Thursday, December 24, 2015

Can you be Gay and Christian?

Now before I begin, I want to make a note about sex. Sexuality issues are deeply important as they are part of the human condition. Despite what people feel sex is or what it's role in one's life should's an important topic to discuss in the context of religion, sexuality, and spirituality. 

Christianity is about three things:

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do all things with a servants heart.

And in all things, motive is as important as the action.

And more generalized, to be as Christ, in that you acquire qualities and behaviors associated with Christ, hence the word Christ-ian. One who is like Christ.

So what does this all mean? Love your neighbor as yourself speaks for itself...basically, don't be a dick to others if you don't want them to be a dick back to you...pretty easy peasy reasoning there. (excuse the blunt language, but seriously, it speaks for itself).

The second thing is to be humble in your accomplishments, your charity, your piety, and your interactions with others. This embeds in your heart that whatever action you engage in, it should be for the right reason. If you do an action or act and brag about it, it shows you did it for yourself and not for others. Examples of when this was said: When you pray, do it in private. When you give, give anonymously, when you are generous, do so with a humble heart.

Thirdly, motive is as important as action. When you act in our world, you should act for the purpose of the greater good of man, and not the greater good of you. Sometimes this is hard to do, no question there. And to bring a point that is so relevant to our lives: Sex. Sex is something that is vilified as dirty, w
rong, immoral, etc. And I wholly reject this line of reasoning because sex is a mutual act between two consenting people. When I engage with someone intimately, I want a connection, I want to pleasure them and give them a sense of serenity and peace and love and preciousness that I would hope would be given to me as well. And I'll be honest, it doesn't always work out that way. But perhaps one thing we should all ask ourselves when we have are we valuing our partner as a human being? Are we doing unto them emotionally and physically as we would have them do unto us? In our hearts are we using them for gratification, or are we growing close to each other as human beings? It's a question to ask ourselves every time we make love to another person, whether hetero or homosexual. It doesn't really matter which.

Now, don't misread me, you are welcome to have sexual encounters in any way that suits you, but for the Christian, these questions bear consideration as the primary purpose of the Christian is service, tolerance, and charity...and in all our activities are we engaging every aspect of our lives with that lens over our eyes.

Now, there are MANY aspects of Christianity that would disagree with my point of view profusely, and as one who grew up in a very evangelical fundamentalist home who has since rejected emphatically that view of the world and that view of Christianity, I will say that what is important to me is to read the words of Jesus as dictated in the Gospels (usually in red), reject what is unreasonable or outdated, and embrace the values expressed that enrich you as a human being. The stuff about the end times or the rapture nonsense and really should just discarded as unimportant really. The here and now is important. Based on my life-long study of scripture, and my personal experiences, and my comprehension of the spirit of the faith...these are the values I have determined are most important to me. So, when evaluating this question, it really comes down to you deciding what works for you. But the key element that is 100% most important is allowing people to do as they want to do, to not harass them, to not hate them or condemn them, to not judge them, and most definitely to NOT harm them in any form. If your religion calls on you to harm others...whether that be psychologically, physically, emotionally or spiritually...then your religion is garbage.

Tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with me. Haters will be deleted, Zealots will be blocked, and bigots will be scowled at profusely. Be respectful in your comments. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Spirit Moved Me Today, and here's how...

A Reckoning approaches for all to see. Those who assert my voice will be brought down. Those who obey my commandments will be lifted up. The lies of the enemy will be cast down under my feet. Who are those who will fall? Those who use my name to justify evil are not of me, but of the enemy. Those who would engage in unjust acts, those who perpetuate greed and selfishness, those who claim my voice to treat others of unequal worth. Those who hoard their wealth at the expense of those in need. Those who call for violence and death do not speak with my voice, but the voice of fear and hatred. Woe to them all, woe to them, for their days are numbered.

Yea to those who embrace their neighbor, who provide food for their table, who bless and are generous to those in pain. Blessed are those who love their kinsman and the foreigner the same. Yea to those who grant mercy to those indebted to them, who cast aside the chains of servitude and embrace cooperation and peace. Blessed are those who speak with wisdom and truth, who examine themselves with truthful eyes and soft hearts. Blessed are those who teach others in these ways, for your reward and blessings are great and lasting.

