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Entries in freedom (5)

Sunday
Dec022012

Freedom From Religious Foundation Sues IRS Over Election Evangelicalism | Gay Marriage & Supreme Court Cases

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Experts don’t agree on last week’s Supreme Court decision in which it ordered the 4th U.S Circuit of Appeals to rehear a case filed by Liberty University that argues the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom by legislating that the Christian University must provide health insurance for its employees. Note that the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in June.

“On one level, it’s routine,” said Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “This is not an unusual way for them to handle a case that’s in front of them that they want to take, because it hasn’t been fully developed yet.”

But Mathew Staver, the lawyer in the case and vice president of Liberty University is encouraged that the court is willing to look again at the employer mandate, certainly as it applies to religoius institutions.

Mark Graber, law and government professor at the University of Maryland disagrees, saying: “Based on the Supreme Court’s past decisions, Liberty University has no case because this is a neutral law that doesn’t single out religions.” via Southern Maryland Headline News.

Freedom of Religion

Lawsuit Challenges Tax-Exempt Status for Pulpit Electioneering

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the US Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to publicly endorse political candidates.

At the conclusion of an election season in which numerous religious figures including Catholic bishops told congregations how they should vote, the lawsuit argues that organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman is named in the lawsuit, which also asks that the IRS initiative legal action against churches and religious organizations that engage in electioneering.

The lawsuit cites full-page ads run this fall in the New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Renowned evangelist Billy Graham urged Americans to vote along biblical principles after pledging to do “all I can” to elect Mitt Romney. Also mentioned in the lawsuit are Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenkins of Peroria, Ill, requiring all the priests in his diocese to read an order that Catholics only vote for a pro-life candidate. The lawsuit refers to ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ in which more than 1.500 pastors challenged the IRS ruling directly, seeking a court challenge.

US Abortion Politics

The Family Values Congressman and His Mistresses

Abortion politics in America hit a new low when details of the private life of recently re-elected, pro-life Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) became public. The Congressman says that God has forgiven him for his scandalous past, including pressuring a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.

Court papers revealed that DesJarlais’ former wife had two abortion by a “mutual” decision. The first abortion was because his wife was taking an experimental drug that carried risks during pregnancy; the second abortion came as the couple suffered from problems in their marriage.

The same divorce papers relating to the 2001 divorce of the family values Congressman DesJarlais revealed affairs with four women who were patients.

US Supreme Court & Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court has released a list of cases it will hear this term, and same-sex marriage is currently not on the docket.

On Friday the Supreme Court met behind closed doors with 10 appeals related to same-sex marriage on the agenda. It’s possible that the Court will announce this week plans to hear at least one of the cases. If the Court allows the federal appeals rulings to stand, it’s not the end of the gay marriage debate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has predicted that the court will hear a gay marriage case this term.

Wednesday
Jun202012

Nation's Crime Rates Tied To Belief In Hell | Can Plants Hear Sound? | African American Plants Heritage

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

A study at University of Oregon’s Cultural and Morality Lab confirms that a review of 26 years of data involving 143,197 people in 67 countries confirms that a nation’s strong belief in hell predicts lower crime rates. Conversely, a strong belief in heaven predicts higher crime rates, explains Azim F. Shariff, professor of psychology and director of the research.

Religious belief generally has been viewed as ‘a monolithic construct’, Shariff said. ‘Once you split religion into different constructs, you begin to see different relationships. via Daily Mail UK

In 2003, Harvard researchers Robert J. Barro and Rachel M. McCleary found that gross domestic product was higher in developed countries when people believed in hell more than in heaven.

Pillamina Hits the Road

WomenPatriots writes that Planned Parenthood’s Pillamina will be one step behind Mitt Romney’s campaign road trip. LifeSite News says that Pillamina is “stalking” Romney.

‘Pillamina’ last appeared to celebrate the Obama Administration’s announcement of a no co-pay for birth control pills — a decision that has caused deep controversy among religious leaders.

