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Overruled: Conservatives’ Favorite New Anti-Gay Book On Marriage Falsely Claims Ideology Is ‘Truth
’

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A popular new book by an anti-gay Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation is making headlines and causing controversy. Conservatives from Pastor Rick Warren to NOM co-founder Robert P. George are latching on to it, claiming it validly supports their views opposing same-sex marriage. But does it really? Let’s take a look.

Ryan T. Anderson’s new book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom uses only arguments “based in philosophy, jurisprudence, political science and social science” to investigate “what marriage is, why marriage matters for public policy, and what the consequences are of redefining marriage.”

Attempting to keep the debate on marriage equality going with social and religious conservatives, Anderson highlights “truths” he imagines SCOTUS trampled in extending marriage equality to roughly 10 million Americans. 

Anderson, in constructing these “truths,” ignores the social history of marriage, elevates procreative complementarity – the notion that only a man and a woman can create a child –  as a condition of marriage, and discounts all major professional medical and psychological associations’ statements on the natural variations of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“Truth” #1: Marriage is intended as a context in which to raise children  

Anderson’s “truth” of marriage as a context in which to create children may be sentimental, but taking the long view of history, it is not accurate.

Equal access to marriage by same-sex couples did not “redefine” marriage. Its definition has gradually shifted over the last five millennia, primarily in the past fifty years. Breaking with thousands of years of tradition, in the late 19th century, marriages started to be based on love and companionship. Before that, couples married for political and economic reasons. 

The women’s rights movement, along with the commercial availability of birth control in the 1960s, caused the next major modification to marriage. Suddenly women had greater access to legal rights, education, better paying jobs, birth control, and divorce.

It was heterosexual couples who significantly altered the marriage landscape with cohabitation, single parent families, and divorce. 

“Truth” #2: Procreative complementarity is required in marriage 

Though procreative complementarity in the sex act is primarily a Roman Catholic doctrine, can it be adequately used to restrict marriage to one man and one woman? 

According to the Center for Disease Control, 6 percent of women aged 15 to 44 are deemed infertile, additionally, 12 percent have problems getting or carrying pregnancies to term. Add to that, 7.5 percent of men suffer infertility problems. These levels of infertile heterosexuals exceed the percentage of LGBT people in the US population. If naturally occurring infertile heterosexual couples get a pass on procreative complementarity, can we then bar access to infertile same-sex couples? 

“Truth” #3: Non-heterosexual sex is simply a behavior

Anderson asserts that any sexual attraction other than heterosexual attraction, or non-cisgender identity, is both a behavior and changeable. He ignores all major professional medical and psychological associations’ statements on these issues.

Prosecution not persecution

Prosecution for breaking discrimination laws is not religious persecution. Anderson fails to inform his readers that religious freedom is the liberty to worship according to your beliefs, to attend a faith community of your choice, and having the right to share your beliefs. 

The freedom to practice one’s faith does not include asserting ideologies that inherently deny the civil rights of other citizens. 

Let’s move on to public discourse based in truth, not ideology

Anderson and his fans may enjoy deliberating marriage equality, but while the cases challenging marriage bans travelled through local courts, district courts, and finally to the Supreme Court, each of Anderson’s ideologies, his “truths,” were carefully examined. They’ve already been found lacking and certainly less compelling than the need to expand marriage rights to roughly 10 million Americans.

As Americans, we will find our way through this important discourse, hopefully with mutual respect. The public conversation requires wrestling with real truths. The easily deconstructed personal ideology presented in Truth Overruled is devoid of knowledge of social history and science and serves to slow the progress towards balancing and honoring both civil rights and religious freedom.

 

Image via Ryan T. Anderson/Facebook

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Questions Swirl About Uvalde Police as Photos, Videos, Witness Accounts Appear to Tell Story of Inaction During Massacre

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Barely days after 19 elementary school children and two teachers were shot to death by an 18-year old with two AR-15 style assault rifles, questions are swirling about the actions of local law enforcement, supported by video and photos apparently taken by those who were outside Robb Elementary School during the massacre. NCRM has not confirmed the authenticity of the photos or videos posted to social media.

“Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a Border Patrol team,” the Associated Press reports.

“Go in there! Go in there!” nearby women shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, said Juan Carranza, 24, who saw the scene from outside his house, across the street from Robb Elementary School in the close-knit town of Uvalde. Carranza said the officers did not go in.

Multiple reports state police waited outside for those 40 minutes, or more, before taking action to neutralize the shooter. During that time, some have noted, it’s possible children who had been shot died of their wounds rather than receiving medical attention.

