Saturday, February 25, 2012

Concerns about County-sponsored Bible-based constitutional law speaker unfounded; hardly mentioned God at all

News that the Carroll County (Maryland) commissioners had funded, and asked County employees to attend, a seminar taught by Bible-based constitutional law expert David Whitney, the pastor of a Pasadena, Maryland church and a lecturer for the Institute on the Constitution, which coincidentally happens to be based in Pasadena, raised concerns among, and protests from, the finicky folks who object to the mixing of religion and government.

Whitney, unlike other scholars who could have been asked to teach a Maryland constitutional law seminar, understands the importance of The Bible in American law and government. According to The Baltimore Sun, Whitney said before the seminar was held on February 24, "We will be looking at the language of our founding fathers who wrote they were 'grateful to Almighty God for civil and religious liberties' front and center on this document. The Bible is the source of the authority that they looked to."

Any concerns about the improper mixing of religion and government were obviously needless from the start, since being a constitutional law expert, Whitney knows, full well, that teaching government employees attending a government-funded seminar about how God helped write the Maryland Constitution is perfectly OK, since that's merely a factual retelling of its history, and has absolutely nothing at all to do with his or any other religious beliefs.

The Carroll County commissioners also completely understand the issue of separation of church and state, and so obviously would not mix the two. Commissioner Richard Rothschild said, "It is perfectly appropriate to teach a course which factually explains the role God plays in our constitution."

Reports after the seminar also confirmed that any concerns about violation of the principle of separation of church and state were totally unjustified. As noted in another Sun article, written after the seminar, Whitney made only "a few" religious references including his making clear that "Our rights come from God, not the government."

Civil rights in short supply; gays haven't suffered enough violence for a full share

This week the Maryland General Assembly approved the Civil Marriage Protection Act which allows same-sex couples to marry, much to the distress of Emmett C. Burns, Jr., a member of the House of Delegates and Baptist minister. Burns knows, as Maryland legislators who voted in favor of the bill do not, that civil rights are in short supply and must be allocated to only the most civil rights-worthy minorities. According to Burns, gays and lesbians simply don't qualify for full civil rights since none have suffered the amount of violence blacks have.

It is unclear from Burns' comments why the many documented cases of gays and other sexual minorities being murdered because of their sexual orientation, including the murder of Glen H. Footman in Baltimore, don't qualify as points towards full equality for same-sex couples. (Note: Although generally not clear from the reporting, as Burns points out, all the individuals who are members of the GLBT community are "whites.")

While there are many scales for measuring the relative suffering of various minorities to determine if they qualify for martial equality and other civil rights, it appears that Burns may be using "The Bible Says Gay Sex is a Big Sin" (TBSGSBS) scale which requires all evidence of violence against gays to be excluded from the computation of civil rights eligibility. Use of this scale probably means that even additional murders of gays will not increase their civil rights eligibility score.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rapists will start disguising themselves as women if transgendered protected

The biggest concern about Baltimore County's proposed bill to protect individuals who are transgendered from discrimination based on gender identity seems to be the fear that if transgendered people are protected, men will start dressing as women, then enter women's public restrooms for the purpose of peeping at or raping women.

Apparently, the bill will provide, for the very first time, instruction for men on how to disguise themselves as women so they can enter women's bathrooms without notice, since obviously no man could possibly know how to do that now.