Miranda Blue's blog

Creationist Group Fights For Its 'Fundamental Rights' To $18 Million In Tax Incentives

Yesterday, Kentucky’s tourism board announced that the state would not be granting an estimated $18 million tax break to the Creationist group Answers In Genesis (AIG) for its construction of a Noah’s Ark theme park, after learning that AIG intended to discriminate based on religion in its hiring.

Now, AIG’s CEO Ken Ham is crying religious persecution, claiming that Kentucky is violating his “fundamental rights” by failing to provide millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to his project. Ham told WorldNetDaily that he intends to sue the state for discriminating against him, saying, “We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”

Answers in Genesis, which is building the life-size version of Noah’s Ark – 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and three stories high – announced Thursday it was informed by the state that it could participate in the tourism program on two conditions.

The organization is required to “waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring” and “affirm that it will tolerate no ‘proselytizing’ at the theme park.”

Not possible, AiG responded, on billboard messages and elsewhere.

AiG said Kentucky officials bowed to pressure from secularist groups when it denied the Ark Encounter theme park an opportunity to participate in a popular tax rebate incentive program offered by the state’s tourism office.”

The restrictions demanded by the state are “unlawful,” AiG asserted.

“It is well-established under both federal law (Title VII) and state law (KRS 344.090) that religious organization and entities like AIG are specifically permitted to utilize a religious preference in their hiring,” the organization said.

“Moreover, the government cannot show hostility toward religion or discriminate against persons or organizations who express religious viewpoints.”

Answers in Genesis CEO Ken Ham explained his organization’s position.

“We have been working on this project with Kentucky for more than two years, so this just-received denial announcement is as disappointing as it is costly for our ministry without the expected rebate,” he said. “Our construction has already begun at the Williamstown, Kentucky, site, and it must proceed. We are fully prepared to defend our fundamental rights in court if necessary, as this issue is of huge importance, not only to us, but to every religious organization.”

He said two law firms, Freedom Guard and the Center for Religious Express, already have agreed to represent AiG in the matter.

Gohmert: National Cathedral Muslim Prayer Service Timed To 'Terrorist' Anniversary

Shortly after last month’s elections, conservative pundit David Horowitz gathered a variety of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim activists, including a handful of members of Congress and far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, at his annual retreat at a beach resort in Florida.

It appears that Wilders formed a strong connection with Rep. Louie Gohmert who, after Wilders’ speech to the event, stood to tell the Dutch visitor about the Muslim prayer service that had been recently held in the National Cathedral in Washington. Gohmert asserted that the service was purposefully timed by “these terrorists” to mark the hundredth anniversary of a fatwa issued by the Ottoman caliph in the early days of World War I.

“Yesterday, for the first time, Friday Muslim prayers were conducted in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.,” Gohmert said. “And what the Episcopal Church didn’t realize and what you know better than most anyone, anniversaries are a big deal to these terrorists and it’s the hundredth — I’d like to say it’s the thousandth, but it was the hundredth anniversary —November 14, 1914, when the last caliph of the Ottoman Empire, the last one, issued a fatwa that started the murder spree that began with young girls being raped and then crucified. So anyway, we see what’s happening here, but hardly a peep about yesterday.”

Wilders responded by asking the audience to stand and applaud Gohmert and Rep. Michele Bachmann for having “the guts to talk about the issue.”

The exchange came after a speech in which Wilders gave his standard calls for Western countries to “stop all immigration from Islamic countries,” ban the building of mosques and “close down all Islamic schools.”

“Islam is evil,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. “We must shout this out so loud that even President Obama and all the other cowards in politics all over the West will hear it.”

Anti-Immigrant Groups Demand 'Post Haste' Removal Of Obama, Biden, McConnell And Boehner

Last week, anti-immigrant activist William Gheen unveiled his plan to get Louie Gohmert or Steve King installed as president by removing President Obama and Vice President Biden from office and then getting Gohmert or King named speaker of the House.

Now Gheen is trying to get his fellow anti-immigrant activists on board his plan, spearheading an open letter “to warn as many Americans as possible” that the GOP leaders are “clandestinely working with Obama to perpetrate an unlawful and unconstitutional amnesty plot” and calling for their removal from office “post haste!”

Joining Gheen in signing the letter are anti-immigrant and Tea Party activists including Gheen’s frequent collaborator James Neighbors of Overpasses for America, Maria Espinoza of the Remembrance Project, Belinda Bee of 2 Million Bikers to DC, Darla Dawald of One Nation Rising.

