Spark of Logic May 20 Show Notes

Spark of Logic, 20 May

Our number here at Tavern Keepers Radio is 603.259.1353

It’s Wednesday evening again and you should know what that means! The Spark of Logic Radio Program is back with another episode of fun and frivolity.

Make sure that you are checking out our other shows.

~Founders Hammer Program at 6PM Eastern- Great Show today! I Never miss the show! John, David and Kris really have some in depth discussions regarding the state of affairs with regards to our Constitutional rights and how they’re being circumvented.

~Of course we have Polite Society with the sexiest man on TK Radio, Peter Gunn, Thursday Nights at 7PM Eastern followed by the epic return of ‘Graceland with Jennifer Meadows’!

~Every Wednesday at 1PM Eastern I join host Tim Burton and the Cat’s Eye Weekly Report. Tim Burton is a British Citizen and expert on Islam who was arrested and charged after voicing his opinion regarding an Islamic Political leader.

~Rod Eccles is on every weekday from 2PM to 4Pm Eastern

~Make sure you start your Sunday morning with Craig Roberts on ‘Sunday Morning Crossroads’.

~ Sundays at 8 Eastern, ‘Common Man, Common Thoughts’ Join host James Sonnier, along with Joel as they explore issues of faith and life as a common man.

Also, make sure that you visit TavernKeepers.com and TKRadio.com for news as well as this radio show, where you can see all of the news that is worth publishing- cutting news that affects you and your family and friends personally. You’ll also find exciting commentary and early breaking stories you won’t see anywhere else for a few days.

Stories to Discuss

Interesting and Unusual News

~You think that your second job is tiring you out?

Florida man falls asleep while robbing home

POSTED 1:13 PM, MAY 18, 2015, BY TRIBUNE MEDIA WIRE

Timothy Bontrager (Sarasota County Jail)

SARASOTA, Fla. — A Florida man apparently fell asleep after breaking into a home over the weekend.

Timothy Bontrager, 29, has been charged with felony burglary of an occupied dwelling after breaking into the home and falling asleep on the couch, according to WTSP.

The homeowner told police she woke up around 7:20 a.m. and found Bontrager sleeping on her couch. When she asked him what he was doing in her house, he apologized.

When the victim called police, Bontrager left the home. The victim noticed her wallet, driver’s license, credit cards, and personal checks made out to Bontrager were missing.

The suspect was found walking along a nearby road. He was transported to the Sarasota County Jail without incident.

~Maybe you should consider working in Saudi Arabia…

Wanted: Executioners. What’s behind Saudi Arabia job posting

Saudi Arabia is advertising for eight new executioners. The hiring is prompted by a rise in the frequency of capital and corporal punishment.

Saudi Arabia is looking for a few good executioners.

That’s according to a job posting on a Saudi government site that got a flood of international attention.

On Monday, the kingdom’s Ministry of Civil Service advertised eight positions for executioners, for “carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling.”

Recommended: How much do you know about Saudi Arabia? Take our quiz!

No specific background or education is required, simply, The New York Times suggests, “a strong constitution.”

Besides raising eyebrows, however, the unusual job posting signals what some are calling a deeper problem in the Gulf kingdom, a rise in the frequency of capital and corporal punishment.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia’s execution rate has come under international scrutiny. The country is among the top five executioners in the world. According to Amnesty International, it ranked No. 3 in 2014, after China and Iran (and ahead of Iraq and the US).

A man beheaded on Sunday was the 85th person this year to be executed, as recorded by the official Saudi Press Agency.

That’s compared to 88 Saudi executions in the whole of 2014, according to Human Rights Watch. (By comparison, some 35 prisoners were executed in the United States in 2014.)

Human rights groups are expecting a spike in the number of executions Saudi Arabia performs in the coming years – which is why the Gulf Kingdom is looking for executioners.

Why the rise in executions?

Diplomats told Reuters it may be because more judges have been appointed, allowing a backlog of appeal cases to be heard.

Political analysts told BBC it may also “reflect a tough response to regional trouble.”

Saudi Arabia has been working aggressively to stamp out Yemen’s Houthi rebel group, which seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa and forced its president to flee the country. Saudi Arabia’s tough regional stance on the Houthi rebels reflects a desire not to have to deal with them within Saudi borders – and it may be sending a signal to outsiders with its “zero tolerance” policy inside its borders.

Saudi Arabia has come under fire not just for the number of executions it is carrying out, but for the offenses it punishes with death.

While most have been executed for murder, Saudi Arabia also punishes drug dealing, arms smuggling, and other violent crimes with death, “usually by beheading in a public square,” reports The New York Times.

“Any execution is appalling, but executions for crimes such as drug smuggling or sorcery – that result in no loss of life – are particularly egregious,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for Human Rights Watch, told Reuters last year.

But Saudi officials are defending their justice system.

“When we do it in Saudi Arabia, we do it as a decision made by a court,” an Interior Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki, told NBC News earlier this year. “The killing is a decision. I mean it is not based on arbitrary choices, to kill this and not to kill this.”

In light of the spike in executions and the job posting suggesting more to come, human rights groups are particularly critical of Saudi Arabia’s record – and concerned about future executions.

As Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, wrote in a recent Amnesty report, “This unprecedented spike in executions constitutes a chilling race to the bottom for a country that is already among the most prolific executioners on the planet.”

Al Sharpton’s Daughter Sues City for $5 Million After Spraining Ankle

She learned at the feet of a master.

Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show.

Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was “severely injured, bruised and wounded” when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit.

Currently on vacation in Bali, the membership director for her gadfly dad’s National Action Network claims she “still suffers and will continue to suffer for some time physical pain and bodily injuries,” according to the suit filed against the city departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

“I sprained my ankle real bad lol,” she wrote in a post to Instagram after the Oct. 2 fall.

She was pictured in a walking boot in the weeks following the tumble, but by December, Dominique was good to go for NAN’s Justice for All march in Washington, DC, and for a New Year’s Eve jaunt to Miami Beach.

And despite claiming “permanent physical pain” in a breathless notice of claim, there are social-media shots of her in high heels, and another of her climbing a ladder to decorate a Christmas tree.

The legal shakedown is right out of her dad’s pay-to-playbook.

Al Sharpton has used threats of protests and boycotts against large companies as a way to generate huge corporate donations, his critics charge.

Everyone from McDonald’s, Verizon and Macy’s to General Motors, Chrysler and Pfizer have forked over cash to the elder Sharpton.

The Rev on Saturday said he didn’t know the status of his daughter’s legal claim. “She’s 29 years old. Why would she have to talk to me about that?” he said of Dominique, whose mother is Sharpton’s ex-wife, Kathy. “I just know that she was hurt and that she got a lawyer and she’s a grown woman. [Where] she goes from there, I have no idea.”

Broken sidewalks and rough pavement can be a windfall for pedestrians. One plaintiff, Denise Giles, snagged a cool $2.25 million settlement seven years after suing the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp. for failing to fix a broken sidewalk outside one of its clinics. Giles claimed she needed ankle surgery as a result of her fall.

The corner of Broome Street and Broadway where Dominique Sharpton fell and sprained her ankle.Photo: Helayne Seidman

Her payout was one of 885, or $60 million worth, that the city made over 22 months for defective sidewalks.

Dominique Sharpton claims she fell in a crosswalk, which would make hers a “defective roadway” claim. The city received 774 such claims in the 2014 fiscal year alone.

She was left with “internal and external injuries to the whole body, lower and upper limbs, the full extent of which are unknown, permanent pain and mental anguish,” she alleges.

The younger Sharpton is seeking the damages for “loss of quality of life, future pain and suffering, future medical bills, [and] future diminution of income,” according to court papers.

Sharpton’s lawyer, John Elefterakis, said she had “multiple ligament and tendon tears” and “has not had any involvement in selecting a figure that would be fair and adequate compensation for her pain and suffering. The number was selected by my firm and is meant as a safeguard for Ms. Sharpton in a worst-case scenario.”

If she scores her legal windfall, she might want to give her dad a handout: He reportedly owes $4.5 million in unpaid taxes.

Social media posts point to arson in Rotorua Girls’ High blaze 

MARK TAYLOR/Waikato Times

Principal Ally Gibbons would not comment on the social media posts made by students or the cause of the fire while the police were still investigating.

Teenagers have taken to social media to congratulate a girl who claimed she was going to burn down Rotorua Girls’ High School hours before a fire took hold of two classrooms.

“Tonight is the night to burn down girls’ high”, a post on Facebook by a Rotorua teen said.

Police are treating the fire as suspicious.

Principal Ally Gibbons at Rotorua Girls’ High School.

The fire broke out in the stand-alone mathematics block at the school on Old Taupo Rd at 1.20am Wednesday.

Seven fire crews were called in to battle the blaze and managed to contain it to two classrooms in the block.

The Facebook post included the girl saying “only two classroom caught” when asked if she’d burned the school down.

Numerous posts and comments on Facebook followed, many congratulating the girl.

“Thank you, I got no school today whoop, could of done c block though, but shot, you’ve got some manly balls oie,” said one.

Police would not go into detail when asked about the post, but said they were examining several social media posts as part of their investigation.

Another post claims that the girl was encouraged to burn down the classrooms and asked people to stop hating on her.

“what’s been done has been done, there’s no turning bacj (sic)”.

Principal Ally Gibbons would not comment on the social media posts made by students or the cause of the fire while the police were still investigating.

