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Tag: Donald Trump

Should Women be Prosecuted if They Have an Abortion?

route 18 abortion signs-001
A sign near our home in rural Northwest Ohio

Imagine for a moment a banker, automobile dealer, racecar driver, and a career criminal get together to plan a bank robbery. The banker will provide blueprints for the bank and the combination for the safe. The automobile dealer will provide a fast getaway car. The racecar driver, putting his NASCAR skills to work, will drive the getaway car. The career criminal will be responsible for actually robbing the bank. Is only the career criminal culpable for the bank robbery? Or does material participation in this criminal enterprise make each participant guilty of the crime? I think all of us would agree that every person who played a part in the crime is criminally liable.

Evangelicals believe that abortion is murder. From the moment of conception, according to pro-lifers, that which grows in the womb of the mother is a human being who deserves complete protection under the law. Imagine my surprise then, to hear Evangelicals distance themselves from Donald Trump’s recent statement that women who have abortions should be punished. Granted, Trump later walked this comment back, but his first comment accurately reflects taking pro-life dogma to its logical conclusion.

If abortion is murder, then every person who materially participates in the killing of the zygote/fetus is equally culpable. Pro-lifers are quite willing to use the force of law to prosecute doctors who perform abortions. Some Evangelicals even go so far as to say that performing an abortion is a capital crime worthy of the death penalty. In past years pro-life zealots have murdered abortion doctors. Many within the pro-life movement think that such murders are justifiable homicide. In 2005, Polly and I attended a church where one of the church members wanted to have a moment of silence on the February 6th birthday of pro-life hero Paul Hill. You may remember that Hill murdered abortion doctor John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett. He was executed by the state of Florida on September 3, 2003. According to pro-lifers, abortion doctors are no different from the Nazi or Japanese doctors who experimented on prisoners of war during World War II. Abortion doctors are no better than serial killers, men and women who — according to pro-lifers — place no value on human life.

But what about abortion clinic staff? Are the nurses who materially participate in abortion procedures criminally liable? How are they in any way different from the banker, automobile dealer, and racecar driver in the story above? And surely the woman having the abortion is the bank robber in the story above. She is the one who decides to abort her fetus. She is the one who makes the appointment, goes to the clinic, takes off her clothes, puts on a hospital gown, lies on a table, and allows the abortion doctor — with his nurse assisting — to terminate the pregnancy. Surely the woman is criminally responsible for the murder of her unborn child.

Why all the Evangelical angst and dancing around the issue when asked if women should be punished for having abortions? This issue seems quite clear to me. If life begins at conception and abortion is murder, then the women making choices to kill their babies — regardless of whether they take abortion-inducing drugs or have surgical procedures — are guilty of premeditated homicide. Some Evangelicals try to avoid the logical conclusions of their abortion equals murder beliefs by suggesting that women having abortions are in some way or the other mentally or emotionally incapable of understanding what they are doing. I think most women who have abortions would be quite offended by such false assertions. While certainly deciding to have an abortion can be and often is a difficult decision for women to make, to suggest that women are somehow unable to rationally make this decision is ludicrous. For whatever reason, women choose to have abortions. It is their legal right to do so. Our law recognizes that women have a fundamental right to control what happens to their bodies — even though that right is currently under vicious attack by pro-life zealots.

It is time for pro-lifers to own their beliefs. The last 10 years have seen an unprecedented assault on women’s rights. Realizing that it is unlikely that they will ever overturn Roe V Wade, pro-lifers have turned to the states to advance their draconian anti-abortion laws. These new laws have been so successful that in some states it is almost impossible for women to find an abortion provider. Pro-lifers will not rest until fertilized eggs are granted the same constitutional rights as 30-year-old women. I do not think for a moment — once they successfully outlawed abortion — that they will continue to view women who have back alley abortions as victims. As has been clear over the past 25 years — at least to me — many Evangelicals will not rest until they have turned the United States into a Christian theocracy. Once they have gained this power, they will use it just as ruthlessly as ISIS and other violent theocratic groups. Quite frankly, Evangelicals cannot be trusted with our civil liberties. Bound by the Bible and its teachings, they have no recourse but to push God’s laws into every aspect of American life. It is for this reason that people who value secularism, humanism, and freedom must oppose theocratic Evangelicals at every turn.

