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Hegel's Dialectic: Erasing Christianity through the Consensus Process

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September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
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September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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« on: April 23, 2014, 10:02:43 am »

http://patriotaction.net/profiles/blog/show?id=2600775:BlogPost:6654817&xgs=1&xg_source=msg_share_post
Hegel's Dialectic: Erasing Christianity through the Consensus Process
4/21/14

Julian Huxley, the head of UNESCO in 1947, wrote a book entitled, "UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy." His book was a blueprint for a collectivist evolutionary pantheist New World Order that called for a single 'new' spirituality: a mixture of occult Eastern pantheism, Liberal 'pantheistic' Christianity, Gnosticism, international Luciferian Masonry, and other occult traditions.  There would be one language, one economy, one religion, and one way of thinking. He believed a global order could be brought about through the universal implementation of Hegel's Dialectic process.  Huxley said,

"The task before UNESCO...is to help the emergence of a single world culture with its own philosophy and background of ideas and with its own broad purpose."
 
Huxley spoke of two opposing worldviews, one founded on supernatural creation ex nihilo and the other on naturalistic evolutionism confronting each other from the West and the East. In describing them he said,
 
"You may categorize the two philosophies as...individualism versus collectivism or as the American versus the Russian...or as capitalism versus communism, or as Christianity versus Marxism. Can these opposites be reconciled, this antithesis be resolved in a higher synthesis? I believe...this can happen...through the inexorable dialectic of evolution."  (crossroad.to/quotes/globalism/Julian-Huxley)

 The concept of dialectics has been around for a long time. In the American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828, Noah Webster defined dialectics as:
 
"That branch of logic which teaches the rules and modes of reasoning."

 
Simply stated, dialectics refers to 'position' versus 'opposition' or 'thesis' versus 'antithesis,' or 'truth' versus 'falsehood.' By the traditional rules of conduct, if thesis is correct then it follows logically that antithesis is incorrect. Georg Hegel, a master magician in the occult Hermetic tradition discarded the rules and turned the concept upside-down by equalizing thesis and antithesis resulting in relativism.  'New truth,' a merging of truth and falsehood and/or Eastern pantheism and Christianity for example, is now found in something called 'synthesis,' or 'consensus,' the favored vernacular of evolutionary humanists.

Hegelian Dialectic is a perfect example of what J. Budziszewski, the author of "What We Can't Not Know" terms the "black magic spells of imposture and unraveling." Hegel's form of dialectics is an impostor. Its’ devilish  purpose is to deceptively unravel truth and norms and then replace them with a 'new truth' which is yet another impostor.

Hegel's 'black magic' Dialectics is the strange fire fueling the weapon of mass destruction unwittingly wielded by dumbed-down, mind-conditioned and manipulated Americans and Westerners on behalf of transnational occult New Agers and fellow travelers in their war against the West's traditional Christian-based worldview and cultural infrastructure. Called "group dynamics" or the "consensus process," Hegel's dialectic is a psychological behavior and belief modification technique used with great success by Vietnamese communists against American POWs and by Chinese communists against dissidents.

The foundation and key strategy of the consensus process is the knowledge that all people have an inherent fear of being alienated from the group. During sensitivity-training and diversity-training sessions, skillful change-agents (facilitators) psychologically manipulate this fear to herd selected victims toward a preplanned conclusion that induces them to compromise both conscience and position. This is the consensus process in a nut shell, and when we hear Liberals and Leftists (evolutionary humanists)  screaming for 'consensus,' they're really demanding that they be allowed to 'facilitate' the compromise of conscience which leads to the abandonment of Christian-based Western ideals and principles.

There are three steps to the consensus process: "Unfreezing the present level, moving to the new level, and freezing group life on the new level."  In order to speed up the unfreezing phase, communists resorted to physical torture, shock 'therapy,' mind-altering drugs and other brutal techniques. In America, emotional pain, intimidation, and fear are precipitated by way of vicious psychological bullying in the form of sadistic ridicule, cruel character assassination, destructive criticism, labeling, spreading lies, and blackmail. Until total control is achieved, psychological bullying will remain the preferred method.

There are four key elements necessary for a successful 'consensus process' operation. They are:

1. Multicultural and/or diverse groups: 'gays,' atheists, Wiccans, or Muslims for instance, fueled by resentment and envy — necessary for causing social conflict
 
2. A traditional social or cultural issue around which conflict can be created. For example, Christmas, traditional marriage, and male-female sex norms.  These are demonized as 'unfair, exclusionary, insensitive, intolerant, racist, homophobic, and hurtful' to diverse groups
.
 
3. The illusory dialoguing to consensus process.
 
4. The predetermined outcome. For example: Christmas parades successfully recast as "Festival of Lights" or "Winter Holiday" parades inclusive of ‘gay’ celebrants; traditional marriage compromised by 'gay' unions.
 
The consensus process has been so successful at unraveling and diminishing the West's traditional culture that here in America for example, Christianity has been banned from government on all levels as well as from schools and increasingly from public areas. Christians have lost their jobs, been jailed, and their children harassed and even suspended for daring to express their Christian beliefs in any way. Anti-Christian bigotry has become so bad that John Gibson observed,
 
"There is this kind of casual and accepted bias against Christians and Christian symbols." (The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought, John Gibson).

 Devilish manipulators concur:

"We have battled in America since the century's turn to bring to nothing...all Christian influences and we are succeeding. You must work until officials of city, county, and state will not think twice before they pounce upon religious groups as public enemies. (there must) be a...foaming hatred of religion...a belief that Christian practice is vicious, bad, insanity causing, publicly hated and intolerable." (Red Communist Textbook on Psychopolitics)

"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology. Its importance has been...increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated." Bertrand Russell

John Gibson asked a Eugene, Oregon city manager why he had banned Christmas trees. His politically correct mind-conformed response, "Well, because they're Christian." This manager and countless scores of other Americans testify to the enormous success thus far achieved through nation-wide dumbing-down and psychological bullying. Having been "unfrozen" from the level whereon America's traditional worldview resides and successfully 'moved' to the desired level and then 'frozen' there, the mind-conditioned now serve their new masters evil desires by mindlessly destroying the source of both their liberties and their human worth — Christianity.

"Oh but, Christianity has nothing to do with either the founding of our nation or with our rights and freedoms," proclaim mind-conditioned scoffers, doubters, atheists, and skeptics both here in America and throughout the West. The truth however has been 'hiding' in full view, but because their minds are darkened by black magic spells and their eyes made sightless by black magic dust, the mind-conditioned cannot see Truth even when it looks them in the face. In boasting of his clever blueprint, Huxley for example, unwittingly 'confessed' the truth when he said of the two opposing philosophies,
 
"You may categorize the two philosophies as...Christianity versus Marxism."
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« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 10:18:28 am »

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 09:12:57 pm »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_abuse

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.[1][2][3] Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.[2][3]

Definitions[edit]

As of 1996,[4] there are "no consensus views about the definition of emotional abuse." As such, clinicians and researchers have offered sometimes divergent definitions of emotional abuse. However, the widely used Conflict Tactics Scale measures roughly twenty distinct acts of "psychological aggression" in three different categories:
1.Verbal aggression (e.g., saying something that upsets or annoys someone else);
2.Dominant behaviors (e.g., preventing someone from contacting their family);
3.Jealous behaviors (e.g., accusing a partner of maintaining other parallel relations).

According to the University of Illinois counseling center, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing'.″[5] Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally. The victim's self-worth and emotional well being is altered and even diminished by the verbal abuse and the result is an emotionally abused victim.[6] The victim may experience severe psychological effects, this would involve the tactics of brainwashing, which can fall under psychological abuse as well but emotional abuse consists of the manipulation of the victim's emotions. The victim may feel their emotions are being affected by the abuser so much that the victim may no longer recognize what their own feelings are about issue/s the abuser is trying to control. The result is the victim's self-concept and independence are `systematically taken away.[7]

The U.S. Department of Justice defines emotionally abusive traits as including causing fear by: intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends, destruction of pets and property, forcing isolation from family, friends, or school or work.[8] Subtler emotionally abusive tactics include insults, putdowns, arbitrary and unpredictable inconsistency, and gaslighting (the denial that previous abusive incidents occurred). Modern technology has led to new forms of abuse, by text messaging and online cyber-bullying.

In 1996, Health Canada argued that emotional abuse is "based on power and control",[3] and defines emotional abuse as including rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting/exploiting and "denying emotional responsiveness" as characteristic of emotional abuse.

Several studies have argued that an isolated incident of either verbal aggression, dominant conduct or jealous behaviors does not constitute the term "psychological abuse." Rather, a pattern of such behaviors is a more appropriate scenario to be considered, unlike physical and sexual maltreatment where only one incident is necessary to label it as abuse.[9] Tomison and Tucci write, "emotional abuse is characterised by a climate or pattern of behavior(s) occurring over time [...] Thus, 'sustained' and 'repetitive' are the crucial components of any definition of emotional abuse."[10] Andrew Vachss, an author, attorney and former sex crimes investigator, defines emotional abuse as "the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event."[11]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Titus 3:2  To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Yes - psychological abuse can be VERY subtle - from my experiences in these Babel church buildings, the typical hireling pastor engages in JUST that with his CRAFTY words.
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 10:12:46 pm »

Acts 14:21  And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 10:34:01 am »

FYI, the guy who wrote this article is a Roman Catholic(he's one of the so-called "liberal media" critics) - ultimately, this is another of their Hegelian Dialectic games - they want to make you think Christians are "winning" the war against liberalism, Hollywood, etc via THIS. But all this is doing is polarizing both ends of the spectrum even further(ie-the lost world will view Christianity to be even more foolish - seriously, it amazes me how the lost world sees the lies and deceptions in these "faith-based" movies).

God Movies Make Money
Brent Bozell | Apr 25, 2014
http://townhall.com/columnists/brentbozell/2014/04/25/god-movies-make-money-n1829079

The accountants in Hollywood don't have to believe in heaven to notice the box office numbers on recent movies with religious themes. "Heaven Is for Real" opened in the days before Easter and grossed more than $22 million, coming in second for the weekend, just $3 million behind the latest "Captain America" blockbuster (in its third week). The movie's per-screen average -- $8,895 -- was far above the rest of the top five.

"Heaven Is for Real," like many movies, is based on a best-selling book. It's a real-life story about 4-year-old Colton Burpo and his visions of heaven after an emergency surgery in 2003. Within three weeks of its November 2010 release, the book debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list. Eventually, it made its way to No. 1.

Box Office Mojo reported, "Sony targeted their marketing towards Christian audiences, and placed an emphasis on calling ahead for group ticket sales." Stop the presses. Breaking news. There is a Christian audience, and it has wallets that open.

This has happened repeatedly this year.

It happened in mid-March, when "God's Not Dead" opened at No. 4 with a $9 million gross, and then surprised the ticket-watchers by persistently drawing an audience, as it now approaches $50 million at the box office. This comes despite film critics trashing it, and one insisting, "Even by the rather lax standards of the Christian film industry, 'God's Not Dead' is a disaster."

