Daily, Jim: That’s how often we’ll tell you why app removal is understandable

January 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm 85 comments

The unrelenting stream of complaints post-Apple decision is remarkable. Jeremy, as usual, takes them apart.

For background story on this, see -Adam

Cross-posted at Good As You

By Jeremy Hooper

DalyIn a recent blog post, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly (pic., in grey suit and red tie) responds to Apple’s business decision to remove the Manhattan Declaration App from its iTunes store by asking the question:

Does Apple Think Christianity is Offensive? [Jim Daly’s blog]

So since Mr. Daly asked, we thought we’d take yet another opportunity to answer the questions that these Manhattan Declaration backers keep feigning. Because no, this removal had nothing to do with basic Christianity, and it’s deeply offensive to both Christianity and Apple to suggest that it did. The true facts behind the Declaration, some of its touted signers, and the related app removal run much deeper, cut more personally, and constitute a mindset that goes well beyond religion and faith and right into the realm of hurtful, uncivil discrimination. Let’s take a brief look:

(A) The Manhattan Declaration publicly and proudly touts signatures from Scott “the gay movement is a nuclear bomb” Lively, someone who this year earned considerable attention for his belief that the Uganda “kill gays” bill is a “step in the right direction.”

(B) Two other people listed on the Manhattan Declaration’s “Religious leader’s [sic] signatories” list are Peter Akinola, a man who says “homosexuality does violence to nature“, and Rev. Emmanuel Musaba Kolini, who has referred to homosexuality as “moral genocide.

(C) Major Declaration backer Tony Perkins has come right out and said the document represents “a struggle between good and evil.” Hint: We’re not the ones he puts in the “good”category:

(D) Five SPLC-designated hate groups (Traditional Values Coalition, Abiding Truth Ministries, American Family Association, Family Research Council, Watchmen on the Walls) have at least one associate on one of the two signatories lists. Now, of course the “pro-family” folks are all attacking the SPLC as being agenda-driven and therefore without credence. But not a one of them has even attempted to (much less succeeded at) refuting the documented claims that got these groups on the highly selective list. Which is particularly odd, considering it’d be in the outraged non-listees’ interests to note that SPLC does make careful distinctions. But I digress.

(E) The most major voice behind the Declaration, Chuck Colson, has all kinds of nasty, hurtful comments on the record that more than belie NOM’s “reasonable and civil debate” claims. Like the time Chuck warned about gays’ marriages leading to “Cultural Armageddon,” for instance:

Or when he compared Manhattan Declaration supporters’ mission as constituting “non-cooperation with evil,” for another:

“This kind of principled non-cooperation with evil won’t be easy—there are signs of a reduced tolerance for that most basic of American values, religious freedom. As we’ve discussed many times on BreakPoint, Christian organizations are losing tax-exempt status for refusing to buy in to homosexual “marriage.” Some are going out of business rather than cave into immoral demands—such as placing children for adoption with homosexual couples. Conscientious medical personnel are being sued or being fired for obeying their consciences.

I say, enough is enough. The Church must take a stand. And with the release of the Manhattan Declaration, that’s exactly what we are doing.”

The Manhattan Declaration


Or perhaps our favorite: The time when Chuckles admitted just how he sees the tens of thousands of soul-crushed people who took to the streets in the national, almost entirely peaceful protests against Proposition 8

When I watched the violence on television, memories came back of earlier generations of thugs: Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. Do opponents of Proposition 8 who attacked Mormons and their churches think they’re any better than Bull Conner, or nicer than Nazi thugs? I don’t.” [SOURCE]

Civil, huh?

(F) The app in question was also offensive to “reasonable and civil debate” on a purely intellectual level, with the in-app survey pretending to query users on their support for marriage equality and reproductive choice, but then proceeding to tell them they were just plain incorrect if they fell out of evangelical lock-step. If we want to talk about 1984, let’s start with this “agree with us or else” survey.

(G) The Declaration repeats (as did the app) the oft-bastardized claim:

In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions.

