Exemptions from Justice: Corporations and Religions

Welcome to the World of Injustice.  This is the country’s new nickname amid atrocities that are allowed to happen to hard working and innocent people.  Call this a double post about corporate greed and the people they buy off and religion’s attempt to gain a stronghold in a country that has “separation of church and state” written into the Constitution.

My blog is all about a lack of common sense in the world, and I feel like I’ve been blindsided on both sides.

Verizon is a well known cell phone company in the United States.  They are planning to lay off 1,700 workers.  It definitely doesn’t seem a lot in the grand scheme of things yet a worker losing their job for any reason is depressing.

Let’s consider that they don’t have to lose their jobs in the first place.  Verizon can obviously afford to keep those workers  if they’re giving their top five CEOs multi-million dollars annually and in bonuses.

Meet Lowell C. McAdam who was mentioned in the ThinkProgress article.  This illustrious CEO received a bonus of $22.5 million in 2011 as a “Performance Award” because the company’s shareholders saw an 18.8 percent increase in the value of their returns.

Isn’t that great?  The shareholders made money so they’re sharing the wealth.  Doesn’t it make sense that the common workers who sell their “product” would see a bonus along with the CEO?  Who are we kidding?

Actually, workers have not shared in those gains.  To add insult to injury

Verizon eliminated 26,000 jobs over a two-year period in 2008 and 2009 — including 16,000 jobs in 2009 alone — and laid off roughly 13,000 more in 2010.

At the same time, Verizon has demanded sizable concessions from workers in its negotiations with unions, asking for the elimination of the company’s pension plan, increases in health care premiums, and extra leeway to outsource jobs, according to a release from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

This information puts a new spin on Verizon laying off 1,700 workers this year.  To add insult to injury, they’re attempting to strip the benefits of the workers that are “lucky” enough to not lose their job.  What are they suppose to do without a pension plan?  What are they sacrificing when they have to balance the household budget with their diminished paychecks due to the increases in their health care premiums?

I guess if they want “extra leeway” to outsource jobs, then jobs aren’t technically being “lost.”  They’re being “moved” overseas.  The Republicans are right.  Their corporate bed buddies are the job creators…for other countries!

It’s companies like Verizon that Republicans are protecting.  The GOP swears that those large corporations and the wealthy people attached need the tax breaks to free up more money to create jobs.  The Republicans simply neglect to clarify that they’re creating jobs in the wrong country.

The only common sense I see in this whole snake oil sale is that corporations have the GOP in their pocket and possibly paying them with the savings from transferring jobs overseas.

If this doesn’t convince you that the Republicans are in bed with big business and the top wealthiest people in the country, how about what’s going on in Florida?  I’m not speaking of the voter registration purge – that’s another world of shady.  I’m speaking of gutting unemployment benefits for those that the big corporations have laid off.

Yet, the Florida Government argues this is ultimately a benefit to the unemployed.  Making it harder for them to tap into their unemployment gives them motivation to get back to work.  Wait a second!  Ignore that man behind the curtain!

What Florida Republicans won’t tell you…what they’ve actually done…is the legislature stripping unemployment benefits paid for corporate tax cuts.  It is messed up common sense that those corporations need money for fancy jet planes more than unemployed workers need money for food.  That’s only logical since we all know that those unemployed workers will find work in a few short years.  They can live off the streets, dumpster diving for their food until they catch a break.

I’m being ridiculous.  Right?  They can still get their benefits.  The unemployed simply need to fill out an online application and complete a 45-question math and reading test to determine their job skills.

The new system, named the “Reemployment Assistance Program,” was passed by the Republican legislature and signed by Scott in the spring of 2011. The burdensome test offers no assistance when making claims and fails to notify workers if their application is incomplete. With some library computers programmed to turn off after an hour’s use, many frustrated Floridians are forced to start their applications over or compelled to quit altogether.

The unemployed who take the test do it to waste time since it’s obviously not going to help in getting them a job.  They have no clue if they’ve finished the application and test since they’re not notified by the system.  The computers the unemployed have access to only give them time-limited access.  Which means that they can’t complete the online application in the first place.

The Republicans count on this since they know that the unemployed have no Internet at home because they have no income to pay for it!  Aren’t these vicious uncommon sense circles fun?

As if the Republicans giving cart blanch to corporations regarding the monetary health and well being of the working poor and middle class Americans, they’re also allowing Christian organizations to walk all over non-Christians.

Part of this country’s foundation is the separation of church and state.  Why?  Because our wise founding fathers saw the destruction that a religiously run country can do to innocent people.  Not to mention the power that religion would have in forcing their beliefs on others.