This was not a studio movie, but a production of the Arizona-based Christian company Pure Flix. At the center of the plot is a debate between a college philosophy professor and a freshman student over the existence of God. No, it's not your usual popcorn fare, but there is an audience that surely enjoys the rare occasion of a script strongly striking back at Richard Dawkins and Charles Darwin, offering rebuttal to the usual atheist arrogance of most pop culture products. Interestingly, there is also this: In the corners of the plot are several Christian product placements -- appearances testifying to Jesus by "Duck Dynasty" stars Willie and Korie Robertson, and the Christian-rock band, the Newsboys. Jesus sells.

**Uhm...Duck Dynasty preaches a "baptism regeneration", works-based gospel(which is right out of the RCC). And Newsboys has a lot of major doctrinal issues themselves, being from the CCM.

One can easily see how the word of mouth spreads on a movie like this, when all the people attending the Newsboys' concert at the movie's end are asked to text message "God's not dead" to their friends and acquaintances.

"Son of God" was produced by adding some new footage and re-editing the Jesus sections of Mark Burnett's History Channel miniseries "The Bible." It was released in mid-February and also showed surprising strength, grossing $25 million in its first weekend and a total of $60 million so far. And why not? "The Bible" has become the top-selling miniseries on DVD of all time.

Some have compared these numbers to "Noah," which hasn't lived up to expectations -- especially after the endless hype. But there's a reason it disappointed. Despite the movie's putative inspiration in the Bible, "Noah" isn't a religious movie. The leftist critics were kind, but critics at the conservative Intercollegiate Review panned it as "The Rocky Horror Bible Show," comparing its Noah to a man-hating, eco-maniacal unabomber, and its story as Genesis "rewritten by Cher." It should tell us something that another big-money Russell Crowe movie, "Gladiator," had a nobler view of God and man.

Just as there's always an audience for a horror movie, and there's always an audience for a romantic comedy, there is always an audience for faith-friendly films. Theater owners have been learning that lesson all year. Will the Hollywood studios ever catch on?

**As you can see, they're finding more ways to get people away from the KJB. First throwing corrupted versions into the market. Then throwing all of this CCM/"Christian" Rock bread and circus. And now these deceptive movies and tv shows.
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 03:19:40 pm »

Am bumping this b/c this deserves to be read again(and maybe again carefully) - what's very subtle about psychological abuse is that the abuser knows what he's doing, but the abusee(s) do NOT - and the more the psychological abuse goes on, the more the abusee(s) either not see it/ignore it/etc, the more it drags everyone into potential utter darkness(and not just the abuser alone).

For example - this whole Hegelian Dialectic with the sodomy agenda for years and years(with ACTORS portraying protaganists and antagonists acted like they went after each other on the world stage) is a prime example of psychological abuse toward the masses. Now look at the rotten fruits it has reaped - even the Apostate Church is indifferent to this issue now.

2Corinthians 2:11  Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_abuse

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse or mental abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.[1][2][3] Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.[2][3]

Definitions[edit]

As of 1996,[4] there are "no consensus views about the definition of emotional abuse." As such, clinicians and researchers have offered sometimes divergent definitions of emotional abuse. However, the widely used Conflict Tactics Scale measures roughly twenty distinct acts of "psychological aggression" in three different categories:
1.Verbal aggression (e.g., saying something that upsets or annoys someone else);
2.Dominant behaviors (e.g., preventing someone from contacting their family);
3.Jealous behaviors (e.g., accusing a partner of maintaining other parallel relations).

According to the University of Illinois counseling center, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as intimidation, manipulation, and refusal to ever be pleased. Emotional abuse can take many forms. Three general patterns of abusive behavior include aggressing, denying, and minimizing'.″[5] Even though there is no established definition for emotional abuse, emotional abuse can possess a definition beyond verbal and psychological abuse. Blaming, shaming, and name calling are a few identifiers of verbal abuse which can affect a victim emotionally. The victim's self-worth and emotional well being is altered and even diminished by the verbal abuse and the result is an emotionally abused victim.[6] The victim may experience severe psychological effects, this would involve the tactics of brainwashing, which can fall under psychological abuse as well but emotional abuse consists of the manipulation of the victim's emotions. The victim may feel their emotions are being affected by the abuser so much that the victim may no longer recognize what their own feelings are about issue/s the abuser is trying to control. The result is the victim's self-concept and independence are `systematically taken away.[7]

The U.S. Department of Justice defines emotionally abusive traits as including causing fear by: intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends, destruction of pets and property, forcing isolation from family, friends, or school or work.[8] Subtler emotionally abusive tactics include insults, putdowns, arbitrary and unpredictable inconsistency, and gaslighting (the denial that previous abusive incidents occurred). Modern technology has led to new forms of abuse, by text messaging and online cyber-bullying.

In 1996, Health Canada argued that emotional abuse is "based on power and control",[3] and defines emotional abuse as including rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting/exploiting and "denying emotional responsiveness" as characteristic of emotional abuse.

Several studies have argued that an isolated incident of either verbal aggression, dominant conduct or jealous behaviors does not constitute the term "psychological abuse." Rather, a pattern of such behaviors is a more appropriate scenario to be considered, unlike physical and sexual maltreatment where only one incident is necessary to label it as abuse.[9] Tomison and Tucci write, "emotional abuse is characterised by a climate or pattern of behavior(s) occurring over time [...] Thus, 'sustained' and 'repetitive' are the crucial components of any definition of emotional abuse."[10] Andrew Vachss, an author, attorney and former sex crimes investigator, defines emotional abuse as "the systematic diminishment of another. It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event."[11]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Titus 3:2  To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Yes - psychological abuse can be VERY subtle - from my experiences in these Babel church buildings, the typical hireling pastor engages in JUST that with his CRAFTY words.
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2014, 11:56:42 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/gop-candidates-seeing-obamacare-different-light-050116714.html
GOP CANDIDATES ARE SEEING OBAMACARE IN A DIFFERENT LIGHT
6/6/14

In an interview with a reporter last month, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., "accidentally" made complimentary remarks about the Affordable Care Act, routinely known as Obamacare. (His campaign aides claim he misunderstood the question.) Some analysts say those remarks were among the missteps that have left the senator in danger of defeat as he faces a primary runoff against a tea party upstart, Chris McDaniel.

It's possible that Cochran was confused when he told The Washington Post that the ACA "is an example of an important effort by the federal government to help make health care available, accessible and affordable." It's also possible that he committed the standard political gaffe as commentator Michael Kinsley defined it years ago: "... when a politician tells the truth -- some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say."

Either way, Cochran's comments are a reminder of a pronounced shift among Republican politicians discussing Obamacare on the campaign trail. Few of them are delivering feisty denunciations and declarations of repeal, as they did just a few months ago. Even in deeply conservative states, Republicans are muting their rhetoric, acknowledging positive tenets of the ACA and engaging in equivocation -- or, in some cases, fabrication -- to cover their tracks.

That's because the political terrain has shifted beneath their feet. In practice, as its proponents have long predicted, the ACA has helped millions of people to obtain health care they would not have been able to afford otherwise. Surely it's no surprise that few voters want to give up benefits they have just begun to enjoy.

That has meant some less-than-artful dodging by such indefatigable partisan warriors as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In keeping with the GOP script, McConnell has been adamant about repealing the ACA.

But in his home state of Kentucky, Kynect, the state-run exchange that connects residents to Obamacare, is wildly popular, having signed up more than 400,000 people for health insurance. So McConnell takes advantage of voters' confusion -- many don't understand that Kynect is Obamacare -- to suggest he supports the exchange but not that foul law that made it possible. Indeed, he has gone so far as to declare that they are unconnected -- a laughable lie, even in the warped reality of a political campaign.

Several other prominent Republicans have found themselves in a similar bind, as many facets of the law prove politically popular. Voters still don't like "Obamacare," but they like many of its provisions, including those that outlaw bans on patients who have pre-existing conditions.

Voters also support the provision that prevents lifetime caps on insurance payments -- something that benefits those with serious, chronic illnesses -- and the one that allows parents to keep their children insured until they are 26 years old. Indeed, the only provision that remains broadly unpopular is the mandate that requires every adult to buy health insurance (a necessary feature of the law, and one that many Republicans, including Mitt Romney, once believed in).

Perhaps the most dramatic shift among GOP pols has concerned Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. The Supreme Court's ruling affirming the ACA made the Medicaid expansion optional for states, and most Republican governors resisted it. That was foolish and shortsighted, since the federal government pays the overwhelming portion of the additional cost. Those governors -- and their GOP colleagues in Congress -- were willing to trade better health for some of their poorest residents for the chance to poke Obama in the eye.

But now some of them are seeing the error of that calculation. For one thing, it's hard to own up to a willingness to shaft the working poor. For another, some rural hospitals can't afford to stay open unless they receive additional Medicaid funds. Those hard facts have forced GOP Senate candidates such as Michigan's Terri Lynn Land to back away from their diehard opposition to Obamacare.

And, as more Americans benefit, the resistance will grow weaker still. That was the historical cycle with Medicare -- which the GOP establishment fought long and hard -- and Obamacare will likely follow that path to broad acceptance.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 12:24:26 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/gay-candidate-faces-criticism-opposing-camps-182347292--election.html
Gay candidate faces criticism from opposing camps
7/16/14

WASHINGTON (AP) — Carl DeMaio figures he must be doing something right if both social conservatives and members of the gay rights community oppose his campaign for Congress.

DeMaio, who is gay, says — quote — "It means you're right in the middle where the American people are."

Running in a district almost evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans and independents, DeMaio gives the GOP one of its best chances for winning a Democratic-controlled seat, this one in the San Diego area.

But the gay rights community leans heavily Democratic, and the Human Rights Campaign endorsed the Democratic incumbent, congressman Scott Peters.

Meanwhile, the socially conservative Family Research Council and others weighed in during the primary with mailers, robocalls and radio ads to boost the prospects of another Republican.
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 12:44:05 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-players-abc-news/can-you-be-gay--pro-choice--and-republican--meet-the-congressional-candidate-proving-it-s-possible-222925387.html
Can you be gay, pro-choice, and Republican? Meet the Congressional candidate proving it’s possible
7/17/14

Carl DeMaio is openly gay, supports abortion rights, and says that climate change is a problem that demands bold solutions from the government. He also happens to be the Republican candidate for Congress in California’s 52nd District.

Despite standing in opposition to many of the GOP’s core principles, DeMaio insists that he’s a conservative to his core.

“I actually represent the new generation that is coming up,” DeMaio told “Top Line” in an interview, stressing that his positions are anchored in the Republican Party’s historical foundation.

“I actually believe that I reflect the traditional roots of the Republican Party,” DeMaio said. “If you go back decades, you'll find Teddy Roosevelt was one of the first conservationists in this country, and you see a party that traditionally supports economic freedom.”

But DeMaio sees serious flaws in the Republican Party as it stands today, locked in a feud between the establishment and tea party wings.

“I actually think both sides are wrong for the future of our party,” he said. “Establishment Republicans go along to get along. They're actually okay giving big subsidies and tax loopholes to big business, and they don't see a need to change the system as it is. … There are also tea party Republicans who take a my-way-or-the-highway approach, and they light their hair on fire to prove how pure they are; but they don't get anything done.”

DeMaio advocates what he calls “a third approach” that would “lay out ... bold visionary solutions but be willing to work with the other side on an incremental implementation of those changes.”

DeMaio said he’s running on behalf of “millions of Americans” who are fed up with both Republicans and Democrats.

“Neither political party has adequately responded to the challenges that our country faces, and I am willing to take on my own party to make a difference,” he said.


