They do not consider the tablets a choking hazard.
Well, it's another victory for parental rights in education!
The Texas Senate has voted in favor of two bills designed to shove Christianity down the unwilling throats of all children in the public education system — so that good Christian parents don't have to worry about sending their kids to school with heathens.
Senate Bill 1515 would require every single classroom to put the Ten Commandments up in a place where all of the children can see it every day and therefore be reminded that they should not covet anyone else's wife or put any other god before the Christian god, regardless of their personal beliefs. This doesn't mean they can't have their own religion, of course — they will be free to worship however they like, so long as they put the Christian god first.
Senate Bill 1396 will require "every campus of the district or school to provide students and employees with an opportunity to participate in a period of prayer and reading of the Bible or other religious text on each school day in accordance with this section."
The bill will also require parents to sign a permission slip stating that they know their child has a "choice" to participate or not, that they don't "object to the student's or employee's participation in or hearing of the prayers or readings offered during the period," and that it is "an express waiver of the person's right to bring a claim under state or federal law arising out of the adoption of a policy under this section, including a claim under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or a related state or federal law, releasing the district or school and district or school employees from liability for those claims brought in state or federal court."
So basically it's "It should be totally fine to establish religion in a public school, just as long as everyone goes ahead and signs away their First Amendment right for the government to not establish religion in a public school, which is definitely a thing you can do."
The awkward thing here is that the Establishment Clause is not actually about an individual right to not have the government foist religion upon them, it is about the government not actually being allowed to foist religion on people whether they want it or not. It's not an option. There are lots of people out there who would love to have the government enforce their religion, to celebrate their religion, but that is not something they get to have.
The people supporting the law are very excited about the fact that it may, unlike previous attempts to force prayer on school children since Engel v. Vitale in 1962, actually be approved by the Supreme Court. This is because, last year, the court sided with Joe Kennedy, a Washington state football coach who had been leading his team in prayer before games — effectively overruling Lemon v. Kurtzman, which famously established the three-prong Lemon test to determine violations of the Establishment clause:
- The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as the Purpose Prong)
- The principal or primary effect of the statute must neither advance nor inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)
- The statute must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)
They then decided to replace that test with a mysterious "history and tradition" test, but did not tell anyone what this test entails.
According to the Texas Tribune, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that both bills are wins for religious freedom in Texas, despite the fact that they are literally the exact opposite of that.
“I believe that you cannot change the culture of the country until you change the culture of mankind,” he said. “Bringing the Ten Commandments and prayer back to our public schools will enable our students to become better Texans.”
Because "thoughts and prayers" have really been such an effective tactic for fighting school shootings.
Is it that Patrick thinks that Christian parents are doing a bad job of raising their children in their religion and require help from the schools or that children who are not Christian need to have Christianity forced upon them in school because their own parents did a bad job picking out a belief system for their families? It's gotta be one of the two and both seem pretty darn unconstitutional. That is, if you consider the Constitution to be anything more than a slip of paper that says you get to own a nuclear bomb if you like.
Christian Nationalism has become a popular idea among America's wackiest Republicans, including people like Marjorie Taylor Greene who is about to publish a book titled The Case for Christian Nationalism, ghostwritten by Milo Yiannopoulos. After all, how are they supposed to be able to enjoy their religion if they can't force it on other people?
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Federal 'Fugitive Uterus Act' sure to follow.
In Idaho's latest bid to out-draconian all other states' anti-abortion laws, the Idaho House is on track to pass the nation's very first ban on pregnant minors traveling to other states to get an abortion. The bill, Idaho HB 242, would create a brand new crime called "abortion trafficking," defined thusly:
An adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor, either procures an abortion [...] or obtains an abortion-inducing drug for the pregnant minor to use for an abortion by recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state commits the crime of abortion trafficking.
The brilliantly sneaky thing about the law is that it doesn't explicitly ban minors from leaving the state to get an abortion, which could end up in sticky multi-jurisdictional litigation. But because virtually all abortions in Idaho are already illegal, the law doesn't actually require someone to cross state lines with a pregnant minor to get an abortion. Rather, it's enough to be "transporting" the minor in the direction of Oregon or Washington, or to an Idaho airport, with the intent of getting an abortion.