CNN’s Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto:

Veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien:

Indeed, additional reports appear to show not only did police not storm the school, for reasons yet unknown, they appear to have prevented desperate parents from doing anything to help save their children, even using force, including a taser, to stop them. And in one case (below,) from the account of one of the children who survived published by CBS affiliate KENS5, police action may have led to the death of one of the students.

VICE News reports “Texas law enforcement officials are being strangely opaque about what actually happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.”

“When asked how much time passed between the gunman arriving at the school and the gunman being killed, Texas’ Director of Public Safety Steve McCraw offered an indefinite response.”

“Forty minutes, an hour,” he said. “But I don’t want to give you a particular timeline.”

VICE adds that “officers ‘were responsible’ for containing the gunman in a classroom, McCraw said. (Spokespersons for the Texas Department of Public Safety had repeatedly told news outlets earlier that the suspect barricaded himself into the classroom and immediately started shooting.)”

NBC News correspondent covering national security and intelligence Ken Dilanian:

Matt Novak, a senior writer at the tech site Gizmodo, posted these tweets:

This one is tragic:

Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to Julián Castro, the former Obama HUD Secretary and former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, reposted these videos and offers some commentary:

Even this editor from the right wing website Daily Caller says “it appears the police did everything wrong once the shooter was in the room.”

 

 

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‘I Will Find Out’: Jimmy Kimmel Questions Why Texas TV Station Cut Away From His Monologue on School Shooting

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A Dallas/Fort Worth television station cut away from Jimmy Kimmel’semotional monologue about the Robb Elementary school massacre that left 19 children and two adults dead.

ABC affiliate WFAA-TV interrupted the six-minute, comedy-free monologue with a string of commercials, starting with an in-house news spot, before airing the end of Kimmel’s opener, which he used for a three-minute ad for the gun violence prevention organization Everytown.org, reported the Star-Telegram.

“To my friends in Dallas who are asking: I do not know whether our @ABCNetwork affiliate @wfaa cut away from my monologue tonight intentionally or inadvertently but I will find out,” Kimmel tweeted. “In the meantime, here’s what you didn’t get to see.”

You can watch the clip below or at this link.

A source at the TV station said the commercials were aired and part of the monologue was cut because the 10 p.m. newscast ran long, and an interview with “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was also chopped up into segments that aired between commercial breaks.

READ MORE: NYT’s Maggie Haberman reacts to ‘stunning’ testimony that Trump approved of ‘Hang Mike Pence’ chants

Kimmel called out elected officials, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Cornyn (R-TX), and urged them to take action to prevent another mass shooting.

“Once again we grieve for the little boys and girls,” Kimmel said, fighting back tears. “Whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed. While our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it, because they don’t want to speak about it because they know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done, and they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”

“The reason they call them common-sense gun laws is because that’s what they are,” he added. “Eighty-nine percent of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased, which is the very least we can do.”

 

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Watch: Texas Republican Opposes Any New Gun Legislation Because We’re Going to ‘Convict’ and ‘Punish’ the Shooters

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A Texas Republican state lawmaker said just one day after 19 elementary school students were shot and killed he opposes any new gun legislation for two reasons: the U.S. Constitution, and under existing laws prosecutors should just “convict” the shooters.

“What we want to know is what your solution is,” CNN host Alisyn Camerota told Rep. James White, who happens to be a former school teacher.

“We’ve all seen how quickly and creatively Texas—your local legislature—can act when it wants to, say, protect the unborn embryo,” Camerota added, referring to Texas’ vigilante abortion ban, as The Daily Beast reported. “Why not act with that alacrity to protect living, breathing 10-year-olds in this school behind me?”

“We have this thing called the Constitution,” White replied, even though the Texas abortion ban, under current law, violates at least the spirit of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Like Texas Governor Greg Abbott and many other Republicans, and like the NRA, White then defended his desire to pass no legislation to help reduce gun violence by declaring the problem is actually one of mental health.

He said, “these young men, for some reason, they have some very disturbed emotional state.”

There is no evidence, according to Gov. Abbott, that this shooter had any documented mental health issues.

White then decided to propose utilizing existing law to reduce gun violence.

“At the end of the day,” he said, “we’re going to look at the people who do these acts, we’re going to convict them, and we’re going to punish them.”

Appearing flabbergasted, Camerota replied, “You can’t convict him, sir.”

“Sir you can’t convict him. He was killed. He was killed, along with 19 children in the school behind me.”

Watch:

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