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Why The GOP Has The First Amendment Upside Down

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Why The GOP Has The First Amendment Upside Down

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mike huckabee

One entertaining aspect of recent dramatic Supreme Court rulings was learning that the court’s high-minded intellectuals can be just as thin skinned and spiteful as everybody else. Apparently, Justice Antonin Scalia was a law-school whiz kid about 50 years and 50,000 cocktails ago, and finds it hard to accept that lesser minds are not obliged to agree with him.

For his part, Chief Justice John Roberts turned political prognosticator in his dissent to Obergefell v. Hodges, the decision legitimizing gay marriage. “Stealing this issue from the people,” he wrote, “will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”

Granted, if all you had to go by was the sky-is-falling rhetoric of Republican presidential candidates and their theological allies, you might think that Roberts had a point. But he doesn’t, partly because the Supreme Court ruling won’t bring about dramatic social change at all. It merely affirms social changes that have already happened.

But hold that thought, because political handicappers at the New York Times argue that same-sex unions could be the best thing that ever happened to the GOP. Not because millions of outraged religious conservatives will stampede to the ballot boxes, but because… well, here’s the headline: “As Left Wins Culture Battles, GOP Gains Opportunity to Pivot for 2016.”

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum believes that the gay marriage fight is over. “Every once in a while,” he told reporter Jonathan Martin, “we bring down the curtain on the politics of a prior era. The stage is now cleared for the next generation of issues. And Republicans can say, ‘Whether you’re gay, black, or a recent migrant to our country, we are going to welcome you as a fully cherished member of our coalition.’”

Sure, Republicans could say that. If Republicans were in the habit of dealing with reality, that is. Frum, a Canadian Jew who became a U.S. citizen in 2007, may be forgiven a bit of wishful thinking. Ever since getting pushed out of the American Enterprise Institute for saying Republicans were foolish not to negotiate with the White House on Obamacare, he’s been trying to persuade Republicans to act more like British Tories.

But that’s not how today’s GOP rolls. On the party’s evangelical right, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was breathing smoke and fire. A Baptist preacher, Huckabee indulged in a bit of ecclesiastical word play, denying that the Supreme Court could do “something only the Supreme Being can do — redefine marriage.” He denounced the ruling as a “blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment,” and vowed to defy it.

In this, Huckabee echoed Rev. Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who even before the Supreme Court ruling had vowed that “as a minister of the Gospel, I will not officiate over any same-sex unions or same-sex marriage ceremonies. I completely refuse.”

Isn’t that brave of him?

However, do you really suppose it’s possible that Floyd, Huckabee, and the rest of the hyperventilating GOP candidates fail to understand that all churches have an absolute First Amendment right to their own beliefs and practices? They’re bravely refusing to perform ceremonies that nothing in this nor any imaginable Supreme Court decision would require of them.

If your church refuses to sanctify same-sex marriages (as mine certainly does), that’s its unquestioned right. For that matter, the Catholic Church also refuses to marry previously divorced couples, or even admit them to communion — an absurdity to me, but not a political issue.

Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling changes those things. It’s about marriage as a secular legal institution: two Americans entering into a contract with each other. Period.

That’s why Bloomberg View‘s Jonathan Bernstein is right and Justice Roberts is wrong about same-sex marriage causing long-lasting social resentment. Marriage, he writes, is “a done deal,” and the issue will soon be relegated to “history books alongside questions of whether women should vote or alcohol should be prohibited.”

Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision invalidating miscegenation laws, was accepted almost immediately. Bernstein points out that in states such as Massachusetts and Iowa, where same-sex unions have been legal for years, they’re no longer controversial.  

Because it’s really none of your business, is it, who loves whom? And it has zero effect on you personally. So grow up and get over it.

In time, as Bernstein says, most people will.

In the near term, however, millions of aggrieved GOP voters appear to have gotten the First Amendment upside down. They won’t easily be dissuaded. Feeling besieged by the mainstream culture, they’re encouraged by the Huckabees, Cruzes, and Santorums of the world to believe that they’re being persecuted because they can’t make everybody else march to their drumbeat.

The Republicans’ problem is that to most Americans, that’s the antithesis of religious liberty, and a surefire political loser.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Gene Lyons

Gene Lyons is a political columnist and author. Lyons writes a column for the Arkansas Times that is nationally syndicated by United Media. He was previously a general editor at Newsweek as wells an associate editor at Texas Monthly where he won a National Magazine Award in 1980. He contributes to Salon.com and has written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Monthly, The Nation, Esquire, and Slate. A graduate of Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, Lyons taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, Arkansas and Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. A native of New Jersey, Lyons has lived in Arkansas with his wife Diane since 1972. The Lyons live on a cattle farm near Houston, Ark., with a half-dozen dogs, several cats, three horses, and a growing herd of Fleckvieh Simmental cows. Lyons has written several books including The Higher Illiteracy (University of Arkansas, 1988), Widow's Web (Simon & Schuster, 1993), Fools for Scandal (Franklin Square, 1996) as well as The Hunting Of The President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, which he co-authored with National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason.

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191 Comments

  1. FireBaron July 1, 2015

    That’s because many in the GOP believe the First Amendment gives THEM the right to trample over others’ religious beliefs, and their rights to freedom of speech and expression.

    Reply
    1. David July 1, 2015

      Religious beliefs? Ha! You Demorats booed when Jesus’ name was mentioned at your national convention. Godless assholes…

      Reply
      1. Marv Nochowitz July 1, 2015

        Which Jesus? I know a lot of people named Jesus.

        Reply
        1. David July 1, 2015

          Our Lord and Savior…

          Reply
          1. Tom S July 1, 2015

            One of the alien space travelers?

            Reply
          2. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            Your Lord and Savior. You just verified the problem in one word. You have no right to try and dictate what others should believe.
            Millions of people do not claim your Lord and Savior as their own and you arrogantly think you have the right to force them to do so. Get over yourself and while you are at it, keep n mind ALL religion is a leap of faith.
            My religious beliefs are personal and my own. I don’t feel a need to share it or try to bully anyone into accepting it as theirs. It’s a matter of respect for others. Try it.

            Reply
          3. David July 1, 2015

            Carolyn1520 you need to realize that Jesus Christ is not only MY Lord and Savior, He is the Lord and Savior of everyone! The only thing “personal” about Christianity is making a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We spread His Word to fulfill the Great Commission. I am not trying to bully you into accepting it. I just want you to be aware of it and choose eternal life.

            Reply
          4. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            You need to realize that is your belief but not the belief of everyone. Your perception is your reality but it’s not everyones.
            I think everyone is fully aware of what the Great Commission means to the “Christians” representing your beliefs.
            I’m a great believer in judging others by their deeds not what they parrot. From what I’ve witnessed, we have the American Taliban representing Christians.
            When Christians walk the talk and actually practice the tenets and doctrines of their chosen faith, then I have respect for them. The ones who drag out God as a prop to further their agenda of control, not so much.
            The Mormons believe they can convert everyone after death. That’s just as arrogant.

            Reply
          5. Marv Nochowitz July 1, 2015

            Spread the word like the Inquisition did? Just mere suggestion. Was the holocaust another suggestion? How did burning people who were thought to be witches work out for you. How many Native Americans were massacred after coming in contact with Christians? Nice way to spread the word.

            Reply
          6. David July 1, 2015

            Please tell us Marv, just where do you get your moral compass? Do you do something because it is the “right” thing to do? Where do your behavioral standards come from? None of the actions you referenced were the result of following the teachings of Christ. His standards are immutable. Man’s standards ebb and flow with time.

            Reply
          7. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            I’ll re-phrase my post, since using your term for the rest of us regarding you may offend the censors.
            You keep talking about how we all should adopt your religion; we’d be more inclined to listen and at least credit you with good intentions, if your posts and comments about those who don’t share your beliefs didn’t belie it, and mark you as just another arrogant, self-righteous prig with no respect for the Constitution or for anyone’s religious freedom but your own.

            Reply
          8. David July 2, 2015

            My respect for the Constitution includes studying how the Founding Fathers felt about God. They were all deists. To a man they acknowledged the power of God and, that alone, we are nothing. I never said that anyone should “adopt” my religion. I said that in fulfilling the Great Commission, I should profess my faith in Christ. He gave you the free will to accept Him or not.

            Reply
          9. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            Your arguments on this article mock both the founding fathers and the man you call your “lord and savior.” You have a funny way of expressing “respect” for the Constitution: calling those who disagree with you “godless a$$#01es” – my salute to the censors who seem to have removed my original post as I feared; why not yours which I was echoing?
            Suddenly when challenged you turn all holy and reverent; as I said, calling people by insulting obscenities is hardly “fulfilling the Great Commission”; it’s more like fulfilling your little ego with all its nastiness and insecurities as a replacement.