The law also prohibits any adult who's not a parent or guardian from obtaining abortion medications for a minor. Yes, it would very much penalize other nonparental family members, like an older sibling or a single aunt who listens to Indigo Girls on her Subaru Forrester's audio system.
The new offense would be a felony, and guilty parties could be imprisoned for two to five years. And just to make sure no wild-eyed feminist DA's in the state's Marxist university towns get any bright ideas about not prosecuting an accused abortion trafficker, the law would let the state attorney general intervene to overrule local prosecutors who decline prosecution.
Even if a parent or guardian gave permission for another adult to help a teen get a legal abortion, the designated trafficker would still have to be prosecuted, but they would be allowed the "affirmative defense" of showing they had the parent's permission. It's similar to Idaho's "life of the mother" exception for abortion. All abortions are illegal, but doctors and nurses can present as a defense their evidence that the pregnant patient was in imminent danger of death, and hope the judge agrees.
David Cohen, a law prof at Drexel University in Philadelphia, told HuffPost that the Idaho lawmakers who drafted the Fugitive Uterus Act were, if not exactly clever, at least possessed of a certain low cunning.
"Technically, they’re not criminalizing people driving in Washington state with a minor. The crime is the time that someone is driving the minor in Idaho. [...]
"They’re going to say what they’re doing is just criminalizing actions that take place completely within Idaho, but in practice what they’re criminalizing is the person helping the minor."
The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Barbara Ehart, happily acknowledged to HuffPost that the bill was aimed at preventing Idaho minors from seeking abortion care outside the state, explaining that
"It’s already illegal to get an abortion here in the state of Idaho. [...] So, it would be taking that child across the border, and if that happens without the permission of the parent, that’s where we’ll be able to hold accountable those that would subvert a parent’s right."
Ehart also insisted that she wouldn't dream of interfering with parental rights, at least not until that seems likely to survive a court challenge:
"A parent absolutely still has the right to take their child across the border and get an abortion,” Ehardt added. “The parent still has the right to cede that power and authority to someone else, such as a grandparent or an aunt, to take that child, should they be pregnant, across the border and get an abortion."
We'll just assume she then faked a coughing fit and muttered "For now."
State Senate Minority Leader Melissa Wintrow (D), who represents Yr Dok Zoom's Boise district, told HuffPost that HB 242 is only one part of an overall Republican strategy of incrementally piling on any abortion restrictions they think they can get past the courts.
"The far right has an incremental plan. It’s death by a thousand cuts on many things, but they’re especially unrelenting on abortion. [...] My colleagues are just rabid about denying all access to abortion care. It’s really harmful to women, and it’s harmful to our state."
HuffPost also points out that the Idaho bill was copied "nearly word for word from a model law published by the National Right to Life Committee," and then written up for Ehart by the Idaho affiliate of the national group.
And of course, for all the talk of "parental rights" and making sure pregnant teens aren't spirited out of the state by an evil adult 'bortion trafficker, HuffPost points out that
Studies show that requiring parental involvement can increase the risk of harm or abuse, delay care and lead minors to seek out dangerous alternatives. The risk of abuse is especially acute for LGBTQ kids.
Still, that shouldn't be a problem, since Idaho's already working to make LGBTQ+ teens illegal as well, the end.
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Reminder: the authorities haven't even stated a motive in the Nashville mass shooting.
Following Monday's horrific mass shooting at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, the rightwing outrage machine has finally decided America needs to do something about gun violence. Just kidding, they'd rather ignore the guns and continue escalating panic over transgender people to even greater levels.
Among the few things we know about the shooter, Audrey Hale, who was killed by police just 15 minutes after the attack began, is that Hale was a former student of the school, that Hale had in recent months begun identifying online as transgender, using he/him pronouns in a LinkedIn account, and that police found some writings in Hale's house that they're calling a "manifesto," although whatever that constitutes hasn't yet been released.
That was all rightwing media and politicians needed to know to proclaim not only that Hale was motivated by being trans, but also that Hale absolutely hated Christianity and Christians, because after all, the target was a Christian school. Lost in that certainty, of course, is the detail that Hale had attended that very school as a child. Therefore, like many school shooters, Hale was attacking a familiar target.
