14 February 2019

Demanding Sacrifice is a Crime

Ever get tired of people trying to blame you for "stuff"  you did not say or do, and know nothing about?  I have had a serious overdose of that sh_t and the abusers who thrive on it. 

The insistent people who want to claim ownership and control of others so they can blame them, simply do not have the apparent ability to understand the word "NO", no matter how often and emphatically it is stated.  How can such folks be convinced they need to cease and desist from what has become clear is intentional ill-intended active scapegoating?  Too often the scapegoating is intended to be fatal to whomever the ill-intended want to target, especially when the intended scapegoat does not cooperate.  It is true.  The worst of these folks do not "play nice", in reality.

Reporting crimes and demanding those who perpetrate them be prosecuted is a good start, even when those crimes may not yet have escalated past being libel and slander.  Escalation will occur because of those who believe the false realities the ill-intended are hard at work trying to create - to avoid taking responsibility for their own words and actions.  Sometimes the effort is because individuals do not know the origin of the problem, and feel compelled to blame anyone who could circumstantially be implicated as a potential culprit i.e. "innocent by-stander" or "guilty by association" type of blame.

Whatever the motivation, the crimes of libel and slander will create increasing damage until the targeted entity becomes aware of having been targeted.  Sometimes that is not for decades.  So of course that creates a problem with reporting the crimes.  Sometimes the fatal or near fatal damage it does is not anything that is known by the targeted scapegoat as being associated with past libel and slander - of course to include  "harmless gossip"; even "family gossip" which can be some of the most harmful  because it almost always requires taking of sides, even creating rifts in families about which a scapegoated person has little or no knowledge.

Words can do a lot worse than cause discomfort for others and oneself.  And so many speak carelessly out of anger - in the "monkey see monkey do" mode, or in undeserved immature retributive vengefulness - regardless of age which unfortunately can not always be depended on to minimize immature adolescent type problems and attitudes.  To be firm, including with deserved ire delivered as kindly as possible, about refusing unjust blame and putting it back on those who are assigning bogus blame, is not the same.  Well intended people ordinarily know the difference even when they do not know enough facts about a situation or an issue - whatever the issue may be - to understand it well. 

Those who do the intentional worst damage with words display an ego problem which leads them to believe that pertinent facts about which they are unaware, are irrelevant when those facts interfere with their own "sacred ignorance".  And that ignorance, in turn, is often greased with perks from 3rd party would-be abusers; though, if not, ordinarily ignorance has lead to an assumption their own pronouncements are too infallibly accurate to warrant further discussion. Anyone who wants to silence others willing to engage in needed discussion and debate, is almost always afflicted with one or both of these "reasons" associated with sacred ignorance.

I will never accept assigned blame for what I did not say and did not do  - never.  The ill-intended who play that game are engaging in libel and/or slander.   And I will also never assign blame to others, instead, for what I have chosen to say and do - never.  To try to do so is a matter of demanding someone else’s sacrifice - a matter of trying to blame those who should not be blamed. 

Those who try to put undeserved blame onto others are demanding sacrifice from others.

Those who want to demand “sacrifice”, from anyone, clearly do not know the meaning of “sacrifice”.  Sacrifice is not something someone else asks, determines, demands, mandates, threatens, forces, or extorts.  It simply is not.  Sacrifice is something that is done voluntarily out of compassion, empathy, and love.  It is  NOT something that comes from fear, manipulation, blame, threats, or force - not even something that comes from duty or obligation which later demands a “sacrifice” for what was done out of duty and obligation.  Any and all of those demands for sacrifice, when applied, are crimes committed against those from whom “sacrifice” is being demanded by the ill-intended and spiritually unevolved 

Sacrificing is actually a highly valued act of loving gift giving.  Saying so seems  something of an oxymoron because, unless it is an observed action in place and time, many of the sacrifices people actually choose to make are never known by anyone else.

