Judging by this email sent to scout masters & sponsors this week, Alabama's state Boy Scout leadership seems a bit less than committed to full inclusion. At least that's how the scouting participant who provided the email to LIA sees it & I have to agree.
It appears to offer thinly-veiled instructions on how to keep gay scouts out of the unit. Failing that, the email suggests that scout masters use their position of influence to encourage the boys to be "morally straight."
Here's the complete text of the email:
I want to thank each of you for sharing with us your feedback on the recent change in the BSA membership standard. We know from many of you that you did not want or welcome this change, but despite that you will continue to provide a Scouting unit in your neighborhood. I also appreciate that for some of you it seemed impossible for you to continue with Scouting, and I certainly respect that and greatly appreciate your courage and conviction to your beliefs.
If you or your chartered organization are thinking about leaving Scouting, I want you to consider this before the sun sets on your unit, before the last Scout stands in your entryway, before the campfire embers die away. Is there any way that you can maintain your values and continue to charter Scouting? I say yes, and here is why.
First, the resolution clearly states that sexual activity among Scout-aged youth is contrary to Scouting virtues, and that means that so long as it is uniformly and equitably applied, a unit could have in its code of conduct a statement regarding sexual abstinence as a condition of membership.
Second, the resolution only says that youth may not be denied membership solely on the basis of the youth's self-perceived sexual orientation. It does not say that a youth may not be denied membership if his behavior becomes a distraction to the program or the performance of the unit, or if his behavior casts a poor reflection on the reputation of the chartered organization.
Third, the resolution does not require that a church-chartered unit affirm the moral acceptability of same-sex attraction where that would be contrary to values and beliefs of the chartered organization.
Fourth, the resolution does not preclude the right of a church to ask adult leaders to exemplify by word and example the positive nature of traditional, heterosexual marriage as their recognized standard of what it means to be morally straight, with the goal of influencing youth in the unit to appreciate and appropriate that as part of their personal values system.
I included a link to a FAQ that we put together locally. Regardless of whether you continue with Scouting or not, I wanted you to know how much we appreciate all you have done and the lives you have touched. I am so sorry what a distraction this discussion has had on our core mission, and I am deeply saddened about the tough discussions and decisions you have had to make. But in the words of the Scoutmaster's Benediction, "May the great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with you until we meet again."
J.T.Dabbs, III Scout Executive Greater Alabama Council
What happens when an organization uses deceptive marketing practices, unilaterally changes contracts, and denies responsibility? If it's the State of Alabama, well.... nothing. Families who purchased prepaid tuition contracts from the state's Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) program know this all too well.
But finally, at least one media outlet (other than LIA) has taken notice. Tami Brehse, a reporter for WPMI in Mobile, investigated the issue and challenged the notion that PACT parents were just stupid investors. It's quite refreshing to have someone actually dig into the history instead of simply rewriting press releases from the State Treasurer's office.
"The PACT Board did a horrible job, a negligent job investing the money, and lost a substantial amount of the money," says Jim Zeigler.
Zeigler is a father of two who bought into PACT for both his children. He alleges the money was mismanaged by the PACT Board almost from the start, and then no action was taken when the economy started to go downhill.
"They bought in at the top and sold out at the bottom," he says. "Even a sixth grader would know that will lose the money."
So how can the program get out of paying what it promised? State Treasurer Young Boozer says the contract parents signed was never a "guarantee". He says it was simply marketed as such.
"There were marketing differences at certain periods in the program's life," Boozer says. "It was not a guarantee by the state. It is not an obligation by the state in any way whatsoever."
He says the word 'guarantee' was removed from all marketing materials after 1996.
"If this were any other contract with the state on building roads, bridges, paving, whatever it might be, if the state did not honor that contract, there would be an uproar about it," Braden says.
Boozer says it's not, in fact, a contract with the State of Alabama. Rather, he says it's a contract between parents and the PACT Board. The PACT Board is made up of state officials and other individuals nominated by state officials.
