A Wal-Mart worker has died after being trampled by a throng of shoppers shortly after a store opened Friday on Long Island in New York State, police said.
Frenzied shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale. Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.
Ugly, ugly pigs. This is what they’ve made of so-called “civilization.” These are the mindless “consumers” the capitalist world has made of human beings.
And THIS is the seasonal stuff that the Christian wingnuts want Jesus linked to.
Which do you think? Did he yell, “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays,” as they killed him?
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan marriage commissioner Orville Nichols thinks the government of Saskatchewan should allow him to refuse to perform marriages of two other citizens — even though the right of those two citizens to marry is the SECULAR law of the land and he is the representative of that SECULAR law.
In this article of November 25, 2008, he (through his lawyer) makes his argument:
Philip Fourie, Nichols’ lawyer, said the lawsuit demands the province give marriage commissioners the legal right to not perform same-sex marriages if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
“This is clearly a horrible violation of Charter rights,” he said in a release Tuesday
“This problem can be easily fixed by simply allowing the commissioners a right to decline and pass on the ceremony request to another commissioner.”
Nope. Nuh uh. Noway, nohow.
By this same argument, a police officer can refuse to protect the safety of people he considers immoral, like prostitutes and junkies, because their lifestyle violates his religious beliefs and to protect them would be “condoning” how they live. By this argument, a surgeon in the ER can refuse to save the life of a gang member who has just been shot after he himself killed someone (eek! murder! a sin!).
Religious arguments cannot, can not, can NOT be used to justify a member of a secular profession refusing to follow the law of the land.
“The government promised to be different but they are not acting any differently at all on this issue,” he said.
“The pendulum has swung too far in favour of same-sex people and against people of faith.”
Nuh uh, buckaroo. That whining “we’re being picked on, waaaah!” argument just doesn’t fly.
This man is a representative of the SECULAR law of this country. He doesn’t want to represent the SECULAR law of his country, he is perfectly, perfectly free to align himself with a religious institution, and perform marriages of only those people he approves of.
And to say that treating every bloody citizen in the country equally is “against people of faith” is an outrage and a lie. I invite both him and his lawyer to read one of my essays about why anti-gay people cannot use secular law to discriminate religiously against fellow citizens: “Arguments against equal marriage: #2 Same-sex marriages harm the ‘sanctity’ of marriage.”
The law is secular explicitly for the PURPOSE of protecting everyone in this country – including Orville bloody Nichols — from having their rights violated by someone of faith, someone who might have some kind of power over him and who might think his deity wants him to prevent Nichols from doing something that is his right to do. The only reason Nichols doesn’t notice the benefits he dervies from secular law is because his faith is still the majority faith in this country.
But his faith, majority or not, still does not allow him to violate the law when he represents it in a secular capacity. He is perfectly free to perform all the marriages he approves of, as a minister or religious representative. The fact that he wants to extend his religious right in the secular realm demonstrates that he is either an idiot (the charitable interpretation) or that he’s whining because he can’t also be a tyrant. Which is, unfortunately, the more likely interpretation.
Newsflash! As described in this article from Gazette.com in Colorado, the right-wing religious organization Focus on the Family is eagerly, nay almost militantly, demanding that retailers make sure to link Jesus and greedy capitalism as a celebration of Jesus’s birthday.
On Thursday the Colorado Springs-based ministry’s political action arm launched its second-annual holiday campaign by posting an online shoppers guide with three categories: “Christmas-friendly” retailers, “Christmas-negligent” retailers and “Christmas-offensive” retailers.
The “friendly” retailers are so designated because they prominently use “Merry Christmas” and other Christmas-specific references in their catalogs and in-store promotions.
God forbid that Christianity should share the Big! Money! Making! Season! with other seasonal celebrations like Kwanzaa and Hannukah, or even New Year’s.
Nope. Focus on the Family wants Jesus, and Jesus alone, to be connected to the malls, the big box stores, the raucous music in every store, the rush to buy buy buy, to benefit from the advertising, the money-grubbing, the huge spending, the going into debt to give Great Big Presents to people. Jesus ain’t gonna share ONE PENNY of that glorious gold, that fabulously filthy lucre, that marvelous Mammon, not with nobody, nohow. Not if Focus on the Family has its way.
It must be so comforting to God to know that Focus on the Family is so solicitous of Jesus’s public image like this, huh?
One of the big, big financial backers of last week’s ballot Proposition to ban equal marriage in California was the Mormon church, which urged its members to send money to the campaign trying to strip these citizenship rights from their fellow citizens.
Not surprisingly, those citizens whose rights had finally been recognized after a long struggle, and now have been ripped away from them again with the support of this church, this bastion of the traditional one man-one woman marriage (and yes, that is sarcasm; read their history!), have gotten very upset. So they’ve started picketing Mormon temples in southern California.
And when they show up, the police shut the temple doors and prevent anyone from getting in — including Mormon couples arriving to have a Temple wedding that will make their marriage eternally sealed.
There’s an account of this activity in this article in L.A. Weekly: “Los Angeles Protests Stop Mormon Marriages.”
As the article says:
On Thursday, thousands of “No on 8” protesters, most of whom were probably unaware of the importance of a temple, shut down the Los Angeles Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Boulevard in Westwood. For the entire day and into the night, the iconic building was surrounded by Los Angeles Police Department officers, who sealed off its perimeter so no one could enter or exit. “No on 8” supporters will demonstrate again in Westwood on Sunday.
One rather feels like yelling, “NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, OPPRESSORS!”
This church should have its tax exempt status utterly ripped away from it for blatantly and deliberately pushing politics as an official body (a big no no, legally and constitutionally). And of all people, this church should know what it’s like to be persecuted because one’s beliefs and practices don’t follow the norms of the surrounding majority. And it’s a fact that plural marriage is still in Mormonism’s holy books, described as an eternal decree of God, however they pretend it isn’t there these days. (It’s still in my copy of Doctrines & Covenants, at least, and since they proclaim that God’s word is eternal, well…)
But when one sees this church (and others, of course, like the Southern Baptists) keeping their tax status even though they are essentially political institutions these days, and when you see the crashing, self-righteous, oppressive, tyrannical hypocrisy of a church like the Mormon church that strips citizenship rights from their own fellow-citizens — you have to feel vindicated when they finally get a taste of their own medicine. Maybe if they were still experiencing full-fledged persecution themselves, they’d be reminded that they do not have the right (as American citizens or under God) to persecute other citizens.
For info on filing an IRS 501(c)(3) complaint against the Mormon church for its unconstitutional political activity, see this blog. Information about a great book by an American lawyer, arguing that equal marriage is constitutional, can be found here. And of course, I once again recommend my essays on equal marriage in this blog, starting here.