Those who want to take, or manipulatively force another to give, then callously label and discount it as someone else’s sacrifice, commit a crime when they take what they want and label it in that way - as someone else’s sacrifice.  That crime deprives people from extending the generosity of gifting what they actually might have otherwise gifted at a time that was right for them when it did not compromise their health - or life sometimes to near fatality.

I would even go so far as to say that anyone who does not actually recognize sacrifice without it being something demanded of someone else, really has no idea what sacrifice means, and can only be identified as a an ill-intended criminal user and abuser of others.  Anyone who does not understand this statement very likely is privileged to have never, knowingly, been on the receiving end of endless seeming long-term unwarranted damaging blame.  The exception is anyone who has been confronted with unwarranted obstacles and limits in their lives when they are honest people of integrity who intend no harm to others.  Such folks perhaps should wonder what unwarranted blame might have been used to attack them - without their knowledge.

03 February 2019

"An Earthquake in Federal Civil Rights Law"

Ruth Bader Ginsberg was right about Burwell v. Hobby Lobby - of course.
The path of Wednesday’s decision began when Miracle Hill Ministries, a Christian foster care agency, refused to work with multiple applicants who did not share its beliefs. Miracle Hill turned away a Jewish woman eager to mentor children in foster care because she was not Christian. It also rejected same-sex couples because their sexual orientation did not align with its religious values. In response, the South Carolina Department of Social Services warned Miracle Hill that it could lose its license if it "intends to refuse to provide its services . . . to families who are not specifically Christians from a Protestant denomination."
The above quote is from a 24 January 2019 article at Slate.com. The headline of the article  is misleading.  But do not let that stop you from reading the article.  It is  not long.  And it succinctly describes the back and forth which precipitated from the discrimination, up to the exemption determination.  Based on what the foster care agency said, it does not appear to be religious discrimination against only Jews, as the headline suggests - but more precisely it is discrimination against all people who are NOT Christian, and also non-Protestant Christians.  Big difference.  However, very clearly it IS religious discrimination.  And it is double discrimination against same-sex couples  because their sexual orientation "did not align with the agencies religious values", even if the couples are Christian. 

Being federally funded Miracle Hill is . . . was . . .  prohibited from discriminating.  In the past agencies and families have tried to honor preferences of adopting parents and of a living parent or guardian of a child.  They probably still do. I do not know if that occurs with fostering.  It does not seem to have been the issue at Miracle Hill.

Read the short article.  The spoiler is that even with an executive order from the Governor of South Carolina, Miracle Hill needed a federal exemption and "on Wednesday, Wagner granted the request in a four-page letter that amounts to an earthquake in federal civil rights law." 

Essentially, the letter apparently grants Miracle Hill the right to not "partner with certain potential foster parents because of Miracle Hill's religious beliefs".  

There are links in the article to the many supporting documents for those who value the pertinent facts and want to understand the big picture into which the Miracle Hill Ministries foster care agency decision fits. 

The last paragraph on page three states the determination that was made the last week in January of this year:
After reviewing all of the information you have provided, we have determined that requiring your subgrantee Miracle Hill to comply with the religious non-discrimination provision of 45 CFR 75.300(c) would cause a burden to religious beliefs that is unacceptable under the RFRA. While this determination is sufficient to require the granting of your request for an exception from such provision of the regulation, we also note that the application of the regulatory requirement would also cause a significant programmatic burden for the SC Foster Care Program by impeding the placement of children into foster care.
I suggest that anyone with family and friends who are same-sex partners, or whose religion is NOT Christian, may want to be concerned about the request for exception.  However, it is not only about adoption, or same-sex couples, or non-Christian religions.  Like the Slate.com article states "The grim future that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg foresaw in Hobby Lobby has arrived" (re: Ginsberg's famous dissent about the infamous and notorious Burwell v. Hobby Lobby  supreme court ruling allowing discrimination that convoluted an anti-discrimination law). 

The tally of allowed discrimination started with contraceptive coverage - for women.  Now it is up to three, with same-sex couples and non-Christians having been added recently -  a subset of non-Protestant Christians also having been specified . . . which more or less tallies up to four.  Those four, alone, already cover too much ground.  Who, and what next?