Abortion, Restaurant Shooting, No. Korea, LBGT

Sometimes there are so many things going on in the world, it’s difficult to focus on just one. So I’ve decided to temporarily abandon my usual singular subject post and cover a multitude of topics.

Repeal of Abortion Ban in Ireland

The women are celebrating … the Christians are complaining.

I’ve written before on this very touchy subject so I won’t go into a long, drawn-out commentary except to say I’m thrilled the vote went the way it did. It’s way past time to overturn antiquated laws that deny women’s rights. Go women of Ireland!

Shooting in Oklahoma Restaurant 

The NRA folks are just giddy that “good guys” with guns stepped in at an Oklahoma restaurant shooting. Yippee! Hooray! Justification for not only owning a gun, but running to get it out of the car and shooting the bad guy. Yet they have little to say when someone walks into a school with an assault rifle in their immediate possession and kills innocent children and young people!

There’s something else that’s disturbing about this story. One news source reported the incident as follows: “A man who believed he had been under demonic attacks drove to an Oklahoma restaurant and indiscriminately fired at a crowd.” Did you notice the most important words in this sentence? What do those words tell you about the attacker?

Meeting with No. Korea

There’s not much to say about this except that I truly hope it doesn’t take place. As many of you recognize, our president is NOT the Great Negotiator he thinks he is. Further, his primary goal is not to reach any kind of peace agreement with Kim Jong-un, but to enhance his own ego for (finally) accomplishing something notable as POTUS. (Side note: Several in his administration disagree with his decision to go forward, but of course tRumpsky knows best!)

Supreme Court Decision on Discrimination

It seems a decision is forthcoming on the “wedding cake” fiasco. The matter of general discrimination against LGBT people is still being discussed.  The latter is the all-important one as it determines whether businesses can avoid complying with anti-discrimination measures in serving customers, hiring and firing employees, providing health care, and placing children with foster or adoptive parents simply based on religious objections.

To those of us who have strong feelings related to the imposition of religion into the general population, it’s simply unfathomable that human beings (of which we all are) can be denied certain things simply because they don’t fit the parameters of the Christian faith.


OK — I’ve said my piece. The floor is open.

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23 thoughts on “Abortion, Restaurant Shooting, No. Korea, LBGT

  1. I wonder how Christians would feel if a bakery refused to make a cake in the shape of a crucifix because the owners were Muslim or non-Christians in some other way? Something tells me they’d rant and rave about it the horrible injustice of it all.

    Liked by 8 people

    • So, if the bakery was asked to make a cake in the shape of a swastika, they have to comply, even if the bakery was staffed by descendants of Auschwitz survivors? Or how about a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide being asked to make a cake in the likeness of Pol Pot? What I find disturbing, in this sort of discussion is the failure to differentiate between the product and the people involved in the transaction.

      If I decide to sell only round cakes topped with either flowers and bells or bride and groom, that should be my choice. I should not be required to sell square cakes with bride and bride on top, just as I should not be required to make a sponge cake when I prefer to make traditional fruit cakes. If a Roman Catholic owner of a supermarket decided he couldn’t in “good conscience” sell birth control products, that should be his prerogative.

      In Aotearoa New Zealand, our human rights laws don’t cover behaviour between private individuals, but otherwise it’s illegal to discriminate on the grounds of gender, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic, national origin, nationality, citizenship, disability, age, political opinion (or lack of), employment status, family status, or sexual orientation.

      It’s right and proper that I cannot refuse to provide a service or product based on the customer’s sexual orientation, but it still allows me to choose whether or not to put anything other than a bride and groom on top of a cake.

      Of course, a Christian has the right to feel offended if a Muslim baker refused to make a cake in the shape of a cross, just as a gay couple have a right to feel offended if a Christian baker refused to make a cake with two grooms on top. But being offended is not sufficient grounds for requiring the other party to make a product they do not wish to make.

      I do appreciate direct comparisons between NZ and the US are difficult, such as in health cover. Most, but not all, health services in NZ are funded by the state and employers are not required to provide any health cover at all. If a business chooses to provide cover for (for example) dentistry or optometry, or visits to the GP, or paid leave to tale care of a sick pet, these are considered part of the remuneration package and not seen as being a right or privilege being denied if an employer does not provide them.