We, the undersigned leaders, hereby agree to warn as many Americans as possible that GOP leaders in Congress such as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are clandestinely working with Obama to perpetrate an unlawful and unconstitutional amnesty plot despite their misleading public statements to the contrary.

Furthermore, we call on every GOP lawmaker to actively and aggressively seek the removal of Barack Obama, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner from their leadership positions as soon as humanly possible because their deceptions on the issue of amnesty for illegal immigrants equate to the overthrow and nullification of our elections, laws, Congress, Republic, and our Constitution, which each of these corrupt politicians swore an oath to uphold!

We also call on all American lawmakers in Washington and our states, party officials, members of the media, voters, and activists to immediately seek the removal of Obama and his Vice President as well their GOP facilitators and co-conspirators John Boehner and Mitch McConnell from their leadership positions - immediately!

As Americans, it is our duty to take any and all steps necessary to protect the well being of our citizens, laws, and Constitution, which are under threat and duress by the Obama-McConnell-Boehner Amnesty Plot and the millions of illegal aliens they are supporting at the behest of the US Chamber of Commerce, Council on Foreign Relations, big banks, and mega wealth billionaires.

In honor of the thousands of Americans losing their lives each year to this politician supported illegal immigrant invasion of our American homeland, and the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans struggling to make ends meet, we stand in unity against all of those in power who are betraying Americans by conspiring to deprive American voters of any true voice, choice, or representation on these matters of national and individual survival.

We call on other leaders to join in the signing of this open letter to lawmakers, and all Americans to join our efforts to depose Obama, McConnell, and Boehner from power in the unifying and paramount interest of returning Constitutional governance to America post haste!

William Gheen
President of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC)
www.alipac.us

James Neighbors
Founder and President, Overpasses For America
www.overpassesforamerica.com

Ron Woodard
NC Listen
www.nclisten.com

James Johnson
NCFIRE
www.ncfire.info

Jim Komaniecki
President, Restore American Liberty
www.restoreamericanliberty.com

Kirtis Baxter
President - Riders USA
www.ridersusa.net

Ruthie Hendrycks
Minnesotans Seeking Immigration Reform (MSIR)
www.mnsirproject.com

Belinda Bee
2 Million Bikers To DC
www.2mbtdc.com

Maria Espinoza
The Remembrance Project
www.theremembranceproject.org

Tim Selaty Sr.
Tea Party Community
www.teapartycommunity.com

Darla Dawald
Founder One Nation Rising
www.OneNationRising.com

Liz Theiss
Stop the Magnet
www.stopthemagnet.com

Maria Martinez
Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT
www.ircot.org

Roan Garcia-Quintana
Americans Have Had Enough Coalition
www.AmericansHaveHadEnough.org

Ronnie Long
Cabarrus Conservative Alliance - PAC
www.ccapac.org

Lee A Blanton
Republican Party Committeeman of Hamilton County
Precinct 24G, Cincinnati, Ohio

Marianne Ferrari Founder
Speak Up Save America
www.SpeakUpSaveAmerica.com

Boykin: 'Thank God For ISIS' For Turning Attention To Obama's 'Destruction Of Our Military'

Speaking on a panel about “Obama’s assault on the military” at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend last month, Family Research Council executive vice president Jerry Boykin lamented that “people are not paying enough attention” to “the destruction of our military” under President Obama, adding, “thank God for ISIS” for bringing attention to it.

“I’m concerned about the fact the fact that our military will not be capable of meeting the threats of the future and America is not focused on it,” he said,“and thank God for ISIS, because if it wasn’t for ISIS, there would have been no focus, no attention.”

He went on to deride the decision to send U.S. troops to help build Ebola treatment centers in West Africa, saying, “I don’t know what glue our president has been sniffing, but if you really want to protect America, close that southern border and stop the terrorists from coming across.”

Later in the discussion, Boykin said that the “anti-Semitic” Obama is blinded to the fact that “we are going to be in the Middle East forever.” 

“The idea that this president has not been anti-Semitic is absolute nonsense,” he said, lamenting that “when I discuss this with my Jewish friends, they act like I’m an idiot.”


 

 

Institute On The Constitution: Of Course There Should Be A Religious Test For Public Office!

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported on the efforts of a group of church-state separation activists, led by Todd Stiefel, who are trying to remove long-forgotten articles in seven state constitutions that require people holding public office to believe in God.

