Bountiful Charges


As long as I can remember, the name “Bountiful” whispered from back lots of Canadian consciousnesses. Situated in South-eastern British Columbia, Bountiful holds its breath with eyes closed, praying no-one notices. Keep on driving – nothing to see here folks. Not really a town or village – Bountiful is referred to as a “settlement”. Since first settler Harold Blackmore arrived with his family in 1946, roughly 1000 people (descended from 6-8 men) call this Polygamist community home.

Bishop Winston Blackmore took the name “Bountiful” from The Book of Mormon in 1980 – despite dissension in the ranks, and a community now split into FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Inc. (a splinter group led by Winston Blackmore, who took offense when FLDS president and recent convicted felon Warren Jeffs got to big for his britches) – Bountiful remains unfazed by legal technicalities which frown upon incest, rape, underage/forced marriages, and illegal smuggling of child brides between Canada and Polygamist enclaves in America.

Until his 2006 arrest in Las Vegas, FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (a prominent member of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list – now serving time for Accomplice to Rape for forcing a 14 year old girl into marriage with her first cousin) visited Bountiful numerous times. A 2007 Provincial Court investigation concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to charge sect members with abuse or rape, based on the impossible task of finding victims willing to testify. Frustrated by defendants claims of “religious freedom”, special prosecutor William Peck took Section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code regarding constitutional rights to practice Polygamy to the Supreme Court. In 2011, the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld Canada’s Polygamy laws.

Today the British Columbia Criminal Justice Branch approved charges of Polygamy and “child related offenses” against 4 members of the Bountiful sect. Winston Blackmore and brother-in-law James Oler face Polygamy charges. (Blackmore is alleged to have 24 wives, Oler, 4) Blackmore’s son Brandon and wife Emily are charged with unlawfully removing a child under 16 from Canada “with the intention that an act be committed outside Canada that would be an offense against Section 151 (sexual interference) or 152 (invitation to sexual touching),” Newly appointed prosecutor Peter Wilson, “declined to approve” further charges of sexual exploitation – stating the standard of approving charges was not met in relation to the offenses.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bountiful-sect-members-face-polygamy-child-related-charges-1.2735785

Winston Blackmore
Kudos Province of B.C. for finally standing up to these criminals. Religious freedom with everyone on board – knock yourselves out. Systematic abuse, exploitation, and degradation of women and children under the guise of religious freedom – I hope you rot in jail. Grooming little girls with your insidious message “keep sweet” (as in control your emotions, and don’t complain when we rape or trade you ), allowing yourselves to smoke and drink alcohol (a direct no-no for mainstream Mormons), forbidding women to cut their hair so they can use it to wash not just Christ’s but your feet in heaven – give me a break, I can’t take much more!
A few FLDS “facts”…
Freedom of religion isn’t the freedom to do anything you damn well please. Nothing would make me happier than watching that moment of realization – the look on your smug faces as you shuffle off to prison.
In conclusion, a snippet of history on Joseph Smith – in my opinion, the womanizing  “snake oil” salesman responsible for all this nonsense…..

 

Why the Tea Party is Un-American


My apologies to the Tea Party. Being the one to break bad news is never easy – I’m prepared to ride out your onslaught of denial and bargaining, hoping you find the strength needed to reach acceptance. I’m certain you mean well and know you love your country. Your destructive actions stem from insulated thinking rather than malicious scheming. Your literal interpretation of America as it should be – a product of religious, geographic and economic factors beyond your control.

Lets take a peak at your core “values”, your mission to save America for Americans.

What is an American? Who are “we the people”? Would it be fair to say “the people” arrived on your shores as immigrants in search of “freedom”? Freedom from religious oppression, refugees in search of a better life, opportunists in search of wealth, people swayed by the promise of land, survivors of war and genocide? You do realize the “people” includes African Americans deposited on your shores by slave ships – human fodder whose broken backs built your economic power? America was founded on freedom for all these people – a constitutional right to freely practice ANY religion, the core belief church and state remain separate.

A true “patriot”, a person dedicated to the preservation of America would embrace all citizens – faith or lack of – secondary to the principles of freedom. A true patriot wouldn’t demand the ten commandments be posted in schoolrooms, toss a fit when Obama neglected to mention “God” in a speech, throw tantrums over gay soldiers being treated with dignity or whine because abortion is legal.