            Reply
          10. David July 2, 2015

            Sand_Cat — I assure you my ego is not little. I try not to be overly nasty and I am not insecure. Calling non-believers godless a–holes is just me telling it like it is. They have exercised their free will to reject Him. I know what it is like to be there. I rejected Christ for the first 44 years of my life. Through the grace and mercy of God, I came to accept Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am not a very good messenger, but I will carry His name with me.

            Reply
          11. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            More crap from you. I’m tired of arguing with idiots.
            You and whodatbob are the most outstanding examples I’ve ever seen of precisely what this article is about.

            Reply
          12. David July 3, 2015

            Enjoyed our conversation. Be quick to think…slow to speak and slow to anger. Have a blessed day!

            Reply
          13. highpckts July 1, 2015

            Oh so agree! What I believe is my business!! I certainly don’t force it on ANYONE not even my kids! I let them make up their own mind! I tried to raise thinking, moral human beings who know the difference between right and wrong! What is it with people that think they are the only ones with the “right” beliefs! Religion has caused more rifts in families than anything! I truly hate arrogant “believers”!!

            Reply
          14. Marv Nochowitz July 1, 2015

            “Our”? You mean your. Not everyone, actually, most people on earth believe different than you. Did you ever read the 10 commandments? By taking this Jesus fellow as your Lord and savior,you broke the first commandment. I guess the others don’t matter either.

            Reply
          15. David July 1, 2015

            It is called the “Trinity”. Look it up.

            Reply
          16. Marv Nochowitz July 1, 2015

            Where in the 10 commandments is a holy trinity mentioned? For that matter where in what you call the old testament is holy trinity mentioned. You guys just made that up. Put no gods before me is not hard to understand . Where is the ambiguity or asterisk? I guess reading comprehension isn’t a Christian strong point.

            Reply
          17. David July 1, 2015

            Well, Marv the Old Testament is replete with references to not only the Father, but also Jesus (Isaiah 7:14, 50:6, 53:3-7; Zechariah 9:9, 12:6; and, Psalms 22:16-18 to name a few) and the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2, 6:3; Psalms 33:6; Judges 3:9, 6:31, 11:29, 14:6-19, 15:14; Numbers 11:25-26; and, Samuel 10:10, 11:6, 16:14). Next time, check your Concordance.

            Reply
          18. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            References to people or beings by one man do not make them the same person. The trinity is a human-made doctrine.

            Reply
          19. David July 2, 2015

            Read your Bible, Sand Cat. It is the Word of God.

            Reply
          20. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            If the Bible is the “Word of God,” I guess the best we can say for him is that he suffers from a number of personality and learning disorders, not least of which are regularly contradicting himself and ordering genocide against people in order to steal their land, among a host of others. I have read the Bible; it would appear you have not, or you would exhibit considerably less of your smug arrogance and thoroughly disagreeable manner.
            Maybe you should try reading the words of your “savior” about judgment and arrogance. You might enjoy the description in Matthew (Chapter 25, I believe) of the last judgment, in which it is actions, not “faith” or “belief,” or adherence to doctrines that matters. Or maybe the story of the good Samaritan, a heretic and apostate who was cited when “Jesus” was asked who are one’s neighbors. Your words surely aren’t very neighborly; either you don’t follow the “second great commandment” to love your neighbor as yourself, or perhaps you do, but just hate yourself.

            Reply
          21. David July 2, 2015

            Sand_Cat — First, the Bible IS the Word of God. Secondly, He does not suffer from “personality and learning disorders”. He made you right? Then, if we are to believe your position on God’s sanity, maybe he created you during a ‘moment of clarity’?
            Frankly, I don’t believe you have read the Bible -at least not recently. Matthew 25 involves Jesus explaining the parable of the Ten Virgins and the parable of the Talents. Jesus also lets us know that whatever we do for the least of us, we do for Him. Whatever we don’t do for the least of us, we don’t do for Him. You are likely referring to the Book of James. There the author talks about faith being combined with deeds. However, Paul lets us know that we are saved by the gift of grace from Jesus Christ and not of our works. Romans 5:15
            I do love my neighbors. I hate the sin they are wrapped up in.

            Reply
          22. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            David maybe you should consider the words of James before preaching against others sin James 2:10 to be exact.

            Reply
          23. David July 2, 2015

            jrj1701 — I just don’t stumble on one point, I stumble all the time! I also need to remember what is in James about ‘being quick to think, but slow to speak and slow to anger’!

            Reply
          24. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            Matthew 25 includes the last judgment, just as I said, and either you’re a liar or an idiot if you don’t see it. Paul never met “Jesus,” and you’re still an ignorant moron who clearly hates those who disagree and uses obscenities to describe them.
            None so blind as those who will not see.

            Reply
          25. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            The Church defines what the bible says not individuals, what you are saying is the heresy of sola scriptura.

            Reply
          26. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            Another doctrine of MEN. Where is it mentioned in the text?

            Reply
          27. David July 2, 2015

            Hey Sand Cat, have you checked your Concordance yet? Time to wake up!

            Reply
          28. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            The Concordance is another man-made guide to the man-made book. You are the one lost in dreams and fantasies, and nasty ones, at that.

            Reply
          29. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            To rely on the scriptures themselves is a heresy known as sols scriptura. The Church defines what scripture means, it is not up to individual interpretation.

            Reply
          30. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            Sola Scriptura, please excuse my typo.

            Reply
          31. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            Defined as heresy by MEN, as the church was founded and it’s doctrines created and compiled by MEN. The Latin doesn’t impress; “Jesus” probably spoke Aramaic, and Hebrew. The Catholic church has many good points, and is certainly more often a voice of reason than the fundamentalist knuckle-draggers, but its entire structure with “princes of the church” and persecution of heretics, including torture and murder in an earlier time, mocks almost everything its purported founder and principal subject said. He despised and constantly spoke against the arrogance of the religious hierarchy of his time – which supposedly betrayed him and had him killed – but “his” Church has an almost identical hierarchy, except that it gives itself even more “airs” than the Sanhedrin and the high priests. He also criticized, or even mocked, those who were constantly attacking ordinary people on the fine points of doctrine, yet “his” church felt free to murder dissenters and conduct genocidal wars against them.
            Don’t come citing man-made doctrine to me; as full of contradictions and evils as the Bible is, it is far closer – at least in time – to the source than the subsequent incarnations of the church which compiled it.

            Reply
          32. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            You have done a good job of briefly listing the sins of the Roman Catholic Church, some of those sins the Roman Catholic Church has repented of, yet others they still refuse to acknowledge. Though Christ did teach against the ways of the Pharisees and Scribes, He did not teach rebellion against them. The Orthodox Church did not do these things that you rightly criticize, and both the Orthodox and the RCC teach that the Church interprets scripture not individuals, just as the Supreme Court interprets the U.S. Constitution.

            Reply
          33. jmprint July 2, 2015

            I think you are wrong about Church defines, church is run by clergy, clergy is man, he will define to his likings. Jesus says there will be those that read but don’t understand, and then there are those of true faith, that will read and understand. When I read the bible, I understand that the Lords biggest commandment was love God, and your neighbor, as you love yourself. Why is it that most christians can’t comprehend that. And Jesus is very specific about helping all the poor, but yet the republican christians do’;t understand that meaning. WHY?

            Reply
          34. jrj1701 July 3, 2015

            True the Church is comprised of sinful men, yet Christ did state that He would build a Church that the gates of hell will not prevail against. Please remember that not Christians are conservative hypocrites, you don’t hear of too many progressive or moderate preachers speak on politricks because there have been cases where Republican officials have retaliated against any that would preach against them.

            Reply
          35. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            Marv Nochowitz Jesus and God are one, that is trinitarian theology. I am not supporting David’s heresies, just pointing out what some Christians believe.

            Reply
          36. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            “Theology” is a purely man-made discipline, which is Marv’s and my point.

            Reply
          37. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            The Church is not man made nor guided by men, the Church teaches the proper theology of Christianity. Men have distorted the Church’s teachings as a means to achieve power. I agree that the U.S. was not founded as a province of the Church, I am just pointing out the truth about what the Church teaches.

            Reply
          38. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            You have good taste in aircraft photos, but your arguments are mere assertions for which the evidence is nil.

            Reply
          39. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            I would disagree, the evidence is recorded in the Church’s history, just as the evidence against the U.S. being founded on the morality of God is recorded in its history.