This did not sit well with Jake McAuley, the chief operating officer of Michael Peroutka’s Institute on the Constitution, who writes in BarbWire today that it is “impossible” for an elected official who doesn’t believe in God to fulfill his or her duties. “This isn’t about discrimination or bigotry,” he writes. “ It’s about ensuring that those holding office in America are committed to the true, lawful, American philosophy of government.”

Peroutka, who was recently elected to a county office in Maryland, has declared all laws passed by his state legislature null and void because the body violated "God's law" by legalizing gay marriage.

Now, let’s be clear. Mr. Steifel may not believe that there is a God. And no one is forcing him to do so.

But if he doesn’t believe that God exists, it follows that he doesn’t believe that God-given rights exist either.

And if he doesn’t believe that God-given rights exist, then how would you expect him, if elected, to defend and protect those rights?

You see, when someone is elected to office he swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the God-given rights that are secured thereby. To elect someone who does not believe that God exists, is to ask them to do that which is impossible for them to do.

The drafters of our state constitutions understood this simple logic and so they included these provisions designed to protect us from officeholders who do not share the American philosophy of law and government.

Think of it this way.

Suppose instead of not believing in God, Mr. Stiefel informs us that he does not believe that there exists a city called Cincinnati, Ohio.

By not believing in Cincinnati, Mr. Stiefel breaks no law that we can punish him for.

But now suppose that a few of us have decided to take a bus trip to visit Cincinnati. We advertise for a driver for the bus and Mr. Stiefel answers our advertisement.

Is Mr. Stiefel qualified to drive us to Cincinnati?

Do you see the problem? Once he started the bus, what would Mr. Stiefel do next? How would he get us to a place the existence of which he denies?

Of course he is not qualified. He not only doesn’t know the way. He doesn’t even believe that there is a way. He is not qualified to take us to a place that, in his own mind, does not exist.

So this constitutional requirement that an office holder must believe in God is a logical and consistent protection against those who might drive our constitutional republic in a bad direction.

This isn’t about discrimination or bigotry. It’s about ensuring that those holding office in America are committed to the true, lawful, American philosophy of government.

Bobby Jindal's Prayer Rally Materials Blame Gays & Legal Abortion For Hurricane Katrina

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is following in the footsteps of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and kicking off his possible presidential campaign next month with a stadium prayer rally organized by radical religious right activists. As Brian reported on Monday, the virulently anti-gay Christian nationalist American Family Association, influential Religious Right leader David Lane and Doug Stringer, a self-proclaimed “apostle” from Texas who has blamed America’s rejection of God for the September 11 attacks, are spearheading Jindal’s Baton Rouge rally.

These activists are the perfect ambassadors for the Christian nationalists that Jindal appears to be courting. In a letter introducing the rally — printed on official governor’s mansion stationary — Jindal warns of “a new world order of chaos…being driven by militant Islam seeking to impose Sharia Law worldwide” and domestic epidemics of “fatherless homes,” “drugs and crime in our inner cities” and “a saturation of pornography, abortion, racism,” problems for which Jesus Christ “is America’s only hope.”

Jindal’s prayer rally appears to be so closely modeled after Perry’s that its organizers are even reusing materials from the 2011 Texas event, including a prayer guide contending that natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, were the result of God’s displeasure with the “alternative lifestyle” of homosexuality, marriage equality, legal abortion, and Internet pornography.

The prayer guide listed on the “resources” page of the website for Jindal's rally includes suggestions for seven days of prayer leading up the event. It appears to be exactly the same as the guide disturbed to participants in Perry’s event in 2011  it hasn't even been updated to include the increased number of states that are bringing God’s judgment on America by allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry:

Day 2 - Locust plagues

CONSIDERATION

In Joelʼs day Israel experienced the destruction of a massive locust plague. The nationʼs economy was crippled because of the decimation of the agriculture. The reason these plagues came was because of the peopleʼs negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises.

In America today we face a similar crisis. We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available ondemand through the internet. Biblical signs of apostasy are before our very eyes. While the United States still claims to be a nation “under God” it is obvious that we have greatly strayed from our foundations in Christianity.

This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO. And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.

Furthermore, because of mismanagement and greed, our national economy is in incredible disarray, with our national debt topping 14 trillion dollars. We have effectively mortgaged our childrenʼs future, while spending money we do not have on entitlements as we search in vain for “the American dream”. The first “wave of locusts” has begun to descend upon us and many are oblivious to the fact that destruction has come and is still coming.

