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Re: “'Values' coalition sues to strike medi-pot from ballot

Except Nazis and Klansmen, and even the child molesters *nods to Catholic Church* were "people of faith." Of course DAs, Governors, and law enforcement are against ending prohibition, but the majority of politicians are bowing to the pressure from religious organizations and people of faith, not the secular, science based community.

Law enforcement has their own agenda, which as you say, is protecting their job security, and making billions upon billions of dollars fighting a failed drug war. I don't think your argument that we are "lumping them all together" holds much water, given the fact that right now the only group who is suing to actually keep the citizens of Arkansas from exercising their constitutional right to vote, is a "faith based" organization, which is comprised by another handful of faith based organizations and people.

Point to me where a secular group has fought against the legalization of marijuana, let alone people actually voting on it, and you may be able to make the comparison that they are the same, but I doubt it. Sans law enforcement and politicians folding to the pressure of the religious right, this issue would have never been an issue in the first place, and for the first 150 years of this country it was perfectly legal for a grown man/woman to decide what they put into their body, not some bureaucratic committee determined to "help" you, no matter how much you opposed.

And there is nothing hypocritical about calling a spade a spade. The fact is, right now, the only collective force against legalization is from "people of faith". The fact is, the only collective group discriminating against homosexuals, and getting together to celebrate their hatred of anything they deem as the "other", while grinning over a big ole greasy chicken-sandwich with the whole family are people of faith. Pointing out what they believe is not misconstruing their agenda or being intolerant, it is observing reality.

Despite what you may thing of Norma or my comments, neither one of us have called people of faith "obnoxious", "noxious twit", "redneck asshole"or implied that we were going to use physical violence to enforce our argument. Nor have we even contemplated blustering about how tough were are with incoherent ramblings of picnics and rat bones.

To pretend that religious opposition is limited to "one little group" is astoundingly naive or deliberately obtuse. The Family Faith Council is comprised by many other "faith based" organizations, and the argument has been opposed across the country by people of faith. Politicians are yielding to the pressure of a Christian political action committee, which is what the Christian religion has become, an untaxed political ideology that seeks to have laws, policy, and America comport its religious edicts. Ignoring this fact is to ignore the main (and possibly only) opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana.

Religion is just another word for politics, and the politics of religion are divisive, cruel, discriminatory, hateful, and downright un-American. Recall that this whole argument got started because of a Christian Political organization sued to keep the people of Arkansas from deciding how they want their own State to treat its citizens. When other commentators complained that this was typical, expected, immoral, and against the principles of a democracy, the "faith based" people started to threaten to vote against the measure, just out of spite, as if the plant or cancer patient cared about our religion in the first place.

People are sick and dying, and all the evidence suggests that that marijuana helps prevent terrible pain, nausea, poor mental health, anxiety, stress, inability to eat food, and generally feeling like you WANT to die because you are suffering.

The idea that anyone would oppose this law, let alone do it in the furtherance of demanding their religion be coddled and catered to in the process, is abhorrent. It is especially naive and hypocritical to suggest people of faith are behind this measure, when in the same breath admitting that the only groups who have taken action to stop the vote and give the citizens a voice on the issue are religious groups.

I am all for leaving religion out of this debate, but unfortunately, the people of faith will not let me.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TheGadfly on 09/03/2012 at 10:42 AM

Re: “UAMS, St. Vincent plan affiliation: Update 2

Not only does the Catholic hospital transfer patients, despite the need for emergency care, but they are proposing this in the current plan in Arkansas and in both plans that were rejected in Kentucky. We all know what the EMTALA is designed to prevent, but we also know that just because there is a law in place it does not mean people are going to always follow it. Diogenes is being kind when he says they "skate very close" to the line, as sometimes the line disappears completely, depending on who is watching.

If a pregnant female was admitted at St. Vincent's for delivery, she would have to be transferred to UAMS after the birth if she wanted a tubal, delivery of contraceptives, etc. This is not only an unnecessary burden on the patient, it is a violation of her privacy and confidentiality. It is going to cost more because of the amount of people involved, transportation costs, administrative costs. It is going take more time, and the patient is going to have a diminished continuity of care as she is drug around the hospitals from room to room because of the whims of a theocratic administration.

What about the female patient that needs fertility treatments? Under both plans constructed and submitted in Kentucky, the public hospital had to confirm to the religious edicts of the Catholic Church though their ERDs. Thus the church would have control of a public institution and university, and limits healthcare options based on religion. This is an unconstitutional and unnecessary entanglement of religion.

UAMS can partner with any secular hospital it wants, as long as the standard of care and availability of treatments remains the same, and UAMS does not transfer, sell, or otherwise dispose of its assets or facilities. I do not trust CHI or UAMS to police themselves, as I know better, and I know the intentions of the Catholic Church as well. The Catholic church has a horrible record of cleaning its own house, and I can't believe anyone would suggest that they should be in a position to oversee the care of the public at large with use of public facilities, taxpayer money, and donations to the secular university and hospital. I don't want the same church authorities that covered up the largest child molestation investigation in the history of the planet to be in control of taxpayer money or be in position to abuse their authority by imposing their religion or twisted morality. The Catholic church may very well be the largest organized crime organization on earth.