“The fire is in the police hands.”

She got a call at 1.30am alerting her to the fire.

“I came in straight away but their was no access in as the school as the road was blocked off so I had to wait to see what had happened.”

The burnt classrooms were in their math faculty and were badly damaged. A lot of students’ work and teacher resources had been lost.

“The two classrooms are badly damaged and we are very sad about that. Not only because of the structural damage but also because of all of the teacher resources and student work that were in those classrooms.

“It has been a very very sad day for my staff, students and the whole school community.

“Teachers have all knuckled down as this is our core business. The students are all in class and all learning. It is great we were able to operate as usual under the circumstances.  ”

Rotorua Detective Sergeant Richard Lang said the social media comments were being assessed as part of the investigation.

“However, it is not the only line of enquiry, and it is extremely important that people are not influenced by the comments to the point where they don’t report information they have which might be relevant.

“We want to hear from anyone who may have information, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

An examination was continuing, but as a result of the initial assessment Police were treating the fire as suspicious, he said.

Concerned Rotorua Girls High School Parent Tere Piua said she was shocked and disappointed when she heard about the fire from her daughter, who saw it on facebook this morning.

“It is disgusting and sad that this happened in our community and for all of the other students that attended Rotorua Girls High School too.

“I was a little bit anxious this morning, asking my daughter if they knew who had done it. She told me they knew as it was all over Facebook.

“If the person that has done it was encouraged to by other students, it is very sad that this has happened and that that behaviour has instigated someone to damage a school.”

~AND MAYBE THIS IS WHY!!

NJ fifth-grader suspended for bringing a foam ‘bullet’ to school, says mom

Published May 19, 2015

An elementary student in Atlantic City, N.J., was suspended for five days after he was found with a Nerf bullet, similar to these pictured, with a toothpick sticking out of one end.

New Jersey fifth-grader Aarin Moody got a lesson in his school’s zero tolerance policy after being suspended all of last week for bringing a foam Nerf gun bullet to school, according to his mom.

The Atlantic City boy was reaching for a note from his mom when the spongy projectile fell out of his pocket, alarming a faculty member at the Uptown Complex School on May 8, said his mother, Michelle Moody.

“I pulled out my late slip and that’s when the item fell out of my pocket and a teacher had seen it,” the boy said.

Officials at Uptown Complex categorized that foam dart as a “self-constructed weapon” because it had a toothpick stuck in it, the distraught mother said..

“It’s completely ludicrous,” she told FoxNews.com. “I could understand if he had the [toy] gun in class and tried to shoot someone, but he didn’t. All he had was the dart with a broken toothpick in it.

Aarin said that he places the toothpick in the foam bullets so they would stick to the ground when he fired them from his Nerf gun and that he accidentally brought it to school.

“They want me to like say that I did it on purpose, I put it in my pocket to hurt someone,” he told one local paper.

According to the school’s weapons policy, “Anything readily capable of lethal use or inflicting serious bodily injury” is prohibited on campus.

Young Aarin Moody was almost expelled from Uptown Complex School for having the harmless foam toy in his pocket while in class, according to his mom. (Courtesy of Michelle Moody)

Michelle Moody maintains that the school’s classification of the toy bullet as a weapon is absurd and should not fall under that category.

Officials at the Atlantic City School District, who did not return requests for comment, originally told Moody that her son would be expelled, but eventually agreed to a five-day, in-school suspension and a notation on his permanent record stating that he brought a makeshift weapon to school.

Moody said her son suffers from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and has suffered in the past from anger management issues, but she believes he was singled out after she filed a complaint against the board claiming harassment issues from a supervisor during her time as a substitute custodian in the district.

Aarin returned to classes on Monday but was placed on a probationary period.

The incident is one of the latest in a long list of students in school districts across the country being penalized for seemingly minor offenses.

In June 2013, a group of students was suspended from a Washington state elementary school for using Nerf dart guns as part of a math lesson, despite having permission from their teacher.

In March that same year, second-grader Josh Welch was suspended from a Maryland elementary school after unknowingly biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.

“I just kept on biting it and biting it and tore off the top of it, and it kind of looked like a gun,” Welch told a local Fox affiliate at the time.

ISIS thugs viciously beat their cowering fellow terrorists – because they were SMOKING

The shocking footage shows a masked militant walking up and down the men, who are lined up sitting against a wall. He stomps on the men, who vainly try to defend themselves from the blows raining down

ISIS terrorists have been recorded savagely beating a group of their cowering fellow jihadis.

Their crime? Enjoying a sneaky cigarette.

The shocking footage shows a masked militant walking up and down the men, who are lined up sitting against a wall.

He stomps on the men, who vainly try to defend themselves from the blows raining down.

The thug also jabs the men with the barrel of his assault rifle, and at one point bashes the head of one of his victim’s with the wooden butt of the weapon.

He is then shoved aside by a colleague, who frantically whips the men with what appears to be a belt.

ISIS enforce strict rules against smoking – considering the habit a “slow suicide” and, therefore, un-Islamic.

Anyone found smoking on land owned by the caliphate could be publicly whipped, massively fined or even executed.

Brutal: The man stomps, slaps and hits the men with his gun

Abu Mohammad Hussam, founder of Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS), an anti-ISIS group, told the Independent: “The first time he will be arrested and flogged (40 lashes).

“If he smokes again, he will be whipped and imprisoned. On the third occasion, he will be taken to a camp in the countryside and fined a large sum of money.”

A senior IS police chief was found decapitated with a cigarette hanging from his mouth in February earlier this year.

The words “O Sheikh this is munkar” were written on his body, translated as “this is evil, you Sheikh,” according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Sustained: The men cower as the beating goes on and on

Confusion over the appropriate punishment for smokers reportedly led to a fight that killed 12 ISIS members in February.

Middle East News quoted witnesses as saying that ISIS militants in Kirkuk, Iraq, had arrested some smokers and flogged them.

Others, who were previously warned to give up the habit, had their fingers cut off.

“Some ISIS elements did not approve the punishment of cutting fingers and considered it illegal, which led to a fight that left 12 of them dead,” the witnesses said.

 

Debatable News

Operation Jade Helm 15: Military training exercise or martial law? Ask the Internet

Bob Welch holds a sign at a public hearing about the Jade Helm 15 military training exercise in Bastrop, Texas.

(Jay Janner / Associated Press)

By NIGEL DUARAcontact the reporter

Conspiracy theories persist about U.S. Army training exercise in Texas

Beginning in July, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command plans a series of training exercises with other military units across Arizona and six other states in the Southwest.

The plan, Army officials say, is to develop new warfare tactics and procedures in a landscape not unlike the shifting terrain of combat zones in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

“The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas special operations soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas,” the Pentagon said in announcing the exercises, dubbed Operation Jade Helm 15 and scheduled to run for eight weeks over the summer.

It didn’t take long for other theories to emerge.

A map said to be from U.S. Army Special Operations Command training and briefing materials for Operation Jade Helm 15.

“Way worse than you realize,” conspiracy-oriented Texas radio host Alex Jones’ InfoWars website warned Friday. “Military, police working together toward population control.”

Why, several right-wing bloggers wanted to know, does a widely circulated map purporting to be an Army training document for the exercises divide the region into red states and blue states, with red states—Utah and Texas—labeled “hostile,” and blue states—California, Nevada, Colorado—labeled “permissive?”

Soon, a Republican congressman from Texas, Louie Gohmert, was wondering the same thing.

“I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution,” Gohmert said in a statement last week. “When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in ‘hostile’ control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.”

It all came to a head when Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott—who presides over a state that is home to 1.7 million military veterans, along with Ft. Hood and Ft Bliss—ordered the commander of the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercises and give him “regular updates” on the “progress and safety of the operation.”

“During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” the governor declared.

The unexpected controversy has caused plans for one of the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades to sweep across the Internet with the force of a tank battalion.

Some have suggested it is preparation for the imminent declaration of martial law. Others, noting recent warnings that the Islamic State militant group could pose a threat on U.S. soil, suggest that the Army is preparing to wage a “holy war” along the southern Arizona border.

With his state up in arms, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is running for president, said he had reached out to the Pentagon to “inquire” about Jade Helm 15 and said he had “no reason to doubt” assurances that it is a military training exercise.

At the same time, he told Bloomberg Politics during a political event in South Carolina, “I understand the concern” raised by citizens.

“It’s a question I’m getting a lot, and I think part of the reason is we have seen, for six years, a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens. And that produces fear, when you see a federal government that is attacking our free speech rights, or religious liberty rights, our 2nd Amendment rights, that produces distrust as to government,” Cruz said.

Pentagon officials have sought to calm the storm.

“We have given information to authorities in Texas, any information that they’ve requested—we’ve been very open and upfront about our training activities in the United States,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters Thursday. “We’ve tried to be very transparent in this case, answer all questions…about what we’re doing, about the need for it.”

Later, a reporter put it to Carter directly: “Is the U.S. military planning to overtake Texas, as is being asserted by some presidential candidates?” he was asked.

“No,” Carter replied.

The exercise will feature thousands of special forces troops, including Green Berets, Army Rangers and Navy SEALs, simulating combat missions on public and private land in five states, with non-special-forces personnel operating in two additional states.

It is intended as “routine training to maintain a high level of readiness” for special forces, commanders said in their announcement of the exercises, “since they must be ready to support potential missions anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.”

