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This is a bold move, but probably a necessary one if anti-discrimination measures are going to mean anything: The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund is withdrawing its support from the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in its current form, which includes the kind of over-broad religious exemption that plays directly into Hobby Lobby logic. Executive director Rea Carey writes:
Frankly, it is becoming harder and harder for me, for us, to tolerate our own moral and political inconsistencies by protesting the Hobby Lobby decision, then advocating for the current ENDA with its broad religious exemption, and then insisting that the president not include a broad exemption in the upcoming executive order protecting LGBT people working for federal contractors. How can we demand that a woman have coverage for reproductive healthcare at a company but support a bill that allows a lesbian cafeteria worker in the religiously affiliated hospital next door to be fired from her job?

In the last year alone, we have seen a wave of attempted and successful efforts at imposing religious exemptions on issues of reproductive health and LGBT equality on the local, state, and federal level. And it is crystal clear in the week following the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that the momentum is building on religious exemptions. Not 48 hours after the decision, Pastor Rick Warren joined other faith leaders in a letter to the president asking that he include a broad religious exemption in the contractor executive order. We cannot be complicit in writing such exemptions into federal law.

There is a better alternative: federal nondiscrimination legislation that contains a reasonable religious accommodation. LGBT people should have the same protections as those contained in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Legal equality is legal equality.  

This version of ENDA passed the Senate but Republicans predictably blocked it from even getting a vote in the House; the Obama administration is currently finalizing an executive order extending ENDA-type protections to employees of federal contractors, and what form of religious exemption that order will include has been at the center of debate. The president, too, should look at the Hobby Lobby decision and realize that the far right's current plan is to use "religious freedom" to enshrine the right to discriminate in the law.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Since it's not going to get passed anyway (8+ / 0-)

    withdrawing support doesn't have a lot in the way of immediate practical consequences. We have a long debate ahead about constitutional rights.

  •  Other Groups announced on JUNE 5 ! (26+ / 0-)

    Please give credit where Credit is Due.. not just because Rea said it today.

    TWO Major legal groups won’t support ENDA because of religious exemption

    Two major LGBT legal groups announced on JUNE 5, they don’t support the current version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act pending before Congress because of the bill’s religious exemption. -

    Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the religious exemption must be more narrow if his organization is to continue backing ENDA. “We strongly oppose any religious exemption in ENDA or any other federal, state, or local non-discrimination law that is broader than the religious exemption that already exists under federal civil rights laws,” Minter said. “We do not support legislation that will create a new and broader exemption for LGBT people than exists for other protected groups. While we are confident the current discriminatory religious exemption in ENDA will not be part of the final legislation, we will not continue to support ENDA if it is not changed to be consistent with Title VII’s religious exemption.” -

    Proud to be part of the 21st Century Democratic Majority Party of the 3M's.. Multiracial, Multigender and MiddleClass

    by LOrion on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 10:58:44 AM PDT

  •  My new motto: "Equal to a Mormon" (18+ / 0-)

    All of this bluster by the right about their "religious freedom" in discriminating against LGBT Americans clearly shows the way forward for true equality, and it is not spelled ENDA. As Carey notes, inclusion of LGBT Americans into the existing Civil Rights Act (which also protects from housing discrimination and discrimination in public accommodations) is the only equitable solution, and far simpler than passing ENDA. Actually, a modification to the law clearly defining the existing "gender" protections as also protecting against discrimination based on gender expression and identity would do the trick (if you accept sexual orientation as a form of gender expression).

    What kills me about the anti-gay right, though, is how they are totally fine with tolerating all other sins currently covered by state and federal laws. Being a Mormon, for example, (which was defined as a "pseudo-Christian cult" by the nun who taught me religion) is exactly as wrong according to all mainstream Christianity as is being LGBT. Mormons even "redefined" marriage to be for all eternity, not "'til death we do part." Yet no one is (currently) clamoring for the right to fire Mormons to ensure a corporation can practice its religious beliefs, or to refuse to bake a Mormon's wedding cake (even though non-Mormons cannot even attend, much less be married in, a Mormon wedding ceremony).

    I want to be just as equal as Willard Romney. That is all.

    "There is no crack in our pies." - Michelle Obama 6/30/2014

    by CPT Doom on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:00:16 AM PDT

  •  Indeed. Laws for LGBT equality -- and women's (23+ / 0-)

    equality -- mean nothing if anybody can toss a cross or a crucifix onto corporate letterhead and get an exemption.  

    In the end, such exemptions will simply mean that only those who want to follow the law will, with a few outliers who want to discriminate but get busted because they're too stupid to claim it's because (the Christian) God told them too.

    And of course most Americans don't know that it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:00:42 AM PDT

    •  P.S. -- In the end, one hope might be that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, sfbob, darleneh, allie4fairness

      the brain drain of talented women, LGBT people, and allies, plus all the benefits of diversity and equality in terms of freer thinking and promotion of good ideas, will lead to the companies that claim exemptions to harm anyone who's not a straight cis white male falling to their superior competitors in the marketplace.

