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Back July 19th, 2005 Forward
dogemperor [userpic]
'Under God' Lawsuit Moves Ahead

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]seshen)

A federal judge hearing a second lawsuit aimed at barring the Pledge of Allegiance in schools has ruled that the suit can move forward.

"There is nothing whatsoever that requires acknowledging God, (in order) to love this country," said Judge Lawrence Karlton.

dogemperor [userpic]
Mormon Author Facing Excommunication

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]lilithsaintcrow)

Reprinted from God & Consequences

There is nothing so stubborn in all the world as a religion whose cherished tenets are shown to be assumptions or flat-out lies. There is also nothing more dangerous. But for right now, let's just stick with the stubbornness. Readers, meet Simon Southerton, who has committed the grave sin of writing a book saying that DNA evidence disproves Mormon assertions of ancestry. And the Mormons are getting ready to kick him out because of it.

Simon Southerton has been ordered to appear at a July 31 hearing before church leaders in Canberra, Australia, he said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Southerton's book, "Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon Church," was published a year ago by Salt Lake-based Signature Books, a publishing house for Western and Mormon studies. It used established DNA data to refute Book of Mormon teachings that ancient American inhabitants were descendants of Israelite patriarch Lehi.

Mormons believe Lehi was an ancient seafarer who came to the New World about 600 B.C., according to church founder Joseph Smith's 1830 Book of Mormon. Smith claimed to have translated the text from inscribed gold plates unearthed from an upstate New York hillside. His book is viewed by many members as a literal record of God's dealings with early Americans.

"We know from evidence that that's completely false," said Southerton, a plant geneticist who abandoned his church and post as an LDS bishop in 1998 in a struggle to reconcile his faith and science. "The church needs to modify its doctrine."
(Arizona Daily Sun)

True to form, Southerton isn't being called to account for heresy but for adultery, over an affair he had five years ago- after he had already separated from his wife. This is a case of the mote in Stephen's eye and the beam in the eye of the church whose hardliners still practice polygamy and take teenage brides, no matter how hard the mainstream Mormons wish the whole nasty P-word would just go away. (After all, people like Warren Jeffs and Winston Blackmore are embarrassing in every sense of the word.)

This highlights a behavior I have seen time and again in religion: a church cannot admit to being wrong in the slightest lest its tenuous grip on authority- only propped up through fear and brainwashing- be lost altogether. One would think that if any church or religion truly had a headlock on the Divine, they could admit to being fallible and human with impunity and it would be just peachy. However, they can't, much as an abusive spouse or parent can't admit that they're beating and maltreating the people they love. The parallel, to me, seems clear.

"(The letter) completely ignores what is obviously the major issue," says Southerton, who was baptized as a Mormon at age 10 in 1970. "They've been snooping around. Clearly I should be excommunicated for the most serious offense and, in my view, apostasy is much more serious."

Southerton says church authorities never mentioned adultery when they paid him a recent visit, instead bringing up his book, his renunciation of Mormon faith and his years of postings on the Web site, www.exmormons.org.

"I would have to be regarded as a threat to the church," he said.
Arizona Daily Sun

The funniest part of this whole thing is the quote of a Mormon church web page, which a Mormon spokeswoman referred reporters to. Quote: "Nothing in the Book of Mormon precludes migration into the Americas by peoples of Asiatic origin. The scientific issues relating to DNA, however, are numerous and complex."

Um, hello? This is like Enron saying, "We're not disputing that it seems like someone made a lot of money. Oh, look over here at these daisies!" Of course, I could just be laughing until tears roll down my face because I've actually read the Book of Mormon- which Mark Twain justly called "chloroform in print"- and actually had plenty of Mormon missionaries over for dinner and theological jousting.

And as usual, I have a question: if the Book of Mormon is so divine and so utterly right, wouldn't the evidence so support it in such a clear and unambiguous fashion as to convince even me? After all, I believe in quarks and random acts of kindness, though I can see no evidence of the former and little to no use in the latter.

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Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Matthew Sweet
dogemperor [userpic]
Salon Series- Part Two; NYT article about Zach

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

Today's Salon magazine has part two of the series about Christian therapy for gay people.

And there's an article in the NYT about Zach and Love in Action.

dogemperor [userpic]
Utah ID Push

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]gleef)

Does anyone know what's going on in the Utah school system? I've been following the controversy in Kansas and in Dover, PA, but I didn't know of another active "Intellegent Design" push going on in Utah.

From this article:

Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, had earlier suggested he would propose legislation that would enforce the teaching of alternative concepts of human existence. Now he says conversations with the state superintendent of schools have left him confident that teachers who teach the evolution of humanity "will be dealt with."

Current Mood: annoyed
dogemperor [userpic]
Church/state cartoonage

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]seshen)

For your enjoyment. Sometimes we just need to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

http://www.anntelnaes.com/subject/churchstate.html

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dogemperor [userpic]
A Christian thorn speaks out

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]seshen)

As the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, Jack Spong ordained the first openly gay Episcopal priest in 1989. He has claimed that over 50 percent of Roman Catholic priests are gay and that even the Apostle Paul was homosexual. For these and other opinions, his opponents have called Spong a heretic. His latest book, 'Sins of the Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love,' brings a new round of criticism.

Q. Why did you write The Sins of Scripture?

A. Texts in the Bible are being used to hurt, oppress, and denigrate. The Bible was quoted to support slavery and segregation, to hurt Jews, and to not educate women. Today, I see the Bible being used politically for all sorts of evil things. We have a president who wants to quote the Bible to condemn homosexual people. Somebody from within the heart of the religious community needs to speak out against it.

dogemperor [userpic]
Top this for arrogance!

