The Watering Hole, Monday, July 6, 2015: How The Right Gets Religious Freedom Wrong – Still

It appears the Conservatives still don’t understand how religious freedom works, even if their State legislatures do. They definitely don’t understand how the Constitution works. Or how Executive Orders work. Even when they lose at the Supreme Court level, the way our Founding Fathers intended legal disputes to be resolved once and for all (it’s exactly what they said, in slightly different wording), they decide their right to freely practice their religion says they don’t have to obey the Constitution of the United States of America, because they are Americans, and they have Religious Freedom, just like the people who amended the Constitution said. Pay no attention to what the later people amended the Constitution to say, such as Equality Under the Law for everyone and Birthright Citizenship, the direct taxation of income from whatever source derived, the direct election of Senators by the People, the right of women to vote, and term limits on the President. Those are Amendments Conservatives have openly stated they would like to see repealed. Because they just won’t accept losing. I consider it one of their mental defects. (I have plenty of my own, as people who personally know me would be quickly paid to list.) But for a party that traditionally boasted their desire for Law and Order: SCU (Skull Cracking Unit) style life to prevail, they show an astonishing, almost pathological, intent to never be ruled by the laws they say the rest of us must follow.

Proving for anyone wishing to check that he has never read Article III of the Constitution, The Incredible Huck (I never believe a word he says) wrote an op-ed for Fox News Dot Com claiming he would not surrender to judicial tyranny, but you will surrender to his tyranny. He began by mischaracterizing the recent SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality thusly:

America didn’t fight a revolution against the tyranny of one unelected monarch so we could surrender our religious liberty to the tyranny of five unelected lawyers.

You mean like when your side told us to sit down and shut up about the Bush v. Gore ruling, the one where five unelected lawyers told the state of Florida to ignore the Constitution and not continue re-counting the votes because the result might harm the petitioner’s ability to claim victory (the petitioner being Bush and the likely winner of the recount Gore), which meant that if the recount was allowed to continue and it showed that Gore won, Bush would have a harder time claiming victory. That is exactly what they said. And THEN they said that, oh yeah, this decision can never be used as precedent for any future decision ever. Talk about judicial tyranny. How was this marriage equality decision like Bush v. Gore? His second sentence proved his ignorance of the concept of Separation of Church and State.

The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and the Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than they can the laws of gravity.

There is a great body of scientific experiment that tends to support the Theory of Gravity as being valid. There is nothing which shows that your idea of the “laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage” exist anywhere but in your religious texts. Nor are any of us constitutionally required to live according to your religious texts. That’s what my religious freedom means. And I have never once heard you argue so vociferously against the marriage of divorced people or pregnant women, just gay people. I seriously question how sincere a religious belief this is, and not simply one of ignorant bigotry. But in case you thought Huck understood Article III, he continued

Last Friday’s same-sex marriage decision by the Court, which rejected the will of people in over 30 states, is an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny.

Actually, the other decision I mentioned was an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny. The Marriage Equality decision striking down the unconstitutional will of people in 30 states (because you don’t vote on rights) was exactly what they were created to do. To strike down laws that go too far, that violate the Constitution (of which the 14th Amendment is still a part). But then, Marbury v. Madison was another decision they didn’t like. And so, in traditional Conservative opposite-speak, The Incredible Huck vows to light a match to the Constitution by ignoring it.

While some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and surrender to the false god of judicial supremacy, I refuse to light a match to our Constitution. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.

Except, Huck, when the Supreme Court rules, it’s over. But you won’t let a little thing like the Constitution get in your way, will you? No, you’re just going to get around it by issuing the biggest, baddest tool of Executive Tyranny you have – the Executive Order. You think that as President, you have the authority to tell everyone working for the federal government that they don’t have to obey a Supreme Court decision. That is a far cry from issuing an EO that tells the Administration how it will carry out a law passed by Congress, which is the purpose and properly constitutional function of an EO. If a President feels a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional, he can fight that law all the way to the Supremes. But if they rule against him, he has no choice. He MUST follow the law. He (or She) can’t just tell the Administration that the oath he took to faithfully carry out the office of President allowed him to ignore the law. Nixon tried that approach and look where it got him. Dead. Okay, it had nothing to do with his death, but he did die Disgraced.

Another Conservative who is either illiterate or stupid intellectually challenged is Texas Attorney General Bill Ken Paxton. He believes that the Federal Constitutionally Mandated oath to support and defend the United States Constitution does not supersede his state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and that clerks in his state do not have to issue marriage licenses to a particular couple if it violates their religious beliefs. And he would be wrong on both counts. Not only must they all obey the Supremes' decisions, but Texas is one of those states that passed a RFRA that actually says you can’t deny someone their civil rights and use the RFRA as an excuse. Which means Bill Ken Paxton was wrong when he told his state’s clerks they didn’t have to issue licenses to “those” people because the RFRA said so, because the RFRA said the exact opposite.

