Posts tagged "Religion"

Poor Bill O’Reilly. His tender fee-fees were so hurt by a sign saying “Nobody died for our “sins” Jesus Christ is a myth” it’s threatening his whole Easter or his whole faith or something. And persecuted Christian Laura Ingraham is suffering right along with him!

Doesn’t this sound like grievance mongering?

O’REILLY: If you are in Madison, Wisconsin and you go to the Capitol Building, you may be very insulted this Holy Thursday.

O’REILLY: Fair minded people know that’s appalling.

INGRAHAM: Every Christian holiday, we see something like this.

O’REILLY: They want to hate and disparage people like you and me.

INGRAHAM: I am praying for the redemption of the nasty folks over at (Freedom From Religion Foundation). I don’t know if it will work or not.

O’REILLY: These people want to insult - and that’s what it is - it’s insulting. They want to insult people with whom they disagree. And there’s no reason for it.

INGRAHAM: The culture is already predominantly atheistic. …So, they have enormous power, I think, already in the culture that doesn’t address religion at all. But that’s not enough for them. They want to mock and demean. …This doesn’t surprise me at all. I expect this to happen. …Why is it always the Christians the only ones that get the mud slung at them? I don’t know why it’s just Christians.

So what do you think O’Reilly’s reaction would be if two African Americans had this discussion about being stopped and frisked by the police for no reason? I think we have a good idea.


H/T: Ellen at Newshounds.us

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: Tim Peacock at Peacock Panache

crooksandliars:

Pope Francis said that he felt “compelled to personally take on all the evil” perpetrated by some priests, because “you cannot interfere with children.”

h/t: Valerie Talerico at AlterNet

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

In my opinion, World Vision USA is doing the right thing by hiring Christians in same-sex marriages. Even if ticks off a lot of hard-right homophobes, so be it. 

Several times over the last few weeks, we have wondered why members of Congress and Religious Right activists continue to appear on the radio program hosted by conspiracy theorist and End Times fanatic Rick Wiles, given that Wiles is a bona fide crackpot and a loose cannon, which is something that Todd Starnes learned first-hand when he appeared on Wiles’ program on Friday.

Starnes was on to discuss his recent column about a controversy at the Air Force Academy over cadets posting Bible verses on their dormitory white boards, which brought a complaint from Mikey Weinstein, the director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

Wiles announced that he was fed up with Weinstein and said that he needed to be met by a bunch of special forces commandos in a dark alley and “given an attitude adjustment.” To his credit, Starnes took offense at this statement, denounced it, and ended the interview:

Wiles: You know what Mikey Weinstein needs? I’ll say this on my radio show, I can get away with it: he really needs to be met in a dark alley by a couple of special forces commandos and given an attitude adjustment. You don’t have to comment, Todd; I said it on my program. I’m fed up with that guy.

Starnes: I have to really incredibly object to that.

Wiles: I’m fed up with the guy. I’m fed up with the guy.

Starnes: Well, that may be the case but this is a free country and individuals are allowed to voice their opinions of whether or not they agree or disagree and they should be able to do so without any threat of violence or force …

Wiles: Okay, but he doesn’t just express his opinions …

Starnes: It doesn’t matter …

Wiles: He’s perusing Christians. He is on a war against Christianity.

Starnes: Well, that is certainly his right. The issue here is not Mr. Weinstein and, again, we should live in a country where people can express their views without any threat of violence. The issue here is the Air Force Academy and this idea that they kowtow to ever single telephone call they receive from him.

Wiles: That’s the point I’m making.

Starnes: And I do apologize, but I do have to end this interview. Again, we just strongly object to that comment you made, sir.

Wiles: I didn’t mean to offend you, Todd. I’m just saying I think many Americans are just plain fed-up with this guy.

Starnes: Well, I’m sure they are and again, but we do have to end this interview. Thank you very much.

Wiles: Okay Todd, thank you. Good bye. Well, I tried to five years to get Todd Starnes on TruNews. I finally got him and he hung on my after five minutes.

After Starnes hung up, Wiles spent the remainder of the segment defending his comment and saying that he was sick of feckless Christians like Starnes who are more concerned about protecting their careers than they are with standing up to the “fat-mouthed atheists” and “Jesus-hating bigots” who are operating “under the spirit of Antichrist.”

