Flying Spaghetti Monster Joins Baby Jesus In Holiday Display

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“A college atheist group has set up a Flying Spaghetti Monster display at the Wisconsin State Capitol to make a point about religious expression on public property.

The Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics group at the University of Wisconsin set up the satirical religious display alongside a “Festivus” pole and a “Winter Solstice Nativity” scene featuring Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Mark Twain that was set up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“The rotunda is getting very cluttered,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. “But if a devotional nativity display is allowed, then there must be ‘room at the inn’ for all points of view, including irreverency and free thought.” – RAmen! 

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Proposal Would Allow Official State Religion In North Carolina

Oh sure, a state religion sounds like a grand idea…s’long as it is MY religion that is the *official* one…

“The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the State of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the State from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” Section 2, HB 494

WRAL - “A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.

The bill grew out of a federal lawsuit filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In the lawsuit, the ACLU says the board has opened 97 percent of its meetings since 2007 with explicitly Christian prayers.

Overtly Christian prayers at government meetings are not rare in North Carolina. Since the Republican takeover in 2011, the state Senate chaplain has offered an explicitly Christian invocation virtually every day of session, despite the fact that some senators are not Christian…

House Bill 494, filed by Republican Rowan County Reps. Harry Warren and Carl Ford, would refuse to acknowledge the force of any judicial ruling on prayer in North Carolina – or indeed on any Constitutional topic. Eleven House Republicans have signed on to sponsor the resolution, including Majority Leader Edgar Starnes, R-Caldwell, and Budget Chairman Justin Burr, R-Stanly.” Full Story on WRAL

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Uncle Sam In Your Backyard

Michael Salman, has been fighting a 60 day jail sentence since his September 2010 conviction for violating city building codes on his property in Phoenix, AZ but last week a federal judge denied his motion to block the sentence and tossed his civil lawsuit.

 According to news reports, Mr. Salman has been fighting the city in order to be allowed to have 40 or so people at his home for bible study gatherings since 2007. His home has even been raided by police — twice. City inspectors are claiming that a structure on the property where the gatherings take place isn’t safe…

…And we’ll just never mind the fact that police raids are also not generally very ‘safe’ either, right?

To raid a bible study group for any reason is an unnecessary show of intimidating force – and to what ends? Why does the city assume they have the right to step in and supersede individual choice? Are we really so pathetic and helpless that ‘The City” must decide for us where we are safe to gather together…for whatever damn reason we see fit? 

From neighborhood lemonade stands to garage sales all the way to Private Assembly on Private Property, the long arm of the law just keeps stretching farther and farther down our throats…

Phoenix News Times, “A federal judge has slapped down Pastor Michael Salman’s request for a restraining order against the city of Phoenix in Salman’s fight over his backyard church services.

Salman’s been battling city officials and neighbors for the last few years in his quest to continue the services, which — he says — he holds each week for the benefit of about 50 friends. Fire and zoning inspectors maintain that a structure he built in his backyard with the help of some of those friends is a safety hazard.

As we reported last week, officials raided Salman’s home in March for a second time and cited him with seven code violations — as a 60-day jail sentence he received for previous code violations remains on appeal. As a last-ditch effort, Salman filed a federal complaint last week against the city of Phoenix and various officials, as well as a request for a temporary restraining order.”

More coverage on this story Phoenix News Times

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And another excerpt, this one from The End of theAmerican Dream“Michael Salman was found guilty of 67 “code violations”, and now he is going to be ripped away from his family and put in prison for two months.  In addition, the assistant city prosecutor is asking the court to “revoke his probation and convert it into a 2 1/2 year jail sentence since he continues to hold worship gatherings on his property despite court orders.”  This kind of case has the potential to have a huge “chilling effect” on home gatherings of all kinds all over the United States.

You may be thinking that you are glad that this man is being put in prison because you aren’t a Christian and you don’t have any sympathy for Christians.

Well, what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to discuss the U.S. Constitution?

Or what if you wanted to hold small gatherings in your home to play cards or watch football?

The U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble”, and when the constitutional rights of one person are under attack, it is an attack on all of us.

In America today, we actually do not own our homes and our properties.  Instead, we are only allowed to use them in very, very narrowly-defined ways, and if we “rebel” against those rules the control freaks that run things will smack us hard…” Continue on End Of American Dream

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And I wonder, when will enough finally be enough for us? When will we snap to and remember that we are only bound by chains of our own making? We scream for more protection from imaginary boogeymen…and fail to realize the price tag that hangs around our neck with each new ‘safety’ we demand. How much longer until the chains drag us all down into a dungeon we cannot escape?

Rick Santorum & The *Gift* of Rape

When I first watched this clip, my mind started spinning about 10,000 miles an hour and very few of the words that swirled around were pleasant or appropriate to use in public. I started trying to write some type of cohesive response & article about this but after tossing out 50 failed attempts, I’ve decided to just post the video and let Rick Santorum’s words stand on their own…

Deep In The Bowels of Texas

This is what happens when religious beliefs and influence seep into the legislative process. The state has no business inserting *laws* such as this into the private meetings between women and their doctors. Aside from the obvious attempt to discourage women from obtaining abortions as is our right in a *Free* country, what is there to be gained from this invasive nonsense? 

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A federal appeals court cleared the way Friday for the immediate enforcement of a new abortion law in Texas requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram before the procedure.

The three-judge panel on Tuesday lifted a temporary stay issued by a district court judge who found the new law potentially unconstitutional, but did not issued a legal mandate. On Friday, the judges agreed to a request by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to cut short the typical three-week waiting period between a ruling and its implementation.

The new law requires doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion, to show the woman the image, to play the fetal heartbeat aloud and describe the features of the fetus at least 24 hours before the abortion. There are exceptions in the case of rape, incest, fetal deformities and for women who have to travel great distances to reach a doctor.

The most recent order does not give time for doctors fighting the law to appeal Jones’ decision, which under normal circumstances would not have gone into effect until Jan. 31. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which supports the doctors, did not have an immediate reaction to Friday’s order.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order clears the way for the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue rules for complying with the law and to prosecute doctors who do not obey it

As with most new regulations that are pushed through in the dark of night, there is no time for folks to fight or stop it. How ‘convenient’ that the judges agreed (on a special request from the AG, Greg Abbott*) to waive the standard waiting period before the new law is implemented. I’m sure there were no favors or golf-course deals that influenced this decision at all…

The article goes on to state – 

One of the conservative supporters of the law, the Liberty Institute, welcomed the court’s decision not to delay the law any further.

“This court order means that the Texas sonogram law is to be enforced effective immediately, as it should be,” said Jonathan Saenz, the institute’s legislative director.

Read the full story here.

In case you’re not familiar with the Liberty Institute, here is a snippet from the “About” section of their website,

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