During a recent visit to Texas, President Barack Obama made a stop at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, where he ordered a ton of meat and was seen giving a cashier one of his famous fist bumps.
Read all about it at:
100 Faith Leaders To Obama: Religious Liberty Shouldn’t Be Used To Discriminate Against LGBT People
A group of more than 100 religious clergy, theologians, and faith leaders sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday urging him not to include religious exemptions in a forthcoming executive order prohibiting federal contractors from using hiring polices that discriminate against LGBT people.
Soon after President Obama announced in June his intention to issue an executive order protecting the rights of LGBT Americans who work for federal contractors, some religious organizations began pressuring the administration to include an exemption for faith groups with government contracts. They argued that because some faith traditions have yet to fully embrace LGBT equality, they should be able to opt out of the executive order while still using federal funds. But the 100 religious signers of Tuesday’s letter rebuked this position, insisting that the government is called to a higher standard of inclusiveness — especially when taxpayer money is involved.
“As faith and civic leaders dedicated to affirming the sacred dignity and equal worth of every person, we are grateful for your upcoming executive order ending discrimination against LGBT people in hiring by federal contractors,” the letter read. “We urge you not to include a religious exemption in the executive order. In keeping with the principle that our government must adhere to the highest standards of ethics and fairness in its own operations, we believe that public dollars should not be used to sanction discrimination.”
“Furthermore, if selective exemptions to the executive order were permitted, the people who would suffer most would be the people who always suffer most when discrimination is allowed: the individuals and communities that are already marginalized.”
The letter’s signers included several prominent Christian voices and clergy such as the Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, Bishop Melvin Talbert of the United Methodist Church, and Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Organizers of the letter also noted that among the signers were four former members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and five members of a presidential taskforce to reform the office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“It is not right for any person or any corporation to use their religious beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, to trample the rights and beliefs of others,” Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church and a signer of the letter, said in a press release. “Nothing could be more contrary to the Golden Rule, articulated in every world religion.”
The letter also listed the names of many non-Christian leaders who oppose an exemption, such as Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and Imam Daayiee Abdullah of the Light of Reform Mosque in Washington, D.C.
The move is a counterpoint to several other letters penned by faith leaders who favor a religious exemption. On June 25, a group of 140 conservative religious leaders asked the president to include an exemption to assist groups who “simply desire to utilize staffing practices consistent with their deep religious convictions.” The following Tuesday — the day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely held for profit corporations could ignore the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on religious grounds — another group of 14 Christian leaders relatively close to the administration sent a letter to the White House favoring a way for faith groups to ignore the executive order. Then, last Thursday, Buzzfeed reported the existence of a private letter to the president penned by Jim Wallis, head of Christian activist group Sojourners, that was circulated among many prominent clergy and also endorsed an exemption.
Despite these efforts, progressive people of faith remain firmly opposed to a religious exemption. An online petition blasting the proposed exemption posted last week by Faithful America, a progressive Christian online advocacy group, has already garnered more than 30,000 signatures by people of faith. Many prominent religious voices — including several that signed today’s letter — have also publicly opposed any religious exemption that would allow for the discrimination of LGBT people. In addition, a February 2014 poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that solid majorities of both political parties and every major religious group support workplace nondiscrimination laws for gay and lesbian people.
And while many religious and secular groups endorsed similar religious exemptions written into the Employee Nondiscrimination Act, LGBT groups such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are now opposing those as well. This mirrors the increasingly pro-LGBT perspective of the general public: a June poll conducted by the First Amendment Center found that a majority of Americans do not see an inherent conflict between recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples and “religious freedom.”
Random Political Graphics: Support American Workers, Buying American & Mr. Cheney how is eating unpatriotic?
Some of these graphics are an odd, yet accurate summation of my political beliefs. Of course, people sometimes ask, “But I thought you were a Democrat or a Liberal? But what’s with the posts?” So, let me dispel those nasty rumors.
I am an American Citizen, a business man and a patriot. I work in America, I support America and I believe by spending our money in America, on American made products (even if it might occasionally cost more) is the right thing to do.
I believe in the separation of Church and State. Not because I’m not Christian. Because I’m intelligent and understand that even though America is primarily a Christian nation, there are people here of all beliefs and religions. So, my religious beliefs, I my opinion should NOT be law. Moral guidelines? Absolutely. Law? No way. After all, if we turned every religion’s rules into law, no only would we have conflict if we can eat meat on Fridays and is eating shell fish wrong, we would end up violating our own religious rights in the process. Don’t force your beliefs on me and I won’t force mine on you.
I hear people complaining about all the social programs there are. But I find myself wondering, “why are we so upset about a social program that helps our veterans, that puts food in the mouths of our starving citizens?” There is so much waste in this country, not just in the federal government but in outrageous corporate subsides and federal programs. I think to continue to be a great nation, we must help our own citizens first.
Former Vice President Cheney, some countries in the past have focused on a strong military but not the welfare of their citizens. What good does it do to spend billions, if not trillions on military development when our population has millions who are hungry? How is feeding people unpatriotic? Please tell me you’re not idolizing the leaders of North Korea!
Eating is unpatriotic? It’s that kind of thinking that bothers me. And I’m not ready for a 3rd Bush.
Mind your own business, tea party members and conservatives. I find it ironic seeking freedoms from taxation, but want to regulate the personal freedoms of citizens. In case you missed it conservatives, part of a smaller government (and the deregulation many Republicans call for) doesn’t include regulating the lives of the American people. Deregulation doesn’t just apply to business, it applies to people as well. Let me eat what I want, drink what I want, love who I love, own my gun and pursue my happiness as I see fit.
So, there ya go.
Senator Ted Cruz Is Not a “Natural Born Citizen” and Therefore Not Eligible to Be President || By Mario Apuzzo
Another US Presidential candidate who might start another “birther” argument. Oh jeez. I would get right in this mess too, but simply put, it’s a complex situation with some un-clear legal stipulations, which in my opinion is best left to the courts to decide than for me to theorize than to make an un-educated ruling. I am not Judge Adam. LOL So few times in my life can I say “it’s really best being left to the people with the law degrees…”