Earlier this year, DeMaio made campaign history when he featured his same-sex partner in a campaign ad – making him the first candidate of either political party ever to do so. But DeMaio, who said he had no idea he had made history with the ad until the media started calling, downplayed its significance.

“I had thought that the progressive, tolerant, inclusive Democratic Party had certainly gotten a couple of Democrats over the years to do this,” he said. “But my reaction was, ‘Why is this a big deal?’ How many straight candidates go out on the campaign trail and they feature their spouse, their children, their grandchildren, some of them [with] their pets?”

While DeMaio has the backing of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), not all members of the GOP have embraced this openly gay Republican. Some within the party, including Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia, have been critical of NRCC’s decision to endorse DeMaio, as well as another gay Republican candidate in Massachusetts.

“There, unfortunately, have been some few voices who have said that I am somehow disqualified from any leadership role because of whom I love, and I think that my constituents spoke loudly and clearly on June 3 in the primary that they completely disagree with that kind of thinking,” DeMaio said. “Republican grassroots voters agreed with my message that the party ought to refocus away from divisive social issues and get refocused on fiscal and economic reform.”

Despite the obstacles that would come from being elected to a gridlocked Congress, DeMaio expressed optimism and said he wants to help “clean up the mess.”

“I'm actually looking forward to a process where we can get some bills on the president's desk, and then the president is going to have a choice like Bill Clinton had in the 1990s,” he said. “’Do I sign legislation in a bipartisan fashion or do I become an obstructionist?’”
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 12:49:44 pm »

So one appeals court rules against it, and the other upholds it? Don't be fooled by this - this is yet other example of further Hegelian Dialectic talk(to potentially bring in the single payer system)...

http://news.yahoo.com/why-the-supreme-court-is-likely-to-uphold-obamacare-subsidies-201703477.html
Why Supreme Court is likely to uphold Obamacare subsidies
7/23/14

On Wednesday, two federal courts offered very different rulings on whether the federal government can legally provide health care subsidies to individuals in the 36 states without access to a state exchange site created under the Affordable Care Act.

The conflicting rulings mean that the Supreme Court is likely to hear the case, which spells the imminent demise or secured future of Obamacare, depending on which sites you frequent for news.

**The 2012 ruling all but set it in stone - don't be deceived by this little sideshow...

But SCOTUS blog author Tom Goldstein says the Supreme Court justices are likely to uphold the subsidies portion of the ACA. Goldstein’s take is particularly important because his blog’s track record of covering and predicting Supreme Court decisions has been lauded by a number of independent organizations. The blog was one of the few outlets to accurately forecast the Supreme Court’s landmark 2012 decision that upholds the basic tenets of the ACA.

"If the Supreme Court does step in, I think that the administration will win," Goldstein writes in a new post. "But it will be close. There is a good chance that the case will be decided by the same thin five-to-four majority that upheld the constitutionality of the ACA two years ago."

Interestingly, Goldstein isn’t making an argument in favor of subsidies. In fact, he writes that he thinks the language Congress used in writing the law actually limits the subsidies to be provided only when insurance was obtained through a state exchange. But he says in cases where there is some ambiguity, the court typically sides with the White House in allowing them to set specific policy implementations:

    The key point is that the challengers can win only if the ACA is clear; if not, then the administration gets to interpret it. Personally, I think that the better reading of the literal text of the law is probably that Congress limited the tax subsidies to purchases on state exchanges. But I don’t think you can fairly say that the statute’s meaning is obvious. Instead, like a lot of massive laws that include lots of compromises, it is a bit of a mess. And its context suggests the administration is actually right.

If challengers file a petition with the Supreme Court by November, the justices could hear the case before the current term ends. But Goldstein says the high court is more likely to wait until the Obama administration has requested a full review from the D.C. Circuit Court.

And Goldstein says that delaying any potential Supreme Court case for another year is likely to add another factor working in the ACA’s favor:

“Time is probably on the administration’s side, because as a practical matter the courts will be less and less likely to strike down the subsidies as more and more Americans get the benefit of them to buy health insurance.”
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2014, 01:19:18 pm »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/30/domestic-violence-hearing_n_5633968.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
7/30/14
NRA Member Who Lost Sister To Gun Violence Tearfully Asks Senate To Protect Women

WASHINGTON -- Elvin Daniel, 56, is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association, an avid hunter and a self-described "constitutional conservative" from a small town in Illinois. He became an unlikely witness for the Democrats on Wednesday at the first-ever Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence against women.

Daniel choked back tears at the hearing as he recounted the story of his sister, Zina, who was shot and killed by her estranged ex-husband in 2012. After her ex slashed her tires and physically threatened her, Zina had obtained a restraining order against him, which should have prohibited him under federal law from buying a gun. But he was able to purchase a gun online, where private sellers are not required to conduct background checks.

**Uhm...this was the same thing RICK WARREN said over how his son(who committed suicide last year) was able to obtain a firearm. Pt being that it has to go to a FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSE DEALER for 10 days FIRST!

There's nothing new under the sun here - don't buy into all of the propaganda.


"He posted an ad saying, 'Serious buyer looking to buy a gun ASAP,'" Elvin said. "Within an hour, he found an unlicensed seller, and they met at a McDonald's parking lot."

**Yeah, and remember how Rick Warren said his son bought an unregistered gun illegally over the internet. Again, don't buy into this propaganda.

Zina's husband then murdered her and injured four other people before shooting himself.

"Now I'm helping to care for my two nieces who lost their mother and who will have to grow up without her," Daniel told the committee. "I'm here today for Zina and for the stories like Zina's that happen every day because of the serious gap in our gun laws that continue to put women's lives in danger."

**Or how about all of those men who've been a victim of gun violence? Don't they count too?

American women account for 84 percent of all female gun victims in the developed world, and more than a quarter of female homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by an intimate partner.

**This has to be a joke, right? If this is the case, then why have we read and heard alot of news reports over MEN gun victims over the years?

The two bills being considered in the Senate, introduced by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), would strengthen federal gun prohibitions for convicted domestic abusers and those deemed by a judge to be a physical threat to a woman. Klobuchar's bill would include physically abusive dating partners and convicted stalkers in the category of persons who are prohibited from buying or possessing a gun. Blumenthal's bill would ban guns for those who have been issued a temporary restraining order by a judge for domestic violence.

All the provisions being discussed are supported by a majority of Americans, according to a recent HuffPost/YouGov poll. But gun limits are difficult for Congress to pass, even when they are broadly supported by voters, due to the strong opposition of the well-funded and well-organized gun rights lobby. A popular bill that would have closed gaping holes in the federal background checks system fell just short last year of the 60 votes it needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The NRA is already fighting Klobuchar's bill, claiming that it "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."

The witness for the Republicans, George Washington University law professor Joyce Malcolm, said Democrats are taking the wrong approach to protecting women. She said it would be a better idea to immediately arm women who have filed restraining orders instead of trying keep guns away from the abuser.

"I'll tell you a reality -- the police cannot be everywhere at all times," she said.

Gun violence prevention groups have calculated that domestic violence is one area in which American voters across the political spectrum -- particularly women -- can agree on gun limits. Americans for Responsible Solutions, started by former Congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), and Everytown for Gun Safety, funded by former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, are working to convince a few Senators who were on the fence about background checks to swing over and support gun prohibitions for domestic abusers.

But Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, quickly dismissed the idea of Republicans working with Democrats on the issue, saying the hearing is a political stunt. He said Klobuchar introduced her bill a year ago, but the Democrats waited until just before August recess -- and only a few months before November elections -- to schedule the hearing.

"Had the majority been serious about reducing domestic violence, we had the time to come together on a bipartisan solution," Grassley said. "There was a real opportunity for a bipartisan effort, but that opportunity, I believe, has been squandered."

Klobuchar shook her head and appeared visibly frustrated as Grassley spoke. The reason the committee waited so long to hold the hearing, she fired back, is that she has been trying and failing to get a Republican co-sponsor on her bill.

"I've been very close several times," she said. "I know I'm going to get [one]. But that's the reason we've been waiting."

Daniel told The Huffington Post that he hoped his testimony would break through the partisan politics and garner support for legislation that prevents dangerous people from being able to have guns.

"If we can save just one life, that would be worth everything we're going through," he said. "And I know we can save more than one life."
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 06:08:15 pm »

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/29/how_conservative_christian_women_came_to_claim_true_feminism_partner/
7/29/14
How conservative Christian women came to claim “true” feminism
The author of a new book on Concerned Women for America deconstructs the religious right's most persuasive rhetoric


Excerpt:


In particular, though, its claim to the term “feminism” was one of the more surprising elements of my research, and it really exhibits the pliability and dynamism that I mentioned above. As CWA tells the story, the organization first began as a campaign against liberal feminism, and for most of its history, it has portrayed feminism as destructive and immoral. Despite this, over the past few years CWA has begun to describe itself as the embodiment of “true,” or conservative, feminism. It does this by locating itself within a long lineage of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Christian female activist groups organized to clean up sin in American culture, calling these women the “original” feminists.

The likely reason for this switch is that it’s attempting to appeal to a younger crowd that takes many of the social advances of 1960s-70s feminism for granted. Not surprisingly, over the past several years the organization has started to target its rhetoric at younger women who don’t necessarily find that term objectionable. In other words, it’s a smart marketing move.

Of course, this is frustrating for those of us who identify as feminists, but as I’ve mentioned earlier, using your opponent’s symbols for your own gain is a really normal tactic that all groups perform, liberal advocacy groups included. So if we’re looking for a source of distinction that sets CWA or the Christian Right apart from other social movements, we won’t find it here.

You offer many examples of CWA speakers and writers being tricky or manipulative in their arguments, but ultimately you conclude that they aren’t really different from other advocacy groups in this respect.

I wouldn’t use the words “tricky” or “manipulative,” because those words imply that there’s a certain moral ineptness inherent in chaos rhetoric. What I’d claim, rather, is what I said earlier: most of us tolerate chaos rhetoric quite well when it’s being used by a group that we like. In other words, various methods of persuasion (in this case, chaos rhetoric) are called “tricky” or “manipulative” only when a group that we don’t favor shows up to the party.

And that, really, is much of the point of the book, wherein I grapple with whether chaos rhetoric is a unique practice. I demonstrate that it’s not, as I show how many other, seemingly different, groups (including the very scholars who study the Christian Right) do the very same thing: they use chaos rhetoric to portray their own ideological opponents as a force that violates everything that is good, noble, productive, etc. so that they can represent their own perspectives as more logical or mainstream.

It may seem on the surface that scholars would be very unlikely to use chaos rhetoric, since they are supposed to maintain a degree of scholarly objectivity that others don’t employ. What I try to show is that this is not the case at all, for scholars have their own agendas that they use to formulate the very categories that make their analyses possible. Sometimes this happens in more overt ways, as when one finds a statement at the end of a book on the Christian Right wherein the scholar reassures the reader that, while his/her analysis has been objective, the Christian Right should nevertheless be feared and opposed, for it represents a force antithetical to true democracy, liberty, and diversity. Whether or not one concludes that this is accurate is beside the point, for this is still chaos rhetoric at work.

