NEWS -- 2013.05.01.Wednesday
- 1) My apologies for not recognizing the satire yesterday
The following four are not satire, though it would be better if they were --->
2) Pat Robertson: 'There Isn't Anything Bigoted' About Calling Gay NBA Player an Abomination
3) Church cancels LeRoy Butler's appearance after Jason Collins tweet
4) Austerity is hurting our health, say researchers
5) Catholic church excommunicates Brazil priest for liberal views
Good news, good advice --->
6) Colorado ushers in new law with midnight unions
7) Dear Abby -- Man Peeking Out Of Closet Should Open It All The Way
The Buick Human Highlight Reel in partnership with the NCAA shines a light on former NCAA student-athletes who have given their all on the field and now find a way to give even more to the causes that matter most.
This episode features NCAA All-American wrestler Hudson Taylor, a graduate of the University of Maryland. Currently a coach at Columbia University, Hudson is determined to take down homophobia in the sports community.
Yesterday, after sending out Borowitz's report on Scalia, I was reminded that Andy Borowitz is satire, like the Onion.
Like this one ---
My apologies for not recognizing the satire.
The following four items are not satire, though it would be better if they were --->
April 30, 2013 11:50 AM
Robertson: 'There Isn't Anything Bigoted' About Calling Gay NBA Player an Abomination
Televangelist Pat Robertson used a portion of his Tuesday 700 Club broadcast to defend an ESPN reporter who said that NBA player Jason Collins was "walking in open rebellion to God" for announcing he was openly gay.
After Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated column published on Monday, ESPN reporter Chris Broussard said that he did not believe that an NBA player could be both openly gay and a Christian.
"If you're openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ," Broussard explained. "So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don't think the bible would characterize them as a Christian."
On Tuesday, Robertson insisted that the ESPN reporter had been correct because "fornication is a sin."
"Somehow we've said if it's heterosexual fornication, it's bad; if it's homosexual fornication -- that used to be called an abomination in the Bible -- now it's a protected civil right," he continued. "And so somebody that says that that kind of conduct is sinful is now being pilloried in the press. He's telling the truth! This is what the Bible says!"
The TV preacher pointed out that "these media types" who were criticizing Broussard had chosen "a lifestyle that takes them outside the protection of God."
"You can't tell them if they want to go to hell or heaven, that's their business," he declared. "But don't tell somebody that he can't speak specifically about what the Christian faith says about certain conduct. There isn't anything bigoted about that."
"So, our hat's off to somebody who's brave enough to say it. But, whew, let's hope the people at ESPN will man up and defend their guy for speaking what is truth."
In a statement on Monday, ESPN said that the network regretted "that a respectful discussion of personal viewpoints became a distraction from today's news."
"ESPN is fully committed to diversity and welcomes Jason Collins' announcement."
What church is it, and in what town? --->
Church cancels LeRoy Butler's appearance after Jason Collins tweet
By Brad Biggs | National Football Post - Wednesday 01 May 2013
Former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler is out an $8,500 appearance fee after a church canceled his appearance because he congratulated NBA player Jason Collins.
On his Twitter account, Collins wrote Monday, "Congrats to Jason Collins," the journeyman basketball player that came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story, declaring he is gay.
The Wisconsin church Butler was to appear at didn't like that and Butler shared the details via his Twitter account.
"Wow, I was schedule to speak at a church in WI, and a member said that the pastor wants to cancel my event, I said ok why?
"Then I was told, because I said congrats to Jason Collins on twitter, I said really? we have a contract, he said check the moral cause,
"FYI the fee was 8500$, then I was told if i removed the tweet, and apologize and ask god forgiveness, I can have the event, I said no,
"Only god can judge,"
It is probably best Butler did not wind up getting together with these people because they probably would not appreciate all of the messages he could deliver. Butler is well known for his philanthropic work throughout Wisconsin and he is very involved as you can see here. https://www.facebook.com/leap36
Austerity is hurting our health, say researchers
By Kate Kelland
LONDON | Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:11pm EDT
(Reuters) - Austerity is having a devastating effect on health in Europe and North America, driving suicide, depression and infectious diseases and reducing access to medicines and care, researchers said on Monday.