Since there are several religions living within the United States, that stipulation is more important than ever.  Yet we see the Christian and Catholic faiths attempting to permeate the American government both Federal and State in order to force their morals onto the American population.  Everything from the Catholic Bishops regarding contraception to those of Christian faith preventing anti-bullying laws from passing to preserve their right to legally bully members of the LGBT community.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops filed lawsuits against the health mandate stating that employer insurance has to cover 100% of contraception fees.  According to their lawsuit, despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, they insist that contraception and sterilization

are not “health” services, and they do not “prevent” illness or disease. Instead, they disrupt the healthy functioning of the reproductive system, introducing health risks in the process; and they are designed to prevent pregnancy, which is not a disease.

Instead of contraception regulating the functioning of the woman’s reproductive system, Catholic Bishops insist that it disrupts the reproductive system.  They argue that it “introduces a health risk.”  It doesn’t introduce a health risk.  It just means that women aren’t shooting out babies left and right contributing to the already dangerous overpopulation of the country.  What do they care?  They don’t believe in science anyway.

One of these days, the Catholic Viagra popping Bishops will get the picture when it’s too late to correct the damage.  I hope that I don’t live to witness it.

To add insult to injury, since the Catholic Bishops consider my lady parts, and the lady parts of all American women, public property, the Christian faith feels the need to pick their own battles.  The battles of the LGBT community and for their – what they consider – “religious freedom.”

The Christians insist that any anti-bullying bill mentioning the LGBT community was teaching children to accept the LGBT lifestyle (like that was something apocalyptic?).  In doing this, they are legalizing bullying against LGBT children.  What they don’t mind teaching their children are that bullying LGBT children is fine, even encouraged.  If bullying them is fine, then bullying other children no matter their sexual orientation is fine as well.

As someone who was bullied, no one should be bullied.  It doesn’t matter their sexual orientation, no one should be bullied for any reason at anytime.  In my day, in the schools I went to, the teachers did nothing about the children who bullied me.  I was bullied in the classroom in front of the teachers, I was bullied in the cafeteria in front of the monitors, and I was bullied on the playground.

Bullying has a massively negative impact in a child’s life.  Some children get so depressed that they kill themselves.  Other children get so depressed that they take a few classmates and teachers with them before they turn the weapon on themselves.  It does not “build character.”  If I had not received counseling help when I did, I have no clue what would have happened to me.  I wouldn’t even be alive today.

Bullying needs to stop and the Christian faith is encouraging this type of disruptive behavior!

If the Christian faith believes their God blesses their form of bullying.  Than their God is definitely in favor of them breaking the rules.  Since they are so religiously pious, the rules of Federal and State shouldn’t touch them.

In North Dakota, the state government is considering a constitutional amendment.  This amendment states

Government may not burden a person’s or religious organization’s religious liberty. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief may not be burdened unless the government proves it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest. A burden includes indirect burdens such as withholding benefits, assessing penalties, or an exclusion from programs or access to facilities.

As Ian Millhiser from ThinkProgress observes, this would allow the Religious Right to ignore traffic lights.  He states that this law was designed

to allow anti-gay groups to openly defy bans on discrimination, and it is written so expansively that it could authorize thousands of North Dakotans to outright ignore everything from traffic lights to medical access laws — all in the name of supposedly protecting religious liberty. 

In essence, a Christian business owner, or manager, can discriminate against gays because to not discriminate against gays would be a “burden” to their “religious organization’s religious liberty.”  So denying service or a job to a gay person means they’re satisfying their violently discriminatory religious faith.

The amendment is so broad that it would allow the Religious Right to defy other laws.  In Ian’s example, a person who is running late to church could claim it is illegal to make them obey traffic lights.

What else would they be allowed to do?  Will they be allowed to vandalize a gay person’s property specifically because the owner is gay and their property needs to be vandalized under the Religious Right’s religious morals?  How about assaulting a gay person?  Will this law even allow a religious person to beat someone because they believe it’s within their religious right?  When will it be enough?

There are violent religious people in this country and they think they have a right to be violent to anyone that goes against their religious belief.  They believe that their deity sanctions their behavior.  How are they different from the terrorists that are targeting our country?  They are homegrown terrorists.  No one wants to state this because they don’t want to admit that this country has a problem with their religious masses.

It begins with the easing of bullying laws, to allowing them to slide with minor infractions, and then it will be full-blown terrorism with nothing to hold them in check.

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One thought on “Exemptions from Justice: Corporations and Religions

  1. Alison Baker says:

    I’d like to see the FL voters vote OUT their GOP legislators. Once they get their *pink slips*, they can take their 45-question math and reading test to determine their job skills (using the term loosely). Contrary to Repug belief, winning an election does not provide *political capital* with carte blanche to legislators thinking they can run rough shod over the Constitutional rights of the public trust.

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