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Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Religious freedom caucuses set up in Kansas Legislature, eight other states

October 9, 2012

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— Claiming religious freedom is under assault, 120 legislators in nine states, including Kansas, announced on Tuesday the formation of caucuses that they said would be dedicated to protecting religion from government intrusion.

"It's time for us to make a stand," said state Rep. John DeBerry, a Democrat from Tennessee and Church of Christ minister.

He complained that children are being taught in public schools that faith is ignorant and that there are attempts to remove religious symbols, such as crosses, from cemeteries. Charges have been made that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit to remove military cross-shaped headstones, but the ACLU says it has never litigated such a proposal.

Debbie Lesko, a Republican state legislator from Arizona, said President Barack Obama's policy of requiring insurance carriers serving religious institutions to offer coverage for birth control was an example of government violating the tenets of certain religions.

Caucuses have been formed in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The American Religious Freedom Program is part of the Washington D.C.-based Ethics and Policy Center.

The group said it hoped to form religious freedom caucuses in all 50 states by the end of 2013.

The group said 27 Kansas legislators have signed up; 26 Republicans and one Democrat.

Of the 120 legislators in the nine states, organizers did not have a breakdown of their political and religious affiliation.

According to organizers, here are the Kansas legislators that have joined the caucus: Rep. Tom Arpke; Sen. Steve Abrams; Rep. Benny Boman; Rep. Steve Brunk; Rep. Pete DeGraaf; Rep. Mario Goico; Rep. Amanda Grosserode; Rep. Dennis Hedke; Rep. Jerry Henry; Rep. Kyle Hoffman; Rep. James Howell; Rep. Steve Huebert; Rep. Kasha Kelley; Rep. Lance Kinzer; Sen. Garrett Love; Sen. Julia Lynn; Rep. Peggy Mast; Sen. Ty Masterson; Sen. Ray Merrick; Rep. Virgil Peck; Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook; Rep. Marc Rhoades; Rep. John Rubin; Rep. Ronald W. Ryckman; Rep. Joseph Scapa; Rep. Scott Schwab; Rep Clark Shultz.

Comments

beerbaron03 2 years, 2 months ago

ever notice how people who say they're pro-religious freedom are actually just pro-Christian and anti-anything else?

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

No. I'm an atheist and I fully support religious expression that does not infringe on others rights - or as you call it "pro-religious freedom".

Religion is protected by the constitution. That's all that matters.

God, on the other hand, has no more constitutional protection than any other alien, illegal or whatever.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 2 months ago

I have to stick up for liberty275 as I don't believe he ridicules anyone for believing in God.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Religious freedom includes the right to ridicule the lies religions are based upon.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

" I just wondered how you can claim to support 'religious expression"

Search for "phelps" on this site. That will satisfy your curiosity. I defend his cult better than anyone here. The right-wing can't defend them and half the time turns on them like good 'muricans defendin 'murican soldiers and the left hates them because their god doesn't approve of homosexuals. That leaves the dirty work of standing up for their right to carry around dumb signs to the libertarians.

" I would say ridiculing someone would be more of a freedom of speech right."

I try to not address people and instead comment on their ideas or philosophy. If I slip up here and there, my apologies. Grow some skin.

"You have the right to ridicule"

Thank you so much! I was waiting on the edge of my seat for your approval.

(The target of that bit of passive aggression was "your approval", not you. I can keep them separate.)

"I would say ridiculing someone would be more of a freedom of speech right"

Why wouldn't you?

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

A bunch of idiots who misunderstand the concept of religious freedom...

somedude20 2 years, 2 months ago

Spit!!!!

Religion is not under attack, rather religious people are attacking ANYTHING that they don't agree with to get their way. "It is against my god for me to rent to black people." "God don't want no homos to live in no place that I own." "If god wanted females to have unmarried sex, he'd predestine them for a legitimate rape." "God don't want you to take pills that go against the nature of pregnancy, thats just unnatural, but if you are old and nature aint giving you a stiffy, god wants you to take this little blue pill."

Many years back, religion did more good than harm, that can't be said today!

Zazzman 2 years, 2 months ago

That reminds me, aren't most of these "leaders of the faith" running megachurches?

You konw, the kind of institution which is famous for getting into politics and dodging taxes? Or the ones that have literal freaking MALLS inside them?