God destined America to be a gospel beacon to the rest of the earth – a nation under God who declares His goodness, truth and mercy to a world desperately in need.

The Jindal rally’s prayer guide also includes the 2011 guide’s plea to conservative Christians to save the United States from “debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.”

There is much at stake for the church in America. In many ways we are at a crossroads of two divergent paths. Either the church will turn to the Lord with her whole heart, sparking a great revival and reformation in our nation, or she will continue in compromise, keeping the status quo as we watch our nation turn to debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.

(Emphases are ours.)

Both “Response” rallies are modeled after the “Call” rallies organized by Religious Right leader Lou Engle. The leadership team of Perry’s rally included a number of officials from the International House of Prayer, a ministry closely associated with Engle that promotes the dominionist theology that calls for evangelical Christians to gain control of all parts American culture and government. 

Conservative Groups Making Last-Ditch Attempt To Stop National Women's History Museum

A group of Religious Right organizations have taken a sudden interest in curbing government spending on national parks and public lands…all in the interest of stopping the creation of a museum dedicated to American women’s history.

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is currently holding up a defense authorization bill that was passed last week in the House, contending that a public lands package attached to it is too pricey and doesn’t belong in a defense bill. While Coburn and Sen. Ted Cruz have objected to provisions in the bill designating new national wilderness areas, which Cruz calls an “extreme land grab,” they have garnered allies in the Religious Right who object to quite a different provision: the establishment of a bipartisan commission to start planning a National Women’s History Museum on the National Mall.

In a letter to members of the House last week, representatives of Concerned Women for America (CWA), Heritage Action, Eagle Forum, March for Life, and the American Family Association signed on to a letter with a handful of “small government” groups that oppose the creation of more public lands, urging lawmakers to strip the lands package from the defense bill.

Although the letter makes a generic nod to preventing the government from gaining “more ownership over America’s lands,” it goes on to object specifically to the women’s history museum provision, using language copied and pasted out of a recent CWA press release.

CWA and its allies have been trying for months to stop Congress from authorizing a planning committee for the women’s history museum, claiming that the museum would end up being a “shrine to liberal ideology, abortion and liberal advocates” and complaining that the museum’s website doesn’t mention CWA founder Beverly LaHaye.

Back in May, the groups failed to stop the House from passing a bill authorizing the planning committee, in part thanks to the efforts of the bill’s main Republican sponsor, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who called their arguments “convoluted.” Heritage Action’s threat to score the women’s history vote against members of Congress ultimately only scared 33 Republicans into voting against it. 

Louie Gohmert's Bizarre Explanation Of Why Central American Gang Violence Is A Hoax

Speaking on a panel about immigration at conservative pundit David Horowitz’s “Restoration Weekend” last month, Rep. Louie Gohmert recounted a conversation he had with “a Hispanic border patrolman” which he said proved that the crisis of children fleeing to the U.S. border from violence in Central America was a hoax.

Insisting that “not a single child, young child, ever comes across unaccompanied” because many came with the help of smugglers, the Texas Republican said that the fact that some of the children were brought to the border by people affiliated with gangs shows that they were not actually fleeing gang violence.

Gohmert quoted the border patrolman, who he said told the children: “Now you may find some gringo who buys that stuff, but you and I know you paid a gang to bring you into this country, so don’t tell me you came to escape gang violence!”

Gohmert has previously claimed that the Central American children where lying about gang violence.

In the same panel discussion, Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana claimed that unlike “the way it worked traditionally in America,” today’s immigrants “come from countries where they look to the government, that’s their tradition is that the government takes care of them.”

“Now when it destroys their civilization, when it destroys their economy, they look for another place to go. And where do they come? They come here. And then what you see is a progressive lower standard of living.”

“Many of them now when they come they refuse to learn our culture, they refuse to learn our language, they refuse to build the skills necessary to be successful in America,” he added.

One Million Moms Goes After 'Creepy,' 'Wicked' 'How To Get Away With Murder'

One Million Moms, an arm of the American Family Association, is targeting its latest boycott push at the ABC show “How to Get Away With Murder.” In an email alert today, the group asks its members to call Kohl’s and ask the department chain to stop advertising on the “creepy,” “wicked show” that it says advertises “a whole slew of sins.”