The reality is that the church pavilion was receiving a SPECIAL tax benefit under the Green Acres tax-exemption. This tax break was always a bonus — a privilege bestowed upon eligible non-profits that open their private lands and/or accommodations up for public usage. Public, as in ALL of the public, not some. And since LGBT people are part of New Jersey’s public and civil unions are the law, A PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION MUST EITHER ACCOMMODATE THE PUBLIC OR STOP RECEIVING THESE KINDS OF PUBLIC HANDOUTS! A church can ABSOLUTELY keep gay couples from marrying in their own pavilion. However, they cannot receive special state, federal, and local tax breaks if they are going to pick and choose which kinds of couples are allowed to use the pavilion! In this NJ case, they still received the tax-exemption for the rest of their properties, which weren’t found to be in violation. But the pavilion in question was acting outside the rules for this particular state program.

(H) The Declaration refers to gays who are seeking civil fairness as really seeking “a right to engage in immoral sexual practices.

(I) need not say more. Apple is not the American government with the power to stifle free speech — it is a company with its own right to make its own decisions. The technology behemoth pulled the app not because they or gays are out to shut down speech, but rather because gay activists gave attention and light to the offenses contained within the app and larger Declaration, and Apple saw fit to make a corporate decision that led to the app’s removal. The merits (or lack thereof) are what did the Declaration supporters in.

But of course, yet again, these same supporters take no responsibility for what they have said and done, since the victim strategy makes them seem so much more sympathetic. Or so they think.

Entry filed under: Right-wing.

Open thread: Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords shot, along with others Shining the spotlight on pro-violence institutions and figures

85 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kathleen  |  January 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    • 2. Ann S.  |  January 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm


      Scribin’ and running out for groceries.

    • 3. Sagesse  |  January 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm


    • 4. JonT  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    • 5. Peterplumber  |  January 10, 2011 at 8:16 am


  • 6. Ronnie  |  January 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “Does Apple Think Christianity is Offensive?”

    (me) No!….Apple thinks homophobia & bigotry is offensive…this has nothing to do with Christianity because there are Christians who support Equality & LGBT Rights…as well as openly LGBT Christians….so that argument is bunk……

    I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again …..It is so hilarious that the anti-gay/Freedom/Equality side hate when people try to tell them how to run their businesses…but here you go…because Apple will not violate their policies to bow down to the Religious Reich…they are cry babying “persecution”……They need to get over themselves…..none of this is about religion….& using their religion to hide behind their hatred is appalling & unbecoming of a lady…just saying…..<3….Ronnie

    • 7. Ronnie  |  January 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      I should rephrase that…”There is a possibility that Apple believes homophobia & bigotry is offensive”….I am not an Apple employee, nor do I speak for them…do I wish I was Steve Jobs?..you kidding me?…..the guy makes beucoup bucks….CHING CHING!!!!!!…lol…..<3….Ronnie

      • 8. John D  |  January 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

        Steve Jobs’s salary as CEO: $1/year.

        • 9. Ann S.  |  January 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm

          Then there are dividends, stock options no doubt, capital gains from sales of stock . . .

          • 10. Ronnie  |  January 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

            What Ann S. said….<3….Ronnie

    • 11. Santa Barbara Mom  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Perfectly said, Ronnie. Too bad that couldn’t be posted on their blog, but they’d still be too blind to make the association.

    • 12. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Ronnie, you are only forgetting one thing. None of them is a lady. Each of them is only pretending to be a lady. A lady has a lot more class. I know. My mother-in-law is a lady. She read the Manhattan Declaration and said that Apple was correct in pulling it, because she said the only thing that would come out of the Manhattan Declaration was a whole lot of shooting, killing, and other violence. Pretty damn smart for a woman who graduated from high school back in 1941 when she was only 16! A lot smarter than the people who are trying to force Apple to put the Manhattan Declaration back in the iTunes store!

      • 13. Ronnie  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

        True..true..& based on what you said about your mother-in-law….true….<3….Ronnie

  • 14. Guest  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    How about this argument: The app encouraged people to break the law (civil disobedience).

  • 15. the lone ranger  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I’d like to see Apple reply: “Bigotry is offensive. Whether Christianity = bigotry is a more profound question these app proponents may need to debate.”

  • 16. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Yes, but I have noticed that the very same ones who want to scream that their freedom of religion is being trampled upon, are the very same ones who do not want my husband and I to exercise our freedom of religion by being allowed to perform chasunahs for LGBT Jews. We are not asking them to perform these in synagogues that do not agree to do so for reasons of conscience, so why do they feel justified in denying us the freedom to conduct them since we are firm believers in marriage equality and religious freedom? And by religious freedom I am also including those who choose to be free from religion.

