I’ll Take my Chances With that Coffin

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You know all those memes that are floating around all over the place, right? Some of them, especially the political ones are less than accurate. In fact, MANY of the political ones are. Well, there is a quote that has been wrongly attributed to Ben Franklin and paraphrased many different ways that goes something like this: “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” Here is an example:

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Ben Franklin didn’t say that. He as much as admitted he didn’t say it in a letter to a colleague. The more interesting story is that the phrase first appeared back in November of 1755, twenty years before the Declaration of Independence, in a letter from the Pennsylvania Assembly (in which Ben Franklin served) to the Governor of Pennsylvania. In it, they were addressing concerns of protecting the people on the frontier from unfriendlies and said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” In 1755.

In yesterday’s post, we talked about the PATRIOT Act. We talked about how it is possibly the worst assault on the Bill of Rights since the time of Lincoln. It was passed while our nation was in a panic, under the guise of “protecting us against terrorism.” Many Americans, like the colonists before them, are not willing to give up individual liberties for personal safety. If only members of Congress would pay attention to what Americans actually want.

A section of that piece of legislation is coming up soon for renewal. While some people in politics, like Rand Paul, aren’t so keen on it, others believe that the PATRIOT Act is the best thing since sliced bread. Take Former Governor Jeb Bush, possibly soon to be running for president, for example. He has said that he believes the NSA surveillance of Americans should continue and that it’s the “best part of the Obama Administration.” Senator Marco Rubio, who also plans to announce soon a run for the presidency, has called for the the PA to be reauthorized. Have either one of these men read the Bill of Rights? Do they know what it says? Better yet, have they talked to the American people? Obviously not.

But I digress.

I saw an article today on remarks made by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a town hall forum held in New Hampshire. I’m not sure what the governor of New Jersey was doing in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, but apparently, he hasn’t read the Bill or Rights either. And apparently he thinks the PA is an awesome thing.

In his remarks he stated the 9/11 attacks stole Americans’ liberty. I’ve got some news for Governor Christie: It wasn’t the attacks that stole our liberty. It was what our government did afterward by passing the PATRIOT Act that stole it.

He urged for more funding and support to increase the U.S. capabilities to prevent terror attacks. More funding? For more agencies to trample all over the Bill of Rights? No, thank you, Mr. Christie. We will take a pass.

He said, “There are going to be some who are going to come before you and going to say ‘Oh, no, no, this is not what the founders intended.’ The founders made sure that the first obligation of the American government was to protect the lives of the American people.” Holy crap. Is he for real? But wait. Jeb Bush said almost the exact same thing in a interview. He said in his comments about the NSA surveillance being Obama’s finest hour, “Even though he (Obama) never defends it, even though he never openly admits it, there has been a continuation of a very important service, which is the first obligation I think of our national government is to keep us safe,”

That’s hysterical. The “best part of the Obama administration”, yet Obama himself never mentions it? Hmm. I wonder why that is? Could it be that he never mentions it because it shreds the Bill of Rights to pieces? Oh, wait. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t passed initially during the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.

The founders were of the opinion that the government should do nothing more than leave the American people alone. If you read our post from yesterday, you know that Section 215 alone of the USA PATRIOT Act has the founders turning over in their graves and looking for their muskets. They dumped tea in the Boston Harbor over a tax of three pence per pound, for crying out loud. What the hell do you think they would do over the PATRIOT Act???

Okay. Back to Chris Christie. Do you know what else he said? Are you ready for this? You should probably sit down. He added, “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin.” I’ll just let that sink in. I’ll be over here.

I don’t even have any words that I can use in response to that. I’m afraid that I would offend some delicate sensibilities if I said what I truly thought about that statement.

But I will say this. I’ll take my chances with that coffin, Mr. Christie, if it means that the Bill of Rights will be in full effect again before I die.

