Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

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Postby Maelstrom » Tue Jun 15, 2004 8:54 pm

I took a look at Bunny's link. It's a couple months old, but that doesn't matter in this case. Here's a cut+paste of the more pertinant bits. I've placed a colon : between gaps.

[quote]
".... even as his big moment before the nation's highest court approaches, Newdow has another dispute on his mind: his ongoing custody battle with the mother of his daughter. Newdow, 50, denounces the "ethically, morally and legally bankrupt" family courts that have restricted his visits with the girl to two weekends a month.

Newdow's remarks aren't just the rantings of an angry single father. His custody fight with the girl's mother, Sandra Banning, is at the heart of the Pledge case — and could prevent a definitive ruling on whether the "under God" clause is constitutional.

:

Banning, the girl's custodial parent, is challenging Newdow's right to include their daughter in his suit about the Pledge. If the justices decide that Newdow isn't entitled to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the girl, they could dismiss the case without ruling whether the Pledge is constitutional.

Banning, 44, and Newdow never married. Banning says she became a "committed Christian" after bearing their child. She says that she and the girl, who has not been named in court papers, attend church regularly. Banning says the girl, a student in the Elk Grove school system about 15 miles south of Sacramento, likes to lead her fourth-grade class in reciting the Pledge.

:

Newdow grew up in Teaneck, N.J., the son of Jews who he says encouraged him to "think for myself" on religious matters. He became an atheist in his teens.

A graduate of Brown University, UCLA medical school and the University of Michigan law school, Newdow says he is bothered by what he calls the indignities atheists face in this country, from the Pledge to "In God We Trust" on currency. He challenged the Pledge in court in 2000. By then, he was a father.

At first, he did not embrace the role of parent. During a family court hearing, Newdow claimed he had been the victim of "date rape." The judge called that absurd.

Banning is reluctant to discuss the custody battle. But, she says, "I'm no rapist, and Mike Newdow's no victim."

Newdow has provided child support, and initially the girl lived only with Banning. Five years ago, he went to family court to seek more time with the girl and more say in decisions concerning her.

The result so far: Newdow, who lives a 20-minute drive from Banning's house, gets his daughter two weekends a month and some holidays. He gets input into decisions concerning her, but Banning has the last word. Newdow says he plans to keep pressing for more access to his daughter."
[/quote]

*whew!* This is the most tangled "he said - she said" bit I've seen for quite a while!

Okay, fist thing's first: I'm using the wrong definition. Instead of "father", I should be using "custodial guardian" or something along those lines. :doh! Newdow's custody is in contention, not paternity.

From what I can tell, he filed suit in 2000, before he had any concern about his potential child at all. In fact, in the beginning he apparently wanted nothing to do with her. Only after some time had passed (maybe a year or two? It's hard to tell from the context of this article...) did he decide he wanted to have more time with his daughter. And only recently did he decide to "include" her in his apparently pre-existing lawsuit.

If he'd just stuck with his own lawsuit, there wouldn't be a problem. No one can argue that he doesn't have the right to sue on his own behalf. But when he claimed to be doing this on his daughter's behalf, [i]especially[/i] when he didn't want a thing to do with her at the onset, just muddies things even further.

It looks like he had a change of heart somewhere along the way, and truly wants all the best for his child. According to Banning, that's what she's been geeting from father and daughter: an abiding love and respect for each other. But when you've got a record as spotty as Newdow's on the subject... who's going to believe you?

And when you make your daughter the focus of a whirlwind of controversy, something a child is ill-equipped to handle, let alone understand.... Believe me, if some right-wing fundie nutcase did the equivalent thing, using their child as an excuse to "bring God back into His proper place in our society", I'd be just as angry. You don't put your kids in the spotlight this way. You're supposed to shield them, not use them [i]as[/i] a shield.
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Postby Bamf Bunny » Tue Jun 15, 2004 9:23 pm

Originally posted by Maelstrom
From what I can tell, he filed suit in 2000, before he had any concern about his potential child at all [...]

In Newdow's Original Complaint, made in March of 2000, he files as the "next friend" of his daughter. ("Next friend" is legal terminology for someone who files on behalf of someone else who can't file for themselves - because they're a child, say, or mentally disabled - but isn't that person's legal guardian.)

If he'd just stuck with his own lawsuit, there wouldn't be a problem. No one can argue that he doesn't have the right to sue on his own behalf.

He can't challenge the Pledge in schools "on his own behalf", because he's not a student in a school that recites it.

And only recently did he decide to "include" her in his apparently pre-existing lawsuit.

His daughter has been at the center of the case from day one.

