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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Journal Archives

How Hobby Lobby Came To Represent Christianity — While Progressives Got Left Behind


Shameless efforts to dress up bigotry in religious garb go back to the very beginnings of the religious right, which is younger than a lot of people think. The modern politicized religious right movement was born in the 1970s in a battle over whether all-white "Christian schools" could exclude black students while maintaining tax-exempt status as religious organizations. In the subsequent years, the religious right’s strategists grew savvier, recasting their agenda as a defense of “family values” and of “unborn babies.” And backed by deep-pocketed conservative donors, they set about building a powerful political, legal, and communications empire — largely bypassing existing church and denominational structures and relying instead on creative use of then-new communications technologies like direct mail, cable television, and talk radio.

Meanwhile, after playing a leading role in the social movements of the 1960s, mainline protestant denominations have since been devastated by generational decline, bureaucratic dysfunction, and internal battles, especially over the inclusion of LGBT people in church life and ministry. (Sensing weakness, outside religious-right organizations have contributed much of the money and infrastructure on the conservative side of these fights.)


But while business and religious conservatives have consistently made common cause, secular progressives have grown increasingly disinterested in, or even hostile to, Christian faith. In reaction to the religious right, too many progressive leaders have adopted unhelpful keep-your-bibles-out-of-our-bedrooms rhetoric — and too many progressive foundations and donors have ruled out investing in anything religious. (One wonders how many checkbooks would open up today for a Baptist pastor from Montgomery, Alabama who gives sermons about how America must be born again.)

So today’s debates about birth control (which nearly all Christians support using) or anti-gay discrimination (which most Christians oppose) are thus a byproduct of four decades of institutional religious history. And even before Hobby Lobby, the right’s best strategists have been planning to spend the next decade in a fight to redefine “religious freedom” so as to create a backdoor for all kinds of noxious and discriminatory practices, not just in private employment but in the provision of healthcare and social services. In a country where over 70 percent of people continue to identify as Christians, progressives simply cannot afford to continue ceding Christianity to the right.

GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination


Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a dire warning: Some of the child refugees streaming across the southern border into the United States might carry deadly diseases. "Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning," Gingrey wrote. "Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles."

Gingrey's analysis carried an aura of credibility among conservatives, because, as Judicial Watch noted, the congressman is "also medical doctor." But his two-page letter is filled with false charges—there's no evidence that migrants carry Ebola or that they're less likely to be vaccinated—from an inconvenient messenger: The congressman has himself pushed legislation to discourage some kinds of mandatory vaccinations in the United States.


Gingrey's misdiagnoses aren't confined to Ebola. As the Texas Observer points out, when it comes to measles, children in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are more likely to be vaccinated than children in the United States. None of those countries have recorded an outbreak of measles in 24 years. Kids in Marin County are more at risk.

Gingrey has long-standing ties to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a far-right medical group that opposes all mandatory vaccines. The organization touts access to Gingrey as one of its membership perks. (The AAPS has, incidentally, taken the lead in pushing the idea that migrant children are disease carriers.) In 2007, he wrote an amendment that would allow parents to block their children from receiving HPV vaccines, which are designed to combat cervical cancer.

The last known photograph of ...


26 Last Known Photos Of Famous People

more at the link.

Saint, Saint, Muslim anti-Christ

Conservatism is the dread fear that ...

20, 40, 60

The GOP's top 2016 hopefuls all have one thing in common.

Obviously these kids are flooding the border to take advantage of welfare benefits ...

Obviously these kids are flooding the border to take advantage of welfare benefits, such as oil subsidies and carried interest loopholes.

That awkward moment when super-Christian Sarah Palin calls for Obama to be impeached because he didn't deport a bunch of kids named Jesus.

House GOP to impeach Obama for making them look like heartless assholes on immigration.

That awkward moment when the GOP plan to solve the immigration crisis is the Immigration Reform Bill they blocked.


Wisconsin: Counties push back against Walker's BadgerCare decision


STEVENS POINT – Portage County might join several other Wisconsin counties demanding that Gov. Scott Walker's administration accept federal money to expand BadgerCare .

Second District County Board Member Joanne Suomi is leading the charge in Portage County to add a referendum question to the November ballot to ask for citizens' opinion on Walker's decision not to accept the money. Portage County is among at least 11 Wisconsin counties that have pursued BadgerCare referendums in one form or another.

Although the referendum question is advisory and wouldn't require any action following the vote, Suomi said she thinks it is important for people to share their opinions with state leadership. "It gives the opportunity to have a voice in what the state is doing at the state level," Suomi said.

Walker was among about 25 governors who declined federal funding to expand Medicaid in their states. Under the Affordable Care Act, states were allowed to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level. Walker chose to expand the program only for those earning 100 percent of the poverty level and said his approach would keep everyone living below the poverty line covered.

Wis: Even Though WI Ranks Last in Jobs, Walker Has Spent Over 2,000 Hours Doing "Jobs" Photo-Ops

According to ALEC, he's the model Governor. A model, of course, is a non-working replica of the real thing.


Ever notice that every time you see Governor Scott Walker, he's doing something or other that looks like he's really, really, realllllllllly focused on jobs? Usually the photo-op entails Walker wearing safety glasses and carefully studying a worker making something or other. The hope is that people will see this picture on the local news and say to themselves, "Wow, that Walker really is focused on jobs-- he's always doing something that makes me think of jobs!"

The Walker operation makes a point of doing some sort of "jobs" photo-op almost daily, when Walker is actually in the state.

Of course all politicians do this, but its hard to recall a poltician that has done it to the level of Walker. Using statistical analysis of 20 weeks chosen at random, I calculate that in the course of Walker's governorship, he has spent 2,119 hours doing these photo-ops. To put that in perspective, he could have watched 706 complete Packers games in that time!

All this would be easier to swallow if Walker was truely focused on creating jobs and not focused on the perception that he is creating jobs. However, by every statistical measure-- GDP, job growth, change in unemployment-- Wisconsin lags the national average and is at or near dead last in the midwest.
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