The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in Virginia has called the Constitution’s original clause to count blacks as three-fifths of a person an “anti-slavery amendment.”
In an April 28, 2011 statement while he was a Senate candidate, conservative minister and lawyer E.W. Jackson held up the three-fifths clause as an “anti-slavery” measure. The context of his statement was to attack President Obama after a pastor at a church service he attended referred to the three-fifths clause as a historical marker of racism.
“Rev. [Charles Wallace] Smith must not have understood the 3/5ths clause was an anti-slavery amendment. Its purpose was to limit the voting power of slave holding states,” Jackson, an African-American, said in his statement.
An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for this afternoon’s session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads.
Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his “secular humanist tradition” and even quoted author Carl Sagan.
“Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,” Mendez said. “I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”
There’s a link to a video of Mendez’s statement at the link above.
Today, Sen. Steve Smith tried to undo whatever horrible consequences were going to befall Arizona for this transgression:
An atheist lawmaker’s decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day’s prayer didn’t pass muster.
Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day’s floor session wasn’t a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in “repentance,” and about half the 60-member body did so. Both the Arizona House and Senate begin their sessions with a prayer and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“When there’s a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a non-believer, don’t ask for time to pray,” said Smith, of Maricopa. “If you don’t love this nation and want to pledge to it, don’t say I want to lead this body in the pledge, and stand up there and say, ‘you know what, instead of pledging, I love England’ and (sit) down.
“That’s not a pledge, and that wasn’t a prayer, it’s that simple,” Smith said.
Which then had its own backlash:
Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, who represents a northern Arizona district on the Navajo reservation, did take offense. She said Smith’s criticism of another member’s faith, or lack of it, was wrong.
“I want to remind the House and my colleagues and everybody here that several of us here are not Christianized. I’m a traditional Navajo, so I stand here every day and participate in prayers,” even without personally embracing them, said Peshlakai, D-Cameron. “This is the United States, this is America, and we all represent different people … and you need to respect that. Your God is no more powerful than my God. We all come from the same creator.”
Those last two excerpts come from this article. Worth a click to read the rest.
Here’s what the Arizona Senate did after Smith’s double prayer:
A little religion could soon go a long way in avoiding unpopular government mandates.
The Arizona Senate passed a trio of bills Wednesday that seek to lower property taxes for religious institutions and make it easier for some people to sue over the First Amendment, much to the chagrin of civil liberties and secular groups who claim Arizona lawmakers are violating the U.S. Constitution by favoring the faithful over non-believers.
The Republican majority passed the bills amid opposition from Democratic lawmakers and with little debate. The legislation was backed by the powerful Center for Arizona Policy, which wields significant influence over conservative lawmakers in the Legislature.
Opponents of the measures argue religious institutions shouldn’t receive special privileges not afforded to all Arizonans. They claim the bills seek to legalize discrimination and to stall the ongoing battle to extend equal rights to gay and secular communities.
I hope those bills don’t have a prayer.
Pope Francis rocked some religious and atheist minds today when he declared that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists.
During his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome, Francis emphasized the importance of “doing good” as a principle that unites all humanity, and a “culture of encounter” to support peace.
Using scripture from the Gospel of Mark, Pope Francis explained how upset Jesus’ disciples were that someone outside their group was doing good, according to a report from Vatican Radio.
“They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong … Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”
To which I’ll add this as my personal comment on the topic:
Not only is it a Green Company, It’s a successful Green Company.
Cue the wing nut outrage.
In an extraordinary admission, Attorney General Eric Holder has told Congress that U.S. drone strikes since 2009 have killed four Americans — three of whom were “not specifically targeted.”
For all the effort that the Obama administration has gone to in asserting that its drones only kill the people that the administration intends to kill, Holder wrote in a letter today to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) that Samir Khan, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammad were “not specifically targeted by the United States.” The fourth American to die in a drone strike since 2009 was Abdulrahman’s father Anwar Awlaki, a radical propagandist whom the U.S. killed in Yemen in 2011.
The five-page letter, obtained and published by Charlie Savage of The New York Times, does not explain the circumstances that led to the unintentional killings of Khan, Mohammad and the younger Awlaki. Holder does not apologize for the killings, nor explain whether their deaths resulted from errant targeting, mistaken identity or another circumstance.
But after acknowledging that the administration did “not specifically targe[t]” those three Americans, Holder defended killing Americans the administration believes to be members of al-Qaida without due process, a constitutionally questionable proposition.
Chairman and Rush Limbaugh as Director of Communications.”
In comes John McCain, Obama’s newest ally, along with Susan Collins to chide the actions of the conservative senators as bizarre and unprecedented. He’s right. It is unprecedented for new members of the Senate to take a leadership role in defending the country from the bipartisan statism that he has propagated so fervently over the past two decades.
It’s about time we send some reinforcements to our guys. We’re going to have solid opportunities in red state like Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota - just to name a few. There are already some solid prospects on the horizon. The real question is if the professional conservatives are going to blithely ignore another primary cycle and let McCain and his ilk destroy the party.
It’s from last week; I should’ve paged it then.
After the previous essay on Benghazi, I got a bunch of email.
The gist of which is best summed up as:
Okay, Benghazi, fine, whatever. Fine. But what about the IRS thing? Huh, what about that? How are you going to defend your boy Obozo on that, huh? Huh? It’s Obumer’s Watergate, Man, he’s going down! Impeachment! Impeachment!
The IRS scandal.
You mean the IRS scandal where not one, not a single one, of the targeted conservative groups requesting 501(c)3 or (c)4 designations were denied tax exempt status despite being engaged in blatantly political activities in direct violation of the intent of the tax code? You mean the IRS scandal where not one of the targeted organizations were denied their rights as citizens of the United States or, in point of fact, were not harmed in any way? You mean the IRS scandal where no actual laws were broken? Where there was no actual cover up? And where the IRS itself found the problem and corrected it and then reported it to the American people?
