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November 17, 2012

Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years

Can you imagine an atheist judge sentencing a Christian to reading science journals for ten years? Or whatever ridiculous comparison you want to slot in here. This man should not be a judge. Oklahoma Judge Sentences Teen to Church for 10 Years - ABC News
Anybody who knows Oklahoma District Court Judge Mike Norman probably yawned at the news that he’d sentenced a teen offender to attend church as part of his probation arrangement, and that the judge’s pastor was in the courtroom at the time. Not only had he handed down such a sentence before, but he’d required one man to bring the church program back with him when he reported to court. “The Lord works in many ways,” Norman, 69, told ABC News today. “I’ve done a little bit of this kind of thing before, but never on such a serious charge.” Norman sentenced Tyler Alred, 17, Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in August for killing friend and passenger John Luke Dum in a car crash. Dum died on impact in December after Alred crashed his Chevrolet pickup truck, ejecting Dum. Alred was 16 at the time of the crash and had been drinking prior to the deadly accident. Oklahoma Highway Patrol issued a Breathalyzer at the time, and although Alred was under the state’s legal alcohol limit, he had been drinking underage.
*Thanks, Anne-Marie*

November 15, 2012

" He initiated an eight year attack, pitting a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority to prevent the democratic process from working in the minority’s favor . . . and he never meant to alienate anyone?"

It's when we fail to recognize the basic humanity of people who aren't like us that we become monsters. The Wild Reed: Quote of the Day
The Archbishop has issued a statement in the wake of the defeat of his relentless campaign to make sure gay and lesbian citizens of Minnesota will never get equal protection of the civil marriage laws. He says “It has never been the aim of the Catholic Church to alienate anyone.” Let me try to understand this: He wants to deprive some people of any possibility of living a socially accepted, legally sanctioned, married life, and they are not supposed to take that personally? He initiated an eight year attack, pitting a heterosexual majority against a homosexual minority to prevent the democratic process from working in the minority’s favor. This attempt to limit marriage by constitutional definition ultimately failed on November 6, 2012. Resisting it took a tremendous expenditure of time, energy, and money. The moral cost may never be recovered. And he never meant to alienate anyone?

November 13, 2012

Religious Conservatives want "civil disobedience" in the face of gay marriage, but they don't know what "civil disobedience" means

Fred Clark is on the money again. Religious right still doesn’t know what ‘civil disobedience’ means
Let’s consider an unlikely hypothetical situation. The governor’s ex-wife collected stamps, so the governor railroads through legislation banning stamp-collecting and imposing mandatory life sentences for all convicted philatelists. That would be an unjust prohibition, and thus civil disobedience would be an appropriate and powerful tool against it. The strategy is obvious — everyone collects stamps until the courts are swamped and the jails are filled or until the outcry forces the unjust law to be repealed. But consider the opposite situation: The law permits stamp-collecting, but you feel it ought to be prohibited — you believe that the lack of a prohibition is itself unjust. You’re not without options in that situation — there are paths you can take and strategies you can pursue to try to get such a prohibition written into law. But civil disobedience will not help you. This particular context will not allow for the use of that particular tool. The latter situation is analogous to where the Family Research Council finds itself. In an increasing number of states, the law permits something — same-sex marriage — that FRC believes ought to be prohibited. And that means civil disobedience cannot “come into play.” Marriage equality does not impose any unjust prohibitions that FRC or its members could violate as civil disobedience. Their complaint is that the law is too permissive, and a law that extends permission is difficult to violate in protest. Civil disobedience just isn’t an option in such cases. It’s also possible that by “civil disobedience,” McClusky was referring to specific action taken by those few individuals who are in a position to violate laws permitting same-sex marriage. Perhaps McClusky meant disobedience to those laws on the part of county clerks and justices of the peace. Maybe what he means is that such officials should disobey the law by refusing to fulfill their duties when it comes to same-sex couples.
*Thanks, Dorian*