It’s All a Conspiracy!

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ACLU Concerned That Catholic-based Hospital Takeovers Will Put Patients in Jeopardy

The Washington state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped up to the plate to defend citizens against Catholic health care organizations that would impose their religious dogma on non-Catholic patients.

Joining ten other groups concerned with health care advocacy or civil liberties, the ACLU sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee (PDF), requesting a moratorium on hospital mergers until a “community health needs assessment” can investigate the impact of an institution’s religious affiliation on the availability of legal and medically appropriate care. The letter notes that all Catholic-run medical institutions are required to comply with the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which prohibit contraceptive use, sterilization, and abortion, as well as most types of assisted reproduction.

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Biblical Scholars: Actually, ‘Traditional Marriage’ Isn’t Just One Man and One Woman

Opponents of marriage equality frequently use so-called evidence from the Bible to argue that same-sex marriage is “unnatural,” “immoral,” or any number of harmful (and incorrect) adjectives. But a group of Biblical scholars have come forward to say that, despite what some misguided conservatives think, the religious text doesn’t prove anything about the definition of marriage.

In an op-ed for the Altoona Herald, Robert R. Cargill, Hector Avalos, and Kenneth Atkinson, — all biblical scholars – list all the ways in which the Bible describes marriage as something other than an exclusively heterosexual, monogamous institution:

… we wish to clarify that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type of marriage deemed acceptable by the Bible’s authors.

The fact that marriage is not defined as only that between one man and one woman is reflected in the entry on “marriage” in the authoritative Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): “Marriage is one expression of kinship family patterns in which typically a man and at least one woman cohabitate publicly and permanently as a basic social unit” (p. 861).

This dictionary definition forms the basis of their claim. They say that the use of the phrase “at least one woman” is the clearest sanction of polygamy, which comes as no surprise to those who have read the Bible. In many cases, men with multiple wives were actually “highly blessed,” as evidenced by some of the deeply disturbing Biblical passages you may already be familiar with:

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Christian Mother to Daughter: If You Remain Abstinent Until You’re 20, I’ll Give You $1,000

The good: Mother Katie Hughes talked to her daughters about sex when she felt they were ready to handle the information (at age eight). She didn’t avoid the conversations. She took them very seriously.

The bad: She had her daughters sign a contact with a reward for “good” behavior:

… in a nutshell, it’s an agreement between us as parents and our children, signifying if you refrain from the use of drugs, alcohol, premarital sex and or promiscuity and live a clean, moral life up to the age of 20, we’d give that child $1,000.00 as an ultimate reward for positive behavior.

Okay. Let’s talk about the two issues at hand here.

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Orthodox Jewish Students Kicked Off Plane for Not Turning Off Phones Now Claim Religious Discrimination

A bunch of students from an Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn got on a flight, refused to turn off their phones (an annoying rule, yes, but still a rule), and then got kicked off the plane. They took to Twitter to voice their complaints:

“BIG SCANDAL!” one wrote in Twitter messages to several news organizations, echoing the view of many of the students that they had done nothing wrong.

“Didnt think you’d ever get kicked off a plane? Well it’s possible,” another, Rebecca Rahmey, wrote on Twitter. Asked why by an acquaintance, she replied, “no reason.”

Katie McDonald, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, AirTran’s parent company, said the flight’s crew had ejected the group out of concern for the “overall safety” of the flight. She said the students had violated flight policies and federal air regulations, ultimately delaying the flight by about an hour.

That alone is a story of annoying kids thinking they’re above the law.

But then they started claiming this was done because of their religion, which took the whining to an entirely different — and totally ridiculous — level:

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