The latest attempt to expand gun owners’ rights in Arizona – by allowing them to carry their weapons on public college campuses. Senate Bill 1467, which had already cleared the Senate, passed in the House 33 to 24. It would allow people to carry their guns when walking or driving through campuses on public streets and sidewalks. In Utah are people allowed to carry guns into buildings on all public higher-education campuses. Guns on campus. Imagine the typical campus party scene. Now imagine a typical drunken brawl on a college campus — Welcome to the Wild West.
On Friday, the Government came within minutes of a shutdown over funding Planned Parenthood and the non-existent federal funding of abortions. Why is it okay to carry an automatic weapon, or carry guns on a public campus (or at political rallies), but not okay to have an abortion, or take a pill? So, what…. we wait until AFTER our kids are born…and then shoot them?
And how is it, that during all of the so-called “budget debates” there’s never any mention at all of the tax-payer money going to faith-based initiatives?
These two issues — guns and abortion — alone speak volumes as to how our government has become controlled by extremists and big money interests.
The Planned Parenthood rider was ransomed for approximately 3 Billion dollars in order to avert the shutdown. It’s now being allowed to have a separate vote in the Senate, though it’s expected not to pass. The GOP insists on defunding Planned Parenthood, as a way to help “balance the budge,” yet the silence is deafening when it comes to cutting federal funds for faith-based initiatives.
President George W. Bush established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to promote “policies, priorities, and objectives for the Federal Government’s comprehensive effort to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations to the extent permitted by law.” Federal funding for these initiatives goes towards, as an example:
- Taxpayer-funded Discrimination. Religious institutions are free under current law to discriminate—on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender—when hiring and employing people with their own private funds. Under proposed provisions, religious organizations could discriminate using federal dollars.
- Taxpayer-funded Proselytizing. Religious groups receiving federal funds could decide whom they would serve with those funds and what services would be given.
- First Amendment Rights. Allowing sectarian institutions to substitute for the government as the providers of essential services could result in the very kind of religious coercion that the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution was designed to prevent.
- Reproductive Freedom. Publicly-funded services that now offer information on a full range of reproductive and family planning options (such as Planned Parenthood) would be forced to compete for funding with faith-based organizations that offer partial information and services.
- Sex Education. Religious groups would receive federal funds to provide sex education only if their programs are “abstinence-only” and exclude important topics such as contraception and safer sex.
- Rights of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender People. Federal money flowing to groups that justify oppression on religious grounds would increase the discrimination and repression that bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people already experience.
When Obama rolled out his version of the faith-based initiative in February 2009, he left the old Bush executive orders in place. That means Billions in federal funds are being disbursed without much-needed safeguards. Why is this not included in budget cuts?
It’s not about the budget. It’s about social issues.