Religious Liberty Goes Both Ways

This ironic little news item caught my fancy when I read it on Salon (by Jenny Kutner):

Satanists sue Missouri for religious exemption to antiabortion law: “Religious liberty isn’t theirs alone”

The Satanic Temple is making good on its promise to challenge the state’s 72-hour waiting period under RFRA

SatanistThe Satanic Temple, an unlikely and productive ally in the fight for reproductive justice, is following through on a promise to sue the state of Missouri for enforcing antiabortion legislation, which Satanists believe impedes their free exercise of religion. The temple claims that by refusing to grant one of its members, identified as Mary Doe, an exemption to its 72-hour abortion waiting period, the state placed an undue burden on the woman’s religious beliefs in violation of Missouri’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Writing for Orlando Weekly, Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves announced on Friday that Satanists filed a petition for an injunction against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and State Attorney General Chris Koster, after the exemption waiver Mary presented at Planned Parenthood of St. Louis (the state’s only abortion clinic) was rejected:

Continue reading “Religious Liberty Goes Both Ways”

Hey Dude, Is Our Town That Bad?

SvengoolieJohn Oliver may be strident thumping his desk-top and maintains an assuredly British viewpoint but he is spot on in his analysis and conclusions about the problems in this country (not to mention being extremely funny). Last Week Tonight is absolutely my favorite program on the television and since I tend to only watch three shows each week, that places Oliver in the spotlight. But he shouldn’t get too cocky since one of the other two is Svengoolie.

One thing that Oliver is successful doing is to reach his audience and get some form of action. In past weeks he has ignited email campaigns, gotten government officials to acknowledge his criticism, and now even has gotten the local officials in Saginaw, Michigan, to decommission their obscene and clearly unnecessary military vehicle. The local news said that it was because an HBO comedy show made fun of them … ya think?

Continue reading “Hey Dude, Is Our Town That Bad?”

Apartheid in Missouri?

OpportunityRemember, SCOTUS declared in a decision last year that racism is no longer a significant problem in the United States (see more on this myth). Of course, as soon as the decision came down, those states which are often associated with racism immediately moved to change their voting laws in a blatant effort to disenfranchise minorities and people of color (as they say). Now reports out of Ferguson, Missouri, expose a nefarious process to keep the white minority in power by using police power and a biased legal system to disenfranchise the black majority in the area … shades of South Africa. As has been said so often, Follow the Money! It seems that Ferguson has expanded the municipal wealth by an ingenious process that runs the black residents through a feedback loop of unequal education, lack of jobs, poverty, petty crime, fines and incarceration, and disenfranchisement based on criminal records. Simply put, the city gets the fines and the whites stay in power because the black citizens are legally discouraged to vote.

Continue reading “Apartheid in Missouri?”