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[links] Link salad has counted all the lines on the road between here and Los Angeles - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-04-05 05:19
Subject: [links] Link salad has counted all the lines on the road between here and Los Angeles
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, christianists, climate, culture, economy, funny, gender, guns, healthcare, japan, links, nature, personal, photos, politics, race, religion, science, weird
Roger Ebert, RIP — John Scalzi on Roger Ebert's passing. Sigh.

A statement from Chaz Ebert — Sigh.

Talia's Life: Coping with Cancer! — A 12 year old describes living with cancer. (Via [info]the_child.)

Thousands of Medicare patients just lost chemotherapy because of sequester — Thank you, GOP. Your compassionate conservatism underwhelms. Fatally, for some. Are you proud of your Republican party?

Target apologizes for label on plus-size dressShoppers at a Target store in Brooklyn say a label that listed the color of a plus-size dress as "manatee gray" was insulting. The label for the same dress in smaller sizes described it as "dark heather gray."

Police Surveillance May Earn Money for City — Interesting, and a bit frightening. (Via my Dad.)

Brazil Nut Effect Measured in Lunar and Martian Gravity Conditions — I think this is my favorite headline of the week.

The 25 Best Photobombs of All Time in the Universe Ever — Snerk.

Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven — Really?

Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant — It's like a bad post-apocalyptic short story.

Western U.S. Created From Geologic 'Pileup' Says New Study — Warning, facts about the majesty of the universe are not valid for Young Earth Creationists and others among the willfully ignorant.

Get Fuzzy nails the conservative mindset — Hahah.

In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 YearsGlacial ice in the Peruvian Andes that took at least 1,600 years to form has melted in just 25 years, scientists reported Thursday, the latest indication that the recent spike in global temperatures has thrown the natural world out of balance. Amazing, the lengths liberals will go to in order to perpetrate their climate change hoax.

Climate change may be irreversible, but we control the future trajectory — Or not. We all know reality doesn't stand a chance when confronted with good, patriotic, "real American" conservative ideas.

Why expanding background checks would, in fact, reduce gun crime — Oops. Once again that pesky reality contradicts the conservative narrative. As always.

Congress Obsessed with American Muslims, Neglects real threat of White Supremacists — This has been true for years, like when the GOP suppressed the DHS report on the threat of conservative domestic terrorism. Confidential to Republicans: It's hard to think rationally about policy when your entire political fortune is built on lies and fear.

The Conservative Black HopeFor kids like me who came up in Baltimore during the '80s and '90s, Dr. Benjamin Carson has special importance. Ta-Nehisi Coates on Ben Carson. Though he doesn't use this phrase, I would characterize what he is describing as cynical political opportunism.

North Carolina Republicans introduce bill to outlaw Baptist churches and establish N.C. StaatskircheSlacktivist Fred Clark on the latest conservative lunacy out of North Carolina. Lowering the Bar has more.

QotD?: Ever been to a joint in Bakersfield called the Wagon Wheel?




4/5/2013
Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (reviewing existing material on Original Destiny, Manifest Sin)
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (stationary bike)
Weight: 244.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block enforcing Agenda 21 by closing down golf courses: 0
Currently reading: Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

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ericjamesstone
User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2013-04-06 14:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
> North Carolina Republicans introduce bill to outlaw Baptist
> churches and establish N.C. Staatskirche

In which Fred Clark proves himself either a bald-faced liar or extremely ignorant about religion and the law. I'm afraid there are no other choices.

His whole point about outlawing Baptist churches is just wrong, so wrong that either he knows it and is merely trying to stir up trouble or else he's just hopelessly confused about law, history, and religion.

England has an established church: the Church of England. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England) Baptist churches are not outlawed in England. (http://www.baptist.org.uk) Ergo, Fred Clark is demonstrably wrong. If a conservative/Republican were that wrong, you would point to it as proof of the idiocy of conservatives/Republicans. I consider it sufficient cause for doubting anything Fred Clark has to say ever on any subject unless he's backed up by actual evidence, rather than just the meanderings of his mind.