Detailing a decade of research, Oxford University political economist David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, an assistant professor of medicine and an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said their findings show austerity is seriously bad for health.
In a book to be published this week, the researchers say more than 10,000 suicides and up to a million cases of depression have been diagnosed during what they call the "Great Recession" and its accompanying austerity across Europe and North America.
In Greece, moves like cutting HIV prevention budgets have coincided with rates of the AIDS-causing virus rising by more than 200 percent since 2011 - driven in part by increasing drug abuse in the context of a 50 percent youth unemployment rate.
Greece also experienced its first malaria outbreak in decades following budget cuts to mosquito-spraying programs.
And more than five million Americans have lost access to healthcare during the latest recession, they argue, while in Britain, some 10,000 families have been pushed into homelessness by the government's austerity budget.
"Our politicians need to take into account the serious - and in some cases profound - health consequences of economic choices," said David Stuckler, a senior researcher at Oxford University and co-author The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills
"The harms we have found include HIV and malaria outbreaks, shortages of essential medicines, lost healthcare access, and an avoidable epidemic of alcohol abuse, depression and suicide," he said in a statement. "Austerity is having a devastating effect."
Previous studies by Stuckler published in journals such as The Lancet and the British Medical Journal have linked rising suicide rates in some parts of Europe to biting austerity measures, and found HIV epidemics to be spreading amid cutbacks in services to vulnerable people.
But Stuckler and Basu said negative public health effects are not inevitable, even during the worst economic disasters.
Using data from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia and from some examples of the current economic downturn, they say financial crises can be prevented from becoming epidemics - if governments respond effectively.
As an example, they say, Sweden's active labor market programs helped the numbers of suicides to fall there during its recession, a big rise in unemployment. Neighboring countries with no such programs saw large increases in suicides.
And during the 1930s depression in the United States, each extra $100 of relief spending from the American New Deal led to about 20 fewer deaths per 1,000 births, four fewer suicides per 100,000 people and 18 fewer pneumonia deaths per 100,000 people.
"Ultimately what we show is that worsening health is not an inevitable consequence of economic recessions. It's a political choice," Basu said in the statement.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Stephen Powell)
[ picture at URL ]
Catholic church excommunicates Brazil priest for liberal views
By Paulo Prada | Reuters - Tuesday 30 April 2013
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The Catholic Church has excommunicated a Brazilian priest after he defended homosexuality, open marriage and other practices counter to Church teaching in online videos.
In a statement released late on Monday, the priest's diocese said Father Roberto Francisco Daniel, known to local parishioners as Padre Beto, had "in the name of 'freedom of expression' betrayed the promise of fealty to the Church."
The priest "injured the Church with grave statements counter to the dogma of Catholic faith and morality." The actions amount to "heresy and schism," the statement said, the penalty for which is excommunication, or expulsion from the Church.
The rare punishment follows what Daniel's bishop and the priest himself said were repeated rebukes about the videos and other public activities, such as a radio broadcast and local newspaper column, in which he challenged Church doctrine.
The 47-year-old cleric, who studied theology in Germany, is popular in the southeastern city of Bauru, where he has been a priest since 2001. He is known for his rock T-shirts, a silver stud pierced through his right ear and his habit of posing, as on his official Facebook page, with a glass of beer.
On Facebook and Twitter, Daniel posted a brief statement about the excommunication: "I feel honored to belong to the long list of people who have been murdered and burned alive for thinking and searching for knowledge."
SPREAD OF MODERATE VIEWS
Daniel's excommunication, which prompted headlines across Brazil and protests in social media, illustrates the rising influence of more moderate social views in Brazil, Latin America's biggest country, and much of the rest of the region.
