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Reposted from Top Comments by elenacarlena


For decades now whenever I see intolerance, bigotry, hypocrisy, homophobia or the like it's almost certainly coming from someone who claims to be a "good, God fearing Christian". From the haters who won't pizza-cater a gay wedding to the folks who think that THEY should be the ones deciding about what happens with a woman's lady parts instead of her, they're spreading their bile in a whole lot of places.

As someone who tries to follow the instructions Jesus gave us when he walked on the earth, I'm offended, saddened, and hurt by the association with these people. No, I can't call them Christians. Christians follow the teachings and example of Jesus, or try to. These people are Bible Thumpers who use The Bible as a weapon instead of reading and following the teachings of Christ.

I've had enough, so I'm going to thump The Bible right back at them after the cheese curl. And I'll use only one of the 4 Gospels (Matthew) to take them to school.

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Reposted from nancyjones by elenacarlena
On Wednesday, the 29th of April, GEO Corporation held its annual shareholders' meeting in Boca Raton, Florida.

A little back story: GEO Corporation, if you don't know, is the largest prison for profit corporation in Florida. A couple of years ago, GEO Corporation thought it would be cool to have a stadium named after them, so they offered Florida Atlantic University (FAU), part of the public university system in Florida, $6 million to name their new stadium the GEO Stadium.

FAU administration said, "Cool! $6 million is a wadda bucks. Bring it on!"

FAU students said, "Not so fast. We kinda think it's not that great to profit from prisoners."

FAU administration said, "There, there. It's okay. We know what's best for you. Don't sweat this one."

FAU students and faculty and community members said, "You know what? It's NOT okay. You making profits by turning our loved ones into criminals is NOT okay. In fact, it's immoral."

Long story short, the students won and the stadium is not named after GEO. We need tons and tons of these victories so ...

Flash forward to two years later and the GEO shareholders' meeting that happened last Wednesday. We gotcher number, GEO. Lots of photos beneath the orange squiggle of justice.

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Reposted from weinenkel by Ojibwa
Devil Robot from Futurama
The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
It's hard to figuratively pick up the newspaper these without seeing something concerning the persecution of Christians. It has always been hard for Christians in the Americas. It has gotten even harder on Christians since many of these Christians don't want to share their country with people who aren't Christian. Sadly, for the evangelists of our nation, the Satanists continue to rear their ugly heads and point out the hypocritical nature of the religious far right's persecution complex:
Satanists are rallying around “Mary,” who lives in rural Missouri and needs an abortion but is struggling to afford the extra expenses that the state's 72-hour waiting period will impose on her. Mary has the money for the abortion, but she doesn't have the estimated extra $800 that she needs to travel to the only abortion clinic in the state, in St. Louis, a trip that will require gas, hotel, and child care. “I personally would have liked to have the procedure done as soon as possible,” Mary told the Riverfront Times. “But with all the difficulties, how hard it is do this, it's been put off for several weeks.” She's now nearly 12 weeks pregnant.
The Satanic Temple has a letter drafted for this very purpose. You can read it below the fold. points out that the focus on the clinic is a bit misdirected but unfortunately for Satanists, they do not have a Hobby Lobby type bank account to take on the state government.
The Satanic Temple raised the money for Mary in a day; its plan is to present a letter to the abortion provider asking for an exemption on the grounds that, as a Satanist, Mary believes her body is “inviolable” and the waiting period imposes a “substantial burden on my sincerely held religious beliefs.” As a legal maneuver, this leaves much to be desired: The clinic, too, is being victimized by the regulation, and they're not the authorities standing between Mary and her abortion. The legally sound way to demand “religious liberty” exemptions to waiting periods is sue the state government, but the Satanists don't have those sorts of resources—they're not Hobby Lobby.
Using logic is so insidious! You have to applaud Satanist moxy.
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Mon May 04, 2015 at 04:03 PM PDT

Meditation-Inspired Activism

by Ooooh

Reposted from DKos Sangha by davehouck

It is completely counter-intuitive to turn in to suffering. In fact, most people spend their entire lives trying to aim for pleasure and avoid suffering. The problem with that strategy is that suffering is a fact of life, we cannot avoid it. The best we can hope for is to learn to become free of our attachment to pleasure and our aversion to suffering. If that sounds like a hopeless premise, consider that once we learn to accept what is, we can simply relax in the moment with what ever is happening.