Yeah, the man who flipped his lid at the money changers in that Jewish temple would be infuriated!

Then again, look to Revelations. It did not suggest a single anti-christ, but that there would be many. And thats they would fly Jesus like a flag to amass wealth, ignore the needs of women, and either twist or outright ignore Christ's teachings.

Holy crap,it's all coming true.... I might need to go get baptized by a REAL Christian minister.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

El Greco had a beautiful mannerist sense, but didn't abuse the style like many others did. Thanks for posting the pic.

Gary Anderson 2 years, 2 months ago

soooooo...a bunch of government workers want to band together to protect religion from government workers messing with religion...that plan certainly makes sense...

Joe Hyde 2 years, 2 months ago

This group of politicians -- almost exclusively Republicans -- don't like President Obama. Gee, I'm shocked. Their presidential candidate of choice is trailing Obama in the polls, and so to help the Republican cause they make this grandstand gesture about combating "assaults on religion" -- frantically pulling levers and pushing hot buttons to spur all the good little ponies to run straight to the polls and vote "Republicans for Christ", or whatever. Gee, I'm shocked.

The actual point of the exercise, of course, being to distract gullible voters from giving a moment's thought to the economic harm that will befall the nation if the failed trickle-down economic practices of previous Republican presidents, combined a combative foreign policy, both get re-instituted under Mitt Romney. Which they would, because Romney has surrounded himself with a large number of George W. Bush's advisers and operatives.

But hey, let's don't talk about more years of bloody war, and obscene war profiteering. And for God's sake avoid examining the policies that deliberate weakened the American middle class to the low point it's presently in. Instead, let's do the easy thing and go ballistic about an "assault on religion".

What a bunch of cowards.

Niemoller 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm in! And I would put my name on that also.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely! That is the most concise way to put it, Autie (APPLAUSE)

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

Autie, It's not your government. It's the government of all of us.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 2 months ago

But, Christianity is not the Religion of all of us.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

You can't simply say "I" own the government and "you" own your religion. We all own the government, all Americans of every religion or no religion at all. Ownership of religions is not endowed to all of us. Ownership of our government is.

Look to Autie's original post. He/she claimed ownership of government and is highly suggestive that that ownership is exclusive to him/her and that ownership of the government is less or zero to religionists. That is not true. It is equal.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 2 months ago

I am a soldier. I will Live, Fight and Die for MY Country if need be. MY country is run by MY Government. If we all took ownership of our actions as citizens of this country, I believe we ALL would be better off. Yours, Mine ,Ours. You are only playing Semantics.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, I'm playing a game of semantics. But I'm using that to show how quickly that we can slip into denying someone else their equal share of our government just because they are trying to deny us our share. Neither is appropriate.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 2 months ago

Agreed. As a soldier, I am sworn to uphold and defend The Constitution,The Government, and the Country we all live in. I have a hard time with "Partisanship". We are All Americans no matter Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation,etc.I do not defend the Republican America or the Democratic America. Same with the Christian America or any other religion that makes this country unique. I am Proud to be American and am disturbed by the Division in this country when we ALL should be pulling together. We The People need to get our act together.

hyperinflate 2 years, 2 months ago

OK all you religiously oppressed folks out there who think that the gubment shouldn't make your insurance company pay for birth control because they hate your freedoms ... here's a hypothetical* for you:

There's a religious minority in this country called the Christian Identity who believes Black people are of the devil. Should a practitioner of Christian Identity who happens to own a company be able to tell his [it's always a he] insurance company that they can't cover treatment for sickle cell anemia since that's a disease that primarily afflicts African Americans?

  • Consult an educated person in your life if you don't know what this means. Sadly, this probably means you'll have to talk to a non-believer, but it won't hurt too awful bad.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

"disease"

You are equating pregnancy with a disease when it is clearly a parasitic condition.

Your pregnancy/anemia metaphor doesn't work because African Americans would be subjects of discrimination while women would not be discriminated against as long as male contraception is not covered under the same plan.

The religious right is discriminating against men and women that want to mess around without the burden of children, but messing around without the burden of children is not a right protected by the constitution. Having the color of your skin ignored is guaranteed by the 14th amendment. Facilitating recreational sex is not.