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Rolling Over in Their Graves

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Judge Napolitano asked the question: “What if the rights and principles guaranteed in the constitution have been so distorted in the past 200 years as to be unrecognizable by the founders?”

We don’t have room here to write a book, and that’s what it would take to thoroughly reply to the question, so we’ll limit ourselves to easy targets; The Bill of Rights vs. The USA PATRIOT Act. It’s a no-brainer. We’ve talked about the PATRIOT Act before. It is perhaps the single most worst thing to happen to the Bill of Rights since Lincoln’s War.

1A: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Patriot Act: Section 215 blows these rights out of the water. The FBI (or any government “agency”) can, without even a shred of evidence of wrong-doing, spy on, bug, and infiltrate any religious or political organization. Goodbye “the free exercise thereof”. So long “freedom of speech”. And, if you decide to get together with others “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”, expect to have Big Brother watching, closely. But wait, you say? They would only do such a thing to protect us from terrorists. They would only bug or watch organizations with known terrorist ties. They would never bug the Baptist Church on Main Street in my town. But don’t you see? There is nothing to stop them from doing just that. All under the guise of protecting us from terrorists.

2A: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Patriot Act: Well, okay, guns and gun owners are not specifically mentioned in the Act. It’s not like they even needed to, with all the other power they’ve grabbed. They can squash militias or gun shops, or anything they want. Let’s imagine that you’re a gun club owner or member, or own a firing range, or are a firearms retailer, and you make any kind of right wing comment on Facebook. It will take exactly zero point four seconds before you find yourself on some alphabet agency’s watch list. Doesn’t that just give you a warm fuzzy feeling? And if you’re part of a militia? The Act’s expansion of the definition of terrorism lets the Feds include just about anything they want to under that umbrella.

3A: “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Patriot Act: The 3A is one of the few rights that gets a pass here. Unless you count commandeering your house so they can spy on your neighbor. They can do that now.

4A: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Patriot Act: I cannot even begin to tell you how totally canceled this is. The Feds, under the Act, can go where they want, snatch what they want – including YOU – any time they want. If they think they might need a warrant to help cover their asses later, they’ve got a pool of anonymous tame judges who’ll give them any paper they want, any time they want. They can grab you out of your bed, take you to a secret location and keep you as long as they want. No phone calls, no lawyer, no habeas corpus, no trial. They can tap your phone, read your mail, sneak into your house and search it without you even knowing it. Oh, and did I mention this popular idea they’ve got that walking around with too much cash makes you a potential terrorist, so they can just take it? Yeah. Civil Forfeiture, they call it. Seriously. Go to the bank, draw out two or three grand, get in your car and head to Vegas: but don’t count on getting there. They can stop you, take the cash, take your car, and leave you standing by the side of the road if they want to. Because you’re suspicious.

5A: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Patriot Act: See above, re: 4A. Add; and if they don’t get an indictment or a conviction the first time, they can keep working at it until they do.

6A: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Patriot Act: Again, go back and read the part about 4A. They can snatch you, lock you up forever if they want to. No communication, no lawyer, no trial, no confronting your accusers. You just disappear.

7A: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Patriot Act: I don’t know. Somehow the Feds missed this one. Maybe it’s the “common law” thing. And twenty bucks? Who cares about $20 these days? When the Constitution was written, $20 was a month’s wages for a laborer. The Feds spend more than that for pizza delivery while they’re staking out your house, listening to their bugs, waiting for you to cuss out Obama while you watch Fox News.

8A: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Patriot Act: Hmmph. I think maybe “held without bail” qualifies as “excessive”. Stealing the money out of your bank account because it’s “suspicious” might be called an “excessive fine”. Locking you up forever without a trial is kind of “cruel” – too bad it’s not unusual any more.

9A: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Patriot Act: Don’t make me laugh.

10A: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Patriot Act: I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. My snark bucket is empty. I’m floating in a pool of bitter irony. I can’t even process it.

