Slavery or States Rights?

It was all about Slavery
I am the most liberal person on the planet. Or so I’m told at least. In an attack by someone I thought was my friend, a friend with potential, perhaps not so much. The red flags were there. He set them on fire with that attack. That was only the beginning, but that’s another story.
The debate was initiated in that way followed by asking my opinion of the question of Confederate Memorials. It may or may not be a popular opinion, but my stance is that if it’s just honoring the dead, and was erected right after the war, there is no reason to bring them down. But if its celebrating the actions of a Traitor to the United States, it should come down and if it was erected as a protest against segregation and the civil rights movement, they should come down immediately. The motives behind putting it up should be a factor.
So the next assertion he threw at me was that the Civil War was not about slavery, that it was about States Rights. Wrong. It was about slavery. And that can be proven by reading the Cessation declarations of the Confederate states. These declarations can be found at http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ras2777/amgov/secession.html . Note that the site is a Southern college. Each declaration from Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and South Carolina all mention the elimination of the fugitive slave laws and the nullification of their “property” because of the banning of slavery. So these primary states of the Confederacy all specifically name Slavery as one of the primary reasons for their leaving the Union. This solidly establishes slavery as one of the primary political issues that led to the Civil War.
The first argument of all conservatives in answer to such a response is that the source is not dependable so I offer another. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/csapage.asp also displays yet another exact copy of these declarations. Yale University and UCS Louisiana. The story is also backed up on https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states and also https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/2feb1861.html . Note that’s a southern and a northern college and a historical organization and a government website and that they all agree. I’m sorry Mr and Ms Conservative, your argument is invalid.

What We’ve Become

It is common knowledge that politicians lie, and we all, as citizens of this country accept that as a common truth. But those who vote choose the politician who seems to agree with them on the issues that matter the most to them. Sometimes to their own detriment they unknowingly vote against their own best interests. Human nature leads us to assign importance to issues that we feel passionate about. In doing so, we often ignore the issues that don’t spark any sort of emotional response in us. By doing so, we miss things that have a big impact on our wellbeing.

Politicians are well aware of this trait of human nature. They realize that they can appeal to these passions and distract voters from other issues they don’t assign as much importance to. This is why many politicians claim to be “Pro-life”. The issue sparks passion in many people but does not really affect most of those that are passionate about it. Those people are so passionate about eliminating a choice for other people that they miss how their own rights are being trampled. Politicians use it as a diversionary tactic. And people buy into it without bothering to even look into the voting habits of the candidates that they think they agree with. They make assumptions that if they agree with the candidate on the one issue they assign the most importance to; the candidate must be the one that has their best interests at heart. But the problem is….they don’t.

It’s time for a new age of enlightenment. We need to reawaken our minds, renew our ability to think critically and do so on all public policy issues. If we don’t, we will most certainly lose our country, if we haven’t lost it already. We’ve allowed our laziness and lack of drive to think and to question the motives of our public representatives and because of it; we have allowed ourselves to be led down the path to the deterioration of our country. As a result, we have an administration that wants to re-write our Constitution to fit the purposes of said administration including, but not limited to eliminating our freedoms of speech, press, and to petition for redress grievances. This can be validated simply by reading the president’s twitter account. This sort of behavior was previously seen in the rise of one of the most evil men in world history, Adolph Hitler.

As citizens, why are we not questioning this connection? Are we so focused on wanting “the American Dream” and our desire to have no hurdles between us and the prize that we don’t care what else politicians are doing? Why are we not questioning EVERYTHING they propose to make a law that affects us all? Do we not realize that ever y single law has an impact on all of us, regardless of whether or not it’s direct?

It’s perfectly normal and natural for people to want what’s going to allow them to maximize their own financial stability. And to focus on what affects one’s own life is normal. But when one loses the ability to critically think, they tend to miss important details. Its common to hear the old adage that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Politicians tell the public what the bill they propose is intended to do, but if we look at every bill proposed, politicians add other things to the initial bill. It doesn’t just do what they say publicly. They add things to it that they don’t talk about. This is why transparency is so important. We need to pay attention to every single word included in each bill.

