Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Not to gloat, but the Brits sent my Presbyterian folks way west, where they could buffer the Cherokees

The Brits even in 1772 needed Presbyterians to buffer the Cherokees so they gave land to the Tindalls and Gilmores and Copelands way west, in the higher regions, not the rich low country. Now what suffering in the low country.

Someone has a sense of humor about at least one pope

Hershel Parker,
You have a new follower on Twitter.
  Hershel Parker

Pope John Paul

Parsing Kim Davis's Claims and the Vatican's Denials

Los Angeles TIMES: Did Kim Davis add 'liar' to her resume with pope meeting claims? 

But are the Pope's spokesmen  systematically phrasing their statements to obscure the possibility that the pope did have a "private" meeting with the hate-monger. Undoubtedly the Pope's spokesmen are trying to make his comments on "conscientious objector" seem to come out of the Heavens rather than to be spoken in relation to Kim Davis. Plainly, the Pope was violating American hospitality and trashing the American separation of church and state when he talked about Kim Davis's right to disobey the law and keep her public office. These comments of the Pope were in my mind unforgivable.

Damage control from the Papacy, not so much damage control from Rowan County right now.

Does anyone remember anything else about the Pope's visit to the USA than his secret meeting with Kim Davis? The history books will all say only that the Pope came to see and support Kim Davis, the heroic opponent of same-sex marriage. 2000 years of secrecy has not prepared the papacy for 2015.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hugh Petrie's Letter about the Pope and Kim Davis--in the Denver POST

On Sept. 14, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis makes a statement to the media at the front door of the Rowan County Judicial Center in Morehead, Ky. On Oct. 2, the Vatican distanced Pope Francis from Davis, the focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S., saying she was one of dozens of people the pope greeted in the U.S. and that their Sept. 24 encounter at the Vatican’s embassy in Washington “should not be considered a form of support of her position.” (Timothy D. Easley, The Associated Press)
Re: “Vatican observers raise questions over clerk’s pope visit,” Oct. 1 news story.
Much has been made recently of Pope Francis’ endorsement of conscientious objection. Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis’ supporters seem to believe that the pope thinks she should keep her job. This represents a woefully deficient understanding of conscientious objection, which has a distinguished history, dating back at least to Socrates drinking the hemlock for corrupting Athenian youth.
Conscientious objection to some rule or law derives its force through getting us to focus on the morality of that law. But it derives its moral force only if the objector is willing to face the consequences of that law, as, for example, did Socrates.
Davis, however, is a consummate hypocrite, wishing to cloak herself in the moral mantle of conscientious objection, while violating the constitutional separation of church and state by maintaining her paid position and using that position to thwart the law to which she objects.
Hugh Petrie, Centennial
This letter was published in the Oct. 6 edition.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oren M. Spiegler's letter in the Washington POST

Regarding the Oct. 1 front-page article “Pope’s meeting with county clerk stirs debate”:
Many Americans prayed that we had seen the last public appearance of Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis. But she reemerged after a secret meeting with, of all people, the pope. Reasonable people, and those who respect the rule of law, should react with incredulity.
By using precious time during his visit to the United States to meet Ms. Davis, the Holy Father conferred stature upon her and encouraged others to violate the law and foment anarchy. It was yet another instance of the pope improperly wading into U.S. politics and government.
The Vatican has been tight-lipped about the meeting . I can understand why there would be an effort to keep something so controversial and inappropriate under wraps. Pope Francis has not burnished his image through elevating an individual who seeks to marginalize gay men and lesbians and to deny them the right to a union that the government recognizes.
Oren M. Spiegler, Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

"Law Firm Labeled Hate Group Leading Kim Davis' Crusade"

By claire galofaro  LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Oct 4, 2015, 11:09 am