      As Professor John Bracey said in his video How Racism Harms White Americans:

      "If you look at the cities in the South in 1950s that had attacks on black people... those cities haven't budged in fifty years.  ... Those who had armed struggles against black people have payed the price."  Those who didn't are "modern cities."  "If I'm running a corporation, why would I come to Birmingham?"  "The ones that didn't have enough brains to make an accomodation with black people have paid the price."
      Corporations refusing to come to an accommodation with well over half the population might yet prove to turn out the same.  But several factors make me less than optimistic on this:

      1) Big corporations can become "Too Big To Fail" in our country and get bailed out, no matter how badly they run their businesses.

      2) Big corporations are lined up to get unfair preference in trade agreements like TPP and TTIP.

      3) All the "Right To Work" states and other R laws and SCROTUS rulings against Unions.

      4) The "new normal" of high unemployment (and outsourcing) giving more power to employers and less to employees.

      And even if it did work, it would be a heavy price to pay for all the women who couldn't get their healthcare needs met, and all the LGBT people who lost or couldn't get jobs.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:20:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a smart move in the current climate. (8+ / 0-)

    With the Republicans obviously not going to pass any version of ENDA, and controlling the House, there is no reason for LGBT groups to give an inch. Compromises are for passing bills, and that's not going to happen.

    So, stake out your real position now, and compromise when there is a bill with a real chance of passage to get behind.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:19:55 AM PDT

  •  You know what religious exemptions there (18+ / 0-)

    should be?

    NONE.

    As in NONE. As in you follow the damn law or you close up your BUSINESS. A business is not a person. A business cannot have a RELIGION.

    And if a non-profit is running a BUSINESS, they need to abide by the same regulations and laws as every other BUSINESS.

    If they want to not have employees, but all volunteers, fine. They can do whatever the hell they want.

    Because at that point the people working there are all there of their own free will, and can leave at any point without any financial drawbacks.

    But if you PAY people to work for you, you're a BUSINESS and you should be treated like a BUSINESS.

    •  Too far! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran
      And if a non-profit is running a BUSINESS, they need to abide by the same regulations and laws as every other BUSINESS.
      Should the NAACP pay income taxes on the donations they receive?

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:10:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Laws and regs not the same as taxes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mmacdDE, darleneh, allie4fairness

        Comparing apples and oranges there...

        "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." - Rupert Giles

        by CelticOm on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:01:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, they are the same. Taxes are... (0+ / 0-)

          just a subset of laws and regs.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:36:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All German Shepherds are dogs. (0+ / 0-)

            Not all dogs are German Shepherds.

            "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." - Rupert Giles

            by CelticOm on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:29:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Very nice, but wholly inapt. (0+ / 0-)

              Thank you for your cliche, but in this context, all it proves is that some regulations and laws are not taxes - which everyone already knows, and which doesn't have anything to do with the question.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:49:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Disagree. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raspberryberet

                The point made is that businesses should not have religious exemptions of any kind, and should have to follow the same rules and regulations as all other businesses. You asked whether the NAACP should have to pay taxes on their donations.

                Personally, I don't have a problem with some businesses getting some limited tax exemptions, for example if they are doing extra things for the community, contributing to charities, cleaning up pollution, supporting local schools in some way, etc. There are a lot of things they can do that could earn some secular goodwill in that area, and it can work to encourage good corporate citizenship. We could use more of that.

                That doesn't mean they don't have to follow the same rules of operation as other businesses or that they can impose their religious will on other people.

                As for cliches - they can often be useful in reducing verbosity, but apparently failed in this case.

                "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." - Rupert Giles

                by CelticOm on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:06:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. This is Capitalist Effin' America... (9+ / 0-)

        ANYTHING done for profit or in the pursuit of revenue should be taxable. If it generates no revenue, then it shouldn't be taxed. Either it's all or nothing. The NAACP. the Jewish Defense League, every friggin' PAC superfund, think tank and Center for the Philosophies of Diseased Minds. The Church of Cousin Frank's Possum Humpers, Aunt Helen's Evangelical Tabernacle of the Blessed Snake Dancers... All of 'em.

        The biggest problem this country has ever had continues to be that everyone is equal under the law until someone with an agenda and a suitcase full of bribe money comes along. Tax exemptions are a politician's way of saying that he thinks the special interests funding his reelection produce shit that doesn't stink and deserve protection from "dat eeevil, socialist commie pinko gubbermint."

        So do this: invert the question if you have trouble with my answer: why should the government support all of Da People when most of the wealthy among them, the religions and organizations that get exempted and nearly all of the corporations in the country don't support it by funding it through paid taxes? How in hell can any reasonable person consider that to be "equal"?

        I can't seem make the math work: it's said that 1% of this country owns over 45% of the wealth; yet 30% of the remaining 99% who have trouble finding a pot to piss in (let alone a window to throw it out of) seem to be able to easily elect regressive jug band rabble to positions of great authority that directly influence how revenue is both collected and spent. The only answer that makes sense to me is that ANY exemption for ANY cause is an excuse to screw over everyone else.

        •  Awesome coment! Agreed, agreed, agreed. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allie4fairness
        •  That's nuts. The local Little League? Habitat? (0+ / 0-)

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:37:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes indeed. (3+ / 0-)

            They make money, right? For profit, right? Got employees, right? They use publicly funded utilities like roads and parks, right? How is that nuts?