Republicans and Democrats demonize each other for not agreeing to approve bills proposed because they keep good things from being accomplished. But they suppress the fact that there was something else in that bill that would make life more difficult for a sizable portion of the population. Both sides have agendas that they try to accomplish covertly. If we are to recover the freedoms this country was founded on, we must hold them all accountable. How do we do this? We show up. We show up at not only the Presidential elections but also the primaries, the special elections and the local elections. We ask questions. We do our research. If our representative votes against something we think they should have voted in favor of, show up at a town hall meeting. Ask them why they voted against the bill. Perhaps there was a small phrase or a couple of sentences in it that went against all this candidate stands for. Perhaps he or she wants to talk about that. And if that’s the case, we the people need to know if that decision is in our best interest or not and make our decisions on who we vote for accordingly.

We can’t just keep voting on one or two issues anymore. We can’t take politicians at face value and listen to what they have said in their prepared speeches. We need to ask questions. We need to catch them off guard and ask for answers they weren’t prepared to discuss so we can see how they think on their feet. We need to drill them about their stance on any topic that affects us personally. We need to know how they’ve voted in the past on the issues that affect us. And most importantly, we need to re-teach ourselves to think critically. We need to open up communication again with those who disagree with us and work on finding middle ground and elect only those open to that middle ground. We need to stop judging each other on those same single topics that got us here. Abortion does not need to be a solitary issue voted on because many of those voting solely on a politician’s stance on that issue are devastated by the financial decisions those very same politicians make. Pay attention folks. Ask questions.. Not only questions of your state politicians, but your local ones too. LEARN how their decisions have affected you in the past. Learn how the issues impact you personally. READ the bills proposed. Ask questions about what they mean. Consider how those bills can be misinterpreted or used to obliterate someone’s rights. Because if a bill says you can discriminate against someone based on your religion, they also say someone else can discriminate against you based on theirs. THIS is what thinking critically is.

Thinking critically has been played off as being a bad thing for our kids but it’s not. Thinking critically is learning to think for one self. It’s a very good thing that keeps people from being taken unfair advantage of. Politicians don’t want Americans to think critically because they want to continue to destroy the fabric of this nation for their own financial benefit. But ladies and gentlemen, they work for us. They should be doing what is in OUR best interest, not their own. They are not our leaders. They are our employees…they should be working to make our lives better, not to get rich off our tax dollars.

So we need to regain our ability to think critically and start holding our elected officials personally accountable for their actions and make sure they act in our best interests and if they don’t, we need to vote them out.

Lastly, we need to reverse the bad precedent set when Nixon was pardoned and start prosecuting for treason and corruption. And those who commit heinous acts to climb the political gains ladder must be punished for doing so, up to and including prison time, asset stripping and loss of benefits. A President that commits treason through collusion with a foreign adversary must be prosecuted for treason, be stripped of his assets, lose his lifetime retirement benefits as a former president and be imprisoned for his actions. The same goes for any elected official who participates in the conspiracy to commit treason for personal and political gain. If we don’t, we will never be able to trust our political system again.

Chained

Am I chained by gender rules
To this private womb
Made public by morals
Not my own.

Imprisoned in femininity
By a public entity
Poisoned by power
Demanding dominance

Am I to be
Prisoner to pregnancy
Denied choices, living
In forced dependency.