            Reply
          40. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            I have no quarrel with you, and thank you for the calm and reasonable
            presentation of your case. I hope that my responses have not been less
            so. You will have noted that my responses to those claiming our government
            is controlled by atheists and other absurd propositions are considerably
            less respectful, for which I make no apology
            I consider the Church’s own history of itself likely more fiction than fact, and lacking completely in objectivity. My recollection is rusty, but I seem to recall reading in a book about the saints that the first 50 (?) popes were all saints, but Peter’s name is the only one known. This may be an error of memory, but I’m not sure any evidence but the church’s claims even supports the notion that Peter is buried in Saint Peter’s, much less that he considered himself a “pope” in the usual sense of that word.
            The evidence that the US was founded on the “morality of god” is likewise a dubious proposition unsupported by the evidence. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence and wrote the Constitution were men of the Enlightenment; most if not all of them spoke of “god” much in the way Einstein did. The Constitutional Convention rejected a motion (by Franklin, I believe) that they begin with a prayer, and god is not mentioned in the resulting document. Religion is mentioned only to say that it cannot be used to exclude people from government positions.
            My argument here in any case is not with the Catholic church, or any other, except when it tries to interfere in my government. Here in NJ, we all have the privilege of paying taxes to support busing of students to parochial schools, which, whatever their academic merits or lack thereof, were founded and attempt to serve as indoctrination centers for religion. That is only one of many, many religious abuses by various government agencies, the Office of “Faith-Based” Initiatives being one of the more prominent and visible.

            Reply
          41. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            I do hope that we are not quarreling. I was just trying to present a valid point for you to consider. There are historical texts of the Church that can satisfy a historian’s requirements and are not as biased as some believe. The U.S. just like any other entity has suffered from a tyranny of the majority, and also the ignorance of the majority. I know that most of the vocal conservatives are of this strain, ignorant, fearful folks that are being manipulated by their leadership and they come onto these forums to vent their fear and fight for what doesn’t need fighting for. Yet just as all have sinned, all are ignorant of certain specifics and some of these need to be truthfully presented, and when it comes to Christian beliefs, even the believers presents some erroneous ideas.

            Reply
          42. jmprint July 2, 2015

            Right now they are teaching people to vote republican, and saying that democrats are all godless, which is a lie.

            Reply
          43. whodatbob July 2, 2015

            No. RCC teaches that abortion is wrong as is sex between same sex people. Freedom of Religion allows RCC to believe that, Freedom of speach allows them to say so publicly. Liberal extremist believe that is telling the flock to vote republican. As most Catholics I believe the Church is morally correct and have refuse to voted republican.

            Reply
          44. jmprint July 2, 2015

            No they pass out labels that read:

            1) Reduce Taxes – Vote republican
            2) Bring schools back to education – vote republican
            3) Help create jobs – vote republican
            4) Defend the family – vote republican
            5) defend the constitution – vote republican
            6) defeat terrorism – vote republican

            They could care less about all other sins, abortion and homosexuality is all they are concerned with, because that is where they can hurt people that won’t hurt their bottom line. Bottom line is always about money and greed.

            Reply
          45. whodatbob July 3, 2015

            Lame effort to slamming Catholics. But your hateful anti-Catholic bigotry failed.

            Reply
          46. jmprint July 7, 2015

            Actually you are absolutely correct about slamming the Catholics, I was actually slamming the Baptist Church. Statements 1-6 comes from literature that I personally saw. The problem I have with the Catholic church is that they like to cast stones, when they live in a glass house. Example: While driving down past the Catholic Church I see all these crosses hundred lined up in a rows, and it comes to mine, I wonder if each one of those crosses represents forgiveness for the boys that were molested while in the hands of clergy. BUT you and I know it represents vindication to women who have had abortions. It is really sad, because it is more a political point, and well we all know rape and adultery are not as bad of sin as abortion.

            Reply
          47. jrj1701 July 3, 2015

            jmprint lets be more precise, some are, most do not offer an opinion on politricks (excuse me I mean politics, or do I) they preach about how the individual should live a Christian life.

            Reply
          48. jmprint July 3, 2015

            I have not seen or heard too many not preach about the gay movement and abortion activist. When I was a visiting member to the churches in the past, they criticized other religions, now they have honed in on these two subjects, missing the facts that most of the time when a women has to make a decision to abort, it is because there are some kind of issues behind that decision. And on the gay movement they also forget that is most of the relationships are drawn by love. Love is a very powerful, powerful thing, it is what makes American better. And that is what the Lord preached. But in the eyes of many, those things are going to cause others to go to hell-o. Think about it;

            Scenario 1; you have a loving, praying gay couple been together for over fifty years and still in love from day one. The spirit in their heart drives them to care and help others that are less fortunate. They mined their own business and are productive citizens.

            Scenario 2: you have a preacher who loves money, has all the fine things in life that his congregation has allowed him to earn, because his word brings in many donation and the buildings of God are immaculate. But he is constantly preaching that the women having abortion and loving men getting married is going to cause the world to end, and there will be turbulence and he instills fear and hate into people hearts.

            Which scenario is more God like.

            Reply
          49. Marv Nochowitz July 2, 2015

            That makes no sense unless you’re talking about a God different than the God of Abraham. Did Mary give birth to a God? The 10 commandments predate your Jesus by a long time. Those who put Jesus before the God of Abraham are breaking the first commandment. There are no qualifiers or asterisks. The meaning is very clear. Put no gods before me. Or did God change his mind? Maybe he got it wrong.

            Reply
          50. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            Marv Nochowitz trinitarian theology is a subject that cannot be easily boiled down to an understandable form in the limited time and space of this comment thread. Yes Trinitarians believe that Mary gave birth to God, the Eastern Orthodox term for her is Theotokas which is greek for birthgiver of God. This theology is hard for many to understand, unless they approach it with study and prayer.

            Reply
          51. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            His name was Yeshua or Joshua. Don’t you even know his name? But then, your earlier post mocked his teachings, in any case.

            Reply
          52. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            David you are forgetting the words of who you profess to follow. God gives us the privilege to deny Him, you and I claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior, others do not and Jesus does not force others to follow him, He freely offers his salvation.

            Reply
          53. David July 2, 2015

            Yes, you are right. We have free will to choose Him or not.

            Reply
      2. j.martindale July 1, 2015

        So not everybody believes in your sky fairy friend. Poor you!

        Reply
      3. paulyz July 1, 2015

        Impossible to reason to these Leftie fringe David, they refuse to admit that our Country was founded by Christians & our Constitution is based on the Laws of God, not man. Since many of them have lifestyles contrary to that, they trash anyone with Christian beliefs, even though those beliefs gave them the greatest country in which to live the way they choose. Nobody is forcing any religion on them, but they want to force their secularism on others.

        Reply
        1. j.martindale July 1, 2015

          I love it when the theocrats say no one is forcing their religion on them! Take a look at what every damned one of your clowns running for president says about marriage equality. It is either we need a constitutional amendment, we will have civil disobedience and not permit this to happen, as president I will change the court and make them stop same sex marriage, or some other variant on the same theme. Abortion has to be stopped, regardless of the beliefs of the woman or the doctor. Have to support private xtian academies and home schoolers. Secularism is not enforcing anyone’s religion on anybody. It is merely keeping the wall of separation between church and state that Jefferson and the other Deists who founded this country standing.

          Reply
        2. gmccpa July 1, 2015

          Based on the law of God? Total BS. The words ‘God’ or ‘Christianity’ appear NOWHERE in the Constitution. It doesn’t mention religion until we get to the Bill of Rights….and even there it says Congress shall not establish one. Doesn’t mention the Bible. Doesn’t mention Jesus. Doesn’t mention the Ten Commandments. I guess they just ‘forgot’ to mention these things.

          Reply
          1. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            Actually, the original document does say there shall be no religious test for any position of trust in the US government.

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          2. paulyz July 3, 2015

            We don’t “establish” a National religion braniac, we allow the free expression of religious beliefs, nor do we deny the rights of Christians to freely express theirs, based on our Christian heritage, on which our Constitution is based. Try reading the Federalist Papers to learn all about the intent of our Laws.

            Reply
        3. jmprint July 1, 2015

          Then why are there no laws against adultery? What do you mean nobody is forcing religion on them, do you not read and see the BS your republican bigots are spewing. You guys criticize the Pope and actually think you are better then him, when he has love in his heart and you guys have hate in your heart. You are not going to convince anybody on this sight that you are a true Christian, when you failed to do what Jesus Christ expected from you.

          Reply
          1. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            uhh jmprint there are laws on the books against adultery.

            Reply
          2. jmprint July 2, 2015

            Yes what is it divorce! How many people are scorn for it. Please do educate me.

            Reply
          3. jrj1701 July 2, 2015

            This is a good online source.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adultery#United_States

            Just saying.

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          4. jmprint July 2, 2015

            These laws have gradually been abolished or struck down by courts as unconstitutional. And now show me the church laws, where the preacher refuses to preach to an adulterer.

            Reply
          5. paulyz July 3, 2015

            There you go dragging Jesus into the discussion again.

            Reply
          6. jmprint July 6, 2015

            Well what’s your answer, since this is what you posted: “Country was founded by Christians & our Constitution is based on the Laws of God, not man.”

            Reply
          7. paulyz July 6, 2015

            Why don’t you ask Jesus that question, your phony religious act is annoying.