            Why should they get tax breaks while the rest of us pay for their access to things we paid for and continue to maintain? Why should some politician whose pockets are bulging with bribery money unilaterally decide that their special interest has to become my dependent when I have nothing to do with any of them?

            If anything, the notion of giving anyone a free ride after all the crap the republicans, their corporate owners and their mega church jaw jackers have crammed down the throats of the Middle Class is nuts.

            No breaks. No shelters. No damned offshore banking. You make your money here, you pay all your taxes here. End of discussion.

            •  No, Little League and Habitat don't make a profit. (0+ / 0-)

              They're nonprofits - nonprofits, like the subject of this thread.

              So, one of your very first premises, on which your argument lies, turns out to be incorrect. This is going to lead you to revisit your conclusion, right?

              Also, the connection between Habitat for Humanity and "all the crap the republicans, their corporate owners and their mega church jaw jackers have crammed down the throats of the Middle Class" is less than crystal clear. Much less shelters, offshore banking.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 07:47:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I guess reading comprehension just isn't hip... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raspberryberet

                IF IT MAKES MONEY AS PROFIT, IT SHOULD BE TAXED. IF IT DOES NOT, IT SHOULD NOT BE TAXED.

                I don't know how much more clear that can be... only two words in that sentence have more than one syllable.

                There are more "non-profits" in this country that are nothing more than shallow fronts for revenue generation than grains of sand on Pescadero State Beach. The laws need to be rewritten to clearly describe (probably in small words to enhance reading comprehension) what constitutes "operational revenue" for genuinely non-profit entities versus revenue realized as "profit". The distinction has been blurred by both parties through legal obfuscation to the point where it's currently meaningless.

                Until that distinction is made crystal clear, everything in my opinion is subject to equal scrutiny.

                •  And I guess in the heat of the moment... (0+ / 0-)

                  I mis-characterized my intended premise:

                  ANYTHING done for profit or in the pursuit of revenue should be taxable. If it generates no revenue, then it shouldn't be taxed.
                  My actual intention was to say:

                  ANYTHING done for profit or in the pursuit of profit for purposes other than non-profit operations should be taxable. If it generates no profit, then it shouldn't be taxed.

                  It's easy to get hot under the collar on this subject.

                •  Since you contradicted yourself, perhaps... (0+ / 0-)

                  you could less of a fucking asshole as you attempt to clean up the mess you made.

                  So now you're settling on "No, they shouldn't be taxed," after writing that they should be.

                  OK. Fine. I'm glad I got you to start making some sense.

                  But Don't Be A  Dick.

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:48:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Since you no doubt need a refresher on your words: (0+ / 0-)
                  That's nuts. The local Little League? Habitat? (0+ / 0-)
                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:37:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                   Yes indeed. (1+ / 0-)
                  They make money, right?

                  Derp dee derp derp derp! What part of Yes I mean No why can't you read don't you understand?!?

                  Art is the handmaid of human good.

                  by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:50:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I dont know ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, allie4fairness

        but I am a (fill-in religion) business owner and paying taxes is against my religion. I think I should be exempt from paying taxes.

      •  Do not tax donations, but tax income from (3+ / 0-)

        business activities such a selling goods and services. The rare exception such as habitat for humanity could be compensated for with tax credits.

        No religious organization should get public money for providing social services if they impose religious restrictions on anyone who is not a member of their religion.

      •  Any organization should (0+ / 0-)

        if they use their donations in a political campaign. I've been in a non-profit company before, and the limits on political activism are very well known to everyone in the organization. Allowing them to break those limits defeats the whole intent of the original creation of non-profit exemptions.

        The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

        by Gene in L A on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:49:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's the best comment I've read so far. (4+ / 0-)

      I agree with you 100% percent. Employers have already too much power especially in the era of high unemployment and outsourcing to other countries. In fact, I argue that's EXACTLY why they're getting away with such non-sense law suits. After all, they have Alito and his boys under their thumb. The employer they interviewed on npr insisted that his relationship with his employees is such that they could've come forward to protest his decision to follow the hobby lobby example. Delusional much??!!! .. what would that buy them?! I guess he thinks they're idiots. They know there is no way he's going to change his decision. So why would they risk getting on his black list?

    •  Exactly. Thank you! <eom> (0+ / 0-)

      Someone tell the GOP that politics is not like sports. No one should be a diehard fan of a politician; by the nature of the job, you need to keep a close eye on them.

      by darleneh on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why can't liberal religious (4+ / 0-)

    groups discriminate against evangelicals, fundamentalist, rightist Catholics, etal,  to refuse to employ people who discriminate against gay people or who believe that an IUD causes abortion or who act as sidewalk counselors at abortion clinics.  No one can challenge in court the sincerity of the religious belief.  Why can't employers refuse to cover extraordinary life saving techniques at Catholic Hospitals if the hospital ignores a living will that requests a patient be allowed to die.

    Most liberals wouldn't want to discriminate, but if this Hobby Lobby train is leaving the station to carry discrimination back into our lives, what is finally going to get the attention of ordinary people that no one is safe.  If you can steal rights from one person, one group, you can steal them from all.

  •  I just don't get how it offends your (6+ / 0-)

    religious practices to acknowledge that GLBT people exist.

    What is the religious offense here? You're not being allowed to deny reality?!?!?!?