The Rights We’re Fighting For

The Rights We’re Fighting For Are Yours Too
The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I have recently made a comment about a meme I saw in which it compared the women at the Million Woman March and sister marches all over the world to women in the military. It was belittling the women of the marches. It struck me as a complete fallacy and I pointed it out, to which the poster completely missed my point. She was one who doesn’t want to hear anything contrary to her own views and got defensive immediately. I wasn’t insulting her; I was merely stating that it was comparing apples to oranges. The reasons for the two groups marching are completely different. The soldiers are sworn to defend the Constitution, yes, but their marching is a part of the job they signed up for. The Million Woman March was about the rights our own government is trying to deny us under this new administration. So the only comparison I see is that they defend the very rights we are exercising. You would think they would feel good about the fact that we’re actually using the rights they defend instead of letting them lie dormant and unused. If we do that, we will most surely lose them. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I will state that no, I don’t understand conservative thought patterns any more than they understand liberal ones. I don’t understand how any woman could support donald trump when he has been very vocally anti-woman and has even bragged about committing sexual assault and getting away with it. Did you not learn at any point in life that sometimes a man just says what he thinks you want to hear to get you to do what he wants? To listen to what someone says and not pay attention to what he does is putting yourself in a vulnerable position to be taken unfair advantage of. And of course when that happens, you get the blame for putting yourself in that position. That is where rape culture was born. And chalking it up to “locker room talk” encourages the behavior because they got away with it, so they’ll continue to do it. And believing that something never happened because they told you so and ignoring that fact when someone shows you video proof is willful ignorance. You become the victim of gas-lighting when you do that because you’re buying into the illusion of innocence. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I see so much out there that is critical to the protesters in that they are being judged. Another commenter said that half the people out there didn’t even know why they were there. I was there and everyone there except perhaps the little ones knew exactly what they were doing there. Even some of the little ones did. Between signs, conversations, t-shirts, buttons and chants, everyone had a valid reason to address during that march. There were many, but all of them were born of the acidic vitriol that came out of the trump campaign. There is much fear and rage out there over the things that he promised his followers that put us all at risk. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

To assume that the marchers were all out there for the same reason is to make an assumption with no facts. Try a Google search of the protest. There are literally hundreds of signs posted on Facebook alone that were at the actual protests that address a multitude of reasons for protest. All of those signs all boil down to one thing. The protesters fear that they’re losing rights under this administration. More than just reproductive rights. More than just equality. More than just one issue. I alone made signs for multiple reasons. All of our concerns should be addressed. All of our voices should be heard. Not just by the new administration but by the supporters of it as well. Pay attention. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too. You might think we’re fighting for something we already have but you’re not paying attention if you think there is no threat to them. The truth is, trump has threatened the first amendment multiple times already. If we allow him to attack a primary constitutional right specifically mentioned first in the Bill of Rights, they will slowly pick away at the others as well. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I know the first argument will be that his threat to the media is only those reporting lies, but the ones reporting lies are not the ones he’s attacking. He is attacking the respected media outlets that have earned their place as respectable reporting entities. He is attacking those who report anything he dislikes, even if there is documented proof of it. And 6 reporters have been arrested and charged with a felony for rioting because they were on protest sights reporting on those protests. We can’t allow this to happen. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/business/media/journalists-arrested-trump-inauguration.html?_r=0) that’s the NEW YORK TIMES ladies and gentlemen, not just some fly by night organization that just popped up over the last few years. Not just some tabloid on tv organization. The New York Times….The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

The first amendment gives us the right to free speech, free press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. All of these things are involved in our protests. To arrest people for exercising our first amendment rights is a violation of the Constitution of the United States. Yet there are states that have bills on their agenda trying to criminalize the right to peaceful assembly and petition the government for redress of grievances. (http://www.snopes.com/lawmakers-criminalize-peaceful-protest/) Yes, Snopes is a legitimate source. They are a fact checking organization. And the article does say they are definitely on the agenda, but that none have passed into law. These are the things we need to pay attention to. This is a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT they’re trying to criminalize. They’re trying to chip away at the foundation of the Constitution ladies and gentlemen. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.
Yes, we have a problem with the right trying to criminalize and ban abortion. You can’t legislate morality because morality is subject to individual interpretation and some of us believe it to be more moral to spare our offspring a short and extremely painful death than to force it to feel that pain. YOU DO NOT KNOW what leads a woman to the decision to have an abortion. You don’t even know when you see a pregnant woman going to a Planned Parenthood office if her fetus is even viable. A D & C is also performed at Planned Parenthood. This is done after a fetal demise, yet people who insist on judging these women stand outside of Planned Parenthood offices and brutalize these women for their decisions without knowing the first thing about them. Stop judging when you don’t know what’s going on. And stop supporting legislators who want to force these women to risk their lives to carry out a pregnancy without knowing the circumstances either. These decisions need to remain between a woman and her doctor, NOT her legislator. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

