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A funny thing happened on the way to the first day of school at Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas.

Minneha fourth graders study the five major religions of the world (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, & Buddhism) focusing on the history and geography of the ancient civilizations that gave birth to these religions. To that end, the school personnel crafted a bulletin board explaining the Five Pillars of Islam. Keeping in mind the bulletin board was not encouraging a belief in this faith but simply educating the students about their beliefs.

The Wichita Eagle reported that a parent took a picture of the bulletin board and posted it on Facebook with the sentence, "Prepare to Take America Back."
Of course, in this viral age, the Facebook posting spread quickly across the conservative blogs with other captions exclaiming, "This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer...This cannot stand."

Yes, in Wichita, Kansas-the bible belt of the nation, parents don't cotton to such radical notions as learning about the history of other religions except promoting their own faith at school.

And that is exactly the point. It must have been rather shocking for some parents in the district to face the reality that a school was educating students about other religions when the expectation has been one of promoting and upholding only the Christian faith in USD-259.

An Open Letter To President Obama

Dear President Obama:
Your administration's defense of prayers before government meetings in an amicus brief in the court case Town of Greece v. Galloway was shocking.

It is the federal government's task and your duty as the president of the United States to uphold the separation of church and state. The majority of prayers before government meetings are largely Christian in nature and this elevates Christianity above all beliefs and gives the appearance that our government is a Christian government.

Furthermore, prayers by their very nature are a form of proselytizing since prayers promote a belief in a God and compel people to adopt this belief. Thus, invocations before governmental bodies have become convenient tools in promoting religious beliefs in the public square under the guise of religious freedom. And, prayers most certainly do denigrate non-believers at government meetings by creating an atmosphere that non-believers are outsiders.

If there is one thing America has plenty of, it's guns and ammo.

Americans have been stockpiling weapons for various reasons since 1776, but after Sandy Hook, there was new scrutiny over our obsession-yes obsession with guns.
The most popular reason for acquiring and adding to our fortress of guns is because someday, maybe even tomorrow, the United States government is going to become a tyrannical monster and confiscate our guns just like the Nazi's did and then march all over our freedoms until we become just like the former Soviet communist state: a shell of a nation driven by despair and poverty while the elites suck up all the goods for themselves.

That's right, our government that can't even put money and plans behind high speed rail across this nation, or stand up to the Tea Party goofballs,is going to take away our freedoms

Wickedness Squats in Topeka

Kansas Representative Steve Brunk just introduced HB 2598, a whopping 70 page bill with the intent of decimating a women's access to abortions and reproductive healthcare in Kansas.

This bill rivals the Inquisition's Handbook,Malleus Maleficrum, with its tortuous suggestions of pin pricking every conceivable measure to extinguish a woman's right to her own body and good health.

As Barbara Walker notes in The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, "the Inquisition was not organized to administer justice; it was organized to enrich the church and silence its critics." Nothing much has changed throughout the centuries. This bill is not about administering justice, but punishing women and enriching the politicians who feed off the abortion debate for their own political ambitions, while the church uses abortion to contaminate government policy with their misogynist doctrines.

The Great Gun Hoax on American Life


The massacre of young children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut must not be lost in the usual blather of NRA propaganda and gun enthusiast's lament that Americans have the individual right to bear any weapon in public and stockpile weapons that rival the arsenal of the United States government.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to provide for a citizens militia from foreign invasion or usurpation of the government, as well as for self-protection in the home. It has nothing to do with citizens individually purchasing guns without limit or type of gun. This is simply an NRA fairytale.

The Second Amendment is a collective right rather than an individual right. Conservative Chief Justice Rehnquist called the whole charade around the debate of the Second Amendment as "one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud on the American people."*

*[See Robert Hardaway (2002) "The Inconvenient Militia Clause of the Second Amendment: Why the Supreme Court Declines to Resolve the Debate over the Right to Bear Arms," Available at http://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/jcred/vol16/iss1/2]

Political Temper Tantrums

WICHITA, Kan. - Some 4,600 Kansans have signed a petition to secede from the United States. That's right. These loyal Americans seem to think that destroying this nation is the best option to take after Romney's defeat. Stirring up the ghosts of 1861 make a mockery of all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to protect our nation and keep the promise of this republic alive.

One of the mechanisms of our democracy is the ability to change the government politically every four years. Threatening to rebel or secede when a favorite candidate loses is just childish. The 18th Century political philosopher John Locke, and our Founders may have claimed the right to rebel against unjust tyrants, but this was due to the fact that they lived in a rigid system where monarchs could not be changed until their death and even then the power remained in the hands of one ruling family.