    •  The religious "offense" is that gay people exist (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, darleneh, allie4fairness, jayden, d3clark

      at all, according to them. Most of them don't exactly say it that way, but that is the crux of the matter. Only people they agree with should exist.

      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:32:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But, there is nothng to "agree with." (5+ / 0-)

        It's like saying I don't "believe" in blue eyes, so blue-eyed people's existence offends my religious sensibilities.  Sorry, they're not going to go away and die just to make me feel more holy.

        That's the lunacy.

        •  Yes it is a attitude of privilege... (5+ / 0-)

          but it also stems from the fact that they don't see it in terms of being an immutable trait.

          However their argument still does not work because even if being gay were simply a behavior it does not matter because we are not a theocracy and we should never be one. They have freedoms and so should everyone else as long as they are not hurting someone. Of course the flawed argument is that gay people are "harming society" which is nuts. These people are in hysterics because they literally believe that gay people will destroy civilization. That is the lunacy right there.

          According to them gay people are responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire and the Holocaust and whatever other atrocities they can imagine. But they are only projecting their own violent tendencies onto others.

          I can't even imagine how horrible it would feel to be told that who I am is destroying civilization and perhaps the whole human race! But I bet the blacks and other racial minorities would understand since the same accusations are leveled at them.

          I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

          by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:44:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  True, but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            allie4fairness, Gene in L A

            Why would they, based upon their own experience, think it's a choice?  If you don't choose to be straight or cis, how can you choose to be G,L,B or T?  Either everyone chooses or everyone can't choose.

            •  I totally agree with you...however that argument (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allie4fairness

              won't work with them because of their '"Holy" Book. That only works with extremely liberal Christians.

              I see arguments about this all the time online and I have never seen a single one of them go, "Oh yeah, you could be right!"

              Let me put it this way, when I was a fundie I doubt that argument would have swayed me. However even then I believed that people had the right to live their lives the way they see fit. Fortunately I was never infected with the "hate bug" that so many of these people have.

              My point being that I wonder whether the argument that it is genetic is the only or even the best way to approach the issue with these people.

              Not that I am saying it is not genetic, it probably is. But no one can actually prove that at this point anyway.

              But the reality is that in one sense it does not matter because it is NO ONE'S BUSINESS how someone chooses to live his or her life.

              There is not a single person in this country who agrees with everything other people do. And that should not matter in the least, because we recognize that they have the right to do things without our stamp of approval.

              In some way I feel the argument is being framed in the wrong way because. I am sorry, but not everyone is going to accept homosexuality and pushing that aspect might make things worse, not better.

              However I think a good argument can be made that since we are a free country that we are allowed to have our differences and live the way we want to.

              That will probably not change the hard-core "gays are evil" bunch but it might soften the dialog a bit for those who are on the fence.

              However this is just my opinion.

              I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

              by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:33:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do take your point that whether or not it's a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                allie4fairness, Pixie5

                choice, it shouldn't be outlawed or otherwise restricted because people are free in this society to choose the way they want to live if it's not hurting someone else, even if it offends the religious sensibilities of others.

                The only problem with this is that if homosexuality is a choice, then people who are homosexuals are less likely to obtain the rights and legal protections they deserve.  If you are being discriminated against because you are gay and it's a choice, then just stop being gay and the problem is solved.  And since, based upon both science and personal experience, we know someone simply can't change their orientation, we are inviting discrimination against homosexuals and offering them as the only way out of that discrimination something they simply can't do.

                Again, I go back to the analogy of blue eyes.  Sure, if some people decide blue eyes are evil and start passing laws against people who have them, people who are blue-eyed can "pass" by wearing contact lenses that are different colors.  But why should they have to go to that trouble and expense because their existence offends someone else?  It's not their fault someone else gets upset about them.  The blue-eyed people should have the same rights as everyone else.  Not merely because they aren't hurting anyone by being blue-eyed, but simply because they are inherently equal to everyone else.  And if that is offensive to someone, well, living in a society that at least claims equality for all can be offensive if you don't believe everyone is equal.  But that's really not society's problem, it's yours.

                •  They demand plenty of rights over their freedom (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pixie5, anon004, RogueOkie, raspberryberet

                  to impose religion -- oops, freedom of religion.

                  Religion really is a choice.
                  They should be free to think or do whatever their religion inspires them to do with other consenting adults.

                •  Yes I do get your point... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  anon004

                  I am not sure what the answer is to be honest. Because you can't really even prove that being gay is genetic like blue eyes are. Psychology is considered a "soft science" although I consider what they say about gay people to be accurate.

                  Back to what you said before, I know I am straight because I have always known. I remember as a goofy teenager having a crush on Shawn Cassidy and staring at his picture all of the time. There was no point at which I decided to be straight.

                  So the same thing applies to gay people but unfortunately the logic that dictates that one does not choose to be straight does not get through to these people.

                  There is a saying that "You can't reason someone out of a belief they were never reasoned into."

                  Well now that I have thought about it maybe your way is the better way. Not that the hard-liners will change but as society in general changes then there will be less tolerance towards bigoted behavior. In fact this seems to be backfiring on them. Westboro Baptist has done a lot to sour people on the bigoted behavior of many Christians. Support for gay rights is actually going up.