Stop trying to force your beliefs on everyone else. Science is real. Scientists have made a career of studying their choice of scientific field. They have devoted their lives to it. Just because you don’t know the difference between a theory and a scientific theory does not give you the right to discredit their research and make assumptions about it, much less to allow lawmakers to make laws governing it. Science is responsible for every advance to improve human life. Open a book. Not just any book. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly don’t know anything but their right wing propaganda. Open a book by A SCIENTIST. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Open a medical Journal. Learn about genetics. Explore how genetics works and learn that there are genetic variations that people might find to be odd but they recur in nature more commonly than you might think. Like genetic mutations that cause a human being to be born with more than one set of reproductive organs. If that can happen, then being born with a male identity in a female body and vice versa is also not only feasible but occurs often. Quit making assumptions and do some research. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Ask yourself this question. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you think everyone you meet sees you the same way you see yourself. If you have any critical thinking skills whatsoever, you know that they don’t. So do you want people that don’t know you making assumptions about you and condemning you for it and stripping you of your rights based on an assumption? That is exactly what is happening. Pay attention. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Stop assuming that because it gets cold, Global Warming is not real. ALL scientists agree it’s real. The only people that say it’s not are politicians. And if we let it go and continue in the direction we’re going, we will kill ourselves when we kill our planet. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

Multiple species of animals are dying due to the actions of humans. This is not natural selection; this is human beings becoming the cancer that is killing the whole planet. We have to do the right thing for all of us, for our children and future generations. The Bible doesn’t defend your denying what’s happening. We’re supposed to be stewards of our planet. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.
Start paying attention….before it’s too late.

Freedom of Speech

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

– This is the first amendment as written by James Madison under the tutelage and encouragement of Thomas Jefferson in 1789. Little did he know that Thomas Jefferson’s suspicion that the bill of rights would become so important and so necessary was dead on the money. – Freedom of speech and press are as deeply important to me as all the other rights combined and perhaps more so. These rights are being trampled lately and by many of the ones that complain the loudest. In light of the press being pursued and prosecuted for reporting what they find that contradicts what many politicians don’t want the American Public to know,( like the actions of the NSA as reported by Edward Snowden as well as what’s being exposed by Wikileaks) my fears of losing these rights has increased. But we must use these rights responsibly.

– The Freedom of speech is the one I want to address at the moment though. We must remember that with that freedom comes responsibility and the fact that it doesn’t also grant you the freedom from the consequences of your speech. There are always consequences. Everything one says or does has an equal and opposite reaction, and there are at least two sides to every story but more likely as many sides as there are witnesses. And there are many perspectives on every event, issue or circumstance. For this reason, I have been making a stronger effort to think before I speak, not only on this blog but also in public.

– Recently I was in a place of business, a souvenir store called Alvin’s Island in Panama City Beach, Florida where my friend was having t-shirts airbrushed for her children. The artist was making conversation with his customers as is their habit and it’s often a good habit. However, one must always take into account who he’s talking to and who else can hear him, considering a business is a public domain that depends on its customers for survival. This particular air-brush artist failed to take this into consideration. He took the care to ask my friends (who likely disagree with me but are polite enough not to insult me over it) “You didn’t vote for Obama, did you?” When they told him no, he proceeded recklessly and without care with “Good because people who voted for him are just too stupid to talk to.” Being the well raised Southern Lady I am, I quietly walked out of the store. Pacing outside I contemplated what to say that would hit home and send the message I wanted to send without compromising my own dignity or stooping to his level. I calmed myself down and awaited my friends and I did come to a conclusion as to how to respond.

– So when my friends left the store, I excused myself and assured them I’d be back. I entered the store and he cheerfully greeted me with “Yes ma’am?” I responded with “I just wanted to let you to know that those of us who are too stupid to talk to at least know to think before we speak in a place of business.” I said it with fire in my eyes that betrayed my barely contained rage. I spoke in a low and clear voice without a crack nor shake and his response was a shocked speechlessness that was quite satisfying as it told me I hit home with the message I intended to send. I sent the message loud and clear that his insult to me and those who think like me will be spread far and wide and that many of you, like me, will never set foot in Alvin’s Island much less spend any money there. That’s not to say Alvin’s Island is responsible for the actions of their employee. Just that his actions turned me off on their store.