Do you think the Founders would recognize things today? I think they are rolling over in their graves, trying to find their muskets. 

It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government. – Thomas Paine

How to Sum up Betrayal in Two Paragraphs

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See, here’s the long and the short of it. I’ve used the word “fiat” a few times in previous articles. We need to talk about that some more, because it fits in with everything else we’ve discussed. In fact, it’s really the heart of everything else.

“Fiat” is just another word for “worthless”; a thing of no value. Unless it’s referring to one of those cute little Italian cars – then it’s got value. Otherwise, nada. Zip. Zero. A thing of no value.

Federal Reserve Notes, like that dollar bill in your pocket, are “fiat” currency. They have nothing of value behind them. They don’t represent a dollar’s worth of any real thing, like gold or silver. They’re “notes”. They’re commonly referred to as FRNs.

The only way fiat currency can exist is if the people (that’s us, you and me) are forced, at gunpoint, to use it. The most important way D.C. forces us to use FRNs is to demand we use them to pay our mandatory income taxes. Here’s an experiment for you: Next year, come April 15th, saunter into your local IRS office and offer them a few bushels of new string beans out of your garden as payment on your taxes. See how far that gets you. Or maybe you just got back from your annual European vacation and still have some Swiss francs you’d like to get rid of. Try paying your taxes with them. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Good luck with that.

The sneaky way they get around giving most of us a chance to think about this is the W4; the “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate”. By stealing it from you a little at a time – in FRNs – you don’t get sticker shock come April. Also, since most people are deathly afraid of the IRS, we tend to over-pay on that W4, so we have a “refund” due at the end of year. And we get paid in……FRNs.

We cannot escape using fiat FRNs (okay, that’s redundant. I won’t do it again.) because every interaction we have with D.C. requires us to use them. Taxes, of course, license fees, permits, services, anything that we have to buy from them has to be paid for in FRNs. And they only pay out in FRNs. Welfare of any description, Social Security checks, government payroll, contracts with businesses, all of it. Anything in or out of D.C. has to be FRNs. So that means that everybody – you, me, the grocery store, your employer, even your paperboy (do we still have paperboys?) has to collect FRNs so they can do their business with D.C.

“Well, yeah, because that’s ‘our’ money” you say. Got a news flash for you: that ain’t “our” money at all. We don’t own it. We don’t print it. We don’t control it, in any way, shape, or form.

It. Ain’t. Ours.

We’re just forced, literally at gun point, to use it. Hell, we can’t even barter amongst ourselves unless we declare the values of the bartered items in – you got it – FRNs.

I repeat: it. ain’t. ours.

That money belongs to a private central bank. Every green piece of paper in your pocket is the property of the banks behind the Federal Reserve. Every digital 1 and 0 in your bank account is the property of the banks behind the Federal Reserve. You have temporary custody, but it belongs to the Fed. That’s because every one of them, every bill, every byte, is your copy of an IOU, a loan, made by the Fed to “our” government. Add them all up, all the pockets, all the piggy banks, the penny jars, the bank accounts, the loan balances, all of the little pieces (and the big pieces, like the trillions of dollars “our” government gives to other countries) — and they exactly equal the national debt. They ARE the national debt. That dollar bill in your pocket is a certificate of debt. Our debt. Your debt. My debt. Our children’s debt.

Debt created for us, without our consent, by Congress.

Debt owed to a cartel, an international corporation of bankers, who do business with “our” government via a storefront named The Federal Reserve System. We don’t even know who those bankers are. I’m not sure anyone in Congress, or in the President’s Treasury Department know who they are. We have a pretty good idea who some of them might be, but not every one of them. The storefront, the Federal Reserve, shields them, hides them, protects them from view.

This was all arranged back in 1913. (Funny how we keep going back to that year, isn’t it?) The 16th Amendment, authorizing a direct income tax, superseded the two articles of the Constitution expressly forbidding this kind of taxation. It was absolutely necessary that Congress control your taxes directly, instead of having to deal with the States as go-betweens. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to force us to use FRNs.