Progressive stances on sexuality, birth control, scientific research and other delicate topics for the Church are increasingly common in Latin America, home to 42 percent of the world's Catholics, more than any other region worldwide.
The shifting views are among the many challenges faced by Pope Francis, an Argentine who ascended in March to become the first Latin American pope in history.
The excommunication comes just two months before Francis is scheduled to attend World Youth Day, expected to attract as many as 2 million young Catholics to Rio de Janeiro.
Though Francis is known to be a traditionalist on social issues and Church doctrine, his appointment raised hopes that the first non-European pope in 13 centuries would do more than his predecessors to modernize Catholicism.
But Daniel's beliefs clearly went too far for church leaders.
In one of the recent videos he posted on YouTube.com and his own Website, the priest said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person's spouse allowed it. "If someone is in an extramarital relationship and that relationship is accepted by the spouse, then faithfulness still exists there," he said.
A "REBEL SON"
In a telephone interview, Daniel said his statements "are personal reflections that should be considered and discussed in the dialogue of the church." The excommunication, he said, is "the sad act of a lukewarm and disengaged church that is out of touch with today's society."
The diocese retained a church expert in canonical law to oversee the excommunication process. The diocese also initiated a separate process at the Vatican through which Daniel will be stripped of clerical authority.
Last Tuesday, Bishop Caetano Ferrari gave Daniel a letter asking him to take the videos offline and publicly retract his statements. In an interview posted on the diocese Web site shortly afterward, Ferrari called Daniel "brilliant," but characterized him as a "rebel son" who "crosses the line."
On Monday, Daniel said he went to the diocese headquarters planning to renounce his clerical duties rather than retract any of his comments. But before he had a chance, the bishop and canonical expert made him face a committee of Church officials.
"It was a trial," Daniel said. "I told them I was not there to be tried, that I had not been indicted."
Shortly afterward, the Church issued the statement announcing his excommunication.
(Editing by Todd Benson and Cynthia Osterman)
Good news --->
Colorado ushers in new law with midnight unions
By ALEXANDRA TILSLEY | Associated Press - Wednesday 01 May 2013
DENVER (AP) - The first gay couple granted a civil union in Colorado said their vows before hundreds of people early Wednesday morning at a downtown Denver municipal building where couples and members of the public gathered.
The new law legalizing civil unions took effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and both Denver and Boulder began issuing licenses immediately.
Fran and Anna Simon were the first to receive a civil union certificate. Wearing the white wedding dresses they wore at their commitment ceremony seven years ago and joined by their 5-year-old son Jeremy, Fran and Anna received their license from a clerk at 12:02 a.m., following an expectant countdown to midnight led by other couples. Minutes later they were joined in a ceremony officiated by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.
"Our commitment doesn't change, but we will have a burden lifted off our shoulders," Anna Simon said. "Loving and committed couples need legal protections."
Colorado's civil unions law allows unmarried couples, both gay and heterosexual, the ability to form civil unions and get rights similar to those of married couples. They include transferring property, making medical decisions, adopting children and qualifying for health insurance and survivor benefits.
The statewide advocacy group One Colorado hosted the festivities, and the Denver clerk's office remained open until 3 a.m. to issue civil union licenses to couples eager to take advantage of their rights under the new law.
Couples were ushered into the clerk's office in small groups. They filled out paperwork and received their certificate, a moment that for many came with a quick kiss, a squeeze of hands or a few tears.
Signed certificates in hand, couples were then joined in official ceremonies performed before supporters and other couples in the atrium of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette joined Hancock and local judges and magistrates in officiating civil union ceremonies. DeGette, a long-time supporter of gay rights, said she earned her clergy status online specifically to participate in Wednesday morning's festivities.
"Members of the GLBT community are the same as everyone else - they want loving, permanent relationships," she said.
Hancock said he was honored to be part of the landmark event.
