This is wonderful, I love it! Hope it makes an impression where it’s needed…

Interrupting the Silence

Mr. President, I did not vote for you and I never thought I would be saying this but I owe you a debt of gratitude. Less than a week into your presidency you have already done for me something I do not think Mrs. Clinton could have or would have done had she been elected president.

Your words and actions have inspired me. They have struck a chord deep within me. You have challenged me to be and do better. The violence in your words and actions have been a mirror before me. I do not like what I see. I do not want to be what I see. I may not have said or done many of the things you have; that, however, is not an excuse or justification for the violence that does inhabit some of my thoughts, words, and actions. In that regard, maybe we are not…

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This is an update I found from May 18 on the condition of the beaten truck driver who accidentally hit a child and stopped to see how the boy was. (As he should have.)

Beaten father & grandfather Steve Utash
 
 
 
By Kevin Conlon, CNN

updated 2:00 PM EDT, Sun May 18, 2014
 
 
 (CNN) — A 54-year-old Michigan tree trimmer — beaten nearly to death after going to the aid of a child he accidentally struck with his vehicle — is home after spending more than six weeks in a hospital and rehabilitation center.

The “Help Steven Utash” Facebook page posted the news Saturday night. Cheryl Angelelli, a spokeswoman for DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, confirmed Utash was discharged on Thursday.
Steven Utash was set upon by about a dozen people April 4 after his truck struck a 10-year-old boy, police said. After Utash stopped his vehicle to help the boy, he was “severely beaten” with “fists and feet,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
Jennifer Moreno, a police spokeswoman, told CNN that all of the alleged assailants were African-American and that none are known to be related to the boy or his family. She said the beating was “a spontaneous response.”
The prosecutor’s office said the boy who was struck by Utash’s truck was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for a leg injury and released.
Five suspects ranging in age from 16 to 30 have been charged so far for their roles in the attack.
The four adult suspects are charged with attempted murder while the fifth, a juvenile, is charged with assault and ethnic intimidation.

Michigan’s penal code says a person is guilty of ethnic intimidation “if that person maliciously, and with specific intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s race, color, religion, gender, or national origin, causes physical contact with another person (or) damages, destroys, or defaces any real or personal property of another person.” It can carry a prison sentence of up to two years.

Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller said the adults are scheduled to go to trial in August and the juvenile in June. She said that there was not sufficient evidence to charge the other suspects with ethnic intimidation, but that the case remains open and the investigation ongoing.
A Change.org petition demanding that Moreno charge Utash’s assailants with a hate crime had 124 signatures Sunday morning. Daughter Felicia Utash told CNN affiliate WXYZ that she doesn’t want to believe the assault on her father was a hate crime, but she is pleased that suspects have been apprehended.
Utash’s other daughter, Mandi Marie Utash, set up a GoFundMe.com page for her father — who she says does not have health insurance — with the goal of raising $50,000.
By Sunday morning, more than 4500 donors had contributed $186,298.

When it comes to accidents while driving, in my opinion there is nothing worse than a cowardly hit-and-run driver. They are the lowest form of slime, to leave a person lying in the street hurt, while they speed off for fear of their reputation being tarnished, or having their license taken way, or even just being ‘grounded’.  Wait, there is one lower form; a hit-and-run driver who has hit a child. To me they are on the same level as a pedophile. They could possibly have taken that child’s life and then left like it was nothing!

That’s why, when I see that someone has been hit by a car and the driver stayed, I think that should carry a lot of weight when it comes time for that person to go to court. Not that they should go free or anything, after all, they only did what they were supposed to do in case of an accident. However there are so many who don’t that I think it makes those who do just a bit more special.

This is why I find this story so difficult to understand. Even if it was a hate crime, done because of his race, accidents happen! The man was willing to stop his vehicle and get out to try to help the boy (who as it turns out wasn’t even seriously hurt!) and was apologizing, so what was the reason for this?? Stupidity, in my book. Blind hate of a man because he had dared to accidentally sideswipe a child who ran out into the street while playing, straight into the path of the man’s vehicle. Stupid.

Here’s a video on the arrest:

Posted April 5, 2014 on Newsy.com

And here’s the USA today story from April 3, 2014 on the accident and the beating.
If you want to donate to the fund to help the driver, Steve Utash, with his medical bills (he has no insurance) there’s a GoFundMe page for that purpose.

