110 Percent of those polled!?

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OK Fox News… Nice try.

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Bachmann Mulling Another Sideshow, er, Prez Campaign Run in 2016

It’s the campaign nobody is asking for, but we might get it anyway!!

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Michele Bachmann was barely able to hold onto her solidly Republican exurban district last election cycle, and in May 2013 she announced she won’t run for another term. Yet she still believes she’d be a viable presidential contender in 2016.

Bachmann was asked by the right-leaning RealClearPolitics whether she thinks any Republican women will make a push to be their party’s presidential candidate, and in reply she threw her own name into the mix.

“The only thing that the media has speculated on is that it’s going to be various men that are running,” she said. “They haven’t speculated, for instance, that I’m going to run. What if I decide to run? And there’s a chance I could run.” 

There’s also a chance I could run, but that’d require a Godly miracle like the one Michele thinks will ultimately force Presidential Obama to voluntarily repeal Obamacare. But we digress.

And even though her last presidential campaign was a scandal-plagued disaster, Bachmann told RealClearPolitics the experience would benefit her if she decides to make another go at it.

“Like with anything else, practice makes perfect,” she said. “And I think if a person has gone through the process — for instance, I had gone through 15 presidential debates — it’s easy to see a person’s improvement going through that.” 

But Bachmann, who in the interview called herself “one of the top — if not the top — fundraisers in the history of the United States Congress,” cautioned she hasn’t made a final decision one way or the other, adding that she’ll think more seriously about it after her last term in Congress wraps up.

I am hoping that she does decide to run. Why? Because she has no chance of winning and thereby driving the country into a ditch anyway, but who can resist the excitement of the possibility of more stories like the one about how the Associated Press threw in the towel on fact-checking her during the 2012 Republican presidential debates because so much of what she said was pure bullshit!

Praying for Israel

Back in February, I had the pleasure of visiting Israel for the first time.  I saw firsthand the beauty of the scenery and the people.  I saw Jews, Muslims, and Christians living together… Eating in the same restaurants, shopping in the same stores, and being friends with each other.  I saw and experienced some of the finest hospitality I have ever witnessed.  Met some of the nicest people I have ever met.  Ate some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten.  Viewed some of the most beautiful scenery my eyes have ever seen.  I saw a modern country with modern people coexisting together.  I never felt unsafe.  Never heard an air raid siren. 

It pains me to see and hear about the current situation going on there this week. I don’t care what religion you are or where you live… When you visit Israel you develop a connection to it.  Maybe people who only see what the 24 hour news channels show dont understand because they have never been there… They think its always the way it is this week… But once you have been there, especially in a time of relative calm like when I was there in February… You want to keep going back.  You see that it isn’t always rockets and kidnappings and bombs.  I want things to get better there because I want to return.  Its an amazing place with amazing things and amazing people that are capable of living together peacefully while freely practicing the religions they practice, be it Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Baha’i, etc…

I’m praying for peace to return.  I love Israel. 

If you haven’t been there. Go there. 

If you have been there. Go again.

13 Facts About America That Conservatives Would Like You To Forget

Happy Independence Day!  Here are 13 FACTS that conservatives would like you to forget:

1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.

By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The “Occupy Wall Street” of its day.

Some of the other “traditional” values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation.  Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that’s where they’ve been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be.

3. Long before the United States even existed, it was drawing “problem” immigrants.

After being pretty much run out of England as anti-government radicals, the religious dissidents we know today as the Pilgrims settled in Leiden, Holland, where they set about making themselves that nation’s immigrant problem. Sticking to themselves and refusing to “blend in” with their new homeland, the Pilgrims grew alarmed by the unpalatable ideas to which their children were being exposed, such as religious tolerance (good for the Pilgrims, bad for everyone else) and national service (like all Dutch residents, the Pilgrims were eligible for the draft). When their children began picking up the Dutch language, the Pilgrims had had enough. By then the Dutch had, too. Next stop: Plymouth Rock.

4. Those Pilgrims were commies… and it saved their lives.

Governor William Bradford’s memoirs confirm that the first thing the settlers did upon arrival in the Plymouth Colony was to set up a textbook communist system of production and distribution. Every resident of the colony was expected to share, to the extent of his or her ability, the chores of hunting, farming, cooking, building, making clothing, etc., and, in exchange, everyone shared the products of that communal labor.