Kim Davis' lawyer stood onstage in a Washington D.C. hotel and pointed to a photo on the screen. It showed 100,000 people packed into a Peruvian soccer stadium, Mat Staver told the crowd, all there to pray for the Kentucky clerk battling against gay marriage.
The crowd erupted.
It wasn't true.
Staver's firm, the Liberty Counsel, which revealed Davis' secret meeting with Pope Francis, has been accused by advocacy groups of peddling misrepresentations in the past. Yet it has become the main source of details about the controversial pope meeting.
Online sleuths quickly debunked the Peru story Staver told at the Values Voter Summit, a conference for the conservative Family Research Council. The photo was from a year-old gathering unrelated to Davis, who spent five days in jail for defying a court order and refusing to license gay marriages. Staver could provide no evidence of a massive Davis rally. On Monday, he called it a mistake and blamed miscommunication with the Peruvian authorities who gave him the photo.
The next day, the firm dropped a bombshell. It said Pope Francis, on his celebrated visit to America, secretly met with Davis. The pope hugged her, thanked her for her courage and told her to "stay strong," Liberty Counsel said. The Vatican on Friday said the pope had a brief meeting with Davis that should not be seen as support for her stance.
Many on the religious right hail the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which bills itself as a non-profit committed to "restoring the culture by advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family."
"They're willing to stand up for our rights under the Constitution, they're not backing down," said Nick Williams, a probate judge in Alabama who has also pledged never to issue a marriage licenses to a same-sex couple and sought guidance from the Liberty Counsel. Williams compared the federal court system to the tyrannical kings in the Bible: "I'm glad we have a law firm willing to stand up to the kings of our time."
But critics watched in exasperation as the organization rocketed to national celebrity alongside Davis.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Liberty Counsel as an anti-gay hate groups for spreading false information.
"A group that regularly portrays gay people as perverse, diseased pedophiles putting Western civilization at risk are way, way over the line," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center.
The Liberty Counsel has connected homosexuality to higher rates of promiscuity and incest, Potok said, despite scientific evidence to the contrary. The firm opposes laws banning hate crimes and supports discredited conversion therapies that purport to turn homosexuals into heterosexuals. Staver once declared that the Boy Scouts would become a "playground for pedophiles" once it allowed gay troop leaders.
Staver, his hair bright white and his ties usually red, contends his quotes were taken out of context and he has legal arguments for the rest: hate crime laws infringe on free speech, he believes, and gay conversion therapies should be available to those who want them because he believes in "personal autonomy."
"It is irresponsible and reckless to call someone a hate group because you disagree with them," he said.
He added that he can't be considered a hater because he loves all of God's creation.
Williams also came to his defense: the Bible warned that Christians would be persecuted for standing strong for their faith, he noted.
"Jesus told us we would be hated for his name," he said. "For standing for what we stand for, people will hate us. It happened to the disciples, but it's also happening today."
Staver grew up in Florida. He told The Associated Press in a phone interview that his father was an abusive alcoholic who his Catholic mother divorced when he was young. She worked three jobs and raised him alone, he said, and he went through the motions of Catholicism until an evangelical pastor saved him from sin as a young man.
He became a pastor himself in Kentucky, though he shied away from social issues until he saw a film in 1982 about abortion. He resolved to go to law school to fight for traditional family values. He graduated from the University of Kentucky's law school, moved back to Florida with his wife, Anita, and they started the Liberty Counsel in 1989.
For years they dabbled in causes against abortion, the "War on Christmas" and other hot-button topics in the American culture wars.
In 2000, the firm threatened to sue a Florida library that offered a "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" certificate to kids who read the Harry Potter book series. Five years later, they sent letters complaining that a Wisconsin elementary school put on a decades-old play called "The Little Christmas Tree," about a lonely pine searching for a family, which sets a song to the tune of "Silent Night" but does not mention Jesus.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, has called Staver a courageous legal scholar.
Civil liberties advocates disagree.
"There is an enormous amount of bluster amid his legal arguments," said Barry Lynn, a minister and executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who has debated Staver on religious freedom issues. "It looks to me like he's making claims that will get his clients great publicity, but not necessarily get them victories."
Staver stands firm on his contributions to American jurisprudence. His firm has been involved in 60 same-sex marriage cases. It has 10 full-time attorneys, and dozens more across the country willing to work for free to promote the cause. In 2013, the firm hauled in more than $4 million, according to tax returns.
As Davis defied a series of federal court orders and was sent to jail, Staver cast her as a heroine called into battle by God. He compared her actions to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. She received 20,000 pieces of mail in jail, he said.
"I've lost the ability to be surprised at how easy it is to become the next Joan of Arc," said Lynn. "When you make heroes out of people who refuse to accept the rule of law and who fail to acknowledge the dignity of other human beings, you are on a very dangerous path."
Staver said the meeting with the pope validates his arguments about Davis' rights to conscientious objection. He rejects even the suggestion he might wake up one day and discover himself on the wrong side of history.
Last week, he showed the crowd at the Values Voter Summit the photo of the imaginary Peruvian prayer rally and declared its significance in the battle against Christian oppression.
"That, my friends, is happening around the world," he said. "When one person stands it has an impact and Kim Davis will continue to stand for her lord and savior Jesus Christ."

Being Tired by Noon

Being tired by noon. But why I am tired? I fed the cat, went down 3 flights twice looking for the paper and climbed back up and finally called the Tribune number. The scrap of paper with the phone number has more pin holes in it than any other piece of paper on the bulletin board. I carried garbage down, put away clean dishes, warmed leftover refrigerated coffee and made fresh. Halved 8 apples and baked them 70 minutes face down at 425 along with a tray of 4 sweet potatoes stabbed on the top side with tin foil under them then in 70 minutes left the potatoes in while I flipped the apple halves, decorated them with powdered cinnamon and honey in hot water, crystallized ginger, and the expensive dark sharp kind of dried apricots and put them back in for 25 minutes at 435, along with the potatoes. Worked a while on David Fanning in South Carolina and wrote a few emails, one to a friend turning 80 this week. Posted a couple of Blog items about Jeb!Boy, the "stuff-happens" galoot. Drove to beach in 2007 Honda Civic Si with 22,000 miles on it and walked two miles with Pacific at high tide and came back and bathed in 2.5 World fashion (hot water for wetting down with and rinsing with) and then (a tiring job) dried myself and redressed, but not putting on socks this time. Then washing and preparing strawberries, figs, an orange, stewed prunes, black grapes, and defrosted and toasted sourdough buns doped up with a couple of cups of what was left in the jars of mixed nuts when the nuts were eaten. From hour to hour poured on plants 4 gallons of saved water from different faucets. Then breakfast, at 11, and cleanup, including scrubbing of the big Pyrex pan that the apples were in. Being tired by noon. But what did I forget, being so old?