      I do admit that Christian privilege exists in America in a way that we haven’t seen for a hundred years, and perhaps never existed here. Even such a phrase as “God bless America” seems to be a cringe worthy call. Religion is considered a private matter, and for a politician or public figure to include “God bless New Zealand” in a public address, would not only be inappropriate, but lower the public’s respect for the speaker.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “So, if the bakery was asked to make a cake in the shape of a swastika, they have to comply, even if the bakery was staffed by descendants of Auschwitz survivors?” Absolutely NOT. You’ve missed the WHOLE point of what I said. By all means, if you have a bakery and don’t want to make cakes for Catholics, Jews, women, kids, puppies, then don’t. It’s your choice cause it’s your business. My point is what would Christians say if a baker refused to bake THEM a Jesus cake or a cake in the shape of a cross? They’d scream bloody murder and claim discrimination–that’s what they’d do. “Oh, that evil baker, Henry Dinkleberry won’t make a cake cause he hates Christians! BURN’ EM DOWN!!! We’re being mocked! There’s a WAR on Christianity! It’s SO unfair!” It’s perfectly alright for a Christian to refuse to bake a wedding cake for for a gay couple, but, to Christians here in the states, it doesn’t work for them the other way around. THAT WAS THE POINT!! By all means, bake or don’t bake cakes for whoever the hell you want or don’t want. Be prepared to lose money and face horrific backlash, though, if you refuse to do so for Christians because you don’t care to bake cakes for them. I assure you, you’d go out of business in minutes.

        Liked by 2 people

        • cake in the shape of a crucifix“. That was what I was responding to.

          I guess what really irks me is that all too often reference is made to Christians when in reality, the reference is to a specific subsection of that tradition. Let’s face it, there’s not a single article of faith that is common to all Christian traditions, with the exception that, in various ways, they claim that they value the teachings of someone who they refer to as Jesus of Nazareth. And even then they can’t agree on what those teachings mean.

          The non-religious rightfully get annoyed when Biblicists make claims about atheists as a group. Likewise I can understand why many Christians get annoyed when when others make claims that are not relevant to their own tradition.

          In America, everyone takes religion seriously, whether or not one is religious, whereas here, Apatheism and Religious pluralism is the norm – no one gives a stuff about there being a “true” religion. Each to their own. Unfortunately, the long arm of American Christian fundamentalism now extends all the way to NZ, causing a small but vocal section of the population to wind their religious thinking backwards to a pre-enlightenment era.

          I own a small web hosting business (it keeps me occupied and sane since health issues forced an early retirement) and I shut down a Christian web site for no other reason than I did not like the message they were proclaiming. Apart from the group itself, no other Christian expressed they disapproved of my decision. In fact a number expressed their support. I don’t live in the US, so I have no fear of a backlash from Christians

          When our advertising standards authority required a church remove a sign saying that Jesus cures cancer, only the fundamentalists tried to claim it was war on Christianity. A number of mainline churches agreed with the authority that such a claim is false, gives false hope and can cause harm. Perhaps that wouldn’t happen in the US?

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      • There is also something missed in your argument.
        If a neo-nazi walked into a bakery and asked for a cake that those bakers make for anyone else they should have to make it for him and they should not be able to refuse based on what he plans to do with that cake once he leaves.
        If a gay couple orders a cake then the bakery should only be able to refuse if it does not fall within the guidelines of the cakes they’d make for anyone else (if they only make fruitcake and the couple wants pound cake).
        What makes it wrong is the baker refusing to make the cake for the gay couple but agreeing to make the exact same cake for a heterosexual couple.

        Liked by 4 people

        • I do take some issue with the argument that they should not be able to refuse based on what he plans to do with a product once he leaves. Should a store keeper be allowed to refuse a sale of glue to a person she believes is a solvent abuser? Should a pet shop owner have the right to refuse to sell a kitten to someone who informs the shop owner that the kitten will be sacrificed as part of a cultural ceremony? Or how about a sporting goods proprietor refusing to sell a baseball bat when the prospective purchaser has implied that he wants to keep it in his car or home for self defence? In this country such use of an object constitutes carrying/owning an offensive weapon and is illegal. Or how about your right not to do business with me simply because you don’t like me? At what point should discretion to choose whether or not to conduct business be legislated away?

          Liked by 2 people

          • I get it, I believe most issues worth talking about are multi faceted. It is too easy to slide into viewing the world as black or white, but it is the full spectrum that makes it beautiful. Personally, having spent many years studying the bible, I find it very frustrating when people try to use it as an excuse to discriminate. To me, those people missed the point.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. For a group that likes to spout the Golden Rule as a primary contribution to ethical thinking, which predates them anyway, it’s always bizarre when they don’t follow it. I can’t imagine anyone would like to walk into a place of business in order to obtain a service or to purchase a good, and be told they can’t shop here or it won’t be done for them because they are an X.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. The topic of abortion is fraught with a number of highly volatile issues, but all said and done, I am thrilled the
    Church was metaphorically shown the middle finger. That can only be a good thing.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. Some very important topics and news Nan. Thank you! Regarding…

    Repeal of Abortion Ban in Ireland:

    Outstanding action in Ireland! This is an extreme, oversimplified, BRIEF summary of my initial thoughts. Pro-Life has several flawed and problematic concepts. A majority of Christians believe human life begins at the moment of conception or fertilization as a zygote. This view, however, poses a problem. If for some uncontrolleable reason a zygote does not enter the uterus — i.e. a miscarriage or stillbirth — does the zygote, embryo, or fetus go to heaven? When exactly is life worthy of eternal heaven or hell and why? There is no sensible, fair way to resolve this biblical conundrum.