That commie-pinko economy sustained the Pilgrims through their first brutal year in the New World, after which it was decided that the colony was sufficiently stable to allow householders their own plot of land on which to grow crops they were free to keep for themselves. The fact that the colonists’ productivity increased exponentially with their own land begs the question: were the Pilgrims working harder now that they got to keep the product of their own labor or, conversely, were they prone to slacking off when the goods came whether they worked hard or not?

I guess you could say the Pilgrims were the kind of lazy, shiftless “takers” that conservatives are always railing against.

5. One of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, hated Thanksgiving.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson once called a national day of Thanksgiving “the most ridiculous idea” he’d ever heard of.

Despite being first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, Jefferson believed a national day of thanksgiving was not consistent with the principle of separation of church and state and refused to recognize the holiday in any of the eight years in which he was president of the United States. “Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason,” Jefferson once wrote, “and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.”

For the record, Presidents Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor refused to issue Thanksgiving Day proclamations during their administrations, too. Can you imagine what Fox News Channel would have made of these administrations’ “War on Thanksgiving”?

6. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Kinda puts the red in the ol’ red, white and blue, doesn’t it?

7. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan decision made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.

Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States, the Supreme Court merely found that the state of Texas’ prohibition on abortion violated the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause and that states could exercise varying degrees of discretion in regulating abortion, depending upon the stage of pregnancy. The Court also held the law violated the right to privacy under substantive due process.
That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that conservatives love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:

Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 3 liberals, 2 conservatives, 2 moderates.

Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.

By ideological orientation, it was an across-the-board decision for Roe: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment: Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.

8. Conservative icon Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.

The Ronald Reagan conservatives worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”

9. Reagan also raised federal taxes eleven times.

Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes – no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.

10. Barry Goldwater was pro-choice, supported gay rights, deeply despised the Religious Right, and – gasp! – liked Hillary Clinton.

It’s a measure of just how much farther right contemporary conservatism has shifted in just a generation or two that Barry “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater, the Republican standard-bearer in 1964, couldn’t buy a ticket into a GOP convention in 2014.

There’s no debating Goldwater’s deeply conservative bona fides, but check these pronouncements from the man himself:

“I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state.  The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don’t hurt anyone else in the process.” (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

“A woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right.” (Interview, Los Angeles Times, 1994)

“The big thing is to make this country… quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. … They’re American citizens.” (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

“Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know; I’ve tried to deal with them. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’” (Congressional Record, September 16, 1981)

“If [Bill Clinton] let his wife run business, I think he’d be better off. … I just like the way she acts. I’ve never met her, but I sent her a bag of chili, and she invited me to come to the White House some night and said she’d cook chili for me.” (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

11. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

12. Those “job-killing” environmental regulations? Republican things.

Sometimes being conservative can be a good thing, like when it applies to conserving America’s clean air and water, endangered wildlife and awesome natural beauty. Many of Theodore Roosevelt’s greatest accomplishments as president were in the area of conserving America’s natural environment. In 1905, Roosevelt formed the United States Forestry Service. Under his presidential authority, vast expanses of American real estate were declared off limits for private development and reserved for public use. During Roosevelt’s time as president, forest reserves in the United States went from approximately 43 million acres to about 194 million acres. Talk about big government land grabs!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by that other well-known GOP tree hugger, Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but had it not been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.

Oh, yes – conservatives would rather forget that Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.

13. President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most conservatives’ – and most other Americans’ – do.

The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone some conservatives on the lunatic fringe still insist is a foreigner bent on destroying the United States of America.

10 American Facts to Ruin Any 4th of July Party

It’s that time of year again, when fireworks light up the sky and we all think about the wonder that is America. Friends remark to friends, “Isn’t America beautiful?” and answer, “Indeed, from sea to shining sea.” Well, maybe this is the year to celebrate with some truth fireworks. While fireworks may improve any party, truth fireworks burn them to the ground. Have a fun barbecue!

1. That “All-American” sport of baseball probably came from England.

When even Major League Baseball’s official historian John Thorn calls the history of baseball “a lie from beginning to end,” you know you’re in for a doozy. While an early 20th-century American commission found that late Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball, historians have since uncovered earlier references to the game, indicating that variations of it had long been played all around America. What’s more, new evidence suggests that the first recorded game of baseball was actually played by the Prince of Wales in 1749, according toAmerican researcher David Block and the Surrey County Council. Old diary entries describe baseball as a well-established 18th-century pastime in England, enjoyed by men and women alike. One recorded game of British baseball was even followed by a cup of tea and a game of cricket. Cheers.

2. So did apple pie….

Yup, England was eating apple pie before America was even a thing. Settlers in America copied English recipes, and pies became a staple of American food culture. The first known reference to the dessert comes from a 16th-century English poem, which read “Thy breath is like the steeme of apple pies.” Sexy.

