The SPLC today filed a judicial ethics complaint against Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over his public statements urging the governor and Alabama judges to defy federal law and enforce Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriages.
The complaint was filed with the Judicial Inquiry Commission of Alabama, which could recommend that Moore face ethics charges in the Alabama Court of the Judiciary. That court removed Moore from the office of chief justice 12 years ago after he refused to comply with a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.
“Moore is once again wrapping himself in the Bible and thumbing his nose at the federal courts and federal law,” said SPLC President Richard Cohen. “As a private citizen, Moore is entitled to his views. But as the chief justice of Alabama, he has a responsibility to recognize the supremacy of federal law and to conform his conduct to the canons of judicial ethics.”
Moore vowed in the letter to stand with Gov. Robert Bentley to “stop judicial tyranny” following a federal judge’s ruling in Mobile last week that overturned the ban. The order is on hold until Feb. 9, but Moore’s letter encouraged probate judges to disobey it once it is in effect. The letter, which was written on state Supreme Court letterhead, was sent to the governor Tuesday and released to the media. In an interview with WSFA following the letter’s release, Moore threatened “a confrontation” with the federal courts.
The SPLC complaint describes how Moore has committed numerous ethics violations, noting that he is encouraging lawlessness by attempting to assemble a virtual army of state officials and judges to oppose the federal judiciary and its “tyranny” - the opposite of what is expected from the state’s chief judge.
The SPLC complaint also outlines other violations by Moore, including publicly commenting on a pending case - the federal case that overturned the ban - as well as impending cases: the same-sex marriage cases likely to come before state judges, including Moore, if same-sex marriage is legalized in Alabama.
“We have gone down this road before during the civil rights movement,” Cohen said. “The chief justice is trotting out the same tired - and disproven - states’ rights arguments that were used to disenfranchise African Americans. Even if Moore isn’t a student of history, you would think he would be a student of his own history. The opinion that removed him from the bench in disgrace more than a decade ago clearly explained why he can’t ignore the federal courts.”
That opinion stated that the oath of chief justice commands Moore “to support both the United States and Alabama Constitutions.” It also states that if there is a conflict between the documents, “the Constitution of the United States must prevail.”
The 2003 opinion followed a successful SPLC lawsuit to remove the judge’s Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building.
TV preacher Pat Robertson on Tuesday advised a senior citizen who was a paying member of his 700 Club teleministry that a reverse mortgage was a “good deal” if she was having trouble making ends meet.
“I have been a 700 Club partner for many years,” a woman named Maria explained in an email. “I am 67 years old and still working because retirement money does not cover our basic expenses.”
“I was thinking about a reverse mortgage but have my doubts,” Maria wrote. “What do you think?”
Robertson pointed out that a reverse mortgage prevented the bank from taking “your house away from you as long as you are alive and living.”
“You don’t have to pay it off, but somebody has to pay it off, namely the United States taxpayer,” Robertson continued. “So, it’s not a good deal for the taxpayers, but for most people it’s a pretty good deal.”
The televangelist recommended that Maria speak to a financial adviser, but added that “it could be a good deal for you.”
Becoming a 700 Club partner starts at $240 a year for a basic membership. A Chairman’s Circle membership runs $10,000 a year.
Remember this multimillionaire scammer/grifter has told other destitute elderly folks to sell their stuff on eBay and take jrrbs as Walmart greeters to be able to pay their “tithes” to him.
A Muslim woman filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing Dearborn Heights police of violating her constitutional rights by making her remove her Islamic headscarf after they arrested her for driving on a suspended license.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Detroit, asks for Dearborn Heights to “modify its current policy” so that Muslim women can wear Islamic headscarves during booking procedures.
Malak Kazan of Dearborn Heights was pulled over by police in July on a traffic violation and then taken into custody on a traffic misdemeanor because of her suspended license, according to the lawsuit. The male police officer then asked Kazan to remove her headscarf to take her booking photo, which usually requires no head coverings or hats.
Kazan objected, saying her Islamic faith required her to cover her hair and neck in the presence of men who are not part of her immediate family, the lawsuit said.