The New York Post's very responsible front page yesterday screamed a bunch of stuff that there's no actual evidence for, all mostly based on unfounded speculation. It proclaimed, "TRANSGENDER KILLER TARGETS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL," implying both that Hale's being trans was the reason for the attack, and that their motive was to attack Christians, neither of which we actually know enough to say yet. The subhed made it even more bizarre, stating that "‘Manifesto’ leads to 6 dead, including three young kids." These manifestos are pretty deadly things!
As The Nation'sElie Mystal points out,
The “manifesto” did not “lead” to six dead people. The two assault rifles and handgun the shooter brought with them led to six dead people. If the shooter had shown up to school armed with a manifesto, everybody would still be alive.
The people writing headlines for the Post are probably evil, but they’re not stupid. They know exactly what they’re doing. [...]
As is usual for places where conservatives get their media, the Post takes real problems and inverts them to fit the white grievance narrative.
And so, as always, white Christians are justified in whatever fears they want to project on the despised minority, because for once, unlike in 98 percent of mass shootings, the shooter was not a cisgender white male with a gun. The killer was a trans person. With three guns, all of them purchased legally. (Part, we now know, of a seven gun arsenal Hale had purchased over the last few years.)
Evan has already looked at the insane persecution ravings of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Tucker Carlson, both of whom are equally certain that the school shooting portends a coming wave of trans people attacking innocent Christians. But Sen. Josh Hawley (R- Missouri), the culture warrior who frets about how feminists are stealing men's masculinity and hiding it in clever wooden boxes they buy on Etsy, yesterday went beyond mere rabble-rousing. Hawley sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to demand that the Nashville shooting be investigated as a "hate crime," because if someone shoots up a church school, the shooter must hate Christianity. That's just logic.
Hawley, based on a police statement that the school had been "targeted," added his own spin, going beyond anything police have actually said. Police have not yet identified a motive for the shootings, beyond saying it appears that Hale may have felt "some resentment for having to go to that school."
“It is commonplace to call such horrors ‘senseless violence,'" Hawley wrote, adding his very own explication that "properly speaking, that is false. Police report that the attack here was ‘targeted’ — targeted, that is, against Christians.” Which, again, police didn't say. (Is pointing that out three times enough?)
And yes, Josh Hawley knows damn well that the standard for a hate crimes prosecution is higher than "it happened at a church school, so it was a hate crime aimed at Christians."
Hawley's letter cited the federal hate crimes statute, emphasizing that it includes religion-based violence, and stretched the little we know so far to come to the conclusion that the shooting had to be a hate crime, even though so far police haven't released Hale's writings or said anything more than that suggestion that Hale felt "resentment" toward the school. Maybe it was religious resentment, sure. Or maybe it wasn't. But before we know any of that, Hawley wants the "full resources" of federal law enforcement thrown at investigating the attack, not only to discover the motive, but also to find out "who may have influenced the deranged shooter to carry out these horrific crimes." Wouldn't it be great to blame people in the LGBTQ+ rights movement, or maybe some militant atheists?
Hawley closed by solemnly stating, "Hate that leads to violence must be condemned. And hate crimes must be prosecuted." That seems like a pretty commonplace thought, until you're reminded that in 2021, when Asian Americans were being targeted for hate crimes during the pandemic, Hawley was the only senator to vote against a resolution calling for expedited review of those crimes by the DOJ.
At the time, Hawley warned that there was no reason to turn the "federal government into the speech police," and also fretted about letting the government have "sweeping authority to decide what counts as offensive speech and then monitor it."
But come now, that bill was clearly an attack on Donald Trump for calling COVID-19 the "China Virus" and the "Kung Flu," and Donald Trump's words are by definition not hateful, why would you even suggest such a thing?
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Andy Beshear was following the science when he vetoed an anti-trans bill.
Friday, Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear vetoed a vicious Republican bill that would have barred transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care and allowed teachers to humiliate students by refusing to refer to them by their preferred pronouns. Upon killing the bill, Beshear explained that he didn't want kids killing themselves and did not want the state meddling in people's personal medical choices.