"I've been a part of the effort to legalize civil unions in Colorado now for several years. I feel a tremendous amount of pride for the people of Denver to work with their legislators to finally pass this piece of legislation to allow people to love and live as they so choose," he said.
The Denver Clerk and Recorder's Office said 130 couples checked in before Wednesday morning's 3 a.m. deadline. The office planned to resume issuing civil union licenses at 8 a.m.
Elsewhere in Colorado, the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder remained open until 2 a.m. to offer licenses, though no figures were available from that county.
Other counties waited until after daybreak to start issuing civil union licenses. El Paso County will begin issuing them at 8 a.m. without any fanfare, while some Pueblo County officials and advocates plan an 11 a.m. rally on the steps of the county courthouse followed by a mass civil union ceremony.
Colorado is the eighth state to have civil unions or similar laws. Nine states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill in March, marking the culmination of a dramatic shift in Colorado, where in 1992 voters approved a ban on discrimination protection for gays and in 2006 made gay marriage illegal under the state constitution.
But for many gay couples and gay rights advocates, the fight is not over.
Anna and Fran Simon, for example, who testified numerous times in favor of the civil union legislation, said they hope to get the chance to wear their wedding dresses one more time.
"Like most people growing up, you have a dream of falling in love and getting married, not getting a civil union," Anna Simon said.
Man Peeking Out Of Closet Should Open It All The Way
By Abigail Van Buren | Dear Abby - Wednesday 01 May 2013
DEAR ABBY: My oldest son came out to me as a gay man in a private conversation. I have no problem with him being gay; however, I do have a problem with the fact that he has asked me not to tell anyone. He isn't ready to come out to anyone else. I tried to advise him that until he is true to himself, he won't be happy. My son says if he comes out to anyone else, it would "hurt so many people."
I will keep his secret, but there is a young woman he is living with and planning to marry, and I do not believe this is fair to her or her child. He is not happy being a gay man, and that's why he's choosing to live a lie. He was raised in church and feels like he is betraying God by being gay.
How can I support him and lie to this young woman he is with? My son is so confused. How do I help him and keep his secret at the same time? -- ANONYMOUS
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Your son may not be "happy" being a gay man, but that is who he is. For him to keep a secret like this from his fiancee, who plans to share the rest of her life with him, will be more hurtful to her if he goes through with the wedding than telling her now.
Help him by encouraging him to seek counseling through an LGBT community center. It will be strictly confidential, and there is nothing he can tell them they haven't heard before. He has already cracked open his closet door by disclosing his sexual orientation to you. This tells me that on some level he wants to open it all the way.
He is fortunate that he has a parent who is as accepting and wise about life as you. Continue talking to him and encourage him to talk more with you. It may help him to become more comfortable opening up and to accept reality.
DEAR ABBY: I live in a small town where traffic isn't much of a problem. Recently, though, a young man was killed in a car wreck. He ran into a semi because he was texting while driving. His final text was to a friend who had asked if they could get together for a night of fun.
As a rule, we look down on people who drink and drive, as this is unacceptable in today's world. But we do nothing to drivers who text and drive. Please advise your readers that no message is worth dying over. Last night there was another traffic accident caused by the same thing! -- ROBERT IN KILGORE, TEXAS
DEAR ROBERT: Sadly, that "night of fun" will have to be postponed indefinitely. Sometimes it takes a tragedy (or two) to wake people up because they're operating under the delusion that they are the exception to the rules of the road or are invincible.
DEAR ABBY: My mother is in her mid-90s and in good health. She has no intention of dying soon, but asked me an interesting question. She has mileage points with a major airline and was wondering if she can use them for the "final trip" back to her home state for burial when the time comes. Do you know the answer? -- ONE-WAY TICKET
DEAR ONE-WAY: Your question is not only an interesting one, but it's a first. I contacted a spokesperson for a major airline who responded that his company does not accept mileage points as a form of payment for any type of "shipment." For her last flight, your mother would no longer be considered a passenger; she would be cargo, which is why her points idea won't fly.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]