Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald has an amusing article up about how people in the South claim to love their Bibles… but they’re pretty awful at following the Ten Commandments: No. 5. Honor thy father and thy mother. Ain’t nothing like mom and dad down South. Until you have to pay for them. All [Read More…]
Alabama lawmakers are proposing a bill that would allow public school officials to join prayers on school grounds that are student-initiated. It’s a form of coercion that takes things too far, since the teacher or administrators would effectively be endorsing religion through their actions. It’s not like they’re praying as private citizens, after all, but as government officials.
J. Pepper Bryars, a columnist from Alabama, knows that most citizens want this bill to become a reality, but he cautions them that this could all backfire… (ya think?!)
After all, even within Christianity, there are different prayers that promote different interpretations of the faith, and those aren’t just minor squabbles:
Catholic Bishop: Since There Aren’t Any Pro-Life Candidates to Vote For, Let’s Write in Mother Teresa’s Name
I know Catholics love to put their faith in non-existent beings… but this seems especially futile even for them:
The leader of Rhode Island’s Catholics is suggesting that voters could write in Mother Teresa’s name or sit out the Nov. 4 election because the candidates aren’t “terribly promising” on the abortion issue.
In a piece posted online Wednesday in The Rhode Island Catholic diocesan newspaper, Bishop Thomas Tobin said that writing in Mother Teresa or Pope Francis in protest would send a signal that voters want anti-abortion candidates.
ISIS Beheadings Are Repugnant — As Are Those Carried Out In Great Numbers By Our Pious Saudi “Friends”
Newsweek asks a good question: Why, if Americans are so horrified by the ISIS beheadings, do we collectively shrug about the beheadings carried out by Saudi Arabia, our so-called ally?
Since the beginning of the year, 59 people have had their heads chopped off in the Islamic paradise, in cases that wouldn’t pass judicial muster in a halfway enlightened nation.
The Saudi legal system is based on Islam’s Sharia law. Some countries that use Sharia possess a penal code, but Saudi Arabia does not.
This is what awaits the condemned.
If you are a prisoner in Riyadh, the capital, you might be taken to the ocher-colored Deera Square, which has acquired a macabre sobriquet: Chop Chop Square. Before you arrive, police and security forces will have prepared the area. It may have been cordoned off to keep curious spectators at a distance, but they will congregate nonetheless.
You will be led to the center of the square, on the bare earth. According to one of Saudi Arabia’s state executioners, Mohammed Saad al-Beshi, who was interviewed in the Saudi newspaper Arab News in June 2003, your energy is likely to fade at this point, from sheer exhaustion and fear. You will not fight for your life, nor protest against your restraints.
Also because usually there’s Valium or another sedative coursing through your system — a pill that the regime touts as a kind offering to calm the convict’s nerves, but which is also to the executioner’s benefit: less chance of anger, desperation, and writhing.
Houston Subpoenas of Anti-Gay Pastors Went Too Far, but There May Still Be Reason to Investigate Their Churches
Earlier this month, about 1,800 evangelical Christian pastors across the country participated in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” where they defied the law by endorsing political candidates from the pulpits of their tax-exempt churches. The law basically says that non-profit groups, including churches, don’t have to pay taxes, but in exchange, non-profit leaders (including pastors) can’t tell members how to vote. They can, however, discuss policy issues without the threat of punishment.
The IRS ignored these candidate-endorsing pastors for years due to (what they say were) bureaucratic reasons, but they recently settled a lawsuit brought about by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and promised they would prosecute pastors who violated the law.
Which brings us to what’s happening in Houston, Texas right now.
The city has what’s called the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO). Recently, an amendment was added onto it that offers protection so that transgender individuals could use a bathroom at a public facility that matches their gender identity.
Conservatives were unhappy with that for the usual reasons; some believe that the law would let men walk into a women’s bathroom (or vice versa) on a whim, some are opposed to LGBT rights in general, Houston’s mayor is a lesbian and some people are still angry about that, etc. They wanted a voter referendum on the ordinance change, so they began to collect the signatures necessary to get the issue on the ballot. According to city officials, many of those signatures were invalid, putting a stop to the challenge.
That’s when conservative groups filed a lawsuit against the city.