Hand in glove with the 16thA, the 17thA was ratified a few weeks later, taking away the States power in D.C. (we talked about that in our last article). Then later that year, with Senators now clamoring for reelection donations they had never needed before, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act. The act set up the structure of exactly how Congress and the bank cartel would do business, and delegated Congress’ Constitutional duty to issue and control our currency to the new central bank owned by the cartel. And the deal was done.

Rereading that last bit, I realize that I just summed up the core of “our” government’s greatest betrayal of us all in just two short paragraphs.

If you aren’t pissed yet, I don’t know what else to tell you.

I can though, very, very strongly, urge you to read G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island. You may not agree with his conclusions in the later parts of the book, but he researched the actual history of the plot behind creating the Federal Reserve so well that no one, absolutely no one, can argue the truths he uncovered. It is a fascinating read and WILL piss you off. Please, read it. Please. I’m begging you.

Size Does Matter; Just Ask Uncle Sam

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Do you know how many federal agencies there are? Does anybody know? In the research that I have done, I can’t find a list of all the government agencies. I’m not even sure the government knows how many there are.

Do you know how many pages there are in the Federal Regulations Code? I do know the answer to that. Well, kind of. From what I have been able to research, it is almost 200,000 pages long. Yes, you read that correctly. If you printed the thing out and stacked it, it would be taller than a three story building. Do you even think for a moment that they even know what it says?

In our continuing coverage of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s five minutes worth of questions, we are now at questions number three and four. “What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government?” “What if Congress’ enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited Congress but were used as a justification to extend Congress’s authority over every realm of human life?”

Well?

Let me see… The Founding Fathers were so adamant about protecting the people from their government that they wrote the Constitution, and specifically limited the roles of that same government. They believed that the more government that existed, the less liberty the people would enjoy.

Today, we have regulations that tell us what light bulbs we can and can’t buy, how much water our showers are allowed to sprinkle over our heads, what tests our children take in school, what licenses you have to have to be just about anything and… well, you get the idea. There is no part of our personal lives that is not affected by some kind of regulation. It’s like a cancer that has been caught in the late stages. It has spread and spread to the point that there is nothing we can do to stop it. Surgery, at this point, is not an option. Just like cancer cells are immortal, so is this invasion of bureaucracy. The only thing left to do is to keep the patient comfortable until her time comes.

How did this happen? How did we go from a nation based on liberty to living under this behemoth of a government? You would think that there is some long drawn out story about it all. But sadly, there isn’t. Of course there are exceptions, but if you just want to know, then follow the money. Do you really think that Congress just up and decided one day to ban incandescent light bulbs? Do you really think that they just decided that incandescent light bulb was a energy sucking monster and must be done away with? If you believe that, then you and I have nothing to talk about. Instead, let’s imagine that the corporations who made the incandescent light bulb saw that they could make much more money producing and selling LED light bulbs, but couldn’t get people to buy them because they were so much more expensive. Let’s imagine that they then went to Congress and said, “Psst. We need you outlaw incandescent light bulbs for us. Here is some money.” If you believe that, then I see a great future for our friendship. Don’t just take my word for it. Please, do your own research.

I’m only using the incandescent light bulb as an example because it is quite recent and has affected A LOT of people. And, it was all about the money. You can’t do anything in this country without having to pay money. You can’t get a driver’s license. You can’t get a fishing license. You can’t get a copy of the Federal Regulations. Hell, you can’t even renounce your U.S. citizenship without paying them money.

The government tells us we have to wear seat belts. It tells us we have to have health insurance. It tells us we have to follow their rules, or pay the price. It should be the other way around. We should be telling them what they can and can’t do. That is, after all, what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution. 

This is a Biggie.

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You know about the Constitution, right? That document written all those years ago, when our country was just a babe, meant to enumerate and protect the rights we were all born with? Well, the Judge’s second question was, “What if the Constitution no longer applied?”