– Freedom of speech, you see, comes with responsibility. If you shirk that responsibility, you suffer the consequences of that untethered speech. You receive the responses of others who take offense to your speech. You pay the price. I am quite certain that the artist in Alvin’s Island will never forget me nor that incident because you may forget what people say to you but you never forget what they made you feel. I made him feel shame and chagrin wrought by his own words being thrown back at him from a vastly different perspective. Say what you will, but you might want to consider the possibilities of their consequences, because once said, they cannot be retracted.

– This lesson is going around lately. And it’s going to make its rounds before it’s done in a karmic thoroughness. Not just a response to spoken words but written words and their passage into law. Indiana is currently learning this lesson in that it’s losing business as a result of its passage of its harshly worded religious freedom restoration law. And now, Arkansas has followed suit and will soon follow with the consequences. This country has a history of fighting for equality and against discrimination. Laws like these gut discrimination protections and those of us who support them and fight for them even now are not happy about it. And the best action we can take is to let them suffer the consequences of their actions by taking our business elsewhere.

– And then there’s Georgia, where Josh McKoon is dead set on forcing his pro-discrimination legislation disguised as a religious freedom protection bill through and get it on the books despite the protests by the locals and the warnings from the NFL and other businesses who have withdrawn their business from Indiana already and have warned that they will take their business elsewhere if Georgia passes this bill into law. Indiana’s economy will suffer for their new law as will Arkansas and if it’s passed in Georgia, we will suffer too.

– I am an American through and through. And I will fight for our right to the freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights regardless of whether I agree with you or not. I understand that freedom of speech is the right to say anything you wish. It does not, however, guarantee protection from the consequences of said speech. And I’m not going to stand in the way of those consequences. You bring that on yourself with your speech choices. So you might want to think before you speak. And you might want to consider the consequences before you pass laws designed to allow the denial of rights to others, because the rights denied may eventually be your own. Because you might consider your business to be an extension of yourself and entitled to your opinion and the freedom to express it, but it’s also public domain and as such can sink or swim based on how the public sees it, and you

To Be Constitutional or not to be?

We have discussed before how legislation often doesn’t mean what it appears to mean. And it garners support for what people assume that it means based on its title; case in point, Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon’s ‘Religious Freedom” bill. To see it named such a title, most who don’t bother to read it or at least do minimal research on what it is would assume it’s to protect religious freedom.

At first glance, it is, that is until one starts looking into the wording of the bill. The first question that comes to mind is why would we need this bill if our religious freedom is protected in the bill of rights? Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. What the new law does is allow people to discriminate against other people using religious freedom as an excuse. It does not, however address the fact that by doing so, it denies the victims it creates THEIR freedoms. Not just religious but others as well. The exact wording of the law can be found here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en-US/Display/20152016/SB/129 .

Let’s take a closer look what the act says. The first section describes that it’s an amendment to title 50 of the Georgia code. The meaning of that is simple. It’s an amendment to change what title 50 says….language we’re use to in the Constitution. So that part is easy. Then it goes on to say what its intent and purpose is. First, to preserve religious freedom; doesn’t the Constitution of the United States do that? So this act is not needed for that. Then it goes on to say ‘to provide for legislative findings and purposes” and my first question there is what findings and what purposes? If I had to guess I’d say to give support for allowing for something title 50 does not allow for. Essentially, it will be determined by any lawyer that can justify any given case.

As we go further, that will become clear. “To provide granting of relief” is likely interpreted as a relief of a burden. The definition of said burden is left undefined so that it can be interpreted widely. This was done intentionally. They WANT it to be interpreted widely so as to allow for it to be applied to anything and everything they want to use it for, thereby gutting the laws that prohibit what they are working to allow for. “To provide for definitions” leaves it open for the definitions of anything they want it to apply to, case specific…again leaving it wide open to interpretation. “To provide for short title” heaven knows what that means. The other parts of this law are scary enough to make it dangerous without interpreting that short piece. “To provide an effective date” means just what it says probably, but what effective date? And how can that be used? These are questions we have to ask because any law and its language are subject to interpretation and often are interpreted in such a way as to benefit whoever has the most money to pay for its interpretation in their favor. “To repeal conflicting laws”…..WHOA….WHAT? What laws? Any law that conflicts with the purposes this law is intended to support? Here is where the big problems begin. We’ll continue with that further in. Finally on this statement of purposes of this act, “and for other purposes”, another one of those wide open statements intended to allow for wide interpretation. It could be used for any number of things.