  • 17. John  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I really wish these -fascist groups would name call themselves something other than “Christian” since Christianity is about love and freedom, not regulating what practices are “okay” in someone’s bedroom.

    “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

    To me, there’s no greater freedom that being able to love another human. Christ celebrates that. Groups like Focus on Family are operating completely contrary to Christ.

    • 18. Steve  |  January 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      Organized religion has always been about controlling people. That’s it’s one and only purpose. Ancient Judaism (as codified in the OT) took went to insane length to set their tribe apart from everyone around them. That’s why there are those insane rules in the holy books that no one really follows anymore.

      That whole stuff about love and what not is just a veneer to cover that. The people at the top certainly don’t believe it.

  • 19. Larry Little  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    THEY want to separate the good from evil……..any normal civilized individual would have no problem in pointing out who the evil ones and whose offensive behavior includes overt vitriolic hatred toward gay people and those who disagree with their posiiton. Religion is against all sex not employed for pro-creation which is sublimely ridiculous. Religious leaders from Somlia has just declared men and women cannot shake hands or speak with one another unless married.
    People who are not religious fanatics need protection from those who are or their rhetoric may lead to shooting public officials like Congresswoman Giffords or abortions doctors.

  • 20. Marlene  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Some of the comments on the blog are really interesting. As expected, most are claiming that Apple dumping the app is “un-Christain”, and a few call for Christians to take over Apple from within so they can return the app.

    One also calls for everyone in FotF who has an iPhone to find every app that offends them or opposes the Manhattan Manif… um, I mean Declaration and click the “this app is offensive” tab.

    • 21. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      I guess they don’t realize that even when they do that, they will have to provide a reason as to why it is offensive to them, and that it will be reviewed by someone at Apple. Or maybe they really are trying to turn this country into a theocracy and figure that if they cannot do it through the political system that they will attempt to do it through killing the free enterprise system. I think Steve Jobs and the rest of the crew at Apple is a LOT smarter than that!

    • 22. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  January 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      All Christians do not think alike. I consider myself a Christian and I find the app (from what I have read about it) offensive. So, why do they think Christians working for Apple would not also find the app offensive?

      Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 23. IT  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Apple has many Christian-themed apps. My wife, who is Episcopalian, makes use of a number of them, including the Daily Lectionary, the Book of Common Prayer. Her church is also on line with an App of its own.

    Thus, @Lone Ranger, your suggested response for Apple is not at all appropriate. Christianity isn’t = Bigotry, even if some Christians are certainly bigots.

    It’s about time that progressives point out not just the errors in the Manhattan Declaration but call the FoF and others on their outright LIES about Christianity. FoF do not define the faith–but they do tarnish it quite a bit.

    A good comeback also might be to remind the FoF and other hard right groups of the recent marriage of two Episcopal priests (both women) in Massachusetts–performed by the Episcopal Bishop. They are certainly Christians, all of them, and making a strong witness to justice for all.

    Plenty of Christians support marriage equality, and do so vocally. The Episopcal church is certainly doing so, as are many others including the UCC, the UUs, the MCC, and branches of Judaism, Lutherans, and others. California Faith for Equality, for example, is an important advocacy group in our own battles. Christianity isn’t the enemy here, the people who are lying about it are.

    Don’t you see, If we let them frame the argument and frame us as anti-Christian, we’re losing. Atheist, agnostic, and believers all have a common goal for justice here, and must work together. Supporting equality is not anti Christian. And Christians per se are not anti-gay.

    I speak as a woman of no faith, married to a woman of deep faith.

    • 24. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      I do agree that those who are claiming they are Christian need to find another name for themselves, though. A name that truly reflects who and what they are. I have to admit that until recently, when I met my husband, that my faith was wavering badly. I just could not see how anyone could justify harming others in the name of religion. And yet I am now the rebbitizen for not only the LGBT Jews who are not affiliated with a particular brick and mortar synagogue, but other displaced Jews as well. And we are fighting back against those who would try to silence us by perverting the teachings of Judaism and the other faith groups by using their religion as a platform for hate. I have met so many wonderful Christians on this site, of many different denominations. And, IT, you describe yourself as a woman of no faith, and yet, you have faith without realizing it. Otherwise you and your wife would not be together. It may not be what some consider to be faith when that term is used in relation to a denomination or a movement, but it is faith nonetheless. A faith that justice will prevail and that we will all be able to live our lives in peace.