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

A Colorado congressman threatens Islamic holy sites:

DENVER (AP) -- A Colorado congressman told a radio show host that the U.S. could "take out" Islamic holy sites if Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked the country with nuclear weapons.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
What fundementalists need for their salvation

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]sunfell)

This brilliant and devastating article from Orion Magazine takes a sharp look at today's religious supremacists. Here are some excerpts:

Having damned myself in what we might call "anti-evangelical circles," I'd like to qualify that damnation by stating what the word "evangelical" suggests to me.

Religious laws, in all the major traditions, have both a letter and a spirit. As I understand the words and example of Jesus, the spirit of a law is all-important, whereas the letter, while useful in conjunction with spirit, becomes lifeless and deadly without it. In accord with this distinction, a yearning to worship in wilderness or beside rivers, rather than in churches, could legitimately be called evangelical. Jesus himself began his mission after forty days and nights in wilderness. According to the same letter vs. spirit distinction, the law-heavy literalism of many so-called evangelicals is not evangelical at all: "evangel" means "the gospels"; the essence of the gospels is Jesus; and literalism is not something that Jesus personified or taught.

Nor need one be a Christian for the word "evangelical" to apply: if your words or deeds harmonize with the example of Jesus, you are evangelical in spirit whether you claim to be or not. When the non-Christian Ambrose Bierce, for instance, wrote, "War is the means by which Americans learn geography," there was acid dripping almost visibly from his pen. His words, however, are aimed at the same anti-war end as the gospel statements "Love thine enemies" and "Love thy neighbor as thyself." And "Blessed are the peacemakers." Bierce's wit is in this sense evangelical whether he likes it or not.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Even Shrub is being pushed up against the wall by the dominionist monster he's courted...

http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=19151
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=19159
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=8103 (not quite dominionist but dominionist-friendly)
http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200507130813.asp (not quite dominionist, but dominionist-friendly)
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/822xcgvg.asp (not quite dominionist but dominionist-friendly)

Pretty much a veritable who's who of the dominionist groups have told Shrub they don't like Gonzales, not one little bit...apparently the argument is that he isn't a "good dominionist", in that he's voted occasionally for protecting reproductive rights and affirmative action (neither of which are terribly popular with dominionists for obvious reasons). They want a flat out dominionist/Christian Reconstructionist or nothing; in fact...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302188_pf.html
http://www.conservativeusa.org/hpstatement-roymoore-071305.htm (warning: dominionist)

...quite a few dominionist groups are even flat out calling for disbarred judge Roy Moore (yes, the Christian Reconstructionist idiot who does talks at "white citizen's councils", got himself disbarred by his fellow justices in what is possibly one of the two states of the union closest to being a dominionist theocracy *de facto* as is for being too much of a dominionist asshat even for *them*, and is the golden boy of the Christian Supremacists) to be nominated. And the dominionists are pretty damned determined to get what they want...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8443761/site/newsweek/

...even going so far as to state that not only are they going to go actively *against* him should he nominate Alberto Gonzales as a Supreme Court Justice candidate, but they're going to go after his little brother Jeb too:


"If the president is foolish enough to nominate Al Gonzales, what he
will find is a divided base that will take it out on candidates in
2006," said Manuel Miranda, who heads a coalition of conservative
groups called Third Branch Conference. A former legal counsel to Senate
Majority Leader Bill Frist, Miranda went on to threaten retribution
against First Brother, should he decide to run for president. "We're
not Republican patsies," he said. "Jeb Bush can go sell insurance."


Now, this puts Shrub in a bit of a quandry:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-07-04-qanda-bush_x.htm

...as, well, Shrub apparently likes Gonzales, considers him a good friend at that. Most media sources say Gonzales is his likely pick.

Well, apparently the issue of whether Shrub likes dominionists more than people he knows got answered:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/07/19/scotus.main/index.html
http://slate.msn.com/id/2121270/ (profile on the person in question)
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=20783&mode=nested&order=0 (notes in article on support of dominionist causes by John Roberts)
http://empireburlesquenow.blogspot.com/2005/03/to-editor-this-sunday-bill-frist-will.html
http://joejoejoe.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/7/14/175556/803
http://www.redstate.org/section/SCOTUS
http://www.redstate.org/story/2005/7/5/91935/56530

(Little is known about him, but what little is known indicates he tends to be friendly towards dominionist causes)

dogemperor [userpic]
On Roberts

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

[info]solarbird has already published some notes on Bush's Supreme Court nominee, including the following:

Roberts argued, even though the case did not implicate Roe v. Wade, that "[w]e continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled... The Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion... finds no support in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution."

Later stated in appeals court hearings, "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land.... There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent." However, this seems to apply to someone in a position not capable to overturn it...

Roberts co-authored two briefs arguing for an expanded role for religion in public schools. In one case, he co-authored a government amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court, in which he argued that public high schools should be allowed to conduct religious ceremonies as part of a graduation program, a position rejected by the Supreme Court.


Discussion?

dogemperor [userpic]
Judge bars use of the Koran to swear in

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]seshen)

Citing state law, a judge bars use of the Muslim holy book, but some say the move violates the Constitution.

As Muslim-Christian relations are under the spotlight around the world,US judges sometimes face a vexing question: Can witnesses raise their right hand and swear to tell the truth ... on the Koran?

The recent refusal by a Guilford County, N.C., judge to allow a Muslim woman to swear upon Islam's holy text before testifying is, in part, a new First Amendment challenge.

Back July 19th, 2005 Forward