Religion and public funds do not belong together, ever. They should not talk, sit by each other at the lunch table, let alone make out in my car in the parking lot. If people want to visit a religious hospital for medical treatment that is their choice, however, to force this burden on the general public via legislative fiat is unconstitutional and immoral.

Taxpayer money should never be used to facilitate or encourage religion to thrive. A secular, public university has no business mixing with religion and there is no room to blur the line on this issue any further. If Catholics want to spread their religion based healthcare they can build another building, but sucking off the public teat is not an option, and it never has been.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by TheGadfly on 09/01/2012 at 4:41 PM

Re: “'Values' coalition sues to strike medi-pot from ballot

"I have not supported many cancer causes because of this very argument about religion/ politics."

Brilliant. You denied support to people with cancer because of your religion. Do you get an award for that magnanimous achievement or do you just have to tell people via word of mouth that you have no compassion or integrity?

Why don't you just do the right thing towards your fellow man despite your petty feelings?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by TheGadfly on 09/01/2012 at 3:43 PM

Re: “'Values' coalition sues to strike medi-pot from ballot


You are not a friend if your support depends on us codling your delusions and using them as support for any law. You keep threatening us to respect your religion or else. This is why we don't care to have you in our camp, as you want some type of favor for doing the right thing, and if you don't get your way, you are willing to go against your very own conscience just to spite us.

And no, people of faith were NOT the ones leading the movement for abolition, and I would point to history as my source. Southern states especially used the justification in the Bible to support slavery, and indeed even espoused the position that should a person help a slave escape from bondage would go to hell for their sin.

This is forever recorded in history, in a million different ways. That is why Mark Twain, widely renowned for being THE American writer, used his main character Huckleberry Finn, to critique the religious support for slavery and murder in the best selling book "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".

In the climax of the novel, Huck has to make a decision to help Jim (the slave) escape from his captors he has tried to avoid in order to get to free territory or to follow the tenets of Christianity and leave the slave in bondage. Jim was sold for "forty dirty-dollars" his kidnappers have locked him in a shed, as their is a $200 dollar reward for him to be returned to his "master". Huck retreats back to his raft to figure out what to do n, and it is there there he begins to contemplate about the lessons he learned in Sunday school, and about what happens to people who assist runaway slaves.

“People that acts as I’d been acting about [Jim],” he’d been told, “goes to everlasting fire.” (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

That is what Christianity taught people about the morality of slavery. In the scene, Huck genuinely does not want to go to Hell, and he is at first going to follow the tenets of the religion in which he was raised. He writes a letter to Jim's owner in order to tell her where Jim can be found, but at the last minute he cannot go against his own conscience and morality. He decides to follow the "wicked" path he is on and help Jim escape slavery, and he destroys the letter.

"It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself:"All right, then, I'll go to hell"- and tore it up. It was awful thoughts, and awful words[his word in the letter], but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head; and said I would take up wickedness again, which was in my line, being brung up to it, and the other warn't. And for a starter, I would go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again; and if I could think up anything worse, I would do that, too; because as long as I was in, and in for good, I might as well go the whole hog.”-(Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

The Christian group called the Ku Klux Klan set fire to black churches, raped and murdered children, murdered civil rights workers, and terrorized the entire country for over 100 years. The Christian tenets of the time supported slavery, and they used the Bible's support of slavery in scripture to further their agenda. It wasn't until Christianity was going to lose all credibility that if finally did what it always does, which is comport with the better morality and knowledge of the secular world.

Unfortunately for Christians, you do not get to rewrite history so your religion seems more peaceful and tolerant. History remembers the actions of the church and we can find the artifacts of Christian hate buried in books, culture, and bones beneath our feet.

I have not attacked you, I don't even know you. I have attacked your argument. I do not believe for one second that we need "people of faith" to get anything progressive accomplished, as the fact of the matter is we have always progresses as a society IN SPITE OF RELIGION, not because of it. Religion has opposed every scientific achievement of mankind, up to and including killing people for writing that Earth was not flat, and that the Sun did not revolve around the Earth. Religion killed people for being witches, though sickness and diseases were caused by demonic possession. This is why the period of religious rule is called THE DARK AGES.

Christian murdered scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, and anyone that was not a Christian. Christianity was a stumbling block to every scientific, medical, social, and cultural change for the better since its invention. Today it still subjugates women, non-Christians, homosexuals, and minorities. Christian white supremacist groups still exist and attack minorities whenever they think they can get away with it, just like they do with gay people.

Vote against the proposition, I could care less, as people are going to have access to marijuana whether this law passes or not. The law is not stopping anyone for obtaining marijuana that wants it, and it never has. I am not worried by your threats, as I know history, and I understand the evidence. I know for a fact that religion will fail to control and keep people oppressed, no matter how bad your feelings get hurt because of your erroneous claim that I am attacking you or persecuting you.