 

Scouts Boot Openly Gay Troop Leader

Geoff McGrath, 49, Seattle, Washington

 

SEATTLE—The Boy Scouts of America on Monday banned an openly gay Scoutmaster from the organization, saying its national policy barred gay adults from membership.
Geoff McGrath, 49, leader of Troop 98 in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, is believed to be the first gay adult to be booted from the Boy Scouts of America since it held a controversial ballot last May allowing gay youth—but not adults—to participate in one of the country’s most popular youth organizations. The Scouts had severed ties with gay adults in previous years, before the vote to admit gay youth, but McGrath, an Eagle Scout, had been hoping for a different response in this new era of Scouting.
 
“It’s extremely disappointing to not be fully supported and defended in my membership,” McGrath told NBC News. “They are complaining that the problem [his status as an openly gay man] is a distraction to Scouting and they don’t seem to understand that the distraction is self-inflicted.”
The BSA confirmed that the organization has “revoked” McGrath’s membership.
“Our policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it’s not an issue until they deliberately inject it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in an email. Until NBC’s inquiry, “he [McGrath] hadn’t deliberately injected it into Scouting in an inappropriate fashion,” he wrote.
“We spoke with Mr. McGrath today and based on the information he provided, the National Council has revoked his registration,” Smith added.
Until Monday, McGrath believed himself to be the only openly gay Scoutmaster in the nation, having won approval last fall to run a troop despite the organization’s ban against gay adults. McGrath said he didn’t hide his sexual orientation from Scouting leaders, but Seattle’s top BSA official told NBC News that she never knew he was gay.
 
McGrath said starting the unit was not a publicity stunt but a bid to serve youth and rejoin the contentious discussion around gay and lesbian adult membership.
“If you don’t participate, you’re not part of the conversation,” McGrath, a 49-year-old software engineer, said in an exclusive interview. “Yelling from the outside is not conversing. So we’re on the inside doing good work. Talking about the gay and lesbian issue is not the biggest part of what we do—it’s the smallest part.”
In recent years, the Scouts have wrestled with the question of whether or not to allow gays into its ranks. The controversy came to a head last year after the Boy Scouts’ National Council voted to allow gay youth as of Jan. 1 but not adults, a decision that left people on both sides of the debate feeling shortchanged.
 
To read the rest of this article, click here.

 
After Being Denied Simple Diagnostic Test, 19-Year-Old Dies of Cervical Cancer (via Americans Against The Tea Party)

Access to proper healthcare should be available to everyone regardless of age, gender, or race. Had 19-year-old Sophie Jones received the proper treatment, she may not have died from cervical cancer. Sophie Jones was denied the smear test that could…

March 5, 1770 – The Boston Revolution
There are many stories told about The Civil War, and about the part which blacks (then slaves) played in it. There’s one name that most of us are familiar with though, and that is Crispus Attucks, the first  African American to die for the revolution, and one of the first patriots to give his life for the cause.
Crispus Attucks
There is an anonymous account of the bloody start to the Revolutionary War, The Boston Massacre, which is where Crispus Attucks lost his life. Here is an excerpt from that account:

This party in proceeding from Exchange lane into King street, must pass the sentry posted at the westerly corner of the Custom House, which butts on that lane and fronts on that street. This is needful to be mentioned, as near that spot and in that street the bloody tragedy was acted, and the street actors in it were stationed: their station being but a few feet from the front side of the said Custom House. The outrageous behavior and the threats of the said party occasioned the ringing of the meeting-house bell near the head of King street, which bell ringing quick, as for fire, it presently brought out a number of inhabitants, who being soon sensible of the occasion of it, were naturally led to King street, where the said party had made a stop but a little while before, and where their stopping had drawn together a number of boys, round the sentry at the Custom House. whether the boys mistook the sentry for one of the said party, and thence took occasion to differ with him, or whether he first affronted them, which is affirmed in several depositions,-however that may be, there was much foul language between them, and some of them, in consequence of his pushing at them with his bayonet, threw snowballs at him, which occasioned him to knock hastily at the door of the Custom House. From hence two persons thereupon proceeded immediately to the main-guard, which was posted opposite to the State House, at a small distance, near the head of the said street. The officer on guard was Capt. Preston, who with seven or eight soldiers, with fire-arms and charged bayonets, issued from the guardhouse, and in great haste posted himself and his soldiers in front of the Custom House, near the corner aforesaid.
– Anonymous, “An Account of the Boston Massacre,” (1770)

