Jim DeMint Wants to Compete With Skype

Finally a politician with the courage to go up against Skype.  A Republican – Doctor* DeMint – who loves government regulation has come out of the closet in favor of barring Skype users from discussing abortion with medical professionals.  No word yet on if he will allow an exception if you are skyping with your anti-choice priest.  What is clear, now Skype will face competition from SkypeDeMint.  SkypeDeMint – for all your abortion discussing needs.

Via Think Progress:

Now Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the most die-hard anti-choice lawmakers, has jumped on the bandwagon by sneaking a radical anti-abortion amendment onto a completely unrelated piece of legislation. DeMint’s amendment would ban women and their doctors from discussing abortion over the Internet:

Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.

Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said DeMint is essentially mandating “an abortion-only version of Skype.” She points out that a woman with high-risk pregnancy talking to her doctor through video conferencing would have to somehow switch to a separate communications system if abortion came up at all. “It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor,” Keenan said.

In keeping with the anti-choice strategy of inching towards complete lack of reproductive choice, I wonder what the follow up to this amendment would be if it passes…

PS If you cannot discuss abortion over the internet, I wonder what impact this would have on blogs?

* Jim DeMint received his medical degree in the form of an MBA from Clemson.


Huckabee – Jesus in Every Home

If Huckabee does end up running again – in 2012 or 2016 – remember this guy is going to use his position of power to push Christianity into our legal system, into our policy, and onto our citizens.  He consistently “jokes” about forcing Christianity on citizens in the same way Bush used to joke about wanting to be a dictator.

Opposing Gay Marriage in a Recession

One of the best arguments against Gay Marriage I’ve heard from Rob Thomas (emphasis mine):

Still, I’m amazed at the audacity of a small, misdirected group of the ultra-conservative Christian right wing, to spend millions of dollars, in a recession, on advertisements to stop two men or women who love each other from being able to be married, but when you present any opposition to them, they accuse you of attacking their religion.

I had not thought of that angle.  What does it say about those pouring money into opposing gay marriage, during a recession, that they’d rather prevent people from enjoying equal rights than reach out to the poor and the meek and help those in need?

As an added bonus, he adds:

Isn’t it funny that the people who are the quickest to take someone’s basic rights to happiness are always the loudest to scream when someone attacks their right to do so?


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Prop 8: Bigotry Wins in California


Voters have approved prop 8, writing discrimination into the California state constitution.

Their jubilation comes at the expense of people they denied the right to marriage by successfully hiding behind the veil of religious freedom and appealing to people’s worst instincts.

The thing to remember is that their victory will be short lived.  There will be another proposition to overturn prop 8 as surely as there is a will to victory emboldened by Obama’s historic win and call to service.

Younger generations by far favor equality, not bigotry.  If not in 2 years then in 4.  If not in 4 years then in 6.  To those of good heart in California take heart: This is a battle we will win!

Slavery is OK: Republican 527 Attacks Obama

Context is a weak excuse.  Under what context is slavery ethical?  Under what context is stoning someone to death moral?  In a clip that drives home Obama’s fortitude standing up to theocrats who’d eagerly switch the bible for the constitution, Republican political consultant Stephen Marks accuses Obama of arrogantly mocking the bible:

The narrator intones:

You then condescendingly stated that, quote ‘Folks haven’t been reading their bible” unquote, as if the American people do not know what’s in there.  The real question is, do you know what’s in there Senator?

Actually Stephen, the question is why should a political candidate have to know what’s in the bible?

The thing is, Barack Obama clearly has a much better grasp of the bible than the narrator.  Stephen’s arguments lose their cogency as soon as you skip the pacing and tone and get to the content:

And did you not know Senator Obama, that the book of Deuteronomy, which you also arrogantly mock and ridicule, is what gave us the ten commandments?

That’s his response to Obama’s argument.  Seriously.  Well, let’s take a look at the passage, in context, that Obama was criticizing (King James):

18If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

That’s right.  Disobey your parents and you should be murdered by “all the men” of your city.  This is the nature of Marks’ attack: utterly inane.