To be very clear, this is not my statement in support of CWA, the Christian Right, and/or conservative politics. It is also not a statement on the ethics of chaos rhetoric. My point is simply that chaos rhetoric is not only very effective, but it is also ubiquitous. Almost everyone who wants to persuade will end up using it at some point or another, and this reality pushes an important question: if chaos rhetoric is a central tool in garnering political power, and if it is absolutely everywhere, then what really sets apart Christian Right groups from others? While I believe that there are some elements of distinction held by the Christian Right, on the whole, I think that they’re rather ordinary. What is extraordinary about them is their ability to easily manipulate so many symbols at one time in a way that most other groups can’t.

Do you think Christian advocates should be held to higher standards of honesty than other political organizations, if only because they claim Christian values?

This question presupposes that chaos rhetoric represents something inherently dishonest. Obviously, though, it’s possible for a strong message to be deemed accurate just as much as it is for it to be deemed inaccurate. I’m also wondering why we presume that Christians have a greater moral obligation than any other group. This, to me, is one way that American society grants authority to religious groups in such a way that they don’t even have to work for it: we equate religiosity with morality.

While I realize that Christian (and other religious) groups often openly tout their moral prowess, I tend to see this as a form of social advertising – a tactic to reinforce their authority – rather than a statement of actual difference.

It would be nice to know that what we hear from public groups are always accurate renderings of factual events, but since reality is often muddy, subjective, and nuanced, this implodes the idea that there’s a clear “moral” platform on which we all can agree. There’s also the basic sociological fact that Christians exist in culture, and so as cultural players, engage in cultural acts. Producing chaos rhetoric is a very normal cultural act because it’s an effective way to gain authority and support, which is necessary for any social group to survive. Expecting groups to exist outside of the very culture on which they rely to survive is asking them to perform cultural suicide.

So do I wish it were different? Certainly. But I’m not sure that my wish is practical, given the ways that society works.
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 05:01:34 pm »

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/20/gop_surrenders_on_obamacare_why_they_slashed_spending_on_anti_aca_ads/
8/20/14
 GOP surrenders on Obamacare: Why they slashed spending on anti-ACA ads
The right's dream of flogging Obamacare all the way to November is over, and they're scrambling for a new strategy


The Obamacare air war is turning out to be one of the most interesting facets of the 2014 midterms. At the end of last year and in early 2014, Republicans and conservative pundits were forthright in their belief that the Affordable Care Act and its many implementation-related stumbles were political kryptonite for Democrats, and many millions of dollars were spent producing and airing advertisements attacking the law and anyone with a (D) next to their name who was even tangentially associated with it.

The strategy made sense at the time: The Affordable Care was going through a public relations nightmare, and GOP strategists saw not only a political weapon to use against the Democrats, but an enduring policy failure that would not get better. “Fixing the website problems will not fix Obamacare,” Republican pollster Whit Ayres wrote in November 2013. “The myriad problems identified by Republicans throughout the congressional debate are becoming obvious as the law is implemented. Policies are being canceled. Requirements to buy comprehensive policies that people do not want or need are causing premiums to skyrocket. Healthy young people are not signing up.” That message, and the promise of anti-Obamacare ads sinking Democrats, was eaten up by pundits.

And so the negative ACA ads blared across competitive districts and states, completely drowning out the mild whisper of pro-ACA advertisements by a factor of 15-to-1.

But in the months since the law’s rollout, the many problems Obamacare faced – broken website, skyrocketing premiums, insufficient numbers of young enrollees – were either fixed or never materialized. And Obamacare, contrary to Republican expectations, started working. Enrollees started receiving benefits and benefiting from subsidized coverage. And now, according to Bloomberg, spending on anti-ACA advertisements has plummeted:

    Republicans seeking to unseat the U.S. Senate incumbent in North Carolina have cut in half the portion of their top issue ads citing Obamacare, a sign that the party’s favorite attack against Democrats is losing its punch.

    The shift — also taking place in competitive states such as Arkansas and Louisiana — shows Republicans are easing off their strategy of criticizing Democrats over the Affordable Care Act now that many Americans are benefiting from the law and the measure is unlikely to be repealed.

Thus died the Republican dream of riding Obamacare to a crushing midterm victory. As Bloomberg put it, the focus is shifting from simply attacking the ACA to linking it to economic ills, like the slow recovery and the weak job market. “The party’s experience across the country shows that Republicans can’t count on the issue to motivate independent voters they need to oust Democrats in Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska,” Bloomberg reports.

This is the culmination of a broader trend – spotted long ago by some sharp observers – in which the ACA has slowly receded as a political issue and forced Republicans to subtly recalibrate their positions on the law. GOP candidates in tough Senate races have tweaked their anti-ACA attacks from “REPEAL IT NOW, TEAR IT OUT ROOT AND BRANCH!” to “Yes repeal but maybe also keep some stuff.” Their positions are nonsensical and contradictory. And they all suffer from a critical lack of specificity, given the Republican Party’s general unwillingness to say which policy they’d put in the Affordable Care Act’s place once they repeal it. You get the strong sense that Republicans just never expected the law to actually work and don’t really know what to do now that it is.

They have to dance around the issue like this because “full repeal” became an impossibility once the law went into effect. Bloomberg spotlighted the example of a Romney voter in North Carolina who enrolled for coverage through Obamacare when she hit hard times. “Duke, who lost her flooring business after her husband died last year, says she now has a favorable view of the measure and is angry at her state’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, for refusing to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.” It’s stories like those that push Republicans away from the hard-line repeal message.

As for the ads themselves, Republicans have been concerned for a while now that the flood of anti-Obamacare messaging early on left public opinion ossified. Polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation bears that out: Since 2010, approval of the law has been basically static among self-identified Democrats, Republicans and Independents. There’s even an argument to be made that the overwhelming quantity of negative advertising actually boosted ACA enrollment by raising awareness of the law and, counterintuitively, encouraging people to take advantage of Obamacare’s benefits before the GOP-promised repeal happened.

What will likely happen sometime in the coming months, as we get closer to Election Day, is the volume of Obamacare ads will once again spike – not because they’ll have regained their effectiveness, but because Republicans will want to claim that anti-Obamacare sentiment motivated people to go vote. From that, they’ll claim a mandate to undo the law, even though they’re spending the midterm home stretch shifting their focus to issues other than the Affordable Care Act.
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2014, 06:21:15 pm »

FYI - I read last week that the NWO establishment has shifted their "culture wars" focus from the sodomy agenda to this "climate change" nonsense...

http://news.msn.com/us/thousands-march-in-nyc-around-globe-over-climate
Global marches draw attention to climate change
9/21/14

NEW YORK (AP) — Tens of thousands of activists walked through Manhattan on Sunday, warning that climate change is destroying the Earth — in stride with demonstrators around the world who urged policymakers to take quick action.

Starting along Central Park West, most came on foot, others with bicycles and walkers, and some even in wheelchairs. Many wore costumes and marched to drumbeats. One woman played the accordion.

But their message was not entertaining:

"We're going to lose our planet in the next generation if things continue this way," said Bert Garskof, 81, as a family member pushed his wheelchair through Times Square.

He had first heard about global warming in 1967, "when no one was paying much attention," said Garskof, a native New Yorker and professor of psychology at Connecticut's Quinnipiac University.

Organizers said more than 100,000 marched in New York, including actors Mark Ruffalo and Evangeline Lilly. They were joined in midtown Manhattan by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

On Tuesday, more than 120 world leaders will convene for the United Nations Climate Summit aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.

"My sense is the energy you see on the streets, the numbers that have amassed here and in other cities around the world, show that something bigger is going on, and this U.N. summit will be one of the ones where we look back and say it was a difference maker," de Blasio said.

The New York march was one of a series of events held around the world to raise awareness about climate change.

In London, organizers said 40,000 marchers participated, while a small gathering in Cairo featured a huge art piece representing wind and solar energy.

Celebrities in London including actress Emma Thompson and musician Peter Gabriel joined thousands of people crossing the capital's center, chanting: "What do we want? Clean energy. When do we want it? Now."

"This is important for every single person on the planet, which is why it has to be the greatest grass roots movement of all time," Thompson said. "This is the battle of our lives. We're fighting for our children."

In New York, a contingent came from Moore, Oklahoma, where a massive tornado killed 24 people last year, as did hundreds of people affected by Superstorm Sandy, which the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the British meteorological office said was made more likely by climate change.

In Australia, the largest rally was in Melbourne, where an estimated 10,000 people took to the streets with banners and placards calling on their government to do more to combat global warming.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was a particular target of the protesters. Abbott's center-right coalition has removed a carbon tax and has restricted funding for climate change bodies since coming to power last year.
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2014, 09:10:20 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/religion-public-life-another-political-divide-thats-growing-211247800.html

Religion in public life: another political divide that's growing
Americans increasingly believe the influence of religion in public life is waning, a Pew poll finds. In a likely consequence, the portion of Americans who want religious leaders to speak out on politics is growing.

9/22/14

American politics is filled with divisions, dysfunction, and growing polarization. One area where that is increasingly evident is over the role of religion in public life.

Almost three-quarters of Americans – 72 percent – believe the influence of religion is waning in the public square, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s up 5 percentage points from 2010, and the highest level in Pew polling over the past 10 years. Most people who say religion is declining in influence see that as a negative.

At the same time, a growing segment of the US population wants religious figures to speak out on political and social issues – now 49 percent, up from 43 percent in 2010. The portion of the American public that sees too little public expression of faith from political leaders has risen from 37 percent to 41 percent. In addition, nearly one-third (32 percent) of Americans now want houses of worship to endorse candidates for office.

“The findings reflect a widening divide between religiously affiliated Americans and the rising share of the population that is not affiliated with any religion,” the Pew report says. “The public’s appetite for religious influence in politics is increasing in part because those who continue to identify with a religion (e.g., Protestants, Catholics and others) have become significantly more supportive of churches and other houses of worship speaking out about political issues and political leaders talking more often about religion.”

Those unaffiliated with religion are “much more likely to oppose the intermingling of religion and politics,”
Pew says.

Not surprisingly, the poll shows that Republicans are much more supportive of a larger role for religion in public life than Democrats. A significant element of the Republican “base” are people of faith who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage, and support prayer in public settings. The Pew Research Center surveyed 2,002 American adults between Sept. 2 and 9.

Among Republicans, 59 percent say houses of worship should express political views, up from 48 percent in 2010. Among Democrats, 42 percent support religious leaders’ expression of views, up from 40 percent in 2010.

In other findings from the Pew survey:

    Support for gay marriage has declined. The latest poll found 49 percent favor same-sex marriage, a decline of five points since February and roughly equal to the level found in 2013. Pew says it’s too soon to know if the latest poll is an anomaly or whether it reflects a leveling off of attitudes toward same-sex marriage.

    Fifty percent of US adults believe homosexuality is a sin, up from 45 percent a year ago. Almost half of Americans believe service providers such as florists and caterers should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples because of religious beliefs.

    Americans believe gays and lesbians face more discrimination than a host of religious, racial, and ethnic groups. Pew found that 65 percent of Americans think homosexuals face “a lot” of discrimination in the US, more than do Hispanics (50 percent), African Americans (54 percent), and Muslims (59 percent). Americans perceive less discrimination toward other groups. Thirty-two percent of Americans think Jews face a lot of discrimination, 31 percent feel that way about evangelical Christians, 27 percent about atheists, and 19 percent about Catholics.

    Republicans aren’t very happy with their party. At least half say their party does not adequately represent their views on government spending, illegal immigration, and same-sex marriage. Republicans are divided on how their party handles the issue of same-sex marriage. Democrats are happier with their party on these issues.