From the 03.21.2014 edition of TruNews:

h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW

imageKeith Ellison: Birth control haters back ‘corporate personhood’ over ‘individual liberty’ (via Raw Story )

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on Sunday warned Republicans that allowing the “corporate personhood” of Hobby Lobby to trump the the right of people who want to use birth control would set a dangerous precedent for individual liberties in the United…



 

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Next week, the Supreme Court will take up the issue of contraceptive coverage, hearing arguments in a closely-watched lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. Two for-profit companies — the craft chain Hobby Lobby and the furniture-making company Conestoga Wood Specialties — are fighting for their right to withhold insurance coverage for certain types of contraceptive methods based on their religious beliefs. But there’s actually much more at stake than prescription drug coverage.

The two plaintiffs in these cases object not just to covering specific types of birth control, but also to providing counseling about that birth control. In Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit, for instance, the company states that it does not want to follow the Obamacare provision that forces employers to “provide health insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, as well as related education and counseling.”

The media coverage surrounding the upcoming challenges has mainly focused on the first part of that argument, as reproductive rights advocates point out that women need access to affordable contraceptive methods regardless of their boss’ personal beliefs about birth control. However, the second part threatens to have incredibly far-reaching ramifications for women and doctors in this country, too. Essentially, if Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood are successful, they’ll win the right to refuse to extend coverage for doctor’s visits that include discussion about certain forms of contraception, like IUDs or the morning after pill.

“It’s frankly a rather radical idea — the idea that someone can say that if your visit to your doctor is going to receive payment from your insurance company, then your doctor can’t talk to you about certain subjects,” Adam Sonfield, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, explained in an interview with ThinkProgress. “Counseling and education about contraception has been a basic part of a medical visit forever, even before the methods themselves were covered. Before we had prescription drug coverage, we certainly had coverage for the visit to your doctor, and there were never any limitations about what you could talk to your doctor about.”

And particularly when it comes to contraceptive counseling, simply skipping over certain methods isn’t an option. In order to obtain informed consent from their patients, doctors are obligated to explain the full range of optionsavailable.

According to Clare Coleman, the president and CEO of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), informed consent is the “bedrock” of medical ethics. “Coverage of counseling is essential. It’s a conversation about intention and life stage as much as it’s a conversation about the actual prescription — in family planning, we have to meet the patient where she is, and find the method that’s right for her,” Coleman told ThinkProgress. “That conversation needs to be careful and detailed before the patient agrees to any medical intervention.”

So, since many doctors wouldn’t feel comfortable limiting the contraceptive options that they tell their patients about, this could force the employees who work for companies like Hobby Lobby to make a difficult choice. If they want their doctor’s visit to be covered by their insurance company, they’ll have to avoid talking about birth control altogether. Or, if they do want to discuss contraception, they’ll have to pay for the visit out of their own pocket. They’ll essentially have to choose between a potential financial burden or a potential health burden.

Or they may not understand what’s at stake in the first place. Coleman pointed out that, in a scenario where bosses are allowed to refuse to cover contraceptive counseling, their employees might not realize those restrictions exist. “Having a white card in your wallet does not mean you understand how your insurance works,” she noted. “The patient will not necessarily come armed with this information.”

To make matters more complicated, companies that withhold coverage for some types of services often resist full disclosure. They may not explain to their workers exactly what their plan excludes, or provide them with a referral to access those services elsewhere.

“It’s an incredible devaluing of the insurance that you as an employee work for,” Sonfield, who recently published a policy review of the central arguments in the upcoming Supreme Court challenges, pointed out. “This is telling you that you can’t use your compensation — your own benefits that you have earned — in a way that your boss objects to. And that is a frightening road for us to be going down, as a society.”

Ultimately, insurance coverage for preventative care, like contraceptive services and regular doctor’s visits, is a benefit that employees earn through the hours that they put in to their jobs. Making employees pay for the full cost of their birth control and their doctor’s visits ends up shifting more insurance costs onto them. It’s somewhat analogous to a salary cut.

And birth control isn’t the only type of medical care that some Americans object to on religious grounds. There are some groups who are opposed to modern health services like vaccinations, blood transfusions, or mental health care. If these upcoming legal challenges are successful, that could open the door for employers to restrict their workers’ coverage for doctors’ visits that include discussion of those topics, too. It’s a slippery slope.

Nonetheless, this particular issue hasn’t received very much attention.

“They’ve really downplayed this aspect of their case. I think it’s gotten buried,” Sonfield told ThinkProgress. “I think the plaintiffs in these cases, along with their supporters, have done an excellent job of crafting the messaging and shaping the debate, and it’s been playing out on their grounds.”