      • 25. IT  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm

        Thank you, Richard. I think it is incumbent upon those of faith to fight back against those who are corrupting their message, as you are and my wife is. And I think it is incumbent upon those without religious faith to recognize that the faith is not the enemy.

        One is reminded of Gandhi, who famously said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” ;-)

        As for faith, yes. I have faith in justice and peace and above all in love. You are quite right that that is the faith that keeps me with my wife, and brings me such joy in our marriage.

        IT (one of the 18,000)

      • 26. Bob  |  January 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        Christianity is experiencing continuing reformation, with present day realities… reformation is not soemthing static , done , complete, but a continuing process,,,

        And perhaps the Manhattan Declaration could be the devining rod, or new separation,,,, today we can define Christiantiy by those who sign the Manhattan Declaration, and those who don’t,,,,,,

        Christianity has declared it’s own distinctions……. Those who sign the Manhattan Declaration, did us all a service by declaring themelves…..

        One of the first questions to ask in the present day when exploring Christianity, when approaching a person who ministers, is to ask, Would you sign the Manhattan Declaration….. are you bound by the declaration, or are you truly a free agent of God??

        just read through the list of signers, the represent numerous chruches,,, and as we know, modern challenges to LOVE one another are presently splitting many main line churches… i.e. to say one is Lutheran does not adequately describe a persons religion,, you must delve deeper, are you and Evangelical Lutheran if so you would not sign the Manhattan Declaration,, whereas the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod would….

        let them break themselves down and be known as SIGNERS

    • 27. the lone ranger  |  January 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

      @IT: I didn’t say Christianity = bigotry (although, personally, I do believe that is a largely valid statement [there are exceptions, of course]… sorry, but from reviewing some 2000 years of history, that’s just my conclusion).

      However, what I said is that if the app was removed because it was bigoted, but the proponents of the app believe it was removed simply because it was Christian, then those proponents need to reconcile that discrepancy. If Christianity = bigotry, then the proponents criticisms about Apple are actually correct, although that would leave them in an awkward position of having to admit to an ugly side of their religion. If Christianity ≠ bigotry, then the proponents are wrong about Apple’s motives, but then in supporting the app they would have to admit they tacitly support bigotry. It’s a lose-lose situation for them, which delight me to no end.

      This is all premised on the presumption that regardless of one’s feelings about religion, that the app is bigoted against gay people. These rightwing groups may disagree (likely because “God said so”), but I think proving the app not to be bigoted to any reasonably objective authority on human rights would be a difficult thing to do.

    • 28. fiona64  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:23 am

      Yep. One of the associate pastors at my church the other day showed me the Bible app on her iPhone.

  • 29. IT  |  January 9, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Sorry, I meant to say plenty of RELIGIOUS GROUPS support equality, I wasn’t trying to say that my Jewish friends are Christian! ;-)

  • 30. Sagesse  |  January 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Same-sex Marriage is Legal in D.C.

    but for Gay Couples and Employers, Tax Differences Remain


    “This special advertising section was written by Deena Fidas, associate director of the Workplace Project, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, in conjunction with the advertising department of The Washington Post and did not involve the news or editorial departments of this newspaper. “

    • 31. Lora  |  January 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      I’m sick and tired of being taxed for my wife’s medical. When we got our first paychecks of the year, I noticed that the amount I’m taxed for her bene’s went from 435.00 to 572.00 a month…so I’m being taxed on an extra 6800.00+ that I never see. Meanwhile, none of my co-workers pay a dime of extra tax…even if they just met last week!
      End rant.

      • 32. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

        added my hubby to insurance for first time…1st paycheck this Friday…we’ll see! : /

      • 33. John  |  January 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

        I wonder what would happen if the corporations – instead of the employee – had to pay the extra tax (anything beyond what a person married to an opposite sex partner would pay) burden when a gay person puts their partner on their insurance.

        I suspect the right wing would be screaming about needing a tax cut and how this unfair tax system was hurting small business.

  • 34. Ray in MA  |  January 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    OT.. I think this deserves emphasis:


  • 35. Rhie  |  January 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Apple thinks the offensive is offensive, Jim Daly. Sigh.