This point seems to be lost on the millions of American citizens who forget that they do not live in such a system. The reality of all the talk and petitions about seceding from the United States is more an emotional temper tantrum than a rationale response to the election.

Republicans have always been poor losers. When President Clinton defeated President Bush, it became a cottage industry to snipe and yap at the heels of Clinton.

The Mural of John Brown

john-brown-capitol-mural-anti-slavery.jpgTOPEKA, Kan. - The elections are over and all too quickly the 2013 legislative session will convene in Topeka. The Capitol has been in the midst of renovations but one iconic image remains to greet a new year and new visitors to the Capitol: John Steuart Curry's mural of abolitionist John Brown.

America has a long history of religious zealots embracing a political cause but Kansas may be unique in vividly paying homage to a law breaking, fire breathing, gun toting abolitionist. Curry's mural is riveting and yet chilling. Artistically, he has captured the out of control intensity of the era known as "bleeding Kansas", but also how the righteousness of one man has too often shaped and warped American politics.

Curry terrifyingly shows the face of religious fanaticism infecting the soul of John Brown. His eyes are ablaze with God-like wrath, and like a giant Moses parting the red sea, his outstretched arms form a cross symbolizing his own crucifixion for the sins of others. He is the zealot gone mad, convinced he will be the one to lead the nation to destruction, but ultimately rebirth and the promise land. In his left hand, John Brown holds the word of God (the Bible) while in his right, he grips a rifle aptly nicknamed the Beecher Bible.

Disgraceful

TOPEKA, Kan. - Just when you think birthers in Kansas cannot sink any lower, a new low appears on the horizon of crazy.

Joe Montgomery of Manhattan wanted to have President Obama's name removed from the November Kansas ballot because Obama's father was born in Kenya. Did you know that President Chester A. Arthur (1829-1886) had a foreign born father, too?

Vice President Chester A. Arthur (R) became the 21st president of the United States after President James Garfield was killed in 1881 by a disappointed office seeker.

President Arthur's father was born in Ireland while his mother was from Vermont. The father was naturalized as an American citizen fourteen years after the birth of Arthur. At the time, a few democrats raised objections about Arthur's citizenship,(there was a rumor he was really born in Canada,too) but he managed to lead the nation without being hounded endlessly by birthers.

The term "natural-born citizen" as a requirement for the presidency, is a phrase not without controversy. However, in ruling after ruling, the standard interpretation is that the person running for president must be born on American soil. Therefore, the term "natural born citizen" applies to the person seeking the office, and not one's parents.

A prominent case often cited in this matter is Lynch v. Clarke which actually had to do with a case before the court involving an inheritance dispute regarding the heirs of Julia Lynch.

WICHITA, Kan. - On August 3rd, 2012 in Municipal Court in Wichita, the case against grandmother and citizen activist Doris Lynn Crouse Gent (Ravenfeather) on a charge of obstruction of justice, was finally adjudicated.

As Doris attempted to leave the Drury Hotel with other activists on November 16th after protesting Governor Brownback's Town Hall Meeting on childhood poverty, Doris allegedly grabbed and/or pulled the arm of a police officer who was holding another activist. City police arrested her on a charge of obstructing justice.

The activist at the center of this storm is Susan Schoket. Susan was stopped by Officer Creighton who physically held her arm as she attempted to walk out the door. Creighton said he did not know why he was asked to provide backup at the Drury Hotel nor did he know why he was asked to detain Susan. As Susan was being held, other activists were making their way to the door to leave.

Doris was one of those activists. She was accused of coming up and trying to interfere in Susan's situation by pulling her away from the officer. During the trial, Susan adamantly testified that Doris never touched the police officer in any way, nor grabbed Susan's arm to pull her away from the officer. Susan did admit that she and Doris were loud in telling the office they had done nothing wrong and were leaving.

The Great American Desert

WICHITA, Kan. - The Hays Daily News of May 29th, included a moving but sad editorial by Dr. Robert Blanks, about his beloved Kansas and the cruel injustice of coming back home after living many years in other places, only to watch a gang of thugs take over the state.

Dr. Blanks wrote: "Brownback and the extreme Republican political agenda are both insane. This governor's actions and positions are totally inappropriate for this modern day. Brownback seems to be a hateful individual who is solely politically motivated, and who appears to have no compassion for many Kansas citizens who are struggling to keep their heads above water. From what I've seen, Brownback has shown serious ignorance of economic issues."

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