Links to copies of many of the legal filings and decisions
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Postby thylacine » Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:58 pm

Quote: "And when you make your daughter the focus of a whirlwind of controversy, something a child is ill-equipped to handle, let alone understand.... Believe me, if some right-wing fundie nutcase did the equivalent thing, using their child as an excuse to "bring God back into His proper place in our society", I'd be just as angry. You don't put your kids in the spotlight this way. You're supposed to shield them, not use them as a shield."

Basically, this dude is a jerk, plain and simple. He is as much a jerk as the idiot who ran over a kid trying to catch a baseball (recently in the news). People like that should not have kids at all.
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Postby Bamf Bunny » Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:10 pm

Well ... that's one way to look at it, thylacinie.

Sometimes, though, as a parent, you have to make choices about what's best for your child. And they're not always clear.

Should you encourage a kid who's different to fit in, so he'll have an easier time? Or to take the lumps and find his self-confidence elsewhere?

Do you send a seriously ill child to school to have as close to a normal life as possible? Or keep them home so they can enjoy what time they can?

Do you let your daughter say the Pledge, even though you believe it's a violation of her rights, so that things will be quiet? Or do you fight for her rights in the belief that some disruption is a price worth paying to ensure her freedom?
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Postby thylacine » Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:48 pm

I dunno all the answers, Bamf Bunny... but from what I've seen & heard about this dude, it looks to me like he's more concerned about himself & his crusade than about his kid. I feel sorry for the kid who's caught in the middle of all this.
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Postby Maelstrom » Thu Jul 15, 2004 5:46 pm

At the risk of opening up an unintentionally fiesty can o' worms, I thought I'd brighten some days with this little tidbit, cut+pasted from Lycos. Chances are, a lot of you already know about this, but for the rest of us....

Senate Blocks Bush Move to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Wednesday failed in his attempt to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage when a divided U.S. Senate blocked the measure, virtually killing it for at least this election year.

On a 48-to-50 vote, six Republicans broke ranks as proponents of a proposed amendment fell 12 votes short of the needed 60 to end a Democratic procedural hurdle.

White House hopeful John Kerry and fellow Senate Democrats accused Republicans of pushing the proposal merely to rally their conservative base for the November presidential and congressional elections.

Democrats also charged that four days of Senate debate on it could have been better spent on such issues as health care and national security.

"The floor of the United States Senate should only be used for the common good, not issues designed to divide us for political purposes," Kerry said in a statement.

Bush expressed regret that the Republican-led Senate blocked the proposal, which would define marriage as a union strictly between a man and a woman, and urged the Republican-led House of Representatives to pass it. "It is important for our country to continue the debate on this important issue," he said.

But the House is also expected to fall far short of the needed votes when it takes up the measure, likely in September.

THREE-QUARTERS OF STATES

For a proposed constitutional amendment to become law, it must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate and then ratified by 38 of the 50 states.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, rejected complaints that the proposal is discriminatory, saying, "Gays have a right to live the way they want."

"But they should not have the right to change the definition of traditional marriage. That is where we draw the line," he added.

Polls show most Americans oppose same-sex marriage, but are split on whether a constitutional ban is needed. Surveys also find voters believe many other issues are more important.

Kerry and his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, oppose same-sex marriage, but argue amending the Constitution is not the answer. Like most Democratic lawmakers, they say states should have the power to define marriage.

Bush in February called on the U.S. Congress to approve an amendment after Massachusetts' highest court ruled gay couples had a right to wed and San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

This helped trigger a crush of lawsuits, some challenging the right of one state to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage that was licensed in another.

Even in defeat, Senate Republicans obtained at least two goals: They got a debate on the issue and put senators on the record.

"It's been a good debate," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican. "We will be back again and again" pushing a proposed constitutional amendment.

"And it will become law," Sessions said.

Republicans contend gay marriage devalues traditional marriage, which they say is a pillar of civilization, and should be outlawed for the sake of children.

Kerry and Edwards were the only senators who did not vote on the procedural hurdle. Both said they would have interrupted their campaigns and been in the Senate, however, if there had been a vote on passage of the measure.

Three of 48 Democrats ended up voting to end their party's procedural hurdle, while six of 51 Republicans voted to maintain it after a number of Republicans disagreed earlier this week over the wording of the proposed amendment.

"This was an attempt to divide Americans that backfired and divided Republicans," said Cheryl Jacques of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian civil rights group.


