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Marriage Equality is on Shaky Ground at the Supreme Court
Are we really going down this road again?
According to a new Freedom From Religion Foundation survey of political issues, atheists are the “hold my beer” of liberal values. Of the 12,000+ FFRF members who responded to the survey, 98% said they are registered voters. (Hey, Biden campaign, it wouldn’t kill you to wink at us every now and then!)
Why are secular Americans comparatively more liberal than your average American? Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, notes:
“Overall, nonbelievers are obviously caring, compassionate, involved and engaged individuals, who clearly recognize that this world is what matters. Not believing in a god doesn’t mean you don’t believe in values. We are the real values voters.”
Before testing positive for COVID over the weekend, Pastor John Hagee once declared, “Atheism has never healed a disease; faith in God has, but not atheism.” To his credit, the first half of his statement isn’t wrong. Although atheism isn’t in the business of healing disease; science is. It seems even he has doubts in the latter part of his claim, considering this announcement by his son that assures the congregation he’s in the care of doctors:
Hagee has a history of odious remarks, such as the time he claimed Hurricane Katrina was “the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans” for striking ahead of planned Gay Pride events, and that Hitler was doing God’s will by pressuring Jews to return to Israel. No word yet from Hagee on why God would be punishing him with this viral infection, but we speculate the wrath is a result of his indoor, mask-optional church events.
Is it weird that the Jerry Falwell, Jr. scandal feels like it happened a year ago? Anyone else?
You may remember Kim Davis, the Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples looking to marry because it violated her bigotry—I mean “religious beliefs.” Davis sought to gain immunity from the Supreme Court against being sued for damages by the couples to whom she refused service. The Supreme Court, not having time for her bullshit in 2020, declined hearing the case. That’s the good news….
… The bad news is that two of the justices said that, while they didn’t want to take up Davis’ case, marriage equality is still a problem. Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that led to nationwide marriage equality in the U.S., should be reversed because it’s in conflict with religious liberties, according to Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. In their comments on the above-mentioned Davis case, Thomas and Alito noted:
‘By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the Court has created a problem that only it can fix. Until then, Obergefell will continue to have “ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”
Considering the court may soon have a conservative supermajority, LGBTQ citizens and allies have reason to be concerned about where the Court will go with this. It’s not just abortion that’s on the table; it’s civil rights of all stripes.
Speaking of which, remember that whenever GOP politicians say Barrett will respect precedent, the Christian Right knows that she’ll rule in their favor.
Is it politically favorable for the Republican Party to remain at odds with science, even after the country has watched them facing-off with a virus that won’t backed down? Throughout the COVID pandemic we’ve heard a lot of skirting around experts’ advice and predictions on the disease. Not all conservatives have the gall to hunker down in ignorance, but have enough been convinced to cross party lines to get us out of this mess?
“There was a panic before this started, but now we’re sort of the stupid party. … Candidates are being forced to defend themselves every day on whether they agree with this or that, in terms of what the president did on the virus.” —Edward J. Rollins, co-chairman of the pro-Trump super PAC Great America.
“Their extraordinary rejection of what scientists have been recommending is coming home to roost.” —Irwin E. Redlener, founding director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness.
In less than a month we’ll finally find out if American voters have figured out that reason-based leadership actually will determine the outcome of this pandemic, or if 2021 will be 2020 v2.0. (We’re just kidding. 2020 will never end.)
If you’ve heard of the Christian anti-abortion propaganda film Unplanned, you’re going to enjoy this takedown of things wrong with it:
You didn’t think we were going to end this newsletter without announcing yet another mask-averse pastor who caught COVID, did you? It’s no surprise Pastor Greg Laurie tested positive after double-dipping in the COVID petri dish by attending the Prayer March and the White House nomination party of Amy Coney Barrett, both on the same day in Washington, D.C. He posted a picture to Twitter of himself and Franklin Graham bumping elbows that day, neither wearing a mask. I wonder how Graham is feeling this evening…?
Laurie took to Facebook to announce his COVID test results. Instead of saying “I was wrong for not taking this disease seriously,” he asked that we don’t politicize the disease. Riiiiight. Had he not wanted to make it political, he would have listened to apolitical medical professionals and worn a mask.