For Kazan, “wearing a headscarf is a reminder of her faith, the importance of modesty in her religion … as well as a symbol of her own control over who may see the more intimate parts of her body,” the lawsuit said. “To have her hair and neck uncovered in public … is … deeply humiliating, violating, and defiling experience.”
Kazan said she asked to have a female officer take her photo, which he refused to do, said the lawsuit. The officer talked to a supervisor, who told him to proceed as usual.
The lawsuit says that wearing hijab is rooted in Islam, “based on…the Koran, the primary holy book of the Muslim religion; the hadith, oral traditions coming from the era of the Prophet Mohamed. … The word hijab comes from the Arabic word ‘hajaba,’ which means to hide or screen from view or to cover.”
The lawsuit was filed against the city of Dearborn Heights, its police department and police chief, saying that Kazan’s constitutional rights to free expression of religion were violated. It claims the First, Fourth and 14th amendments were violated.
Dearborn Heights Mayor Dan Paletko and Dearborn Heights Police Chief Lee Gavin did not return calls and messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is the latest filed in recent months involving Arab-American Muslim residents in Dearborn Heights who say that police and school officials are being biased toward them. Last year, the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights reached a settlement with the Department of Justice over concerns it discriminated against Arab Americans.
HURR HURR IT TEH SHARIA!!!!!!
Dearborn Heights is the whitey white white neighborhood where Renisha McBride was shot to death when she tried to get help after a traffic accident.
A white woman driving on a suspended license would get a finger shaken at her and told “You take care of that soon Ma’am! Have a nice day!”
More children are “growing up godless” than at any other time in our nation’s history. They are the offspring of an expanding secular population that includes a relatively new and burgeoning category of Americans called the “Nones,” so nicknamed because they identified themselves as believing in “nothing in particular” in a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center.
The number of American children raised without religion has grown significantly since the 1950s, when fewer than 4% of Americans reported growing up in a nonreligious household, according to several recent national studies. That figure entered the double digits when a 2012 study showed that 11% of people born after 1970 said they had been raised in secular homes. This may help explain why 23% of adults in the U.S. claim to have no religion, and more than 30% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say the same.
So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems.
Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.
For nearly 40 years, Bengston has overseen the Longitudinal Study of Generations, which has become the largest study of religion and family life conducted across several generational cohorts in the United States. When Bengston noticed the growth of nonreligious Americans becoming increasingly pronounced, he decided in 2013 to add secular families to his study in an attempt to understand how family life and intergenerational influences play out among the religionless.
He was surprised by what he found: High levels of family solidarity and emotional closeness between parents and nonreligious youth, and strong ethical standards and moral values that had been clearly articulated as they were imparted to the next generation.
“Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious’ parents in our study,” Bengston told me. “The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”
My own ongoing research among secular Americans — as well as that of a handful of other social scientists who have only recently turned their gaze on secular culture — confirms that nonreligious family life is replete with its own sustaining moral values and enriching ethical precepts. Chief among those: rational problem solving, personal autonomy, independence of thought, avoidance of corporal punishment, a spirit of “questioning everything” and, far above all, empathy.
For secular people, morality is predicated on one simple principle: empathetic reciprocity, widely known as the Golden Rule. Treating other people as you would like to be treated. It is an ancient, universal ethical imperative. And it requires no supernatural beliefs. As one atheist mom who wanted to be identified only as Debbie told me: “The way we teach them what is right and what is wrong is by trying to instill a sense of empathy … how other people feel. You know, just trying to give them that sense of what it’s like to be on the other end of their actions. And I don’t see any need for God in that. …
“What you find hateful, do not do to other people.” — Hillel, 50 BC
On a Sunday morning in July, a stream of cars motors up the scrub-oak-lined roadway that leads to Apopka High School. Passing under a marquee sign with Chick-fil-A: Outstanding Partner in Ed spelled out in black letters, they pull into the parking lot. Single adults, families and groups of teens gather in the school auditorium’s spacious vestibule. Two adolescent boys, one wearing a sports jersey and the other a Confederate-flag T-shirt, linger for a few moments by their truck before making their way inside.