                  I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                  by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:03:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It isn't just social science. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pixie5

                    Homosexual behavior has been observed in over 1,100 species.  Homophobes like to call homosexuality "unnatural," and yet it can't be since it is so widespread in nature.  It also can't really be a choice, at least in the human intellectual sense, since a lot of the species in that 1,100 don't make what we would call intellectual choices, or, at least, don't appear to have the brain configuration to make intellectual choices.

                    •  Yes you are correct although I did not know it was (0+ / 0-)

                      that many species. However they dispute the idea that that qualifies as a sexual orientation because they have not found any examples that are exclusively homosexual.

                      The other problem is that they do not believe in evolution and actually find it offensive to be compared to animals. Most animals are by nature promiscuous and they don't accept that as proper sexual behavior either.

                      This to me is strong evidence, especially finding it in so many species. I was not aware that it was that widespread.

                      One thing this does show is that gay sex cannot be considered harmful, except of course if it is unprotected. People claim that anal sex causes cancer and that at least gay men have short lives. In that case we ought to see that in animals too, but we don't.

                      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                      by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:37:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "However they dispute the idea that (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Pixie5

                        that qualifies as a sexual orientation because they have not found any examples that are exclusively homosexual."

                        Because they've followed the sex lives of individual animals over their lifetimes and found that they are bisexual?  Huh?  I know, it doesn't have to be factual or make sense.

                        "The other problem is that they do not believe in evolution and actually find it offensive to be compared to animals. Most animals are by nature promiscuous and they don't accept that as proper sexual behavior either."

                        You can't condemn something as unnatural when you refuse to recognize nature as a valid model for behavior.  You can't use something as a standard that you are choosing to ignore is a standard.  

                        "One thing this does show is that gay sex cannot be considered harmful, except of course if it is unprotected."

                        As you know, there is no such thing as "gay sex."  Gays don't do anything in their bedrooms that straights don't do, too.  (And unprotected sex between straights can certainly be harmful, too.)  Now, if someone is making the argument that anal sex is inherently harmful, there is no evidence of that, either.

                        "People claim that anal sex causes cancer"

                        No reputable scientists or physicians do.  Colon-rectal cancer is caused by genetics, toxin exposure and diet, kind of like every other cancer.

                        " and that at least gay men have short lives. "

                        There was one study from the 1990s that purported to show that, but the problem was that the study didn't control for other factors that could cause early death -- unprotected sex with very large numbers of partners, exposure to violence and drug addiction.  The metaphor for this study would be comparing the health of monks who spend their time mediating and eating organic food they grow to drug-addicted street prostitutes and from that drawing the conclusion that men as a group live longer than women.  

                        •  Everything you said...agreed (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          anon004

                          But especially this:

                          "The metaphor for this study would be comparing the health of monks who spend their time mediating and eating organic food they grow to drug-addicted street prostitutes and from that drawing the conclusion that men as a group live longer than women"

                          Nailed it!

                          I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                          by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:39:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  The problem with the Freedom of Choice (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                d3clark, Pixie5, raspberryberet

                is that then these groups come up with cockamamey schemes like "Pray the Gay Away" because to them a choice is trivial, as opposed to the seriously immutable prospect of this being a condition that existed prior to birth.

                That was how the debate had been framed for many years-==i.e., a Life Style Choice. This is extrapolated to both genders too and used to punish individuals of every age and sexual orientation for failing to adequately satisfy strict gender roles as per this and other religions. Sometimes using threats, and bullying and shunning to force men and women, girls and boys to conform to those roles or be outed as gay, with all the threats that can convey.

                Part of their rejection of Born Gay is seems to be tied up with the rejection of evolution. Seeing gay people as an evolutionary norm that appears on the spectrum of sex identity and gender identity, that serves a viable social and reproductive purpose, that also appears in other species is just more proof that pisses them off.

                It also deprives them of yet another category of person they can use a scapegoat for complex social problems they would rather not deal with.

                If you are gay then you are not pleasing to god and that explains why bad things happen to you. Then they don't have to deal with thieves in their midst, or bullies, or cons, because it's gods will. Get right and stop being gay and all these other problems will go away like magic.

                They truly cannot conceive of how their overly simplistic understanding of human nature causes irreparable harm to Gay individuals in their midst and how that profound pain ripples through their own communities, tearing families apart for no reason, other than to enforce sexual conformity.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:30:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, thank you for explaining that so well... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raspberryberet

                  I see you are right. Now their meme is that they don't agree with the gay "lifestyle" and they usually define it in the worst possible terms. Promiscuity and unprotected sex. Or even WORSE, child molestation.

                  It also deprives them of yet another category of person they can use a scapegoat for complex social problems they would rather not deal with.
                  Absolutely!
                  If you are gay then you are not pleasing to god and that explains why bad things happen to you. Then they don't have to deal with thieves in their midst, or bullies, or cons, because it's gods will. Get right and stop being gay and all these other problems will go away like magic.
                  And also freak storms will go away...It isn't just about God punishing gays, but punishing society for accepting gays as well. I think that may be the biggest driver in all this hate. Fear of the wrath of God.
                  They truly cannot conceive of how their overly simplistic understanding of human nature causes irreparable harm to Gay individuals in their midst and how that profound pain ripples through their own communities, tearing families apart for no reason, other than to enforce sexual conformity.
                  Yes that is the sad part. Even those that are not haters, are causing pain because they misunderstand what is going on. And not all fundies actually have hate in their hearts, they just think it is wrong from reading the Bible. I used to be that way.