ABC's creepy program "How To Get Away With Murder" did not end with the finale since it is now airing the season all over again. New episodes will begin on January 29 and in the meantime the network plans to air reruns - unless 1MM can intervene.

This show is about more than murder and violence. There is a whole slew of sins in this series that the network calls entertainment. This program has included assault and murder on several occasions, as well as graphic heteros-xual and homos-xual s-x scenes on a p-rn-graphic level, foul language, mockery of Jesus Christ and Christians, s-x with a minor (statutory r-pe), adultery and marital affairs. (A dash is used to ensure our emails get through to those who have signed up to receive our alerts. Otherwise, referencing specific words would cause our emails to be blocked by some Internet filters.)

This series pushes casual s-x as acceptable, even when with multiple partners or encounters in public places. This wicked show has many dark images including a rotting corpse, dead bodies and other gore. Even though the program airs on Thursday evenings at 10:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. CT, it is not late enough for the violent, twisted plot and s-nsual scenes that are completely soft p-rn. Occasionally, like on this past Thanksgiving Day, it airs earlier at 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. CT and then again at its regular time slot.

Phyllis Schlafly, Unsurprisingly, Does Not Think Pregnant UPS Employees Should 'Have It All'

When a number of prominent anti-abortion rights groups submitted an amicus brief defending the rights of pregnant workers in Young v. UPS, a case that was argued before the Supreme Court this week, we were not surprised that Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum was not among them. After all, Schlafly has built a long career out of arguing against protections for women in their careers.

In fact, it turns out, Schlafly submitted her very own amicus brief [pdf] in the case defending UPS’s right to suspend employees who become pregnant. And even thought the brief is written by Schlafly’s attorney Larry Joseph, it is full of classic Schlafly wisdom about how pregnant women most certainly cannot  “have it all.”

In the brief, Eagle Forum argues that the plaintiff, Peggy Young, was seeking “preferential treatment” by not being suspended from her job for getting pregnant. In fact, the brief goes on to argue, in enacting the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the interpretation of which is at issue in Young, “Congress never intended…to eliminate stereotypes of husband-breadwinner, wife-homemaker families” or “to have pregnant women work as package-delivering truck drivers” although the “eradication of typical – or even stereotypical – families was the goal of the feminist movement.”

In enacting PDA, Congress never intended: (1) to eliminate stereotypes of husband-breadwinner, wife-homemaker families; (2) to have women return to work immediately after giving birth to the exclusion of caring for their newborns; (3) to have pregnant women work as package-delivering truck drivers; or (4) to privilege the status of female truck drivers over either male truck drivers or the women married to male truck drivers. While the eradication of typical – or even stereotypical – families was the goal of the feminist movement, Congress generally has taken the more moderate path advocated by UPS here. By contrast, Young demands that UPS provide her with light duty for nine months when typical on the-job light duty lasts a month, so that she continues to draw her high pay while forcing her predominantly male coworkers – who support their own spouses and children – to do the heavy lifting. It insults pregnancy to characterize this situation as pregnancy discrimination.

The brief goes on to argue that Young and her allies want to “impose their pregnancies on coworkers,” thus “[f]acilitating single motherhood out of a strained sense of equality”:

At all times relevant to this action, Young herself was married to a man whose job provided medical insurance. Nonetheless, much of the advocacy and data submitted to this Court press the concerns of single women who work and want to have children. If PDA did allow women like Young and similarly situated single women to impose their pregnancies on coworkers, PDA might provide enough of a cushion for Young, but it would leave similarly situated single women short, once their children were born. Facilitating single motherhood out of strained sense of equality does not do the women or the children a significant or long-lasting favor[.]

Finally, Eagle Forum argues that for “both married women like Young and especially for single mothers” there is no right to work while pregnant. “Life is a series of tradeoffs,” it concludes, “and ‘you can have it all’ does not mean ‘having it all given to you.’”

Third, although Young herself was married when the underlying facts unfolded, the position pressed by Young and her amici also extends to single working mothers. For both married women like Young and especially for single mothers, neither this Court nor this Nation have ever recognized a “fundamental right to bear children while also participating fully and equally in the workforce.” Senator Williams – as quoted in Guerra – should not be construed to mean that women can “have it all” through some “fundamental right” to avoid the inevitable tradeoffs between work and family life. Life is a series of tradeoffs, and “you can have it all” does not mean “having it all given to you.”

[Citations removed for clarity]

Via Wonkette

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