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View Diary: Keep Your Religion Out Of My Bloody Life (357 comments)

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  •  Who could have thought citizens united (26+ / 0-)

    would make corporations churches, I suppose they will go for charitable status now

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 06:39:24 AM PDT

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    •  Already done (25+ / 0-)

      [Bolding below is mine.  More at link, of course.]

      The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships,[1] formerly the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) is an office within the White House Office that is part of the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

      Under George W. Bush

      OFBCI was established by President George W. Bush through an executive order[2] on January 29, 2001, representing one of the key domestic policies of Bush's campaign promise of "compassionate conservatism." The initiative sought to strengthen faith-based and community organizations and expand their capacity to provide federally funded social services, with the idea having been that these groups were well-situated to meet the needs of local individuals. As Texas governor, Bush had used the "Charitable Choice" provisions of the 1996 welfare reform (which allowed "faith-based" entities to compete for government contracts to deliver social services) to support the work of faith-based groups in Texas.
      ~~~~~
      Critics of the OFBCI, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union, assert that it violated the Establishment Clause by using tax money to fund religion. They also argued that faith-based initiatives were used as part of electoral strategies to yield more votes for Bush and the GOP.

      For fiscal year 2005, more than $2.2 billion in competitive social service grants were awarded to faith-based organizations. Between fiscal years 2003 and 2005, the total dollar amount of all grants awarded to FBOs increased by 21 percent (GAO 2006:43[3]). The majority of these grants were distributed through state agencies to local organizations in the form of formula grants (GAO 2006:17[3]).

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 06:50:28 AM PDT

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      •  I'm an avout atheist (17+ / 0-)

        somewhat militant at times but my rational side gives Obama a pass on not destroying this program knowing what the other side would have done with the issue at a time when all resources had to go to keeping us out of depression and war.  In his defense he did strengthen the oversight on the organizations.  It needs to go away but we need a true recovery and the Republicans completely destroyed politically to take on such a fight.  

        I still believe Obama a very closeted atheist.  If it got out he'd be destroyed completely.  

        •  I disagree. (7+ / 0-)

          He is in his second and last term. When he ran for office, he promised that he would not allow Faith based grant receivers to discriminate in their hiring and he has done nothing to change that.  PLUS, he has violated separation of church and state in so many other ways, it's hard to count them.

          If he is a closet atheist, then he is really screwing with his kids heads.

          •  The fact that he is in his second term means (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thanatokephaloides, artmartin

            that he goes ahead and makes it harder on any Dem that tries to follow him?

            We really don't know how he believes, I'll take him at his word that he is a Christian. Doesn't matter.

            If he feeds the RW beast with little crap like this it will only fire them up more. They have proven that they can create scandals out of whole cloth why give them more ammo that he is a secret Muslim and Dems hate Christmas for something that really is small potatoes?

            And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

            by high uintas on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:17:22 AM PDT

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            •  So you suggest that Dems allow the (9+ / 0-)

              violations of federal laws on grant provisions and hiring and violations of separation of church and state out of FEAR of the "RW beast"?   Then in my view, the Dems can just fold up their tent and go home.  I do not consider the violation of separation of church to be "small potatoes". Neither did the Founders, as the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights is about that potato.  James Madison made it very clear on one of his first vetoes as President that not one dime should be taken from my pocket to pay for programs like the Faith Based Initiatives.  As a former Constitutional Law professor, Obama should know this!

              •  No (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                artmartin

                I don't like the fb initiatives either. But, in practice they haven't been as egregious as you suggest. If they were violations of the Separation Clause then they would have been tossed a long time ago.

                And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

                by high uintas on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 11:10:42 AM PDT

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                •  They have been very very egregious (10+ / 0-)

                  as they are the only recipients of government grants that are exempt from our civil rights and discrimination laws.  NO other recipients of federal dollars are allowed to discriminate in their hiring.  

                  SCOTUS, in their extreme non wisdom protected the Faith Based Initiatives in Hein v. FFRF (one of the most important cases to have come down the pike in a long time and rarely recognized as such) by making it a part of the Executive branch and thus immune from challenge by Congress or by taxpayers.  In essence, the way the ruling was made, any President could use tax dollars that are put in the Executive branch's coffers by Congress to start his own national church if he so desired.  