I support your right to worship and believe whatever you want, but I don't support your assertion that we need you or can't get reason and science based policy accepted without your religion. We have never had the help of religion, and we are used to being disappointed by is fickle and thug mentality. Take your threats back to church where they might be respected by people who worship power for powers sake and fear. Nobody here is afraid of you, your God, or your threats to thwart progress and compassionate care for people because you are going to teach us a lesson. Get over yourself, and join the club.

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by TheGadfly on 09/01/2012 at 3:29 PM

Re: “'Values' coalition sues to strike medi-pot from ballot

@ SkyPilot

"If you come at me, as a person of faith, from an anti-faith position, it's easy enough for me to tell you to just take your message and go to hell."

Of course it is, as you are used to basing your arguments on emotion, instead of your principles and reason and you are willing to strike dawn a law if you feel like your delicate sensibilities are offended. This is why you are trying to issue your passive aggressive threat here now. I don't care what your religion is, or isn't, I care that secular laws are not passed based on the "ethos" or "credibility" of religious propaganda.

I would rather lose the law, than have it based on some notion of religion, as to do as you suggest sets a horrible precedent of giving religion some type of innate credibility that it does not deserve. If we can base any law on "faith" than we can base all laws on faith. I am not attacking your religion, I am attacking your assertion that we should involve your religion in discussion of laws that affect everyone or in the rule of government.

Being a person of "faith" does not give you credibility in everyone's eyes, and more and more people are nonbelievers every second of every day. There is a very big segment of Arkansas that are atheists, agnostics, and have no desire to hear the word "faith" or "religion" when debating anything, let alone government and laws. Matter of fact, for the first time in this country, more people identify themselves as atheists than evangelical Christians. The only reason you think Arkansas is a majority "faith" is because some people are still afraid to admit in public that they do not believe in gods, but they can do whatever they want when inside the voting booth without the people of faith foaming at the mouth over their shoulder.

We have reason, science, logic, compassion, and medical professionals from all walks of life on our side, we don't need to resort to religious pandering. We have the American Medical Association, National Cancer Institute, American College of Physicians, the Medical Student Section of the AMA, the California Medical Association, US Surgeons General (former and present), 17 States in the Union (and their medical associations), the District of Columbia, and the President of the United States of America. I would say that we might just scrape by without your help.

In the 18 jurisdictions where this has become legal, it has been opposed by "people of faith", and those same people have used their religion to argue against every progressive step of humanity since the dawn of time. They argued for slavery, segregation, subjugation of women, and it took the Supreme Court of the United States to FORCE them to accept reality. It took the military to force Arkansas to quit discriminating against black people. These same people of faith are currently responsible for discriminating against homosexuals, atheists, and everyone who is not Christian. Forgive us if we are a little reluctant to claim you folks in our camp on ANY issue.

The only people who are against legalization are law enforcement, private prison corporations, and people who reject the idea based on "faith" like the Family Coalition in Arkansas and Mitt Romney.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by TheGadfly on 09/01/2012 at 12:20 PM

Re: “'Values' coalition sues to strike medi-pot from ballot


Keep your religion out of the discussion, even if I agree with the position you are advocating, I do not agree with your religion having any say in matters of law. Your suggestion that the person to lead the discussion should be a member of the community with a "solid faith background" is nonsensical. Are you talking about a Wiccan, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu here?

Superstition has no place in the discussion of laws, and is the purview of reason, logic, and science. I am happy that you read the Bible and found out that the anointing oil was made from the tops of cannabis plants, but this is old news to anyone that has actually read the Bible. I am happy that you are happy believing in God, whatever you conceive him/her/it to be, however, using religion for a basis in laws that affect the whole of the citizenry is illogical and unconstitutional.

Thank you for keeping your religion to yourself and out of our laws.

9 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by TheGadfly on 08/31/2012 at 9:35 PM

Re: “Affirmative action on Arkansas campuses may end

To treat anyone differently because of race, gender, religion or national origin is a violation of the Civil Rights Act. It is time to quit treating people differently because they happen to belong to any class.

If black students can't get into a good college because of their grades, that has nothing to do with a court ruling, but it has everything to do with their performance. The idea that we LOWER the standards to accept students into medical school, so they can have the opportunity to practice medicine, is all fine and well until my family member needs to have surgery or gets sick. Then I want the BEST doctor, regardless of race, gender, religion or national origin to provide the with health care. Why should someone who worked harder, who was smarter, and who is more likely to save a patient's life be exiled because we want to make room for someone was was less competent? That notion is ridiculous.

The way to end racism is to quit treating some people special because of the sins of the past, and to quit framing all discussion in the context of race. Just STOP. Universities should not even ask the question of what race the student is who is applying, as it has no basis for determining who is going to succeed or be the best student.

People should advance on merit, not race, and this is common sense. You don't need the SCOTUS to tell you that treating people different because of race is wrong.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TheGadfly on 08/31/2012 at 8:41 PM

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