God-believers are wrong and their worldview is based on lies. That doesn't mean we have any ethical or legal standing to make them act at odds with those constitutionally-protected beliefs as long as they aren't discriminatory.

jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Might fit under "pursuit of happiness" to be able to mess around without having children.

Stuart Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

Teaching evolution to children in school is not an attack on religion. If gods were real, the scientific evidence would be overwhelming, like it is for evolution, but it is not. In fact, it's non-existent; there is ZERO evidence of any gods, anywhere, ever. That is why all the old gods from Greek, Roman, Norse, etc. are all taught under mythology, where someday soon, I hope Christianity, Islam & Judaism will end up.

somedude20 2 years, 2 months ago

"there is ZERO evidence of any gods, anywhere, ever"

What about all of those pieces of toast that had "god's" face on it or the stain from a water leak that has created a picture of jesus?

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

That looks like Madonna, and I mean a younger version of the fat belching monster we have today and not some Palestinian rape victim from a long time ago.

Great. You have proved we had weird taste in the 80s. Are you happy now?

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

It would seem liberals are a much greater threat to freedom of religion then the government as witnessed by the rants of our loony left posters.

/ Source

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

Really? Can you say how?

It seems as though most liberal folks take a 'live and let live' approach to religion. Meaning, as long as they can talk to their imaginary friend, they don't give much thought to the fact that some folks talk to other other kinds of imaginary friends.

Delusional, yes. Threatening, no.

Practicing "Freedom of religion" has two parts. YOUR freedom, and MY freedom.

You can talk to your imaginary friend all you want, I really couldn't care less. What are your thoughts about my approach to imaginary friends?

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's start with religious bigots. Take the first post on this thread and replace the word religious with the "n" word. Want to see heads start to spin and people go absolutely nuts.Want to talk about discrimination ?

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

Eh? Race has no bearing on this issue. One can choose their religion. One can not choose their own race.

So, you dodged my first question by bringing in an unrelated topic. Maybe I should rephrase that question...

How does the liberal 'live and let live' approach to religion threaten your religious freedom?

Please answer my last question this time. You completely ignored it, and I think I'd like to know your thoughts.

What are your thoughts about my approach to imaginary friends?

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

How is it time after time libs choose to completely miss the point of a comment. I didn't dodge your question I answered it and you choose to go off on some tangent about you can't pick your race. I believe my sons 3rd grade friends could follow a simple concept such as I illustrated, why is that so tough for you ?

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

How does the liberal 'live and let live' approach to religion threaten your religious freedom?

What are your thoughts about my approach to imaginary friends?

I still have no answer to these questions...

Stuart Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

You might want to reconsider your position if you're only getting 3rd graders to understand it.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

But the word "religious" isn't a derogatory word.

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

In the context and intent libs use it undoubtedly it is derogatory. Any clarity moments yet ?

Stuart Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

An individual's race cannot be changed, a person's religion can. I believe that insulting someone's ignorance or gullibility is fair game; Who are you to disrespect my beliefs?

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

What if their delusion was standing next to them telling them they will burn in hell for selling you a morning after pill? That's a bit of a conundrum.

Do you want people that listen to delusional friends handing out medicine of any kind? The best thing to do is not give them your money and they will go away.

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

If their delusion was standing next to them, and they were standing in a pharmacy, I'd call the police. That's really one of the last places you want someone to be having a schizophrenic episode in.

Seriously, though, we've had this conversation before. At least, as I understand your meaning, it seems like an odd subject to bring up.

It comes down to employer/employee relations.

Should a manager be able to fire an employee for not dispensing the drug?

The 'religious freedom types' say, "OF COURSE NOT! That's discrimination!"

My opinion is that an employer should be well-within their rights to do so.

somedude20 2 years, 2 months ago

I think your "source" is Barton's vodka because you are full of crazy talk!

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

Why, Armstrong? Because we don't go to your church? If you don't bother me with your religion, I won't bother you with mine. You probably believe those stupid email that says students can't pray in school. So many ignorant people out there do not understand that is not the case.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 2 months ago

"I'll keep my government ... " You claimed ownership of and control of ... And suggested their ownership and/or control of government was less than yours (if they behave in a certain way, then "you" will guarantee that your government will behave in a certain way).