Naturally, there are a lot of bigots who are especially upset about this development, and one of those bigots is someone we haven't really heard too much about in a while — Ken Ham, the creationist who created the Creation Museum. You know, the museum in Kentucky where you can go and see very historically accurate depictions of early humans palling around with dinosaurs — like in the documentary series "The Flintstones."
Ham, who believes the universe is only about 6,000 years old, issued a tweet blasting Beshear for disregarding science by listening to doctors, biologists, and psychologists rather than people whose entire understanding of sex and gender can be summed up in a quote from Kindergarten Cop.
It is a very long tweet because Ken Ham is the kind of sucker who pays to use Twitter. He writes:
Another politician showing blatant disregard for young people, for science, for parents and for God’s Word by Vetoing legislation he claims would harm children, but the opposite is true.
Well, sure, except for how young people are the ones telling you who they are, doctors are the ones providing the gender-affirming care, and parents are the ones taking them to get it.
Children and young people do not have the maturity to make life altering decisions (that are destructive regardless) advocated by the LGBTQ movement. So sad many will destroy their lives because politicians deny the obvious, there’s only two genders of humans, male and female. Science confirms it as males have a pair of XY chromosomes and females a pair of XX. And of course, God’s word makes it clear:
Except not everyone has XY or XX chromosomes. At least one in every 448 people are born with congenital sex chromosome variations like X (Turner syndrome), XXY (Klinefelter syndrome), XYY (Jacobs syndrome) and more. Intersex people also exist. Surely, if there are both chromosomal and phenotypic variations in sex, there can be variations in gender.
The people who are providing gender-affirming care, mind you, are doctors — i.e. people with actual backgrounds in biology. The people opposing gender-affirming care are politicians with no background in science and people who make recreations of giant arks in order to "demonstrate" how a 600-year-old guy from the Bible literally fit two of every animal on earth onboard in order to save all of the species (except unicorns, of course) from dying in a flood that God created to murder every human on earth because they were too sinful, after which he agreed not to flood the earth again so long as no one eats any blood.
It seems pretty clear whose understanding of "science" we ought to rely on.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
If God created men and women in his own image ... wouldn't that make him intersex? Or at least non-binary? Does God have a penis? And, if so, to what end? From what I know, he doesn't need that to get someone pregnant and prefers to just beam himself into a virgin's uterus, so what would he be using it for? I can't imagine he has to go to the bathroom.
What a travesty that this Governor would allow males to use women’s restrooms (and vice versa). By allowing young people to use the bathrooms of their choice is certainly a denial of the sin nature of man and what can happen because of that. Governor Beshear refers to his “faith,” — he needs to refer to the clear teaching of the Word of God on gender! The Governor does not own children, they belong to parents and ultimately to God. And they certainly don't belong to teachers.
If they belong to parents, shouldn't parents then be able to decide to get their children the care they need? And if they don't belong to teachers, then why does part of this bill allow teachers to misgender them?
Actually, contrary to what Gov Beshear claims, what the Kentucky legislature [ ... ] have passed are the strongest bills in the nation protecting kids, parents and teachers! Notice how the media always like to portray such legislation as "anti-trans" instead of "pro-children, pro-family, pro-parents" etc. Media like to use words they think will cause people to believe those passing such legislation are full of hate — which is not the truth at all. Yet, I often see hate from people directed at Christians/conservatives because they won't comply with the LGBT worldview.
Well, the reason no one calls these bills "pro-children, pro-family, pro-parents" is because they are, in fact, anti-all-of-those-things. If Christians and conservatives do not wish to have hate directed at them, perhaps they should stay out of people's business. When you insult people, get in their business, and tell them what medical care their kids are about to get, you can't exactly blame them for not liking you.
Now it is true that some people can struggle with emotional & medical issues as we live in a fallen world. Sin has affected us all. And we do need to show love to such people (as we should to all people) and help them in any way we can. Of course, if people reject God’s Word they will not understand this.
Is he suggesting that trans children are sinful?
Now, I fully admit that I don't know much about "God's Word," given that I do not believe in God. If I did believe that the God Ken Ham believes in existed, I sure as hell wouldn't worship him, because that guy sounds like a real asshole.
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