            Reply
          8. jrj1701 July 7, 2015

            paulyz you were the one that claimed that this country was founded by christians and the constitution was based on God’s law, yet when called to prove your claim you refuse and say “Ask Jesus”. Prove your point.

            Reply
          9. jmprint July 7, 2015

            And your oh woes me I get no attention and I hate Obama attitude is sickening, but it’s your right. You keep wanting to act like a christian, but instead act like a fool. Don’t like my post, don’t respond to me, because we will be at it all day, you annoy me just as much.

            Reply
          10. jmprint July 6, 2015

            You started the christian conversation: Country was founded by Christians & our Constitution is based on the Laws of God, not man. Now answer the question! Do you honestly think Jesus would be toting a gun?

            Reply
        4. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

          BS paulyz, you’re projecting again.

          Reply
        5. Wayneo July 1, 2015

          Most of the Founding Fathers were not Christians, they were Deists. Also, much of the Constitution was based on Masonic ideas.

          Reply
          1. paulyz July 3, 2015

            NO, the large majority of our Founders were indeed Christians, & the small number of “deists” and their intentions were to found a Christian nation. You are fortunate to live in the great Country they established, enabling you to constantly criticize it, but selfishly enjoying it’s fruits.

            Reply
        6. charleo1 July 1, 2015

          Now I know you don’t talk to me. But I agree with you. After all,
          who wants someone else’s views imposed on them? And, you know as well as the Founders did, that if it were possible here in America, that’s exactly what would happen. It’s why the people that wrote that Constitution, specifically forbid Congress, from making any laws prohibiting or establishing any religion. And that’s all secularism is. The non-concern of religion. And aren’t we lucky they did? Otherwise, we know what would surely have already happened. Well, they’d say, sin needs to be legislated out of society. God commands it. And pretty soon, they’d have started in banning, and burning this book, or that newspaper, or start preaching that this Godless group, or that other illegitimate believe system is corrupting the children. Which after all, God says “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Or else, He, God, will be angry, if we don’t get control over the internet, or what movies are being shown, or that their unholy content is not allowed to offend the deeply held beliefs, and religious freedoms of the devout. That this is altogether good, and proper. And the way God in His Word, would have it. Can you see the problems that looking at governing a society in that way would create? If not, just reference a few history books the way the Founders did. And you’ll quickly see, it threatens every liberty, every one of us have.

          Reply
          1. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            How did you get him not to talk to you? 🙂 Please share.

            Reply
          2. charleo1 July 1, 2015

            Ha! Very funny, Carolyn! He said, I was always disrespectful, and very Liberal. Or, always Liberal, and very disrespectful.
            One of those?

            Reply
          3. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            🙂 Thank you!
            I can do that!

            Reply
          4. whodatbob July 1, 2015

            Thank you for an excellent post.

            Reply
        7. The lucky one July 1, 2015

          Hmmm, which one of god’s laws says that a black person = 3/5 of a white person. Yes our founders, mostly slave holders, were exemplary Christians right?

          Reply
          1. paulyz July 3, 2015

            Congratulations, I wondered how long it would take for that stupid comment. LMAO

            Reply
          2. The lucky one July 3, 2015

            Good for you, too bad you don’t understand the implications.

            Reply
        8. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

          What a thoroughly dishonest statement! You are even more clueless than “David” and the others this article mentions. No one wants to force secularism on you, only on our shared government. If you think obeying “God’s laws” rather than man’s is so evil, there are plenty of theocracies you could go to. Seems to me you’re the one usually ranting against those who don’t follow the Constitution. Isn’t it just a tiny bit hypocritical for you to urge the same thing? Was the Constitution brought down from the mount as a gift from god? It was and is one of those evil laws of man. When a delegate suggested opening the Constitutional Convention with a prayer, the motion was voted down by those sainted founders. It forbids the government from adopting a religion, especially one as obviously sick and nasty as the one you and “David” appear to share.

          Reply
          1. paulyz July 3, 2015

            You sure read a load of your own anti-conservative biases into my statement. I just stated facts of our founding & the basis of our Constitution. The Federal Government & Liberal Supreme Court IS involving themselves & us into their secular beliefs.

            Reply
          2. Sand_Cat July 3, 2015

            When have you EVER tried to “reason” with anyone here? First of all, you can’t “reason” by stating “facts” that aren’t true.
            My “bias” is the result of listening to “conservative” lies and delusions for too long.
            We refuse to acknowledge that the country was founded by Christians because it wasn’t. If you actually studied history rather than Fox news and the other right-wing BS, you’d see that most were Deists at “best.” But what are facts to the delusional, stupid, and anti-intellectual?
            And yeah, the Supreme Court is really “liberal.” You can’t “reason” using delusions and lies, either. It is a measure of both your willful ignorance and how far to the extreme, out-of-sight right that you could even consider calling Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy “liberal.”
            You didn’t state any “fact” other than that you can’t reason with intelligent and informed people. Boy is that a fact!! As for bias, you’re so biased you can’t be relied on for ANYTHING.
            You’re just a contemptible, lying little worm with nothing but ignorance, stupidity, and [inadvertent] entertainment to offer on any site with intelligent people.

            Reply
        9. David July 2, 2015

          Thank you. Have a blessed day!

          Reply
      4. Bob Eddy July 1, 2015

        Yes we are proudly “Godless” you very well be Godless as well, but far be it from me to force my beliefs on you.

        Reply
      5. jmprint July 1, 2015

        No David, we are not Godless, look at your sentence ready to criticize, what you don’t know.. You use religion to benefit your tongue, there are more democratic people that love God and Jesus Christ then there are true Christians. You want us to believe you love the Lord, then act like it, and love His people, as we are all His children. Homosexual is no more a sin then adultery and murder and how many christians break those laws everyday. How many in your congregation are divorced or re-married? In God’s eyes those are sinners. Repenting is not going to church to hear man’s word. And FYI the booing was not against Jesus.

        Reply
        1. David July 1, 2015

          If you mean to say that there are more Democrats that love God and Jesus Christ than there are true Christians, you are an idiot. There are not more Democrats than Christians! I will agree with you that I am not to revile Democrats merely because they sin differently than I do. If you love Jesus, then follow his Word. The Bible tells us not to do certain things. Being homosexual is one of them.

          Reply
          1. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            Then don’t be a homosexual if that’s how you interpret the words written by man and many times revised by man.

            Reply
          2. jmprint July 1, 2015

            Yes that is the response you righteous people like to use “IDIOT”, name calling makes it official. You can’t prove your statement any more then I can prove mine. I love Jesus and I do follow His Word. I am not homosexual, I do not pretend to be pure, because I am human, and all humans are sinners. But I don’t hide behind religion and criticize those that sin different. You christian are not pure, you have no right to cast stones, so stop casting them. and let people tend to their house, as you should tend to yours.

            Reply
          3. Wayneo July 1, 2015

            The Bible is not the only holy book or the only source of Religion. You, of course, are free to have your own beliefs – but not free to force them on me!

            Reply
          4. Charlotte Sines July 1, 2015

            If being homosexual is such a bad thing, then why are some animals homosexual? They don’t choose to be. It is just their nature. If animals can accept the differences and not try to kill them, why can’t humans? We are supposed to be the smart ones.

            Reply
          5. paulyz July 3, 2015

            LMAO, I have never seen animals engaged in homosexual behavior, why there are male & female, or how else would civilization last more than one generation. You must have had a Liberal activist in college. Oh wait, I looked out my window & seen a male rabbit giving another male rabbit a BJ. Ha ha haaaaa. As Bugs Bunny was fond of saying, “What a Maroon.”

            Reply
          6. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            So are eating shellfish, pork, and a host of other foods, allowing those from different religions to live, mixing fabrics in garments, and a host of other things one is “not to do.” So why do you do those? Why are you so selective? Maybe you should try reading that nasty passage about removing the beam from your own eye before looking for the splinter in someone else’s.
            But why am I wasting my words?

            Reply
      6. charleo1 July 1, 2015

        Where are these Democrats that boo Jesus? More likely the booing was about the way the Right is using the name of Jesus as a political tool to advance an agenda that largely makes a mockery out of the things Jesus taught, did, and said. As He walked among both the poor, and the powerful of the day. Spoiler alert: He wasn’t blaming the lazy poor for mankind’s ills. Nor was he lionizing the rich as job creators, and society’s saviors.

        Reply
      7. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

        Nice, Christian comment.
        I see that my comment throwing your obscenity back at you was removed. Sounds like religious persecution to me…

        Reply
        1. David July 2, 2015

          Truth hurt?

          Reply
    2. Tom S July 1, 2015

      The 1st also gives US Freedom FROM their ‘religion’.