    Shooting in Oklahoma Restaurant:

    If police officers just by chance had been 2-doors down, or a block away from this restaurant and either heard the shots or immediately got the 9-1-1 call from someone nearby or just outside of the restaurant, then those two officers running to the scene see that “Good Guy” get his gun/rifle out of his car to run back into the restaurant… WHAT are all the possibilities then and there in a matter of milli-seconds could happen? Friend or Foe? With the shooter inside or not? Two officers are now delayed because THEY have to waste how many life-saving seconds or minutes determing who tha HELL is this guy and is he lying to us officers!?

    What do those words tell you about the [demon-possed] attacker? Immediately for me is “acute schizophrenia” as a strong possibility? Or a number of other acute mental-neurological disorders.

    Meeting with No. Korea:

    Many surviving State Department officials — that tRumpsky hasn’t fired or has yet to fire — and former State Dept officials, CIA, foreign embassy officials and diplomats all have pretty much predicted that Kim Jong-un was playing tRumpsky the entire time. Jong-un and his predecessors have a long history of “punking” their perceived enemy leaders. Had our President known this from decades/years of governmental service and foreign affairs and diplomacy, and listened to the consults from State Dept officials with enormous years of experience in foreign diplomacy and policies… most all of them agree tRump would’ve/should’ve approached N. Korea (entirely) differently rather than turning it into a theatrical peacocking, strutting and bowing-up laughable show/circus.

    Supreme Court Decision on Discrimination:

    I’ve covered this general-public, Conservative/Religious ignorance about embryology, endocrinology, neurology, fetal-familial genetics, inter-sexed births, sexual ambiguity, etc, etc, ALL of which are formed and developed well before birth by many variables past and present… until I’m blue in the face. To put in religious or Christian terms, these infinite differentials, abnormalities or not, ailments or not, are all God’s doing, intentions, and final products from His workshop BEFORE BIRTH!

    Essentially what these naive, ignorant religious zealots are doing — other than illegally imposing their “faiths” upon a free people governed and protected by a secular Constitution explicitly separating Church and State — is imposing a post-natal fascist theocracy over/against an embryological condition umm, designed by God? Umm, over/against life and liberty? Or should it be termed Anti-Life, Anti-Choice? 😮 Is this the dawning of de-evolution by humanity? 🤔

    Liked by 6 people

    • Good thoughts, PT! (And also much more concise than usual. 👍😍)

      Re: the restaurant shooter … my attention was immediately drawn to the words: “believed he had been under demonic attacks.” IOW, another individual who had been brainwashed by the oh-so-holy Christian teachings about that Big Bad Guy and his cohorts.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hahahaha! Touche! Guilty as charged Nan. I have my good days, not so good days, and some brain-dead brain-fart days too. I know those days and evenings of being rested and mentally sharp really do help me compose decent-to-good blog-posts and WordPress comments. LOL That’s life, huh? 😉 😛

        …brainwashed by the oh-so-holy Christian teachings about that Big Bad Guy and his cohorts.

        Oh, indeed! I describe it as chosing to be unaccountable or shucking your self responsibility toward and for YOUR part of humanity and blaming something else, fabricating excuses and then becoming complicit or a quiter who always seeks the path of least resistence as a qualified, needed member of the entire human family. Isn’t it so very frustrating when a team member refuses to carry their own weight and do their part for the Greater Good? Grrrrrrrr. 😞

        Like

        • I disagree with you. I don’t think the guy was “blaming something else” as a defense, nor was he “shucking” responsibility. IMO, he was a tad mentally disturbed to start with. Then the church’s teaching related to demon possession filled his head and … well, the results are obvious.

          In my “church years,” we were regularly cautioned that Satan and his demons were always in the background … tempting, taunting, causing you to S.I.N. Most took it with a grain of salt, but there were those who truly believed these “spirits” were REAL. I think this guy was one of them.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ahh, you might know much more about the shooter than I do — I haven’t followed the story and don’t know what has developed about his mental-emotional case and background.