At 10 am, the crowd files into the auditorium to hear the Gospel. Every Sunday, Apopka High School turns into Venue Church. Its motto: “Partnering with schools and communities to serve students and families to gain the privilege of sharing the love of Jesus for eternal impact.”
Venue now operates inside three public schools in Orange County, Florida, including Apopka, and it has no plans to leave. Indeed, the church proudly announces its goal: “To plant a congregation in every Central Florida school zone in the next 10 years.”
Another student, Kyle, says that the influence of religion isn’t restricted to football. Kyle, who is Jewish, played on the baseball team for two years. His teammates said Christian prayers before every game. “I just said the prayers to go along with everybody,” Kyle adds with an uncertain shrug. “You don’t want to be, you know, that guy.”
Kyle has heard a lot about the mission trips for student athletes organized by Venue Church. “Kids get really excited,” he says. “They all want to go. For most of them, it’s like the only time they’ve ever had the chance to travel out of the country.”
For anyone who doesn’t remember life before “Separation of Church and State” became a meme: Vashti McCullum of McCollum vs The Board of Education was a woman who brought the landmark case to the US Supreme Court in 1947-48. This is the case that determined that Religion could not be taught as part of the public school curriculum.
Not that I’m surprised by this story… but the quote from leading Islamic studies professor John Esposito, who was President of the American Academy of Religion last year, really jumped out because he’s seen a lot of this garbage in his time:
One of the speakers at the conference, Georgetown University religion professor John Espositio, said the event was part of a series nationwide to discuss terrorism, hate speech and anti-Islam fears.
“I go to Muslim countries, and I speak all over the United States,” he said. “What’s interesting to me is that this is the first time that I’ve been in a situation that I’m come to speak and I’ve seen this level of hate.”
Protesters picket Islamic conference in Garland
A fund-raiser to build a center dedicated to teaching Muslims how to combat negative depictions of their faith drew crowds of protesters Saturday in Garland.
Some who picketed the event said Islamic beliefs pose a threat to the American way of life. Counter-protesters also attended, urging understanding and cooperation.
The $20-a-ticket Stand With the Prophet in Honor and Respect conference was promoted by Sound Vision Foundation. The organization has said hate groups use the actions of international extremists such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram to turn public opinion against all Muslims.
I’d never heard of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) until about an hour ago when a book on Amazon with an unusual title (Islam Is a Foreign Country) piqued my interest. It just so happened that its author, Zareena Grewal, turned out to be the (former) director of the Center, so I went looking to see who they were. Here’s what I found:
ISPU is an independent, nonpartisan think tank and research organization committed to conducting objective, empirical research and offering expert policy analysis on some of the most pressing issues facing the United States. These issues include U.S. foreign policy, national security, the economy, and public health. In addition, ISPU has assembled leading experts across multiple disciplines and built a solid reputation as a trusted source for information about American Muslims and Muslim communities around the world. […]
More: ISPU - Who We Are
I also checked out the site to see who was on their Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, staff, and scholars (under Experts). Yes, I’m very cautious these days because there are too many so-called “scholars” and “specialists” who are little more than paid hacks of the Islamophobia industry. Then there are the Muslim concern trolls who only ever show up on Fox News & CNN (especially after terrorist attacks or when they’re hawking one of their books) or who are hired by right-wing outfits like the Gatestone Institute, where they rub shoulders with some of the worst, most hateful anti-Muslim mouthpieces.
There are also some rather extreme Muslims out there, so there’s the concern about anyone known for their antisemitic views. I didn’t see any names that set off alarms, and the article “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia Surge in Europe” put my mind at rest on that particular matter.
I found their Islamophobia: A Threat to All page especially interesting as it offers three research publications for download. Towards the bottom of the page, under the heading “Existing ISPU Research on Islamophobia”, it also provides PDFs of some (slightly) older, but still very relevant topics.
The Issues section covers such topics as American Muslims, European Muslims. the Middle East, South Asia, US Politics, National Security, the Economy, Public Health, and of course there’s a 9/11 Series.
