FGM in the USA?

Female Genital Mutilation – the practice, traditional in some cultures, or partially or totally removing the external genitalia of girls and young women for nonmedical purposes.

Female Genital Mutilation in the United States of America?

Part of the reason it has been important to preserve the separation between church and state as much as humanely possible in the United States is so that we’d have a strong defense against the damaging, often brutal, practices deemed acceptable by various religions.

Thanks to today’s “religious freedom” proponents in government working to change the public perception of just how much religious freedom should be supported (or, not interfered with) by government, we have this old-world problem of religious-culture motivated genital mutilation rearing it’s ugly head to affect the lives of young women who live here.

It seems clear that if religious freedom advocates have their way, there will be nothing much to do about such practices regaining their footholds in society . . . first within the cultural practices of new-world Western denizens whose heritage supported it to begin with. . . and then, who knows? 

Why can’t we all see that too many of us are encouraging the unreigned ‘religious freedoms’ of ‘believers’ regarding the public around them that are scraping against the grain and damaging the kind of freedom the Forefathers had in mind for U.S. American citizens.


Liberty, Planned Parenthood, Patients’ Health & Privacy

What’s going on in politics today doesn’t make any sense! The tirade against women, men and families who have needed the health and education services of Planned Parenthood, or who may need them, is wholly inappropriate and subjects those in dire need to an existence in opposition to that which our free nation aspires.

The point of this post is to point out one argument for Planned Parenthood access that people largely forget to espouse today as they bitterly exchange political arguments for or against funding; although, it was the strongest case for it’s availability during some of our best decades in the United States.

Planned Parenthood is the only resource that exists to help women and minor females in times of personal crises that can include familial incest, rape and eventual– unwanted– sperm implantation while respecting the privacy concerns of that individual as well as ongoing healthcare needs and respect to liberty.


As taxpayers, we support each other in non-frivolous programs that contribute to the health of our progressive society.

We need to gel as a society. We have to work on reversing any damage that’s been done by alt-right and other anti-choice, anti-freedom groups.

Agreed? Elections looming, new rounds every couple years! Nothing is permanent!

Comment with one thing a person can do in favor of women’s liberty!

Back home, Easter was always about spring

Easter was about being a family holiday. It was about Jesus, too. Easter was a new dress and a basket of treats. The treats must have been a great pacifier to an entire family weary from winter. In this way, they brightened themselves through the ‘gifts’ of spring; among these, treating a child to an unusual gift easily imagined as a preventive salve to the approach on the busy day ahead . . . which– often enough– included church. Our family was casual about that though . . . never a regularly-pressing matter.
Maybe it’s living down South, or maybe it’s having the fortune to have come up in one of the best decades there ever were– either way back then, things were a little more casual and we [almost] had a grip. Today, things seem out of hand to say the least.
There were concerns then, but overall people were reasoned, healthy creatures on the way to better days. (Maybe people still are. We’re just ruminating here.) Today, it feels like we’re challenged. Instead of becoming easier, things are difficult as ever, if not more, especially when you consider that so many want to believe the world is ending. Every crass, medieval happenstance is taken to be a sign of impending rapture. As I understand it, this has been a phenomenon oft’ repeated.
To exacerbate the serious problems, we have people creating issues where there should be none. We’re left slack-jawed at the latest media exposure of unreasonable, threatening arms reaching out to affect the experiences of others based on highly personalized moral inventions, and in such stark contrast to the way they themselves live. It’s gone as far as intrusion into the private visits of women with their doctors and medical staff, their bodies and, ultimately, their access to health care as our species has come to know it.
Our relational individualism has regressed to the point of not being able to communicate effectively in a way that honors everyone in the room. The involvement of some into the practices of others has officially gone too far, again, when we’ve allowed pass on legislation designed to allow our government records clerks to insinuate their personal moral dictates into their public-service job descriptions, potentially ruining due process of law for anyone taken as gay or  . . . or what else? What’s next?