What the Bill Ken Paxton’s of the world keep ignoring was the original intent of the federal RFRA. It was passed after the Supremes said Native Americans couldn’t use peyote in their thousand-year-old rituals if the federal law says nobody can use it. They thought they were being fair to everyone by saying that the law didn’t allow for any religious exemptions, so nobody could claim one. Except nobody, I mean nobody, seriously meant for federal anti-peyote laws to apply to people who appeared to be responsibly using it for millennia. So they passed the national RFRA to protect the right of Native Americans to practice their religious rituals. And nobody, and I mean nobody, intended for the law to be used to protect someone’s right to violate another person’s civil rights. And the first few state level RFRA’s were similar to the federal law. But that began to change in recent years, and Conservative Christians began using RFRA’s to claim the right to deny their services to gay couples on the grounds that it violated their religious beliefs to in any way support an attempt by gay people to get married. Never mind that the part they were being asked to play may have had nothing at all to do with the marriage itself (though some may), or that it seemed to be the only thing they refused to do on religious grounds. There are plenty of other people in both Lev 18 & Lev 20 (the source of the Conservative Christian Contempt for Teh Gay) that you’re told to treat just as harshly (be it banishment or stoning) but that you refuse to treat so. Are your religious beliefs only that strong when it comes to gay people? You have no problem selling a bridal gown to a pregnant woman? You have no problem selling wedding rings to a divorced woman? You only have a problem selling a cake to a couple of guys who want to celebrate the marriage ceremony they just finished with a party for their friends. I have a seriously hard time believing your wish to discriminate against gays has anything whatsoever to do with your religious beliefs, and everyone to do with your ignorant bigoted ones. So don’t ever lie to us again and claim your religious freedom is being threatened, because it’s not. As some of you know, I live in New York State (to my first-time visitors, How ya doin’?), and when we passed our Marriage Equality Act, we allowed churches and clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples. I’m pretty sure even more conservative states would have fiercely insisted on having such an exemption in their laws, too. And rightly so.

And nobody’s, I mean nobody’s, religious freedom is being denied in any way. Only their hate.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss religious freedom or anything else you want.

82 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, July 6, 2015: How The Right Gets Religious Freedom Wrong – Still

  1. Well spoken, Wayne.

    pHuckabee and the other Christian Jihadists in the Republican Clown Car seem to have adopted as their political methodology that old and once popular thesis: “All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.” That ‘religious freedom’ crap — i.e. the “right” to impose your beliefs on people you hate — has a long and dubious history. Personally, I can’t decide who is more fucked up these days — Amurkkka’s far right evangelicals or ISIS. Their twin goals of imposing Theocracy only seem to differ in the details of their propaganda, both of which have been ‘adapted’ to the ‘spiritual levels’ and ‘perceptions’ of the “least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself.”

    Interesting how it is that one of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” theses still finds popularity in tyranny projects from opposite sides of the “religious freedom” coin, i.e. Christianity and Islam in the current context. Also interesting how tyranny always depends on low intelligence to succeed.

  2. upcHuckabee and the other reichwhiners are so embedded in their white privilege that they think that the extension of previously denied rights to others is an infringement upon their own.

  3. My religious freedumb includes a prayer to the FSM to strike down morons like pHuckster with slimy noodles and unsweetened marinara.
    Meanwhile, Amurkans are gonna get a wakeup call next year as for-profit HC companies do what they do best, raise rates through the roof
    I guess we’re just too stupid to do what the rest of the civilized planet does and adopt single payer.

    • The ACA’s biggest fault is that it didn’t bankrupt the big insurance companies. The fact remains that the ONLY way to positively reform health care is to zero out corporate profit. Universal single payer would cost a LOT less even with the tax hikes it might cause, and it would be a lot more efficient and effective — the two greatest and most egregious possible downsides to the right wing money machine.

    • There is a provision in the ACA for single payer healthcare to become a reality. It could start to evolve in 2017. Knowing that, the Insurance carriers are in a money grab mode.

  4. When the marriage equality bill prohibits hetero couples from wedding, then they will have something to beef up. Till then, just snot dribbling from their protruding snouts.

  5. Dobson: ‘I Fear That God’s Judgment Will Befall This Once Great Nation’ Because Of Gay Marriage Ruling

    “I grieve most for what it will do to our children, our grandchildren, future generations. They will be taught that right is wrong and that wrong is right and that the teaching of Scripture are unreliable and inaccurate.

    Personally, I’d like to think that in the future it will finally become apparent that “the teaching of Scripture are” not only “unreliable and inaccurate” but that they’re also bullshit. Now of course if Dobson or any other religious advocate can ever manage to provide ONE SINGLE SHRED of verifiable evidence that their beliefs are based on FACT and not rumor, I’d be willing to listen. But I won’t hold my breath in anticipation.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to see a Constitutional amendment that defines religious freedom. I propose that it read, “Believe what you wish, worship in whichever way pleases you. But keep it to yourself. And when you’re not in your prayer and worship closet, STFU!!