It's not an end to things, but at least it shows that even some who oppose the idea on religious grounds find the concept of an amendment distasteful enough to block.
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Postby thylacine » Mon Jul 19, 2004 10:57 pm

Hey, I'm a Christian and I don't have anything against gays. So remember, not all Christians are right wing extremists. And I'm glad they blocked Bush! Someone needs to block that guy for once.
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Postby BamfChyck » Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:18 pm

Anybody see the movie "SAVED!" yet? I caught it yesterday and thought it was pretty funny, and interesting. Some of the acting was excellent.
I can see why it pissed off so many people. It's not very flattering to people who see God with a narrow mind.
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Postby thylacine » Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:11 pm

No... I did not see "saved." I heard it was sort of portraying Christians as being fundamentalists... I sometimes feel the media in general sees all religious people as being right wing, which is unfortunate. What do you think? Do you think the media portrays religious people as being close-minded?
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Postby Bamfette » Thu Jul 29, 2004 5:32 pm

well, i haven't seen it but from the sounds of it, it is just showing the extreme fundie side of things, as in, it is not saying ALL Christians are like that, but it IS saying SOME Christians are like that. and some are. seems there are some normal kids at a Christian high school, and the extremists are getting out of hand persecuting others for minor 'sins' and some bad decisions, from what i can see.
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Postby thylacine » Mon Aug 02, 2004 3:43 pm

Sounds like a good movie... Maybe I should get it on video.
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Postby BamfChyck » Sun Nov 21, 2004 11:09 pm

I just wanted to vent for a bit...

Fred Phelps is back in my town, protesting at a local high school. The school is putting on a play about Matthew Shepherd, and apparently Fred and his flock just couldn't stay away. They have their horrible sign and are spewing their usual filth.
I am already so sad--deeply, deeply sad, about the election results that this just feels like one more thing to top it all off. Not just the president, but all the anti-same gender marriage things that passed, and then Fred is back.

I'm trying to look on the bright side.
*At least Fred didn't come to my church, like he did last time he visited.
*At least I have a church!
*At least I live in an "Island of Sane People" (as Dan Savage put it so well in his column) and Fred is just visiting.

So. I tried to talk my partner into moving to Canada a few weeks ago, but SOMEONE thinks we need to make careful decisions based on something other than emotion. "We can't move for just four years, and we'd have to give up 40% of our savings." Blahh!
I guess I'm fine with that for now. But if Bush changes the constitution--that's it--I'm moving! And I'll bring my brother with me, and we'll carry my partner there, locked in the truck of the car, if necessary! They must need computer geeks and funeral directors somewhere in Canada.

But we're leaving Fred here.

P.S. For those of you who don't know of Dan Savage, this is what I'm talking about http://www.thestranger.com/2004-11-11/savage.html
Enjoy!
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Postby HoodedMan » Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:44 pm

Originally posted by BamfChyck
But if Bush changes the constitution--that's it--I'm moving! And I'm bring my brother with me, and we'll carry my partner there, locked in the truck of the car, if necessary! They must need computer geeks and funeral directors somewhere in Canada.

But we're leaving Fred here.

P.S. For those of you who don't know of Dan Savage, this is what I'm talking about http://www.thestranger.com/2004-11-11/savage.html
Enjoy!


You'll have a run for your money up there for computer geeks if it does pass. But even though I'm generally pessimistic about such things, I don't think it can pass.
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Postby BamfChyck » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:10 pm

Run for my money about computer geeks?

Does that mean there's a lot of them up in Canada? I'm not the computer geek, so that's okay with me. As long as one of us is employed, we should be okay.
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Postby HoodedMan » Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:54 pm

I meant I would be right up there job-searching as well. ;)
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Postby Bamfette » Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:18 pm

there also IS a lot of computer geeks.... remember, Softimage, Silicon Graphics, and all that nifty CGI stuff, while it is employed mainly in the Bay area by the likes if ILM and Pixar, was actually developed in Canada. among other things. they're mainly in Quebec and Ontario, but some in Vancouver as well. we don't have as many in sheer numbers as the US, but remember our population is also far less, percentage wise i think it's actually higher. until recently Canada's suffered a huge 'brain drain' to the States because we didn't have enough high end technology jobs for everyone up here looking for them, and the jobs in the US offer them sweet deals. but on the bright side, we see 4 times more immigrants with university degrees in high technology professions than the ones that leave for the states. you could be one of those.

if you speak French, Quebec handles some of it's own immigration, and you'd probably have an easier time of immigrating. but you would almost certainly need to speak French.
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Postby BamfChyck » Tue Nov 23, 2004 11:31 pm

The website I went to actually said my technical assosciate's degree (Mortuary Science) was more valuable then my Master's (Counseling Psychology) or undergrad. Plus I know how to do Green Funerals and those are popular in Canada.

I don't speak French at all, but I do speak Anishinabe passably and my brother speaks several languages, including that and French. Would that help us at all, do you think? My partner only speaks English, but can swear in Japanese!

Besides, if the computer geeks can't get computer jobs, there's always waste management. Until a computer job opens up, that is.
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Postby HoodedMan » Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:54 pm

Originally posted by BamfChyck
The website I went to actually said my technical assosciate's degree (Mortuary Science) was more valuable then my Master's (Counseling Psychology) or undergrad. Plus I know how to do Green Funerals and those are popular in Canada.