      Reply
    3. Dominick Vila July 2, 2015

      For a Republican, LGBT marriage has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution, freedom, Civil Rights, logic, or a minimal understanding of humanity. Their interpretation of the First Amendment starts and ends with the right of religious organizations and their parishioners to impose their will on everyone else. Anything that challenges that precepts is regarded as an attack against religion or, more accurately, Christianity since other religions are often portrayed by them as manifestations of evil or not worthy of consideration.
      The fact that the recent SCOTUS ruling applies only to secular marriages, and that churches are not obligated to marry anyone whose preferences are inconsistent with their beliefs, makes absolutely no difference for those whose interpretation of freedom and democracy is the imposition of dictatorial precepts.

      Reply
  2. latebloomingrandma July 1, 2015

    Republicans seem to have a skewed definition of freedom. I have felt for some time that marriage laws should be the same in all states. It has nothing to do with “states rights” because a legal marriage contains over 1000 federal benefits. Why should only a few open minded states’ citizens have these benefits? Yes, they need to just grow up already. Nobody is going to make them marry someone they don’t want to marry.

    Reply
    1. Tom S July 1, 2015

      Why, in 2015, should we even have “States”?
      They haven’t made much sense since the American Revolution, and no sense since the 707 & DC-8, and the Interstate Highway System.

      Reply
      1. Carolyn1520 July 2, 2015

        I’m sorry, I do not want to be one with any states south . I like knowing exactly when I’m entering that territory so I can lock the car doors and follow the speed limit while getting through it. 🙂

        Reply
        1. 1standlastword July 2, 2015

          Quite right! Cultural implications are defined “within” state borders; a bit like the address on my house defines my home lifestyle different than my neighbor’s

          Reply
      2. paulyz July 3, 2015

        Because the individual States only reluctantly allowed a limited Federal Government, to become United States, not just a cold, unrepresented Central Ruler, like we are quickly becomming. People & States are very different, & can better choose what works best for them, than some powerful lifers in Washington DC, making all the decisions. That’s what our Republic of the People is all about. Perhaps you prefer a King, or Dictator.

        Reply
        1. Whittier5 July 4, 2015

          Maybe 90 years ago some States were different. WWI ended your theory. Now only UT and the whacko neo-Confederates in the Confederate States still resemble your theory. And all them are homogenizing rapidly.
          Given the evidence of several State Gov’ts in the past 2-4 years undermines your point.
          Your final point is Absurd.

          Reply
          1. paulyz July 6, 2015

            Funny how you lefties on the Memo always make distinctions about people from different States then. Like your labeling Southerners, etc. There ARE big differences between the States. You are absurd.

            Reply
    2. johninPCFL July 1, 2015

      Heard Ted Cruz this morning defending his call that Texas simply not obey the law, the states’ rights defense.
      A sane follow-up question: what becomes of the rights of the spouse legally married in New York when he and his partner move to Texas and one is hospitalized? In New York, as a family member the spouse is allowed to visit and allowed to participate in , and if the individual is incapacitated, make medical decisions. In Texas, none of that is possible. What then happens to the “full faith and credit” and “equal protection under the laws” parts of the US Constitution?

      Reply
      1. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

        Why would anyone willingly go to Texas, anyway 🙂

        Reply
  3. ps0rjl July 1, 2015

    Christians have fo so long been in the majority and have been able to get what they want from government, that now they feel betrayed by that very same government. They have gotten the President to take the oath of office on the Bible. They got the words “under God” put in the Pledge of Allegiance. Now they are afraid they are losing their religious freedom to force all the rest of us to abide by their beliefs. Guess what? This nation is no longer a Christian nation, but rather a nation of many faiths and in many cases of no faith. They need to get with the program and quit their complaining.

    Reply
    1. whodatbob July 1, 2015

      Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion. Today the push is to eliminate religion from public space. No Menorah nor Manger on the Town Square. We are of many faiths and should celebrate our diversity.

      Reply
      1. charleo1 July 1, 2015

        That’s not so much a bad sentiment, this celebrating diversity. As it is an impractical one, when we’re talking about equal billing for the various faiths, being, “celebrated,” in publicly funded venues. Take the Courthouse lawn in December. A time Christians, Jews, Muslims, and more, all observe really important events. The prayer before the football game? Great! Say a Christian one, for those taxpayers. Then, if turn about is fair, get out the prayer rugs, say a few words about Allah. Or else, there’s someone’s religion being cheated of it’s rightfully due recognition. Then, that would surely offend how many? Should it? No. Would it? You bet! The law makes none, nor should it make any, regular special accommodations for some, it refuses to make for all. Or else, how could this democracy, equal Rights thing, ever survive? Religion really belongs in the private, and not public sector.

        Reply
        1. whodatbob July 1, 2015

          Your solution is not equal rights it is elimination of rights for all. Allowing the Manger and Menorah and what symbols other faiths desire to install during their Holy Season objectionable to some so be it. The right to object.

          As to prayer before football games. As a season ticket holder to the NFL team in town I have been to many games as well as college and high school games. Never have I been asked to pray nor has a pray been broadcast over the PA system at a sporting event.

          Your entire post is blabber pushing human secularism ( no religion) not equal rights.

          Reply
          1. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

            Sorry, but since you started the insults, your entire post is blabbering about the legitimacy of the government’s being used to ram the religion of those in it down everyone’s throat. Government MUST be secular if there is to be religious freedom.

            Reply
          2. whodatbob July 2, 2015

            Apparently you are anti-religion, expecting Government to give your secular humanism theology/philosophy more prominence not give it equal standing with other philosophies. Treat all equal. Your position is as deplorable as all the narrow minded religious zealots you oppose. Freedom of religion is just that. Government accepts all as equal.

            Reply
          3. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            You’re just an unimaginative fanatic repeating right-wing tag lines and nursing your image of yourself as persecuted because others don’t want your religion ruling their government and projecting your own delusions on them.

            Reply
          4. charleo1 July 1, 2015

            Well, all I can say is, of course some/many disagree with the concept of no position, neither for, nor against religion in the public sector. But I believe it is the position, and intent of the authors of the Constitution. And I do agree with it. Remember, it’s not anti-religion. Religions of all sects are protected. And that’s the only way to keep fights between people who hold their beliefs about their religion as strongly as virtually anything, to a minimum. Particularly, as the Country continues to get more diverse. Never heard a prayer invoked at a football game Really? Well, you obviously never went to a high school football game in Texas, in the 70s, and 80s. It was a tradition, one of the local Christian Pastors would always lead the fans in a pre-game prayer. To keep the boys safe, and so forth, in Jesus’ name. Then, a Buddhist/Jewish/Muslim parent petitioned to have one of their Holy people to share in the invocation. The townsfolk objected. A lawsuit was filed. And the ceremony was declared in conflict with the separation clause of the Constitution. Many of the majority (Christians,) took this ruling as a slap against their religious freedom. But where was the Buddhist’s Religious Rights being upheld in a stadium, and event, his tax dollars was also supporting? So, do for one, then do for all. Or, follow the Constitutional protection for all religions. Hands off!

            Reply
          5. whodatbob July 2, 2015

            Never had the pleasure of a high school football game in Texas.

            Reply
          6. charleo1 July 2, 2015

            Here’s a link describing the High Court’s ruling. Good people
            may disagree in this. Four of the Justices did.

            http://www.civilrights.org/monitor/vol11_no4/art2p1.html

            Reply
      2. Sand_Cat July 1, 2015

        Freedom of religion is not “freedom” without the protection of freedom “from” religion for the government and for those who have no religion. Making the distinction for enforcement purposes is just word-gaming and tyranny. What role do you envision for religion “in the public square,” and just what is “the public square”? Religion is NOT a government matter except for protection of its freedom for ALL, something which isn’t going to happen if today’s zealots control the government. Government needs protection from religion even more than religion needs protection from government: the latter cannot exist without the former.

        Reply
        1. whodatbob July 2, 2015

          Town Square is generally an area where government buildings are located. I have no idea what you are referring to as “the public square”. Freedom of religion allows all religions including the right not to believe to be openly practiced without government interference. Freedom from religion infers no religion is allowed by the government, only not believers are acceptable.

          You are you are incorrect, the Bill of rights made religion a government matter. Any and all religions should be allowed to display what ever religious symbols needed to reflect their high holy days. Today the zealots are do control government, atheist zealots control US Government on this issue.

          Government needs no protection from religion. Government needs an intelligent informed voting population to prevent zealots from being sent to Washington.

