Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


Those “let’s do all for our boys in Iraq” Republicans are at it again. Last month, they let the cat out of the bag that when Bush wins re-election they intend to cut funding for VA college benefits. Yesterday, led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, they put politics above our men in uniform by delaying the vote in the Senate for veterans health care because they didn’t want John Kerry on record voting in favor of it. The bill would raise veteran health care benefits by 30% next year and mandate continued increases indexed to the number of veterans and to the costs of health care.

Wealthy Repubos, siding with their presidential leader, said veterans health care was raised 40% under Bush and that the list of veterans waiting for health care has been reduced. They also didn’t like the mandatory increases saying, “Mandatory increases are the wrong approach for America’s veterans.” Apparently the fact that there even IS a waiting list for health care for the men and women who risked life and limb in the service of their country and that health care costs are zooming upward every year under the Repubo controlled Congress doesn’t faze these politicians one bit. After all, they have their lobbyists to think about; to hell with their constituents.

Besides, our Repubo Senators have more to be concerned with than needy vets. They’re gearing up for the great gay-marriage ban vote in the Senate. Frist things first, as it were. According to Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, “This is so serious, sociologically and in so many other ways, that we do need to vote on it on the floor, one way or another.” Demo Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont had a different opinion. “This is not about the sanctity of marriage. This is about preserving a Republican White House and Senate,” he noted. Who’d of thought??

Actually, the Repubos are pulling at every straw they can to try and find justification for this bigoted amendment. They’re trying to convince people that the potential cost of same-sex marriages through lost tax revenue due to increased marriage benefits will farther hurt the budget deficit. Can you believe the hypocrisy? This from an administration that has blown the national deficit out of sight. The Congressional Budget Office shook its head at that one. They said that same-sex marriage will actually decrease the budget debt. Couples that today are receiving extra low income benefits would lose those if their incomes would be counted together as one household.

Speaking realistically, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas predicted the failure of the gay marriage ban in the Senate. With that in mind he said, “it is incumbent on the House to actually pass an amendment to put pressure back on the Senate to have a vote again.”

If at Frist you don’t succeed… DeLay.

©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre

# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 7:04 PM
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Monday, June 21, 2004 - Apache Junction, Arizona, USA


Exodus 22:18 – Do not allow a witch to live.

Legal persecution is a horrible thing. People today do not have the fear of witchcraft that permeated Massachusetts in 1692. We’re way too sophisticated, right? But did you know that many right-wing Christians still believe the Bible condemns witchcraft? They won’t allow their children to watch Charmed on television or read the Harry Potter books. (Example)

Could such mindless hysteria cause a repeat of what happened in Salem at the end of the 17th century? If certain fundamentalists had their way it might. After all, the Bible says explicitly, “Do not allow a witch to live.” The book calls witchcraft an abomination. If you’re serious about God, I suppose you should be serious about this as well. So, Wiccans beware, here we go again.

Certainly now, more than ever before in history, there are numerous people who claim to be witches. Wicca is said to be the fastest growing non-major religion in the world. All it takes is one zealous judge and one angry jury, amidst a majority of overly righteous people, supported by appellate judges who’s decisions are based on their own morals and beliefs rather than on justice for all. It could easily come down to the vote of one man, say Justice Antonin Scalia of our Supreme Court for example, as to whether millions of American witches live or die. Do you think I’m way off base? Think again.

It’s true that since 1950 there are no more laws concerning witchcraft on our books. If the majority were in favor of it though, how quickly could those laws be restored? In 1692 witchcraft was a felony. Felons were hanged. The majority of the people believed that witches existed and they were servants of Satan who meant harm to everyday, ordinary men, woman, and children. It was right there in their Bible. Their clergy taught it. Their political leaders supported it. Their police enforced it. Their courts empowered it. And millions died, worldwide, because of it.

If you don’t believe what can happen to good people when the majority goes hysterical over a government supported idea, think no farther back than American McCarthyism of the early 50s and to Stalinist Russia and Hitler’s Germany. Under the right circumstances, religious hysteria could overthrow American freedoms even today.

But what does witchcraft have to do with gays and lesbians?

Leviticus 18:22 – Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; it’s an abomination.

The penalty for such an outrage before God was, as in the case of witches, death. Fortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States in the year 2000 declared all sodomy laws unconstitutional, much to the chagrin of Justice Scalia who wrote: “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity…{will be}… called into question by today’s decision.”

We all know that Justice Scalia would ban all nudity and sex for any other reason than procreation, taking America right back into the Middle Ages, if he had the chance. Unfortunately, this right wing conservative fanatic is the model for selecting justices to the Supreme Court as long as President Bush is in office. Also unfortunately, the Court decision of 2003 came too late for many who died because of their sexuality at the hands of hate mongers.

Scalia’s list is pretty much all inclusive. I’m sure laws against masturbation, adultery, fornication and obscenity would be as hard and costly to enforce as those against prostitution. I can’t even imagine a law against masturbation. Certainly THAT is not in the Bible anywhere.

Which brings us to the fact that the Republicans intend to introduce their infamous amendment to the Constitution against gay marriage just before the Democratic Convention in July. Gay marriage is not mentioned in the Bible either.

Like the Salem witchcraft trials, the majority of the people are supportive of this issue. It’s right there in their Bible that God hates gays. Their clergy teaches it. Their political leaders, right up to and including President Bush, support it. Their police enforce it. Their courts empower it. And millions of loving couples who care for their country in innumerable ways, stand to continue to be hurt by it.

Most of us understand that this constitutional amendment doesn’t stand much of a chance of passing. Since Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in May, it’s obvious that ultimately the Supreme Court will decide the issue – not congress, not the hysterical few who somehow think that allowing gays to marry will affect the sanctity of marriage, and not the majority who are understandably uncomfortable with the idea. As in the Texas Sodomy Trial, the Supreme Court may rule on the side of freedom once more. But if Justice Scalia manages to swing just one member of the current court to his bigoted way of thinking with an "I told you so" concerning same-sex marriage, a lot of good people will again suffer a great loss.

Witches and gays and lesbians, oh my!

©2004 Marcia Ellen "Happy" Beevre

# posted by Marcia Ellen @ 10:05 AM
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