  • 36. Ray in MA  |  January 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “inflaming the American public”

    I think this phrase is crtitical.

    At a press conference Saturday, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik criticized people who are making a living off “inflaming the American public.”

    Millions of comments on lots of blogs are of this nature: “inflaming the American public.”

    Today I went thru most of the comments on the same sex marriage legislation in the Providence RI newspaper and flagged the posts that were of that ilk…Reason for flagging: “inflaming the American public.”

    Focus on the Family president Jim Daly is “inflaming the American public.”

    Would it be crazy to start a movement across the country where (when the opportunity is presented) to flag posts and comments as: “inflaming the American public.”?

    CNN has a “flag post” option, as do many othermajor media sites.

    … just a crazy thought for consideration.

    • 37. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Not such a crazy thought. Actually something like that could be very useful in toning down the inflammatory rhetoric or even eliminating it altogether.

      • 38. Ray in MA  |  January 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm

        Hi Richard… exactly the intient.

        • 39. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm

          And yesterday’s events are only one more example of why something like that is needed.

  • 40. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I like Tony Perkins’ beard. No really, I hear she’s a nice lady.

  • 41. Matthew  |  January 10, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Awee. For like 3 days the NOM blog wasn’t moderating posts. I actually got to post some stuff. They kept calling gays communists and hedonists.

    Mods must have been on vacation. But they are blocking all my posts again. Every few posts they ban my e-mail and I have to make a new one to keep posting. So much for free speech.

    • 42. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 10, 2011 at 6:39 am

      As we all know, in NOM’s world, free speech is only for those who agree wholeheartedly with NOM’s misguided, malicious viewpoints.

  • 43. Matthew  |  January 10, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Oh yeah. I know it’s a little OT but I can’t resist.

    I read the Advocate article about Nancy Pelosi’s new aide. The seriously woofy gingerbear that does the reading of bills. I bet it burns Noms briches that now all the bills get read aloud by teh gayz before thy get voted on. Haha !

  • 44. CaliGirl  |  January 10, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Have any of you read the Manhattan Declaration? Because I think it’s one of the most offensive things I’ve read on the internet–not because it’s honest and says, “gays suck, gays are going to hell, who’s with me?” (it doesn’t)–but because it’s hate speech covered in cotton candy and sprinkled with fairy dust. The same kind of hate speech that slips by the censors and makes it into our kids’ ears, the kind that makes it okay to hate, bully, and hurt gay people.

    The kind of speech that calls being gay a “fashionable ideology”. The kind that calls for “reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed, and suffering” while dealing out the circumstances that create that suffering. The kind that denies that same sex marriage could be as good as straight marriage at the “generation, promotion, and protection of life”. The kind that implies that the only right thing for a gay person to do is to “to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward”. The kind that easily correlates gay relationships and the right of same sex marriage with “polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships”.

    The kind that calls for a fight between good and evil, while aligning itself fully with the good (and if you’re not with us, you’re against us, right?).

    It’s gross, it’s offensive, it makes me ashamed to be a Christian.

    I don’t use Apple products, but I think I will now. Way to go, Apple CEO guy. <3

    • 45. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 10, 2011 at 6:46 am

      Yes, I have read it. When I read about Apple banning it and NOM getting angry as a result, I had to. And once I read it, I was even more staunchly in Apple’s corner for removing it. And the reason it offends you, CaliGirl is that, unlike NOM and its sheeple, you are a TRUE Christian. NOM and their ilk are only CINO’s. As such, they are not bothered by the obvious contradictions between their words and actions and the words and actions of the one they claim to follow.

      • 46. Helen in Ireland  |  January 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

        ‘NOM and their ilk are only CINO’s’

        THERE you are! Many posters have been calling for a term which can be used to identify these ‘righteous’ bigots from true Christians who support LGBT equality, and your term just fits the purpose exactly!

        From now on, I’ll always refer to these Christianists as CINOs and hope that it catches on…

        • 47. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm

          Thank you, Helen. You sound so much like my mother-in-law, and her name is Helen, also!

  • 48. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 10, 2011 at 8:18 am

    slightly off-topic…
    I re-watched “prayers for Bobby” with Sigourney Weaver yesterday and it reminded again how I felt to be under the condemnation of Christian religion and how hateful their messages can be. So ironic how many churches/conservative groups tout “Family” as their purpose and mission…while seeming oblivious how damaging their rhetoric is to all families including their own.

