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Re: “Reader: Free speech is for everyone except Christians

My friend Rev. Pedigo, the reason there are so many lawsuits against Christian groups is because too many of them are pushing their religious agendas and unnecessary religious-moral constructs into the public sphere.

You claim to hold the freedom of speech very dear. The problem is, the First Amendment itself ALSO says that while you are in fact free to practice your religion for yourself, you do not have the right to push your religion on everyone else in a legal/political sphere. You may not establish your religious morality as the code of the nation or the state or the city. You may not use your religion to persecute gay people because you think their "lifestyle" is gross or immoral (believe me, you don't want me to start going on about the gross hypocrisy and rampant lack of morality and ethics within the church. I used to be a Christian, so I KNOW - I saw pastors cheating on their wives, I saw a divorce rate that didn't differ from anyone outside the church, I saw the logical hypocrisy).

If you could make Christianity the state religion and start stuffing the law books with Biblical guidelines, it is not hard for me to imagine establishment of a theocratic Christian version of Sharia law where women are relegated to kitchens, kept under the ownership of men as transferred from their fathers to a new husband whom they may not divorce for any reason including abuse, perpetually pregnant with no right to their own bodies and freely used as scapegoats by men who claim they can't control their own sexual desires because a woman "tempted" him. Based on what I've seen written and spoken by evangelists and "Christian" teachers and authors and popular figures, it's easy to imagine a nation where it is legal to murder gay people for their sexuality, infidels/nonbelievers can also be shunned and killed, and science is abandoned in favor of religious dogma that has no bearing in reality. That would be because all these things have happened before. We called it the Dark Ages, and those of us who have studied history and actually care about the freedoms of our fellow Americans have no desire to return to that model or even go down that road any distance.

Even more insulting, you don't really even understand what persecution IS. Having people respond negatively to your diatribe, as others have pointed out, is not persecution. It's a normal, quite civil response, but you're not entitled to a hugbox just because you have an opinion, sir.

Shall I explain persecution to you, then? At the really extreme end, persecution is being jailed and fed to lions for the entertainment of a crowd, but I don't think anybody has experienced that for a good 1800 years or so, Christian or not. In the modern world, though, persecution is being denied a job or services. Persecution is being henpecked and harassed out of your community because you're the wrong religion or sexuality. Persecution is being kicked out of your home by your own parents because you're gay. Persecution is having someone single you out for harassment and bullying because you're different. Persecution is being told you're a bad person and you're going to hell randomly on the street, when they don't even know you and you never asked them their opinion anyway. Persecution is being killed or beaten up by an angry group for your religion or sexuality. You want to talk about persecution in THIS country? Fine, let's discuss the Salem witch trials (led by Christians). Let's discuss the lynchings of black people during the civil rights movement(the KKK are Christian terrorists). Let's discuss Matthew Shepard, and also those gay "conversion camps" run by Christians that abuse these poor kids so badly that they commit suicide at a shocking rate - and they're STILL DOING IT. Let's discuss the mobs of angry Christian pro-lifers that gather outside women's health clinics to shout down and harass anyone who enters, even if they're there for regular gynecological or obstetrical services, because the mob has no idea who's actually there for an abortion, and they don't really care since they're handing out medically-disproven LIES in their pamphlets anyway. Let's talk about the Christian websites that egg on those same protesters until one of them decides to shoot a doctor in the head and bomb a clinic.... or just shoot up a clinic. Let's discuss the rampant racism that's running rife through Evangelical ranks right now, as they cower in fear of starving Syrian refugees who are tired of being bombed and have already gone through 12-18 months of vetting by immigration officials to screen out terrorists! Let's discuss Westboro Baptist. Let's discuss how Christian businesses like Hobby Lobby can disallow coverage for birth control - even though the grounds on which they made that legal decision were scientifically unfounded - and even for married women that need it for other medical reasons than preventing pregnancy (not that it's any business of an employer just what medical conditions their employee has!) Let's discuss how Christians are leading the charge to ban some people from public bathrooms because of "men in dresses" (when there have been more Republican politicians convicted of harassing women in bathrooms in the last three years than transsexuals have EVER been, and the only men in dresses that have been harassing children with alarming frequency are CATHOLIC PRIESTS!) Let's talk about a religion that's so obsessed with what consenting adults do with their genitals in the privacy of their own homes that they want to be able to deny them any kind of services, from cakes to funerals to critical medical services like Plan B, in the name of "religious freedom". Let's talk about a religion that thinks it has the right to dictate what adults can or cannot get married to other adults outside the doors of their own building - despite DEMONSTRABLY having no ownership of the concept of marriage, and denying other, sicker definitions of marriage within the Bible itself (forcing rape victims to marry the men who raped them? classy.)