Good evening and welcome to Monday Group Meditation. We will be sitting from 7:30 to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. It is not necessary to sit for the entire extended time, which is set up to make it convenient for people in four North American Time Zones; sit for as long as you like and when it is most convenient for you. Monday Group Meditation is open to everyone, believers and non-believers, who are interested in gathering in silence. If you are new to meditation and would like to try it for yourself, Mindful Nature gave a good description of one way to meditate in an earlier diary, copied and pasted below:

                                                                "It is a matter of focusing attention mostly. In many traditions, the idea is to sit and focus on the rising and falling of the breath.  Not controlling it, but sitting in a relaxed fashion and merely observing experiences of breathing, sounds, etc.  Be aware of your thoughts, but don't engage in them.  When your mind wanders (it will, often), then return to focus on breath and repeat."

Sangha Co-hosts for meditation are:

7:30 - 10:00  Ooooh and davehouck

9:30 - 11:00  thanatokephaloides

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Reposted from Independent Pragmatic Liberal by Ojibwa
This post is aimed mainly at Americans.

Religious persecution has two sides: the persecuted, and the persecutor.

You are the persecuted if you are being hassled for, or prevented from, practicing your faith. You are the persecuted if you have no faith but are being hassled for that, or if you are being otherwise forced to fall into line with another faith.

You are the persecutor if you hassle other people for, or prevent them from, practicing their faith. You are the persecutor if you demand that other people abide by the rules or Scriptural interpretation of your faith.  You are the persecutor if you institute, promote, or condone rules or laws that would cause people to lose their employment or suffer other harm or discrimination for not abiding by your faith.

You are the persecutor if you use your faith to justify preventing other people from living their lives as they see fit to live them, particularly if doing so has no impact whatsoever upon you. ("If that's condoned my kids might do it" is not a valid argument.) If what someone else is doing or not doing just "bothers" you, that's not persecution. You have control over your own mind. Don't think about whatever that person is doing or not doing. If you're obsessing about someone else's life, you have too much time on your hands. Get a hobby or perhaps therapy.

You are NOT the persecuted if your faith requires you to persecute other people, for any reason. In that case, you are the persecutor.

If you are a religious persecutor you might want to reflect upon what you're doing and saying to others. You might want to understand that the United States of America was founded with the intention and promise that religious persecution would not exist within its borders at all. If you're having trouble with that concept, please review the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If you're a "states' rights" person and you don't think religious freedom is meant for your state you should read your own state's Constitution because the subject of religious freedom is included in that document, probably somewhere near the very beginning. (Look for Bill of Rights or a similar term.)

[Edit: If your state's Constitution seems to contradict itself on this issue then refer to Torcaso v. Watkins, which settled such contractions in 1961.]*

If you can't understand the concept of religious freedom for every American, and if you can't bear to practice your faith while leaving others to practice their faith (or to not practice a faith at all, if that's what they choose), then you might want to find another country where you can persecute all you want. Might I suggest one of several countries in the Middle East or Africa?

My dad often said, "America: Love it or leave it."  If you're a religious persecutor and you can't love the USA as it actually exists and was meant to be, then leave the country. Soon. Now. You're not a real American, and you don't belong in the USA.

By the way, this applies to ALL faiths. Christianity may still be the dominant faith in the USA, but it's not the only one or the most important one. There is no "most important" faith in the USA. Figure that out, and don't be a persecutor, or leave. The rest of us, who understand the concept of religious freedom, really don't want or need you here.


*Thank you to Daily Kos members HudsonValleyMark and Navy Vet Terp for mentioning the Torcaso v. Watkins case.

Reposted from The other America by Ojibwa

Have you heard about the new fangled cry for "Religious Freedom"?  Has it penetrated your psyche as it seems to have penetrated the right wing conservative mass?

 Religious freedom, that's a GOOD thing, isn't it?  Everyone gets to believe as they wish to believe and live as they wish to live and we all, all of us in America, live happily ever after.
 Come with me below the fold for a look at how this fervor for the freedom to believe in "A" God is seen by those of us who don't believe in "Their" God.