Woe to you who cheapen life with quick thrills and snake oils. Woe to you who deceive many to gain wealth, for it shall be fleeting and brief. Blessed is the person who exchanges fairly with just weights and measures for their days shall be long and their profits unending.
Woe to he or she that torments for pleasure, for you are dark and unclean. Woe to you who would destroy a person with words, for you are wicked and detestable. Blessed is the person who embraces all, who speaks love and encouragement, who seeks to join with others in peaceful coexistence. For your life is full of joy and fulfillment.

Blessed are those who rule with wisdom and courage, who embrace the counsel of many around them, who consider carefully and with patience...for their rein shall be lasting and memorable, prosperous and legend. Woe to the ruler who makes shady deals, misusing the riches of the kingdom for greedy and nefarious ends, for they are as a rot in the trunk of a tree: insidious, slow, and painful.

Be truthful in all aspects of yourself, embrace your nature and be honest with all. For I crafted you to be an individual person, that that individuality may make a mark on your world. That you may bless others with your eyes and ears and talents. That your depth as a living being may bring joy and light to others.
Do not listen to those who teach death and disaster, for they are as conn-man seeking to draw you in and steal from your soul. Do not embrace the teachings of hatred and intolerance, for they are not of me. Do not embrace the throne draped with symbols as me, for it is idolatry. Do not embrace the rhetoric that would teach you to loathe another, for I did not loathe you, but thought of you every moment up to the time I gave up my spirit.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Are We Truly Righteous?

Are we as a nation still a righteous one?  Are we the stalwart defender we purport ourselves to be? Do we continue to be a fair and just nation? I wish I had a better answer for you, but in all honesty...when I look out into the world, I look at the actions of my countrymen, I look at the policy of our government, of the population even, it's hard for me to say yes.  


Because, we are too eager to employ the gun and less eager to employ speech.  Often, in history, nations destroy themselves from perpetual war.  To enable the continuance of war, you must be at war with a principle, an ideal, or a concept.  Principles, ideals, and concepts have no flesh to rend, no body to destroy, and no way to snuff it from existence.  

The ideal of the USA, is that everyone is equal, everyone is treated fairly, and everyone has his or her day in court with a fair jury and a fair judge to prosecute or exonerate guilt or innocence.  In our fair and just nation, everyone who works never goes hungry, never is homeless, and never is without the necessities and maybe even a few fruits of life.  

What prompted this line of thinking?  Ender's Game.  The story is quite moving and disturbing at the same time.  On the one hand, we're fighting for survival.  On the other hand, we're fighting to end all wars, and on another hand we're willing to go to extremes to end the future conflicts we don't see.  

What was great about Ender’s Game?  It explores questions of instinct and survival.  While we may believe we’ve evolved to states where we don’t kill indiscriminately for our personal self-worth…we do.  We just do it in more organized manners.  Instead of a stone axe and wooden spear, we create armies of organized drones to destroy the life we’ve told them are our enemy.  If we as a species truly have evolved, then evolution is a sham.  True evolution is adapting to our growth as human beings, and integrating each other into each other’s systems of subsistence, culture, and learning to live together. 

The Middle East are cultures so alien to the western world as a whole, that we’re content to believe anything and anyone who has an opinion about their atrocities.  Well guess what…we’re no angels ourselves.  How many civilians have we killed?  How many did we hold for 10+ years without explanation or charges or trial just because the military says they saw them fighting?  How many mouths of our own people did we rob to go and kill someone?  How many secret agencies exist that consume resources strictly for the purposes of killing subvertly?  We don’t know, because we’ve allowed this madness to continue for far too long. 

Our nation is a disease right now.  We’re provocative, violent, bigoted, and self-righteous.  We’re a nation of hypocrites who say one thing and do another.  We have, as a nation, no interest in pursuing peaceful coexistence because we’re so blinded by ethnocentrism that we can’t seem to cooperate with anyone who isn’t like us, who doesn’t look like us, or who doesn’t behave like us.  We have allowed deeply destructive elements to dominate our society.  Greed, power, envy, domination, and control have taken root and corrupted our national fabric.  It is deeply disgusting to me, that we think we have the moral fiber to tell other nations how to behave.  The population, the government, and our religious leaders all have failed to highlight how hypocritical our country is in relation to the rest of the world.  We are NOT a righteous nation by any imagination.  People worship money like the Hebrews did with the Golden Calf.  People think they are so entitled to independence and liberty that they would sooner sacrifice their neighbor to a burning inferno just because they think they have the moral license to do so.  We invoke names like Jesus, Mohammed, The Buddha, and other great philosophical icons who truly were evolved individuals.  Individuals like these and many others who have emulated them have taught tolerance, peace, and justice to the world at large. 