The meat of this law is that one small portion of the first paragraph which can also be found in the last line of the act. This is the whole root and foundation of this act.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, sex or ethnic origin. If a business owner believes he is superior to anyone that this law protects, he can claim it’s a “sincerely held religious belief” and render this law null and void, thereby repealing this conflicting law. It also allows for them to discriminate against interracial couples. I know this sounds extreme, but this act allows for such extremism. (Which is pretty much the point in opposing this act) (http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/history/herman/reports/futurework/conference/staffing/9.7_discrimination.htm) –

Pregnancy Discrimination act of 1978 was intended to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to included prohibiting discrimination against pregnant women. Under this proposed Act, if an employer decides he doesn’t like the fact that one of his employees is unmarried and pregnant, he can claim it’s against his religion and he cannot employ a woman who is pregnant but not married and fire her, rendering the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 repealed according to the terms of this act. (http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/pregnancy.cfm)

This Act would also head off any anti-discrimination legislation that could come in the near future, such as LGBT protections. All they would have to do is claim religious exemption to the new laws and continue to discriminate at will.

This supposed ‘Religious freedom” Act is an abuse in that it allows business owners to deny anyone who works for them their own rights, making the business owners rights prevalent over anyone else’s. Not only that, but it allows them to deny service to anyone they wish to deny and call it against their religion. Think about that for a minute. People own a business and their rights are more important than the rights of the people who work for them. Rich people’s rights are more important than the rights of the middle class and the poor. Isn’t that EXACTLY what the founding fathers were trying to protect us from? Isn’t that part of the oppression that many were escaping when they came to the United States? And consider this; if a person is denying their employee birth control because it’s against the business owner’s religion, isn’t that forcing that employee to conform to the religious beliefs of their employer? Does that not deny the citizen her own rights to religious freedom? So in that sense, how does THIS law protect religious freedom?

And then there is the most important issue. The Grand Poobah (in the words of Fred Flintstone) of all applications of this act. The one for which it was intended; The Affordable Care Act. If there is one thing the rich are pissed about, it’s that the Affordable Care Act forces them to provide decent healthcare options to their employees. Federal law requires them to provide preventive services in EVERY policy and they have to be paid at 100% of the allowed amount. So the cost of these policies is bound to go up because this is better coverage for everyone, right? Actually, no. The cost is contained because if you utilize your preventive care consistently, you will head off any illness that could be seriously costly by catching and treating it early, thereby reducing costs before it even happens. And healthy employees don’t call out sick, but that’s a different blog altogether.

(a) The General Assembly finds and determines that: (1) The framers of the United States Constitution and the people of this state, recognizing free exercise of religion as an inalienable right, secured its protection in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and in Paragraphs III and IV of Section I, Article I of the Constitution of this state, respectively;

Okay, this says the framers of the constitution and the people of the state recognizing the free exercise of religion as an inalienable right. But who determines who is exercising that right? In the first amendment, it says the free exercise thereof but it does not say unless you work for someone of a different religion. It says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or free exercise thereof. Meaning Congress isn’t allowed to make laws respecting one religion over another nor any law restricting the free exercise thereof. It does not make exceptions. Does not this act respect the religion of a business owner over that of his employees and his customers? Does it not also inhibit the free exercise of the religion of those employees or customers in favor of that of the business owner?

Then it goes on to give additional excuses for a need for this law as (2) Laws neutral toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise;

Could be interpreted as laws that prohibit discrimination interfere with religious exercise, therefore they need to be eliminated. Or perhaps any law that was passed to protect people could be used to hurt the people. Isn’t that exactly what this act is doing? Sure looks that way to me.

Then (3) Governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling Justification.

Okay, it’s obvious that they’re calling cost a burden. But how could providing services to a mixed couple or a same sex couple be construed as a burden to religious exercise? It’s obvious now what “other purposes” refers to isn’t it? And the reasons for leaving the law wide open for interpretation is also obvious.