The map dividing the Southwest into “hostile” and “permissive” states, which Jones’ website claims is “detailing the U.S. Army’s plan to wage war on the American people,” has been widely circulated on the Internet as part of a purported U.S. Army Special Operations Command document describing “realistic military training” aims for Jade Helm 15.

The Washington Post said it had verified the authenticity of the document via unidentified Army sources who said the briefing paper had been prepared to brief local officials on the exercises.

Not all local officials are alarmed.

Former Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst published an op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday urging citizens to support the military in its efforts to train troops.

“Unfortunately, some Texans have projected their legitimate concerns about the competence and trustworthiness of President Barack Obama onto these noble warriors,” Dewhurst wrote of the recent controversy.

“This must stop.”

Heathen Nation? U.S. Christian Population Shrinks

~What are the possible reasons that Christians are losing ground?

~Could their often-uncompromising habit of inserting their religious beliefs into other arenas such as politics have anything to do with the fact that they are being tuned out?

~Could the increasing controversy surrounding the Pope and his position on the Catholic Church and the changes he is making be turning Christians off?

~Have Christians in general left the message behind in search of becoming more mainstream and appealing to what they think younger people want to hear?

New data also show more people aren’t identifying with any type of faith tradition.

Fewer people are identifying as Christian, a new analysis shows.

By Lindsey CookMay 12, 2015 | 11:01 a.m. EDT+ More

You might be hearing less “bless you” responses when you sneeze in the future.

The share of religiously unaffiliated people in the U.S. population grew by nearly 7 percentage points between 2007 and 2014, according to new data from the Pew Research Center, and Americans who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” now make up 22.8 percent of the country.

And while those without a religion have increased, adherents to faiths described as Christian experienced a substantial decline over the same seven-year period, with Protestants and Catholics taking the biggest hits. Those of non-Christian faiths, particularly Islam and Hinduism, increased slightly.

For every person who has been leaving the unaffiliated group to join a faith tradition, four people have been leaving a religion to become unaffiliated. For Catholicism, just one person has been joining for every 6 people leaving.

Much of the change is from generational replacement, according to Pew, with the more religious silent generation and baby boomers being replaced by millennials, who are the least tied to religion of any group. More than one-third of millennials are religiously unaffiliated compared with 1 in 10 people born between 1928 and 1945.

Even among older generations, however, religious affiliation is declining. For older millennials, there was an increase of 9 percentage points in the share identifying as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. The silent generation saw an increase of 2 percentage points, and Generation X saw an increase of 4 percentage points.

 

-With the Supreme Court looking at the issue of Same Sex marriage, what is the prediction for the outcome?

~Should the Supreme Court- or the government be involved in marriage at all?

~Why is the government involved in marriage?

~What is the real history of marriage and is there a reason why marriage should be defined in this modern age by Judeo-Christian outlines?

~ What is the fear behind allowing Same Sex marriage or partnerships to begin with? Who gets hurt?

~ Slippery Slope Argument- viable or not? Is polygamy next? And what exactly is the problem if consenting adults decide they want to form a family group?

~ Interracial marriage in the United States has been fully legal in all U.S. states since the 1967 Supreme Court decision that deemed anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, with many states choosing to legalize interracial marriage at much earlier dates. Anti-miscegenation laws have played a large role in defining racial identity and enforcing the racial hierarchy. The United States has many ethnic and racial groups, and interracial marriage is fairly common among most of them. Interracial marriages increased from 2% of married couples in 1970 to 7% in 2005[1][2] and 8.4% in 2010.[3]

 

 

Is same-sex marriage anything new?

By Robert Launay

Updated 7:45 AM ET, Wed May 13, 2015

Story highlights

  • Supreme Court justices asked whether any societies allowed same-sex marriage before 2001
  • Launay: An anthropologist would have told them yes, citing a number of examples

Robert Launay is professor of anthropology at Northwestern University. He has conducted field research among the Dyula, a Muslim minority in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, and published two books and numerous articles about Dyula society. He has recently edited “Foundations of Anthropological Theory: From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern Europe,” Wiley-Blackwell 2010. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)In the Supreme Court’s most recent deliberation of the issue of same-sex marriage, Justice Antonin Scalia asked whether “any society prior to the Netherlands in 2001 … permitted same-sex marriage?”

Clearly, none of the justices or the lawyers thought to ask an anthropologist. Any knowledgeable anthropologist would easily have answered “yes.”

Let me cite a few well-known cases (well-known to anthropologists, at least).

The Nuer of South Sudan permitted women to marry other women. Among the Nuer, marriage involved the payment of cattle as bride wealth from the husband’s kin to the wife’s, a payment that gave the husband paternal rights and allowed him to bequeath his livestock to his sons.

While it was relatively unusual, some women acquired substantial property and would marry other women to bear them heirs. The biological father of any such children was irrelevant.

The woman who married their mother was recognized as their legitimate father. Such woman-to-woman marriages were by no means unique to the Nuer. For example, the Igbo of Nigeria, thousands of miles away, had similar kinds of marriages.

Closer to home, there was a class of persons among the Navaho known as nadleehi, biologically male but who dressed in women’s clothes and performed women’s occupations. They were by no means outcasts or even socially marginal.

An important Navaho myth tells of a quarrel between First Man and First Woman, leading to the disastrous separation of the sexes and ultimately to the birth of monsters. Only the nadleehi, able to travel between the men and the women, could restore the world to normalcy. Men could marry nadleehi, who were reputed to make excellent wives. Other Native American cultures had very similar institutions.

Of course, I suspect that Scalia would object that these examples don’t necessarily matter to us. After all, many cultures accept polygyny, the marriage of one man to several women, or more rarely, polyandry, the marriage of one woman to several men. This hardly means that such marriages should be legal in the United States.

But marriage between a man and more than one woman was certainly permissible in the Old Testament. Indeed, the Bible sanctioned even more exotic forms of marriage, such as the levirate.

If a married man died without a son, his brother or, if necessary, a cousin was obliged to take his wife, support her and beget an heir in his name. (This is spelled out in Genesis, chapter 38, not to mention the entire Book of Ruth.) Jacob, the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel, was simultaneously married to two sisters who were his first cousins on his mother’s side and only slightly more distantly related on his father’s side.

I am not suggesting that we should accept Biblical precedent, that if it was good enough for Jacob, it’s good enough for us. But I do want to call into question Justice Anthony Kennedy’s assertion that the same definition of marriage “has been with us for millennia.” Even within our own religious tradition — at least for those of us who are Jewish, Christian or Muslim — the concept of marriage has changed radically over millennia.

The notion that a single paradigm of marriage is a human universal, or even historically constant within our own tradition, is easily refuted.

Does this mean that anything goes? Of course not.

We anthropologists have often been unfairly accused of slap-happy relativism, even though I can assure you that most of my colleagues are sensible and decent people. My point is simply that the meaning of marriage has always been culturally and historically variable, and consequently, that the legal definition should represent social consensus.

If same-sex marriage is religiously objectionable to a minority of the population, so be it. So is eating meat, but I do not think it would be right for the Supreme Court to impose vegetarianism on the American people on religious grounds.

As the Supreme Court Weighs Gay Marriage, a Look at Its Last Major Ruling

In 1967, the Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage.

By Debra BellMarch 28, 2013 | 12:55 p.m. EDT+ More

Richard P. Loving and his wife, Mildred, pose in this Jan. 26, 1965, file photograph. Residents of Caroline County, Virginia, the Lovings married in Washington, D.C., in 1958. Upon their return to Virginia, the interracial couple was convicted under the state’s law that banned mixed marriages. They eventually won a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 1967 that overturned laws prohibiting interracial unions.

The Supreme Court heard a case in 1967 that would change marriage laws across the nation, overturning individual state restrictions on who could legally marry whom. Gay marriage wasn’t even a speck on the horizon that year, as the Stonewall Riots (often cited as the start of the modern gay rights movement) were still two years away. Still, the stakes were high and emotions were running deep as the Supreme Court ruled that states could not bar two people from different racial backgrounds from marrying one another.

Now, as the Court again considers who should be allowed to legally wed, demonstrators on both sides are once again passionately speaking out. One common argument offered up by those who oppose same-sex marriage is that if gay people are legally allowed to wed, then everyone will want to enter a gay marriage. This parallels a similar argument made in the 1960s concerning interracial marriage, an argument that U.S. News tackled in a June 1967 article called “Now That Mixed Marriage Is Legal….”

According to the article, there were more than 1.8 million marriages each year in the United States at that time, and about 8,000 of those (or less than half of 1 percent) were interracial. (Interracial marriage was illegal in 16 states.)

In 2012, interracial marriages climbed to a new high of 4.8 million, which represented 1 in 12 marriages (or about 8.3 percent) nationwide. The percentage of interracial marriages has grown nearly twentyfold since the practice was legalized in all 50 states and D.C., though it remains low as a whole.

So did the Supreme Court’s decision cause 20 times as many people to enter relationships with someone of a different race? That’s a silly assumption; instead, many factors contributed to the increase in interracial marriages over the last 46 years. It’s highly probable that those who were already in an interracial relationship before the ruling were the ones who entered such marriages shortly afterward. The article points out that according to the 1960 census, 141,576 couples were listed as mixed race, but that actual numbers were believed to be higher.

[PUBLIC OPINION: Should States Decide Gay Marriage?]

