Final Draft Defense Bill Worse: Dems Throw Gays, Atheists Under Bus

As reported in Mother Jones, (full article at )

(first two paragraphs)

Thanks to the Democrats for throwing virtually any minority the Religious Reich doesn't like under the bus.

Note especially the wording of the last sentence of paragraph two.

While Mother Jones goes on about gays, it would also allow discrimination against atheists, those who engage in premarital sex, or any “strongly-held” religious view, which in the final version must now be “accommodated."

The draft defense bill was negotiated behind closed-doors between Democrats and Republicans to iron out differences with Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial language. The new language is worse.) – James.

A defense spending bill set to become law contains a provision that could allow discrimination against gay and lesbian service members and other minorities in the military, legal experts warned Wednesday. The controversial measure stems from a proposal originally introduced by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) the Republican Senate candidate from Missouri whose remarks about "legitimate rape" launched a nationwide controversy that doomed his candidacy.


Now a final draft of the defense bill has emerged from closed-door negotiations between the House and Senate with a version of Akin's measure. While Democratic lawmakers say this compromise proposal would change nothing, critics say the new bill is actually worse than Akin's, because it now requires the military to "accommodate" not only anti-gay bias, but also any other strongly held beliefs.

Please consider reading and signing my atheists, agnostics, and nones acknowledgement petition on the White House petition Website. Even if you choose not to sign, please consider what it means when a sitting president's campaign adviser can blithely state that he does not view 1/5 of the American public as a constituency, what it means for our civil rights, and what it means to others who are religious that hear that. It is as egregious as Mitt Romney’s infamous 47% remark.


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Wouldn't a "strongly held" belief in Atheism or Gay rights also have to be accommodated?


No. Atheism and gay rights are not beliefs (atheists argue it is not a belief, gays argue it is the way they are born), and it would apply to religious beliefs if passed.

I don't see how atheism could not be considered a moral belief. As would be just about any religion and belief in the morality of gay relationships.

Now, I realize that the wacko Akins may have other ideas in mind, but in principle, I don't feel people should be forced to accept any dominant belief system even if their beliefs are radically opposed to mine. If they want to believe that atheists are the spawn of the devil, as long as my beliefs to the opposite are equally protected, I don't care.

The draft defense bill does not protect moral beliefs. It protects religious beliefs, whether moral or not.

And as it says the Department of Defense must accommodate all such beliefs, it allows things such as discrimination as I outlined above, or any discrimination religious in nature. (For example, the Mormon idea that blacks are the "descendents of Cain" must be accommodated, any sincere religious person must have all their religious holidays off for church, they must accommodate those who do not want to serve with gays, atheists, Muslims, "Jesus-killing" Jews, any military parent who holds that evolution is anti-God and doesn't want his children taught evolution in Department of Defense schools must be accommodated, &c.)

Please remind the President by signing my White House petition above. It has sixty signatures. Gun-advocates got their "deport Piers Morgan" signature up to 32 000 in three days. No one will stand up for our rights if we don't, but people are waiting to take them away, as in the Defense bill.

Since the President does not have the luxury of line-item vetoes, he must either accept the bill as written (if it gets to his desk), or veto the entire defense bill, a scenario the GOP is just itching for him to do. (Soft on defense, anti-Christian, I can picture Fox News and the Tea Party on their hands with this one. Victory to Todd Akin.)

And since the Democrats negotiated the final language, it is unlikely that Obama will support the twenty percent of the populace (the "nones") that overwhelmingly voted for him.

The draft defense bill does not protect moral beliefs. It protects religious beliefs, whether moral or not.

I'm seeing this "beliefs of a member of the armed forces reflecting the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member" which seems to include more than just religious beliefs.

Accommodating has a lot of established meanings and limits in other legal settings, including employment law. It has limits.

Not that fundies won't try to use it for their benefit, but others can use it just as well. Minority groups may actually gain leverage. That'll piss off the fundies.

Atheists as a rule do not hold that shunning people or killing them for opposing beliefs, such as heresy, apostasy, homosexuality, or differing religious views are moral. Many religious do.

Thus the religious view has to be accommodated under the draft Defense act. "Not extra-judicially killing" is already accommodated.

Atheists as a rule do not hold that shunning people or killing them for opposing beliefs, such as heresy, apostasy, homosexuality, or differing religious views are moral. Many religious do.

So, what? As long as their beliefs are not interfering with the rights or life of others.

The term 'freedom of conscience' is one that many humanists support. Implicit in that (because conscience is, unlike science, an inherently irrational byproduct of evolution) is that people's perceptions of right will vary widely. Freedom of conscience means that you have a right to consider them bigots and they have the right to consider you a moral degenerate. You have the right to boycott religious themed events and they have the right to boycott gay weddings.

The same rules protect both.

Back when I was young, and mastodons and wooly mammoths lumbered across the lush Nebraska plains, the President was a born-again Peanut farmer from the historic Confederate south.  I joined the army in those heady times.  I wound up serving a year in the US, then was asked to volunteer for Embassy duty in Greece.  So I did, and was promptly shipped to Turkey. 

In my units, a fair number of men were assumed to be gay.  Openly talked about, and they openly discussed their love lives and sex lives.  Some had off-post apartments, where they could be together in privacy.  They were not discriminated against.  One was, in appearance and behavior, a flawed clone of Truman Capote.  He too was accepted and even respected, although it was a complicated kind of respect.  He also had a habit of getting drunk and attacking officers, tearing off their clothes, which didn't turn out too well.  But until he did that, he was OK.

I admit it was a rarefied environment.  I was known to be atheist, and the baptist chaplain didn't like me at all.  But I was also accepted, promoted, and given a choice of duty station at completion of my Turkish tour.  I chose Ft. Detrick Maryland.  So the orders came for Ft. Hood Texas.  

Where was I?  Oh, then there was a stirring in the loins of Republicans, for the not-yet-orange-haired ex-husband of Jane Wyman.  Glad I got out when I did.

I remember when Bill Clinton threw gays under the bus with Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Asshole.  Democrats can be weenies sometimes.

Interesting they can discriminate against those who engage in pre (or non) marital sex.  When I was in the Army, it seemed like that was the entire Army.  But it appears the mastodons and wooly mammoths are gone, too.

(Actually, thinking about it, the president wasn't Carter when I joined, it was Ford.  Im becoming demented)

cannot sing petition unless you "create a whitehouse account". sorry..not going to do that!.

Why not? 




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