I think I’ve made my point in interpreting the purposes and extreme possibilities of this law evident. Need I go on? Lines 24-42 of the act merely cite cases the writer seems to believe justify the creation of this act in that they allow for similar interpretations of the law. He considers them justification. He then uses discrimination as justification for this law. But his interpretation of discrimination is to claim discrimination against those being prohibited from discrimination. It’s hardly justification to create this law, opening the floodgates to wash the state and any state that follows suit back into the 1960s.

(a) Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this Code section. (b) Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is: (1) In furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) The least restrictive means of achieving that compelling governmental interest.

Again, this section is dependent upon the interpretation of the term “substantially burden” which is left wide open to interpretation by the terms of the act. This being said, anyone that can pay more has the potential to swing the judicial interpretation their way. That’s not to say all judges are corrupt but the Supreme Court has shown that some of its members tend to rule in favor of whoever has the ability to pay more or whoever has more financial pull. (Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby) At least one has contradicted himself in his own rulings in order to please the “right side” of the argument. The point in this statement is that this law opens the door for this kind of corruption. Without going too deep into interpretation on this portion of the act, it speaks loudly to me of money, ‘big government’ having too much control and it costing business owners. You know the typical tea party approach to how things work in their world. And I don’t have to express how I feel about that. My blog name says it all on that score.

(c) A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this chapter may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against government.

Relief in this clause of course means relief from the burden of having to treat someone fairly under the law; or relief from following the anti-discrimination laws because they are hurting you in some way. The fact that not enforcing these laws on you because you have a religion you think exempts you from treating people fairly and as human beings is hurting those you’re discriminating against, don’t you think? Business owners want a free pass from enforcement of federal laws based on their religion. How is that fair and balanced?

And then there’s this: In any action or proceeding to enforce a provision of this chapter, the court or tribunal may allow the prevailing party, other than government, a reasonable attorney fee as part of costs.

They want you the tax payer to pay the court costs that it takes to gain relief from the burden treating you like an equal human being and using their religion as an excuse for doing so. Heaven forbid a rich man pay a fee to get things ruled in his favor.

My main point is this. Men make laws and give them simple names that encourage the ignorant to support them. By not exploring the meaning of such laws, we do ourselves a disservice. There are likely still many who read this who disagree with my take on it that still have not made the connection that if these laws allow a “Christian company” like Hobby Lobby to deny their employees birth control because they don’t believe in it, that it also means a “Muslim company” could begin to force women to wear burkas or even fire them because a woman’s place is in the home, not in a man’s working world. These laws don’t specifically name Christianity as the definition of religion. So one may assume this is putting God into the laws of this country and its “Christian values” but it’s not that specific. Do you want people of other religions forcing their beliefs on you?

I thought not.

The charges of treason and sedition

treason [tree-zuh n] noun

1. the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.

2. a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.

3. the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.

sedition [si-dish-uh n] noun

1. incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government.

2. any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion.

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These words are often thrown around to describe the actions of distrusted and disliked politicians. They are often not serious accusations. They are often thrown around without a full understanding of what they mean. They have been used often over the last two days. The offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign. When one looks at how the Koch Brothers have paid off the politicians who are slowly but surely gutting useful laws protecting consumers (the population at large) by putting their own representatives in government through throwing a hell of a lot of money into political campaigning and lobbying, it appears they are guilty of this action. We went from being a fairly bi-partisan governing body that was fairly evenly split and willing to work together for the good of the country to a broken body with splinters that have made it impossible to get anything done for the good of the general population. The Majority have been hurt by this governing body which refuses to govern. One could conclude that they have effectively overthrown the government by rendering it ineffective. Not surprising that they used hate and fear to garner support for these actions; something they learned from evil men who came before them, the likes of Hitler and Stalin.

A violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state. First, I want to look at one’s sovereign. Also according to the dictionary.com from which I took the definitions above, the word sovereign means ruler, king or someone with supreme authority, power or rank. The office of the president definitely falls into that category. So, who has violated allegiance to the sovereign in this country? It appears that 47 senators did just recently. Given the definition of sovereign, the President of the United States cannot be said not to be the sovereign. The presidency is the highest office in the country and considered the highest rank. So let’s look at ‘violation of allegiance’ for a moment. Allegiance by definition from the same source is primarily the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign. Again, the word specifically applies to the sovereign.