On March 13, 1770 William Warren was found guilty of the crime of shooting Crispus Attucks twice in the breast, mortally wounding him. 
 How Did He End Up A Patriot Hero?
Crispus Attucks was considered to be the first hero of the Revolutionary War. He was a sailor on a whaling ship who may possibly have been forced to join the British Navy. Whether he was or not, Attucks did not like the way the British treated the American colonists, especially the high taxes the British charged them. He gathered a group of like-minded sailors, and led them in a revolt in protest of  British tyranny. Crispus Attucks and his band of angry sailors encountered a group of soldiers and began to throw snowballs and sticks at them. The British soldiers responded by shooting into the crowd of sailors and bystanders, killing Crispus Attucks and ten other people.(Biographies Crispus Attucks 1723-1770)
While there are differing accounts of how and why Crispus Attucks died, most accounts have one fact in common; Crispus Attucks was the first patriot, and person of color killed in The Boston Massacre, which is considered by some to be the start of the Revolutionary War.
Biographies Crispus Attucks 1723-1770. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2014, from Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Civil War to Today: http://www.eduplace.com/kids/socsci/tn/books/bke2/biographies/bk_template.jsp?name=attucksc&bk=bke2&choice=2&choice=5&x=58&y=17#comprehension

Pastor defrocked for performing son’s gay wedding will appeal

Pastor Frank Schaefer

This news is actually a few days old, but as I’m still hearing deeply emotional conversations about it I decided to throw my .2 cents worth in.

 A man’s son, a minister, asked him to perform his wedding ceremony and he did, as most ministers (that I know of anyway) would. After performing the ceremony, he was asked to “give up his credentials” by his church (in effect taking away his ability to minister to that denomination). He refused. The church then basically kicked him out; sort of ‘ex-communicated’ him, to use the Catholic terminology, because his son was gay, and was marrying his partner.

In my opinion we are in a battle for our society’s ethics and morals; we’re no longer in the age where it was a shock to find people living together without benefit of marriage. Children are no longer routinely raised by two people who love them and who are committed to one another, they grow up in households with one parent who struggles to raise them while dating various people and presenting a horrible example for the child of what they have to look forward to. Weren’t we not long ago bemoaning the fact that people didn’t get married anymore? Ministers get up in the pulpit and preach every Sunday against fornication and promiscuity, yet here is a minister who has brought up a child that believes in marriage but because he doesn’t marry who the church thinks he should, his father is punished for doing the ceremony!! Come on!! What kind of example does this set? You are telling the clergy in your church that if their child comes to them and wants to be married to someone they love, they should turn their back on him and say no? I don’t see any difference between this man marrying his son and a man, and marrying his son and a woman that he didn’t approve of. While he may not approve in either case, he has to support his son; if he doesn’t, he’s made a mockery of everything that the church teaches. God embraced the sinners, why can’t the church? I know a lot of people are pointing their fingers and saying “See, this is why I don’t attend church, why I no longer believe in religion; they are hypocrites and liars.” I can’t exactly dispute that either, not in this case. What kind of example does it set when we have so many cases of priests being ‘outed’ as pedophiles yet the church kept them on, but because this man performed one ceremony for his same-gender loving son, he was kicked out. What does that say about the church? It would be difficult to be comfortable in a place where you are constantly overshadowed with the ugly spectre of discrimination and ostracizm by the people around you. Is this their plan for rebuilding our society, by telling people that it’s okay to be a member of a church and volunteer your time and donate your money, but if you want to get married, you’re going to have to take it somewhere else because they won’t marry you if the person you love is not someone they approve of! Is the church ever going to stop this close-mindedness, and learn that there is more to God’s love than always standing in judgement of others?? It’s this singleminded purposeness that has contributed more to the decline of the church than anything else ever conceived in the name of God.

I’m sorry; I didn’t mean for this post to go in the direction it has. After all, the point of the article is about a man, his son, and his church, not about the church and its role in tearing down our society. It’s just such a shame to see an institution that weilds so much power in our society misusing it like this. Instead of taking advantage  of every opportunity to bring people together,  they are alienating people from one another. Having a man tell his son he can’t perform his wedding because of who he chooses to marry is not the way to rebuild the family structure. Those who made the decision to ‘defrock’ Pastor Shaefer need to be defrocked themselves.

Of course this is strictly the opinion of the author, coming to you Live From Bikini Bottom…..

I have a couple of questions about this one. Like 1. How old is the child? 2. How did the man know that the child was in there alone, and that his parent wasn’t in one of the stalls? I mean, can you imagine yourself starting a conversation with a child in the rest room? I think by the time you asked if a parent was in there the child would have been high-tailing it out the door! 3. He claimed that the child saw his private parts exposed; what the heck was he doing in there to be in that kind of position? I believe that something happened in that bathroom, I’m not saying that it’s not true; I’m just have serious questions about it. After all, after the incident where the man beat up the female army reservist in front of her child and witnesses, anything’s possible!!