What can we do to avert these continued atrocities and begin reforming our cultural identity?  We must STOP.  Stop shooting stop destroying, stop bombing, and stop imposing ourselves on the world.  War perpetuates more war.  It is a malignant disease which spreads across the world, permeating all borders, infecting all humans, and leaving nothing but death and waste in its wake.  It is the born son of fear and ignorance, the birther of loss and despair. It is akin to pestilence and disease.  It knows no end except to destroy all who engage in it while also collaterally killing any around it.   A famous line from a great movie “The only way to win the game is to not play.”  The film this line came from is called “War Games” from the early to mid-80s starring Matthew Broderick.  It’s a movie about the dangers of arms races, nuclear build up, the ethics and morals of engaging in mass global war and what it seeks to leave behind in its wake.  There are no winners in war, only losers, and only death as the game tries over and over to win Global Thermonuclear War by trying each round as a different player.  The result is the same…no winner.

Let us also consider the morals and ethics of war.  There are no winners in war, only victors, but even victors are losers just like the defeated enemy is.  The victors’ loss is the life, the equipment, and the resources spent to maintain the conflict.  The loss of life is not a win, but a tragedy for the world.  The defeated’s loss is the loss of life, the loss of resources, and the loss of equipment, not to mention the loss of influence, and potentially the loss of rights.  It’s not which side lost or won, it is which side lost more than the other.

Further the morals and ethics of war, what kind of war did we engage in?  Did we defend our homes from invasion?  Are we taking pre-emptive action against a potentially hostile state or entity?  Are we actively invading another nation to create a buffer zone?  Are we actively invading a nation for our own benefit?  Wars are judged on their moral and ethical justifications when looked in hindsight.  We should not judge past wars on their morality or immorality, because I believe all wars are immoral…but we should at least judge them based on the fruits that emerge from them and let that determine whether a war was at least just or not. 

Don’t misunderstand me, I understand that sometimes we must go to war.  I 100% believe that a war is just if you are defending your home from an invading force.  And wars that are conducted where we minimalize loss of life and follow rules that value human beings.   But what we fail to do is to consider all diplomacy before we go in guns blazing.  We fail to calculate the human cost to us and to them before we go in with rockets red glaring into supposed hostile targets.  Over and over again we fail to learn our lessons about history.  No nation should engage in war without giving honest and critical debate about the cost.  The human cost is the most important cost.  With each war in each generation, we create a new generation of veterans.  A new generation of those who must suffer the memory, trauma and loss every night, every waking moment, every quiet reflective thought that goes through their mind isn’t not on some aspect of their war experience.  There isn’t a soldier who I haven’t talked to that’s been to war that doesn’t have some horrific story about their injury, the memory of a fellow soldier, the death of one of their enemies, and finally the hardships they now are branded with for the rest of their lives to deal with.  That is so much more a cost than the money.  Money is replaceable.  Human life is not.  At what point do we end the violence, do we end the conflict, do we stop making weapons and start making science and art and literature? What point do we end this pointless and empty conflict over ideology and religion and culture.  Where does it end?  And that question’s answer to me, makes me cry…cause I feel currently, that answer is unattainable.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Prosperity Doctrine Fuels Cultural Subjugation

The Prosperity Doctrine 

What is it?  It is the belief that by giving the church money that your material wealth will increase as a direct result.  But also, let me take it a step further.  The prosperity doctrine in several forms other than this form have been used to assert cultural superiority on the basis of cultural or societal success.  Let me give you a few examples:  Firstly let us examine the Native American Boarding Schools.  The boarding schools weren't just easy places to send Native children, but were a place where culture and language were driven out of children in the name of White-American superiority as late as the 1960s.  Children were seized from reservations and placed in these schools where their cultural identity was literally beaten out of them.  The justification for such measures stemmed from the belief that Native cultures were savage cultures and uncivilized.  That Anglo-white culture was superior because it was a "Christian" culture.  Further to how it relates to the Prosperity doctrine would be statements like "God has blessed the US, therefore our society should be Christian because of the blessings bestowed upon it."  Or other statements like "White people have proven to be God's chosen, look at the wealth and power we've amassed."  Or other assertions like the one's above.  The assertion of property does not give rise to the belief that it makes other cultures inferior, less deserving of respect and love and compassion, or even more so, that other religions are inferior to Christianity.  The false belief that Christianity is superior to any other religion is despicable in every way to me.  It's the same thing as saying that a White person or a Black person or an Asian-descended person are of any lesser value than any other skin-toned person (Race is not the appropriate term to describe skin color).