                  I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                  by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:19:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It extends to females and males who might not be (0+ / 0-)

                    gay, but who are labeled as such (potentially) for also not conforming with strict gender roles. This pits gay and straight against each other at times, such as the institutionally driven homophobbia in the military, especially prior to the end of DADT.

                    If you were labeled gay, it didn't matter if it was true or not, if that stuck, you could be raped, beaten or even kicked out of the military. So it behooved a person to reject gay-anything in all its forms, to protect oneself from violence or professional censure.

                    I for one refuse to stuff the Gay Rights Bird back in the egg. And I am deeply appreciative of the people in the GLBT community that have been so supportive of Women's Rights in general recently.

                    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                    by GreenMother on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 07:31:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  The unbelievable fact, though, (0+ / 0-)

              is that there are people out there who think they can remember making the decision to be straight. I've spoken with them, and there's no convincing them otherwise.

              The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it.--Oscar Wilde

              by Gene in L A on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 04:07:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  If you are female and perceived as feminist (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raspberryberet

            then you too are in that category, otherwise why work so hard to shame us, control us, and brutalize us medically and socially? Why work so hard to also keep us out of office?

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:21:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget to them being gay is a "choice" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cany, observer963, allie4fairness

          The evil science is lying when it says it's biological!

          Hillary does not have the benefit of a glib tongue.

          by The Dead Man on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:41:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Every time one of these loonies (4+ / 0-)

            tells me it's a choice, I always tell them I'm straight and I never chose it.  I ask when they chose to be straight and could they choose to be gay or lesbian for a year and see what it's like.  I say I couldn't do that, but, obviously they can, because they think it's a choice.  Usually shuts down that line of stupidity pretty quickly.

            •  ... well to give them the benefit of the doubt!!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allie4fairness

              some of them ARE in fact gay ... they're just in denial and in the closet and hide it. So maybe ... just maybe ... they believe that they're "choosing".
              On the other hand ... I give up. I go with "they're just stupid"!

        •  Don't forget, they see it as a life CHOICE. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allie4fairness

          Therefore.... accept the consequences.

          They will never accept that anything other than hets.

          That is their screwed up position.

          The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

          by cany on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:02:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Reality" is not reality to religious overzealous. (3+ / 0-)

      Religious people believe (as opposed to "think") that being gay is a "choice". They have invented all kind of ways to "help" a person become ungay!! So to them, homosexuality is a sin that the person "choses" to commit. Hence, when they stand there and insult gay people and yell that God will burn them in hell, they believe that they're trying to save their souls!! ... You know what? I have always thought if these religious people go to some place called heaven (and that's what they think they're gonna go), that's one place I for sure don't want to end up at!!! there you have it.

      •  Reminds Me Of Some Alice Cooper Lyrics.... (0+ / 0-)

        "Stolen Prayer" by Alice Cooper

        I walk the streets alone
        On feeble bones I ride
        My sins are etched in stone
        I’ve got no place to hide

        I was unshakable
        In what I did believe
        I feel so breakable
        But have I been deceived?

        You showed me your paradise
        And your carnival of souls
        But my heart keeps telling me
        That ain’t the place to go

        I take your words and try them on
        You tell me one size fits us all
        Like an old straitjacket
        And even though I’m chokin’
        All my words are spoken
        All my words are spoken in a stolen prayer

    •  Heh-heh, no. (3+ / 0-)

      What they want, see, is not to deny reality, but to define reality.

      Especially for other people. Oh, and particularly for those to whom they apply the term "people" loosely. Like those who prefer to sleep with others who share the same naughty bits.

      Also anyone with ovaries or abundant melanin, pagans, boys named Sue, drivers of electric cars (treehuggers), teachers, the disabled, anyone getting public assistance, etc., etc.

      And Benghazi.

      "Tea is soothing. I wish to be tense." - Rupert Giles

      by CelticOm on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:57:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Alternatives should be provided: it shouldn't be (3+ / 0-)

    too hard to draft something that the Supreme Court can apply to for profit corporations.  Moreover, it seems that any organization of size should not be exempted.  The Fair Housing Act, for example, exempted small, owner occupied buildings.  Small, religious organizations....not large hospitals....could be exempted.

    Paraphrasing Mencken, today's republicans are motivated by the haunting fear that somewhere, some black guy may be getting away with something.

    by Inland on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:24:51 PM PDT

    •  I would normally agree with you, but (9+ / 0-)

      it appears the RW is willing to turn the spirit of conciliation or reasonableness into an opportunity to gut equality and justice under the law.  And then sanctimoniously spit in our faces and then bless us, afterward.

      We are back at Jim Crow.  For ENDA, for ACA and Hobby Lobby, for Voter ID, for Climate Change.  They are standing in the doors of the school houses with axes, and there is no middle ground left.

      I wish it were not so.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of these United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:15:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ding Ding Ding Ding. (4+ / 0-)

        Tax All Churches Period. Think of how much cash we could throw at the ACA, at Medicare and Medicaid just for starters.