That's right, folks! A contract imprinted with the Alabama State Seal and signed by the State Treasurer isn't really with the State of Alabama. In fact, even though contracts for years specifically "guaranteed" tuition, there wasn't one because "it was simply marketed as such."
Would that story work for your local used care dealer, funeral home, or contractor?
With this issue in mind, PACT revised its disclosure statement - long after most families has purchased their contracts:
A disclosure statement says neither the PACT Board or the state 'has any legal or moral obligation to ensure the ultimate payout with the respect to the purchase of a PACT contract'.
Note that the state denies the contract is, in fact, a contract.... but then calls it a "contract" in the revised disclosure statement - one that the majority of PACT contract holders didn't receive because it was changed after they bought their contracts.
Learn more about who did what, when, and who knew what - and when - about the financial health and marketing practices of the Alabama PACT program in our PACT timeline.
And think long and hard about entering into any business arrangement with the State of Alabama. You could be the next victim....
On Monday, a record 53 animals were dropped off at the Decatur Animal Shelter and shelter officials are scrambling to find homes or alternate arrangements for them. Some owners are undoubtedly irresponsible - preferring to dump their squirming little problems at the shelter instead of spaying & neutering their animals.
“One person brought in 15 animals and surrendered them,” Wicks told WHNT News 19. “Obviously they did not spay or neuter their pets and they in turn had a litter of, I think, seven which they did not want. So all of those animals were turned into us.”
Others do care, but don't have the financial resources to pay for the surgery at a full-service veterinarian's office. That's why Alabama needs more low-cost, non-profit spay and neuter clinics. Joey Kennedy wrote about the issue earlier this year:
Of the 3,000 spay/neuter surgeries conducted by Alabama Spay/Neuter in the first quarter of 2013, half were subsidized -- meaning the client could not even afford that clinic's modest cost. If those animals aren't spayed or neutered at a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, most of them will never be spayed or neutered, and their populations will continue even more out of control.
But the state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners looks at the relatively small business of nonprofit spay/neuter clinics as financial competition against private vets -- and the welfare of the animals be damned.
Sadly, HB188 - the compromise bill that would have allowed the clinics to continue operating - died in the Senate thanks to Del Marsh, Paul Bussman, and the vocal minority of vets in this state more worried about protecting profits than animal welfare.
Rep. Jo Bonner announced his retirement from Congress last month so he could enter the family business: working for the University of Alabama system. Bonner's sister, Judy Bonner, is UA president and the former Congressman will be the Vice Chancellor for Government Relations & Economic Development - a position that sounds suspiciously like "high paid lobbyist."
If you recall, we last discussed University of Alabama finances in 2012 in this context:
Here's what's wrong with Alabama higher education in a single sentence: "Former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey is still earning $535,000 annually, following his resignation in October after only two months on the job." He'll continue to earn that salary until August, when, the University hopes, he'll return to the school as a tenured professor.
Bonner's cashing in as well - making approximately 60% more than his predecessor.
This whole sordid story is recounted in meticulous detail at the "Decaturish" blog. I'm reprinting part of it here, but strongly encourage you all to read the entire blog post (Rep. Jo Bonner To Make More Money Than You) and definitely add the blog to your regular reading list.
Here's an excerpt:
Wow, $350,000. And do you want to know a fun fact? The starting salary of the average University of Alabama grad is $40,800. Since Jo Bonner graduated from UA, with a degree in journalism no less, I guess this whole thing is really more of a rags-to-riches story than an indictment of good ole boy politics.
I can’t wait for the TV movie.
The average vice chancellor’s salary is $287,375, according to the Crimson White’s tepid endorsement of hiring Bonner.
The press, to its credit, is doing the best it can without outright stating the truth that’s so obvious you could see it from outer space. This Al.com story goes right up to the line, noting that the Board of Trustees will soon consider raising tuition rates yet again.
You know, when you start your first job out of college making an amazing $40,800 salary, you can afford to tack on a little extra student loan debt.
Thanks to Decaturish for allowing us to reprint. Now y'all go read the entire thing - but not on a full stomach.