A variation of the Prosperity Doctrine was used to justify the subjugation of Black Slavery in the Americas.  The belief that our civilization was superior and that blacks would live better as slaves beneath us was often cited as justified reasoning to own a slave.  That blacks were poor living in hovels and dirt-floored huts in Africa means that they were not following God and should be saved from themselves.  The viewpoint that someone who is suffering economically must mean that they do not follow the teachings of Jesus is a deeply horrible falsehood.  The belief that someone is suffering financially simply means they are suffering financially and has no relation to their belief or non-belief in Jesus.  There is a difference between someone who say has a gambling problem and has thrust himself into insurmountable debt because of it, and someone who just got landed with three kids and no job through no fault of his or her own after a nasty divorce.  Blacks were also subjected to this cultural genocide that was observed in Native American boarding schools.  Many masters sought to raise God-fearing slaves, and prohibited expressions of their original culture...not that it really stopped it, but it actually ended up being something even better as the two cultures blended to form a unique culture in of itself.  And mind you, this also happened with Native Americans' contact with White civilization as well and numerous others that we came in contact with such as Hawa'ii, India, Africa, and the South and North American peoples.  Culture was adopted from the cultures we contacted and the best parts of it were incorporated into them.  The Cherokee culture so very much identified with the tenants of Christianity that much of the ideology was viewed as extremely compatible and even adopted...even though the aftermath of such contact were atrocities like "The Trail of Tears" and a despicable president (Andrew Jackson) that is personally responsible for the genocide of 4000 Cherokee personally.

In Europe, prosperity was used to justify the Serf system and to exalt kings and lords over the common folk.  The divine right of kings and the divine assertment of lordship over people is often justified by wealth.  "Wealth means God favors you" is often a fallacious and even dangerous doctrine for one to assert.  Even a rudimentary shows that Christ himself had a worrisome view of the wealthy and seldom had anything to say about them that could be mistaken as favorable.  "It is far easier for a rich man to fit through the eye of a needle than for him to get into Heaven" is often a good one to remember.  Jesus basically saying in a nutshell that the love of money is so strong that it either is the man's Lord, or The Lord is.  They can't serve both.  "Give all your money away to the poor and serve me" was also popular.  "The love of money is the root of all evil" is definitely anti-greed and anti-prosperity doctrine.  James' condemnation of favoritism to one person above another...though the subtext to me definitely reads like specifically referring to the wealthy and well-connected.

The Prosperity Doctrine in many ways and in it's various forms has been used to justify religious and cultural subjugation, and genocide for generations in our past.  I cannot comprehend how any person claiming to live by the principles set by the Christ-Jesus can engage in such despicable and inhuman treatment.  And I cannot believe for one second that God loves any one person less just because of their skin tone or sexuality or other religion.  If we are called to be servants of all mankind and we are called to be compassionate, loving, and generous, then I find no ethical, moral, or even legal justification for subjugating and killing off any culture or religion or ethnicity in the name of "religious superiority" asserting "We're prosperous, therefore we're the best of God's people."  If we are truly the best of God's people, then let us humble ourselves before others, and be the servants of those less fortunate.  The prosperity doctrine is poison, toxic, and not in line with Christ-like Values.  It should be discarded as a doctrine, and the fundamentals of Christian thinking and action should prevail.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bigotry Has no Place in a Christian's Heart

One of the most trying issues of our time is that of Homosexuality and Marriage and the Family.  Who decides what is what?  What rationale is justified in regulating these various facets of society?  And ultimately, how should a Christian feel about such things?

Let's talk about a few of the talking points in this debate.


Marriage is an institution that has persisted in one form or another for millennia.  That fact is not in question by anybody.  What is in how that institution has progressed through the years.  Is marriage truly and only between a man and a woman.  Well most conservative-minded folks believe yes.  Why?  Most of the time the answer stems from a response to the degree of "Because God/Nature/whatever created us that way.

Fallacy:  Marriage has been between a man and a woman for over 6,000 years.