    • 49. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  January 10, 2011 at 8:28 am

      P.S. THANK YOU Apple for removing the App and sticking to your decision!

    • 50. Rhie  |  January 11, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      Yup. It’s gotten to the point where I automatically label any group with the word Family in it’s name as a hate group until proven otherwise.

  • 51. Joel  |  January 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

    OT, but I just heard on the news that the alleged shooter in the AZ tragedy us to be charged with the “attempted assasination of a member of Congress.”

    Is that a a crime separate from attempted murder?

    • 52. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

      Actually, attempted assassination is the charge whenever it is a planned attack on a public official. It borders on treason, and was really the only possible charge based on his MySpace and YouTube postings paired with the evidence found in his safe. And in addition to the five counts he is currently charged with, on three different felonies, there are other charges that are still pending and not yet released. So far he is charged with 2 counts of murder of a federal employee, two counts of attempted murder of a federal employee and one count of attempted assassination. May G-d have mercy upon his soul. I fear that before all is said and done, he will be given the death penalty.

      • 53. Joel  |  January 10, 2011 at 9:48 am

        I don’t know about that last, Richard. I infer from your post that you are against the death penalty. I remain on the fence. That said, it is becoming increasingly clear that the alleged shooter is quite a tortured soul, and when the full story is told, I would like to think that, in this case anyway, that Justice will be fair, but merciful.

        It’s also notable that many other assassins have avoided the death penalty.

        • 54. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

          Actually, one of the main reasons I oppose the death penalty is that when you execute someone, you free him or her from the consequences of having to live with his or her actions for the rest of his or her life. When you execute someone, you give them the easy way out. When someone has to live with the consequences of their actions day in and day out, not only in prison, but if they ever get out and then cannot find a job, then you make them take a good long look at themselves and what they have done. You make them take stock of the harm they caused to so many people. And unless you are Martha Stewart, Michael Vick, or O. J. Simpson, when you leave prison, you definitely have a much harder time trying to find any type of job, especially if the application must be submitted online instead of in person.
          So, to be honest, if Loughner is given the death penalty, it will truly be a waste of taxpayer money. Especially since there is no way to bring him back to life and execute him one time for each murder he committed.

          • 55. matthew  |  January 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm

            I don’t want to debate the punishment this guy deserves. There is still so much that still needs to be revealed about the situation.

            But I do disagree with one thing in your post Richard. The point of prison and putting people into prison is supposed to be about rehabilitation. That is sort of a cornerstone of America’s soul. If you commit certain crimes, you go to prison for a specific amount of time. That is your restitution. Once you get out of prison, you aren’t supposed to be punished any more.

            So so so many unfortunate people end up going to prison for small, petty, insignificant reasons, and come out hardened criminals because of that mentality. The idea that if you’ve been in prison, you don’t deserve to be able to work. You don’t deserve to be able to rent an apartment, whatever else…That is just as tragic as what this guy did in Tuscon.

            I don’t want to debate how broken the justice system actually is, because that’s a whole new can of worms. I just had to mention my feelings on that one thing.

          • 56. fiona64  |  January 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

            Matthew, there are some people who cannot be rehabilitated. I agree with you in large part, and am very much against the death penalty.

            However, I don’t think that (just to pick one example from Richard’s list) Michael Vick “deserves” a job in the NFL, making millions of dollars. He deserve a job that allows him to survive, sure … but he was not “owed” a return to work in the NFL. (And don’t even get me started on how he’s swanning all over the place, wringing his hands about how unfair it is that he can’t have a dog.)

            People are often found (posthumously) to be not guilty of the crimes for which they were executed. Unless and until that problem is resolved, I will be against the death penalty.

            I also agree that people should be given the opportunity to have a job after they’re out of prison. But I don’t think they’re “owed” anything like what Michael Vick got.

            Love from the sister of a (diagnosed and incarcerated) criminal sociopath — who belongs exactly where he is,

          • 57. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

            You are right, Matthew. Once you have served your time, you have paid your debt. Unfortunately, as I know all too well, there are too many who do not want to give you a second chance, even when you have seen prison as a wake up call and have done the work on yourself to make sure you do not repeat your previous mistakes. I even studied for and received my Associate of Applied Sciences in Business Administration, and I still have had trouble trying to find work. I am able to pick up the occasional odd job here and there, but it is nowhere near enough. And it is this very situation that the ACLU is working to try and change. They are gathering information from those of us who are affected by that one question on every job application so that this can be changed. I still feel that the death penalty is too good for the shooter in Arizona.