The Huntsville International Airport Authority approved a resolution Tuesday morning that will offer more than $6 million in credits and incentives to airlines that lower fares and improve customer service.
The goal is to get airlines to lower fares enough to prevent the local market from driving to Birmingham or Nashville airports, both of which are served by low-cost carriers.
Specifically, the airline will be paid (via "incentives" and "credits") to:
Improve customer service: $1 million
Compete with each other to increase air traffic to and from the airport: $2 million
$3 million to be shared by all airlines to increase traffic. If the increase in passengers exceeds the goal, the airlines get an extra $15 per passenger as a reward.
Pay attention air travelers! There's a bounty on your head and the airlines are going hunting for you - using public money.
Now, other than the fact that we're using public money to subsidize private companies to improve customer service (really?), let's look at how well these schemes have worked in the past.
I found this very enlightening grant proposal from 2009 where the Huntsville International Airport is requesting a $1.5 million federal grant (to be combined with $1.8 million in local funding and fee waivers.(page 24) It was to be used to help lure AirTran.
The grant proposal is a 109-page PDF, but well worth the time to download and review. In it, the airport details previous efforts to increase passenger traffic and lower fares by subsidizing new carriers.
In 2004, the airport received a grant to subsidize now-bankrupt carrier "Independence Air" (it stayed 16 months) and in 2007, handed out "incentives" to Allegiant Air, which stayed less than a year.
So naturally, in 2009, the airport wanted more money to "do the same thing over and over." And, although the grant application cites the airport's "successful implementation" of the 2004 grant as a reason to get another one, page 14 contains this nugget:
However, the program proved to be less successful than originally anticipated. Initially carriers were willing to participate in programs to lower fares, but the response was mediocre at best. Additionally, theairport was successful in attracting Independence Air to provide low cost service; unfortunately, the company went out of business in 2005.
Just months after low-cost airline AirTran launched bargain flights from Huntsville, airport officials warn the carrier could pull out unless passenger traffic picks up.
AirTran no longer serves Huntsville, but that's because it was bought by Southwest Airlines just a few months later. What's that noise? The sound of $3 million being flushed down the toilet... Actually, it was more than $3 million - keep reading......
AL-05 Congressman Mo Brooks held a "tele-townhall" meeting last night, & it was remarkable in that the questions were far more disturbing (for the most part) than Rep. Brooks' answers. Either these people really represent the GOP core constituency in this district or Brooks' call screener decided to liven things up a bit.
The first caller was pretty garden-variety. He wanted to know when the country is going to abolish the IRS & replace it with a flat tax.
But the second question from a woman in Decatur really kicked off the crazy. This is an exact quote:
"I'm going to only say the things you really don't want to hear and I'm going to apologize for that, sir. I'm very concerned: I'm the mother of two children and I don't like the way our country's going at all. This is the more corrupt government we've had, and I've been around even in the Nixon years - I'm pretty old. And this is a corrupt government; it's corrupt through and through, and I'd like to know why we are not impeaching the President and why we haven't fired people. If this kind of thing happened in corporate America, none of us would have our jobs. And I think the lies we're getting coming out of Washington DC are despicable. And I'm really concerned with how corrupt IRS is and that they're going to have access to more information with regards to our medical. I don't see that as ever a viable solution to providing medical coverage to the people in the United States - the people who actually need it. And I think it should be repealed immediately and I don't understand for the life of me why people are not getting behind it and why their voices are not being heard. And also, by the way, I'm being "sequestrated" (sic) like everyone else, so I've lost a bunch of money in my paycheck and I'm pretty unhappy."
Brooks noted that she had a lot of issues and asked which he should address first.
"The corruption. Why are we not impeaching this President?"
Rep. Brooks actually did well with that, noting the Constitution's "high bar" for impeachment.
"While certainly, there are people who appear to have committed crimes in the various things we've talked about, there is insufficient evidence - perhaps no evidence - that Barack Obama has committed a high crime or misdemeanor, and until there is evidence, there is no legal basis for his impeachment. We cannot remove him from office just because we disagree with his politics or because we think that he's not competent in performing his duties. Those are not grounds. It has to be "high crime or misdemeanor" and that is the only ground for impeachment. For example, with Richard Nixon, he was guilty of obstruction of justice - which was a felony. With Bill Clinton, he was guilty of perjury - which was a felony, but even then, the Senate would not convict.