The article also mentions the impact of increasing tolerance and cultural changes that led to a greater association between people of different races in the ’60s that would continue into the next five decades. The influx of Latinos in the second half of the 20th century is another factor to consider when analyzing the increase in interracial relationships and marriages since 1960.

In another interesting parallel, the article notes that at one point in time, interracial marriage was barred in 41 states. Today, same-sex marriage is illegal in 41 states. What does this example imply for gay marriage if the Supreme Court overrules the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8? The number of gay marriages nationwide would certainly rise due to its legality and cultural acceptance. But the similarities end there.

On a side note, one of the most interesting points made in the article is that sociologists in the 1960s did not believe that Americans were “on the way to becoming a blended race of a colored complexion” even over the course of many generations. The sociologists did not foresee the arrival of millions of non-white immigrants that would lead to more minority births than white births in 2012, as well as a major increase in people identifying themselves as mixed race.

5 Reasons ‘Traditional Marriage’ Would Shock Your Ancestors

By Kathy Benjamin April 29, 2015 848,051 views Viral

Ever since marriage equality became a national topic of conversation, we’ve been hearing a lot about “traditional marriage.” For people who are against gays getting married, there seems to be this idea that if we could just hold on to the way people married in the olden days, everything would be right with the world. It’s like they think we could all have our own beautiful sparkly unicorn, if only everyone would marry their opposite-sex high school sweetheart, have a bunch of kids, and stay together forever.

The problem is that most of our assumptions about what marriage was like back in the day are complete bullshit.

#5. People Didn’t Marry Young

To get this out of the way at the beginning: Marriage is absolutely a cultural thing, and has looked very different across time and space, just like Doctor Who. (Also like Doctor Who, marriage has usually been controlled by men who thought the women were there just to make the guy look awesome.) I’ll be concentrating on what marriage has been like in the Western world, because most of the anti-marriage-equality people come from that background.
I’m basically this white, times a million.

That said, this conservative idea that you should meet your future spouse in high school and marry by the time you finish college (at the latest) is crazy. I think people assume that our ancestors all married really young because the most famous historical marriages were all among royalty.

There are a few issues with this. The royal marriage pool was so small that by the time princes and princesses were children, they pretty much knew who their two or three potential mates were. Their royal parents were also almost certainly using them as bargaining chips in treaties or alliances. So their getting married around puberty made sense from a political standpoint, but was as weird as a dog in a tutu to everyone else. Even when they did get hitched that young, couples often didn’t live together, and certainly weren’t expected to have sex, for many years.
Or, you know, ever.

In general, the marriage age in Western Europe has stayed constant. English records from the 1600s show that brides were usually 23-24 years old and grooms 26-27. When colonists in early America started getting married slightly younger, it was considered odd enough that Benjamin Franklincommented on it. But the marriage age in America soon settled back into the normal pattern, and by 1890, most couples were getting married in their mid-to-late-20s again. While there have been extreme circumstances where kids in their late teens started getting married regularly — like after the Black Death and WWII killed everybody and people were looking to tie down whoever they could get who still had a pulse — in general, people have always tried to put off this lifelong commitment until they were actually ready.

#4. Marriages Were Short

These days, the demographic most likely to get divorced is baby boomers. Many of these couples have been married for well over 30 years. Why is it that our ancestors could stay together for life, but today, people are so determined to file off the ball and chain when their sentence is almost over?

The answer is that couples never stayed in unhappy marriages if they didn’t have to. People have been panicking over how divorce is going to ruin society forever, because it has almost always been legal in the Western world. Ancient Greece and Rome both allowed divorce, and the most famous divorcee of all time is certainly Henry VIII, whose first one occurred in 1534. John Milton, the poet most famous for Paradise Lost, also wrote four books on how awesome divorce was in the 1640s. (If you were forced to read those in school, your teacher was going through some personal stuff.) Inevitably, religious figures freaked out and tried to ban them.
I am shocked. SHOCKED.

In America, the 1870 census revealed such a high number of divorces that the government ordered a report on the subject. By the 1920s, divorce was so common that society was convinced marriage would soon be a thing of the past. And yet here we are almost 100 years later, and people are still fighting for the chance to get hitched.

If you couldn’t get a divorce, annulment was often an option. And if even that wasn’t possible, all you had to do was wait it out. The high death rate in the past meant that half of all marriages were over in 4-12 years, because somebody was rotting in the ground by that point. Who knows how many of those couples would have wanted out after 30 long years together, listening to the same boring stories over and over again? In a way, divorce has just replaced death. And I think we can all agree that legally ending a marriage is a much better solution than murder. Either way, there is a cake for that:
#3. Single-Parent And Blended Families Were Always Normal

altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

All that divorce and dying meant that people found themselves in their 20s and 30s, single, and looking to bone someone new. While sex outside of marriage was always going on, most people wanted to get married again so that their dick supply was on tap, if you will. And since those first marriages had often produced children, this meant that blended families were totally common.

In fact, they may have been the norm. Some historians think that stepparents and stepsiblings were almost more common than original families in the late medieval period. Even third marriages weren’t strange, and stepchildren were considered as much a person’s kids as their own biological ones. This doesn’t mean that all remarriages went swimmingly, of course. The “wicked stepmother” trope goes back to at least Ancient Rome.
While the true evil goes ignored.

But before those parents chose to remarry, or if they never did, children would find themselves being raised by a single parent. This is another supposedly “modern” development that is going to ruin the next generation. And in the gay marriage fight, this has taken on a new angle. Apparently, all kids need to be raised by both a mother and a father, or they will be forever fucked up. According to these arguments, a single parent, and certainly two same-sex parents, can never provide an appropriate home for their offspring like a mother and father.

The thing is, in the old days you would count yourself lucky if you managed to reach adulthood with both of your parents still alive and kicking. Even up to 1900, a quarter of children would lose a parent before they turned 15. And in the 1950s, those halcyon days of supposedly perfect families? Between divorce, death, and sex outside of marriage, 22 percent of kids were still being raised by a single parent. If being raised by one gender ruins children, our ancestors were screwed.

#2. Procreation Wasn’t Everything

Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images

One of the last-ditch arguments by people who are anti-gay-marriage is that marriage is somehow only for the purpose of having children. Since it takes an egg and a sperm to make a baby, this leads them to the conclusion that the only acceptable type of marriage is between a man and a woman.

People much smarter than me have pointed out how ridiculous this is. What about couples where one partner is infertile? Or couples where the woman has gone through menopause? Are those marriages also totally invalid? But I’m here to tell you that even if every marriage ever was between totally fertile men and women, it wouldn’t make a difference. Happily married couples have been trying to keep babies from happening since the dawn of time.
You would have to be crazy to ruin this.

In the Middle Ages, some couples took this to the extreme. Catholic men and women could enter “Josephite marriages” where they lived together as husband and wife, but never got it on. But for those who actually did want to have sex, birth control has existed in one form or another FOREVER.

In the saddest, most extreme cases, it involved “accidentally” killing a baby after it had been born. As terrible as it is to think about, we’ve been doing it regularly since the freaking Paleolithic period. But then we came up with birth control and that was a lot nicer. Condoms have existed since 3000 BCE. Today we have IUDs, but those have been around for millennia as well, except back then they included rocks and paper. If eating a certain plant had even a tiny chance of keeping you from getting pregnant, women figured it out a long time ago.
Seriously, ANY plant.

In the 19th century, American women as a whole apparently decided they wanted fewer kids. By 1860, the average family had 2-3 fewer children than it did in 1800. Unless everyone just started having less sex (you try that and see how it goes), family planning was becoming as important as what hat to wear to your state’s secession party. And abortion was considered a completely legitimate option by everyone in that period. Until the first time you felt the fetus move inside you, it wasn’t considered to be alive. Around 1840, the number of abortions among women on all levels of society skyrocketed.

So unless you and everyone in your family tree are basically the Duggars, you might want to lay off claiming procreation has always been the goal of marriage.

#1. Gay Marriage Has Always Existed

In 2013, Justice Alito, one of the nine people who will decide in June if the Constitution protects same-sex marriage, said that gay marriage was, “newer than cell phones and the Internet.” If you know this isn’t true, congrats, you are smarter than a member of the Supreme Court.

Being gay is not some new fad. Gay people have always been around, which means they have always formed relationships. And, to different legal standards, many of these relationships were what we would consider marriages.

Gay marriage was not uncommon in Ancient Rome; even the Emperor Nero publicly married at least two men. During the Ming Dynasty in China, it was not uncommon for older men to marry young men and bring them into their families as official sons-in-law. While Christianity officially frowned on men marrying each other, they also came up with a way around this taboo. Both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic church allowed “brother-making” in which two totally straight single guys had an official ceremony telling everyone what good friends they were and how they were going to live together and pray together but totally not do any guy-on-guy stuff.

They’re not gay; just very European.

Single women living together has always been more acceptable than men cohabiting (because women don’t have sex drives, right?), but that doesn’t mean that all female “roommates” tried to hide their bean-flicking activities from their neighbors. Many of them were open about their relationships, and both the women involved and their friends considered the couples married, whether they had gone through a ceremony or not. In the late 1800s, these relationships were called Boston Marriages. In at least one case, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant were considered a “common household” under the law for tax purposes. In Spain in 1901, Elisa Sanchez Loriga pretended to be a man in order to marry Marcela Gracia Ibeas. Despite needing to use deception, after they were found out, the marriage was still allowed to stand.