ThinkProgress reached out to Hobby Lobby’s legal counsel, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, to confirm the company’s opposition to certain types of contraceptive counseling and ask how this type of objection would be implemented in practice. The communications department refused to comment.

From Sonfield’s perspective, the issue of contraceptive counseling proves that some of the central claims about employers’ religious liberty — namely, that practicing their deeply-held religious beliefs isn’t about infringing on their workers’ freedoms — just aren’t accurate. “We often see statements that this case is not trying to interfere in women’s choices, and is not trying to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, because it’s just about the employer’s involvement. That’s just patently not true.”

“Your employer shouldn’t be able to intercede in the medical decisions that are right for you,” Coleman noted.

Source: Tara Culp Ressler for ThinkProgress

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera is outraged by the existence of Christian gay rights supporters and is afraid of a plot to “steal Christianity.”

During Saturday’s edition of Mission America Radio, LaBarbera told host Linda Harvey that columnist Kirsten Powers’ opposition to Arizona’s “right-to-discriminate” bill is proof of the warning that “there’s a huge movement on the left” to “steal Christianity to make it pro-sin, pro-homosexuality.”

Harvey agreed and said that people are “sick and tired” of the gay rights movement: “There is no evidence homosexuality is inborn, it’s a learned desire and behavior and so we just have to keep standing on that truth and we know tons of people agree. You’ve had calls recently with people out of the blue are saying, ‘I want to be involved,’ who have never been involved before. They are sick and tired of it.”

 

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

h/t: RMuse at PoliticusUSA

thepoliticalfreakshow:

over, 50%, of, sikh, children, are, bullied, in, school,, simply, because, of, their, faith,Over 50% of Sikh Children Are Bullied in School, Simply Because of Their FaithImage Credit: AP

Children who wear traditional religious garb are twice as likely to be bullied than their less conspicuous peers, a new report shows. 

Over 50% of Sikh children endure school bullying, according to a study from the Sikh Coalition of more than 700 Sikh students in Massachusetts, Indiana, Washington and California. It’s even worse for Sikhs who wear a turban, a staggering 67% of whom report being bullied. 

That’s a significant jump from the estimated rates of bullying in the U.S. The National Center for Education Statistics states that around 32% of all teenage students report being bullied in school, while the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has an even lower estimation of around 20%.

Sikh children are being tormented by other students who make fun of and rip off their turbans, hurl names such as “terrorist” and “Bin Laden” at them, and tell them to “Go back to their country.”

image

Image Credit: The Sikh Coalition

One student, known as L Singh in the report, recounts his experience being, along with his brother, the only Sikh in a California school. He wore his hair uncut in a topknot, and used to leave school in tears every day after being picked on by classmates. After two years, his mother visited the school, but that made no difference. “Teachers were racist out there,” he said. 

Eventually, his parents took him to the barber shop, where he took off his turban and cut his hair. Sing remembers his mother and father were crying. But again it made little difference. He was still bullied so badly that the family had to relocate to Indiana. 

For a Sikh, cutting the hair is seen as “the most grievous injury,” the director of the Sikh Coalition, Amardeep Singh, told Al Jazeera. “It’s like cutting your arm off, or a leg. Sikh history is replete with stories of Sikhs literally choosing death over having a haircut.”

There are more than 25 million Sikhs in the world, making Sikhism the fifth-largest religion. It’s tricky to determine the size of the U.S. Sikh population, because the census does not enquire about religion, but the Pew Research Center estimates that there are 200,000 American Sikhs, while the World Religion Database at Boston University has this number at 280,000.

Sikhs have lived in the U.S. for more than a century, according to the report, but have faced extra antagonism in the last decade, since 9/11 shook America.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"Brown skin and turbans have popularly become associated with terror," the study explains. "Crude popular culture stereotypes of terrorists and damaging media images outside the classroom have made their way into the classroom, to the detriment of young Sikhs."

It’s also not just a school problem, as Sikh adults face hate crimesworkplace discriminationand mistreatment at airports. Last August — one year after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc. — the U.S. Department of Justice said it would begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh-Americans for the first time in history. 

But the classroom is an important place to start. The report calls on Congress to prioritize the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require public schools to implement anti-harassment codes of conduct and report data on bullying to the Department of Education. It also wants to see inaccurate and inflammatory information about Sikhs — including “extraneous references to Sikh terrorists’” — removed from school text books.

That seems like a reasonable request, when more than half of Sikh children are being bullied.

Source: Lauren Davidson for Policy Mic

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW