was almost worse that he doubled down on the judgment at the end, there … as if he was giving the matter due process of thought, then said, "Naah - I'm Dick Nixon and I'm right" and did away with generations of intelligence in a casually arrogant sentence; man to man.

We met Pat. Something tells me she was a Nixon with a vocabulary tailored to match her voluble husband's.

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Who Hurts GOP Women The Most, Men Or Women?

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"Why, I do declare," Miss Elmers said," how awfully hard these men folk make it on us demure ladies. Seems so burdensome, doesn't it now, with all those fancy big numbers and those complicated words they use. Why, it's all a woman can do to not take to the salts and feel the vapors without a man at her side to tell her what she should think. Another Mint Julep?"

If you think that awful made-up dialogue is from some old MGM costume Civil War piece, it certainly could be. But this kind of talk is actually being spewed right now as we speak. And it's being done by a North Carolina congresswoman, Renee Ellmers, who believes that the Republican Party would make more headway with women voters if it could bring policy discussions “down to a woman’s level.”

Raw Story:

The problem, she said, is that male politicians are making the policy discussion too complicated for women to understand.

“Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level,” Ellmers said. “Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and how, you know, the debt is awful and, you know, we all agree with that.”

“We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life — that’s the way to go,” she said.

Can you really believe this woman was elected to her office in Congress? She's about as contemporary as a hooped skirt and a whale bone corset. What is going on in this country that backwards thinkers like this are being allowed to ruin the lives of other women?

North Carolina by its mere antiquated, backwards and restrictive actions has a lot to apologize for -- but Renee Elmers's election to Congress might take the cake.

Wake up people. Your votes count. Make sure you use them and use them for your best interests. You don't need someone to tell you what's right nor do you need someone to talk down to you. You deserve better than this.

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Poll-itics: SCOTUS approvals near lowest "in 14-year trend"

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SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, what are we going to do with you? Well, here's an idea: Elect Progressive presidents who will replace right wing extremist Supreme Court justices (and other judges) who decide cases that are turning this country upside down.

This Supreme Court has:

  • ruled in favor of prayers in city council meetings (read: Christian prayers);
  • eliminated buffer zones around abortion and contraception medical centers in Massachusetts so that women can now be intimidated and threatened literally within an inch of their lives;
  • weakened unions by ruling that they could not force home-care workers to join them and pay dues;
  • and, of course, allowed Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses to decide what kind of birth control their employees could use based on their bosses' religious beliefs. Not the workers' beliefs, mind you, because apparently, corporate religion trumps that of the individual.

And don't get me started on Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions allowing corporate money to attempt to buy elections the way Willard "Mitt" Romney buys car elevators.

According to Gallup, this has affected the court's popularity. Democrats in particular are not too thrilled with this SCOTUS. If that's the case, you know what to do: Vote. In droves. Swarm the polls. Help to register other voters and get them to the ballot box, too.

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Gallup:

Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving. These ratings are consistent with approval last September, when 46% approved and 45% disapproved, and rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup's 14-year trend. [...]

Republican approval of the Supreme Court is up 21 percentage points since last September, from 30% in 2013 to 51%. Independents' approval shows little change, going from 47% to 46%. Support among Democrats, on the other hand, is down [...]

Americans' current views more closely reflect the court's own ideological divisions in these two recent decisions, rather than its bipartisan unanimity.

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