In this instance, if someone has admissible evidence that the President has committed a high crime or misdemeanor, I encourage them to come forward, but until then.... Now, while he's not doing what I wish he'd do, I don't know of any evidence that supports impeachment. At least not now. I share your frustration, but it's what the American people elected."
But don't get too warm & fuzzy with Rep. Brooks yet. Later in the question, he offered this tidbit:
"The defense civilian employees have been targeted for political reasons - not for policy reasons. There is nothing in the Budget Control Act or the sequestration law that requires the President of the United States to furlough national defense employees. There are a lot of employees in a lot of federal departments that are suffering no furloughs. Not at NASA and not at the new "Obamacare bureaucracy." National defense was targeted for a variety of reasons, in my judgment."
um.... the purpose of sequestration was to take flexibility OUT of the hands of the various government departments and mandate across-the-board cuts. Surprise, but salaries are a big expense.
Later, during a conversation about immigration, Rep. Brooks noted his preference for "people who can bring wealth with them." Ok then... so rich foreigners are fine, but not those pesky "huddled masses." Later, Brooks was silent as a caller railed about illegal immigrants getting "welfare, social security, and government benefits" - none of which is actually happening.
In a little over 6 months, adults in most states who qualify for Medicaid under the ACA Expansion will suddenly have Medicaid cards.We’ve made no moves towards that in Alabama. We’ve said to our minimum wage workers, “What’s in your wallet?Oops, nothing! Hate it for you.” If you’ve listened to Governor Bentley closely, he has been mighty careful with his phrasing—instead of saying an absolute no, he says he will not agree to expand Medicaid as it is currently structured.
The legislation to do that was passed and signed, but it will not be fully in effect until October 1, 2016.However, with the Expansion fully funded by federal money for the first 3 years, the timeline for restructuring would allow Alabama to have the new program in place before we have to foot any of the bill for newly covered persons.That means we should jump right in at the earliest possible time for the Expansion.Don’t let Governor Bentley off the hook—he is getting what he asked for.
I agree our current structure is a sandcastle by the Pink Pony on the Redneck Riviera, waiting for a hurricane.It is oddly dependent on overuse of ER and hospital services to draw down extra federal matching money.Instead of just a 2:1 federal match, we were getting an effective 9:1 match once the money had been recycled in various legal but bewildering ways—and an effort to decrease excess hospital use would have removed funding needed for outpatient services.So, yes, it had to be revamped.
There are some good things in the new design, mainly the flexibility to use funding for nonmedical items that would improve health and keep patients out of the hospitals, like the air conditioner example.There are also enormous potholes—no, make those sinkholes—in the new proposed design.
Please read on for my thoughts on the problems and how we can work together to fix them...
It is an article of faith among many, interesting enough both liberals and conservatives, that the Alabama Prison System is overcrowded because it is full of nonviolent criminal offenders, mainly those convicted of drug possession.
Well those who so beleive should find this article interesting
Tuesday night's crowd at the Nuns on the Bus Civil Rights forum was so large that the event had to be moved outside. The 150+ people in attendance didn't mind. We had come to hear from a courageous group of women who amazingly found themselves fighting with their own Church hierarchy on the issues of poverty, immigration, and social justice.
NETWORK Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell was the first speaker and she described how the first "Nuns on the Bus" tour came together last year. The group had been lobbying against the "Paul Ryan Budget" that cut services for the poor, children, and elderly while giving tax cuts to the rich. Unfortunately, she observed, the 40 year old advocacy group wasn't getting much assistance from the Church leaders. So they turned to other faith communities and secular social advocacy groups.
Out of that meeting, on May 14th, 2012, the first "Nuns on the Bus" tour was planned.