You’ve made it abundantly clear – the Tea Party is a Christian movement dedicated to “family values”. I’m sorry Tea Party – “family values” upheld by your members is an un-American attempt to divide the country along religious lines. There’s nothing patriotic about it. You champion tax reform, as in limiting the power of government to collect them, salivate and high five each other when hard asses like Cliven Bundy of Nevada stages an armed stand off with federal officers over unpaid grazing fees, and erupt with delusional mirth every time bat shit talking heads at Fox News champion your misguided agenda.

Wake up tea Party patriots – stop with the “grassroots” movement nonsense, it’s embarrassing. Knock yourselves out – love America, love God, go to church, teach your kids prejudice, hatred and paranoia. Arm yourselves with semi-automatic weapons, thumb your noses at the courts, spread hysteria over the evils of non Christians, undermine government attempts to narrow social divides, stick pins in an effigy of Obama – you have the right as an American. All I ask is that you accept the fact you’re destroying America. There’s nothing patriotic about your tiresome ruse – have the balls to come clean. Grow up and admit you want an America under God – your God.

Open your minds long enough for the light of your un-American shenanigans to penetrate  unpatriotic brains. America is far from perfect – you have that right but for all the wrong reasons. Your government is bloated, political system practically ineffective, special interest groups out of control, infrastructure and education on the brink of collapse and a cult of dangerous spin doctors fanning the flames. Your actions hasten the demise of a country you claim to “protect”. God is your business, not America’s problem.

Biblically Hostile Mindblower


I see Barrack Obama as a great American – a man of conviction, integrity and desire to move America into the future. Duly elected in spite of a convoluted system, he swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution and protect America. A Constitution guaranteeing separation of church and state, promising religious freedom and individual rights.

What he got was a hysterical “conspiracy” ass kicking, hand delivered by knuckle headed fundamentalists. Fundamentalists crying foul and pointing righteous fingers at the man responsible for destroying America. Red faced whiners claiming Obama hated God – people anesthetized by years void of independent reason. People convinced the only good American was a God fearing one. People claiming to fight for the same Constitution  Obama apparently loathed. People like those who author this site…

http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=106938

I didn’t want to include the link, but it had to be done – if for no other reason than to state; I now understand why America is doomed. It lists in chronological order – attacks on religious persons or organizations, hostility towards biblical faith in the military, attacks on biblical values, and preferential consideration towards the Muslim faith. A few examples…

February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. [4]

April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. [16]

April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” [19]

October 2013 – A counter-intelligence briefing at Fort Hood tells soldiers that evangelical Christians are a threat to Americans and that for a soldier to donate to such a group “was punishable under military regulations.

July 2012 – The Pentagon, for the first time, allows service members to wear their uniforms while marching in a parade – specifically, a gay pride parade in San Diego. [62]

January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. [80]

April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. [87]

The list is long, I’ll spare anymore examples. Here’s the thing America – separation of church and state is a constitutional right. Abortion is legal. Homosexual soldiers are no different than any other soldier, they’re recognized by the military and given equal rights.

Undermining America because someone had the balls to respect all Americans – throwing tantrums because your “God” has to sit beside Allah, or perish the thought – a Lesbian atheist soldier who had an abortion after she was raped in the barracks – put your money where your mouth is and start acting like an American.

Obama isn’t an enemy of the American way of life, he hasn’t a secret agenda, or any desire to take away your bible. All he wants is a nation of people willing to respect and honor freedom. Get off your high horse and understand once and for all – your God isn’t the nation’s God. Religion is no longer a matter of state, religion can’t bully the courts, dictate lifestyle or poison democracy simply because you say so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ponder Ancient Muslim Tolerance


I doubt many could fathom a world of religious tolerance under Islam. Ancient history lends itself to images of holy war, crusades and religious oppression.

Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453 – a crushing blow in favour of the Ottoman Empire – orchestrated by a 21 year old visionary. According to Sharia law, non-Muslims were guaranteed freedom and protection from persecution. Once Ottoman rule was established, it made little sense to squabble over religious differences.