The thought alone should terrify anyone who knows anything about the Constitution. But what if I were to tell you that the Constitution has not applied for years now? Decades even. What would you say then?

Let me give you an example. You all know what happened on September 11, 2001. But what happened after that was, in fact, an ever bigger tragedy. I know, I know. More than 3000 people lost their lives that day. What could be worse than that? It was a terrible thing. I agree completely. Don’t yell at me just yet.

Less than a week after the attack, bills were introduced in Congress designed to combat terrorism. Those bills morphed into the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001. It should have been called the “Let’s gut the Constitution because a bunch of crazy people attacked us” Act, but I digress.

This final bill was introduced to the House of Representatives on October 21, 2001. It passed the House 357-66 on October 24, passed the Senate 98-1 on October 25, landed on the president’s desk that same day and he signed it into law on October 26. The bill was 363 pages. 57,896 words. Yep. Now, considering that there were fewer than 30 working days between the attacks and the day the bill was introduced, that was some pretty fast writing. But, again, I digress.

Moving on. Let me give you the shotgun version of what the “Patriot Act” accomplished. Listen up.

“To assist in terror investigation”, the “Patriot Act” allows for:

  • The monitoring of religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity. (Translation: wire taps without warrants.)
  • The removal of once public government information, the closing of once public hearings, and the resisting of public information requests. (Translation: what you don’t know can’t hurt you.)
  • The prosecution of librarians or keepers of public records for revealing information about records that have been subpoenaed. (Does this really need a translation? Prosecution of librarians? Really?)
  • The monitoring of conversations between attorneys and their clients, and denying Americans legal representation. (Translation: that pesky little Miranda thing? “You are entitled to an attorney…” Ha.)
  • The search and seizure of Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause and without a warrant. (Uh, there are not words.)
  • The imprisonment of Americans indefinitely without a trial and without being charged or being able to face their accusers. (This just gets better and better, right?)

Well, actually, no it doesn’t. I could go on and list more, but I think you get the idea. If you would like to read further, you can always go here: http://www.congress.gov/bill/107th-congress/house-bill/3162.

My point here is that the Constitution really doesn’t apply any more. Sure, we can moan and groan and say they are violating our rights, but, seriously, who is there to stop them? The government decided, long ago, that they controlled what and which “rights” they wanted to let us have, and when they care to let us have them. The rights our status as human beings gave us, and the framers of our government tried to protect for us, are now only privileges, dispensed by the autocracy at their convenience, revoked at their whim.

So, what if the Constitution no longer applied? We are already there, people. We are already there.

But will it keep you out of Heaven?

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Yesterday I spoke to the LGBT community. Today, I’m talking to the Christians.

Sigh. I’m so tired of having this conversation. I’m so tired of Christians using the Bible as an excuse to be assholes. I’m so tired of arguing with my family members about this. I’m just tired of it. But here goes.

I know by now I shouldn’t be, but I am constantly amazed at the hatred and intolerance I see every day when it comes to gays and lesbians. If you are a Christian, your number one rule should be NOT TO JUDGE. Period. You should worry about your own “sins” instead of damning others.

At no point should yours or anyone else’s religious beliefs dictate legislation in this country. No one, and I mean no one should be kept from having a marriage ceremony simply because your religious book says it is a sin. If we allow religion to dictate public policy, where does it stop? When people of the Islamic faith start demanding Sharia law be implemented? Hmm?

A gay couple pledging their love for one another with a ceremony and a ring IN NO WAY infringes on your right to be straight. They aren’t hurting you. They just want to live their lives and be happy like everyone else.

At no point will anyone in the LGBT community keep you from going to heaven. Them being gay should be no skin off your nose. It doesn’t affect you. They aren’t hurting you. In any way. Hell, you could even choose to be friends with one of them. GASP. What a concept. Imagine what you could accomplish by treating every one with the same respect that you treated your friends from church. You can attract a lot more flies with honey. Ya know?