Our old secular spring holiday isn’t what it used to be? Via the NYT: Sacred and Secular in Easter Celebrations; Family Holiday Isn’t What it Used to Be

So it’s an issue that there may be fewer church-goers, or that “family holiday isn’t what it used to be”.

Life is different!

There may be fewer faithers of the type referred to in the article linked above. . .yet maybe there aren’t. Either way, we shouldn’t forget that there are those others who enjoy Easter holiday for it’s natural , secular, acknowledgements; the nature of which we can’t assume to know, and there are evolving cultural-societal considerations regarding familial behaviors and the Easter holiday where any co-recognized traditions may or may not exist– an interesting exploration to consider undertaking.
Still, to the misplaced concern over the “sacred” habits of others: Couldn’t it be as important, that many families today are spread farther apart and significantly more challenged economically than during some other generations in recent time. Neither get-togethers nor casual, dressed-to-the-9s shopping are the easily undertaken activities they once were, for most U.S. residents.
(If you haven’t read the article linked above in this post, then you may miss some of the significance of references above.)

What’s really getting in the way of family get-togethers, fancy dress and casual shopping?

It’s pause-worthy as well to consider that much of the decline referred to may be the result of family-fracturing drug use (going strong since way back, but especially since incremental outlawing and stigmatization) that has grown so prevalent today, after being outlawed and maligned to the point of completely changing the close knit of our societal fabric for the prize of revenue and enslavement.
People today have advanced addictions . . . not just on the street but in homes across suburbia where it’s been so easy to acquire substantial mind-altering substances in the face of those who live a different economic lifestyle and take to the streets to be arrested and marginalized. The problem of overprescribed, often hot, pain pills and ‘disorder’ pills (new concoctions all the time) have arisen as a result of the constant market turning toward something that hasn’t yet been made illegal. Again, economy, and in the bad side of that people have heroine, their savior when the doctor stops prescribing, and problems with all the new synthetics that are absolutely unpredictable. Synthetics, another outcropping of drug law.
Maybe it’s these things– trust issues, essentially– that have altered the landscape of springtime– if it’s been altered. As the author indicates, church attendance may be up and all the worry over people’s souls could be a figment of the imagination. Should we consider again-rising attendance and self-ascribed sacredness a great thing? It seems to be reflecting harshly on the civic experience.
So, rather than worry over a “national holiday” (that’s religious and secular, as always) seeming irrelevant to a supposedly evolving secular society, shan’t we rather recognize that ‘secular marketing’ [that’s “marketing” to the mainstream reasoning] isn’t confusing anyone, contrary to religious opinion.
Rather, things have been looking just as they should. This Easter consternation is much like the Christmas season, rather than very different. People have been arguing about how to celebrate the winter holidays much more so than on Easter, in my perception.

How to Put the Focus Back in the Easter National Holiday

But, I defer- Christmas does remain more popular, it seems. Maybe it’s the lights. There don’t tend to be many lights out for Easter the way that we’ve become accustomed to seeing during the wintertime and it’s holidays. . . probably because lights are associated with an increased feeling of warmth, physically needed during the wintertime. Could it could be that, if we introduced festive lighting into the Easter weekend, then celebrations would rise to levels of the winter holidays?
Now, in case you haven’t noticed, the ruminating article linked herein this post was written in 1988. When we consider today how much has occurred since that time and look at the continuing worry over churchgoing and various personal affairs of others. . . I believe we can safely say that things may be getting out of hand! It’s not the fault of the politicians . . . it’s our fault for taking so much of what truly matters in this life for granted. We’re worried about all the wrong things, when we’re ruminating over people’s supposed lack of religiosity or moral compassing. What good is it doing us, when media and politics are in the state that they are today? The wrong tail is wagging the wrong dog, and this has been going on in various ways for a long time.
We live in a space where national celebrations simply won’t be as strictly performed to the ideals of any one church, as during some times in the past. On a smaller scale, to the tighter community, sure. That a community can voluntarily collect and enjoy holiday celebrations is a part of a free nation. An understanding of secular perspective is necessary however, especially on a national level of celebration. Nationally, a secular perspective is more evident.  These celebrations have a broader appeal and the capacity to achieve a unity among many. That’s what we want.