For the social sciences (e.g. psychology and sociology), you generally need a Master or a Ph.D. to get recognized and get a serious job. And Mortuary Science is always in demand. :P
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Postby Bamfette » Wed Nov 24, 2004 7:19 pm

what exactly is a Green Funeral? just curious :p never really had to look into the different types before...

multilingual of any kind can be a huge boon, but Canada and Quebec in particular is a bilingual country, we have two official languages, English and French. (it's why, if you ever see a Canadian product, we always have the labels repeat the same thing in French) Quebequois is a bit different than Parisian French, but any form of French, be it true Parisian or Cajun French is preferable above any other language for that reason... particularly in Quebec because unlike the rest of Canada where the first language is English, Quebec's first language is French, English is secondary. that's why speaking French would help things along with immigrating to Quebec...

and yeah, we have a shortage of doctors and nurses right now, so i'd imagine any job wiht medical leanings would be extremely helpful in moving up here.
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Postby Bamf Bunny » Wed Nov 24, 2004 9:03 pm

The official website on immigrating to Canada only mentions French and English, the two official languages of the country, so I'd assume those are the only ones they care about. There's an interactive test that lets you see if you're qualified to enter.

Having a job already lined up counts for a lot, so if you make contacts with Canadians in your field and they want to hire you, you shouldn't have much of a problem getting in.

If there's a lot of activity on this thread about moving between countries, I'm going to split it off into a second thread.
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Postby BamfChyck » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:25 am

Originally posted by Bamfette
what exactly is a Green Funeral? just curious :p never really had to look into the different types before...


It means a funeral with low environmental impact. Usualy no embalming
(or minimal embalming, if it's required)

Originally posted by Bamfetteand yeah, we have a shortage of doctors and nurses right now, so i'd imagine any job wiht medical leanings would be extremely helpful in moving up here.
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Postby BamfChyck » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:26 am

I hope I'm posting this in the right place.

I know I'm not talking about religion specifically, but I see Fred and his ilk as being related to the misuse of religion, so it sprang from there. And from what I've read, it was the religious right and fundamentalists who got out and voted in record numbers that swung the presidential election the way it did, so that seemed to tie in too.


Originally posted by Bamfette
what exactly is a Green Funeral? just curious :p never really had to look into the different types before...


It means a funeral with low environmental impact. Usually, no embalming (or minimal embalming, if it's required), a biodegradable casket or container, and no marker. To make the concept really work, it needs to be combined with a green cemetery and those are few and far between. In fact, I don't know of any that are public. They space people out a lot, don't allow semi-permanent containers, and usually don't allow outer enclosers (vaults). They also minimize or eliminate the use of pesticides and herbicides.

Originally posted by Bamfetteand yeah, we have a shortage of doctors and nurses right now, so i'd imagine any job wiht medical leanings would be extremely helpful in moving up here.


Well, technically, I guess embalming is a medical procedure. I mean, things could get pretty yucky if no one took care of the people who needed it.
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Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:37 am

Well, I have finally slogged through that post. Took me a couple of days. First I have to say I am extremely impressed at the depth of knowledge and passion that you all have.
My take on it.....love, empathy, kindness. Think about it, you can't really go wrong if you live by those things. That is what God is about for me. You do good things, be nice, it works. And for those who do not believe in God, it still works....where can you go wrong?
Now I don't mean "be a doormat", that is not loving yourself!
I happen to believe in God quite stongly, but I have a problem feeling comfortable surrounded by worshipers, because even though I love the feeling of community and peace in a church, there is always those few jackasses that think that it is their job to tell you how to worship God. Namely what you are doing wrong. Or how they are better than you cause they "honour him better". Ick.
So call me spiritual for lack of another saying.
This is part of what called me so strongly to Kurt's character. The fact that he is loving and forgiving ect. Not that we all don't have our less than glorious moments, but from what I have seen the people on this board have this concept down pretty good. This is the longest religious discussion I have ever heard about or read that hasn't degenerated into bigoted fighting. You guys are awesome!
And because Bush has been mentioned a few times it reminded me of a little clip that was on the news today. It had him thanking the Canadians that came out to wave to him....with all five fingers. HA! Nearly peed my pants (having kids will do that to ya). Good thing that he visited the east, and not out here in B.C. Most out here would give him the Trudeau salute for sure!
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Postby thylacine » Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:32 pm

Yes, you are right. It is awesome that this religious discussion has not turned into an argument. I hope this discussion will continue on in some way. Sorry I've been away so long, guys. I've been real busy -- and yes, I can't stand another four years of him, either!!!
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Postby Tatu » Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:15 am

*passes out marshmallow peeps, because its easter, and because jesus was a bunny*
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