There is NO OTHER MAJOR RELIGION in this nation that has been as historically coddled, while being dead-on guilty of perpetuating persecution, unethical behavior and abuse on other human beings as the Christian religion group, my friend. And we're tired of taking it while you bash our heads in with your Bibles. We're fed up. If you want to know WHY younger generations are abandoning Christianity, this is why - it's not because kids these days are more evil, it's because they've seen how toxic, manipulative, selfish, controlling and abusive American Christianity has become, at its core, and they want no part of it. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has turned into "do unto others quickly, before they can get you first". The kindness Jesus preached has become so conditional, with so many strings attached, that it's just not even worth it anymore.

Go worship Christ on your own, or with your flock. Follow your own religious rules - no one begrudges you that. Go in peace. But kindly leave everyone else out of it. We don't have to follow your dogmas, so STOP trying to force them on us legally (or be prepared to meet the ACLU in court!) Leave us alone and let God sort it out later, if he cares to.

And maybe, if any of this has gotten through your head from this former Christian, maybe you could do some self examination and start pushing to clean up the toxic waste dump that is Christianity in America.

24 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Jane O'Halloran on 05/18/2017 at 11:28 PM

Re: “Reader: Free speech is for everyone except Christians

Rev. Pedigo seems to overlap the freedom of speech and religion rather conveniently. On an individual level, great, practice what you preach. The problem here is preaching your politics to the masses and making it an ouright political platform for Christians to follow. Much easier than thinking as an individual, right? Our forefathers were smart enough to try to separate church and state, with due cause. How many countries are messed up because they don't separate? Not persecution, common sense.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by JLAN on 05/18/2017 at 7:23 PM

Re: “Reader: Free speech is for everyone except Christians

First of all, I am not sure if you know what free speech means. Freedom to speak a belief does not mean freedom from consequence. That is why politicians often speak so carefully. Second, I am not sure many Christians in America can conceptualize bias and the above comments helps confirm that notion. 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians. Are you saying that Christians are anti-Christian or are you accusing the other 17% of the population of being so powerful that they are impacting your freedoms. Most intelligent doctrine would say that this is impossible unless that 17% was in complete control. Considering that every elected president over the last 200 years declared themselves Christians openly refutes the notion that 17% is in control. Perhaps its time to find a different complaint as it might be this kind of arrogance that puts others off.

20 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by bubba13 on 05/18/2017 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Is burlesque sex work?

Burlesque is a form of entertainment, an art from like dancing. It is not sex work. I've enjoyed the shows put on the local troupe called Peaks and Pasties with gorgeous costumes and tastefully done. Go see for yourself at this link:

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by OldCrank on 05/18/2017 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Reader: Free speech is for everyone except Christians

Rev. Thomas Pedigo statement reflects his slanted view of a right wing nut construct. No one is "actively pursuing the elimination of Christian beliefs" while the groups you work are not working for all Christians.

23 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by TruB on 05/18/2017 at 3:58 PM

Re: “Reader: Free speech is for everyone except Christians

Of course, you can support this with specific examples, keeping in mind that free speech does not include:
*the right to someone else's platform
*the right to someone else's audience
*the right to a captive or cooperative audience
*the right to use government to push your beliefs
*the right to your own facts
*the right to not be criticized

26 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by sidhe3141 on 05/18/2017 at 3:48 PM

Re: “Is burlesque sex work?

