The not-so-Infamous North Carolina Bathroom Law

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From the Associated Press today: “U.S. Attorney General Says NC Bathroom Law Is Part of Civil Rights Struggle”

transgendered

U.S. AG Loretta Lynch is asserting that the North Carolina law that limits the use of toilet and locker room facilities by transgender people to the facility that “corresponds with their birth certificate” is an infraction of civil rights laws.

The North Carolina law she opposes, requires transgender people to use the public restrooms or locker rooms that correspond to the gender on the person’s birth certificate. The law may be restrictive, as all laws are, but not overly so. It is, however, poorly conceived in the sense that a transgender person who has completed the medical, psychological and surgical transformation (at great personal and financial expense) has indeed changed their gender. His or her birth certificate is no longer accurate. To be clear, the law does not  require people to somehow prove their gender before entering a facility, but it threatens legal action if someone is discovered using the “wrong” facility.

Back to Loretta Lynch’s assertion that this North Carolina law amounts to an infraction of civil rights laws; that’s a poorly thought out overstatement bordering on nonsense.

United States civil rights legislation mandates that there will be no discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, etc.; this civil rights legislation does not and cannot require automatic personal acceptance of the minorities themselves or require exposure to those minoritys’ behaviors. A plain English example of that: we do not have to quietly accept public displays of sexual acts between gay (or straight) couples.

The great majority of Americans accept the existence of transsexuals with no real problem (I include myself in that majority) but Loretta Lynch is suggesting in this case that those Americans must also witness, in the locker rooms, the after effects of transformative surgery or in the case of those faux-transexuals who are simply “in drag”, exposure to their naked bodies in the wrong setting.

Realistically, I believe that most adults in this 21st Century have witnessed enough nudity and sexuality on the TV, Internet and in movie theatres so that nothing they may see in a bathroom or locker room will make their “head explode.” It is only that minority of people who are either very young or have lived a sheltered life who will be offended or ‘scandalized’ by the naked body of a different gender. The North Carolina Bathroom Law was created to protect the rights of that minority; it was NOT created to impose on the rights of racial, sexual or ethnic minorities.

Attorney General Lynch, as usual, is so dedicated to minority rights that she is always willing to suspend the rights of non-minorities.

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The Weakest Leg of the Stool

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From it’s Inception, the American ‘Stool’ Only Needed Three Legs

1) The ‘small, unobtrusive government’ leg to allow citizens to be truly free from unwanted, unneeded political influences in their lives.

2) The ‘strong national defense’ leg to keep citizens safe from enemies who either envy or hate us for being free and strong.

3) The ‘free enterprise’ leg to maintain the American traditions of invention and industry that create an atmosphere amenable to personal wealth building and charitable giving.

To maintain order, this stool sits on a platform of laws that are devised to protect citizens from the greed, jealousy and arrogance that lives within all of us . . . and controls some of us..

The “American Stool” I have attempted to describe above represents a basic Libertarian vision of America; a vision of free men and woman making their own decisions and acting on them with the only restriction being respect for the property and privacy of others. America grew from a fledgling nation to a world power based on the three principles that support that Libertarian vision.

Some will try to make you believe that the ideals of small government, a strong national defense and free enterprise are Conservative ideals, that’s not quite true! If you trade in your ‘Libertarian stool’ for a ‘Conservative stool’, you are likely to get a stool with the same three strong legs, but also a fourth leg that does not quite reach the ground: the Judeo-Christian leg.

Enter the Christian Right

Greed, jealousy and arrogance unleashed, in the hands of those who set aside America’s Constitution and tried to replace it with a Christian Bible began the destruction of the American political system in the late 1970s, when an unsubstantial fourth leg was added to the American Stool; the Judeo-Christian leg (aka the Moral Majority leg). This leg was weaker than the other three legs because it was fashioned out of ephemeral hope and wishes and fueled by a greed for power as well as the arrogance of organized religion, i.e., spiritual desires are served rather than human needs.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision the self-important Christian Right jumped on the decision and eventually, successfully managed to corrupt the Constitution’s clearly implied desire to keep religion and government separate; they did this by inserting Christian ethics into, what was intended by the founders, to be a system insulated from and superior to religious belief.

Remember that first leg of the American stool, the ‘small, unobtrusive government’ leg, intended to allow citizens to be truly free from unwanted, unneeded political influences in their lives? Thanks to the corruption of the American political system caused by the Christian Conservative faction in the government, that leg has deteriorated to the point where, among other things: the logical right of a woman to control or terminate her own pregnancy is being challenged by politicians instead of by pediatricians; and where government officials attempted, and almost succeeded, to preempt the right of two adults to get married unless the match was approved by the state.