    • 58. Ann S.  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:22 am

      I think it’s likely that attempted assassination of a member of Congress is a federal crime, and attempted murder is usually a state crime (with exceptions, such as murder on federal property).

  • 61. Casey  |  January 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I wish there was a clear way for for pro-equality Christians to join together and make their voices heard as legitimate messengers of Christ’s message that love and community can heal us all. They are victims of hateful messages claiming that Christianity and being LGBT are inherently incompatible. I see many Christians, as well as many members of the LGBT community (including some who are in both communities) feeling insulted by this app and the messages advocated by its creators. It does my heart good to see that we have so many allies in the religious and straight communities around the country. Trying to be patient as we continue our slow march toward full membership in our society…

    • 62. anonygrl  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Write an app.

      Actually, that might be a really good idea, not just a joke. Anybody here know how to write an app?

    • 63. IT  |  January 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Well, there are ways. California Faith for Equality is a coalition of faith groups that works actively to promote marriage equality here in CA, for example. National groups like Soulforce carry a banner. A great source for information is Integrity, the Episocpal Church’s LGBT group.

      And individual churches are very active in their communities. For example, the biggest group marching in the San Diego Pride Parade is St Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral–LGBT and their friends and allies. They are active in interfaith efforts and outreach too and outspoken for equality. In fact the Episcopal Bishops of California were all against Prop8.

      Interestingly despite the “official” views of the Roman Catholic church, the Catholic laity are amongst the MOST supportive of marriage equality; 49% support equality.

      Inclusive churches are out there. But our community has to stop driving a wedge by using the term “Christian” to cover everyone. That’s the way the right wingers want us to use it–that is, as THEY define it. We help THEM render the pro-equality Christians invisible. Gotta stop that. Whether we believe or not, we need to make common ground with liberal Christians on this.

      • 64. fiona64  |  January 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

        Also: the Metropolitan Community Churches (http:www.ufmcc.org). They are inclusive, and welcoming of all (I asked if it was okay for me to attend, since I’m straight … I didn’t know).

        I learned more about the nature of true Christianity from my local MCC fellowship/congregation than I did from any of the CINO churches I attended over the course of my life. I walked away for more than 20 years and would never have walked back *in* if I’d not met a MCC pastor.

        I now call myself Wiccan/Interfaith; MCC does not have a cookie-cutter concept of what “god” should be like. They do, however, practice Jesus’ radical policy of welcoming everyone and feeding the poor, comforting the afflicted, loving one’s neighbor as one’s self, and standing up for social justice.


  • 65. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Legal Issues Linger After DADT Repeal

    In the Log Cabin Republicans case pending at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals since before repeal, Justice Department lawyers last week asked the court to stay all proceedings .

    That doesn’t work for Daniel Woods, a White & Case partner who tried the case in district court for the Log Cabin Republicans. He said the government lawyers asked him not to oppose their motion.

    Woods said his position was simple: “I’ll agree if you agree to not discharge any service members under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

    “And they said ‘no.'”

    He plans to file papers with the Ninth Circuit on Monday opposing the stay request.


    p.s. I’ll be watching for the filing today.

    • 66. anonygrl  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:07 am

      Good for Woods!

      And thanks for keeping us up to date, Kathleen. <3

    • 67. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Ditto the ‘good for Woods!’ As we’ve all said here, as long as soldiers are being discharged under DADT, this case remains relevant.

    • 68. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Here’s LCR’s response:

  • 69. Bob  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Woods is right on,,,, stay the course……

  • 70. Sagesse  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:50 am

    When constitutional rights are in conflict :).

    Officials can’t refuse to marry gay couples on religious grounds: Saskatchewan court


    • 71. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

      I was very happy to see this result. Important to note that this his ruling applies only to civil marriage commissioners — public servants performing civil ceremonies – and not religious clergy.

