Freedom From Religion Foundation Takes On Texas Cheerleaders

I just love it when militant secularists pick the wrong opponent. Anyone dumb enough to take on a group of Texas cheerleaders deserves the ensuing fight.

According to an ABC News story, a cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, near Beaumont Texas, were in the habit of holding up banners with Bible verses painted on them at football games.

Enter the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison Wisconsin. These folks, with their extraordinary sensitivities, were evidently so outraged at the thought of high school banners 1200 miles away that they felt compelled fire off one of their threatening phone calls to the Beaumont school superintendent.

The superintendent then forced the cheerleaders to stop holding up the banners.

Presumably, this allowed the outraged Wisconsin Freedom From Religion people to go back to sleeping at night, assured that they had stamped out the great banner threat to their goal of ending freedom of speech when they don’t like what’s being said. But they didn’t reckon with who they were dealing with. Evidently cheerleaders in Wisconsin are made of different stuff than they are in Texas. If the FFR people had asked me, I could have told them they were in for a fight.

You don’t mess with Texas.

You really don’t mess with Texas cheerleaders.

The cheerleaders are going to court. The ABC News article says in part:

Texas Cheerleaders Fight Back Over Bible Verses
Ryan Owens (“ABC News,” October 4, 2012)

Cheerleaders in a small East Texas town that worships two things — God and football — are now fighting back after the Bible verses they painted on banners to display at games were banned.

The cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, just north of Beaumont, Texas, would show their support for the team, and also display their religious beliefs, by painting Bible verses on the banners players run through before every game.

“We just wanted to encourage the boys,” one cheerleader said.

The banners apparently offended someone, though, and that unidentified person complained to an atheist group, which argued that the Bible banners amount to a public school’s advocating a particular religion, which is unconstitutional.

“This is not a Christian school and they cannot misuse their authority,” Annie-Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.

Ultimately, school superintendent Kevin Weldon forced the cheerleaders to stop using scripture on the banners.

That was when the squad members put down their pompoms and picked up the phone, calling attorney David Starnes, who argues that the banners are not school sponsored.

“It was student led … student initiated,” Starnes said.(Read more here.)

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President Obama and Religious Freedom, the Lighter Side

St Peter’s List, has a series of political cartoons concerning President Obama, the Church and the HHS Mandate which they have generously offered to share. I’m printing some of them here. Enjoy

For the whole article or to visit St Peter’s List, go here.

 

 

 

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Two of My Former Colleagues Duke it Out Over Tranny

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Judge Bill Graves, former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, has issued a ruling that is being appealed by the Oklahoma ACLU whose director is Ryan Kiesal, another former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

I know both these men well. They are both take-no-prisoners advocates for their decidedly oppositional positions in the culture wars. Judge Graves served in the Oklahoma House from 1978 to 2004 with a two-year hiatus to run for another office. Ryan Kiesel served from 2004 to 2008 when he left to move on with his career.

My husband likes to tease Judge Graves by calling him “Mainstream.” Judge Graves may be somewhat to the right of Attila the Hun, but he has a good sense of humor and doesn’t take offense, even when, as is not the case with my husband, offense is intended.

Ryan Kiesel, back when he was in office, was the vice chair of the Oklahoma House of Representatives Democratic Caucus. While he was in that position, he used to yell (and I mean YELL) at me several times a month, telling me to GET OUT of the Democratic Party, mainly for being pro life. He’s a decent guy, loves his wife and baby and is deeply sincere about his beliefs. He just has trouble understanding where he leaves off and other people with their varying ideas begin.

If I had a flat tire on the side of the road, either one of these two men would stop and help me. Or at least Ryan would stop and help me if he didn’t recognize that it was me.

It seems that Mainstream … er … Judge Graves had a case before him having something or other to do with a transvestite/transexual who wanted to change his/her name to something else because of a “transition from male to female.” According to a Daily Oklahoman news story, Judge Graves told this person “you can’t change what God gave you.” Whereupon, Ryan Kiesel and the Oklahoma ACLU rode in on their white horse and filed an appeal against Judge Graves.

Since I know all the players in this little drama (with the exception of the name-changing transvestite/transexual, who has my sympathy) it has the quality of a farcical playlet for me. I can’t stop laughing as I type this.

I don’t know if you’ll enjoy it as much as I do, but if you are interested, here’s a bit of the resulting news story for your fun and amazement.

The Oklahoman’s Watchdog Team: Looking out for you.

ACLU files appeal of Oklahoma judge’s order denying name change

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge’s decision that denied a name change.

By Nolan Clay | Published: September 28, 2012 1
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on Thursday appealed a judge’s

refusal to let an Oklahoma City man planning on a sex change to have a feminine name.

The ACLU filed the appeal at the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Oklahoma County District Judge Bill Graves on Aug. 30 refused to let James Dean Ingram, 29, of Oklahoma City, have the name Angela Renee Ingram.

Ingram told the judge in a petition the reason for the name change request was “transition from male to female.” Ingram said the judge stated, “You can’t change what God gave you.”