If you want to admit you don’t like the idea of same-sex marriage because it makes you think of sex that makes you feel icky, feel free to say it. I’m sure everyone would feel better knowing how much you fixate on their bedroom antics. But it’s time to stop pretending that “traditional marriage” exists. Gay marriage is now legal in 18 countries, including Luxembourg, Uruguay, and South Africa. So come on, Supreme Court. Do the right thing. Make America as progressive in civil rights as South Africa.

Steve Petteway/Supreme Court of the United States

 

 

Ten Arguments From Social Science Against Same-Sex Marriage

By Family Research Council

A large and growing body of scientific evidence indicates that the intact, married family is best for children. In particular, the work of scholars David Popenoe, Linda Waite, Maggie Gallagher, Sara McLanahan, David Blankenhorn, Paul Amato, and Alan Booth has contributed to this conclusion.

This statement from Sara McLanahan, a sociologist at Princeton University, is representative:

If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal. Such a design, in theory, would not only ensure that children had access to the time and money of two adults, it also would provide a system of checks and balances that promoted quality parenting. The fact that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice for that child, and it would reduce the likelihood that either parent would abuse the child.

Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur, Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1994) 38.

The following are ten science-based arguments against same-sex “marriage”:

  1. Children hunger for their biological parents.

Homosexual couples using in vitro fertilization (IVF) or surrogate mothers deliberately create a class of children who will live apart from their mother or father. Yale Child Study Center psychiatrist Kyle Pruett reports that children of IVF often ask their single or lesbian mothers about their fathers, asking their mothers questions like the following:”Mommy, what did you do with my daddy?” “Can I write him a letter?” “Has he ever seen me?” “Didn’t you like him? Didn’t he like me?” Elizabeth Marquardt reports that children of divorce often report similar feelings about their non-custodial parent, usually the father.

Kyle Pruett, Fatherneed (Broadway Books, 2001) 204.

Elizabeth Marquardt, The Moral and Spiritual Lives of Children of Divorce. Forthcoming.

  1. Children need fathers.

If same-sex civil marriage becomes common, most same-sex couples with children would be lesbian couples. This would mean that we would have yet more children being raised apart from fathers. Among other things, we know that fathers excel in reducing antisocial behavior and delinquency in boys and sexual activity in girls.

What is fascinating is that fathers exercise a unique social and biological influence on their children. For instance, a recent study of father absence on girls found that girls who grew up apart from their biological father were much more likely to experience early puberty and a teen pregnancy than girls who spent their entire childhood in an intact family. This study, along with David Popenoe’s work, suggests that a father’s pheromones influence the biological development of his daughter, that a strong marriage provides a model for girls of what to look for in a man, and gives them the confidence to resist the sexual entreaties of their boyfriends.

* Ellis, Bruce J., et al., “Does Father Absence Place Daughters at Special Risk for Early Sexual Activity and Teenage Pregnancy?” Child Development, 74:801-821.

* David Popenoe, Life Without Father (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1999).

  1. Children need mothers.

Although homosexual men are less likely to have children than lesbians, homosexual men are and will be raising children. There will be even more if homosexual civil marriage is legalized. These households deny children a mother. Among other things, mothers excel in providing children with emotional security and in reading the physical and emotional cues of infants. Obviously, they also give their daughters unique counsel as they confront the physical, emotional, and social challenges associated with puberty and adolescence. Stanford psychologist Eleanor MacCoby summarizes much of this literature in her book, The Two Sexes. See also Steven Rhoads’ book, Taking Sex Differences Seriously.

Eleanor MacCoby, The Two Sexes: Growing Up Apart, Coming Together (Boston: Harvard, 1998).

Steven Rhoads, Taking Sex Differences Seriously (Encounter Books, 2004).

  1. Evidence on parenting by same-sex couples is inadequate.

A number of leading professional associations have asserted that there are “no differences” between children raised by homosexuals and those raised by heterosexuals. But the research in this area is quite preliminary; most of the studies are done by advocates and most suffer from serious methodological problems. Sociologist Steven Nock of the University of Virginia, who is agnostic on the issue of same-sex civil marriage, offered this review of the literature on gay parenting as an expert witness for a Canadian court considering legalization of same-sex civil marriage:

Through this analysis I draw my conclusions that 1) all of the articles I reviewed contained at least one fatal flaw of design or execution; and 2) not a single one of those studies was conducted according to general accepted standards of scientific research.

This is not exactly the kind of social scientific evidence you would want to launch a major family experiment.

Steven Nock, affidavit to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice regarding Hedy Halpern et al. University of Virginia Sociology Department (2001).

  1. Evidence suggests children raised by homosexuals are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders.

Although the evidence on child outcomes is sketchy, it does suggest that children raised by lesbians or homosexual men are more likely to experience gender and sexual disorders. Judith Stacey– a sociologist and an advocate for same-sex civil marriage–reviewed the literature on child outcomes and found the following: “lesbian parenting may free daughters and sons from a broad but uneven range of traditional gender prescriptions.” Her conclusion here is based on studies that show that sons of lesbians are less masculine and that daughters of lesbians are more masculine.

She also found that a “significantly greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbian mothers than those raised by heterosexual mothers … reported having a homoerotic relationship.” Stacey also observes that children of lesbians are more likely to report homoerotic attractions.

Her review must be viewed judiciously, given the methodological flaws detailed by Professor Nock in the literature as a whole. Nevertheless, theses studies give some credence to conservative concerns about the effects of homosexual parenting.

Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, “(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?” American Sociological Review66: 159-183. See especially 168-171.

  1. Same-sex “marriage” would undercut the norm of sexual fidelity within marriage.

One of the biggest threats that same-sex “marriage” poses to marriage is that it would probably undercut the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage. In the first edition of his book in defense of same-sex marriage, Virtually Normal, homosexual commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote: “There is more likely to be greater understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman.” Of course, this line of thinking–were it incorporated into marriage and telegraphed to the public in sitcoms, magazines, and other mass media–would do enormous harm to the norm of sexual fidelity in marriage.

One recent study of civil unions and marriages in Vermont suggests this is a very real concern. More than 79 percent of heterosexual married men and women, along with lesbians in civil unions, reported that they strongly valued sexual fidelity. Only about 50 percent of gay men in civil unions valued sexual fidelity.

Esther Rothblum and Sondra Solomon, Civil Unions in the State of Vermont: A Report on the First Year. University of Vermont Department of Psychology, 2003.

David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, The Male Couple (Prentice Hall, 1984) 252.

  1. Same-sex “marriage” would further isolate marriage from its procreative purpose.

Traditionally, marriage and procreation have been tightly connected to one another. Indeed, from a sociological perspective, the primary purpose that marriage serves is to secure a mother and father for each child who is born into a society. Now, however, many Westerners see marriage in primarily emotional terms.

Among other things, the danger with this mentality is that it fosters an anti-natalist mindset that fuels population decline, which in turn puts tremendous social, political, and economic strains on the larger society. Same-sex marriage would only further undercut the procreative norm long associated with marriage insofar as it establishes that there is no necessary link between procreation and marriage.

This was spelled out in the Goodridge decision in Massachusetts, where the majority opinion dismissed the procreative meaning of marriage. It is no accident that the countries that have legalized or are considering legalizing same-sex marriage have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. For instance, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Canada have birthrates that hover around 1.6 children per woman–well below the replacement fertility rate of 2.1.

For national fertility rates, see: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sw.html

For more on the growing disconnect between marriage and procreation, see:http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/SOOU2003.pdf

  1. Same-sex “marriage” would further diminish the expectation of paternal commitment.

The divorce and sexual revolutions of the last four decades have seriously undercut the norm that couples should get and stay married if they intend to have children, are expecting a child, or already have children. Political scientist James Q. Wilson reports that the introduction of no-fault divorce further destabilized marriage by weakening the legal and cultural meaning of the marriage contract. George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate and an economist, found that the widespread availability of contraception and abortion in the 1960s and 1970s, and the sexual revolution they enabled, made it easier for men to abandon women they got pregnant, since they could always blame their girlfriends for not using contraception or procuring an abortion.

It is plausible to suspect that legal recognition of homosexual civil marriage would have similar consequences for the institution of marriage; that is, it would further destabilize the norm that adults should sacrifice to get and stay married for the sake of their children. Why? Same-sex civil marriage would institutionalize the idea that children do not need both their mother and their father.

This would be particularly important for men, who are more likely to abandon their children. Homosexual civil marriage would make it even easier than it already is for men to rationalize their abandonment of their children. After all, they could tell themselves, our society, which affirms lesbian couples raising children, believes that children do not need a father. So, they might tell themselves, I do not need to marry or stay married to the mother of my children.

James Q. Wilson, The Marriage Problem. (Perennial, 2003) 175-177.

George A. Akerlof, Janet L. Yellen, and Michael L. Katz, “An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States.” Quarterly Journal of Economics CXI: 277-317.

  1. Marriages thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical roles.

If same-sex civil marriage is institutionalized, our society would take yet another step down the road of de-gendering marriage. There would be more use of gender-neutral language like “partners” and–more importantly–more social and cultural pressures to neuter our thinking and our behaviors in marriage.

But marriages typically thrive when spouses specialize in gender-typical ways and are attentive to the gendered needs and aspirations of their husband or wife. For instance, women are happier when their husband earns the lion’s share of the household income. Likewise, couples are less likely to divorce when the wife concentrates on childrearing and the husband concentrates on breadwinning, as University of Virginia psychologist Mavis Hetherington admits.