Last but not least, is the Publications section. There, in addition to the first volume of ISPU Insights (a biannual publication that highlights things they’ve been working on throughout the year), you’ll find sections for Reports. Policy Briefs, Articles and Books.
It was under Policy Briefs that I found the PDF below, which this Page takes its title from and which I thought might be of particular interest to quite a few of you here. The author, Asifa Quraishi-Landes, does a great job of articulating what Sharia is (and isn’t) as well as explaining what’s required in terms of scholarship for reform to happen that will be accepted by most Muslims (i.e. the mainstream, not the far-left progressives who are much smaller in number and tend to lack the gravitas and credibility—in an Islamic context—required for them to be considered a serious catalyst for change).
I think most of you will find the ISPU website to be a very useful resource when struggling to understand certain aspects of Islam and the Muslim worldview. Sure, there is a shared foundation, but there are many other factors that influence that worldview: where one was raised/lives, whether one was born into a Muslim family or is a convert (most of whose immediate family members are probably not Muslim), why and at what point in life one converted, not to mention one’s socioeconomic background, education level, individual personality, etc.
Alright, I’ll stop yakking now and let you move on to reading the PDF and/or exploring the website (I’ve only barely scratched the surface myself—there’s a LOT of info there). Hope this helps a little.
This book was a sensation in certain religious circles and it generated millions of dollars in revenue. One can scarcely blame a 6 year old for telling a tall tale and young Alex Malarkey (now 11) has shown great courage in coming clean. The adults involved though need to be shamed and ridiculed right out of human society.
Nearly five years after it hit bestseller lists, a book that purported to be a six-year-old boy’s story of visiting angels and heaven after suffering a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up.
The book’s publisher, Tyndale House, had promoted it as “a supernatural encounter that will give you new insights on Heaven, angels, and hearing the voice of God.”
But Thursday, Tyndale House confirmed to NPR that it is taking “the book and all ancillary products out of print.”
The decision to pull the book comes after Alex Malarkey wrote an open letter to retailer LifeWay and others who sell Christian books and religious materials. It was published this week on the Pulpit and Pen website.
“I did not die. I did not go to Heaven,” Alex wrote. He continued, “I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible. People have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough.
In a move to promote religious diversity at Duke University, the chapel was going to allow Muslim students to broadcast the adhan (call to prayer) “moderately” over a loudspeaker once a week on Friday to alert students of the jummah….
however, butthurt Christians shut that right down in two days flat. Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son who heads “charity” Samaritan’s Purse) threatened to go after donors and Duke backed off. The fundies on my FB are going nuts about this story now, you’d think maybe now they’d feel some empathy with those of us who prefer to not have religion shoved down our throats in the public sphere (or even private, as in Duke’s case).
But haha, whatever.
“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus.”
Duke Won’t Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer After All
by Maya Rhodan, time.com
Duke University Thursday has reversed its decision to allow Muslim students to broadcast a call-to-prayer from the school’s chapel bell tower starting this Friday.
Instead, the university said Thursday that students will gather outside the chapel before the weekly jummah prayer service, which has been held in the chapel basement every week for the past several years.
“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, in a statement. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”
DOOFUS of the DAY: ‘Hyper Religious’ Newspaper Photoshops Women Out of Paris March, Hopes No One Notices
Paris - A Haredi newspaper removed the image of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel and the Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt from a picture of global leaders marching in Paris.
The women were both taken out of the photograph but Netanyahu remained.
The newspaper, called “HaMvaser,” is published by MK Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism. It reworked the image to remove the women in following with Haredi spiritual rules that ban publishing pictures of women, since it considers the female body to be immodest.
Some Haredi newspapers also refrain from publishing the names of women.
A similar Photoshop disappearance was committed several years ago, when then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and another woman were digitally removed from the iconic “Situation Room” photo of the Osama Bin Laden assassination operation.
There is no basis in halacha (Jewish law) for removing female figures from images, this is yet another example of ignorant fanatics running amuck. At least they are using Photoshop and not machetes or machine guns.
At the very least, these stupid people could have chosen to not include any photograph at all, and spare the rest of us the embarrassment of their idiocy.
- See more at: viciousbabushka.com