    • Fear, FEAR FEAR!
      Figures, since that’s what all religions are based on to begin with.
      Fear of the unknown non-afterlife,
      Fear of the wrath of Gawd.
      Fear of eternal damnation.
      Fear of each other.
      Fear of their own genitalia.

      They will be taught that right is wrong and that wrong is right and that the teaching of Scripture are (sic) unreliable and inaccurate.

      There, fixed it for them.

      • Fear is deemed cool because:

        There’s MONEY IN IT!!!

        Scare the shit out of the intellectually blank masses, and then pass the collection plate. And what’s so cool about MONEY is the POWER you can buy with it! Yeah!

        Me, I simply look forward to the sixth mass extinction.

    • “Trump is currently polling number 2 among Republicans in New Hampshire.” That factoid, plus the fact that Jeb Bush is polling number 1 tells me all I ever wanted to know about the intellectual capacity of New Hampshire Republicans. They have zeroed themselves out.


      • I’ve been telling people a vote for trump is a vote for “None of the Above.” It is not true that he is getting the second highest vote totals; it is true that whatever percent vote for Trump are saying they don’t like any of the other choices on the list, including Jeb.

        That’s how I interpret the results. I don;t go nuts and say it means Trump is polling second. None of the Above is polling second, it;s just not an official choice on the ballot.

        As a side note, my spell checker still thinks “Jeb” isn’t a real word or name, so it suggests the following alternatives:


        That list amuses me, so I won’t add “Jeb” to my dictionary for now.

        • Jeb ain’t a real word, just his initials. Dubya wasn’t real either, of course.

          If I were a spell czecher, btw, I’d add the word “stupid” for a Jeb wordsearch. 😉

  6. via LGF

    North Carolina Pastors Raise “Christian Flag” Above US Flag
    “The Lord just laid on me”

    Two Baptist pastors in North Carolina’s Cleveland County have decided it would be a great idea to raise a “Christian flag” above the American flag. Who knew there was a “Christian flag?” Yes, these are the same people who freak out if anyone looks cross-eyed at a US flag, …

    • Have you seen “Jesus Camp”? The whole thing is creepy and disturbing but one of the creepiest and most disturbing parts was when a family of home”schoolers” begins their day with a pledge to “the Christian flag of America”.

      • I doubt the pastor was a Naval chaplain, nor was it on a ship at sea.

        When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag – of a state, community, society or Scout unit – the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

    • I keep awaiting the day CrazyJoe would become a resident of his own prison.
      Did anyone let him know that Obama can’t run for a third term so what effen difference does it matter about the birth certificate?

    • Keep handing him shovels and perhaps someday the sides may completely cave in and satan can pull him down to hell.

    • Did George Will really say that Donald Trump is a ‘one man Todd Aiken’?

      How many Todd Aikens were there, at the peak?

  7. From SPLC

    Today in 1957, Althea Gibson made history by becoming the first woman of color to win The Championships at Wimbledon. While her home state fought to remain segregated under Jim Crow laws, Althea confronted racism and prejudice head-on, emerging victorious.
    -via Civil Rights Memorial

    • Tuesday Weld sure was pretty. I still like to catch a Dobie Gillis once in a while, in case she’s in it.

  8. For our vinylspear:


    Google Doodle 07.07.2015 Eiji Tsuburaya’s 114th Birthday

    and of course ‘it’s big and terrible’ (Raymond Burr)

    • The El Rey network has been running twenty four hours of the Godzilla series all weekend.
      God how I love of beat, non mainstream channels.
      Reality teevee at its finest.

  9. Berkeley Breathed
    4 hrs ·
    Ah, great news. HBO has picked up my production company’s new animated circus show: “Cirque du Thbbft.” Here’s the funny thing — and I can say because this is just between me and you Bloom Countyniks: the show sucks. But HBO insisted that America wants it. And honestly, if that’s what this country wants, I say give it to ’em. Here’s one of the leads from the pilot episode:

    Click here for a good laugh from BB

    • Calendars existed before Jesus supposedly walked the Earth. Also, I don’t add the “A.D.” when I wrote the year, so Si’s point is totally lost. What if I go by the Chinese Calendar? Would that still mean I don’t exist?

      • Time is a cruel invention to create the illusion of growth.
        In truth, the moment we are born we begin to die.

      • BC — Before Christ, and AD — Anno Domini have been dumped and replaced by BCE — Before the Common Era and CE — Common Era, resp., so this current year is 2015 CE. The “zero” point didn’t change, i.o.w.

    • Jane deleted a ‘parent’ comment. The ones at the bottom are ‘orphans’, replies underneath the deleted comment.

      • Thanks, house. You were right. I restored the comment she deleted, deleted the first comment (to which there were no replies), and the orphans went back to their parent.

        Thanks, house. You helped bring a family back together. 🙂

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