                  Hein v. FFRF was an insidious and huge blow to separation of church and state.   However, the masses of citizens blithely went about their daily lives not even noticing the blow.  The ripples from that case are still ocurring, especially when it comes to the tax payer's right to sue the government for violations of the First Amendment.

                  •  Hear! Hear! (4+ / 0-)

                    Just because the legislative branch has passed a law or because a pResident signs an executive order or that SCOTUS declares something is (questionably) "legal" does not mean they've made a constitutional decision, nor that that opinion behind that constitutional decision is moral or ethical.

                    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                    by NonnyO on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:12:43 PM PDT

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              •  Apropos quote (5+ / 0-)
                The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.
                     — James Madison, 4th President of the US, and one of the principal architects of the US Constitution
                I've mentioned my colonial New England ancestors before (and elsewhere in this thread).  The historical tidbits I have of their lives SO does NOT match what the ignorant reichwingnuts think happened with their revisionist history of this nation.
                We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
                ― Benjamin Franklin
                You can never win an argument with someone whose fallback position is based on "faith."  [Daily Kos: midnight lurker, 3 January 2014]

                I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                by NonnyO on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 03:07:29 PM PDT

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            •  Why feed the "RW beast" with anything? (9+ / 0-)

              Why not educate the power-mad bastards by forcing them to adhere to the Constitution's separation of church and state?

              The error in thinking is that one can appease egomaniacal control-freaks by giving them some leeway.  Give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile, then two, then four, then eight... etc., because they'll always double their audacious arguments by taking more.  This has happened many times in the last two millenia.

              How many times did Dumbya &/or Dickie do precisely that???  Dumbya threw countless tantrums..., Congress gave him whatever the fuck he wanted.  The uneducated little toad whose strings were pulled by the VP (probably at Poppy's urging, I'm guessing - Dumbya wasn't bright enough to be Resident, and Poppy had had prior experience from ruling behind the scenes when St. Ronnie of Raygun was in office and going senile) got his way and whatever was in the background as far back as Poppy is now what constitutes the "secret government, secret courts, secret legal opinions" now going on in the Obama years that journalists are finally writing about.

              As far as Dumbya's thanking his Xian supporters by giving them our tax money to do whatever the hell they're doing with funds given to the 'office of faith-based initiatives,' I should imagine some of that finds its way to the campaign coffers of the avowed Xian freaks in Congress..., most assuredly to the "poor folks" who are supposed to get that money.

              The WORST thing for the executive to have an 'office of faith-based initiatives' is to even give the religious reichwingnuts a toe in the door which they will then wedge open and then do a body slam forcing it open all the way ... with the aim of instituting a government-mandated religion everyone will be forced to have.  (Then what?  Change religion to whatever pResident has as each are "elected"?  Force a pResident to have whatever mish-mosh religion our Cretinous Congress Critters patch together with corporations?)

              Read Inquisition, Tudor and Stuart histories of the bloodbath unleashed in Europe and England as a result of the Roman Catholic Church's dictatorial control of kings and queens and instituting their brand of universal Christianity on the peasants and others, and the Protestants who died as a result of rebelling against dictatorial religious control after disregarding the fucking early pope's orders to keep the common people and monarchs illiterate because it was easier to control uneducated people.

              Really.  It wasn't pretty.

              I categorically refuse to appease the reichwingnuts in their quest to "turn this country into a Xian nation again."

              I had ancestors on the Mayflower.  Less than ten years later, other ancestors who arrived after the Mayflower were being discriminated against in MA, and followed Anne Hutchinson & others to Rhode Island where two of my ancestors signed the Portsmouth Compact.  These struggles were the "recent" history from both England and the colonies where my ancestors lived, and most importantly, the lessons of history were recent memories for the Founding Fathers who were a damned sight more educated than the rabble trying to institute religion by government fiat today.  The Founding Fathers already knew more keenly than we do today how fatally flawed combining religion with government was/is, and why the two must NEVER be merged.

