Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When did we go this far off the rails?

How long was I offline?
Did we really turn into a theocratic police state while I was gone?

Because it seems like America might be really becoming a tough place to be a non-Christian.

liberalsarecool satanic-capitalist

So they wanted to arrest a kid for making a bomb. Then they figured out that it was not a bomb at all, so they arrested him for having something they thought might be a bomb? Something they only thought was a bomb because they looked at a Muslim kid and thought "bomber!" This kid literally got arrested by actual police officers because of the way he looks, his last name, and/or his religion.  In America. In 2015.

Holy shit!

Court forces non-religious mom to get therapy from Bible-thumping counselor or lose custody of sons

According to KRQE Channel 13, Holly Salzman sought court aid in coparenting her 11-year-old sons with their father, from whom she is divorced. The judge ordered a set of 10 sessions with counselor Mary Pepper.

Salzman says that she assumed Pepper would be a regular couples and family counseling therapist, but “I walked into the session and the very first thing she said to me was, ‘I start my sessions by praying,’” Salzman said. “When I expressed my concerns that I didn’t pray she said, ‘well this is what I do’ and she proceeded to say a prayer out loud.”

“We went back to court. I expressed concerns again about the religious overtones and they stated they hadn’t heard any problems concerning Mary Pepper with religion,” Salzman told Channel 13.
She was, she says, so “offended and disgusted” that she stopped attending the courses altogether, at which point the court intervened and took away her sons.

In order to regain custody of the boys, Salzman would have to complete the sessions. Channel 13 and Salzman worked together to covertly record three of the final sessions with Pepper.
“The meaning in my life is to know love and serve God,” Pepper told Salzman in one of the recorded meetings. “If you want to explore how God was in your past, how God was in your life and not in your life… I know you don’t believe in God which is fine but I now at some points he was in your life in some way.”
Pepper frequently handed Salzman religious tracts and gave Salzman a “homework” assignment, to write an essay titled “Who is God to me?”
“Every session there was some sort of religion that was intertwined with the sessions,” said Salzman.
When Channel 13 spoke to Pepper about blending religion with court-ordered sessions, she said, “I’m a private business that people decide to come through or not. The particular person there was interested in analyzing her belief system.”
ACLU executive director Peter Simonson said, “No one should be put in a position where they are forced to accept training or therapy that violates their own religious beliefs and morals.”

And when government agents actually decide not to participate in theocracy, it hets maybe even worse:

Oath Keepers armed group offers to protect Kim Davis from arrest 

An armed group called the Oath Keepers has vowed to defend Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis from arrest by U.S. Marshals if she keeps defying a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses in accordance with the Supreme Court’s June ruling legalizing same-sex marriages nationwide.

One of the organizers on the ground for the Oath Keepers’ short-lived Kim Davis mission was Denny Peyman, a former sheriff of Jackson County, Kentucky, and member of the “constitutional sheriffs” movement, which believes that county sheriffs are the nation’s highest law enforcement officers and therefore have the power to unilaterally arrest federal officials.

In an interview with the far-right radio program Liberty Roundtable last Wednesday, the day the Oath Keepers publicly announced their Davis mission, Peyman said that if he had been sheriff when Davis was found in contempt of court for defying court orders to issue marriage licenses, he would have blocked U.S. Marshals from arresting Davis and would have instead personally arrested the judge who found her in contempt.

 There are people out there who think that they have the right to arrest government officials for doing their actual jobs. And those people are heavily armed. And think they have God on their side.

Kim Davis is a hypocrite, but that doesn't matter

This is another one of those arguments we need to stop having.

It doesn't matter how big a hypocrite Kim Davis is.

It doesn't matter that the Bible is much more explicit in its' condemnation of divorce than it is about gay marriage. It doesn't matter that Kim Davis is an admitted adulteress who would have been stoned to death in Bible times. It doesn't matter, because Kim Davis's hypocrisy - amusing though it may be - is not the issue.

Even if the Bible spelled out in exact words "county clerks shalt not issue licenses of marriage to two dudes, thus sayeth the Lord," that Bible passage would have no bearing on the laws of the United States of America or of the State of Kentucky or of Buttfart County or wherever she lives. No one's religion gets to determine whether they have to follow the law. Even if Kim Davis had been married only once instead of four times, and even if Kim Davis hadn't conceived at least one child out of wedlock, and even if Kim Davis hadn't had at least one extra-marital affair, even if she was not guilty of the slightest bit of hypocrisy, she's still wrong. Marriage equality is the law of the land and Kim Davis is in violation of the law. That is the only thing that matters.

Yes, it's humorous how the self-righteous hillbilly has violated so many of the religious precepts she claims to hold so dear, but it doesn't matter. There is no level of sincerity that allows her to deny other people their rights. Even if she followed every rule in the Bible to the letter, she doesn't get to inflict her Bible on the people of Assbutt County or wherever she lives. No one gets to do that. This is America, not ancient Israel.