15 Astounding Predictions for 2016 by Atheist Bruce Gerencser

end of the world

This is the time of year when Evangelical soothsayers, psychics, and Nate Silver (ESPN 538) make predictions for the coming year.  I thought, in keeping with the spirit of the New Year, that I, the atheist version of Carnac the Magnificent, would make a few predictions of my own. Here’s my 15 Astounding Predictions for 2016.

  1. Richard Dawkins will say something stupid.
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson will say something brilliant.
  3. The Pope will not get laid.
  4. Evangelicals will continue to say the rapture is nigh.
  5. At least three Evangelical preachers will be arrested and charged with molesting children and 25 others will be accused of sexual misconduct.
  6. Evangelicals will continue to say atheists hate God and secretly want to have wanton, immoral sex.
  7. Franklin Graham will be exposed as a cross dressing transvestite.
  8. Evangelical Calvinists will continue to say their critics don’t understand Calvinism.
  9. Bart Ehrman will write another book. It will be titled Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented their Stories of the Savior. I predict it will be released on March 1, 2016
  10. Donald Trump will say bat-shit crazy stuff and his followers will love it.
  11. Evangelicals will continue to think that Christianity is under attack and that secularists are trying to make Christianity illegal.
  12. Tea Party Republicans will continue to think that the lame stream media controls America and that Muslim socialist Barack Hussein Obama is coming to take their guns.
  13. The day after Thanksgiving, Fox News will say that there is a War on Christmas.
  14. One Million Moms will continue to be outraged over nudity, cursing, and gay kissing on TV. This year they will find their lost remote and learn that if they push the channel button it changes the channel.
  15. Democrats will win the presidency, a sure sign that the Antichrist is preparing to usher in the new world order.

No Muslims Allowed: Was Islam Banned From the USA in 1952?

I’ve seen this graphic a handful of times recently on Facebook, always posted as a legal justification for Donald Trump-like bigotry towards Muslims. In every instance, this  meme was posted by someone claiming to be an Evangelical Christian. As Polly and I were watching last night’s episode of The Trevor Noah Show, I mentioned that Donald Trump has exposed an ugly truth about the religious right; that bigotry and racism is flourishing among those who say they are followers Jesus, a man who had far more in common with Middle Eastern Muslims, Palestinians, and Jews than the white Americans who worship him today.

Last I knew, Evangelicals still consider lying a sin. Why then, do Christians continue to post falsities like those mentioned in this graphic? It took me all of 30 seconds to determine that this graphic is false. While this meme might express the wet-dream sentiment of white, redneck Evangelical bigots, there’s no truth to it.

Here’s what the venerable Snopes.com has to say on the matter:

The meme sharply escalated in popularity following an unprecedented statement from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who on 7 December 2015 suggested that the United States should bar all Muslims from entering the country until such time as lawmakers could “figure out what [was] going on” in the wake of a mass shooting in San Bernardino that had occurred five days earlier.

….

Simply put, the rumor maintained that Muslims as a group were ineligible for admission to the United States based upon a law that prohibited entry to any alien who “belongs to an organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” The meme didn’t directly reference the Islamic State (ISIS) as the organization in question, instead suggesting that Islam itself (particularly because of Sharia law and adherence to it by devout Muslims) was a prohibited group.

The law referenced was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, also known as the McCarran–Walter Act. Its text is available in full at the U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Services (USCIS) web site, where a preface indicates that the law has “been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.” The meme cited “Chapter 2 Section 212” of the Act, which is subtitled “INA: ACT 212 – GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF [INADMISSIBILITY].” Subsection (A) of that section pertains to “Classes of Aliens Ineligible for Visas or Admission,” subdivision (3) of which is titled “Security and related grounds.” Paragraph (a), subsection (iii) excludes as ineligible for admission the following persons:

In general any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means.