Can you be arrested for burlesque? Yes, but it is highly unlikely and the charge wouldn't be prostitution. if a burlesque performer was arrested for a performance the charge would be along the lines of something to do with obscenity or public indecency.

The terminology 'sex work' and 'sex worker' was introduced to battle the pervasive stigma associated with prostitution and prostitutes. It was also thought to be a way of humanizing and legitimizing the trade and vocation. However, whoever coined that term wasn't thinking of how it might be misused or how it could derail important work by confusing the issues- which the above article demonstrates.

Now, years later- in some regions, particularly America, it has become a 'catch all' phrase. Basically anything to do with erotica and the exchange of money, whether sex is involved or not, whether the vocation is criminalized or not, can be described as 'sex work' in the eyes of many.

Some take the label as a show of solidarity. A nice gesture, but how does this add up in terms of activism, the fight for decriminalization and the movement seeking to establish access to human rights for people working in the criminalized sex trade?

I am an erotic service provider.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Domina Elle on 05/18/2017 at 2:51 PM

Re: “Is burlesque sex work?

The term 'sex work' or 'sex worker' is very loosely used in the USA. Prostitute on the other hand- wouldn't encompass everything that 'sex worker' often has. Many in the adult services and performances arena use the term sex worker even though they aren't providing sex and aren't criminalized. Others don't want to use it for that reason. I personally prefer 'erotic service provider' a terminology coined by long time prostitute and human rights activist Maxine Doogan who founded the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project as well as the Eroric Service Providers Union. It more accurately encompasses any and all vocations and services which span a spectrum in the adult industry. Burlesque could easily be considered an erotic service, but SEX work? I don't think so. Could you refer to a burlesque performer as a prostitute? I wager most would say NO. A burlesque performer is a burlesque performer. If the performer is also providing sexual services as a prostitute, that would be another vocation all together. A prostitute who also performs burlesque. Erotic service provider would cover it all even when they are taking it off.

LOVE to my sisters and brothers in the erotic services industry!

Support the case to decriminalize consensual erotic services:

6 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Domina Elle on 05/18/2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “Former Colorado Springs reporter named as finalist in prestigious contest

Hobbs shouldn't have trouble competing against young reporters at the Washington Post, as the Post no longer employs any reporters. All they have left are opinion piece writers and click-bait headline editors.

1 like, 5 dislikes
Posted by CSIndyReader on 05/18/2017 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Watchdogs criticize Trump's easing of ban on 'politicking from the pulpit'

very well written article! the poor poor persecuted religious freaks... these holier-than-thou fools want their tax exemption and also the ability to snub their self-righteous noses at the rest of us intelligent and patriotic tax payers

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by happyfew on 05/18/2017 at 9:41 AM

Re: “Obituary: 'Street Smarts' writer Bob Campbell

I just went to Bob's old home to tell him an article idea I had last month I could see he no longer lived there. In the past years we would bump into each other on trails and talk for long periods. Ironically, I only found out he died 15 minutes ago when looking at an old photo of a guy on Facebook I know who happened to be reading an independent from Oct. 26 and I could partially see this obituary on that photo in his lap. I've known Bob since he and his wife first came to Colorado Springs. My daughter played with his. My parents actually got to know his family first, often meeting with them in Manitou's Memorial Park so our children could play together. Soon, I got to know him better because Bob was the editor of the Cheyenne .Edition, a paper that I often contributed articles to as President of CMEA.. He was a good and reliable friend, humble about his academic background, always interested in the truth and in making his community and his town a better place. I will miss him.
-Jonathan Reilly

Posted by Jonathan on 05/18/2017 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Stephany Rose Spaulding hopes to better represent Congressional District 5