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom – Text

In legislative bill text of the time, via Library of Virginia at Richmond and the Virginia Memory website, excerpt from Records of the General Assembly, of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom:

An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry,

That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right

More on Thomas Jefferson and his commitment to a secular experience in the United States of America.

Thomas Jefferson: Secular Christian

Free man, honorary freethinker and unitarian, former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson lived from April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826. During this time he served (among other positions) as 3rd President of the United States of America.

thomas jefferson Official_Presidential_portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_(by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800)

Today we celebrate Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, with him ‘in spirit’ (as they say), by taking a look back at Jefferson’s public contributions, in his civic spirit, to the freedoms inherent and obtainable in this great nation. We owe much of our development to Jefferson’s willingness to be the odd man out. In almost constant challenge to the status quo, Thomas Jefferson lived a life that some today consider as having been hypocritical. In fact, Jefferson lived with the kind of impartial thinking that is necessary to social progress and freedom.

Happy Birthday, former President Jefferson and Founding Father of the United States of America.

Statesman, author, inventor, linguist, philosopher– to name only a few of his occupations– Thomas Jefferson was able to play a heavy hand in the philosophical and legal development of the nation we know today. His personal religious beliefs, coupled with his public, civic commitments, played a significant role in the formation and continuance of our secular standard of conduct as a national populace, itself largely influenced by old, often violent, ways of the proclaimed religious (including a reformed Church of England, also having marked history with religion-enabled violence).

Born in the state of Virginia (formerly the Colony of Virginia and His Majesty’s Most Ancient Colloney and Dominion of Virginia) at Charlottesville (in Shadwell), Thomas Jefferson grew up as a British subject in a colonized American state where he enjoyed many privileges . . . including an exceptionally-rounded education. During his youth, he studied at home and in religious primary and finishing schools and ultimately enrolled in a public, Royally funded, religion-required research college.

Later, around the time of the American Revolution, Jefferson worked to modernize his old alma mater by helping to usher it into its future as an elective-study institution sans divinity school– a necessary step in prioritizing reason over variously limiting religious dogmas. This mainstay ideal was made possible via revolution/break from the Royal Crown and the Church of England, and actioned via passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786). The statute “disestablished” the Church of England in Virginia, guaranteeing:

“freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Christians of all denominations, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus.”

The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Its quite notable as well that the Statute for Religious Freedom is “one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph”.

Read text of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

Still later, despite a fairly profound, publicly stated belief in a god, Thomas Jefferson was widely branded an atheist when he showed signs of resistance to the kind of pointed, organized evangelism that can put people off.

During his years of leadership and governance he foremost, regarding religion, sought to preserve freedom of religion for an entire, new, nation by upholding (in the face of an unreasonable Federalist Party and it’s supporters) that religion was a topic between “‘Man’ and his God”, (notice capitalizations) not for clerical interpretation nor that of any other person. Further, that there remain a strict separation of church and state, in order to preserve what is . . . has always been . . . a tenuous freedom of people.

Jefferson spent much of his life committed to defining what it is to be free from the yoke of religious interpretations of others while at the same time free to choose religion, or a religious lifestyle . . . short of infringing on the same freedom for others.

Jefferson, a Democratic Republican, ultimately won enough votes to gain the national presidency two terms running.



  • Wikipedia Authors
    • Statutes at Large of Virginia, vol. 12 (1823): 84–86.
    • Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, January 16, 1786″. Shaping the Constitution. Virginia Memory.
    • “The Founding Fathers and Islam (May 2002) – Library of Congress Information Bulletin”. http://www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
    • “Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786)”. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org. Retrieved 2017-03-17.

The 12 Days of Christmas Meaning

As with any occasion, groups adjust specific dates according to the themes of many various activities set around Christmastime.  These may be Twelve Days of Gifts, Actions, Sayings . . . almost anything!