It needs to be made perfectly clear to politicians and government agencies that an American with strong religious beliefs is NOT ‘superior’ in any way to an American who does not share those beliefs. We are a nation of laws, not moral edicts.

I do not in any way claim that a set of personal religious beliefs is a bad thing, but Christian Evangelists need to be reminded: that we are a nation of laws that have ascended from centuries of tradition and experience; Christian ethics that harm or diminish personal freedoms and rights must be condemned.

Immigration, Inequity Is Thy Name

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Following is a quote from Eric Hoffer: the “longshoreman philosopher” (1902 – 1983):

“The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese–and no one says a word about refugees.

But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.”

Ironic? Yes! Tragic? Yes! Beside the point of this post? Yes, I must admit it is not a quote that enhances the point of the text where it has been placed. It does, however, make a greater point that needs to be emphasized; ‘life is, and always will be, full of inequities.’

The Israeli and American situations are similar — but different in that, in the case of Israel the world is the unreasonable accuser and in the case of America it is a particular political class of Americans who are saying “Shame! Shame on you!” when the deportation of people here illegally is proposed.

One might say that America’s immigration problem is America’s own fault.The American ego,because of the success of Capitalism, led us to become the most charitable nation on earth; a state of mind that can only exist for a finite period of time before the eternal realities of supply and demand must kick in. Now we are at the point where more and more rational people (most Conservative Republicans, some Independents, some Libertarians and a spare handful of Liberal Democrats) have concluded that if we keep it up (“it” being our excessive spending and our reckless compassion) our economy will fail. That failure has already begun.

I know the term I used “reckless compassion” may seem cold and even “un-American” but that is exactly what it is when a country, or even an individual, opens up the checkbook and the wallet to those who appear genuinely needy without regard for it’s/their own essential legal and financial obligations.

Sometimes in the life of every individual, organization and government entity, ‘feel-good’ charitable behavior must be curtailed to meet obligations. In some cases, charitable behavior may be nothing more than the enabling of irresponsible or thoughtless behaviors but, granted, in most cases it is probably a valuable help to the recipient. That aside, in every case, real spending beyond genuine hard limits is irresponsible.

This does not even take into account the fact that with virtually uncontrolled immigration, the United States is losing its very sovereignty.

Presidential candidates in the Republican Party are pretty much unanimous in their realization that we have to do “something” but, as with most issues, the “what” proposed by each candidate is quite different from all the others. The ultimate solution, as proposed by Donald Trump, is so bold that it not being seriously considered by many Americans or by the other candidates. Mr.Trump is proposing that all 11.5 million illegal immigrants (probably more like 13 or 14 million) either be deported or, having been denied access to the generosity of the government and the community, they will leave with no incentive to stay.

In my view, with a single-minded determination at work, the Trump ‘endgame’ is the only solution to the problem; how we get there is another matter. With the strict denial of government handouts and the illegal immigrant’s inability to find work, we may not even need a very large wall on the border.

 

Ron Reagan: “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”

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Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, in a TV ad produced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation announced:

“I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusions of religion into our secular government. That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion  Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended. (I’m) Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

As an unabashed atheist myself, I’m all in favor of keeping “state and church separate,” but that simple and appealing idea does not justify the hateful,  blatantly egocentric actions of the foundation Mr. Reagan is lending his name to or the actions of the other major atheist group, The American Atheists organization.

It appears that these two Atheist organizations are unable to live comfortably with their beliefs and allow others who believe in religion to live with theirs. These organizations seem to have a deep-seated need to engage in a continual “pissing contest” (forgive the ‘earthy’ language) aimed to prove that they are right and others are wrong. They put up hateful messages on billboards and joyfully, it seems, attempt to interfere in the lives of religious people and break their faith.

To be fair, a similar charge can be made against many Christians, Jews, Moslems, etc., who are apparently so insecure in their beliefs they are constantly denigrating, threatening or (in the case of a faction of radicals) actually killing all others who don’t see the world as they do.

My belief is that religion and atheism (and the human race in general) are better served by adopting these world-views as strictly personal philosophies of life and models for a person’s everyday life. A belief, after all, does not come with a certificate of authenticity like a Rolex.

As distasteful as religion-biased legislation may be to me and other atheists, atheist-biased legislation would be just as distasteful to the majority of non-activist atheists and those religonists who believe in the idiom “live and let live”. (BTW: Live and Let Live combined with the medical professions credo “first do no harm” is the exact formula for societal peace and even, if it is at all possible, world peace.

When you think about it, that belief -based “pissing contest” I mentioned above goes on every day and it is not only ridiculous and hurtful but totally unproductive when you stop to think that neither side can ever be proved right or wrong . . . at least not in this lifetime.