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Mon May 04, 2015 at 01:20 PM PDT

This Should Be Interesting

by michelewln

Reposted from michelewln by michelewln

I have Reid home from the hospital. The foot doesn't look as bad as I feared it would. He doesn't appear to be in pain and is glad to be home. Because of the long narrow shape of his foot I don't think the loss of the fourth and fifth toe is going to hamper him any.

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This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome. Today's suggested topic Hard Boiled Eggs.

 photo boiled_eggs_zps3wiawgqn.jpg

What is for dinner? How are you doing? What is on your mind. If you are new to Street Prophets please introduce yourself beyond the fold in a comment. This is an Open Thread / Coffee Hour and all topics of conversation are welcome.  So how do prepare hard boiled eggs?

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Reposted from dgrhoads by Ojibwa

Progressives have been on the defensive when talking about a women’s right to make choices about continuing pregnancies and family planning.  In addition, social conservatives have been successful in claiming that their religious rights have been violated if their institutions are forced to provide contraceptives to their employees.  It is time that the progressives turned this around by claiming violations of their religious freedom and their religious liberty.

Until now, progressives have ceded the use of words like “freedom” and “religious liberty” to the conservatives.  We need to reclaim that these words and show how they apply to our beliefs and our lives.

Women’s issues constitute one arena in which progressives can start using this language is the following:

If a woman is forced by the government to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, she is not free.

Freedom is having control over your own body.  (Applies to both men and women.)

Freedom is being able to plan my own family.  If the government restricts my ability to plan my own family, it is taking away my freedom.

It is my religious belief that my fetus does not become a human being until it emerges from my womb and takes its first breath.  Until then it is part of my body.  You are violating my religious liberty by restricting my freedom to have minor medical procedures as I see fit which in this case is to have an abortion.  All these rules and regulations RW legislators have passed with respect to these minor medical procedures are violating my religious freedom.  They should not be applied to me.

Please note that the Holy Bible’s Old Testament specifies clearly in multiple passages  that life begins with the first breath.  Since the passage of RFRA and the recent holdings of the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case, the discussion can be based on what does the individual believe as part of their sincerely-held religious belief, not what is scientifically true or what is the case according to someone else’s religious belief.  Which beliefs trump other beliefs?  RFRA holds that the religious beliefs of the affected individuals trump those of government.
Reposted from Lucien Greaves by Ojibwa
The Satanic Temple begins legal aid fund to offer exemptions against, and actively challenge, arbitrary, insulting, and outright harmful anti-abortion legislation.

The Satanic Temple (TST), a New York-based religious organization, has announced that it anticipates an imminent precedent-setting legal battle. The challenge centers on religious exemptions the organization offers against anti-abortion legislation. “Mary,” a Missouri resident and member of TST, soon intends to obtain an abortion. She will present her care-provider with TST’s letters of exemption in order to bypass state-mandated counseling materials, which TST criticizes as “medically invalid” and “scientifically spurious.” TST's letters also demand an exemption from MO’s newly required 72-hour abortion waiting period. Such legislation, TST contends, is an affront to their deeply-held religious values regarding personal sovereignty and deference to empirical science.

The Satanic Temple's spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, wrote of the campaign for the Orlando Weekly:

This past Summer, following the Supreme Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby ruling, The Satanic Temple (TST) drew up a document of religious exemption to be used against superfluous anti-abortion legislation. The exemption targeted “informed consent” laws requiring that women seeking abortions should be subjected to compulsory state-mandated “informational” materials that are often scientifically unsound. In fact, these materials appear as brazen attempts to dissuade women from abortion and create guilt in those seeking the procedure. Among our fundamental tenets, TST holds that “one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone,” and, “Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.” The logic of our deeply-held beliefs is such that bullshit claims contained in “informed consent” propaganda (such as the notion that abortions contribute to breast cancer and/or lead to suicide) are an affront to our religious values.

The Hobby Lobby ruling, affirming that the corporation’s “deeply held beliefs” allowed them to declare certain contraceptives as abortifacients when in fact they were not, set a precedent whereby TST could firmly declare a protected belief in the illegitimacy of anti-abortion state-mandated materials.