              Government is for everyone.  Religion is a personal choice.  The lessons of some very bloody and torturous history is that when the two are merged there WILL be a bloodbath when people protest and do not want government to impose a universal religion on all its people.

              NO toeholds in the door for religions.  NO tax money for religions.  The 'office of faith-based initiatives' MUST be defunded and abolished BECAUSE it egregiously violates the First Amendment's separation of church and state.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 02:52:05 PM PDT

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        •  or that he is really an agnostic or mainline (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indres, thanatokephaloides, artmartin

          protestant who really does not want to get all that involved in organized religion or any particular church.  That is more or less my husband and I , we are not sure if we are just very liberal christians who do not like organized churches or if we are agnostic. ...we fall somewhere in between. I always got the idea so did the President. Now his wife may be a different story, I am not sure what Michelle's religious background is. I believe the President was raised by an atheist mother however with agnostic grandparents, if I am not mistaken? As he talks about only becoming a christian and only attending church once he moved to Chicago. I think that is because so many of the civil rights movements and social programs originated in black churches and in urban areas, a lot of social programs especially go on there.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:03:57 AM PDT

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          •  I don't honestly give a flying fig... (6+ / 0-)

            ... what kind of religion (or no religion) Obama and his family are behind the scenes.

            It. does. not. matter!  We have a secular nation with a secular constitution.

            Article VI, third paragraph:
            ... but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
            Obama is an ex-con-law professor, and - of all people in the Beltway Bubble - Obama SHOULD know better than anyone what our Founding Documents say..., ESPECIALLY since the oath of office he took only has ONE duty: to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.  That's it.  That's all.  Sounds simple, right?
            Article II, Section 1, last paragraph (my bold):
            Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
            The Founding Fathers were smart enough to realize that not all presidents would necessarily follow a religion, so a president can affirm his oath instead of swear (presumably by a deity).  But, oh, lawdy, lawdy lawdy... the fussing and fuming and fulminating the religious reichwingnuts had over the matter of religion before the '08 election was enough to give a person a permanent migraine.  It was/is a false "issue," but Media Morons went along with the religious reichwingnuts like drooling Pavlovian dogs (they still do), just as they did over the non-issue of flag lapel pins.

            No president is even OUR Commander in Chief, and that's not an electable position anyway since the Constitution stipulates the president "shall be Commander in Chief.... WHEN CALLED..."  In other words, he does NOT have to be called upon to act in the role of Commander in Chief, and if he is called and if he does accept, it's only over the military forces.., NOT the civilian population, but a president's position is that of leader for four or eight years for ALL Americans.

            Article II, Section 2, first paragraph:
            The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States...;
            The Bushista years with the MOST unintelligent egomaniacal doofus ever to occupy the Oval Office combined with a Moronic Media that is the laziest EVER which never contradicted all the lies, misstatements, and wrong things written or uttered by Dumbya, Dickie and their staff of war criminals has led to an Obama presidency that is full of Bushista hold-overs and lackeys who are still doing the bidding of the Bushistas.  Remember all the things Dickie said Obama "should do" about ending the two unconstitutional and illegal war crimes?  A week or two later Obama was doing precisely what Dickie said as reported by videos and stenographic media.  That's a serious disconnect on Obama's part and that of his "bipartisan compromisers" in Congress, aka DINOs, who just can't seem to get enough of following all the Bushista dicta left over from those erroneous eight years that should never have been allowed to happen.

            Religion is a NON-issue, and it should NEVER, EVER be an official office or part of any branch of government.  Period.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:07:09 PM PDT

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        •  did you mean... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO, thanatokephaloides, artmartin

          "avowed"

          or

          "devout"

    •  Just a parenthetical behind Freedom of Religion (10+ / 0-)

      Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948 defines a Freedom from Religion and Apostasy (the ability to leave a church without persecution)

      So, if I work at the Church of Hobby Lobby, yet wish to remain religiously separate from it, I can.

      It is too bad that they are using a very narrow argument that has NEVER been supported by The Founding Fathers(tm) or Their Intent(R)(tm) or any of the conventions on Human Rights our country is so famous for championing.

      Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance. Kurt Vonnegut

      by ToKnowWhy on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 06:55:21 AM PDT

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