We all have equal rights to influence our government. Even "them".

mom_of_three 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice of them to provide a list of the clueless

Enlightenment 2 years, 2 months ago

Religion has no place in government. I'd like to see the Republicans take away all religious based issues in their party platform so that the real topics that the GOP supports can be seen. You'd be left with tax cuts for the wealthy, less government regulation for corporations, and more government funded programs to benefit the wealthy. I can understand why the wealthy support the GOP, whereas the middle or low income voter support the GOP because of the party's facade of faux religious based issues.

This religious attack on government is similar to the NRA's political interests, which have almost nothing to do with the constitutional right to bear arms. This conservative organization seems to only spread misinformation to naive voters who are hunting enthusiasts that believe the NRA's claim that their hunting rights are in jeopardy if a Democrat gets in office.

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

"This religious attack on government is similar to the NRA's political interests, which have almost nothing to do with the constitutional right to bear arms."

Yep, pretty much.

Niemoller 2 years, 2 months ago

What is misunderstood is the Constitution. When this party of the Christ wins their big religious freedom crusade, they win for all religions! But the forget that. Point: who is to say that the Muslim take over from the inside isn't real? When the so call Christians when their great victory on religious freedom, I see that as a perfect time for the Muslims to come out of their political closets and F*&% some S^#! up. Be careful what freedoms you fight for, because in America, they apply to whoever happens to be in power. Today you might be fighting for the right to not have birth control offered to your employees, tomorrow you might be fighting for the right to put up a Christmas tree in Time Square. Realize what it is you are trying to do and pretend for one moment you are a different sect.

Disclaimer I am in no way against Muslims or the Islamic religion, but I do know how afraid Christians are of them, to a point that it is pathetic. This is the only reason I would use the Islamic religion in this way. I unconditionally respect all faiths and believe they can live in peace. If I have offended anyone...grow up.

cowboy 2 years, 2 months ago

Breaking news..... Ks Legislators invoke new procedure prior to any vote... Go outside and wait for Skygods to send message

Whack jobs !

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Usually it is Xtian, following the same thought as Xmas.

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

While the pre pubescent crowd is yucking it up, what you gifted individuals need to remember is the following because you are responsible for it. Actually you are probably owed a big thank you. So thanks.

"It's time for us to make a stand," said state Rep. John DeBerry, a Democrat from Tennessee and Church of Christ minister.

He complained that children are being taught in public schools that faith is ignorant and that there are attempts to remove religious symbols, such as crosses, from cemeteries.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

"...but the ACLU says it has never litigated such a proposal."

Did you even try to read the entire article?

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

Charges have been made that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit to remove military cross-shaped headstones, but the ACLU says it has never litigated such a proposal.

It would have been better if you copy pasted the whole sentence. ACLU HAS filed a lawsuit.

Did you even try to read the entire article ?

Glenn Reed 2 years, 2 months ago

I SAY THAT ARMSTRONG EATS PICKLES DIPPED IN MUSTARD IN BED WHILE SINGING ABOUT A CROCODILE IN A BIKINI!!!

I have just charged Armstrong with having weird fetishes. Are they true simply because I made such a charge? Well, boy howdy, it must be!

Google's your friend, Armstrong....

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/cemetery.asp

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Wow. They will just let anyone onto the internet, won't they?

Um... "Charges have been made" means that someone said that the ACLU did this, but the ACLU itself says it NEVER has done such a thing. That means they HAVEN'T filed a lawsuit. Why would they deny their own lawsuit? Could it be, because they never filed it??

Apparently you read the article, you just didn't comprehend the meaning of the words they used.

tomatogrower 2 years, 2 months ago

That is a lie, Armstrong. The ACLU just fought to force other religious symbols to be allowed on graves. Christian right wingers tried to stop Muslim and Wiccan symbols banned from military cemeteries. I'm sorry your groups want to fight the freedom of other religions to serve and die for their country. They no nothing about religious suppression. You should try and be Wiccan openly. Then you would know real discrimination.

Armstrong 2 years, 2 months ago

What you rocket scientists are missing is that this is what Rothy put in his piece. Don't get pissed at me for what your favorite lib puppet writes.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, we are "rocket scientists" for understanding the meaning of complex words, like "charges."

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

One thing I like about non-believers is that they never knock on my door to tell me about what they don't believe in.