Fact:  Marriage has been many things to many cultures over the last 6,000 years.  Even Judeo-Christian traditions going back that far question this viewpoint.  Marriage has been used to join households increasing the available resources usable to each, polygamy has been practiced for just as long, meaning that it was not only between man and woman, but man and women as well.  Marriage has been used in political alliances, such as the marriage of Louis XIV, King of France to Queen Maria Theresa of Spain for the purposes of securing peace between the two warring nations.

Fact: Native American cultures throughout North American celebrated unions of two men and women together.  They are called "Two-Spirits" people.  The term also has been studied by Anthropologists which led them to conclude that perhaps some Native American communities had up to four genders.  The unions of these individuals were widely celebrated among these tribes and likely predate 6,000 years as asserted by anti-equal marriage advocates.

Fact:  Same sex unions were celebrated in Rome, Greece, and in many parts of Mesopotamia until the Roman Catholic Church squashed such expressions and unions in the 300s A.C.E.

Conclusion: Marriage traditions vary per civilization, culture, and religion.  To assert it's that hetero-marriage is the only valid marriage is wrong and academically dishonest.  It's also ethnocentric to believe that one cultural tradition is superior to another on the merits that it's your tradition.


What constitutes family in our culture has often been motivated by the view of marriage.  Marriage between a man and woman, who then produce children is the idyllic marriage.  This viewpoint has been perpetuated by the political right who believe it is their sacred duty to protect what, in their eyes, is viewed as "God's Plan" for society.

Concession:  I will concede that children should always have two parents.  It is the most ideal circumstance for a child.  It provides a safe environment and the security of two adults in the household to attend to the every day tasks of the home and to provide varying types of nurturing and rearing to the children in the household.

Fallacy:  The the ideal home is one with One Mother and One Father.

Fact:  No scientific evidence of any kind has concluded that a home with One Father and One Mother is the most ideal one.  The latest study done by Boston University in 2013 which examined gay-parent households concluded that those households function JUST as well as hetero-households.  Other studies attempting to assert that hetero-only households are the best households have been soundly rejected by various academic associations across the country.

Fact: The ideal family image that has been part of our society since the 50s has long been perpetuated by government, business, and religious organizations.  The growth of the suburbs created this image of mom, dad, children, a dog, two cars, and white picket fence.  This image of the family was enshrined as the "American Family"...or as it's often referred to as The Nuclear Family.  By no means though is this family structure exclusive in Christianity or any other religion.  It is not upheld as the perfect "godly" family by any ounce of scripture.


Homosexuality as a societal structure has only been out int he main stream in US Culture for a short time by comparison.  Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico have all embraced LGBT persons as fully functional members of their societies and go to great lengths to protect their legal rights.

Fallacy: Homosexuals are not natural in their impulses or feelings.

Fact:  Actually, that's not true.  Homosexuality CAN be observed in nature to an alarmingly huge degree.  If homosexuality is not natural, then why do we observe it in over 3000 species on Earth?

Fact:  Physiological and unique physically observable psychological differences have been seen in the human brain which differentiates homosexual from heterosexual, such as certain neuron configurations as observed in a study conducted by a Dr. Simon Levay discovered differences between heterosexual neurological configurations and homosexual configurations (Sex and the Brain, Discover Magazine, March 1994).

Fact: Sexual orientation develops during pregnancy.  According to a study published by the Best Practice and Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in Sept 2007, the process of the selection of gender identity (that is, the sex a person thinks he or she is psychologically) is developed in the womb concurrently but independently of the physical sex characteristics, such as the penis and testes or the vagina and the ovaries.  This occurs when physical characteristics do not align with the psychological characteristics.

Fact: Geneticists such as Simon Levay and several others who do research into genetic disposition of gay men and lesbian women found genetic markers and genes which contribute to the disposition of one's attractions to another of the same sex or both sexes.

In conclusion, marriage and family are subjects to be decided by culture ultimately.  It is not for religion or law or anything else to decide what is socially acceptable or not.  It is for society to decide that.  Our laws prevent harm from befalling people as a result of culture.  They protect the minority from the majority and the rights therein.  Whether you believe homosexuality is "morally" right or not only affects one person: you.  If you think it's wrong, then you're entitled to your opinion.  But when your opinion causes harm to others by violating their legal rights...then your opinion has moved into public policy matters.  And from here-on, LGBT citizens are going to fight for what is legally theirs by right of virtue, humanity, and law.  If you don't like it...that's kinda too bad.  Let's move on from this debate, accept each other as equals, and treat each other as though we are all of equal value and worth.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Voting Rights: A Case for Party-List Voting Instead of Candidates.