I'm no fan of established churches, but there are a wide range of possibilities, from an established church that permits no other religions to have a presence in the area it controls (e.g., Islam in Mecca) to one that doesn't interfere with the activities of other churches (like the Church of England.) Having been a Mormon in England, I can tell you we had absolutely no fear that the established church was going to send the police to break up our meetings -- or bother us in any way.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-04-06 14:48 (UTC)
Subject:
I interpreted Fred as being deliberately literally-minded for satirical purposes, FWIW. Poe's Law in reverse, so to speak.

I'm curious. Your perspective as a Mormon, an attorney and a conservative is very different from mine in some ways we're both quite clear on. What do you think of the basic issue, of a state seeking to establish a religion?
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ericjamesstone
User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2013-04-07 15:48 (UTC)
Subject: Re:
I think that under the Constitution, a U.S. state is permitted to have an established religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was put in to prevent the federal government from establishing a national religion and/or interfering with the established religions for states. Several states had established religions at the time of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and on its face, the First Amendment applies to Congress, not the state governments.

Now, in the time since the Fourteenth Amendment passed, its Due Process clause has been used on a piecemeal basis to "incorporate" various rights from the Bill of Rights as applying to state governments. I happen to think incorporation is improper, but by now it's a long-established part of Supreme Court precedent.

(As an aside, since I believe incorporation to be improper, that also means I believe that states should not be bound by the Second Amendment and can rightfully make gun control laws -- even banning guns completely. However, if incorporation of the Bill of Rights is going to be part of our law, then I believe it should apply to the Second Amendment as well.)

Now, on to what I think an establishment of religion means (speaking in general, and not just within the context of states in the U.S.) I think at the very least it means a declaration of one particular religion as the official religion of a political entity, kind of like declaring the official bird. From that point, it would range through providing government support for that religion to mandated religious behavior and all the way up to putting to death anyone who does not adhere to the religion. I think the people who ratified the First Amendment would clearly recognize that range as being an established religion.

Personally, I don't think U.S. states should have an established religion, but I think it's fairly innocuous up to the point where it starts interfering with people's free exercise of religion. So, for example, I think it should be considered constitutional for Utah to declare the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the official state religion along with the Common American Gull as the official state bird, but I would oppose legislation to do so. But I think it should be considered unconstitutional for Utah to mandate that anyone pray in the LDS manner.

However, I do not think an establishment of religion includes personal declarations of religious faith by government figures, government recognition and celebration of religious holidays, religious symbols or quotes on government property, or voluntary prayers at government-sponsored activities -- all of which occurred on a regular basis at the federal government level after the passing of the First Amendment without anyone batting an eye, and therefore should not be seen as implicating the Establishment Clause. But most of the lawsuits these days seem to be about these sorts of things.

As a Mormon who has lived in countries with established religions (Catholicism in Argentina, Anglicanism in England) I've never really been bothered by established religions as long as I was free to practice my own religion. One of the Articles of Faith for Mormons is "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." As long as that freedom is respected, I really don't see why established religion is all that important an issue.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-04-07 17:06 (UTC)
Subject: Re:
Thank you, sir. I shall have to think on that. For one thing, I apparently have a rather different interpretation of the concept of establishment of religion than you do. Yours is much better-informed than mine, and I am not at all certain my views are logically grounded.
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andelku: Apu
User: andelku
Date: 2013-04-08 18:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Apu
On a practical level, as a non-Christian who grew up in North Carolina, Christianity didn't have to have an official religion for me to be expected to participate in school prayer and evangelizing in math class and all manner of stuff that was probably not legal but went unchallenged.

And interestingly when my math teacher ... who took one day a week out for preaching, yes that was one out of five 50 minutes of math classroom time every week in PUBLIC school ... actually said that the only correct religion was Christianity, three students went to the administration on my behalf. One was Episcopalian, one was Evangelical, one was Mormon.

But I didn't go on my own behalf because I knew if I did it wouldn't do any good unless lawyers were involved.

However with an outcry coming from OTHER students, two from good mainstream denominations (sorry Mormon wasn't mainstream there, and neither was Catholic), because it WAS illegal, we actually got to go back to ... wait for it ... learning MATH in math class. Which was nice.

Edited at 2013-04-08 06:57 pm (UTC)
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