  1. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly, For Better or For Worse. (W.W. Norton and Co., 2002) 31.

Steven Rhoads, Taking Sex Differences Seriously (Encounter Books, 2004).

  1. Women and marriage domesticate men.

Men who are married earn more, work harder, drink less, live longer, spend more time attending religious services, and are more sexually faithful. They also see their testosterone levels drop, especially when they have children in the home.

If the distinctive sexual patterns of “committed” gay couples are any indication (see above), it is unlikely that homosexual marriage would domesticate men in the way that heterosexual marriage does. It is also extremely unlikely that the biological effects of heterosexual marriage on men would also be found in homosexual marriage. Thus, gay activists who argue that same-sex civil marriage will domesticate gay men are, in all likelihood, clinging to a foolish hope. This foolish hope does not justify yet another effort to meddle with marriage.

Additional Arguments (From a theological perspective)

  1. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

    ~And the opposite applies- By Not legalizing it, it imposes a non-acceptance of a different lifestyle on ALL SOCIETY by a group who arbitrarily has deemed it wrong based on their religious doctrine.

By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.

In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.

In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.

  1. It Offends God

    (Whose God?)

This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29)

The same was taught by Our Savior Jesus Christ: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.” (Mark 10:6-7).

Genesis also teaches how God punished Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality: “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.” (Gen. 19:24-25)

  1. It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

    ~Morally wrong for WHO?

Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

This is false.

First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.

Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.

Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.

  1. It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

    In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

    Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

    Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality. (Who Judges?)

  2. It Violates Natural Law

    Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

    Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

    Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality. (By whose standard?)

    Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)

  3. It Is Not Marriage

    Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses.

    The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children. (Who defines THAT as the primary purpose of marriage? In this day and age, it is not always a given. There are other reasons to be legally bound.)

    Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.

News

Officers warned about more bikers possibly heading to Texas after brawl

By Eliott C. McLaughlin and Holly Yan, CNN

Updated 11:49 AM ET, Wed May 20, 2015

Story highlights

  • “There’s been enough bloodshed,” says police spokesman, urging bikers to “stand down”
  • Early information indicates four of the bikers killed were killed by police, a source says
  • The fight among rival biker gangs started in a restaurant and spilled into the parking lot

Waco, Texas (CNN)A memo has gone out to law enforcement in the wake of Sunday’s shooting, warning officers that members of the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle gangs reportedly had been instructed to arm themselves and travel to north Texas.

“Obviously it’s something we’re concerned about. We would encourage biker groups to stand down. There’s been enough bloodshed. There’s been enough death here,” Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Monday night.

Police to leave Texas biker shooting scene — but then what?

PLAY VIDEO

By the time the Sunday melee was over, at least nine people were dead, 18 were hospitalized and at least 170 were arrested and charged.

The biker gang members who began beating, stabbing and shooting each other in a Texas Twin Peaks restaurant knew the police were outside; they just didn’t care, Swanton said.

For two months, police concerned with the bikers’ presence at Twin Peaks, which hosted special events for its leather-clad clientele, had patrolled outside — and not in plain clothes and unmarked cars, either.

“We wanted our presence to be known,” Swanton told reporters. “They knew we were seconds away and going to respond. That mattered not to them.”

The United Clubs of Waco billed Sunday’s event as the Texas Region 1 Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting. Before the restaurant and surrounding parking lots became a bloody battleground, the Waco Police Department had 18 officers on the scene, including an assistant chief and tactical officers, along with four officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Swanton said.

An altercation in the bathroom seems to have sparked the violence. Shots were fired inside the eatery and a brawl spilled onto the patio area, before scores of men flooded the parking lot in broad daylight. Some bikers were beaten with brass knuckles, clubs and chains, while others were stabbed or shot, Swanton said.

When police responded — within 30 to 45 seconds because of their proximity — the bikers turned their weapons on law enforcement, he said.

“Our officers took fire and responded appropriately, returning fire,” the sergeant said.

As police rounded up suspects and paramedics tended to the injured, investigators found eight bodies — three in the parking lot behind Twin Peaks, four near the front of the restaurant and one that had been dragged behind a nearby establishment, Swanton said. More than 100 weapons were confiscated as well, he said.

Another victim died at a hospital, where doctors treated patients for gunshots, stab wounds, blunt-force trauma or some combination of the three.

According to a law enforcement source, preliminary information indicates that four of the bikers killed were killed by police gunfire. The investigation continues and the ballistics will be analyzed to determine for certain who was responsible for each shooting.

A capital murder case

Swanton called it “the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt with” in three and a half decades of law enforcement.

The scores of suspects, who hail from five different biker gangs, remained locked up in the McLennan County Jail on Monday facing charges of engaging in organized crime, Swanton said.

Prosecutors and investigators could level other charges — and capital murder charges are expected to be among them, given the body count — but the organized crime charge is “pretty serious,” he said.

“It doesn’t get much more significant than that,” he said.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said that bond was being set at $1 million for each of the 170 people in custody.

Swanton would not release the names of the gangs involved. Photos from the scene showed bikers wearing the insignias of the Cossacks, Bandidos, Scimitars and Vaqueros, but it was not clear if the photographed gang members were involved in the fighting.

While the U.S. Justice Department characterizes the Bandidos as a “growing criminal threat”with at least 2,000 members in 14 countries, the motorcycle club’s website highlights noncriminal endeavors such as its Easter party in Germany or its toy drive in France.

The Justice Department had no such synopsis for the Cossacks, but the book “The One Percenter Encyclopedia: The World of Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs from Abyss Ghosts to Zombies Elite” says they were founded in Texas in 1969 and have a major presence in Australia.

Bandidos President Jack Lewis was released on $125,000 bond in December 2013 after being charged with the stabbing of two Cossacks outside a restaurant in Abilene, Texas, KTXS reported.

As Swanton briefed reporters at the crime scene Monday afternoon, 24 hours after the brawl, he said tactical units remained on the scene to protect journalists and investigators. Police hoped to finish processing the scene by sundown, he said.

Franchise revoked

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission shut down the Twin Peaks location, known for “bike nights” and its risque dress code for servers, for the next week. It wasn’t a punitive measure, Swanton said; rather, it was closed because there’s “enough of a reason to believe that more violence would occur there, had they been allowed to remain open for the next seven-day period,” he said.

Later Monday morning, the commission said it was suspending the restaurant’s liquor license for those seven days while its agents investigate what happened. The investigation could yield anything from a fine to the permanent revocation of Twin Peaks’ liquor license, commission spokesman Chris Porter said.

There have been no previous complaints or actions taken against the eatery, he added.

Twin Peaks‘ corporate management initially issued a statement offering condolences but later sided with police, who Swanton said had warned the restaurant’s managers of the potential for violence and sought their cooperation in staving it off, to no avail.

A law enforcement officer walks through the parking lot near the scene of the shooting.

“We are in the people business and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one,” the restaurant chain’s statement read. “Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants.”

It further said the corporate office would be “revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.​”

The Waco restaurant’s Facebook account, which had been a landing page for harsh criticism of the franchise, was deleted shortly thereafter.

Trouble brewing?

Earlier this month, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told KWTX-TV that local police were on heightened alert for possible trouble on Thursday nights, when Twin Peaks hosted bike nights. Reyna said trouble between two local motorcycle gangs heated up when bikers from the Dallas-Fort Worth area got involved.

Swanton slammed Twin Peaks after the bloodshed Sunday, saying the franchise failed to help avoid trouble and ignored the police department’s advice to try to keep biker gangs away from the restaurant.

“Are we frustrated? Sure, because we feel like there may have been more that could have been done by a business to prevent this,” Swanton said.

He said Twin Peaks has a right to deny entry to known biker gangs.

“They absolutely have a right to refuse service to people that may be a harm to their patrons and employees,” he told KTVT. “They didn’t do that, and today is the ultimate aftermath of what their decision was.”

Before word came of the franchise being revoked, Jay Patel, operating partner at the Waco Twin Peaks, said his staff was cooperating with police.

“We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today,” Patel said Sunday night on Facebook. “We share in the community’s trauma.”

Swanton responded, calling that statement a “fabrication.”

The franchise released a statement Monday, saying it was working hard to learn the facts about the shooting.

“It is important to clarify that, to the best of our knowledge, law enforcement officials did not ask either the Waco restaurant operator (with whom they spoke several times) or the Twin Peaks franchisor to cancel the patio reservation that was made on Sunday.

“Based on the information to date, we also believe that the violence began outside in the area of the parking lot, and not inside our restaurant or on our patio, as has been widely reported,” it read.

Even after the chaos subsided, Waco police continued arresting people arriving at the scene with weapons.

Swanton warned other biker gang members against coming to Waco to reignite the violence.

“We have been getting reports throughout the day that bikers from out of state are headed this way,” he told KTVT on Sunday. “We would encourage them not to, because we have plenty of space in our county jail to put them there.”

Waco Twin Peaks breastaurant closed

Published May 19, 2015

Violence at a Waco Twin Peaks restaurant left 9 gang members dead and injured 18 others. (AP)

A Waco, Tex. Twin Peaks, the scene of Sunday’s violent bike gang shootout, has been closed amid criticism that restaurant management ignored police warnings to keep biker gangs away.

A spokeswoman for the Dallas-based chain told the Tribune-Herald that “the Waco location will be closed and will not reopen.”

Meghan Hecke said it was unclear what would happen with the building, or with a second Twin Peaks operated by the same group that owned the Waco franchise.