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 was not without critics, among them President Harry S. Truman, who vetoed the bill on 25 June 1952. In a letter titled “Veto of Bill to Revise the Laws Relating to Immigration, Naturalization, and Nationality” and addressed to the House of Representatives, President Truman described the bill’s provisions as both antithetical to American values and discriminatory:

The greatest vice of the present quota system, however, is that it discriminates, deliberately and intentionally, against many of the peoples of the world … The desired effect [of selective admission of immigrants] was obtained … People from such countries as Greece, or Spain, or Latvia were virtually deprived of any opportunity to come here at all, simply because Greeks or Spaniards or Latvians had not come here before 1920 in any substantial numbers.

The idea behind this discriminatory policy was, to put it baldly, that Americans with English or Irish names were better people and better citizens than Americans with Italian or Greek or Polish names. It was thought that people of West European origin made better citizens than Rumanians or Yugoslavs or Ukrainians or Hungarians or Baits or Austrians. Such a concept is utterly unworthy of our traditions and our ideals. It violates the great political doctrine of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” It denies the humanitarian creed inscribed beneath the Statue of Liberty proclaiming to all nations, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

It repudiates our basic religious concepts, our belief in the brotherhood of man, and in the words of St. Paul that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free …. for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

….

The “ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952” meme proved popular following a period of increasing rhetoric similar to that which Truman decried as discriminatory and outdated in 1952. The meme’s basic claim hinged on the tautological assertion that adherence to Islam alone constitutes participation in an “organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” Most major religions involve basic, agreed-upon sets of tenets by which their faithful live, and no widely-accepted understanding of Islam encompasses a prohibition on following the laws of any country or advocates the overthrow of government.

….

The meme “ISLAM WAS BANNED FROM THE USA IN 1952” claimed that adherence to Islam and/or Sharia law constituted definitive membership within an “organization seeking to overthrow the government of the United States by ‘force, violence, or other unconstitutional means.'” Multiple non-factual statements or implications were presented in the meme, including the notions that all Muslims strictly adhere to Sharia law, that Sharia law is a cohesive faith-based form of governance, that adherence to Sharia law is mutually exclusive with adherence to the laws of the United States, that Islam in some way demands the eventual overthrow of the United States government, or that any “organization” to which Muslims purportedly belong by merit of their faith somehow places them under the provisions of section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Not one of those assertions or implications is supported by extant law, precedent, or any accepted interpretation of Islam, United States immigration policy, or the act in question.

 

Holy Spirit Tells Jeremiah Johnson That Donald Trump is the Trumpet of God

donald trump

According to the CHARISMA website, Jeremiah Johnson is a prophetic minister. In other words, God talks directly to Johnson. Johnson, an elder at Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland, Florida, recently heard from God about Donald Trump: (link no longer active)

Trump shall become My trumpet to the American people, for he possesses qualities that are even hard to find in My people these days. Trump does not fear man nor will he allow deception and lies to go unnoticed. I am going to use him to expose darkness and perversion in America like never before, but you must understand that he is like a bull in a china closet. Many will want to throw him away because he will disturb their sense of peace and tranquility, but you must listen through the bantering to discover the truth that I will speak through him. I will use the wealth that I have given him to expose and launch investigations searching for the truth. Just as I raised up Cyrus to fulfill My purposes and plans, so have I raised up Trump to fulfill my purposes and plans prior to the 2016 election. You must listen to the trumpet very closely for he will sound the alarm and many will be blessed because of his compassion and mercy. Though many see the outward pride and arrogance, I have given him the tender heart of a father that wants to lend a helping hand to the poor and the needy, to the foreigner and the stranger.”

Well, one thing is for sure…Donald Trump is a blowhard, the next Herb Alpert of God’s brass band of fools.

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Bruce Gerencser