“Religious Liberty Task Force”: dangerous

“They are not people of faith but the exact opposite. “

religious liberty task forceI attended church of my choice last Sunday. No one barred the doors or stationed armed militia to block my path. So I’m trying to see what this Religious Liberty Task Force is all about.

ITEM: New Regime Directive Lets Federal Contractors Discriminate Against LGBT People – For Jesus

ITEM: A nominee for a U.S. House of Representatives seat (R-NC) is an ordained pastor who was recorded just three years ago longing for the days when “homosexuality was once criminalized.” “Mark Harris, who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016 but lost the nomination, also insisted that being Christian in America is illegal.”

ITEM: Evangelical U.S. Air Force General Has Secretly Been Running a Christian Online Ministry in Possible Violation of Rules. “AF brigadier general newly in charge of one of the nation’s most celebrated and elite Air Force wings has been running an online evangelical Christian ministry for the last five years—in violation of Air Force and Defense Department rules about religious proselytizing, according to a formal letter of complaint sent to Defense Secretary James Mattis…

[Brigadier General E. John] “Teichert, who flew combat missions over Iraq and the former Yugoslavia, according to his official bio, runs a website called Prayers at Lunchtime for the United States (PLUS). The website doesn’t mention Edwards Air Force Base, but Teichert recently posted a picture of his newly acquired general’s epaulet star, alongside a note about his new rank on the PLUS site.”

ITEM: Florida Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year signed into law a bill that provides $7000 a year in state funding to public school students who are being bullied, enabling them to switch to private, often Christian schools.

Why these are terrible situations! We definitely need a task force to protect us from these religious zealots! Say, what? Religious Liberty Task Force is only protecting what is still the majority religion in the United States?

So this cartoon, or this one aren’t as far-fetched as it would seem.

Stealing from my former presbyter: “I am proud to be part of a Christian tradition that doesn’t peddle in this theological heresy. Let’s be clear, everything these people are advancing from a policy perspective is against the most important religious/theological tenants of all three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

“They are not people of faith but the exact opposite. People of faith do not separate families or desecrate the Creation or engage in militarism or discriminate or abuse women or harm the poor. And people who take sick, perverse joy in this are most certainly not people of faith and don’t need protecting.”

July Rambling #1: Even darkness must pass

Lin-Manuel Miranda and William Daniels Talk Hamilton and 1776

Sister Leslie is out of the hospital, as of ndependence Day. Still healing at home. More probably on July 23.

Flirting with Fascism

The Coming Collapse and Why It is Extraordinary

We Were Warned: What the Movie Villains Should Have Taught Us

As our democracy is dismantled right before their eyes, Americans remain silent

“America First” means China wins

During CBS interview, government agents chillingly showed up to intimidate former ICE spokesman

On July 4th Eve, Jeff Sessions Quietly Rescinds a Bunch of Protections for Minorities

If Pixar Made A DACA Movie

The retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy is as bad as it seems and Anthony Kennedy, You Are a Total Disgrace to America

Larry Kudlow is Never Ever Right

If You Think Basic Income is ‘Free Money’ or Socialism, Think Again

Turks Have Voted Away Their Democracy

Trust Issues, examining the state of trust in 2018

Fatal accidents, off-the-books workers, a union once run by a mobster. The rogue world of one of New York’s major trash haulers

That Property Down In Coeymans: The City of Albany is still trying to get rid of the proposed site of Jerry’s Dump

Tim Berners-Lee has seen his creation debased by everything from fake news to mass surveillance. But he’s got a plan to fix it

Radical Democrats Are Pretty Reasonable

Israeli airline says it will no longer accommodate Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to women

There’s some good in this world. And it’s worth fighting for

An Interview with Deborah Mends, UK College Diploma Graduate and Owner of Your Visual Mind – I first met my friend in the summer of 1977 in NYC

Atomic Roundtable: Harlan Ellison 1934-2018

Gene Editing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

How’s the Water?

Agent Zigzag

Geographical oddities

What to Do When an ATM Won’t Give You Any Money

The Counterfeit Queen of Soul

Lin-Manuel Miranda and William Daniels Talk Hamilton, 1776, Mr. Feeny, and More (2016)

Five Muppeteers explain how they operate their characters on Sesame Street

Shat!

Now I Know: When the Jazz Didn’t Stop Playing and How To Fool the World Starting with Two All-Beef Patties and The Macroeconomic Madness Behind Extra Cheesy Pizza

Yes! The Wedding of Winnie & Thomas

MUSIC

I Don’t Know – Paul McCartney
Come On To Me – Paul McCartney

We Are the World video, re-created by a bunch of talented folks from Broadway

Rasta Children – Playing for Change

First Burn (Hamilton)

Smells Like Karen Carpenter – Moneyshot Cosmonauts

Beautiful Life – Rick Astley

Coverville 1223: Cover Stories for George Michael, Men At Work, and Cyndi Lauper

K-Chuck Radio: Gorillaz in our midst and It’s All About That Bass

Friends don’t let friends clap on the 1 and 3 (Harry Connick Jr)

Cruelty in the name of God

“Anything less is cruelty in its purest form.”

One of the Rob Rogers cartoons that got him fired

On my way to a friend’s retirement party this past Flag Day, I came across a sizable demonstration of folks protesting the cruel and barbaric policies of the current regime, separating children from their parents at the border, including those coming to the border for sanctuary. If I wasn’t already engaged, I might have joined them.

The regime has cited the policy as a negotiating tool in congressional negotiations. It also has worked to block victims of gang violence and domestic abuse from claiming asylum.

Leviticus 19:33-34 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

The Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible in defense of breaking up families. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

The beginning of Romans 13 is fairly infamous, one of the passages used to defend slavery in the 1840s. The use of St. Paul to justify acts of cruelty is reprehensible, as he was an apostle not of laws, but of Christ.

Still, late night talk show host, and devout Catholic, Stephen Colbert noted: “If he just read a little bit further into Romans 13:10, it says, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.'”

Members of Congress protested the separation of families at the border. Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA 4) recently said, “I don’t care what you believe, who you vote for or what you think about the nuances of immigration reform. These kids need to be with their parents, just like every child. That’s it. That’s all there is. Anything less is cruelty in its purest form.”

Ezekiel 47:22 “You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.”