Twin Peaks spokesman Rick Van Warner had earlier confirmed that the national chain was revoking Waco’s franchise agreement and stated that the company contacted Jay Patel, the franchise operator, and warned him about possible violence.

“Unfortunately the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants,” said Twin Peaks spokesman Rick Van Warner in a statement. “We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are immediately revoking their franchise agreement. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful no employees, guests, police officers or bystanders were hurt or injured.”

On Sunday, Waco police department’s Sargent Patrick Swanton accused the so-called breastaurant –which features drink specials and scantily clad waitresses – of failing to cooperate with law enforcement trying to manage the biker gangs. Swanton said that the Waco location had been warned for nearly two months about gang gatherings, but continuously allowed members to hang out and drink beer.

After the violence, Jay Patel, Twin Peaks Operating Partner, said Swanton’s remarks were an absolute fabrication and released this statement:

“Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community. We will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate this terrible crime.”

Yet, as the Washington Post points out, many Twin Peaks locations around the country regularly hold “bike nights”  — promotions to get biker gangs to gather and drink.  It was this type of event that the Waco location was asked to discontinue.

It’s unclear if the national chain is reconsidering these promotions. In Wichita, two Twin Peaks locations have temporarily suspended bike night promotions, reports the Witchita Eagle.

Twin Peaks restaurant chain was created 10 years ago to compete against Hooters with an aim to serve better food and drink– and edgier female waitresses. The chain’s CEO Randy DeWitt, once told Bloomberg News that “Hooters just wasn’t racy enough,” and female employees are listed on its website as “weapons of mass distraction”.

The chain promotes itself as the “ultimate sports lodge” with its log cabin interior, TVs everywhere and upscale bar food.

DeWitt grew the chain to 65 locations last year, with sales of $239 million, 46 percent more than in 2013, according to the food market research firm Technomic. Those figures come amid double digit growth in breastaurant-style eateries nationally.

Yet, in the wake of violence that left nine gang members dead and injured 18 others, some are beginning to question Twin Peaks’ racy business model.

5 things to know about the Twin Peaks shooting in Waco

Jordan Armstrong, WFAA4:33 p.m. CDT May 18, 2015

(Photo: KCEN)

Here are five things to know about Sunday’s brawl at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco:

  1. The incident involved several so-called biker gangs.Police won’t release which ones were involved, but say there may have been at least five gangs at the scene. A fight between rival members reportedly broke out in a restroom and then spread to the parking lot, where guns, brass knuckles, chains, knives, bats and clubs were used. The shopping center where the brawl took place was shut down, but the west half of it will be open Monday, police said.
  2. Nine people were killed and at least 18 others were injured.Eight bikers died at the scene, and a ninth died at a local hospital. No innocent bystanders or police officers were injured.
  3. More than 160 people have been arrested. Three were originally arrested on the scene. Monday morning police said 192 people had been booked and processed into the McLennan County Jail. By 8 a.m. that number had been re-estimated to be between 165 and 175. They will be charged with Engaging in Organized Crime. Further charges are pending.

Eliodoro Munguia (Photo: McLennan County Sheriff’s Office)

  1. Police say the incident could have been avoided if Twin Peaks management had cooperated. Sergeant Patrick Swanton says police had warned Twin Peaks about the biker gangs two months ago, but the restaurant declined to do anything about them. Swanton says Waco police had to contact Twin Peaks’ national office because the local franchise wasn’t helping. He also called the operations manager’s statement released Sunday night “an absolute fabrication.”
  2. The Twin Peaks location had its franchise agreement revoked. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said it would not allow Twin Peaks to sell alcohol for a week while it conducts its own investigation. Twin Peaks’ franchisor in Dallas announced Monday afternoon that the Waco location revoked the franchise agreement because the restaurant “chose to ignore warnings and advice from both police and our company.”

WACO BIKERS TELL THEIR SIDE OF THE  STORY, AND IT DOESN’T MATCH UP WITH THE POLICE VERSION

The Waco Police Massacre? Facts in the case are slippery. Some might explain this as a way of punishing people who were at the forbidden Confederation of Clubs and Independents brunch for being there instead of in church.

A website widely read by bikers called “The Aging Rebel” has published an alternative account of what happened during Sunday’s bloody shootout in Waco, Texas. The article titled The Waco Police Massacre brings out a number of details not previously published and also presents the controversial theory that event was essentially a police ambush.

The Waco police have refused to name the biker groups involved, saying that they did not want to give the gangs publicity. The AgingRebel site, however, went into great detail on who was involved:

The fight resulted from a long simmering dispute between members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club and the Cossacks and the Scimitars Motorcycle Clubs. Curtis Jack Lewis, president of the Abilene chapter of the Bandidos, and Wesley Dale Mason, the chapters’ sergeant at arms, were accused of stabbing two Cossacks outside Logan’s Roadhouse in Abilene in November 2013. The two Bandidos were charged with aggravated assault in March 2014. The Scimitars are in the process of patching over to the Cossacks.

Other clubs in attendance at the Sunday brunch included the Blackett Arms MC, Gypsy MC, HonorBound Motorcycle Ministry, Renatus MC, Escondidos MC, Sons of the South MC, Los Pirados MC, Leathernecks MC, Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets MC, In Country MC and the Tornado Motorcycle Club.

Some of the information presented by AgingRebel has been contradicted by Waco police, but it’s worth reading the theory put forward by Aging Rebel:

When the restaurant refused to ban the Confederation of Clubs, police stationed at least 22 cops including ten Swat officers from the Waco P.D. and the Texas Department of Public Safety in the parking lot outside the restaurant. They did not station either uniformed or plain clothes officers in the restaurant.

The shove in the bathroom became a scuffle in the restaurant. When about 30 Bandidos, Cossacks, Scimitars and other bikers spilled into the parking between the Twin peaks and the Don Carlos Mexican restaurant next door, the police were waiting for them. The scuffle became a knife fight and several men were stabbed. When one of the combatants produced a gun the Swat team opened fire with automatic weapons. Multiple sources have told The Aging Rebel that all of the dead were killed by police.

At a press conference yesterday, a Waco Police Department spokesman said that 18 officers were on scene prior to the event.

CNN has reported that four of the deaths — not all nine — were from law enforcement:

Of the nine deaths, a law enforcement source says preliminary information indicates that four of the bikers were killed by police gunfire. The investigation continues and the ballistics will be analyzed to determine for certain who was responsible for each shooting.

The spokesman also said that officers began engaging the bikers within 30 seconds of the fight starting. This has led to some speculation that there was an undercover informant inside the restaurant.

Dean Potter Dead: American Extreme Sports Athlete Killed During Base Jump

Huffington Post UK/ AP  |  By Sara C Nelson

Posted: 18/05/2015 10:44 BST Updated: 18/05/2015 10:59 BST

An extreme sports athlete has been killed during a risky stunt in California.

Dean Potter died during a base jumping flight from a 7,500ft cliff using a wingsuit in Yosemite National Park.

The 43-year-old was one of two men killed after the jump from Taft Point on Saturday.

Extreme sports athlete Dean Potter has died

Potter’s climbing partner Graham Hunt, 29, also died.

Their bodies were found on Sunday morning by a helicopter crew.

The men wore wingsuits — skin-tight suits with batwing sleeves and a flap between their legs — to help them glide.

However, parachutes designed to slow their descent had not been deployed, park ranger Scott Gediman said.

Base stands for buildings, antennas, spans (such as bridges), and Earth (such as cliffs and mountaintops) that jumpers can parachute from.

Potter jumping with a wingsuit in 2008 at the Drusenfluh, Switzerland

The sport is illegal in all national parks, and it was possible the men jumped at dusk or at night to avoid being caught by park rangers.

“Base jumping is the most dangerous thing you can do … every time you jump it’s a roll of the dice,” said Corey Rich, a photographer who documented some of Potter’s feats. “The odds are not in your favor, and sadly Dean pulled the unlucky card.”

Potter and Hunt, who lived near Yosemite, were prominent figures in the park’s climbing community, Gediman said.

“This is a horrible incident, and our deepest sympathies go out to their friends and family,” Gediman said. “This is a huge loss for all of us.”

Potter is famous for pushing the boundaries of climbing by going up some of the world’s most daunting big walls and cliffs alone, using his bare hands and without ropes.

He took the sport to an extreme level with highlining — walking across a rope suspended between towering rock formations while wearing a parachute for safety in the event of a fall.

He drew criticism in May 2006 after he made a “free solo” climb of Utah’s iconic Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Though the climb was not illegal, outdoor clothing company Patagonia dropped its sponsorship of him, saying his actions “compromised access to wild places and generated an inordinate amount of negativity in the climbing community and beyond.”

Potter defended his ascent, saying his intention was to inspire people to “get out of their cars and experience the wild with all their senses.”

Last year, Clif Bar withdrew its sponsorship of Potter and four other top climbers, saying they took risks that made the company too uncomfortable to continue financial support.

In recent years, he combined his love of climbing and flying with base jumping. He also produced a film that chronicled his adventures base jumping with his beloved dog, Whisper.

In 2009, he set a record for completing the longest base jump from the Eiger North Face in Switzerland by staying in flight in a wingsuit for 2 minutes and 50 seconds. The feat earned him the Adventurer of the Year title by National Geographic magazine.

