What Does Religious Freedom Mean to America?
Indiana shocked the nation with their passage of legislation that appeared to allow people and businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community. The debate was fueled when a company in New Mexico refused to bake a wedding cake for two gay men who were to be married. The conservative Christians claim the Bible supports their opposition to LGBT lifestyle—specifically referencing Leviticus. Jesus said nothing on the subject. Sometimes "laughter is the best medicine" and I hope to add some levity to this subject.
In her radio show, Dr. Laura Schlesinger (popular conservative radio talk show host) said homosexuality is an abomination according to the Bible, Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, and was attributed to a James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... end of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of GodÕs Laws and how to follow them.
1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual unseemliness — Lev. 15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord — Lev. 1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2. clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or should I ask the police to do it?
6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination — Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?
7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?
8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev. 24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
James M. Kauffman, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus Dept. of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia
Arizona Immigration Law RacistThis morning (7.13.10), the white supremacist political party American Third Position (A3P) proudly announced its donation to the fund recently established by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to defend that state's controversial new immigration law. source
"The American Third Position has just made a triple-digit donation to Arizona's Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund," the group announced in an E-mail alert. In describing its own mission, A3P says it "exists to represent the political interests of White Americans."
Brewer claims SB 1070 will not target persons based on their skin color. But A3P begs to differ, seeing SB 1070 as a tool for the reinstatement of White political control.
"We support all constructive endeavors by private citizens, businesses, local governments - or in this case a sovereign state - to stem and reverse the browning of America ... Arizona's enforcement statute represents the best current opportunity to reduce [brown-skinned immigration]. From its inception, A3P has been disseminating the nightmarish facts regarding the financial, social and demographic consequences of the unprecedented invasion from the south."
More Bullshit from ArizonaMeet Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County in Phoenix, Arizona. He's known in the US as 'America's Toughest Sheriff,' and boy is he proud of this title. source
Does Arpaio’s hard line approach work? Evidence shows Arpaio's approach is a proven failure at reducing crime. From 2002 to 2009, the crime rate in Maricopa County increased 58%, while the state as a whole averaged a 12% decrease. Compare that 58% crime increase to other localities of Arizona that did not use the immigrant-targeting approach. Phoenix enjoyed a 14% decrease; Tempe, a 26% decrease; and Mesa, a 31% decrease. See chart below. source
Christopher Hayes, editor with The Nation, posts to Twitter"Anyone notic that the pres signed a $680 BILLION defense approp bill in the midst of our heated debate about $90 BILLION a yr for healthcare?"
We're burning nearly $10 billion a month combined in Afghanistan and Iraq, two countries where their citizens repeatedly ask to go home, while America's private sector has collapsed leaving over 17 percent of workers looking for sufficient employment to feed their families; our state governments are collapsing while facing the H1N1 pandemic; our public education is besieged; yet our MOST RICH have more money that ever.
Buffett Tells Democrats the Rich Need to Pay MoreWarren Buffett, the renowned investor and the world’s second richest man, told Senate Democrats that wealthy Americans need to pay higher taxes, giving Democrats something to mull as they address healthcare reform and soaring federal deficits.
"He said rich people are not paying enough taxes," said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). "It was interesting to see someone who is such an aggressive capitalist, who believes so much in our capitalist system, saying we've got the scales way too heavily toward people who are very, very wealthy."
Buffett told lawmakers that because of the cuts to the capital gains tax passed under former President George W. Bush, he pays taxes at a lower rate than some of his company's employees. Buffett said he paid a 16.5 percent tax rate on all his income because the tax rate on investment dividends and long-term capital gains is only 15 percent. By contrast, a single employee at Buffet's firm, Berkshire Hathaway, who earns between $33,000 and $83,000 must pay a 25 percent federal income tax rate. source
The U.S. Created the Internet - Now We're a Nation Left BehindBased on research by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the study found that the United States now ranks 28th in the world in terms of Internet speed, with countries like Japan, South Korea, Sweden and others far ahead. "At our current rate of progress, it will take the United States 15 years to catch up with current Internet speeds in South Korea which are currently four times faster than the U.S.," CWA President Larry Cohen said.
What if we had allowed this to happen when the Soviet Union put a satellite into orbit? We would likely be speaking Russian today. Instead we were led by a courageous and great president who demanded excellence. Demand excellence now - although communism is no longer a threat - high speed Internet allows our businesses and workers to compete in an intense global market. Let's return America to greatness!
The Grade - D: A Nation Left BehindSecretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed Americans today (8.26.09) and summarized a special analysis from the National Center for Education Statistics. The report compared 15-year-old U.S. students with students from other countries in the Organization for Economic Development.
U.S. students placed below average in math and science -- which is a national score of a D!
We've been arguing for years that our national education philosphy is off base. As we focused on an under-funded No Child Left Behind program, our students have faltereed. Duncan stated, "I think we have become complacent. We've sort of lost our way."