          Reply
          1. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

            1) First and foremost, you cravenly dodged answering my question: picking at semantics shows a weakness in argument: you know damned well what the “public square” is.
            2) Your deliberate misinterpretation of my meaning in “freedom from religion” is noted.
            3) The Bill of Rights said the government shouldn’t be in the business of religion, as did the article in the original Constitution forbidding “religious tests” for government positions. The only business government has with religion is to stay out of it unless a particular religion is being abused BY GOVERNMENT. “Free exercise” of religion DOES NOT include religious shrines and displays on government property, and your obvious bias in this regard shows that you are one of those the article is about. Opposition to government sponsorship or subsidization of religion IS NOT “religious oppression”; in fact, many Christians oppose it, not just atheists, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus (though some Muslims share the same disease as paranoid, intolerant “Christian” zealots).
            4) You are absolutely full of it about “atheist zealots”: the president and vice president are Christians, the Supreme Court justices – with the exception of Ginsberg – are Christians, at least five of them being Catholic. The majority in both houses of Congress claim religious affiliation.
            5) Of course government needs to be protected from religion: otherwise, you and other religious zealots seem likely to use it to impose your beliefs on the rest of us, as clearly evidenced by your completely absurd claim that atheist zealots control much of anything, much less the US government.

            Reply
  4. charleo1 July 1, 2015

    Characterizing themselves as both brave Christian Soldiers, and oppressed victims of a powerful undemocratic, most likely Devil inspired, secular Left. And for slick politicians turned faux Theocrats such as Mike Huckabee, or Ted Cruz. They are betting what Chairman Mao called the opiate of the masses will catapult them into the WH. Or more realistically, crown them as the de facto, moral Decider And Chiefs for the Nation. And help them make a fortune on the lecture circuit, and sell a ton of books. Not a bad career choice for two World Class Cons, who’ve always known their one calling, their one true talent in life, is selling magic snake oil to gullible, frightened marks in a market they call, “Fly over America.” But they have a big problem. Americans, and America is changing.
    Even in their prime markets, Americans are determining for themselves, intolerance, the unwillingness to accept other cultures, or lifestyles or respect the Rights of other people unlike themselves, is out. Call it a growing intolerance for intolerance. An increasing realization that if one believes their liberty depends on the abrogation of another’s. Then perhaps is it they who labor under a false definition of what liberty is. And just as important, how liberty, once obtained, is preserved. Maybe it’s been over the last few years an accumulation of things. Radical terrorism having come to our shores, and President Bush explaining, “They hate us for our freedoms.” Our freedom to speak, to express ourselves, to worship, or not, as we choose, to pursue our dreams. And we found a new appreciation in the rightness of that, by witnessing for ourselves the tyrannical destruction of entire societies made possible by the bigotry, and discrimination imposed, and justified in the name of a religion, or tribal affiliation. And we sent up a collective prayer of thanks for the tremendous good fortune of living in such a Country as America. And vowed a renewed determination that, not us, not here.

    Reply
    1. David July 2, 2015

      Hey wake up! It was Karl Marx and David Engels who talked about religion being the “opiate of the masses”. Not Mao. Dust off your copy of the Communist Manifesto, read it again and welcome to a literate discussion.

      Reply
      1. charleo1 July 2, 2015

        I stand corrected on that point of attributing the quote to the wrong
        Communist. But, to my larger point, and be honest, don’t you believe Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and others on the Conservative Right are simply using religion as a tool to promote a divisive, disingenuous, and ultimately, anti-religious, message? Even going so far as to call into question the legitimacy of the High Court. Describing those Justices who ruled as a majority in a way Huckabee disagreed with, as five unelected, “lawyers,” speaking for 300 million Americans who like him, disagree? Really? This, would be for the 30 million or so, Gay minority? For the 180 million other Americans who also agree with the decision for marriage equality? That Constitution that all Right Wingers are supposed to carry around in their pocket, would tell Mr. Huckabee something about how those, “unelected lawyers,” got to their Constitutionally mandated positions, if he would read it. Now he’s presuming to lecture us Lefty Commies on the finer points of democracy? Surely Sir, as an American seeped in democracy, standing with the Constitution of this Republic. You can’t agree with that?

        Reply
        1. David July 2, 2015

          Not only am I an American, I am a Vietnam veteran who was prepared to give his life for our country. I also happen to be a lawyer and know the Supeme Court’s decisions can, and do, change. “Separate but equal” for example. Man’s concepts of what is “right” or “wrong” change. God’s doesn’t. Ultimately, there is only one Judge who will come. I put all of my heart, trust and faith in Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Savior!

          Reply
          1. charleo1 July 2, 2015

            First, a belated thanks for your service. Not all of you guys got that in a timely manner. But I believe the Country has changed it’s wrongheaded attitudes since, and that’s a very good thing. So yes, man’s opinions can, and do change. And God is eternal unchanging, and infallible as per your beliefs, as you are absolutely entitled to. But He, God is not directly speaking. His
            views are by plan, second hand. Out of the mouths of men, so
            giving their wide, and diverse opinion on what exactly their God is commanding. We can’t have or create, a one religion, Bible guided government, and have a democracy that respects, and upholds the Rights of all people in this big diverse Country. The reason for example, separate but equal was struck down, was rooted in the reality that it wasn’t. And also an acknowledgment of the hard facts. That if we’re going to be a Nation that respects the Rights of minorities, and the full inclusion of all. We may not put the Rights memorized in our Constitution, up the whims of the majority. Otherwise, the minority loses every time. So why have a Constitution, Congress, or President? Just popular vote all the issues American Idol style. Vote: Throw all Congressmen currently serving out on their ear, without pensions or benefits? Yes, or no? Up or down? Send troops back to Iraq? Yes, no? If so how many? Threaten to nuke Mecca, if they won’t surrender? Yes, no? You decide. Use the military to round up all persons in the Country without permission! Vote online now for our, “Enforce the Borders Referendum.” Is that any way to run a democracy? Popular vote? Do you think your religious Rights would be better protected? That God would be respected? This is my point to you.

            Reply
          2. David July 2, 2015

            Thank you for your reply and your comment regarding my service. Times were different back then. The men that returned with me from Southeast Asia were not treated with much respect. With regard to minorities vs. the whims of the majority, our Founding Fathers did not create a democracy. They created a Republic! All too often we forget that the majority does NOT rule! By the way, I think Hitler’s slogan was something like, “One people, one empire, one leader”.

            Reply
          3. jmprint July 2, 2015

            I do believe that’s Trumps ego pledge.

            Reply
  5. kingartie1 July 1, 2015

    I’m wondering if the Republican’ts understand exactly the ramifications of marriage equality, understand exactly that it’s a done deal,” and the issue will soon be relegated to “history books alongside questions of whether women should vote or alcohol should be prohibited,” that they understand exactly that it’s very much not not the end of life as we know it in these United States, understand quite well that love is love, understand that Supreme Court ruling merely affirms social changes that have already happened, and so on — but that it’s far easier for them to hammer this issue as a be-all moral, Biblical, judicial and Constitutional crisis with sky high volumes of cynicism and cold manipulation of the base and independents than it is to talk about truly crucial matters — a viable, equitable jobs bill, and plans for the repair of infrastructure that in many areas of the country are now on life support, and viable energy and transportation legislation, and a national minimum wage, and financial sector regulation, and schools, and tax fairness and reform, and…and…and…

    We have to think that they have been constrained from discussion of this by their puppet masters. They talk about the above largely when someone else raises the question, and then it seems to be in defensive or talking-point tones. ZERO INNOVATION OR INTELLECTUAL RIGOR, and the less said the better lest the Kochs or Adelson clamp the campaign handlers or speech writers. In sum, their mission is not to improve the quality of life and the environment for citizens, only the quality of the business environment for their donors and minders. One way to do that is to forestall questions on JOBS, TAX FLIGHT, etc. and instead stoke anger over LGBT and those Latinos flooding over the border. Pressure them to speak about social justice and economic policy that is meaningful to 300 million Americans and you will not find a dime’s worth of difference between almost all of them.

    Reply
    1. Tom S July 1, 2015

      Their “puppet masters” are the whacko “likely” Primary voters whose votes they are trying to win. They have demonstrated that they will sell their souls for those Primary votes.
      Huckabee is possibly the only one who actually believes what he/she is saying.

      Reply
      1. Bob Eddy July 1, 2015

        Unless it is Jeb who says he is wiling to lose the primary in order to win the general election…apparently unaware of the fatal flaw I his grand scheme! And he’s the smart one in the family..and I have to believe he is because he does wear those “start glasses” just like Rick Perry.

        Reply
        1. charleo1 July 1, 2015

          My opinion, after living in Fl. thru the Jeb years, and in the Country thru the George years. Is Barbara Bush probably didn’t have any real smart ones. Of course there are more kids than just George, and Jeb, if the Country wants to keep looking.

          Reply
  6. Tom S July 1, 2015

    Because the Krazy Kon Klowns don’t want to “get it” because the ‘base’ they are playing to are either to stupid or to Zealot to want to “get it”.

    That same ‘base’ does not get that the 1st Amendment also protects the Majority of this Nation FROM their ‘religion’. And, as seen even in Indiana after the teawhacko Legislature and Governor perpetrated their ‘religious freedom’ act, it is the Majority.

    These pandering demagogues will say anything to the baseless ‘base’ to get themselves win the ‘R’ nomination so that Hillary, Bernie or Martin gets to beat the pants off of them in the General. The “Southern strategy” is coming home to roost.