        Tax those jerks!

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks to our LGBTQ (6+ / 0-)

    sisters and brothers for making this move and supporting women and their families.  It is a high price to pay for solidarity, but heartening to see them make the connection between all forms of discrimination.

    •  I wish the move were so magnanimous, but this f... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, GreenMother

      I wish the move were so magnanimous, but this follows the veritable writing on the wall. If you allow for "lifestyle choice" exemptions (religion being the ultimate example of such a choice) the Court will blast that wide open. Women's reproductive rights are simply the canary in the anthracite deposit extraction locale.

  •  ENDA is at risk of becoming a rear-guard action (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    darleneh, allie4fairness, jayden

    The fact is that, as Rea Carey noted, there is absolutely no reason not to include sexual orientation and gender identity  as covered classes under Title VII. Doing something different at this point will essentially have the effect of creating a class for the specific purpose of it being treated differently under the law, merely to assuage a group of bigots. Why such a thing should even pass Constitutional muster at this point frankly escapes me; the very wording of Romer would seem to speak directly against doing so.

    •  well (0+ / 0-)

      The determination for title VII is an executive branch legal opinion accompanied by a genuinely mixed bucket of cases.  Yes, many things tend to go in one direction and IANAL and such, but I hope a bettered ENDA will be back.  Explicit protection under the law is better than "oh we're good", especially when the determination is made by executive branch du jour and then supported, or not, by the judicial.  

      But yeah, this seems like a good move esp. in light of the pending executive order and the limits which might be imposed on it.

      Mileage varies :}

      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

      by jessical on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:52:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "reasonable and "religious" in the same (5+ / 0-)

    sentence is an oxymoron.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:20:10 PM PDT

    •  I Disagree (0+ / 0-)

      I am a transgender Agnostic Jesusian practicing in a Unitarian Universalist church.

      I know this seems a contradiction in so many terms to 99.5 percent of our population as to make their heads explode, but UU's understand it perfectly.

      We are both religious....and reasonable.

      I certainly don't believe in miracles - if you can't duplicate it in a science lab then it didn't hapen....turn my water into wine, asshole!!

      That said, the teachings and life example of Jesus - divorced from the Divine implications and the niracles...they have real meaning and value for my life.

      What I want to ask all these Christians is this...

      In what way are your actions demonstrating the kind of radical love Jesus spoke about, practiced, and advocated?

      I like to think that my actions and words DO reflect that sort of radical love...and this is why I refer to myself as a Jesusian.

  •  Separation of Church and State. (8+ / 0-)

    The State governs labor laws, civil law, ALL laws regarding citizens.
    Freedom of Religion does not extend one's faith to imposing it upon others, regardless of what an activist Supreme Court Conservative majority might say.
    They can choose not to use birth control or have abortions themselves. They cannot choose to deny such options from their employees to whom they are contracted to compensate for specified work performed anymore than they can restrict how said employees spend their wages- the other part of their compensation packages.

    What's so hard to understand about that? Our five conservative asshole judges on the SCOTUS are in position to interpret and set the use of our laws. What measures are in place to depose them for the abuse of that power? I'm not fresh on that. I've forgotten my lessons of decades past.

    This is the Right's last desperate clutch at whatever straws they may grasp. They know the days of their philosophy's viability are numbered. They should have been gone long ago save for their underhanded tactics and powerful lobbies and (mis)information networks.

    This, too, shall pass, but only if we make it so.

    Lead with Love. Forgive as a reflex.

    by Gentle Giant on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:22:13 PM PDT

  •  DFD..Discrimination for Dummies. (4+ / 0-)

    Really? the year is 2014 and we are still debating women's rights, minority rights, LGBT rights ? What happened to our collective intellect and sense of unity? If SCOTUS opens the door to discrimination, then let the Legislature and Administration close it. That is exactly why we have 3 branches of Government, to oversee each other!

  •  What would fix this ... (8+ / 0-)

    is to decouple healthcare from employment once and for all. It has never made sense and that's even more true now. Having healthcare through the employer gives too much power to the employer over people's personal choices as it is clearly evident now with the disastrous SC Hobby Lobby decision. And for this to happen, we need single payer option.

    •  Healthcare Got Coupled (0+ / 0-)

      with employment when price and wage freezes prevented companies from raising wages to attract and retain employees...and some of them circumvented this by offering health insurance instead.

      And it became a very common practice thereafter.

      I agree, we need single-payer system, with the for-profit's removed from the equation.  But this is America, so that will never happen.

  •  and what will prevent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenMother, raspberryberet

    The next step, which is this: "I don't want my taxes paying for contraception."

    We already hear this all the time. Yet SCOTUS says we should just "let the government cover it." Disingenuous, at best.

    It's really the proverbial camel's nose under the tent: we know Hobby Lobby has no qualms about doing business with China or investing in contraceptive manufacturers, so clearly this case was not about that. I fear it's truly about the Opus Dei and evangelical goals: creating a Christian nation that uses biblical law instead of constitutional law.  Once upon a time, I planned for this day, choosing a country that might be my new home. Now I may be too old to go (to be allowed permanent residence).