3. The tune of our national anthem comes from an old drinking song… from England.

Francis Scott Key lifted the tune for the “Star-Spangled Banner” from a drinking song written in 1770 for a London gentlemen’s club. Reusing melodies was a pretty common musical practice in those wild pre-copyright protection days. The original song espoused the gentlemen’s love of women and wine.

4. The Pledge of Allegiance was basically a gimmick intended to sell more flags.

For the first century or so of American life, there was no formal “pledge of allegiance.” But in 1892, in response to a sense of wavering patriotism, a magazine called The Youth’s Companion charged one of its writers, minister Francis Bellamy, to write a Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. It was published on September 8, 1892, after which is quickly skyrocketed to popularity… as did sales for American flags in schools.Bellamy went on a “roadshow” around the country encouraging schools to adopt the pledge and install flags. (To his credit, it seems Bellamy’s motives were more aligned with the magazine’s love of country rather than hoping to make money off the flags.)

The pledge has undergone a few slight transformations over the years. Originally, instead of putting your right hand over your heart, you’d raise your hand in the classic Roman salute (yes, similar to the salute later adopted by the Nazis). Schoolchildren eventually stopped doing that salute for obvious reasons. Also, the words “of the United States of America” were added to make it clear to immigrants who they were pledging to and “under God” was added during the Red Scare.

Image: WikiCommons

5. Canadians own the Mall of America.

The Triple Five Group, based inEdmonton, Canada, owns the Mall of America, which is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. This gargantuan monument to credit cards and food courts may seem like the brainchild of a true, bootstrapping American; but don’t let that fool you. Triple Five developed the Mall of America from the beginning. But hey, a new Benihana just opened in the mall, and what’s more American than that?

6. Bald eagle screeches are actually pretty weak — the classic sound is actually a red-tailed hawk.

This bird actually has something else to be embarrassed about besides being bald. Instead of a shrieking “keyahhh,” it’s more like a run-of-the-mill “meep meep.” When it comes to bird calls, the bald eagle is pretty basic. Connie Stranger, a bird expert, told NPR, “Unfortunately for the bald eagle, it has like a little cackling type of a laugh that’s not really very impressive for the bird.” Meep meep indeed.

7. Settlers didn’t really tame the American frontier… since it was pretty much tamed already.

Conventional folklore celebrates the brave settlers who traversed the wild American landscape. Thing is, the land had already been carefully cultivated by Native Americans, according to Charles Mann’s book 1491. He writes that, “Rather than the thick, unbroken snarl of trees imagined by Thoreau, the great eastern forest was an ecological kaleidoscope of garden plots, blackberry rambles, pine barrens, and spacious groves of chestnut, hickory, and oak.”

Europeans in Ohio discovered woodlands that “resembled English parks — they could drive carriages through the trees.” In the middle of America, colonists found mass expanses of prairie, or “barrens,” that Native Americans had cleared to use as “game farm” for the animals they hunted. As James W. Loewen notes in his book Lies My Teacher Told Me, New England colonists regularly set up camp on Native American cornfields rather than carve out new lands for themselves. Settling a country isn’t so hard when somebody else has already done it for you.

8. Like hot dogs? Lewis, Clark and Co. consumed over 200 dogs during their journey across America.

More than a few canines were sacrificed over the course of this westward exploration. During their journey, Lewis and Clark’s “Corps of Discovery” team chowed down on 200 dogs. It wasn’t their culinary favorite; they preferred elk, beaver tail and buffalo. But when there was no attractive alternative, they settled for dog meat. Only Clark refused to indulge. While Lewis ate his share of dog meat along the trail, he still had a soft spot for one pooch in particular; his pet dog, Seaman. In fact, Seaman accompanied Lewis and Clark on their westward journey. (Seaman never became dinner.)

9. Like imitation hot dogs? President Johnson would frequently pull his “Johnson” out at inappropriate times.

As confirmed by everyone fromcoworkers to reporters to members of his special “harem,” President Lyndon Johnson loved taking his penis out and showing it around. Johnson called his penis, “Jumbo,” and he and Jumboactively competed with his predecessor President John F. Kennedy’s womanizing ways, trying to bed women with methods such as sneaking into their bedroom andsaying, “Move over. This is your president.” Johnson would also urinate seemingly wherever he pleased, which once may have included the leg of a Secret Service agent.