The Arabic word for “nation” is millet. The Ottoman Empire allowed each “millet” or religious group to elect leaders and practice freely as a “nation” under Ottoman protection. Each “millet” was free to enforce their own rules – Islamic law did not apply to non-Muslim “nations”.Criminal acts within a “millet” were dealt with under religious laws of that nation. The only time Islamic law applied was when crimes involved people of two separate nations or was perpetrated by a Muslim. Millets could speak their own languages, build churches, schools and practice faith autonomously under the Ottoman umbrella.

The system created religious harmony until European meddling abolished it in the 1800’s. Creation of European secularist style rule, eroded religious freedom and created fewer rights along with increased hostilities. Armenian genocide during the first world war a perfect example.

All too aware this is an extraordinarily compressed historical account – my point is “freedom of religion” worked for a few hundred years. At the very least, we should ponder Sultan Mehmed’s approach. Knock yourselves out – practice freely anything that floats your boat but keep it to yourselves and don’t shove it down the throat of your neighbor.

http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/people/muhammad-ii-ottoman-sultan.html

Bill O’Reilly Says Christianity Is Not a Religion


Wowza – please watch this video clip. Bill O’Reilly says Christianity is a philosophy not a religion. O’Reilly actually argues that Christianity, being a philosophy is exempt from rules governing freedom of religion. O’Reilly’s point of view sat me on my ass; those of Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist – name any faith – follow a religion, while Christians believe in a philosophy.

Pondering this Fox News bombshell leads to several questions.  I would love to ask O’Reilly if  and when this “philosophy” will start paying taxes. If indeed a philosophy, why did he call David Silverman of American Atheists “insane” for then responding that Atheism was a philosophy. If a philosophy, how can it be the only true philosophy, and not be a religion. When did it become a philosophy – certainly not when the church burned philosophers at the stake.

Bill O’Reilly tends to blurt out ridiculous justification for his points of view; I know that and avoid his venomous propaganda. The problem is – millions of Fox viewers take his word as the gospel. For every person who scoffs at O’Reilly, there are two more taking it hook, line and sinker.

Just An Idea


I had an idea, far from claiming it original or earth shattering; just a thought crossing my mind. One of those little moments of clarity, akin to that instant when Algebra makes sense or you understand “cereal box French” – for the first time in your life not having to flip to the English side.

I’m still bargaining with “promise” – I assured her I wouldn’t write about religion. Promises born of good intent are common – minuscule snippets of idea arrive when least expected. My apologies for a flippant promise – little ideas will trump every time.

Worn to my last nerve at the thought of defending my “Godless” views, sick of the label Atheist, and steadfast in belief that religion will be the death of us all – I had an idea. Instead of the “Godless” patting themselves on the back for cleverly debunking the faithful; they need to organize and form a recognized “religion”. Before fundamentalist Atheists vow to jump down my throat – hear me out. We pride ourselves on analytical thinking, minds open to possibilities and truth. The truth is – this idea has some merit.

Like it or not our world is based on religious bias. Values such as freedom of speech and religion become contentious when a segment of society is deemed void of religion. The Godless can justify their position till blue in the face – truth is, nothing less than official recognition will level the playing field. If the Godless stepped down from their fortified positions, organized, put their minds to good use and refused to take the bait dangled by fundamentalists mouth pieces – think of all the good we could do.

Wouldn’t irony rule the day if the Godless behaved with dignity, respect, inclusion and charity? How perfect would it be to exhibit virtues so many faithful overlook in their rabid agenda to eradicate the Godless?

No one will win a pissing match of egos, intellect, common sense or values.  I’m tired of the game.  A proposal to change the rules – more accurately a “game changer” set in motion by tactical planning aimed at putting an end to the madness strikes me as a refreshing summer rain.  Forming a “religion” isn’t hypocritical – it’s smart, decisive, and pivotal towards getting on with more important issues. Granted, the Godless might have to choose something to “worship”. I say – suck it up people, look at the big picture. Maybe we could worship “seeds”, the implications could vastly alter genetic modifications if we put our minds to it.