    Only 30 percent of Americans say the Obama administration is “friendly” toward religion, down 7 points since 2009.

That final point should hardly come as a surprise, in the wake of the Hobby Lobby case. Under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration required religious business owners to provide birth control in their health plans, despite religious objections. Last June, the Supreme Court ruled that closely held corporations should be exempt from that requirement. if the owners object based on their religious beliefs.
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2014, 11:25:29 pm »

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/09/22/3570132/religious-conservatives-finally-admit-what-they-really-want-out-of-hobby-lobby/
9/22/14
Religious Conservatives Finally Admit What They Really Want Out Of Hobby Lobby

For two and a half years, the Obama Administration has tried to strike a balance between the health needs of workers and the sensibilities of employers who object to contraceptive care on religious grounds. Just last month, the administration announced its most recent accommodation for these religious objectors — an employer can exempt itself completely from the federal rule requiring employer-provided health plans to cover birth control, so long as it informs the government that it seeks a religious exemption and tells them which company administers their health plan.

Yet, according to a court document filed earlier this month by a leading religious conservative litigation shop, even this degree of accommodation is insufficient to satisfy the most vehement objectors to birth control. Indeed, if the courts ultimately accept the arguments presented by this court filing, that would leave the administration largely powerless to ensure that workers whose employers object to birth control still receive contraceptive coverage. The alleged rights of the employer would trump the rights of the employee.

The court filing is a motion filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty — the same Becket Fund that represented Hobby Lobby in its successful lawsuit in the Supreme Court — on behalf of Ave Maria University, a conservative Catholic school which claims that “any action ‘specifically intended to prevent procreation’ — including contraception and sterilization — is morally wrong.” In its motion, Becket asks a federal court in Florida to grant Ave Maria a temporary exemption from the federal rules governing birth control coverage while its litigation against the government proceeds.

What’s unusual about this motion, however, is that it specifically denies that the Obama Administration’s latest accommodation for religious objectors is sufficient. “Rather than simply requiring notice that Ave Maria is a religious nonprofit with a religious objection,” the motion complains, “the augmented rule would require Ave Marie [sic] to provide its insurance company’s name and contact information for the specific purpose of allowing HHS to issue a notice requiring the insurer to provide the exact same items through Ave Maria’s healthcare plan as if Ave Maria had given the insurer Form 700 directly.”

To translate this a bit, “Form 700″ is the form religious objectors were required to submit under a previous attempt to accommodate their sentiments regarding birth control. Under that regime, employers who object to birth control on religious grounds could exempt themselves from providing contraceptive coverage by filling out this short form, which required them to disclose the identity of their insurance administrator. Once the government has this form in hand, they would then contact this insurance company and arrange for it to provide contraceptive coverage to the religious objector’s employees without requiring the objector to provide this coverage itself. Notably, the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hobby Lobby strongly suggests that the just-fill-out-this-form accommodation is sufficient to overcome any legal objections to the overall regime for providing birth control to employees.

Nevertheless, several religious employers objected to the fill-out-the-form solution, so the Obama Administration granted them a further accommodation — permitting them to exempt themselves from the birth control rules without having to fill out any particular form at all, so long as the government learns who their insurance administrator is. Without this information, the government has no way of knowing which insurance company should provide contraceptive coverage to employees who are denied this coverage by their employer, and thus the entire system breaks down.

Ave Maria’s objection is not exactly surprising, as we explained shortly after the Obama Administration announced its latest accommodation, “employers who have raised the staunchest objections to birth control have often claimed that they cannot take any action that will set in motion a chain of events that leads to someone receiving contraception, as doing so would make them ‘complicit’ in the act of providing birth control, but their objection is nonetheless significant because it reveals what the stakes actually are in the follow-up cases to Hobby Lobby. If the justices honor Ave Maria’s idiosyncratic objection, then it is unclear that the administration could design any accommodation that will survive contact with the Supreme Court.
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2014, 10:22:03 pm »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/22/republicans-show-growing-enthusiasm-for-tearing-down-the-wall-between-church-and-state/
Republicans show growing enthusiasm for tearing down the wall between church and state
9/22/14

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public life just released its semiannual survey of American attitudes on the role of religion in politics. The survey finds a growing appetite for belief in the ballot box, and politics in the pulpit. These shifts are largely happening on the Republican side of the aisle. And among Republicans, the changes are driven by white evangelical concern that the country is becoming less favorable to religion and, inexplicably, more hostile toward white evangelicals.

Below, eight findings from the Pew study that illustrate these shifts.

1. Desire for churches to play an active role in politics is up sharply from 2010

Pew Research Center

"The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%)," according to the Pew report. Fully two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants now hold this view, as do 48 percent of Catholics.

Not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans are split on the question. Fifty-nine percent of Republicans want churches to speak out on political issues, compared to 42 percent of Democrats. This 17-point gap is more than double the 8-point partisan gap that existed just four years ago, and it's driven by a surge in Republican enthusiasm: Republicans are 11 percentage points more likely to call for politically active churches than they were in 2010. There's been virtually no change on this issue among Democrats.

The share of Americans saying churches should endorse political candidates is now the largest its been in more than 10 years.

2. A majority of Republicans say politicians aren't talking enough about faith.

Fifty-three percent of Republicans say that political leaders are talking too little about their faith, compared to less than a third of Democrats. Again, while Democrats have remained consistent on this measure since 2010, Republicans have shifted nearly 10 percentage points.

For reference, in September, the word "God" has been spoken on the House and Senate floors 75 times, "Christian" 65 times and "Jesus" 10 times. Democrats and Republicans seem to use these words at similar rates.

3. Seven in 10 Republicans say it's important for a political candidate to have strong religious beliefs

"Nearly three-quarters of Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican Party say that members of Congress should have strong religious beliefs (72 percent)," according to the Pew survey. "Democrats, by contrast, are evenly divided on this question, with 50 percent saying it is important for members of Congress to have strong religious beliefs and 48 percent expressing disagreement with this sentiment."

4. Despite large numbers and political clout, a majority of white evangelical Christians feels discriminated against

Fifty percent of white evangelicals say that there is a lot of discrimination against them. White evangelicals are more likely to say that discrimination is a problem for them than it is for blacks (36 percent), Muslims (45 percent) or atheists (19 percent). Thirty-four percent of evangelicals say that it's become more difficult to be religious in America, and a third see themselves as a "minority" because of their religious beliefs — more than any other group. Never mind that Protestants are actually the largest religious group in America, and that white evangelicals are the largest Protestant sub-group.

White evangelicals are a core coalition of the GOP base. Their belief that they are a persecuted minority in a country where it is difficult to be religious explains many of the Republican trends above — a desire for a stronger church role in politics, a perception that politicians aren't talking about faith enough, and the necessity for politicians to talk about their faith.

These beliefs also undergird some of the GOP rhetoric about a "war on whites" that we've heard recently from people like Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). Of course, the data show that if there is indeed a war on whites, white people are winning it.

5. A majority of Americans now say homosexuality is a sin

Fifty percent say it's a sin to engage in homosexual behavior, up five percentage points from a year ago. Catholics and white evangelical protestants account for the lion's share of that uptick.

6. Support for gay marriage is down

Forty-nine percent of Americans say they support same-sex marriage, down from 54 percent in February. Support fell across all religious groups surveyed, although as the report notes, "it is too early to know whether this is an anomaly or the beginning of a reversal or leveling off of the growth in support for same-sex marriage widely observed in polls over the past decade."

7. Seven in 10 white evangelicals want the freedom to discriminate against gay weddings

Slightly less than half of the general public says a business that provides wedding-related services should be able to refuse those services to gay couples. Among white evangelicals, that figure is more than 70 percent.
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2014, 07:05:41 pm »

Notice how the NWO establishment isn't playing this Hegelian Dialectic game with Obamacare and sodomy marriage anymore. Now they've shifted their focus on climate change and the ongoing "war on terror".

http://news.yahoo.com/gop-uses-terror-threat-against-dems-campaign-071312062--election.html
9/24/14
GOP uses terror threat against Dems in campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the latest Republican campaign ad, a lone militant walks across a barren land with the black banner of the Islamic State group. It's part of the GOP move to cast Democrats as weak on terrorism.

Six weeks to Election Day, the once back-burner issue of national security is suddenly at the forefront amid rising American fears and the U.S. military's expanded campaign to destroy extremists in Iraq and Syria. The GOP, more trusted by the public in recent national polls to deal with foreign policy and terrorism, is using the threat as a political cudgel against Democratic House and Senate candidates.

"Radical Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country," Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator trying to unseat first-term Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, says in a commercial. "President Obama and Sen. Shaheen seem confused about the nature of the threat. Not me."

A national Republican ad against two-term Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., calls him "dangerously wrong for our security" over black-and-white images of extremists. Another National Republican Congressional Committee ad describes Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., as "dangerously liberal."

National security rarely decides elections, especially congressional races, and jobs and the economy remain the overriding issue for voters this year. The GOP effort is part of a broader approach of linking Democrats to an unpopular President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings on handling foreign policy and dealing with terrorism have plummeted since U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Just 41 percent approve of Obama's handling of terrorism while 50 percent disapprove, according to last week's New York Times/CBS poll, which gave the president worse marks than Republican President George W. Bush in 2006. At the same time, Republicans had a hefty double-digit advantage of 52-31 percent on the question of which party is more trusted in dealing with terrorism and a 49-37 percent edge on foreign policy.

Democrats dismiss the notion that national security will be a defining issue in November.

"First of all, Americans expect both parties to rally against our enemies abroad, not to divide ourselves here at home for partisan gain," Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in an interview. "In fact, it's rather contemptible that while our troops are defending our security, Republicans are more concerned with their electoral security. And we can use that as an issue."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, bemoaned "too much partisanship in security issues," at a breakfast with defense reporters Wednesday.

The political response to Obama's Mideast strategy is hardly clear-cut.

In the immediate aftermath of joint U.S. and Arab airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria on Monday, Republicans and Democrats rallied behind the president. Last week's debate and votes in Congress over arming Syrian rebels underscored that the political fault lines have changed, uniting GOP isolationists and Democratic liberals. It is a reflection of a wary and weary nation after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shaheen backed arming and training the Syrian rebels, voting in favor of a measure giving Obama the go-ahead. A day later, Brown told a New Hampshire group he supported the Syrian program as well.

Republicans have found a growing concern about the terror threat among female voters, whose support for Democrats has proved crucial in presidential and congressional elections.

The gender gap was critical to Obama's re-election in 2012 as the Democratic president won 55 percent of female voters to 44 percent for Republican Mitt Romney.

In 2004, though, women didn't back the Democratic presidential candidate, John Kerry, in the same overwhelming numbers, with so-called national security moms preferring Bush. The president won re-election with 55 percent of the male vote and 48 percent of the female vote, according to exit polls. Kerry got 44 percent of the male vote and did just slightly better than Bush with female voters, 51 percent.

"You're going to see security moms voting in 2014," said Sarah Chamberlain, the head of Main Street Advocacy, a Republican group focused on electing pragmatic candidates.

Chamberlain will be encouraging women to vote this week with a stop in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with Reps. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., and Susan Brooks, R-Ind. So far, the main question from the 150 women who plan to attend has been security and protecting the family, Chamberlain said.