            I am just commenting from my own experience in the Psych/A&D field. Generally speaking, in mental-illness there are often no clear-cut demarcations of “psychologically disturbed” people with possible anti-social behaviors versus acute schizophrenia with visual/auditory hallucinations — something MANY people who believe in Satan, demons, etc, as well as angels and holy spirits — that is indeed easily diagnosed. And to nail down exactly what is going on with a violent, disturbed person (like a shooter) from a medical psychological viewpoint, CANNOT BE DONE in a matter of a few days or 1-2 weeks. Every case, every person is different.

            That said, many Psych/A&D studies the last 30-40 years have shown that many of these shooters or violent offenders are not psychologically disturbed because they exhibit degrees of sufficient stable self-awareness, remorse, and/or compassion. Acute schizophrenics with hallucinations usually can’t exhibit stability unless on proper medication and within some type of rigid structure. There are plenty of people out there completely sane, but commit heinous crimes like mass shootings — i.e. it is an episode, not a full on disease, if that makes sense. 🙂 ❤

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            • No, I haven’t followed the story. However, I did come across this — A Facebook page police said belonged to Tilghman [the shooter] contained a video in which he claimed his television was possessed by the devil. Seems like maybe he truly did have some “problems.”

              Obviously, I can’t counter your clinical experiences. My opinion is totally based on what I did read plus my personal experiences while I was a “faithful Christian.”

              Liked by 1 person

            • My opinion is totally based on what I did read plus my personal experiences while I was a “faithful Christian.”

              Can relate well to your experiences as a “faithful Christian” too Nan. During my 11-years of it I visited 3-4 times most all Protestant denominations and Catholic churches; the only exception was Mormon and LDS churches. However, I spent the majority of my time in PCA-PCUSA, my seminary (RTS), and while married at a Non-Denominational church with the “Prosperity Gospel/Theology” and speaking in tongues and plenty of dancing. LOL Those were my ex-wife’s favorite churches. With my education and clinical experience and exposure, I very often wondered how many inside this church could be diagnosed from the DSM-5. There were candidates for sure. I had an odd, uncanny position of assessing and assisting possible inpatient admissions on a daily basis OUTSIDE the Church, while also being inside the church(es). Delineating what is normal(?) emotional excitement/inspiration, Mob/Herd mentality versus Psychological instability or acute psychosis… isn’t always so easy.

              It does sound as if Tilghman fits in the category of some psychosis or schizophrenia, but try telling that to zealous Christians or hyper-spiritual Believers. HAH! You could get stoned to death… and not on cannibus! 😛 😉

              Liked by 1 person

  5. I am always reminded that 94% of American Catholic women use birth control at some point in their lives. Yet the Catholic Bishops are still trying to get the government to support their anti-contraception policy when they themselves cannot enforce it. Reinforces my point that a religion exists as long as it coerces the masses to serve the interests of the secular and religious elites. And the secular and religious elites work together to this end.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. good point, Steve. My cousin and his wife, both part of a Catholic family (as I was) found themselves with seven kids in about nine years. His wife, good Catholic that she was, was also aware that it was her body and her life, and said, to hell with the church. Birth Control. Now.

    Birth choices (to have, to avoid, to reject) should first and always be up to the mother. No one seems to realize or care that whatever she chooses, she knows she will be living with that choice for the rest of her life.

    No one anywhere should come between a woman and her choice to have a child or not. This is as militant and controlling as Nazi Germany was, with selected breeding programs.

    And an excellent point, Taboo, about the cops and the ‘good guy’.

    Liked by 3 people

    • No one anywhere should come between a woman and her choice to have a child or not. — I have said this time and again … and will continue to do so every chance I get!

      What I find so irritating is the number of MEN who are anti-abortion. I don’t think I need to say anymore …

      Like

  7. Nice post! The lifting of the ban on abortions in Ireland was long overdue, and now Northern Ireland is hoping to follow suit. As for the shooting in the Oklahoma restaurant … isn’t it interesting that on Friday there was a school shooting in Indiana where the shooter was stopped by an UNARMED teacher, and the NRA is silent on that. They cherry-pick the stories, and I still think there are some details missing from the Oklahoma story, too. Like you, I don’t think anything good will come from a summit between Kim and Trump, and likely it would end in more conflict. Trump is playing games with his on-again-off-again dialog, and games of his sort have no place in international relations. And as for the LGBT case … sigh … with Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, I fear the outcome will not be what you and I hope for and will only open the door for further discrimination. I hope I’m wrong, though.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ex-Catholic here, 6 kids in 9 years.

    Not that I would change any of it, it’s just that the one and only reason we did not use birth control was because of the religion.

    Liked by 2 people

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