    "One person speaking up makes more noise than a thousand who remain silent." Thom Hartnett

    by Inkdreamer on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:31:20 AM PDT

  •  Political Affiliations Exemption. (3+ / 0-)

    I guess the next logical step would be for SCOTUS to approve not hiring or firing someone because they're not a member of the RIGHT political party. That will be the next step for the conservative SCOTUS and congressional brown shirts.

    •  You figure it's already happening thanks to allow (0+ / 0-)

      --ing companies free access to everything online with no limits to what one mines for an employee check. Questions one isn't even allowed to ask in an interview can often be solved with an internet search. It doesn't even have to be correct, just there with the same name and approx age.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:38:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh and if you don't have a linkd in page or FB (0+ / 0-)

        page it's because you have something to hide.

        So you are damned if you do and damned if you dont.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 06:39:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If supporters of LGBT people own businesses, th... (0+ / 0-)

    If supporters of LGBT people own businesses, they should start firing and refusing to hire fundamentalist "Christians", citing religious beliefs, using Hobby Lobby as precedent.

  •  And those who disapprove of the military/indust... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kalisiin

    And those who disapprove of the military/industrial complex should be able to withhold tax payments that would go to war efforts, also citing the Hobby Lobby decision.

    •  I AM TOTALLY ON-BOARD (0+ / 0-)

      with THAT idea!

      I'd love to withhold ANY tax payment going to pay for ANYTHING which I do not approve of.

      That means the Pentagon gets NOTHING.

      Food stamps Social Security, Infrastructure, and other job-creating things are the ONLY thing that gets the support of my tax dollars....if, of course, I could use Hobby Lobby logic.

      But of course, we all already know only the big boys get to do that stuff.

      Like Leona Helmsley once said, "little people, pay your tax!!"

  •  What else? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kalisiin

    What else would you expect from HL?

    Boycott NOW!!!

  •  This is actually not new -- (0+ / 0-)
    the far right's current plan is to use "religious freedom" to enshrine the right to discriminate in the law.
    They defended slavery based upon "bible"-based "religious" "argument".

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain. A lie is half way around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:01:10 PM PDT

  •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

    As a transgender person myself....and a small business owner, I know a few things.

    1. No law in the world is going to do ME any good...because anyone can sign or not sign a contract with me for any reason they want.  I have my own brand of equality - RESULTS.

    Stating that, however...there are many of my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters who are NOT so fortunate as I, have not had the opportunities that have presented themselves to me in MY life....and they deserve nothing less than full equality.

    That said, any religious exemption built into such laws should require the entity who is exempted...must derive at least 51 percent of their annual income from recognized religious sources.  I'm not in favor of making actual churches violate their own deeply held beliefs, however misguided I may think they are.  But I remember when the Kentucky Baptist Home For Children tried to use one of these bullshit exemptions, and they get only TWO PERCENT of their funding from the Baptist Church...so that is a load of horse hockey.

    2. I am not so naive as to think any laws will actually fully protect any of us or end discrimination, those who want to discriminate can and will find ways to do so and get away with it...but at least GLBT people would have some form of legal recourse.

    THAT...therefore, is the central issue at hand.
    If the choice comes down to an ENDA that has no teeth, that literally almost anyone can dodge, simply by claiming "religious freedom" or no ENDA at all, I think my fellow LBGT brothers and sisters are better served with NO ENDA at all.  So I fully supprt what this organiztion is doing.

    One can hope that we can continue to change hearts and minds to the point where these are no longer any real issue.  We've come a long way, but we aren't there yet.

  •  Discrimination is not Christian (0+ / 0-)

    Claiming a religious right to discriminate is not Christian by definition of the word as "follower of Christ". Christ commanded us to "love our neighbors as ourselves", and when asked to elaborate on who is our neighbor, in the parable he used to explain, the "neighbor" was the good Samaritan, the person the injured jew had the least reason to expect kindly treatment from, due to a long history of enmity between samaritans and jews. Clearly, Christ expected us to treat even those we have reason to regard as enemies or pariahs with the utmost respect and courtesy, and we are even to turn our cheek to abuse "70 times seven" occasions. I take offense when Christians waving their Bibles claim it is their religious right to discriminate against those they regard as sinners and to make their lives more difficult if not miserable. Christ told his followers to "judge not, that ye be not judged", so when they presume to pass judgement on other's lives, they are only ensuring that they will face the same kind of harsh scrutiny at the end of their lives by the one they claim to follow, and I'm not sure how forgiving he will be of repeated violation of his second great commandment. If we wish to claim his forgiveness of our sins, we must at least offer the same kindness to others, "for of those whom much has been given, much will be expected".

  •  Using religion to OPT out of non-descrimination (0+ / 0-)

    It appears to me, with the Hobby Lobby decision and now others pressing the 'It goes against my religion so I shouldn't be liable/obligated/forced to' abide by laws I deem counter to my faith' attitude, that there is a push to re-institute 'Equal but Separate' way of life in the US. Maybe now not entirely based on skin color (though I still think there is a bit of that in all of this), but now a  SINNERS  move to the back of the BUS mentality. Time for forward thinking Americans to SAY 'HELL NO" we won't move to the back of the bus.

  •  As Bill Maher brought home last night (7/11/14) (0+ / 0-)

    Five Catholic supreme court justices.....

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