Ingram wants to have sex-change surgery. Ingram already dresses in women’s clothes, has a purse, is seeing a therapist and is taking hormones.

“A person’s name is a fundamental part of their identity, and it is indefensible for a judge to rob someone of their legal right choose their own name,” said Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. “Judge Graves’ persistent imposition of his own value system in place of the law and his denial of our client’s right to have the name of her choice is an injustice we are determined to right.”

Three advocacy groups, Oklahomans for Equality, Cimarron Alliance and The Equality Network, issued a news release Thursday strongly supporting the appeal. (Read more here.)

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I Guess I Can Get My Rosary Out of the Trash

I guess I can get my Rosary out of the trash and pull my statue of Our Lady down off the closet  shelf. 

It turns out that Jesus didn’t have a wife, after all. In fact, the “great find” which was supposed to “prove” that He had a wife isn’t a for-real artifact from the fourth century at all.

It was a year or two ago that somebody put a “special” on television revealing the location of Jesus’ grave. Not, mind you, the grave from which He rose from the dead, but the more ordinary kind of grave where when they put you there, you stay.

Then there are the annual was-Judas-a-misunderstood-revolutionary-who-was-just-trying-to-test-Jesus Easter specials. Let’s not forget the so-called historical Jesus Christmas shows which “prove” basically that Jesus never existed. We’ve got the Moses never lived Passover pageants and the Apostles hid Jesus’ body and then lied all the way to their own martyrdom Lenten fare.

I won’t even go into the was-Jesus’-real-father-a-Roman-soldier-on-leave extravaganzas that can pop up anytime of the year. Those are just too cute to talk about.

Every one of these goofball “scholarly” presentations has something in common with all the others: Each of them is conjecture presented as fact. Add to that their obvious agenda and I come to a question of my own:

Why in the name of ponzi schemes and intellectual shell games does anyone with half a brain pay attention to this tripe?

What would it matter if the piece of manuscript on which Jesus was supposed to have talked about his wife hadn’t been a fraud? Even the person who put it forward said that it was written four hundred years after the Resurrection. That’s the equivalent of me writing something about King James I on a piece of paper and then some idiot in the year 2800 coming across it and telling everyone that what I had written “proved” that say, King James I was ten feet tall and rode a unicorn to church.

If they believed that, they’d be stupid. The same way that people who get all excited about these supposed “proofs” concerning Christ the Lord are stupid.

We can’t stop people from making fools of themselves with this stuff. Their naked agenda to shake people’s faith appears to be irresistibly compelling to them. They just keep pumping it out, one shot across the bow of faith after another, and every time they do it, some silly sap somewhere takes them seriously.

But as for me, I think the next time this happens, I’m just going to switch the channel. That’s a lot easier than fishing my Rosary out of the trash and pulling my statue of Our Lady down off the closet shelf every few weeks.

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My Archbishop is Not a Wimp

Archbishop Coakley is the one in the middle.

My religious leader, Archbishop Paul Coakley, is not a wimp.

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, along with a small group of Catholic bishops and priests from America, walked the El Camino de Santiago in Spain. The El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) is a 100 mile pilgrimage that leads to the tomb of St James in Santiago, Spain. They made the walk August 21 to August 28.

The priests and bishops who made the pilgrimage together were: Archbishop Coakley, Bishop James Wall of Gallup NM, auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver Co,  Fr Gerry Baker of Owensboro KY, and Fr Don Kline of Pheonix, AZ.

I’ve been to the tomb of St James in Santiago. The church which houses the tomb has a stone near its entrance which has been kissed by generations of pilgrims as they complete their long walk. The stone is worn away, hollowed out, by a thousand years of pilgrims, touching their lips to its cool surface.

I kissed this stone. However, I cheated. I walked to the church … from my hotel. My “pilgrimage” was a lot less rigorous.

But then, I AM a wimp.

Clearly, my archbishop is not.

For more details, read here.

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Singin’ Those Swing State Blues

According to a recent Associated Press story, the upcoming presidential election will come down to how people vote in these seven states:

Colorado

Florida

Iowa

Ohio

Nevada

New Hampshire

Virginia.

The message for residents of these states is clear: Lock up your babies and little old ladies. It’s going to be a bumpy fall.

For the next three months, you and your vote will be the quarry of big-game hunting politicos willing to twist every knob, turn over every rock and crawl down every hole in search of that elusive 51% of the votes in your state.

You and your vote are the object of their desire, the purpose of their actions and the subject of their dreams. The candidates and their campaign teams will become your new best friends. They’ll prove it by never letting a moment of any campaign day slide by without reaching out to touch you in some fashion.

They’ll come to you over the phone with robo calls from the candidate, his wife, the governor, the mayor, your preacher and maybe a Hollywood star or two. Flip on your tv and they’ll blare at you with yappy ads. Go to your mailbox and there they’ll be again. You’ll be observed, polled and think-tanked to smithereens.

The reason for all this attention is simple. You can’t make up your mind.