“The exact origins and the meaning of the song are unknown, but it is highly probable that it originated from a children’s memory and forfeit game.” -Wikipedia


Mark Lawson-Jones, Why was the Partridge in the Pear Tree?: The History of Christmas Carols, 2011

Always Reason to Celebrate the Holidays

happy-holiday-gif-wreathDidn’t it feel best, when the public was most free, at large and celebrating with no hesitations before letting fly,  “Happy Holidays”, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Hanukkah”, etc. Happy [working] townspeople and neighborhoods of peaceful mindsets enhanced the holiday season with their varied decorations and habits.

It was a given, once, that by not pressing our ways onto others in certain environments, that we were also free to exhibit them in most environments without fear of public retribution. With the exception of one vehemently senseless preacher in Amarillo, it seems we did better this holiday season than we have in the past several.

Mine was a smooth, peaceful holiday for the most part, with only 2 bits of an underlined “Christ” in Christmas cards.

That’s fine. Perhaps it’ll be useful: we can note the underliners in our Christmas Holiday card lists and send them those specifically-religious inserts we often set aside from our combo packs for being too much of a personalized greeting under normal circumstances. It might be advisable to construct the written messages to these people in a way to avoid any assumptions about our own holiday:

“We hope, as you celebrate your [underline] Christ [underline] mas holiday, that you and yours experience the most Christ-affirming Christmas there ever was!” With Love at the Holidays, Your Thoughtful Family Member/Friend/Neighbor

Sending Love & Humor this Holiday Season, with Reason!

10 Reasons to Be More Open-Hearted this Holiday Season

santa-face-constern-hoho_pdMerry Xmas! We’re still a few weeks away from that big day. Santa’s elves are busy with their supplies, putting final touches on gifts for expectant kids the world over. While this work is underway, everyone else settles busily into their traditional holiday behaviors and social dances.

It’s common this time of year to hear the cheerful rounds, “Happy Holidays!” as we go about our business. We begin to see Christmas and holiday cards arrive in greater frequency and our excitement grows. As well, social tensions may surface.

Practice Cordial Behavior During the Holiday Season

Has the term “Xmas” ever been a issue for you . . . or a friendly wish for happy holidays? After all, it’s common during this time to hear the cheerful rounds, “Happy Holidays!” as we go about our business.

For anyone who has been blasted for extending themselves in good faith, and for those who’d take issue with them, here are one Pastor’s “Top 10 Reasons Christians Should Stop Whining About Secular Xmas“. May these factoids and urgings create a mental trigger of remembrance when heat rises in any exchange, especially online where such banter tends to spin out of control with no true end in sight.


Share this post in hope that more people can enjoy holidays of peace in absence of individualized arguments that lead to wild speculation and oppression of community members. Share it in hope that all of our communities’ members will realize that what another should do or believe in regard to this festive season and beyond are matters of cultural traditions experienced by individuals . . . and matters of freedom as well. Share in the hope that more will remember: freedom from is as important to the individual and the community as freedom of [religion].

Sex-Obsessed: How the Church’s Hyper-fixation on Sex Has Distracted Us from Being Like Jesus

Speaking of “hyper-fixation on sex”, let’s consider the trend of those religious who ignore, promote and otherwise support hyper-sexualization of teen girls within their sphere of influence . . . especially in entertainment.

While it’s true that sexualized theme and dress is not physical sex, one wonders about the hypocrisy behind a typical Christian’s willingness to vicariously sell– and accept sale of– sex at almost any age . . . alongside concurrent messaging against most other considerations of sex (including tendency to punish girls and women who behave in similarly individualized ways as boys and men).

What do you think? Further, read today’s title share:

Kristy Bay’s writeup on the church’s messaging regarding sex:

There is so much need in the world–;so much hurt and so much pain. What we don’t need is one more Christian discussion on the rules for sex to distract us.

Source: Sex-Obsessed: How the Church’s Hyper-fixation on Sex Has Distracted Us from Being Like Jesus

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