I have known Stephany for a decade now as a fellow college instructor (Dr. Spaulding) and as a spiritual advisor (Rev. Spaulding). She brings it on ALL levels...whether getting our respective students together for Discussions groups on Race Relations (and other social issues), jointly organizing a social justice political rally, or in seeking prayer and healing in the local community reacting to crazy proposed legislation fit only for the rich and militaristic powerful few. I'm ALL IN when it comes to working with this amazing person of character and strength who is ready to represent ALL of us!
--Bruce McCluggage, PPCC philosophy instructor

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bruce R McCluggage on 05/18/2017 at 6:17 AM

Re: “The future of science ain't what it used to be

TruB, we are not discussing an "abbreviation," but a scientific equation. You have compounded the error by substituting 'M' for 'm' (the symbol for mass) and 'C' for 'c' (the speed of light).

The formulation, "mc2," translates into "m times c times 2," whereas the equation is supposed to mean "m times c squared" or "m times c to the power of 2." In print this is indicated by the '2' being printed as a superscript. In this forum, where we do not have access to superscripts or subscripts, it is valid to use an in-line substitute, like 'c**2' or 'c^2' to indicate what you mean, but that does not apply to print.

No, that is not my only takeaway from the article. I just found it to be ironic and humorous.

Posted by Mr. K-- on 05/17/2017 at 11:59 PM

Re: “Watchdogs criticize Trump's easing of ban on 'politicking from the pulpit'

I'm sure Jim Daly appreciates the easing of the Johnson Amendment as much as he appreciates the $2.3 M Focus on the Family received from the Koch Bros for their political arm. (Denver Post). So does this mean that Focus on the Family (a business) has the spiritual welfare and needs of the Koch Bros. come before the needs of their flock? Do all followers of Focus on the Family support the voter suppression laws that are advocated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (a Koch funded political group)? Does Focus on the Family support voter surpressuon through its political arm? Do you think Focus on the Family really believes in the teachings of Christ when they are a mouthpiece for the Koch Bros.? When Jim Daly advocates for a candidate or piece of legistion in the halls of government or ballot issue, is he avocating for this flock or the Koch Bros.? Will Focus on the Family allow opposition to their position (KB) to be spoken at the same time? How does a front group for the Koch Bros. qualify for tax exempt status? Questions that need to be answered.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Gary Casimir on 05/17/2017 at 4:07 PM

Re: “Reader: Where's my protest paycheck?

I've noticed everything claimed by many conservatives actually applies to them.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TruB on 05/17/2017 at 2:38 PM

Re: “Region must be proactive on transportation, and here's how to do it

This position appears to be a 'working' position. However, if among criteria considered for this job, a 'high coefficient of Schmooze' is top on the list - - then Mr. Routon is correct: Mrs. Clark would do.

Has thought been given to calling for a true administratively skilled person for this position and assigning the 'Schmooze' role to the Chamber which they do well and removing the EDC from their purview and forming a new EDC with those who can actually get the job done?

19 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Richard Wehner Fiscal Realist on 05/17/2017 at 11:22 AM

Re: “Region must be proactive on transportation, and here's how to do it

Trying to fix the Front Range transportation problem by building a wider I-25 is like trying to fix obesity by putting on a larger pair of pants - if we don't address the problem of over reliance on a single, highly-inefficient mode of travel, then it doesn't really matter who leads the effort, it will be a temporary solution at best.

18 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by David E on 05/17/2017 at 11:06 AM

Re: “Reader: Representatives, support the people and our public lands

How much federally owned land is enough, and can there ever be such a thing as too much?

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Howell on 05/17/2017 at 10:05 AM

Re: “Reader: Feeding children is not a waste of money

How much nutrition is there in a school lunch that ends up in a dumpster because kids will not eat it?

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by John Howell on 05/17/2017 at 10:04 AM

Re: “13 authoritarian jokes on America

You forgot a pack of goose-stepping authoritarian atheist Storm Troopers marching into the workplaces of American business owners and ORDERING them to violate their religious beliefs or suffer a jackboot on their neck. I have others if you'd like to read them.

0 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by John Howell on 05/17/2017 at 10:02 AM

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