Secret Lives of Plants

Researchers in Australia have documented clicking sounds in the roots of corn saplings. Researchers at Bristol University then suspended young roots of plants in water, exposing them to a continuous noise at 220Hz, the frequency emitted by the corn sapling roots. The scientists confirm that plants grew towards the sound.

In 2009 researchers at Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society exposed tomato plants to male and female voices, attached to their pots and reading poetry and Shakespeare.

The tomato plants grew 2 inches taller in response to a female voice but grew less than the control group in response to male voices. Read on in AOC Apple Valley.

Seeds of Survival

Kathe Hambrick-Jackson, of the River Road African American Museum in Louisiana, raises foods that would have been familiar to slaves, like okra and peas. Randy Harris for The New York TimesLouisiana’s Freedom Garden attempts to educate young African American kids about key foods that were staples for runaway slaves. Knowing that kids use the garden as a shortcut, Kathe Hambrick-Jackson intercepts them with signs at every eye level to educate them about their history.

The New York Times profiles the River Road African American Museum, Michael W. Twitty’s African American Heritage Collection, and the dwindling data on African-American farms in America in Planting the Seeds of Survival.

Many African Americans associate farming and working the land with slavery.  Family battles also cause land to go into foreclosure, says the Emergency Land Fund, a black farm and property preservation group.

Saturday
Jun092012

In America's 13 Colonies, Catholic Bishops Had Little Religious Freedom | 'Documenta' Opens in Kassel, Germany

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

About 200 people rallied in Philadelphia on Friday, demanding that the federal government stop what they perceive to be “morally offensive” health-care regulations. The protest — part of 150 rallies in America yesterday under the banner “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” — had symbolic meaning due to its location at Independence Hall, home of the Liberty Bell.

America’s Catholic bishops seek to define religious freedom as a series of right that permit them to reject a wide range of civic and government-protected liberties. Increasingly, the bishops demand a form of national theocracy, one that subordinates the rights of citizens and in particular, women citizens.

At issue yesterday is the Obama contraception mandate compromise, a decision that has ripped the Catholic Church in two.

Catholics stood proudly yesterday, embracing the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia as their symbol of religious freedom. In fact, when America was founded, Catholics were a tiny minority in the original 13 colonies. The first federal census of 1790 found America to have 3,939,000 citizens, with about 25,000 Catholics in residence.

In all but three of the original 13 original colonies, “Catholics were the subject of penal measures of one kind or another”,  writes Dr. Marian T. Horvat.

British settlers had no love of the Catholic Church in the least, fearing the very kind of theocracy in America that the Catholic bishops now propose. A theocracy is NOT what the founding fathers had in mind for America. Most of them were deists, believing in a more abstract infusion of spirituality throughout the universe. Turning to the 2010 book ‘America’s Four God’, the founding fathers believed in god #4.

‘Documenta’ in Kassel, Germany

The Daily Beast author Blake Gopnik writes that Kassel, Germany makes Peoria seem like Paris. The city may be no great shakes, but twice a decade for the past 57 years, Kassel’s Documenta festival is home to the world’s culturati.

This edition’s creative director is American Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who has worked mostly in Europe, has a passion for apples. Writes Gopnik:

For me, knowledge of Documenta’s world begins, as it should, with an apple. Or rather 372 of them, of every variety, meticulously drawn over many decades by a German priest and activist named Korbinian Aigner, who bred fruit while interned by the Nazis at Dachau. Packed onto two walls at Documenta, this nonartist’s apples, drawn in color and pretty much at life size, stand for artistry at the service of fact, a crucial constellation in Christov-Bakargiev’s cosmos.

The curator’s apple obsession, expresses itself in a bottle of apple juice offered to the press free of charge, inscribed with her name as its creator and with an allegorical label by the American artist Jimmie Durham.

The tart significance of said apple label isn’t lost on us at AOC. After all, in Latin the word apple means evil. Read on in AOC Sensual Rebel:Mysteries of the Garden of Eden’ | History Channel | In Latin Apple Means Evil.