      This from the article:
      “It is not difficult for most people to imagine the personal hurt involved in a situation where an individual is told by a governmental officer, ‘I won’t help you because you are black (or Asian or First Nations) but someone else will,’ or ‘I won’t help you because you are Jewish (or Muslim or Buddist) but someone else will.’ Being told, ‘I won’t help you because you are gay/lesbian but someone else will’ is no different.”

      • 72. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

        And good for our northern neighbors for getting it right! Once again, I contemplate on what basis I could ask for asylum in Canada. :)

        • 73. Bob  |  January 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm

          Sagesse, are you able to look up Egale website, and find reference to Bill C-389,,,, it’s the bill working it’s way through the channels to deal with the Transgender issues in Canada…..

          We;re so happy human rights trumped religious rights when it comes to civil servants,,, i.e. if you want to discriminate keep it within the confines of your church,,, don’t expect to enforce those beliefs on the public,,, don’t become a civil servant

          • 74. Sagesse  |  January 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

            Here’s the Egale piece. Click through to the bill… it’s not long.

      • 75. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

        Saskatchewan won’t appeal court ruling on gay-marriage law. “Justice Minister Don Morgan says the government will take some time to review the decision so it can decide how to proceed. But … adds that the Appeal Court’s analysis was thorough and he will not recommend that the government appeal.”

    • 76. Elizabeth Oakes  |  January 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Yes, I was happy to see this too. And it makes me wonder whatever happened to that JOP guy in Alabama (? was it? who refused to marry the interracial couple a year or two ago?)

      It’s the same thing–if you’re hired, appointed, or elected to civil service, you have to provide services on an equal basis. You can quit your government job if you don’t believe in equal protection and application of the law. Go Canada!

      • 77. Ann S.  |  January 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

        IIRC, he was forced to retire.

  • 78. Colin  |  January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    well, here it is: Armageddon! who can deny it!

    this may be worth a few laughs for sure. I wonder if she actually has an audience?

    • 79. Kathleen  |  January 10, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      I think Nature is saying it’s appalled by wackos like this opening their mouths.

    • 80. JonT  |  January 10, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Wow. Where do these nutcases come from.

    • 81. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      But they want Armageddon, don’t they? I’m so confused….

  • 82. John D  |  January 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Apple should never have permitted the Manhattan Declaration in the App Store to begin with. It happens. They approve something and then realize it violates their guidelines.

    One of their guidelines is, to put it succinctly, “you can’t say ‘X is bad.'”

    There was a politician who was not allowed to post his “reasons to vote against my opponent” app. You gotta be positive.

    Apple would be fine with a “Christianity is good” app. As others have pointed out, there are plenty of apps for devout Christians and for other religious groups too. If I wrote an “Evangelicals are bad” app, it won’t get into the App Store.

    So when you write your app, remember, “Marriage Equality is Good” is okay. Don’t bother to submit the “NOM Are Bigots” app.

  • 83. Michael  |  January 12, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Homophobia is and never has been “Christianity.” It’s a sin. Nowhere does our Lord Jesus Christ condone homophobia. In fact, Scripture is clear in more than one place that revilers are going to hell.

  • 84. Edward Gould  |  January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    For a couple of years I have marched in Gay Pride here in Chicago. We see the religious hate groups (Phelp & Co) at two places in the parade just about halfway up Halsted street where the parade does about a 180 degree turn. Then at the end the religious nuts will be out there shouting anti gay items. We are in our area that is planned and OK’d by the City of Chicago. Why should it be OK for the religious people to be there to swear and heckle us? The area is predominantly gay we have the day set aside to close the area down. Why should the religious people be allowed to yell and use verbage that
    offends us? The same goes for the app if I am anti gay its OK to have this on your computer but I better not be able to see/hear it as then you cross into my territory.

    • 85. John  |  January 18, 2011 at 6:21 am

      I agree with you, but one legal difference is that the street is owned by the government, not the gay parade, even if it is shut down for a day, which gives all the people, even offensive ones, access to it. Apple isn’t owned by the government – it’s a private company.

      Ironically, the #2 argument the anti-gays have (#1 is “procreation”) is that “a private business owner should be allowed to exercise his religious freedom in his business and shouldn’t be forced to hire or serve gays, since he thinks gay is sin.” (it’s a bogus argument, much like it would be if I substituted “black” for “gay”). Strange that when a private business does something the anti-gays don’t like, suddenly *that* is a problem.


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