Sara Taylor Fagen, a Republican strategist who was a senior aide to Bush, said the issue is personal for women. Fagen recalled a focus group in 2004 in which one mother said her worst nightmare was learning about a terrorist attack and not knowing what child to pick up at school first.

"A large percentage of women in this country worry that one of these ISIS fighters shows up in this country," Fagen said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State group.
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2014, 08:58:36 pm »

U.N. climate change summit: Now we're getting serious, says World Bank President
By Bernice Napach September 23, 2014 1:53 PM Yahoo Finance
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/today-s-u-n--summit-on-climate-change--a-reason-for-hope-150022838.html

The largest gathering of world leaders ever to combat climate change is taking place today in New York at the U.N.—two days after thousands marched in cities around the world demanding action.

The leaders of China and India, which are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, are not attending the summit, but China did sign a statement supporting policies that would put a price tag on carbon emissions, along with 73 countries and more than 1,000 businesses.

The U.S., home to the U.N., is represented at today’s summit, but it did not support the carbon pricing statement. President Obama, however, addressed the summit, saying that climate change will define this century more than any other issue and that the U.S. was ready to lead a new set of global climate change negotiations. He also called on “all major economies” to curb emissions.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is optimistic about the latest global response to climate change. “There’s a seriousness around this issue… we’ve never seen before,” Kim tells Yahoo Finance's Bianna Golodryga, in an exclusive interview.

“We had no idea when we started this statement whether anyone would sign on, so we’ve been really encouraged.” The countries, regions — including seven U.S. states — and companies that signed onto the statement account for 52% of global GDP, 54% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and almost half the world’s population, says Kim.

Could this be the turning point in the fight against climate change that environmentalists and others have been waiting for or just more talk?

Kim is hopeful and says the World Bank, is “going to do everything we can to make it happen.”

For starters, Kim wants countries to end carbon fuel subsidies, which he says is “the exact wrong thing to do." Instead, Kim says, "We need to get rid of them and begin investing in those things that will reduce the carbon that’s we’re putting in the air and will spur forward things like renewable agency."

According to the latest data from the International Energy Agency, global fuel subsidies reached $544 billion in 2012 – more than five times the total subsidies for renewable energy.

Kim's hope is that today’s U.N. summit will help build momentum for the 2015 International Climate Change Conference in Paris, where world leaders could decide whether to sign a new legally-binding agreement for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2014, 09:12:59 pm »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/23/Obama-Announces-New-Executive-Actions-To-Fight-Climate-Change
9/23/14
Obama Announces Executive Actions to Fight Climate Change at UN

President Obama announced a series of executive actions to fight climate change on Tuesday, during a speech to the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.

Obama ordered all federal agencies to begin factoring “climate resilience” into all of their international development programs and investments.

The action is expected to complement efforts by the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the White House.

Obama is also expected to release climate monitoring data used by the federal government to developing nations.

The NOAA will also begin developing “extreme-weather risk outlooks” for as long as 30 days in advance to help local communities to prepare for damaging weather and prevent "loss of life and property," partnering with private companies to monitor and predict climate change.

“This effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas,” Obama said during his speech at the United Nations Summit.
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2014, 01:08:41 pm »

http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/better-late-than-never-expect-a-high-court-ok-on/article_9d40f166-3c6e-5cbc-bcef-9fa62d79bbc6.html
Better late than never: Expect a high court OK on marriage rights soon
9/24/14

Over the last year, lower federal court judges have removed most of the suspense from the questions of whether and when the Supreme Court might rule marriage equality to be a federal constitutional right. In case after case, in red states and blue, judges have ruled that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. This makes it very likely that the Supreme Court will grant review in such a case this year, and even more likely, assuming it does, that it will rule that the Constitution requires states to extend marriage equality to gay couples.

Just one year ago, I wouldn’t have been nearly so confident in making such predictions. In June 2013, the court by a vote of 5 to 4 invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act, under which the federal government declined to recognize even those marriages between gay couples that were valid under state law.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s majority opinion in United States vs. Windsor was a masterpiece of intentional ambiguity, providing roughly equal amounts of support to two very different interpretations. On one hand, Kennedy’s opinion seemed to be grounded in concerns about the limited power of the federal government over marriage, a ruling that would have had no implications for state bans on same-sex marriage.

On the other hand, language in Kennedy’s opinion regarding the equal dignity and respect to which gay couples were entitled and the important interests of their children suggested that state prohibitions on gay marriage were vulnerable to constitutional challenge. One might reasonably have predicted after Windsor that lower federal court judges, who are no less politically polarized than the rest of the nation, would have divided roughly down the middle on how to interpret Windsor.

But that is not what has happened. In the year or so since Windsor, nearly two dozen federal courts have ruled on the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage. With only one exception (a district court in Louisiana), every court to consider the issue has ruled that the Constitution requires marriage equality. This is an extraordinary record of near-unanimity that transcends geographic region, age, sex, race and partisan affiliation.

When Windsor came down, most commentators assumed that the five justices in the majority would eventually be willing to invalidate state bans on same-sex marriage but that they preferred not to do so until public opinion had evolved further in support of marriage equality. In a case decided the same day as Windsor, the court ducked resolving the constitutionality of California’s ban on gay marriage, ruling instead that the official sponsors of Proposition 8 lacked standing to defend its constitutionality on appeal. But the striking number and near-unanimity of the recent lower court rulings can only help convince the justices in the Windsor majority that the country is increasingly prepared to accept gay marriage with little political backlash.

What should we make of such a ruling when it comes? Although the majority will undoubtedly use the occasion to celebrate the court’s historic role as protector of minority rights, such a decision will actually confirm the very limited sense in which the court performs that function. In fact, the entire course of American constitutional history reveals that the court defends minority rights only after a majority or near-majority of the country has come to deem those rights worthy of protection.

The court did not invalidate state-mandated racial segregation in education until 1954, by which time a narrow majority of the country agreed with the decision. The justices did not lift a finger in support of gender equality until 1971, after the powerful emergence of so-called second-wave feminism. During the first and second “Red scares,” the court put its imprimatur on the persecution of political radicals, and during World War II, it upheld the internment of Japanese Americans. Not until 1996 did the court first defend the constitutional rights of gays and lesbians.

In short, the justices are too much a product of their culture and historical moment to defend in any robust way the rights of unpopular minorities. To many Americans, schooled in the romantic myth of the court as heroic defender of minority rights, this lesson is deeply disturbing.

Who wouldn’t want a court that could have intervened to protect slaves rather than slaveholders challenge the Southern system of Jim Crow at its zenith rather than during its demise, strike down Japanese American internment and protect women’s equality and gay equality before it became fashionable to do so?

But neither our high court nor that of any other nation is equipped to perform such a function, and believing otherwise can be a dangerous delusion. The more realistic our assessment of the court’s capacity to protect minorities, the better we will appreciate the need for popular vigilance over politics.

Still, it is better for the court to protect minority rights late than never. Gay couples in states such as Mississippi and Alabama, where public support for gay rights remains relatively low, will be able to marry a decade or so before they otherwise could have plausibly done so because of a court ruling in favor of marriage equality.

Moreover, one might derive some solace from knowing that had the court tried to protect marriage equality much earlier, it probably would have generated a political backlash that would have retarded the cause. After the Hawaii Supreme Court in 1993 hinted at a state constitutional right to gay marriage, 35 states and Congress enacted defense-of-marriage laws.

And within five years of the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s landmark 2003 decision squarely ruling in favor of gay marriage, nearly 30 states passed constitutional amendments barring it. Had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality as little as 10 or 15 years ago, the decision probably would have prompted the enactment of a federal constitutional amendment mandating marriage discrimination, which would have substantially delayed the ultimate triumph of marriage equality.


Thus, not only would it be unrealistic to have expected the court to reach the just outcome on marriage equality well in advance of public opinion, but for the justices to have done so might actually have delayed that result. As Abraham Lincoln frequently observed, in the United States, public opinion is everything. Even the Supreme Court cannot act very independently of its constraints.
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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2014, 09:46:05 am »

http://townhall.com/columnists/suzannefields/2014/09/26/war-in-the-gender-gap-evaporates-n1896725

War in the Gender Gap Evaporates
Suzanne Fields | Sep 26, 2014

The phony "war against women" has taken a strange and unexpected turn. Republican candidates are promoting expanded access to birth control, with contraceptives available over the counter. Democrats in varying shades of blue dismiss something they've always wanted as mere Republican politics. You would think Democrats would be grateful for enhanced access for women, a dream come true.

This is the catch 22 of the 2014 campaign. Democrats and Planned Parenthood are obviously afraid that if Republicans get credit for this pip of an idea, they'll fall into the diminishing gender gap and never be heard again. The latest polls show Democrats hold only a 1-point lead among women on the generic congressional ballot.

It's desperation politics to scorn a proposal to give women greater flexibility to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, eliminate a costly visit to a doctor and reduce abortions. Over-the-counter sales would make the pill less expensive for the growing number of uninsured women under Obamacare, as well as for women who work for companies with insurance but whose employers hold religious beliefs that prevents them from paying for birth control. The proposal is endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Physicians. This sounds to me like a win-win proposition.

The birth control pill is the most widely used method of contraception for American women, and if it were available without a prescription, sales volume would likely reduce the cost, now estimated to be about $50 a month, or less than $2 a day. Over-the-counter sales would eliminate expensive doctor's visits and time-consuming clinic visits. The Alan Guttmacher Institute finds that more than 17 percent of American women in their childbearing years between 15 and 44 rely on the pill.

Eliminating it as a prescription drug couldn't happen overnight. Only a bipartisan push from Congress would persuade the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change its regulation of the pill, but an unlikely coalition of conservatives and liberals could make it happen quickly. It's natural for libertarian support, and the conservative Family Research Council has taken no position against contraception unrelated to abortion.

The great obstacle, of course, is that support for the idea undercuts the Democrats' "war on women" and reduces partisan noise. "What's happened with the over-the-counter birth control issue," Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway tells National Public Radio, "is that the Democrats didn't see it coming. They think they've got a monopoly on talking to women from the waist down."

A dismissive Planned Parenthood television advertisement says candidates who support the change "will turn the pill into yet another bill." Well, that's what politics is all about. Lobbying pressure and advocacy help, too. A doctor's prescription is especially burdensome for poor minority women, and it's difficult to find a pro-choice voter who opposes over-the-counter contraceptives.

None of the Republican candidates in this election cycle so far resemble any of the chest-thumping red-hots of the last cycle. Rep. Cory Gardner, locked in a tight race against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, is described as a "new kind of Republican." In a television ad, Mr. Booker, who supports the free-the-pill initiative, paints Sen. Udall as the man who would "keep government bureaucrats between you and your health care plan." Two driving issues fuse neatly.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is a cheerleader for over-the-counter sales of the pill. He says Democrats have "demagogued" the contraceptives issue. "Contraception is a personal matter," he writes in The Wall Street Journal. "The government shouldn't be in the business of banning it or requiring a woman's employer to keep tabs on her use of it."

The Republican "war on women" has always been an absurd campaign slogan, reeking of mendacity and bad faith. Women are not a monolithic mass in their preferences and attitudes, and their representatives in Congress know it. Politicians are always looking for an issue that works in appealing to a constituency, and contraceptives could be the long-sought unifying force of both liberals and conservatives. It would give women the ability to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the power to keep their most private decisions private -- no doctor, no government intrusion. If both Democrats and Republicans support this sensible idea, this "war on women" is over.