Mom Scolds Man Chasing Her Son Out Of Men’s Bathroom

     Last night I watched a documentary on LogoTV called The Most Hated Family In America; it was about the Westboro Baptist Church and its founder, Fred Phelps. The program was hosted by Louis Theroux, and was yet another look at the “church” which has become associated with picketing military funerals, regardless of who the people were or what they were purported to be involved in. (Or not involved in.) Westboro Baptist Church loudly proclaims their ideology of hell-fire for anyone who is not a member of the Westboro Church. A person can not just walk in and say ‘I believe as you believe, I want to join’ as all of the members are related, either by blood or by marriage. (Kinda makes you wonder about inbreeding, doesn’t it?)
     Westboro Baptist Church was in the news recently because of a petition started on the new government website We The People. Petitions which generate the required number of signatures in the allotted time will be reviewed by the White House and an answer forthcoming.The petition has gathered more than 300,000 signatures; it only takes 25,000 signatures for the White House to review it.
     The women and children upset me more than anything; to hear a six year trying to explain to Mr. Theroux what “fag  heart-symbol troops” means is heart-wrenching. To hear the women encouraging the children to do this, teaching them what to say when asked about their beliefs, it’s enough to make one want to jump through the screen and slap one of them. To think that these people were going to go to CT to picket the funerals of six year old children who were massacred by a nutcase just makes no sense, not even by their own professed beliefs. They picket the military funerals because the military did away with DADT, but what excuse can they possibly give for picketing these children? For having their children there?? It makes me nauseous to think of these children being brought up like the Klan children were years ago; as a matter of fact I remember an episode of Geraldo Rivera (I know, I’m telling my age!) when there were members of the Klan there who had brought their children… these toddlers and first or second graders had who should have been in school playing with other children and learning sharing and diversity were instead sitting in a television studio dressed in Klan hoods and robes and being boo’d by an audience of both blacks and whites! That’s what the Phelps family reminds me of, the KKK, under the guise of the Bible and Christianity preaching their own form of blind hatred, and having children who are being bathed in what spews forth from their mouths every day. The most hated family in America, and they are still doing it.
     I remember when a couple who named their children variations of Adolf Hitler not only lost custody of them, but lost custody of a newborn that came later; I remember a polygamist sect in Texas that had all it’s  children (over 400) removed, just because of the polygamous   lifestyle, but you mean to tell me that even with video evidence of these children being brainwashed and indoctrinated, out of school, and using hate speech,  the government does nothing  about removing them from such a harmful environment? What is wrong with this picture? 
     Please forgive me for having wandered a bit, but thinking of situations like this one just drive me up the wall, especially when i see no one doing anything about it. 
     

As always, this post is the opinion of no one other than myself, and comes Live Fron Bikini Bottom.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


First of all, what gives them the right to hold a ‘trial’ of any kind, for anyone? And a ‘religious trial’ sounds suspiciously like something from the Spanish Inquisition, or even worse, the Salem witch ‘trials’!! Let me make this clear; I am a god-fearing Christian woman, but the difference between me and these people is that I am an intelligent, logical Christian, not one from the Dark Ages. She should be judged by God alone, not by these close-minded bigots who are going to be so afraid for their own positions that they won’t vote in her favor even if they want to! To have a ‘hearing’ for her because she performed a marriage ceremony their church doesn’t approve of, that’s one thing, but to put her on trial for being a homosexual??? That is ridiculous! And let’s guess what her ‘sentence’ will be, shall we? Can you say ‘EXCOMMUNICATION’??

KAUKAUNA, Wis. — A religious trial starts Tuesday for an openly gay United Methodist minister who broke church rules.

The Rev. Amy DeLong of Osceola in western Wisconsin has admitted to officiating a 2009 marriage ceremony for a lesbian couple in Menominee, violating church rules.

The 44-year-old is charged with being a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” and “conducting ceremonies which celebrate homosexual unions.”

The jury of 13 will be selected Tuesday at Peace United Methodist Church in Kaukauna from at least 35 pastors from the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church.

The Appleton Post-Crescent reports she informed church leaders of the wedding in an annual report.

She’s part of a growing number of United Methodist Church pastors who say they won’t obey the rule that prohibits them from officiating same-sex marriages.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)