    Reply
    1. plc97477 July 1, 2015

      The reason the base doesn’t get it is because they get their news from sources that tell them they don’t have to get it.

      Reply
  7. Eleanore Whitaker July 1, 2015

    What most progressive minded Americans see of the Republican party is a desire to keep everything “the way it has always been.” Good..Now..it was always a cave that was home to the Neanderthals. Shall we keep THAT the way it “has always been?”

    The problem with the Republican base is no different in 2015 than it was in the 1960s. Anyone with long hair was immediately labeled a “hippie” until that hair style for men became so popular even some Republican men bowed to modernity.

    If you look closely at what the GOP really wants, it comes down to what they have “always” wanted: total control of a government so closely partnered to Big Business, it’s indistinguishable as a government of the people, for the people, by the people.

    That’s really what all of their push and shove privatization is really all about. Allow that and you’ll see just how little the GOP respects federal laws, regulations on businesses and how much more taxation will get dumped on those of the middle and lower classes.

    Empirical and dynastic societies down through the ages never last.

    Reply
    1. whodatbob July 1, 2015

      Labor unions were formed to stop big money from walking all over the workers. Republicans sold the the idea that unions were not good for the country and “Right to Work” was the answer. Well look where we are now. Wake up!

      Reply
      1. Eleanore Whitaker July 2, 2015

        Employers in the US have become so money hungry and greedy that laborers are like Kleenex disposable tissues…Use and trash.

        Reply
        1. 1standlastword July 2, 2015

          And Paul Ryan wants to jack the retirement age up to 70 when employers have demonstrated they don’t want older workers– especially if those workers are highly educated and specialized.

          Reply
          1. Eleanore Whitaker July 2, 2015

            Their hope is that some won’t make it to 70 to collect SS or Medicare benefits. By pushing the age higher and higher, the reality is some will not collect and leave the government with a tidy slush fund.

            I had 5 brothers and half brothers…all died before they were eligible for SS. What does that tell you?

            Reply
          2. 1standlastword July 2, 2015

            Well, I don’t know why those loved ones died but I agree with your sentiment which tells me we agree that the way Ryan regards our senior citizens is just another example of “pernicious republicanism”

            Reply
          3. Eleanore Whitaker July 3, 2015

            When I was a Republican, I picked up something I didn’t consider before: The link between GOP campaigns and Wall Street. If you notice, the GOP politicians all play heavily to the biggest names on Wall Street.

            So, the idea of demolishing SS and Medicare, according to their GOP strategies, is to put an end to all payroll deductions in SS, Medicare and Medicaid and instead flush those payroll deductions to Wall Street fund managers, who by the way are the biggest insider trading crooks. You can read the WSJ and see this every day.

            The reality is that the most secure source of money to jack Wall Street comes from payroll deductions. You have NO idea just how much the GOP loathes the idea of money piling up in these programs that cannot be recklessly spent on Wall Street.

            But, if we learned nothing from the Great Depression, we learned that over speculation caused millions of Americans to live in poverty while banks stole their money from them. This is what the GOP wants again. And, isn’t that nearly accomplished? When you have a CEO of JP Morgan Stanley telling Senator Warren “Go ahead sue me. “WE” can afford it.” That kind of arrogance shows how corrupt and crooked banks still are.

            If what I hear from the Wall Street cock roaches boarding the buses in NJ to Wall Street is accurate, all it would take is one tiny ripple in a stream to cause a huge international crash…and the US banks all tied to international banks would be at fault.

            Reply
          4. 1standlastword July 3, 2015

            I like the scene that features a trader impaled on a flag pole extending over the doors of a bank in the movie the “Purge”. Hanging around his neck was a sign written in his blood ” that spelled out his sins of greed.

            I wonder if that will happen??

            Reply
          5. Eleanore Whitaker July 3, 2015

            Wouldn’t that be grand? lol. The thing that scares me is the warnings of 2 very important figures in the financial world, Christine LaGarde, CEO of the IMF and the head of the US Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen. Both have stated publicly they think that there is entirely too much over valuation of stocks and that poses a bigger risk. Yet, they just keep pushing it and pushing it…do they think we will bail them out again?

            Reply
          6. paulyz July 6, 2015

            There have been people paying into S.S. & Medicare for many years already that never got one dime back, their money went back into it, and S.S. & Medicare are still going bankrupt. Eventually the bubble will burst.

            Reply
          7. jrj1701 July 7, 2015

            Could you tell us why paulyz? This ought to be interesting. NOT!!!

            Reply
          8. Eleanore Whitaker July 7, 2015

            PaulyZ…If you want something to go belly up, you begin with a strategy of sabotage, don’t you? You either make widespread claims that something is a failure or you claim it is going bankrupt.

            The problem with this strategy is that thinking, educated people don’t fall for it.

            We in NJ have the very same problem that exists in DC…politicians who need campaign donations. They get this by sabotaging programs we pay for and by making claims SS, Medicare and Medicaid are going bankrupt. Yet, if you do the math, you see that hundreds of milions go into these programs every year…what goes OUT of these programs is the reason they can make claims of bankruptcy.

            SS was NEVER intended to be used as red state piggy banks. In AL, for example, instead of paying unemployment which comes out of state funds, they dump their unemployed onto phony SSDI. That isn’t what SS was intended for.

            The bubble is about to burst but not because of SS or any other program that protects the most vulnerable in the US…It is due to CORRUPTION by men who never know when they have reached the limits of common decency.

            Reply
          9. dpaano September 11, 2015

            IF the politicians would just quit “borrowing” from the Social Security fund and refusing to pay back the IOU’s that they owe….there would be PLENTY of money in the SS & Medicare accounts. We can thank President Johnson for changing the law and allowing them to willy nilly use money from these funds for their harebrained “pork” projects and never paying it back!!

            Reply
    2. Tom S July 1, 2015

      Piratezation.

      Reply
  8. FT66 July 1, 2015

    Why christians can’t understand. No one from the Supreme Court has ruled they must be gays or lesbians. What they ruled was about rights to every individual. What do they miss if they continue practicing their christianity and others who are not, practicing their right to marry? Why all these interference? Have they heard gays telling them they don’t like christianity or they must follow what they do? NONE.

    Reply
  9. _Steve_ July 1, 2015

    oK, So now you can have marriage between adults for any reason, now legal.

    To enable immigration, provide marriage entitlements for inheritance, etc. Seems all you can’t do is legislate a change in their genitalia to enable for them to have natural children.

    Reply
    1. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

      There’s enough people breeding and producing children they can’t or won’t take care of. Now have more married couples who are available to provide loving families and homes for them.

      Reply
      1. dr_benton_quest July 1, 2015

        People are still having sex it’s been going on for quite some time.

        Reply
        1. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

          But for the “devout” it’s primarily for procreation. If it’s in anyway enjoyable then that at least offsets it.

          Reply
          1. whodatbob July 1, 2015

            That was 1950 “devout”. Even devout thinking has evolved.

            Reply
          2. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

            Well that’s hopeful news.

            Reply
          3. _Steve_ July 2, 2015

            It;s quite natural for a species to promulgate, the act of reproduction would need to be either enjoyable or consequential.

            Reply
          4. Carolyn1520 July 2, 2015

            Really? I’d never have guessed that on my own.
            My point was the religious right doesn’t seem to enjoy much of anything unless it involves making judgments about others and
            starting every conversation with “thou shalt not” so for them consequential must be the draw.
            My other point is one does not have to give birth to a child to love it or care for it. Many in the LGBT community have proven that and their children aren’t any different than children raised by loving heterosexual couples.

            Reply
          5. dpaano September 11, 2015

            Monkeys seem to have sex quite often….doesn’t look like they “enjoy” it as much as the human species does. Non-human animals mate to procreate…..we do not. To a human, it’s more intimate and meaningful…..

            Reply
      2. _Steve_ July 2, 2015

        So now we will have more “married” couples . no reason to think they will either be loving nor caring, after all.. LGBT are more interested in promoting their own deviant behavior than teaching morals to their adopted or through a previous hetero relationship ‘s children.

        Reply
        1. Carolyn1520 July 2, 2015

          No reason to think they will be any less loving or caring. You mean teaching anything positive to the children who are the products of heterosexuals who couldn’t bother to use birth control or later take responsibility for their own?
          You and your ilk are the only ones fixated on their so called deviant behavior. I doubt it’s any worse than your own.

          Reply
          1. _Steve_ July 2, 2015

            Wonder how a 12 year old would tell a court in rejection of a adoption by a “loving” flaming gay couple? Being a minor, does he or she now have a choice?

            Reply
          2. Carolyn1520 July 2, 2015

            Has it ever been an issue?