Now, Sr. Simone continued, they're doing it again this year because we can't miss the opportunity: immigration reform is for the 100%. The strategy is to "stand with bold Republicans" and encourage other Republicans to find the courage to stand with them, reminding them that "welcoming the stranger" is a tenet of faith in all religions.
Sister Mary Ellen Lacy, a lobbyist for NETWORK, spoke next and emphasized the history that brought us to this point, concluding with a call for action: "This is our time! Not a time for sympathy, but a time to act!"
Other speakers described the issue of immigration in quite personal terms, describing their own experiences as immigrants and those of their family members.
Father Thomas Ackerman, a priest in Birmingham who works with Hispanic outreach, urged the crowd to remember: "We are a better country because we are a country of immigrants." He advised that the best way to discuss this issue with others is to put it in personal terms. This is an issue that affects families, splits families, and causes huge amounts of uncertainty and suffering. Tell those stories, he said.
Sr. Simone concluded the forum by stressing just how urgent the situation is and how we have only a limited amount of time to act.
"We want to raise a healthy tsunami of people to speak out and take action. We have a very narrow time to get this done. It will be on the floor of the Senate on Monday and we need a big bi-partisan vote coming out of the Senate to put pressure on the House to act."
She said she still has hopes of getting Senator Shelby's vote. Sessions? not so much... But we can't give up: "Welcoming the stranger is the glory of our past and hope for our future. Alabama, we're counting on you!"
Learn more about NETWORK at their Web site and follow the Nuns on the Bus tour progress across the country on Facebook.
Finally, kudos to Alabama State Senator Linda Coleman who attended the event and who mingled with the crowd, speaking for a while with Sr. Simone after the forum.
Video clips are on the flip, along with some photos of the event.
When AL State Senator Jerry Fielding turned his back on the party that supported him for 30 years and jumped on the elephant's back, we knew it wouldn't end well for him. The Alabama Republican Party has made a hobby of luring Alabama Democratic lawmakers over to the GOP - and then taking them out with a primary challenge.
And Mooncat predicted, accurately, it appears, that Fielding would meet the same fate if he switched parties:
Fielding will learn, as have so many party switchers before him, that switching parties is a hard row to hoe. Your new friends aren't sure they can trust you and your old friends know damned well they can't. He'll face a strong primary challenge from the right in 2014, which will probably succeed. So after selling his soul to Mike Hubbard and Del Marsh -- and voting whichever way they tell him for the next two years -- Jerry Fielding will still lose his part time job in the Legislature.
From the "too bizarre to be fiction" department.... Heather McGill took to Facebook yesterday (on her husband's page) to warn other - possibly fake - women to stop soliciting her husband for, ahem, illicit relations. From Mrs. McGill's post (the entire screen shot is on the flip, or read it for yourself here):
I have been silent for long enough!! NO MORE! Multiple times since being in office he has gotten emails from women (who may not even be real) inviting him to explore, also sending pictures of themselves. NO MORE!!! […] I love my husband and my children too much to sit here and allow this to go on and will not give the enemy anymore foothold into my family! This is the "behind the scenes" garbage that political life brings. I will not turn a blind eye to it any longer! I remember years ago my Pastors wife standing before the congregation preaching to the young women about their dress which had gotten out of hand and she boldly stood before them and spoke the truth. I boldly stand before you today and declare that I will stand beside my husband, support him, love him, and protect him at ALL cost!!!! Those of you who know who you are consider yourself warned!
So let's set aside for a minute the startling notion that there's more than one woman on Earth interested in Shadrack, and consider this question:
What the heck is going on in the McGill household that his wife felt the need to hijack his Facebook page, announce that she will "no longer turn a blind eye," and personally warn other women (who may or may not be real, mind you) to stop enticing her husband?
How many people realize that today is an official state holiday in Alabama? It's Jefferson Davis' birthday, folks! Wondering who'll be throwing a party.... This is just one relic of Alabama's Civil War past. Other state holidays listed on Alabama's official state calendar include:
Robert E. Lee's birthday in January. He shares his birthday/holiday with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Confederate Memorial Day in April
And then there's this tidbit. In most states, Presidents Day is celebrated in February at the same time as the federal holiday and - in most cases - honors George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
In Virginia, the first president’s home state, the holiday is called George Washington’s Day. Not in Alabama. There it is “Washington and Jefferson Day," in honor of George and Thomas Jefferson, even though he was born on April 13. Lincoln isn’t mentioned.
