Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The only true threat to the "Institution" of Marriage.....Divorce

From Ronald Balmer, writing an OpEd in the L.A. Times:
Evangelicals like to present their position as biblical and therefore immutable. They want us to believe that they have never before adjusted to shifting public sentiments on sexuality and marriage. That is not so. 
Divorce — and especially divorce and remarriage — was once such an issue, an issue about which evangelicals would brook no compromise. But evangelicals eventually reconfigured their preaching and adapted just fine to changing historical circumstances.
When I was growing up within the evangelical subculture in the 1960s, divorce was roundly condemned by evangelicals. Jesus, after all, was pretty clear on the issue. "And I say to you," he told the Pharisees, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." 
Anyone who was divorced was ostracized in evangelical circles. In some congregations, membership was rescinded, and at the very least the divorcee felt marginalized. Any evangelical leader who divorced his spouse could expect to look for a different job.
Although evangelical attitudes changed incrementally over many years, it's possible to identify the real turning point with a fair amount of accuracy: 1980. 
Not long ago I surveyed the pages of Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism and a bellwether of evangelical sentiments. Condemnations of divorce, which had been a regular feature in the 1970s, ceased almost entirely after 1980. 
More telling, the "family values" movement, which took off in 1980, largely ignored this once crucial subject. Jerry Falwell and other conservative preachers attacked abortion, feminism and homosexuality, but they rarely mentioned divorce. 
What happened? In a word (or two words): Ronald Reagan. When leaders of the religious right decided to embrace Reagan as their political messiah, they had to swallow hard.
More here

He makes a good point, not only does same-sex marriage NOT harm marriage [or procreation] writ large, but the actual threat to the union of two committed and consenting citizens....has become commonplace, whereas once.....it was as reviled as is the current drama.

Health Insurance rates to rise? Say it ain't so.....

Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans — market leaders in many states — are seeking rate increases that average 23 percent in Illinois, 25 percent in North Carolina, 31 percent in Oklahoma, 36 percent in Tennessee and 54 percent in Minnesota, according to documents posted online by the federal government and state insurance commissioners and interviews with insurance executives.


Now, who could have foreseen that this would happen? I mean, after "getting to keep our Doctors"......we've been led to believe that the federal government requiring citizens to purchase a private commodity, wouldn't engender any adverse conditions........


Friday, July 3, 2015

An Independence Day greeting to the Police/Security/Surveillance States of America

Photo h/t to eatgrueldog

This greeting is also extending to our effete political and pundit class.....but that would be redundant to the title.

BTW....tomorrow is Independence Day....the 4th of July is just a date on the calendar.....and a schlocky excuse for store sales.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Secular Jihadists"

The latest rhetorical tantrum thrown by pouty-faced foot stompers who are seeing a decline in the legislation of their religious beliefs, and the special privileges that have come with it.

Their claims that they support liberty, freedom and individual sovereignty have been exposed for the facades they are.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lindsey Graham, rational candidate?

There are a lot of upset people that believe in traditional marriage. They’re disappointed. They’re down right now, but the court has rules. So here’s where I stand. If I’m president of the United States, here’s what would happen. If you have a church or a mosque or a synagogue, and you’re following your faith and you refuse to perform a same-sex marriage because it’s outside the tenants of your faith, in my presidency, you will not lose your tax-exempt status. If you’re a gay person, or a gay couple, and I’m president of the United States, you will be able to participate in commerce and be a full member of society, consistent with the religious beliefs of others who have rights also…

I don’t believe there is any chance for a constitutional amendment, defining marriage between one man and one woman could get two-thirds votes in the House and Senate and be ratified by three-fourths of the states… In my view if you put it in the platform, in my view, it will hurt us in 2016 because it’s a process that’s not going to bear fruit.

What I want to do is protect the religious liberties of those who believe that opposing same sex marriage as part of their faith so no i would not engage in the constitutional amendment process as a party going into 2016 except for fighting for the religious liberties of every American.

Daily Caller

I've never really been a fan of Graham, and am not shilling for him as a POTUS candidate now.....but does he represent the most rational position on the Obergefell ruling, of the crop of GOP prospective?

An additional analysis by non-candidate Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI:

For thousands of years, marriage flourished without a universal definition and without government intervention. Then came licensing of marriage. In recent decades, we've seen state legislatures and ballot initiatives define marriage, putting government improperly at the helm of this sacred institution
Those who care about liberty should not be satisfied with the current situation. Government intervention in marriage presents new threats to religious freedom and provides no advantages, for gay or straight couples, over unlicensed (i.e., traditional) marriage. But we shouldn't blame the Supreme Court for where things stand.

To the extent that Americans across the political spectrum view government marriage as authoritative and unlicensed marriage as quaint, our laws must treat marriage—and the corresponding legal benefits that attach—as they would any other government institution. So, while today's Supreme Court opinion rests upon the false premise that government licensure is necessary to validate the intimate relationships of consenting adults, I applaud the important principle enshrined in this opinion: that government may not violate the equal rights of individuals in any area in which it asserts authority.