I could care less if my neighbour was waiting for the rapture or a reincarnated soul from the planet Xenu. As long as they don’t shove it down my throat, making the world a better place should come easily. It wouldn’t be difficult to find a qualifying niche. The link below is for the IRS rules regarding tax exempt/ non profit religious status. Following is an excerpt regarding the validity of religious belief. At least give it a ponder – somebody has to take the high road for the good of us all – why not the Godless?

http://www.irs.gov/irm/part7/irm_07-025-003.html

7.25.3.6.4  (02-23-1999)
Validity of Religious Belief

  1. In making a determination whether a religious organization qualifies for exemption under IRC 501(c)(3), the Internal Revenue Service cannot pass judgment on the merits of the applicant’s asserted religious belief.
  2. Accordingly, proof of entitlement to exemption does not include proving the validity of the religious doctrines or beliefs of the applicant or its members. It is the government’s duty to “make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary.” Zorach v. Clausen, 343 U.S. 306 (1952).
  3. This concept is also discussed in U.S. v. Ballard, 322 U.S. 78 (1943), in which the Court stated “The Fathers of the Constitution were not unaware of the varied and extreme views of religious sects, of the violence of disagreement among them, and of the lack of any one religious creed on which all men would agree. They fashioned a charter of government which envisaged the widest possible toleration of conflicting views…The religious views espoused by respondents might seem incredible, if not preposterous, to most people. But if those doctrines are subject to trial before a jury charged with finding their truth or falsity, then the same can be done with the religious beliefs of any sect. When the triers of fact undertake that task, they enter a forbidden domain.”

7.25.3.6.5  (02-23-1999)
Religious Belief Defined

  1. The term “religious” as used in IRC 501(c)(3) is not subject to precise definition. The leading interpretation of the term was made by the Supreme Court in United States v. Seeger, 380 U.S. 163 (1965), in which the Court interpreted the phrase “religious training and belief” as used in the Universal Military Training and Service Act, 50 U.S.C. section 456 (j), in determining an individual’s eligibility for exemption from military service on religious grounds. The Court formulated the following definition: “A sincere and meaningful belief which occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of those admittedly qualifying for the exemption comes within the statutory definition.”
  2. The Court elaborated upon the Seeger definition in Welsh v. United States, 398 U.S. 33 (1970), stating that “[i]f an individual deeply and sincerely holds beliefs that are purely ethical or moral in source and content but that nevertheless impose upon him a duty of conscience to refrain from participating in any war at any time, those beliefs certainly occupy in the life of that individual a place parallel to that filled by… God in the lives of traditionally religious persons.” Thus, religious beliefs include many beliefs (for example, Taoism, Buddhism, and Secular Humanism) that do not posit the existence of a Supreme Being in the conventional sense.

7.25.3.6.6  (02-23-1999)
Actions Distinguished from Beliefs

  1. The constitutional protections afforded religious beliefs do not prevent government from regulating conduct or actions when it has a compelling interest to do so. Thus, the First Amendment does not prevent the government from requiring compliance with general laws designed to effectuate an important governmental policy or objective even though compliance may be contrary to an individual’s sincerely-held religious beliefs.
  2. In Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), the Court upheld a law passed by Congress that made the practice of polygamy by persons residing in United States territories a crime. The Court interpreted the constitutional prohibition in this way: “Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.” Finding that polygamy had long been considered an offense against society in all the states of the union, the Court held that the statute under consideration was constitutional and valid as prescribing a rule of action for all those residing in the territories. In holding that religious belief did not except persons from operation of the statute, the Court said: “While they [laws] cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices.”
  3. In Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296 (1940), the Court endorsed Reynolds, stating that “the [First] Amendment embraces two concepts, freedom to believe and freedom to act. The first is absolute but, in the nature of things, the second cannot be.” See also Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 33 (1890), and Mormon Church v. United States, 136 U.S. 1 (1890), where the Court grappled with the same issue. While continuing to affirm the right of freedom of religious belief, the Court nevertheless held that legislation for the punishment of actions “inimical to the peace, good order and morals of society” did not violate the First Amendment.
  4. A notable recent application of this doctrine is Bob Jones University v. United States, andGoldsboro Christian Schools v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983), in which the Supreme Court upheld revocation of the exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) of religious and educational institutions on the grounds that its religiously motivated policy forbidding interracial dating violated a fundamental public policy against racial discrimination. The Court concluded that educational institutions that practice racial discrimination based on religious beliefs are not charitable in the generally accepted legal sense and thus do not qualify for federal tax exemption.