Potter indicated in his writings that he knew the inherent danger of his sport. Last March, his friend and climbing partner Sean “Stanley” Leary died in Zion National Park in Utah after apparently clipping a rock outcropping during a base jump. Potter was among a group of people who recovered Leary’s body.

“Though sometimes I have felt like I’m above it all and away from any harm, I want people to realise how powerful climbing, extreme sports or any other death-consequence pursuits are,” he wrote in an October 2014 blog posted on his website. “There is nothing fake about it whether you see it in real life, on YouTube or in a glamorous commercial.”

Gediman estimates that about five base jumping deaths have occurred in Yosemite. He said he himself watched a base jumper leap to her death in 1999 when her borrowed chute failed to open.

The woman was participating in a protest against the National Park Service’s ban on base jumping.

Comments by Judgmental Haters

~ Pointless end to a pointless existence

~ Ted Logan

May 17, 10:19 pm

Why are people celebrating this illegal and fatal thrill-seeking activity? Why should taxpayers have to pick up the bill for picking up their remains? Silly children who never grew up. National parks are for quiet contemplation of beauty. Instead, these boy-men were playing batman.

~ Avi Metcalfe

Jerusalem

May 18, 11:29 am

The “Dark Wizard” took his young disciple down with him. Bet the disciple’s wife and three young children will not be worshipping at the Dark Wizard’s memorial shrine. Dean’s website spouts the quintessential pseudo-zen thrill sports credo, which by now anyone should recognize from its *corporate sponsored* advertising shtick as just run-of-the-mill ego climbing above the “herd”. Fly Free! Splat.

~ Atze

May 18, 1:00 pm

Natural selection. No remorse.

 

Woman Allegedly Fired for Deleting App That Let Her Boss Track Her Movements 24/7

Daniel HowleyTechnology ReporterMay 11, 2015

A California woman is suing her former employer after she claims she was fired for uninstalling a smartphone app that let her boss track her movements 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

According to Ars Technica, which obtained a copy of the complaint, Myrna Arias worked for the Intermex wire transfer service when she says her boss, John Stubits, fired her for deleting the Xora (now ClickSoftware) job management app from her smartphone.

In the suit Arias claims that the app allowed Intermex and Stubits to track her movement whether she was working or not.

Arias said that when she and her fellow employees asked Stubits if he could track them when they weren’t working, Stubits, “admitted that employees would be monitored while off duty and bragged that he knew how fast she was driving at specific moments ever since she had installed the app on her phone.”

According to the suit, Arias didn’t have a problem with the app tracking her while she was working, but didn’t want it doing so when she was off. Doing so, Arias said, amounted to an invasion of privacy.

Xora, the app that Arias complained about, tracks and manages mobile employees while they’re in the field.

Arias said she is seeking payment for lost wages and punitive damages.

We reached out to Intermex, and will update this article when we receive a response.

The proliferation of smartphones and our always-connected culture have given rise to a number of privacy issues and complaints. Social media users continuously argue that Facebook and Twitter regularly invade users’ privacy, while similar allegations have been made against major smartphone makers and websites.

The difference here is that Arias was required to install an app on her handset by her employer, something more and more companies require their workers to do in order to protect corporate data stored on their smartphones.

Do you think Arias should have been fired for not using the app, as her suit alleges? Should employers be able to track workers when they’re not on the job? Sound off in the comments.

Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty

5/13/15 9:47 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty.

The treaty, which was finalized Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

Story Continued Below

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is due to see Pope Francis on Saturday before the canonization of two new saints from the Holy Land a day later.
FDA recommends ending lifetime ban on gay men donating blood

Getty Images

By Sarah Ferris – 05/12/15 01:04 PM EDT

The Obama administration is calling for the end to a lifetime ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, acknowledging that the policy “is perceived by some as discriminatory.”

The Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules on Tuesday that would roll back the ban, though it still restricts gay men from donating blood if they have had sex with another man within a year.

The proposal still marks the country’s biggest step yet toward changing the 30-year-old prohibition.

Critics of the ban, which was enacted during the national AIDS epidemic in 1983 and last updated in 1992, say it ignores mounds of scientific evidence concluding that blood donations from gay men pose no risk than the greater public if properly screened.

The FDA said in its draft rules that the ban has become less effective over time, admitting that “some individuals knowingly donate despite the deferral.”

The agency will now collect public comments on the rule for 60 days.

The American Medical Association quickly praised the move, releasing a statement that called it “a step in the right direction to end the lifetime ban that prohibits men who have had sex with men (MSM) from ever donating blood.”

Groups such as the American Red Cross and America’s Blood Centers have also voiced support for the policy change, calling the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”

 

 

Commentary

~Why do so many Liberals seem to be so in love with organizations that are essentially antithetical to everything they profess to believe?

FREE SPEECH — IS IT ONLY FOR THE LEFT?

Exclusive: Morgan Brittany notes how 1st Amendment applies just to liberals, Muslims

Published: 15 hours ago

How many times have you heard a comment made by someone on the left where you said to yourself, “Wow, can you imagine if a conservative said that?” Why is it that the liberals in America have the right to say whatever it is they want, but if anyone expresses their opinion and it differs from the worldview of the left, they are demonized and shouted down?

This is becoming a tremendous problem, and every day we are seeing that free speech is becoming less and less available to anyone who disagrees with the left.

Is anyone noticing that there is an all-out assault on the First Amendment guaranteeing us the right to speak openly and freely even if it makes people uncomfortable? Does anyone see that opinions and ideas the left disagrees with are immediately attacked and ridiculed?

We can’t use certain words anymore because the left has deemed them “unacceptable hate speech.” They have decided what we can and cannot say. Well, I have news for them: According to our founders and the First Amendment, we have the right to voice our opinions – and just because a conservative says it, does not make it “hate speech”!

Political correctness is killing this country. We have to be so careful not to offend anyone that we have allowed our voices to be censored. The left has completely indoctrinated everyone through its control of the media and the message, so most people go along with this rather than fight it. God forbid you should speak out and give your opinion if you have conservative beliefs. The left will target you, dig up everything that they can on you and find something you said years ago that was (according to them) hateful, racist or bigoted. Excuse me, but who made them the police force of American speech?

Look at Paula Deen. They dug up words she said years ago, demonized her and made sure that she lost her job, her contracts and made her a pariah with the public. They tried the same thing with Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty.” Just because his program was enormously successful with its roots in family and religion, the left targeted him for his views and did everything in their power to silence him. Luckily, Phil fought back and did not let himself be silenced.

They tried it again with the president of Chick-fil-A. Just because he happened to have his own personal beliefs that had absolutely nothing to do with how he ran his business, he was targeted, boycotted and made to look like a bigot. The media carried the water for the left and spun every story branding him a “hater.” I could go on and on with stories of lives turned upside down by this intolerance of opinion.

While all of this targeting was going on in the public arena, quietly, behind closed doors, leading possibly up to the White House, orders were given to the IRS to silence any conservative tea party voices applying for tax-exempt status. There was a blatant effort to silence the free speech of these organizations and keep them from getting their message out. What country are we living in?!

The left is vicious in its attacks on anyone who dares to have an opposing opinion. Black conservatives, women, even members of their own party are turned on with a vengeance if they even think about speaking against the left’s agenda. If they do stray from the liberal message, they are called “house N-word” if they are black or “dim-witted airheads” if they are women.

The odd thing is, the left is so concerned about conservative, religious voices being heard, yet they will go to their deaths defending the rights of radical Muslims who are preaching hate against Americans and calling for the destruction of both Israel and the United States! Radical Islam, which hates gays, oppresses women and has a vendetta against all Jews, is seemingly “OK” with the left. Their speech is acceptable, but a conservative voice is not. The left does everything in its power to make sure radical Islamists are not offended.

Just last week, WND columnist Pamela Geller, was hosting a private event in Texas, which involved an art contest featuring the prophet Muhammad. Radical Islamists decided that these Americans should be killed for attending their own private function just because they disagreed with them. Thankfully, a brave police officer killed the radicals before they could do any damage, but the reaction to this situation by the left was appalling!

Instead of standing up for Geller’s right to speak freely under the First Amendment, she was the one targeted for antagonizing the radical Muslims!

There were numerous voices all over the media analyzing her motives and making her out to be an “instigator.” There was very little discussion of Geller’s rights in the leftist media, but they made sure that the would-be killers were portrayed as victims of American hatred.

Not only does the left defend radical Muslims, but they have a love affair with criminals who gun down innocent people. They will send high-ranking officials to the funeral of a thug/criminal, but not one will be sent to the service of an innocent victim.

We as Americans need to stop this now. We need to shine a light on the fact that some of our highest elected officials are all-in for silencing anyone who doesn’t agree with them. This is an orchestrated effort, and little by little we will see our freedom of speech completely taken away. The worldview of the left will be the only acceptable view, and anyone who disagrees will be threatened.

No matter what the subject – illegal immigration, global warming, gay marriage, Second Amendment rights, religious beliefs or whatever – there may come a time in the not too distant future when you will be questioned over something you said that was contrary to the “national opinion,” and there may be severe consequences for your words. We are already beginning to hear warnings in some corners about “dangerous conservative/religious voices” and from Hillary Clinton, who in a recent speech said that she plans to change your “deep-seated cultural codes and religious beliefs.” If we don’t start to fight back, how long will it be before an executive order is signed defining and allowing only “acceptable speech”?

We can’t be naïve and think this isn’t coming.

~ Are Unions even necessary anymore?

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