Recently, a member of The Satanic Temple informed us that she soon intends to present our exemption letter as she seeks an abortion in the state of Missouri. However, in Missouri, women seeking abortions are faced with a problem far more dire than that of insulting and inaccurate state propaganda: they are also required a 3-day (72 hour) waiting period for the procedure. With only one clinic in the state, those traveling a substantial distance often are forced to take significant time away from work while paying for overnight lodging. In response, we are providing an exemption from the waiting period, similar to the exemption from Informed Consent materials.

Now the question is asked, ‘how are deeply-held beliefs in scientific evidence, bodily autonomy and personal sovereignty employed to leverage an exemption against abortion waiting periods?’ How is it that the waiting period directly violates any of those?

Put simply: One’s body is subject to one’s own will alone, therefore the process by which one arrives at decisions related to one’s body should never be subjected to the degrading arbitrary whims of petty, pious politicians. The 72 hour waiting period is nothing more than an offensive, intentional imposition upon a deeply personal decision-making process. There is no medical justification for the waiting period, only the ignorant hope that some women may -- some time within that 72 hours -- only then first consider the ramifications of their choice, consequently reversing course.

The fact is, rational arguments supporting the waiting period are non-existent. Being asked to argue against frivolous and inane regulations inappropriately shifts the question to ‘why not?’ before an answer to ‘why?’ was ever properly articulated. The burden of proof is upon the venal politicians of Missouri, who supported the moronic waiting period bill, to show an imminent need for placing this burden upon women who share our beliefs.

We shall seek to defend our exemptions in court if they are not respected. After decades of attempting to define “religious liberty” in terms of combatting rational family planning, it’s time that the conservative religious right learns that religious liberty works the other way, too.

Those wishing to contribute to The Satanic Temple’s legal fund to defend religious reproductive rights may do so here: The Satanic Temple Reproductive Rights Campaign

Reposted from Community Fundraisers by michelewln

Please keep tipping and recommending so as many people as possible will see this diary! We only have a day to accomplish our goal. THANK YOU!

Due to a situation far beyond our control, the Derby Day Party and Fundraiser for elenacarlena did not reach the goal we had set. Total amount collected is $220.00. The original diary is HERE if you would like to see how the party went.

Now Elena's situation is critical. She must make her rent payment of $750 TOMORROW and she is $530.00 short. I will start things off with $30.00 leaving only $500.00 to go. That can be 50 people sending $10.00 each! I know this Community can do that.

I know there have been many requests for help, all for very worthy causes, and stretching everyone to the limit; but I know we can do this one more time for Elena who is a valued member of our Community. Here is what JekyllnHyde wrote in the diary:

I am joining Most Awesome Nana and several others in the Community Fundraisers group in strongly supporting this community effort for elenacarlena.  Ever since she joined Daily Kos, Elena has been a strong and regular presence while participating very widely and quickly becoming a valued community member.  As an example of this commitment, we have worked closely together (along with JoanMar, 2thanks, Tortmaster, and others) behind the scenes for the past year in helping to finalize and post weekly diaries on police brutality and Medicaid expansion through the Support the Dream Defenders group.  As you know, she is also a regular diarist for the War on Women diary series.

Please help Elena through this difficult time for her as well as her beloved pooties and woozle.  On behalf of the entire CFs group, thank you.  JekyllnHyde

Everyone will WIN THE ROSES TODAY!

Here's How You Can Help Elena

If you have a PayPal account and have never used it to send money to anyone, it is really simple.

  • Go to
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Thank you for caring and your generous contribution.

You can receive all future postings by clicking this link for the Community Fundraisers Group. Then, click 'Follow' and that will make all postings show up in 'My Stream' of your Daily Kos page.

Thank you for reading, tipping, rec'ing, sharing! And donating, too!
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Reposted from Jerry Nelson by linkage

Almost every day on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media, I see a conservative ranting away with how the Republican Party is the party of, ahem, “good Christian values”

Often someone will email me and ask why I’m waging some kind of fight against religion.

It’s funny.

The fact is, I don’t care what creed anyone follows. My problem with some people, especially conservatives, is their willingness to try to force their religion on others.

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