In many countries, elections are not conducted in the same manner as they are in the United States.  Actually when looking at other nations' electoral systems, The States are actually a black sheep.  Most nations have some form of parliamentary system.  Canada does, most of Europe does, Russia does, Australia does, New Zealand even does.  But what does this mean for the United States exactly?

There are several types of ways to elect candidates in parliamentary systems.  One is by direct election of representatives like we do here...and like many other electoral systems do.  Then, there are other ways like party voting.  Party voting basically means that you elect "the party" to govern.  The party then keeps a list of candidates to represent each "riding" or district.  

For example, say Washington decides it wants to do party-voting.  Washington would place all political parties meeting the criteria be placed on the ballot, on the ballot, your elections for the State's congressional delegation.  On your ballot, you would see something like this:

For Congress, do you prefer Republican or Democrat?

You would check either of those as your choice.  Your party then would have a list, a candidate for each district.  After tallying all the votes, the number of representatives sent to Washington would be proportional.  So if it's 70% to 30%, Democrats to Republicans, and Washington has 10 congressional districts (it has 11, but for math's sake)...then we would send 7 Democrats and 3 Republicans based on a State-wide vote.  Its a system that does away with the concept of gerrymandering because the drawn districts are no longer relevant to the electoral process other than to round up 700,000 people and declare "this is a district, drawn for logistical purposes and nothing more."

So now the next question...what about primary elections?  Instead of sending out a state-sponsored election ballot for election day, your party would send out ballots to vote for the list if people it believes best represents the party's views.  The first round of singling out candidates for consideration would be to have the party's convention affirm a list of about 20 potential candidates.  Then after receiving a majority from the party caucus, those candidates would move to a kind of General Primary election, where those voters decide which 10 of those 20 chosen will move on to the general election list.  A list might look like this:

Please number from 1 to 20 which candidates you would like to see represent you in the House of Representatives

Candidate A _____
Candidate B _____
Candidate C _____

and so forth til all 20 names are numbered 1-20.

Then at the general election, You vote Republican or Democrat, and the top names on those party's lists are sent to WA DC to serve as our representatives.  No gerrymandering, no disenfranchised voters, no voter fraud.  Every vote matters, every vote counts, and every voice has a voice.  

It's a system that would entirely do away with the idea of gerrymandering, and ensure that voices in Congress are representative of the will of the voters.  It's a completely non-partisan way.  It also gives potential for 3rd party candidates to gain office without the hassle of needing 5% of the vote to be put on the ballot, because every political party would be permitted to be represented on the ballot.  All they would be required to do is to attain enough votes in the general election to win a seat...which currently is about 700,000 votes.

Gabriel Givens
@gdgivens for Twitter

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A New Challenge Being Made to the Affordable Care Act

In a stunning, yet extremely technical loophole may have been found to completely derail the revenue portions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  In December 2013, a complaint was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a right-leaning legal foundation, that charges that the ACA originated in the wrong house of Congress...which, if justices agree with the argument, could render parts or even the entire law invalidated.

In their complaint, they assert (truthfully) that the ACA was passed first by the Senate, then by the House, which according to the strict reading of the Constitution is not permitted.  Article One, section 7 states "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."  This means that Congress went in the wrong order when passing, at very least, the tax provisions of the Affordable Care Act including, the tax provision which requires citizens to pay a penalty tax for failing to buy health insurance as mandated by the law.

The Pacific Legal Foundation is one of the many front groups for Charles and David Koch and is funded by a great deal of corporate donations.  Exxon Mobile has coughed up $110,000 for the organization since 1998.  It is one of the many interconnected legal organizations that swing the right-wing club in the name of "freedom".  They litigate a large array of issues against government including environmental regulations, affirmative action mandates, tax policy, and so on and so forth.

This latest attack on the Affordable Care Act threatens to undo billions of dollars in public investment and threatens the very hope of affordable healthcare in this country.  We can only hope that the Supreme Court puts the people first as this law looks like it could be, once again, on the edge of a cliff.

The case is Sissel v. United States Department of Health and Human Services

By Gabriel Givens
The Center-Left Field