After what seems like years of campaigning and political back and forth, you still don’t know which one of these two guys you want for your president. I’m not sure what it is about Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia that makes you so indecisive, but it does seem that this happens to you a lot.

While you folks are getting pummeled and pushed, the rest of us who live in the states that made up our collective minds a year ago will watch. We’ll see the “focus groups,” “on-the-spot-interviews” and on election day, the “exit polls” telling us minute by minute what your reactions are to each itty bitty piece of jaffe reporting and the rare actual issue that will come up.

We’ll see you become more tense;  hear your voices as they spiral higher. We’ll watch as the constant hammering from your new best friends Romney and Obama wears away your patience. We’ll listen as you sing those swing state blues.

But we know you. You will not make up your minds. When election day rolls around, you’ll surprise everyone by what you do, including, probably, yourselves.

Until that day (and may it come soon) you’ll just have to suffer your quadrennial punishment while the rest of us watch. Around my house, we’re going to lay in a store of popcorn, soft drinks and snacks so that we can kick back and have a good time at the upcoming three-month-long watch party.

As for those of you in the barrel, you are the front line of active Democracy. You know and I know that the day the election is over, your new best friends will pack up and go back to where they came from. They probably won’t even issue a good-bye robo call. The only way you’ll know they were ever there will be by the tilted campaign signs wilting in the rain and an occasional campaign mail piece hanging out the back end of a trash truck.

My advice to you is to spend the quiet of that day after the day when America chooses its next president unpacking your babies and little old ladies. You can tell them that it’s safe for them to come out now.

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Missing Woman Searches for Herself

This hit my giggle bone and I have to share it.

Enjoy.

‘Missing’ woman unknowingly joins search for

herself

By Ron Recinto | The Sideshow – 7 hrs ago
A woman who was reported missing from an Icelandic tour unwittingly joined a search for herself.

According to the Reykjavik Grapevine, a woman described as “Asian, about 160cm, in dark clothing and speaks English well” was listed as missing Saturday near the Eldgjá volcanic canyon in southern Iceland.

A search continued through the weekend with reports saying she got off a tour bus and never returned.

It turns out the woman merely changed clothes during the bus stop, and after she returned, those on the bus didn’t recognize her.

When the description of the “missing” woman was circulated, apparently the lady who changed her outfit didn’t recognize the description of herself. So she joined the search party. (Read more here.)

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If You Were The One Who Left The Doorway To Hell Open, You Can Close It Now !!

It was 111 degrees in my front yard yesterday. The temperature is heading higher and hotter today.

My cat will not get off the air conditioner vent. I think she’s glued to it. Me? I’m with her. I am officially in love with the air conditioner. My husband may soon be able to sue the thing for alienation of affection.

The green grass is turning yellow. Trees are dropping leaves. Vegetable gardens have stopped bearing. You can take a boat to the lake in search of relief, but you’ll end up swimming and water-skiing in what feels like warm bath water. If it’s possible to swim and sweat at the same time, we’re doing it here in Okie-land.

Last summer wasn’t exactly a comfortable experience, either, and I’m beginning to wonder: Is this the new normal?

OG&E has kept the cool on so far. In fact, I am somewhat in awe of how effective the air conditioners in my house and car really are. But Oklahoma’s power grid wasn’t built for Phoenix temperatures. And frankly, neither was I.

If this is the new normal, we’re all going to have to take a look at how we do things. I, for one, will need to re-calibrate my budget if the electric bills I’ve been paying are forevermore. That means giving up other things I enjoy like eating out with friends and buying my lunch at work. Those aren’t big things, especially the lunches. I might be a lot healthier if I did that. Those are do-able changes. Easy stuff. The low-hanging fruit.

But what if air conditioning becomes too expensive? What if the power grid fails to keep up with the demand? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not ready to live through heat like this the way my grandparents did.

I’m too soft. I’m too spoiled. I don’t wanna.

Hopefully, this post is just the rambling of a woman who spent too long out in the sun today. I won’t go into the details, but I got stuck with my 87 year old mother in a car without air conditioning; not for a long, long time, but long enough. I was scared to death Mama would crater. I could just see her falling over in a heat-withered heap of a little old lady. I had horror fantasies of rushing her to the emergency room. I was panicked and guilt-ridden about getting her into this predicament in the first place.

You know what happened? I ended up with a headache. I crawled home feeling like a whipped dog. Mama came through it fresh as a daisy. It didn’t bother her a bit.

Whatever pioneer genes I may have inherited have evidently gone dormant. If this is the new normal, we need to breed another, hardier generation of Okies to take my place.

Me? I’m thinking a summer shack someplace high in the Rockies sounds good. I believe we can pay for it with the money my family won’t be spending on electric bills.

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It’s Eat a Chicken Sandwich for Freedom of Speech Day !

It’s eat a chicken sandwich for freedom of speech day. Enjoy.

I got the idea for this card from a very similar one I saw on Tumblr. If I find that card again, I’ll give you the person’s name.

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