The first argument I can hear coming to this before any word is spoken is that the Senators swore no allegiance to the president. Whether they did or not is rendered irrelevant when one considers that we all, as grade school students pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands. They swore allegiance to this nation as children; they did so again when they were sworn into public office. One could argue that while they never swore fealty to the President, they swore to uphold the Constitution as a condition of holding their position. In doing so, they swore to do what’s best for the people of this nation who are their employers. And yet over the past 6 years, they have done nothing but obstruct progress in improving the state of the nation. They’ve denied climate change, thereby supporting the poisoning of our environment which puts our health at risk. They’ve denied veterans their health benefits and stood against jobs bills that would help those veterans support their families after their service ended. They’ve sought to force even more pollution on us through the KXL Pipeline which would go over aqueducts that supply millions with clean drinking water. They’ve cut education budgets thereby denying our children a quality education. Each of these actions work against the success of this nation in a multitude of ways; which prompts me ask one glaring question. Just where does their allegiance lie? It’s not with the president; it’s not with this nation or her people. So yes, they have violated their allegiance to their sovereign AND their state.

The betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery. We as a republic vote for our representatives to act on our behalf and in our best interest. It is how a republic is supposed to work. The current congress and the previous one, manipulated by the tea party republicans has been a do-nothing congress. They have passed nothing that would have a significant impact on the success of our nation simply because it had our president’s name on it or had his backing or his signature or endorsement on it. They did so to our detriment. So has there been a betrayal of trust? Absolutely. They betrayed us, we the people of the United States of America. They have kept our nation from becoming much stronger through acting to improve infrastructure and add jobs to our economy. They have stood against raising the minimum wage so that the majority of us are left behind to struggle for our needs and eliminate our ability altogether to be able to afford anything beyond needs. Without that ability, the nation cannot grow. The economy suffers when the average citizen cannot afford to buy anything because it takes all he can make to keep a roof over his head and food on his table. Therefore, they have betrayed us by denying us the very nourishment a struggling nation needs.

And then there is Sedition.

Incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. From the beginning of the Tea Party Movement, its leaders have been telling its followers that ‘Obama is coming to get your guns” or “This country is going to be under Sharia Law because the president is a Muslim”. They even claimed “the President isn’t even American, he was born in Kenya” while not even considering the fact that even if he were, his mother is an American. They even devoted a whole ‘news’ network to the incitement of discontent and rebellion against the government. Faux News encourages the reporting of unverified stories and outright lies, even lies that have been debunked multiple times. And they feed it more daily. It’s as simple as that.

Any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion. Faux News, right wing websites, right wing media rags and now an actual letter to an enemy foreign leader, I think they have speech, writing and promoting covered. Every single Tea Party Republican who speaks out against the president making false claims about his intentions is promoting rebellion. Anyone who encourages others to speak out against him are also guilty of inciting rebellion.

The president is in the process of negotiating along with other nations who are our allies with Iran to come up with a peaceful solution to our problems. He is not acting alone. He is acting in the best interests of not only our country but also in conjunction with other leaders acting in the best interests of their countries. The actions of our president are all part of international relations. We are not a rogue nation anymore. He is not a rogue president. He is not someone other nations fear and he shouldn’t be. He is not the aggressor that other nations have hated us in the past for. He is working toward peace. The actions of the 47 congressmen were an effort to do one of two things. Help the enemy by warning him of the possibility of future actions so he doesn’t waste his time trying to depend on the negotiations to bring forth a strong solution when there is none coming, or working against our president and our country by inciting war. Either is, by definition, is treason and sedition.

It is time for this nation to stand up and in one voice say “NO. This is NOT who we are.” It’s time for the world to know that we do not support the aggression displayed by these leaders. We are not a nation of hot heads that want to attack anyone and everyone. We are tired of being led into wars we don’t want. We are sick of losing our soldiers to rich men’s wars. It’s time for us to speak in one voice and demand that these men and women to be brought up on charges for treason and sedition. It’s time for them to lose their meal ticket on our dime. They should be tried, convicted and stripped of their obscene retirement plans. It is time for them to pay for their crimes against the people of the United States of America.