            Reply
          3. dpaano September 11, 2015

            Yes….how many children of single mothers do you see who also become single mothers??? What are mothers of these children teaching their children? That birth control and having multiple babies out of wedlock to different fathers is a GOOD thing? What in heck is the difference? I see so many poor single mothers on welfare because of their poor decisions, and their children are doing the very same thing!!!

            Reply
        2. dpaano September 11, 2015

          I don’t see many gay people “promoting their own deviant behavior.” Where in heck did you get that idea? I have a couple of gay friends who are married, and they have adopted special needs children that no one else wanted. They are loving, protecting, and very caring. They are NOT teaching their children deviant behavior….they’re teaching them that they are loved and wanted by a “family.” Would you rather see these children in foster homes….seriously?

          Reply
  10. Bob Eddy July 1, 2015

    I don’t care what the Supreme court says, I absolutely refuse too marry another man! In fact, in spite of the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech, i refuse to say anything else! God it feels good to defy this tyranical government that keeps telling me what i have to do! What? It didn’t say I had to marry another man? Are you sure — never mind then.

    Reply
    1. dpaano September 11, 2015

      Cute!!

      Reply
  11. jmprint July 1, 2015

    It’s because their flame is to degrade others, they strive on stepping on people, it makes them superior in their belief. I am so turned away from religion, they are such hypocrites, I grant you there are some that love and appreciate the Word of God and are sincere Christians, but most are not. My mom was Catholic and my dad was Baptist, but my dad was not a practicing baptist, because he did not like what his family was all about, they criticized my mom, just because of her religion. Most men in Dad family were pastors of their church. There is no room for acceptance of others ways. Mom loved God and Jesus Christ, she taught me that without Him, we were lost. I never saw them do good to others. Yes they tithe, and yes they are respectful in many ways. I was taught that attending church and saying your christian is not enough, that we are to practice good by helping others that are less fortunate. And to love all, because we are all alike in God’s eyes, no matter our deficiencies. So in reading the bible, I can see where they are wrong.

    Reply
  12. bobnstuff July 1, 2015

    Isn’t it funny that the Republicans have decided that they are the party of Jesus when they are about as far from his word as they can be. Jesus would have been a socialist
    at the very least. The Republicans are selectively Christian, But leave out the good parts of the faith.

    Reply
    1. CrankyToo July 1, 2015

      The Repugnican party’s filthy with pious proselytes who SPEAK the word of God, but who’ve never HEARD the word of God.

      Reply
      1. bobnstuff July 1, 2015

        They like to use the Bible to support their views but they use only half the verse. Sound bites from the Bible. They like to leave out the part that give the real meaning. They are also big on the old testament , the parts of the faith that Jesus came to change.

        Reply
        1. Martin Pollard July 1, 2015

          It’s called being a “cafeteria Christian,” cherry-picking the parts of the Bible that they like and leaving out the rest (unless it suits their purposes, of course). It’s the same with Republicans and the Constitution, who I like to call “cafeteria Constitutionalists.”

          Reply
    2. Darsan54 July 1, 2015

      Tyrants will use any tool at their disposal to enslave and confuse the populace towards their absolute power. Religion isn’t exempt. They use God and Jesus’ name to “rationalize” their own interpretations, but serious believers know they are wrong and actually desecrating the Word of God.

      Reply
    3. dpaano September 11, 2015

      These evangelical Christian zealots are an embarrassment to us REAL Christians!

      Reply
  13. Carolyn1520 July 1, 2015

    “Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling changes those things. It’s about marriage as a secular legal institution: two Americans entering into a contract with each other. Period.”

    This is it, in a nutshell. The right can’t wrap their heads around that religion isn’t even a part of it except by choice. No part of marriage requires religions. It is and always has been optional.

    “In this country and many other countries, marriage primarily constitutes a legal agreement between two people that is confirmed and validated by state-designated officials. Regardless of what religious rites a couple may participate in, they are only legally married if they can obtain a properly registered state license. Moreover, a couple who obtain a validated license from a state-designated official are married whether or not they chose to participate in any religious rites at all.”

    Deal with it!

    Reply
  14. CitizenJeanne July 1, 2015

    “Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 decision invalidating miscegenation laws, was accepted almost immediately,” is a misleading sentence. Some states fought the decision tooth and nail and in fact it wasn’t until the year 2000 — 33 years after the Supreme Court decision that decriminalized interracial marriages! — that the last recalcitrant state – Alabama – was finally forced by its citizens to adapt its laws and fall in line
    with federal law. There will be similar resistance from some states to fall in
    line with same-sex marriage law and we should all be prepared to deal with that.
    It might take a slew of court orders to bring defiant states in line, but it will happen. And, with regard to religious freedom, for generations opposite-sex couples have run afoul of their church’s teaching and rules, including the aforementioned interracial issue, as well as facing roadblocks regarding interfaith marriages and remarrying after divorce. However, increasingly, churches are adjusting their policies and even taking another look at certain interpretations of passages in the Holy Bible. After all, around the globe countries are falling into the same-sex marriage line like dominoes, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands (first country to make same-sex marriage legal, in 2001), New Zealand, Portugal, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway & Sweden), South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom (except for Northern Ireland) and Uruguay. And, on the brink to legalize same-sex marriage next seems to be Nepal, the first South Asian country to do so.

    Reply
  15. Robert Cruder July 1, 2015

    When one freely applies for a position or license from the state to do what others may not do then one chooses to be an agent of that state.

    Part of doing for Caesar is to perform those same actions for anyone regardless of their religion and not dictating to them. That grants them an equal right to obey their own conscience.

    Ignoring the obligation to Caesar lets believers illegally use power granted by the state to impose their doctrine on others and invites the reverse.

    Would “christians” tolerate an Islamic or Baptist city clerk refusing to grant a liquor license or a store checker refusing to ring up a six-pack?

    Would they tolerate an Islamic or Jewish zoning clerk refusing to permit an otherwise legal hog farm or an orthodox Jew refusing to put cheese on a burger?

    Would refusing to grant any licenses or permits, refusing to ring up any groceries and refusing to cook any burgers satisfy conscience?

    Should the “believer” be paid for not working? Shouldn’t he either do his job or quit?

    Is right of conscience only granted to Christian fundamentalists and only when dictating the sexual or reproductive choices of others?

    Reply
    1. latebloomingrandma July 1, 2015

      Thus are the “dilemmas” of a free country

      Reply
      1. whodatbob July 1, 2015

        AMEND!

        Reply
  16. bayhuntr July 2, 2015

    If a white supremacist used the phrase “White Liberty” maybe the religious right might understand what “Religious Liberty” means.

    Reply
  17. _Steve_ July 2, 2015

    On what grounds now can the the government forbid plural marriages?

    Reply
    1. Sand_Cat July 2, 2015

      On whatever ground they have always used; in any case, can’t one truthfully say that those with multiple divorces engage in it, anyway?

      Reply
    2. uniquename72 July 2, 2015

      Congratulations – that was the same argument used against allowing mixed-race marriage!

      Use logic to answer your own question and get back to us.

      Reply
      1. The lucky one July 3, 2015

        Now you know that’s impossible. It’s obvious that moron is incapable of logic.

        Reply
    3. paulyz July 3, 2015

      Will be interesting to see waht happens to the discrimination lawsuit just filed by B4U-ACT. They call their pedophile desires; minor attraction. Liberals opened the door to all t he perversion now, if you grant it to one group, then you must grant it to all. Why Marriage always was One Man – One Woman. Nobody was denying gays their choice of behavior.

      Reply
      1. Daniel Jones August 26, 2015

        Wrong, wrong, wrong, and damned wrong. I don’t know of this group, but I surely know of your straw man antics, so–
        1) The Supreme Court isn’t even majority liberal. Strike one!
        2) Who the heck said “all groups must have this right if gays do”? Not the gays, that’s for damn sure. Strike two!
        3) Marriage has not always been one and one, it was a legal issue that ended polygamy in the United States, and in some places it’s still legal. Strike three!
        4) People have been trying to deny gays’ behavior, preference, and existence for a very, very long time! Stop lying.

        Reply
  18. Brian Harvill July 4, 2015

    The slippert skope arguments are falsehoods. Over 14 years with marriage equality and yet no marriages between adult and child!!!

    No, there is no reason to deny adults a plural marriage, why not, its not as if it makes any difference to marriages overall. Pedophilia is of course illegal and will stay illegal.

    The whole religious freedom laws are nothing but a smokescreen, have no valid basis, and are completely unrelated to marriage equality. Time for the “religious” to understand that they are no better or worse than anyone and they cannot force their religion onto civil government.

    Reply
  19. Daniel Jones August 26, 2015

    The religious wingnuts are trapped in this mindset that America’s somehow a Christian nation and thus any laws impact churches and theological matters impact the law. They deny and defy the very reality of secular law.
    They have never been right about this, are wrong now, and if they ever cease to be wrong, America will cease to be even as little of a democracy as it is now.

    Reply

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