Democrats attack at their peril the messenger who delivers a message women are eager to hear. Daniel Payne, a self-described "health-nut anti-synthetic Catholic natural foodie freak," writes in the Federalist that in spite of his religious beliefs and personal preferences, he thinks "there's no justifiable reason for me or for anyone else to impede a woman's access to something like the pill." That sums it up for most of the rest of us, too.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1Kings 13:15  Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
1Ki 13:16  And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:
1Ki 13:17  For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.
1Ki 13:18  He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him.
1Ki 13:19  So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
1Ki 13:20  And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back:
1Ki 13:21  And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
1Ki 13:22  But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers.

1Ki 13:23  And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
1Ki 13:24  And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase.
1Ki 13:25  And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2014, 11:48:27 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/hillary-clinton-uniting-religious-conservatives-182410479--election.html
9/27/14

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is the one figure uniting religious conservatives frustrated by a leaderless Republican Party that's divided over foreign policy, immigration and social issues.

The prospect of another Clinton White House stirred anguish at the Values Voter Summit this weekend where hundreds of conservative activists debated the GOP's future and warned that the acknowledged but unannounced 2016 Democratic front-runner would cement what they see as President Barack Obama's attack on religious freedom.

"Never forget she will be Barack Obama's third and fourth term as president," Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, an unsuccessful GOP presidential candidate in 2012, said Friday night.

She was among the high-profile Republicans, including past and prospective White House contenders, at the annual conference attended by some of the most prominent social conservatives and hosted by the Family Research Council, well known for its opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage.

This year's gathering expanded its focus to religious freedom — or the persecution of Christians and their values at home and abroad. It was a message that GOP officials hope will help unify a fractured party and appeal to new voters ahead of November's elections and the next presidential contest.

But it was Clinton's name that was as much a rallying cry as the theme of religious liberty.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a prospective presidential candidate, challenged Clinton to "come and debate" Denver nuns who run nursing homes for the poor, called the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. The nuns have challenged the Obama health law's requirement that some religious-affiliated organizations provide insurance that includes birth control.

"She can do that and she can explain why we should be fighting nuns," Cruz told 750 social conservatives at a banquet in Des Moines on Saturday night, after saying much the same at the Washington gathering. Many in the Iowa crowd burst into laughter at Cruz's comment.

In Washington, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a once and perhaps future contender, described Clinton as "tenacious."

"She's got all the skills and would be an incredibly formidable candidate," Huckabee told reporters, suggesting that Clinton is politically vulnerable. "She's got to go out and defend Barack Obama and her record in the first four years she was secretary of state."

Clinton would be the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, while the GOP's field is large and lacks a clear front-runner. Two GOP establishment favorites, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, were not invited to the Values Voter meeting.

As he did last year, Cruz won the meeting's symbolic presidential preference straw poll with 25 percent of the vote, followed by conservative firebrand Ben Carson and Huckabee. Clinton earned one vote among more than 900 cast, although Family Research Council president Tony Perkins joked that even Mickey Mouse would have gotten a vote if listed on the ballot.

He said religious liberty "slipped as a priority" under Clinton's leadership at the State Department as she pursued a liberal agenda "in complete contrast to what values voters care about."

"She's going to have a more difficult time this go around than she did last time," Perkins said.

A CNN poll this summer found that four different would-be Republican candidates earned between 10 percent and 15 percent of support from self-identified conservatives: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Cruz and Huckabee. The same poll found that 73 percent of conservatives said Clinton doesn't generally agree with them on issues they care about.

"I think the hype will be, 'Let's elect the first woman president,'" said Tina Henold, who was at the conference and has home-schooled her three children in Toledo, Ohio, for 24 years. "We need to get away from hype and get more substance."

Like many others at the gathering, Henold said Clinton's history and her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, would hurt her chances.

Republicans contend that Obama and Clinton, as secretary of state, misled the public about the nature of the attack and could have saved lives if they had quickly mobilized the U.S. military.

"Mrs. Clinton, you're not going to get a free ride on this," said Gary Bauer, founder of the Campaign for Working Families and a presidential candidate in 2000. "You can't implement the policies and then run as if you were opposed to the policies. We're going to call you out."

Democrats have branded a special House panel investigating Benghazi as a right-wing effort to harm a potential Clinton presidential campaign. They reject notions that U.S. forces were ordered to "stand down" during the attack or that Clinton played a direct role in security decisions.

Lillian Kjellman, a freshman at Liberty University who attended the conference, said there was too much controversy surrounding Clinton and questioned whether she could to present a fresh message to the public after more than two decades in the public eye.
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2014, 11:55:17 pm »

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« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2014, 09:06:23 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/gay-marriage-opponents-pick-battleground-religious-freedom-233528950.html
Gay marriage opponents pick new battleground of religious freedom
10/7/14

 CHICAGO (Reuters) - With the U.S. gay marriage battle looking increasingly like a lost cause for conservative opponents, a last battleground may be their quest to allow people to refuse services to gay men and women on religious grounds.

Some conservative groups have seized on what they consider religious freedom cases, ranging from a Washington state florist to bakers in Colorado and Oregon who are fighting civil rights lawsuits after refusing to provide goods and services to gay couples.

"You'll have more instances where religious liberty will potentially come into conflict with this new redefined way of understanding marriage," said Jim Campbell of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group established to defend religious freedom.

Campbell represented New Mexico's Elane Photography, a small company that was sued after the owner declined to provide services for a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Such cases, experts said, will likely become more common after action by the Supreme Court and federal appeals courts this week extended gay marriage to more than half the states.

Several states have considered new broadly worded laws that among other things would permit people to deny services to gay people on religious grounds.

In Arizona, the Republican-led legislature passed such a measure but Republican Governor Jan Brewer vetoed it in February. A similar bill was considered but not passed by the Kansas legislature.

'CONSISTENT WITH THEIR FAITH'

New Mexico's state Supreme Court in 2013 upheld a judgment against Elane Photography, which was ordered to pay legal fees for the couple who complained of discrimination.

"We think other courts will get it right," said Campbell. "We believe the Constitution protects the right of all citizens including business owners to live in a way consistent with their faith."

The Alliance represents other defendants such as the owner of Colorado's Masterpiece Cakeshop, who was sued for discrimination when he declined to make a cake for a same-sex commitment ceremony.

Colorado's Civil Rights Commission ruled in favor of the couple who filed the complaint. The case is now with the Colorado Court of Appeals.

Twenty-one states ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. American Civil Liberties Union lawyer James Esseks said that in the 29 states that do not, gay men and women already have little recourse if they wish to complain about discrimination.

In light of the pro-gay marriage rulings, Esseks predicted more state legislatures will consider new religious liberty laws that would allow businesses and individuals to deny services to gay people on religious grounds.

"These are attempts to give people a license to discriminate," Esseks said. "We think that's not what religious liberty means in America."

In Wisconsin, where voters passed a ban on gay marriage in 2006 that has been overturned by the courts, the Wisconsin Family Action group said it is being more aggressive in contacting business owners, churches and pastors to offer support if they want to refuse service to same-sex couples.

**But 99% of churches in America are 501c3 - they have no choice.

"We will certainly be working on conscience protection for the good people of Wisconsin who may find themselves in the crosshairs of this issue because they hold a set of beliefs that is contrary to what has happened in this state," said Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling.

Even if the Supreme Court decides to take up the issue down the road, it will be difficult to reverse the uniform tide of lower court rulings favoring gay marriage, said University of Illinois political science professor Jason Pierceson.

Pierceson, author of several books on politics and same-sex marriage, sees groups opposed to gay marriage "focusing less on the sin narrative and more on the danger to our religious freedom."

"They will try to carve out a movement that protects people of certain religious faiths from having to serve same-sex couples or recognize same-sex marriages," Pierceson said.
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« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2014, 10:44:28 am »

I know both political parties are rigged - but nonetheless I hate it when I hear the enemy being right. Being from Texas, I can attest to this(ie-lots of megachurches, Houston has a 2 term sodomite mayor, etc).

http://theweek.com/article/index/270760/speedreads-wendy-davis-texas-is-really-on-its-way-to-flipping-democratic
Wendy Davis: Texas is 'really on its way' to flipping Democratic
10/28/14

The Daily Show is in Austin to cover the 2014 midterm elections, and on Monday night's show Jon Stewart's guest was Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor. She's down in the polls against the GOP nominee, state Attorney General Greg Abbott. After talking about abortion and voting laws, Stewart got down to brass tacks. "You're having a tough campaign — right now you guys are down a little bit," Stewart said. "How conservative a place is Texas?... You know, we've heard a lot about, 'It's flipping blue,' but it looks like it ain't even flipping, like, a cool azure."

"It's on its way — it's really on its way," Davis said. She said that in their two decades of running the state, Republicans have drawn lots of safe Republican districts and a handful of safe Democratic ones, and that has stifled any political debate.

In Part 2 of the interview, available only online, Stewart returned to the election. Referring to Davis' statement that she's running to start a statewide conversation about public priorities, Stewart asked: "Why isn't it a conversation that's happening in Texas? Or is it a conversation that has happened in Texas, and they truly have decided, 'No, I appreciate what you're saying, but this is the way we want it?'"

This election will test that question, Davis said, "but really, it hasn't been a conversation."

We aren't a part of presidential election-year politics, we haven't had a really hotly contested general-election statewide race in a very, very long time, and it creates a climate where voters are disengaged, and they're not being educated about the issues at hand. [Davis]

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), she noted, was elected with about 800,000 votes in a state of 26 million people. "We're really encouraged by what we see in terms of the opportunity for a statewide Democrat to actually be elected in this state eight days from now," she added. Davis didn't say governor, of course, but later, when pressed, she said, "I'm going to be governor, Jon." Well, we'll see in eight days. --Peter Weber
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2014, 01:20:07 pm »

Don't be fooled by this - this is part of their little game/manipulation as well - to convince everyone that (somehow)there's hope at the end of the tunnel with these (occasional)minor victories. Since MA became the first state to legalize sodomy marriage 10 years ago, the battle against SSM was OVER!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-baume/puerto-rico-judge-could-provoke-us-supreme-court-marriage-ruling_b_6056386.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
Puerto Rico Judge Could Provoke U.S. Supreme Court Marriage Ruling (VIDEO)
Posted: 10/27/2014

As recently as last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nonchalantly dismissing the need for the court to weigh in on marriage. Because lower federal courts are all in agreement that marriage bans are unconstitutional, she explained, there's no need for the justices to intercede.

But that may (or may not) change now that a judge in Puerto Rico has upheld a marriage ban. Puerto Rico is part of the First Circuit Court of Appeals, along with several New England states, which means that the case could work its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the First Circuit upholds the Puerto Rico ruling, the Supreme Court could have great interest in settling the dispute.

That's a pretty big "if," though. The plaintiffs in the Puerto Rico case are highly likely to appeal the decision, and the First Circuit is highly likely to reverse it. All the other states in that circuit have had marriage equality for years, and the Puerto Rico judge's decision is way out of step with modern interpretations of constitutional law.

The Puerto Rico case joins ongoing litigation in the Fifth and Sixth Circuits, both of which could issue decisions very soon on marriage equality. It's possible (though unlikely) that those courts could uphold marriage bans, in which case the U.S. Supreme Court would have yet another opportunity to weigh in.

