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stone space

stone space's Journal
stone space's Journal
March 31, 2015

Op-ed: 'Religious Discrimination' Laws Have Nothing to Do With Religion


Julian Bond was at the forefront of the civil rights battles of the mid-20th century. He says the 'religious discrimination' bills now cropping up all over the nation are a return to the institutional intolerance of those days.

The value of religious freedom is paramount in our country — that’s why it’s enshrined in our nation’s Constitution. Let there be no doubt: People of faith and their right to exercise their closely held religious beliefs are fully protected. Most unfortunately, a select group of insidious activists and elected officials is pretending those protections don’t exist and is threatening the civil rights of LGBT Americans.

Legislators in states such as Indiana, Arkansas, and Georgia are busy pushing bills that purport to further protect religious believers from the so-called scourge of government intrusion. But these bills aren’t about religious belief at all: They’re about discrimination, pure and simple.


We oppose these bills because they seek not to preserve or protect religious believers but to demean and exclude LGBT people, religious minorities, and others who may find themselves standing on the outside looking in.

I have seen discrimination. I have stood inside businesses that would not serve me because of my race, and I have been told that the rights of those business owners were more important than mine. I countered that logic then, as I do now. We have no crisis of religious discrimination; we have a crisis of fear. I stand against these bills and with those who are fighting to stop them. I refuse to allow discrimination to cloak itself in a shroud of faith. I refuse to give into fear.

DR. JULIAN BOND is a civil rights leader and former member of the Georgia legislature. He is the founder and president emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center and served as chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2010.


March 30, 2015

I do not cheat my students. To repeat, I do not cheat my students. This is a lie!

I have been accused of cheating my students here on DU.

This is a bald-faced lie, and I just want to set the record straight.

I do not cheat my students, and the mere fact that I disagree with those who support Zimmerman's Gunstalking behavior does not make it true.


March 30, 2015

The Big Lie The Media Tells About Indiana’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Law

On Friday, the Washington Post published an article titled “19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting.” The article snarks about organizations like the NCAA that have protested Indiana’s law, noting “the NCAA didn’t say it was concerned over how athletes and employees would be affected by Kentucky’s RFRA when games were played there last week.” The piece concludes “Indiana might be treated as if it’s the only state with a bill like this, but it’s not.” The piece has been shared over 75,000 times on Facebook.

The Washington Post article largely mirrors the argument advanced by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Pence claimed “Then state-Sen. Barack Obama voted for [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act]. The very same language.”

The same argument is parroted on Fox News and elsewhere.

It’s not true.

The Indiana law differs substantially from the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed by President Clinton in 1993, and all other state RFRAs.

There are several important differences in the Indiana bill but the most striking is Section 9. Under that section, a “person” (which under the law includes not only an individual but also any organization, partnership, LLC, corporation, company, firm, church, religious society, or other entity) whose “exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened” can use the law as “a claim or defense… regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.”



March 29, 2015

"It's time to Thump the Bible Thumpers with the Bible"

According to actor and Sirius XM radio host John Fugelsang, it’s time to “thump the Bible thumpers with the Bible” over Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he says is “un-Christian.”

March 28, 2015

Paperwork filed with Indiana Secretary of State for First Church of Cannabis

INDIANAPOLIS - Paperwork for the First Church of Cannabis Inc. was filed Thursday – the same day Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law.


March 21, 2015

Why do some so-called "atheists" consider distroying chuches and mosques...

...a religious value?

As an atheist myself, I'm really having difficulty understanding this.

I can't imagine what could be a more anti-religious value or action.

Please help this atheist understand.

March 9, 2015

Should men be drafted into the military?

If the draft is reinstated, should men be drafted?

March 4, 2015

Guns on Campus Have Already Curtailed Free Speech

Guns on Campus Have Already Curtailed Free Speech

The Chronicle of Higher Education
October 27th, 2014

Earlier this month, the feminist and media critic Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak to students on the campus of Utah State University. The day before her talk, emails were sent to staff and faculty threatening violence if Sarkeesian was allowed to proceed. The threats were fairly general: Sarkeesian and all the feminists in the audience were the targets. But they were also exceptionally charged, promising "the deadliest school shooting in American history."

Administrators and public-safety officials met with Sarkeesian and made plans to increase security. However, once Sarkeesian learned that Utah State could not guarantee a gun-free audience because state law allows concealed weapons on college campuses, she, understandably, canceled her appearance. In that decision, we witnessed one of the first clear examples of how laws allowing concealed weapons on a college campus can thwart academic freedom and First Amendment rights to free speech.



March 4, 2015

Why do I hear this new NRA Talking Point here on DU so often?

New NRA Talking Point: Opponents Of Guns On Campus Are "OK With Some Sexual Assaults Occurring"

National Rifle Association radio and television host Cam Edwards claimed that people who argue against concealed carry as a solution to rape on college campuses "are OK with" sexual assaults that could supposedly be prevented by guns.

At least 10 state legislatures are considering NRA-backed legislation to allow students to carry concealed guns on campus, and advocates for guns on campus have increasingly argued that arming students will help address the epidemic of campus sexual assault. Critics have pointed out that, among many other problems with this argument, campus sexual assaults often involve alcohol.

During the February 24 edition of the NRA News radio program Cam & Company, Edwards asserted that opponents of guns on campus believe that in "almost every sexual assault, there is alcohol involved," so a "gun wouldn't help." Because of this, Edwards said, opponents of guns on campus are "OK with some sexual assaults occurring when they could be prevented."

Edwards went on to describe the position of those who say that guns on campus are not a solution to sexual assault: "So what they're saying is, they are OK with real sexual assaults happening -- whether they acknowledge that they are saying this or not, ultimately their position is that they are OK with real sexual assaults happening because they are afraid of accidents that might take place if campus carry were allowed."


March 3, 2015

Idaho Sen. plans to try and stop Hindu prayer at Statehouse

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- An Idaho lawmaker says he's working to stop a Hindu prayer set to open at the Idaho statehouse Tuesday morning.

Idaho Sen. Steve Vick wrote on Facebook that he's "extremely disappointed" after learning about the planned prayer after the Coeur d'Alene Press reported on the story over the weekend.

The prayer will be delivered by Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who said in a news release that it's the first time a Hindu prayer has opened the Idaho senate.

"It is interesting that as a Senator I have to learn about this from the newspaper," Vick wrote in the Facebook post. "I am working to get it stopped. Contact your Senator and find out where they stand."


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