10. Independence Day is actually on July 2.

The above quote is from John Adams, who would become the second president of the United States. On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to approveindependence; later that day, the Pennsylvania Evening Post published, “This day the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States.”

So what is the Fourth of July, then? It’s the date the Continental Congress actually adopted the Declaration of Independence. That said, it’s believed that most members didn’t sign it until August, and England had no idea about the Declaration until August 30. For what it’s worth, this was the second half of Adams’ quote: “I am apt to believe [July 2] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”

Some of these points appeared in a previous article published on HuffPost.

All images Getty unless otherwise stated.

What if it was… Say… An Islamic Company??

The slide towards American theocracy was nudged one more step forward by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision in support of the “freedom” of corporations with “religious” beliefs to restrict the rights of their employees. In essence, religious “beliefs” trump the obligations, rights, and responsibilities that come with being members of the polity and a broader political community.

The NY Times details the logic of the theocrats as:

The 5-to-4 decision, which applied to two companies owned by Christian families, opened the door to challenges from other corporations to many laws that may be said to violate their religious liberty.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the court’s five more conservative justices, said a federal religious-freedom law applied to for-profit corporations controlled by religious families. He added that the requirement that the companies provide contraception coverage imposed a substantial burden on the companies’ religious liberty. He said the government could provide the coverage in other ways.

The dissent offers up this chilling observation:

On that point, Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said the court’s decision “is bound to have untoward effects” in other settings.

“The court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood,” Justice Ginsburg wrote, “invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.”

The corporateocracy and the 1 percent are using the tricks, smoke, and mirrors of “religious faith” to expand their power and protections from civil authority and the social compact.

The tactic is Orwellian and dystopian.

Alas, if corporations are indeed “people”–an insult to the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution which was put in place to protect the rights of newly freed black slaves–then their behavior is sociopathic. The sociopath will lie, dissemble, and exploit others for his or her own gain because that is their essential nature.

There are many complications that will arise from the Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision.

The language of “religious liberty” and “free enterprise” are deified in American political culture and discourse. Those words are blinding and disorienting; therefore, they are also concepts that are not critically interrogated.

For example, “religious liberty” and “free enterprise” were used to justify slavery, as well as Jim and Jane Crow. The move towards privatized schools, “urban academies”, and publicly funded religiously based secondary and primary education are the direct heirs of the “freedom academies” that whites used as a means to resist integration and the Black Freedom Struggle in the South and elsewhere.

[I wonder how many African-Americans and others who support school privatization are aware of that ugly history and the intersection between neoliberalism and white supremacy in the present?]

In practice, the language of religious liberty and free enterprise are in many ways antithetical to a true and expansive view of freedom, liberty, and civil rights.

The Roberts and Scalia court is operating under an assumption that Christianity is the United States’ semi-official religion and that it should be legislated and protected in a way that other faiths are not. This is, of course, a misreading of the Constitution–despite what the deranged members of the Fox News Christian Evangelical Dominionist American public would like to believe.

Unintended consequences may lay bare the hypocrisy of the Right-wing and its agents on the Supreme Court.

How would conservatives and their agents respond if a company with Islamic beliefs (however defined) decided to impose its religious values on white, Christian, American employees?

Sharia hysteria would spread in such a way as to make the present day-to-day Islamophobia of the Right-wing echo chamber appear benign and muted by comparison.

What if a Black cultural nationalist organization such as the Nation of Islam or the Black Israelites claimed that they possessed a “religious freedom” to actively discriminate against white people in the workplace or elsewhere?

The White Right would explode with claims of “reverse discrimination” and “black racism”.

The end game of the Supreme Courts’ surrender to the theocrats and religious plutocrats could be the complete dismantlement of the liberal consensus politics of the post World War 2 era.

Consider the following questions.

Is there a “religious freedom” to practice housing discrimination if you are a member of a white supremacist “Christian” organization that leases or sells property? Does “religious freedom” for corporate entities trump anti-discrimination laws governing gender, sexuality, disability status, or race?

The beautiful thing about religious faith is its malleability and vagueness. “Faith” is a belief which cannot be proven by ordinary or empirical means: this trait makes religion dangerous and disruptive to a functioning democratic-liberal polity.

Religion can be anything to anyone.

The Framers understood this fact. Thus, their shrewd choice to separate church and state in the Constitution.

Movement conservatism is no longer a centrist force, one interested in stability or “tradition”. Its members are radicals who want to fundamentally destroy and transform the standing bargains and norms which have guided American society and politics for decades.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, what was once the United States’ most respected political institution, is soiling itself by surrendering to the American Right’s radical agenda.