While other state parks are falling apart thanks to budget cuts, the GOP supermajority worked hard last year to protect this park in order to "defend our heritage and way of life."
“Not only is the Confederate Memorial Park a part of our heritage as Alabamians, it is a tourist attraction for families traveling throughout the state,” Ward said. “The park brings tourism money to our county that is essential to our families’ livelihoods.”
In the Alabama House of Representatives, House Bill 610 would have taken 80 percent of the funding from Confederate Memorial Park and redistributed that money to five other parks, according to Wallace.
“It would have completely destroyed the park and forced it to close,” said Wallace. “We have some hard choices to make in our state budgeting, but cutting tourism dollars for Chilton County is not a choice we are willing to make. Our heritage and our way of life must be defended.”
Now, Alabama's state employees are hardworking public servants who get little respect from many state legislators, so I don't begrudge them a day off. But surely we could find some better folks to honor.
I'll start off the list with some people who were actually born in Alabama:
Helen Keller - author, political activist, and founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union.
New research estimates that the number of self-employed Americans will be 1.5 million higher in 2014 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning next year, access to high-quality, subsidized health insurance coverage will no longer be exclusively tied to employment, which could lead people to pursue their own businesses as self-employed entrepreneurs.
ACA provisions that may encourage more people to start their own business include:
No applicant can be turned down because of a preexisting condition.
Individuals cannot be charged higher premiums because of their health status.
Insurers must offer plans with a comprehensive set of essential health benefits.
Tax credits to help low- or moderate-income individuals and families will reduce premium costs.
Medicaid expansion, in some states, will provide coverage for those with the lowest incomes.
This "pre-existing" condition restriction is very important to entrepreneurs who were reluctant to strike out on their own because they'd be ineligible for group insurance and would have to purchase individual policies. You see, a "pre-existing condition" is whatever the heck the insurance company says it is. In 39 states (yes, Alabama is OF COURSE one of them), insurers can turn down any applicant for any reason. Domestic violence, pregnancy, even basic preventative care that found - and FIXED - a problem before it could get serious, can all be considered pre-existing conditions under the current system of individual coverage. But that's about to change....
Say good-bye to "job lock," folks! That's a illness in itself, where people are caught in a job with poor conditions, low pay, or one that simply doesn't suit them because they fear losing health insurance coverage for themselves personally or for at-risk family members. Job lock stifles entrepreneurship and keeps people in jobs they hate. From BusinessWeek:
The evidence for “job lock” is strong. One example: Americans’ likelihood of self-employment jumps when they turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, according to research by Robert Fairlie of UC Santa Cruz, Kanika Kapur of University College Dublin, and Susan Gates of the RAND Corporation. “Business ownership rates increase from 24.6 percent for those just under age 65 to 28.0 percent for those just over age 65,” they write, and no similar uptick occurs at other ages between 55-75 that the researchers examined. That paper also found that job-lock was less of a barrier to entrepreneurship if a person’s spouse had employer coverage.
Other than happier people able to leave jobs they hate, what does this mean for Alabama? More small businesses: those engines of the economy that Republicans like to sing praises to - even as they enact policies and cozy up to interests that hurt small businesses.
What is it about a locally rooted economy that fosters social ties and civic engagement? There’s much to be said for the value of doing business with people who know us and whose success is intimately tied to the well-being of the community. Small businesses are not merely smaller versions of large businesses; they are running on a different operating system altogether. Goldman Sachs makes money regardless of whether foreclosures are going up or down. But a local bank only does well when its borrowers do well.
Yep. Make way for the "job creators!" They'll be setting up shop in your community & in neighboring cities and towns thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The bill isn't perfect, not by a long shot, but it's at least a couple of steps in the right direction.