You mean that “scandal?”
Folks, there’s a scandal here alright, starting with the one where hysterical conspiracy mongering conservatives in Congress will now use this non-issue as yet another excuse for obstructionism, yet another excuse to beat their fleshy chests in a pity party of make-believe persecution while managing to avoid doing any of the actual work they supposedly get paid for.
* And I only say “Semi-Nothingburger” because there’s an couple interesting aspects about the situation that should be looked into: profiling and keywords due to volume (had how to do that without overmuch bias), an understaffed and underfunded agency, and other stuff.
I wonder… What aspects of the situation, from a rational standpoint, can other Lizardim add?
“Christians should stop wielding religion as a tool of oppression, write Evette Dionne at Clutch magazine.” The following is from a link from this article at The Root:
She continued, “That is not a godly energy you’re giving off now! I don’t understand being so saturated in a dogma and a theology that you would not embrace your sister in her deepest need and pain… I just want you to be mindful of how your energy hurts her.”
What June fails to realize is how her negative energy and refusal to embrace a sister in crisis doesn’t align with the teachings of Christ or the spirit of God. Being a Christian entails more than reading scriptures, attending service and attempting to proselytize. Christianity is a politic and responsibility that must be sharpened continually in our lives. The praxis begins by recognizing the core of Christianity as love and attempting to exhibit that within every aspect of our lives.
Nice-nasty Christianity, similar to Paulina and June’s, doesn’t embody God. Instead, it further alienates other religious faiths and creates an unlikeable image of Christians.
Link from the above article to Funky Dineva.com
Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life With The ‘Pace Sisters ‘Exposes Ignorant ‘Church Folk’ (video)
… At what point do you challenge some of these nonsensical doctrines and guidelines that have been transferred from generation to generation and perpetuated by ignorance?
It seems as if there is no systems of checks and balances within Christianity for some Christians. The best Christian is the Christian that does not think or challenge anything. Mind you, many traditions, particularly within the African American community were started and passed on by uneducated, illiterate, disenfranchised slaves and former slaves. Back then people did the best they could with what limited information and understanding they had. In 2013 however, WE JUST FLAT OUT KNOW BETTER. Yet many of us voluntarily surrender our ability to exercise our free will to think critically in the name of salvation. Sounds very GODLY to me. Not sure about you, but the Gawd I pray to doesn’t feel honored or get any kind of glory out of me being blind, dumb, or stupid!
The Important Role of Immigrants in Our Economy
Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Remarks at the 2013 Annual Gala
Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
May 18, 2013
Thank you for that kind introduction. I am glad to be back in Atlanta, and I am delighted to be at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s (“GHCC”) 2013 Annual Awards Gala. Before I begin my remarks, let me issue the standard disclaimer that the views I express today are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), my fellow Commissioners, or members of the staff.
I note that this year marks the 29th anniversary of the GHCC’s founding. Congratulations on this milestone. As some of you know, I have had a long history with the GHCC. I proudly served on its Board of Directors and as Parliamentarian, and had the honor to be named the GHCC Businessman of the Year in 1994 and the GHCC Member of the Year in 2005. Like many of you in this room, I share GHCC’s commitment to the goal of promoting and supporting the economic development of Hispanic businesses and individuals. And I commend your efforts to make sure that the Hispanic community is given every opportunity to contribute to our nation’s progress and economic prosperity.
Tonight I would like to spend my time with you discussing:
%2BThe crucial role that immigrants have played in the economic growth of the United and
%2BHow the SEC can enhance opportunities for small businesses to access capital and grow their businesses.
The Positive Impact of Immigrants on the U.S. Economy
President Obama recently stated that “[t]he lesson of [the past] 236 years [in our country’s history] is clear — immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century.”1 I completely agree with the President. Let me highlight a few interesting facts about the impact of immigrants on our national economy.
First, immigrants are business owners. According to the National Venture Capital Association, over the last 20 years, immigrants have founded, or helped to found, 25% (88 out of 356) public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors.2 This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, and Sun Microsystems.3 In addition, while first generation immigrants are only 12% of the U.S. population, they represent 16.7% of all new business owners in the United States.4 First generation immigrants own businesses in a variety of industries and make substantial contributions to both low-skilled and high-skilled sectors. For example, first generation immigrants:
%2BOwn 28.4% of businesses owned by those with less than a high school education;5
%2BOwn 12% of businesses owned by those with a college education;6 and
%2BOwn 10.8% of all firms with employees, providing job opportunities for thousands of Americans.7
Second, immigrants create jobs. The Fiscal Policy Institute found that small businesses owned by immigrants directly employed an estimated 4.7 million people in the United States. According to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion in revenue annually.8
At the end of last week, three Democratic legislators renewed their efforts to protect women from right-wing crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), anti-abortion front groups that often use misleading advertising to market themselves as women’s health clinics. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) have reintroduced the “Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women’s Services Act,” which would hold those facilities accountable for any deceptive marketing tactics that falsely advertise abortion services they don’t actually provide. The measure encourages the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on the facilities that falsely advertise abortion services that don’t actually exist, while the organizations that are already accurately depicting their services wouldn’t be penalized.
Crisis pregnancy centers have a long history of preying on vulnerable women with medical misinformation. CPCs present themselves as a valid alternative to women’s health clinics, hoping to lure in women who want more information about their reproductive options, but they actually use conservative propaganda to dissuade women from choosing an abortion. And CPCs like to locate themselves close to reproductive health facilities — often moving in right next door — specifically to confuse patients who may be seeking an abortion.