Although marriage equality seems inevitable at this point, there's no telling how many more unexpected obstacles could pop up.

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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2014, 11:08:53 pm »

He's more or less using the same tactics Steven Anderson is using.

http://news.yahoo.com/mississippi-pastor-trots-horse-wedding-dress-protest-gay-021606593.html
Mississippi pastor trots out horse in wedding dress to protest gay marriage
12/12/14

By Emily Le Coz

(Reuters) - A Mississippi pastor brought a horse in a wedding dress to stand with him outside a federal courthouse on Friday in Jackson to protest a federal judge's ruling, currently on hold, to overturn the socially conservative state's ban on gay marriage.

The horse, complete with white flowers tucked into its harness and a bouquet at its feet, munched grass as the pastor, Edward James of Bertha Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, spoke and waved signs at passersby.

"Do you take this horse to be your unnatural wedded spouse to have and to hold?" one sign read.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down Mississippi's same-sex marriage ban in a ruling last month. Gay couples cannot yet marry in Mississippi pending the outcome of a state appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which is hearing arguments in the case on Jan. 9.

Gay marriage is legal in 35 U.S. states, a trend that has accelerated since the Supreme Court ruled in June 2013 that legally married same-sex couples nationwide are eligible for federal benefits, striking down a key part of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act.

While gay marriage advocates have enjoyed the upper hand in the courts since then, the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in November became the first to rule the other way in upholding state bans on same-sex marriage.

That decision was seen as setting the stage for the Supreme Court to finally rule on the merits of gay marriage nationwide.

Mississippi is home to an estimated 3,484 same-sex couples, according to the most recent decennial census. About one quarter of the couples are raising children.

**For a state with a rather small population, that's quite a bit! And they call themselves a "bible belt" state?

Speaking in a video-taped interview with the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, James acknowledged that his horse bride was absurd, but said the spectacle served a point.

"Although it's ridiculous, so is the same-sex marriage status," he said.
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2014, 09:07:20 am »

http://theweek.com/article/index/273217/the-religious-right-isnt-retreating--its-reforming
The religious right isn't retreating — it's reforming

And that's a good thing for people on all sides of the gay marriage debate

12/22/14

Late last month, First Things magazine published a brief article arguing that pastors whose beliefs do not permit them to officiate same-sex weddings should withdraw from participating in government-sanctioned marriage entirely, thereby drawing "a clear distinction between the government-enforced legal regime of marriage and the biblical covenant of marriage." The conservative publication also hosted a pledge to the same effect. Hundreds of pastors have signed, agreeing that preservation of religious liberty and biblical faith requires such abstention.

Predictably, the pledge made headlines. Christianity Today conducted a follow-up poll, finding that about a quarter of Protestant pastors agree with First Things' proposal, as do about a third of all Americans. But despite this significant agreement, many — even those sympathetic to First Things' politics and theology — saw the pledge as a retreat, a too-soon abandoning of Christian influence in the broader culture.

Russell D. Moore of Southern Baptist Convention argued that pastors should continue to participate in government marriage unless and until doing so required them to perform marriages they believed to be unbiblical. Similarly, here at The Week, Damon Linker called the pledge "an unprecedented retreat of theologically conservative churches from engagement in American public life," heralding the end of the religious right as we know it.

What such responses fail to recognize (and what even the original First Things article fails to note) is that divorcing religious and civil marriage is not retreat but reform. It is not a new idea, but a return to the way Christian marriage operated for 1,500 years. And it is thoroughly orthodox, if the endorsement of no less a figure than C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity carries any weight.

It wasn't until the 16th (or even 18th) century in Europe that the government had any involvement in deciding who was or wasn't married. In early American history, too, marriage requirements were largely decentralized. Couples typically wed in church and were supposed to register their marriages with the government, but "common law marriages," a sort of automatic marital status based on long-term cohabitation, were widely recognized.

In the years after the Civil War, however, marriage laws in the United States changed dramatically, as marriage licenses were introduced as a racist method of social control. Nearly 40 states used marriage licenses to outlaw unions between whites and non-whites, legally reinforcing the racism of the day. Likewise, some states refused to grant licenses to prisoners, divorced people, addicts, and those deemed mentally ill.

Thus, when the First Things article states that, "In the past, the state recognized marriage, giving it legal forms to reinforce its historic norms," it operates from a post-Civil War view of an institution which has existed for millennia.

And while First Things worries about allowing the government to "redefine marriage," I'd suggest that redefinition already happened — and it started hundreds of years ago. What was supposed to be a covenant between two people, their families, and God has become a legal formality that can only occur with the state's permission.

By putting marriage in the hands of the government, we've already said that God's perspective isn't the last word. By taking marriage out of the church and into the halls of Congress, we make a sacred covenant into a secular contract. And by legislating marriage in any way, we cede this holy ground to the state.

But theology aside, there is a strong political argument for re-privatizing marriage, which we libertarians have been making for years. If we take the state out of marriage entirely, we allow each side of the gay marriage fight to make their own decisions for their own lives. Neither side is required to recognize relationships they don't support. Neither side is able to tell the other what to believe. Neither side "wins" the culture war — and neither side loses.

On a practical level, this move would require decoupling marriage from the many legal shortcuts it boasts today, on issues like taxes, parenting, and hospital visitation. These have become issues which, understandably, motivate much of the push for legalizing gay marriage. This is a significant project, certainly, but it should not be an overwhelming objection. Plus, those wishing to include a legal contract in their marriage could still do so; standardized, legally-binding forms would undoubtedly be just a Google search away.

But more importantly, peaceful coexistence becomes an option when both groups stop trying to use the law to override each other's choices; indeed, with re-privatization, "all the disputes over gay marriage would become irrelevant. Gay marriage would not have the official sanction of government, but neither would straight marriage."

For the LGBTQ community and their allies, privatized marriage offers a much faster route to full equality, no longer making the legitimacy of any relationship something that can be decided by millions of strangers at the ballot box.

For Christians of any conviction about same-sex marriage, there's no real loss here: The government's approval isn't what makes us married now, so we wouldn't be any less married without it. And rather than the much-feared government redefinition of marriage, we'd have something of an un-defining — a reforming return to a much older model of matrimony.

As David Boaz summarizes, "Marriage is an important institution" — especially for those of us in the church. "The modern mistake is to think that important things must be planned, sponsored, reviewed, or licensed by the government." Whether you want to protect the sanctity of Christian marriage, pursue equality for gay couples, or both, the first step is kicking the government out of the marriage bed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

They're playing out the 'ole Divide and Conquer scheme(ie-took an Algorithms course in college - this concept is where you break up a problem into many small problems, and then merge them back together into one big problem).
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« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2015, 02:52:39 pm »

http://theweek.com/articles/532784/republican-partys-warwith-pope-francishas-finally-started
The Republican Party's war with Pope Francis has finally started
1/13/15

It looks like 2015 is shaping up to be the year when Catholic conservatives declare war on Pope Francis.

We heard the first rumblings last fall, when the preliminary draft of a statement produced by the extraordinary Synod on the Family inspired New York Times columnist Ross Douthat to warn ominously about the possibility of a schism in the church if the Vatican loosens doctrinal strictures against divorced (and remarried) lay people receiving the sacrament of Communion.

But most Catholic conservatives have held their tongues, working to put a positive spin on papal pronouncements that many of them find increasingly alarming. (Sure the pope’s denunciations of capitalism are galling, but listen to his passionate attacks on abortion! Yes, Francis is far too nice to gays, but he gave such an inspiring speech on the last day of the Synod!)

So far, the tactic has worked — at least until now.

Interestingly, the decisive provocation appears to be the pope’s forthcoming encyclical on the environment.

On Jan. 3, Robert P. George assured readers at First Things that they could safely ignore whatever the pope might say about climate change because his arguments would be based on contestable empirical claims about which Francis possesses no special expertise. Two days later, author Maureen Mullarkey wrote a blistering blog post, also at FT, in which she went much further — to condemned the pope as “an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist” who views “man as a parasite” and “sullies his office by using demagogic formulations to bully the populace into reflexive climate action with no more substantive guide than theologized propaganda.” (FT editor R.R. Reno disowned the Mullarkey post later in the week.)

Finally, on the same day that Mullarkey’s post appeared, Catholic columnist Steve Moore denounced Francis in Forbes, calling his public policy pronouncements on economics and the environment a “complete disaster” that show that he’s “allied himself with the far left and has embraced an ideology that would make people poorer and less free.”

Looks like the honeymoon is finally over.

The question is why now — and why over the environment of all things?

The answer, I think, is that the environment, in itself, has very little to do with it. The problem is simply that Francis has broken from too many elements in the Republican Party platform. First there were affirming statements about homosexuality. Then harsh words for capitalism and trickle-down economics. And now climate change. That, it seems, is a bridge too far. Francis has put conservative American Catholics in the position of having to choose between the pope and the GOP. It should surprise no one that they’re siding with the Republicans.

Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, a number of neoconservative Catholics (or theocons) went out of their way to make the case for the deep compatibility between Catholicism and the GOP. But not just compatibility: more like symbiosis. For Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, George Weigel, and their allies, the GOP would serve as a vehicle for injecting Catholic moral and social ideas into American political culture — while those Catholics ideas, in turn, would galvanize the Republican Party, lending theological gravity and purpose to its agenda and priorities.

In the hands of the theocons, the Republican platform became more than a parochially American mishmash of positions thrown haphazardly together for contingent historical reasons. Rather, it was a unified statement of High Moral Truth rooted in Thomas Aquinas’ medieval theology of natural law — the most highly developed outgrowth of Christian civilization.

Opposition to abortion was bound up with hostility to euthanasia and same-sex marriage as well as with support for domestic policies that encourage traditional family life — with all of these flowing from an overarching commitment to a “culture of life” and resistance to a “culture of death.” This commitment also justified an assertive American foreign policy that championed freedom, imposed global order, and upheld the highest standards of international justice. And of course, the vision of the free society that guided American foreign policy was one with relatively low taxes and minimal government regulations in which the primary burden of charity and other support for the poor falls primarily on individuals and local communities.

To be a devout Catholic and a conservative Republican in the three decades separating Ronald Reagan’s first term and the start of Pope Francis’s pontificate in March 2013 was to feel virtually no tension between one’s political and theological commitments. Which isn’t to say that conflicts never arose. Occasionally they did — when John Paul or Benedict spoke out against the death penalty, pointed out injustices endemic to capitalism, or expressed concerns about the latest American war. But there was always a theoconservative writer at the ready, willing and eager to accentuate continuities with the GOP and explain away the difficulties.

That has become ever more untenable in the 22 months since Francis became pope, as the points of divergence have multiplied. With the release of an encyclical that looks likely to break forcefully with the climate-change denialism that has become a fixture of the Republican mind, American conservatives appear to have reached a moment of decision: Should they side with the party or the pontiff?

Mullarkey and Moore, at least, have made it very clear where they stand: with the GOP and against the pope. Robert George, meanwhile, remains committed to the old theocon strategy of explaining away the difficulties — of telling Catholic Republicans that there’s no need to choose, because GOP ideology and Catholic social teaching go together just as easily and happily as ever.

Except that, increasingly, they don’t — as more and more Catholic Republicans are coming to understand.

The war is underway, and there may well be nothing the theocons can do to stop it.
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