Did you not know that most Christians and historians agree, that the Sermon on the Mount contains the most spiritually inspiring words ever uttered by Jesus Christ or any other religious leader.

Who’s arrogant Mr Marks?  Who is holding their personal faith up as the measure of who should lead this country?  This 527 ad is spit in the face of separation of Church and State.  It is a clingy example of corporate rhetoric, with repetitions on the theme of arrogance and smugness reinforced by to with a backdrop of an informercial soundtrack.

And in all that, PH For America, Stephen Marks’ organization, leaves out one crucial counterpoint.  The Bible condones slavery.  Telling for a group that holds the exposed liars “Swiftboat Veterans for Truth” as their role models.

Still this ad may find some play with Americans who think shoving their personal faith down America’s constitution is their God given task in life.  But we can hope that more people will recognize the hollowness of PH For America’s underhanded attacks, and support a candidate on the merits of his politics, his insight and his character.

Lieberman, McCain and End Times Christianism

Lieberman spoke before the group “Christians United for Israel”, a far right group lead by disgraced pastor Hagee, who McCain’s campaign sought belatedly to distance itself from after his disgusting remarks about the Holocaust:

Mr. Hagee’s support for Mr. McCain had been seen as a boon to Mr. McCain’s outreach to evangelical voters until the disclosure of earlier remarks in which Mr. Hagee said, “Hitler and the Nazis were sent by God, to chase Jews back to the land of Israel.”

In the face of opposition from Jewish Peace Group J Street, why did Lieberman buck McCain’s leash and whatever good sense he possesses to go speak?  (Emphasis Mine):

Asserting that Mr. Hagee had worked hard to fight anti-Semitism, Mr. Lieberman said: “I don’t agree with everything Pastor Hagee has said, and I can safely say that the pastor doesn’t agree with everything that I’ve said. But there’s so much more than that that we agree on.

Now thats an interesting statement.  Especially in light of this(emphasis mine):

J Street and its allies note that the vast majority of American Jews support a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, something Hagee believes God opposes. Hagee believes an end-time narrative that requires Jews to relocate to Israel before Jesus returns and they convert to Christianity.

Is this what Lieberman and Hagee agree on?

It certainly throws Lieberman’s support for the Christian right and his efforts to erase boundaries between Church and State under a new light.  So far the McCain campaign is declining to comment.  They must figure there won’t be enough public awareness and pressure to force them to back off.

Political SC Church Crosses Line on Obama

Pastor Roger Byrd crossed the line between Church and State in a classless way, by repeating the more vicious lies from the GOP’s whisper campaign against Barack Obama (WYFF):

Pastor Roger Byrd said that he just wanted to get people thinking. So last Thursday, he put a new message on the sign at the Jonesville Church of God.It reads: “Obama, Osama, hmm, are they brothers?”


Byrd said that the message wasn’t meant to be racial or political.

What a load. So what was it meant to convey?

“It’s simply to cause people to realize and to see what possibly could happen if we were to get someone in there that does not believe in Jesus Christ,” he said.

What could happen? Is he insinuating we need a Christian in office, a naked religious test, to avoid things like terrorism? Or is he simply saying fearmongering and race-baiting like his is what we should expect if anyone outside his narrow mind’s tolerance gets into office?

When asked if he believes that Barack Obama is Muslim, Byrd said, “I don’t know. See it asks a question: Are they brothers? In other words, is he Muslim ? I don’t know. He says he’s not. I hope he’s not. But I don’t know. And it’s just something to try to stir people’s minds. It was never intended to hurt feelings or to offend anybody.”

Obama has said repeatedly during his campaign that he is a Christian and attends Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Pastor Byrd is an idiot, and a prime example of Church attempting to encroach on state:

Despite some criticism, Byrd says that the message will stay on the sign. He took the issue before his congregation Sunday night, and they decided unanimously to keep it.

Yet his congregation unsettles me a little more.