I was raised in a Christian faith. I know what the Bible says. I know that it says homosexuality is a sin. An abomination. See, though, here’s the deal. The Bible says a lot of stuff that you don’t pay any attention to. Why is the LGBT community such a target for you?

Let’s talk a little bit about what else the Bible says. It says that if you marry, you are married to that person for the rest of your lives. It says that if you divorce that person, and remarry someone else then you are committing adultery. When you are screening customers in your place of business, do you ask if they are divorced? If you own a florist, and refuse to do flowers for a same-sex wedding, do you also refuse to do flowers for a couple who are both divorced? No? Why the hell not? They are all sinners in the eyes of the Lord. According to you. 

While I still support you right to deny service to whomever you choose, I feel that your reasons for choosing are quite hypocritical. If you are going to deny service to gays based on your religious beliefs, then shouldn’t you also deny service to other sinners? You could even deny service to barefoot child in search of an ICE E if you choose. If their money isn’t good enough for you, they can always go somewhere else. But my question to you is this: why? Will it keep you out of heaven? Will it damage your relationship with your god?

Actually, if you were truly a Christian, you would treat all sinners with the same respect you would someone from your church. Did Jesus treat sinners any differently? Aren’t Christians supposed to be emulating Jesus? Trying to be like Him? Well, if you are trying to be like Him, some of you are failing miserably.

Let’s talk about those pesky little religious freedom bills. I get the premise behind them. I get that you shouldn’t be sued for being assholes and denying service to someone simply because they are gay. You already had the right to deny service in your business to whomever you pleased. The courts seem to have forgotten what the Constitution says when they allowed some of those lawsuits. I get it. But do you understand what a storm those laws are going to start? Do you?

Let’s say that I owned a place of business and beside my “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” sign, I decide to put a “No Methodists Allowed” sign. Let’s just say I’m doing it because I’m Church of Christ and everyone knows the C of C believes they are the only ones going to heaven. So in my opinion, everyone else is going to hell and I shouldn’t have to serve you. Makes perfect sense, right? Right?

Would you put a sign in your window that says:

“No Catholics allowed”

“We do not do business with Protestants”

“No Muslims”

“Blacks not allowed”

“Absolutely No Gays”

It wasn’t too long ago that there were signs that said “Whites Only” or “Dogs and Irish Not Allowed.”

When and where does it stop?

Please tell me, because I’m really sick of having this conversation. Some Christians are acting decidedly UnChristian-like and it makes Christians everywhere look like a bunch of hate-mongers. Yes, I said it. What are you prepared to do to change it? Because, like I said, making a cake for a gay couple will not jeopardize your place in heaven if you indeed have one. 

I know that all Christians aren’t like this. I know that the majority of Christians are more tolerant, more humane — and most Christian business owners are more intelligent — than the vocal minority that helped start this whole uproar.
But to the moralistic bigots in the crowd that insist on being bigots, here’s your sign.

“…But the greatest of these is love.” 

Shouldn’t we all just love one another?

You can’t have it both ways… And this is still America.

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To the LGBT community:

Disclaimer: I love y’all. One of my best friends is a gay man who I completely adore. My uncle is a gay man who looks at me as the daughter he never had, and I adore him as well. I have no ill thoughts against anyone who identifies as LGBT. If I owned a flower shop and a gay couple came in to buy flowers for their wedding I would be all over that shit. I would make the most gorgeous flowers they had ever seen. I don’t care who you marry, as long as you are happy, and pay the bill.

Do I think you should be discriminated against? Of course not. Do I think you should have the same rights as hetero couples and be allowed to marry and carry each other on your respective insurances? Absolutely. Do I believe that you have the right to live the life you choose, without any interference from a church or the government? You damn skippy. You can have as many husbands and/or wives as you want. You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.