The Boy Scouts of America’s decision to rescind its ban on “openly gay” Scouts predictably stoked a mean-spirited and divisive response, notably from misguided types who mistakenly think the Bible should be used as a tool of oppression. We did not, however, expect such venom from ordained heads of churches.
Greg Walker, pastor of First Baptist Church in Helena, Ala. told the Associated Press this week that he could not allow a group that “openly supports a sinful lifestyle” to meet in the church he leads. Casting every LGBT person as having a “sinful lifestyle” simply by virtue of being gay is mindless and judgmental stereotyping. It also reveals that Walker cannot articulate a justifiable reason for shunning these young men. Would it be fair to cast every pastor as a Bible-wielding bigot who advocates discrimination and prejudice?
And if “sin,” as defined by these pastors who seem to think of themselves as arbiters of such things, is grounds for locking out these Scouts, then who else should be locked out?
The Bible condemns everything from the consumption of shellfish to divorce. Will these pastors escort divorcees and patrons of Red Lobster to the door? According to Romans, “… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” That would include the very pastors discussed here. And exactly what sin have these Boy Scouts committed that warrants banishing them from these churches?
Mike Shaw, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Pelham, Ala. said to the Birmingham News: “The teachings of the scripture are very clear on this. We’re doing it because it violates the clear teaching of scripture.” We’re assuming Shaw and Walker have a habit of cherry-picking scripture in a feeble effort to justify bigotry while brazenly ignoring the rest of the Bible, namely mandates such as these:
“…love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” -Leviticus 19:18
“Judge not, that you be not judged." -Matthew 7:1
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” -Matthew 7:12
Penalizing children in order to pander to the hateful segment of individuals in one’s pews, and using that action as a means to score political points will never be justified. Perhaps pastors Walker and Shaw would feel more comfortable at a place like the Phelps-ridden, notorious Westboro Baptist Church.
The Boy Scout oath demands Scouts “To help other people at all times.” It’s a noble goal and it’s a motto these so-called pastors should look into. Ironically, casting out these Scouts could be a positive for them as they will no longer be subject to the influence of unapologetic bigots who hide behind the Bible in order to promote hatred.
We fervently hope the families and young men affected by this petty, prejudiced decision will transfer their church membership elsewhere. We hope tithe and offerings dry up at these churches until these pastors learn to act like Christians. We hope church members will reject this poorly-veiled act of hatred and political grandstanding that unfairly targets innocent young men. More importantly, we hope those who actually live as Christians as opposed to brandishing the label for self-serving and often political purposes speak out forcefully and passionately against unconscionable discrimination and bigotry of this sort.
Somebody needs to educate AL Rep. Mike Rogers on the law of cause and effect as it applies to the federal budget. When you recklessly vote for a stupid bill that requires across-the-board budget cuts with little or no flexibility, don't be surprised when those cuts hurt your district.
“I am convinced this is political … I am convince it is solely because the administration wants as many people as possible to feel the pain, so he can say ‘this is what happens when the mean Republicans cut spending, now give me more taxes,’” Rogers said at the event at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery. [...]
Rogers also advocated for beginning work now to ensure the air base was protected during any future Base Realignment and Closures, which he estimated could occur again in 2016 or 2017. The air base was among the military posts considered during the 2005 BRAC process, Rogers said. [...] “I want to make sure Maxwell-Gunter has what it needs to never get on the BRAC list,” Rogers said.
Ok Rep. Rogers, thanks for that fascinating glimpse into the GOP psyche...
Good heavens, even Mo Brooks had sense enough to realize that sequestration was going to hurt the defense budget.
At the same time Rogers touts himself as a deficit hawk, he's beating the drum to keep federal money coming to his own district and laying the groundwork to keep Maxwell open.
Federal spending cuts are apparently only a good thing when they affect other districts.
Rep. Rogers, basic math isn't a liberal plot. The budget is zero sum: when you cut a department's budget and mandate - by law - across-the-board spending cuts, well, the department has to cut spending.
This isn't a difficult concept to understand, but it doesn't seem to penetrate the GOP bubble.