And my own analysis: We, as a society of free men....have long concluded that the marriage contract is a basic civil liberty. The denial of this contract, based on gender and sexual orientation....not only serves no purpose [as there is no burden upon the fellow citizen], but is antithetical to the very tenets of liberty....and is unequal protection under the law. The fundamental error in this entire affair, stems back to allowing the State to license this contract.

Further, this ruling is grounded in both the Equal Protection and the Enforcement Clauses [though Thomas had fair argument with respect to Kennedy's over reliance on the Due Process Clause] of the 14th Amendment; with adjudicated precedent dating back at least to the 1866 and 1875 Civil Rights Acts.

All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State or Territory "to engage in real property transactions, make and enforce contracts, and have the right to “the full and equal benefit of the laws.”

And my solution to the social strife? Remove the clergy from the role as an agent of the State, and you've solved not only this problem, but further remove the religious sacrament of marriage from the purview of the State, and place it solely in the hands of the respective denominations.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Liberty sees a rare victory

SCOTUS rules for Equal Protection Under the Law

This could actually be a boon for the GOP....if they're politically savvy enough to seize upon it. Until this day, a platform of denying civil liberties to fellow American citizens, has been a divisive plank that has kept many from voting for Republican candidates. I've long said that if the GOP were to embrace individual sovereignty and civil liberty...[notwithstanding their liberal spending policies], they would regain enough Libertarian voters to keep the Democrats at bay.

Sadly, as long as they pretend that marriage is not a legal contract between citizens....but rather some unalterable law bequeathed by God [though marriage predates the institution of Christianity], this is an unlikely prospect.

So, more likely....this further entrenches the Democratic Party as the majority.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Erasing history: Solutions in search of problems

So retailers from Walmart to Apple to Amazon to the National Park Service are falling over themselves in an attempt to not be the last entity selling or displaying the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia. Oh the horror......

Attempting to erase history to soothe the intellectually frail and those prone to the vapors isn't going to solve problems of racism or violence. The flag in question plays no role in these problems. It's an inanimate object and should be treated as such. But that's how our society reacts....erase a symbol and it will be proof of "doing something!" That's all that matters...the optics.

Meanwhile these seemingly well intentioned folks are ignorant that moves such as this, merely sets a  precedent that may well bite them in the proverbial ass.

The battle flag should no more be flown over a government facility, nor incorporated into a state flag....than should the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement [yet there it is]. As stated on Doc Bailey's blog:

I believe that it is an important part of our past, and should not be consigned to the dust bin.  I thing the confederate battle flag should fly.  With a caveat.  It should fly over reenactments.  I think there is a middle ground, where we can honor the courage and sacrifice of Americans, regardless of side, and also at the same time recognize the wrong done.  Unfortunately, at the time, passions are too high for this to happen.  One can only hope that the blood pressure subside enough that we can take a more realistic look at our history.  Accept both the good and the bad, and learn from both.  Like it or not the Confederate States of America is a large part of American history, and without the CSA, the USA would not be the country it is today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Some anti-gun meme's never die......

“You don’t need an assault weapon to go hunting, it certainly is not part of anybody’s family heritage or family tradition.” – White House Spokesman Josh Earnest

Of course, Josh is either ignorant of the fact that many people hunt with rifles that the gun control camp refers to as "assault weapons".....as well as the fact that they're not mechanically any different than any other semi-automatic rifle...or he is merely proliferating the stale, trite false narratives that his camp always does.

The gun control camps' fetish for willfully conflating semi-automatic rifles with automatic rifles....and emphasis on a 'military' appearance.....lacks integrity and reason that should be expected in discourse amongst adults.

But it's at least entertaining to see him posture as some arbiter of anyone's family heritage or tradition.

For extra credit, I present Sen. Harry Reid:

"The United States is the only advanced country where this type of mass violence occurs," [WRONG] Reid said from the Senate floor. "Let's do something. We can expand, for example, background checks....[DID NOT, AND WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED THE CHARLESTON SHOOTING] We should support not giving guns to people who are mentally ill and felons." [ALREADY AGAINST THE LAW]

Shouldn't we expect more from our elder statesmen? I'm a bit surprised that he didn't fall back on the meme, as POTUS hopeful O'Malley did, on calling for a ban on a type of rifle based on it's appearance.

It appears that Manchin and Toomey will resurrect their failed plot....so the circus continues.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Bear Country

My backyard this past Friday, around noon.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Piers Morgan is still a dumbass

Embedded in another of his typical polemic [with the usual framing and hyperbole], following the tragic Charleston shooting, Piers Morgan utters the following absurdity:

I’m sick of hearing that the 2nd Amendment can’t be amended to drag it into modern life because the Constitution is such a sacred document. It’s already an AMENDMENT. Do the damn math.

Poor ignorant Piers.......this is exactly what the 2nd Amendment camp has been calling for. We ask that instead of cowardly end-runs...nibbling at the edges in order to mask the true agenda....why won't the gun control camp simply pursue an amendment or revocation of the 2A?