There. We got that out of the way. Now, here comes the hard part. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t expect to be free to do what you want with whomever you want and not give a person with religious convictions the same courtesy. You see, I don’t believe that a person who owns a florist should be forced to do the flowers for your same-sex wedding if their religious convictions are such that they believe what you are doing is wrong. This is still America. Religious freedom and all that. The government doesn’t tell us that we have to worship in a certain church. The government doesn’t tell us which god to worship. The government doesn’t tell you who you can and can’t sleep with.  You shouldn’t expect to go into a bakery and force that person to make a cake for your wedding just because you are gay and you say he or she should. You shouldn’t be allowed to sue said baker because he or she refused to make a cake for you based on their religious convictions. Get over it. Go to another baker. It’s that simple.

Let’s play a game, shall we? Let’s say that there is a Jewish photographer. He is a really good photographer and people hire him all the time to take pictures. Let’s say that there is going to be a Neo-Nazi rally in that photographer’s town and the “event coordinators” (I know this is a stretch, work with me here) call the Jewish photographer to hire him to take pictures of the rally. Do you think that Jewish photographer should be forced to cover that rally? No matter what he believes? Well, hell no, he shouldn’t. Jeezus. Come on, people. Be reasonable. You can’t expect the government to force him to take pictures at that rally any more than you can expect the government to force a baker to bake you a cake for your same-sex wedding, any more than you can expect the government to tell you that you can’t have sex with your partner. Whomever he or she may be.

If a baker refuses to bake you a cake, or a florist refuses to do your flowers, you have another recourse. You can go to another bakery, and another florist. You can post a rant on Facebook and tell all your friends. Your friends can then decide if they want to continue giving those businesses their patronage. It’s called a free market for a reason. The government can’t tell you what florist to go to. If you don’t like one, go to another. It’s just common sense. Like I said, get over it.

Now, here’s the rub. These religious freedom laws that are being passed are ridiculous. We are already supposed to have religious freedom. We are already supposed to have free speech. They are little things called natural rights, granted to us because we are human beings and protected for us by the Constitution. I don’t agree with devil worshipers, but they damn well have a right to worship whoever they damn well chose. Another law will not make religious freedom any more established or secure. Another law will only give the government more power!

To those who are comparing the religious freedom laws to Jim Crow laws that were in effect before the civil rights movement, hear me out. Those laws were put in place to force businesses to discriminate. The fact that the businesses agreed with the laws was and is irrelevant. There was a law on the books that said blacks had to sit in the back of a bus. That blacks couldn’t sit at lunch counters or use public facilities deemed for whites only. These religious freedom laws allow for businesses to refuse service to anyone for whatever reason without repercussions. If a overly obese man goes into a Chinese buffet, and grazes for four hours, that Chinese restaurant can say, “You go home now” if they so chose. They should be allowed to do so without having to worry about the obese man filing a lawsuit.

You walk up to the door of a business and it says “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Gasp. They are discriminating against barefoot people. I spent a great deal of my childhood walking to the 7-Eleven down the street from my grandma’s house in Florida barefoot as a yard dog to get an ICE E. The guy that owned the 7-Eleven never told me get out because I didn’t have any shoes on. He knew I was there to buy an ICE E and he wanted my money. If a business wants your money, they will make that cake for you. If they don’t want your money, if your money isn’t good enough for them, then go your ass to a bakery who has better sense. It’s that simple.

Yes, this is going open doors that we wish we hadn’t opened. It is going to open the doors for all kinds of discrimination. It is going to allow people to show their true colors as the bigots they are. As repugnant and distasteful as I find that, this is America. Warts and all. The fact that the Ku Klux Klan still exists in this country is deplorable to me, but the fact that they have a right to exist if they so choose is not. As much as their existence disgusts me, there’s not a thing I want the government to do about it. Therein lies TYRANNY.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.      -Evelyn Beatrice Hall

Until next time.