Anyone who argues that people are being prevented from practicing the religion of their choice in America apparently haven't visited many other countries. Heck, our government even gives people tax breaks for giving money to their religious institutions, the exact opposite of pursecution, in my opinion.

To borrow Rep. John DeBerry's words, It is time we take a stand. We can no longer afford to give tax-exempt status to churches. We are borrowing money from China so organized religions can build castles to themselves!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kInrbpjNOvo

kuguardgrl13 2 years, 2 months ago

Your assume churches don't pay income taxes? False. My mother has worked in churches for years and has taxes taken out of her income annually. She also files a tax return with my father just like most married couples in this country. If churches have to pay the same taxes as for-profit businesses, then so should non-profits of all kinds. You would no longer get a tax exemption for donating to a charity. Tax exempt status applies to more than just religious groups.

boltzmann 2 years, 2 months ago

No, people who have churches as an employer get taxed just like every employee. However, the church itself does not pay taxes - unless it gets in trouble with the IRS for partisan political activity - and dontations to that church are tax deductible. I think you are confusing your mother as an employee with the church itself.

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

Except that the IRS doesn't even make a pretense at enforcing that law.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

Make churches pay taxes and the government will be forced to represent them. I don't think it will work out to your satisfaction.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

But we borrow money from China, don't you see?

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

The really sad thing is that so many so-called Christians actually believe that they are being persecuted---and any number of politicians are not only willing, but eager, to fan the flames and then take advantage of it.

50YearResident 2 years, 2 months ago

Freedom of Religion........In order for that to work we have to eliminate those groups that are not a Religion. There are too many so called "Religions" that are using a guaranteed freedom to gain a large enough foothold to eventually overthrow the government. If it is allowed to continue there eventually will be one religion, and it is not going to be Christians.

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

No, it won't be Christians, you're right about that.

It will be the Faux Christians and it won't be pretty.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago



Juxtapose this with the recent "Pulpit Freedom" Sunday where over 1400 churches endorsed political candidates from the pulpit in a deliberate nose thumbing to the IRS.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/pulpit-freedom-sunday-pastors-defy-tax-rules-back-political-candidates_n_1948284.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

JackMcKee 2 years, 2 months ago

Religious freedom under attack. In Kansas. The state that just passed an anti Sharia law. OK. LOL.

oldexbeat 2 years, 2 months ago

actually, I think what passed would outlaw British Commonlaw and Hebrew 10- commandments also. Funny.

oldexbeat 2 years, 2 months ago

And the rightwing nut Brownback, recently converted to very right wing Roman Catholic belief, the one church that killed more people that didn't believe their beliefs than any other.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago



Ironic, no? This is just about as hypocritical as it gets and proof positive that their REAL God is "mammon".

Catalano 2 years, 2 months ago

"The group said 27 Kansas legislators have signed up; 26 Republicans and one Democrat. Of the 120 legislators in the nine states, organizers did not have a breakdown of their political and religious affiliation. According to organizers, here are the Kansas legislators that have joined the caucus: ... "

Yeah, but come on Scott...YOU surely know who the Democrat is. This is your beat. Don't be lazy. Thank you.

beatrice 2 years, 2 months ago

He says who the Democrat is in the second sentence: "'It's time for us to make a stand,' said state Rep. John DeBerry, a Democrat from Tennessee and Church of Christ minister."

boltzmann 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually I think that according to the context, which included other states ,that DeBerry is actually a state rep. in Tennessee, not Kansas.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 2 months ago

To these people, religious freedom has come to mean the freedom to impose your religious beliefs on others and to use your religious beliefs as an excuse for bigotry and hate.

mom_of_three 2 years, 2 months ago

While every President could be a Christian, not all were practicing or members of the church, and a few liked deism.

verity 2 years, 2 months ago

No.

Everybody knows only Christians count. The rest of us don't deserve any freedom---and you're obviously trying to take their freedom away.

Besides---do no harm? What kind of socialistic, heathern idea is that?

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 2 months ago

Absolutely not. No one is stomping on your religious rights by making your insurance pass out birth control pills.

Liberty275 2 years, 2 months ago

If I was a wiccan, I'd dance naked in the forest under the full moon, maybe out by Clinton Lake. I was just wondering which forest is best if I ever give up on nihilism and start worshiping tree gods.

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