• Mississippi Doesn’t Know What Can of Worms They Just Opened

    So, the governor of Mississippi has just declared to the world that he is the leader of a hugely backward state and the state couldn’t care less about the US Constitution. Today, he sighed a bill into law. Bill SB-268 1 says (in part)

    This act shall be known and may be cited as the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    and its purpose is to

    A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened or is likely to be burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the proceeding.  The person asserting that claim or defense may obtain appropriate relief, including relief against the state or a political subdivision of the state.  Appropriate relief includes, but is not limited to, injunctive relief, declaratory relief, compensatory damages, and the recovery of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.

    Where “burden” means

    “Burden” means any action that directly or indirectly constrains, inhibits, curtails or denies the exercise of religion by any person or compels any action contrary to a person’s exercise of religion.  “Burden” includes, but is not limited to, withholding benefits, assessing criminal, civil or administrative penalties or exclusion from governmental programs or access to governmental facilities.

    And “exercise of religion” means

    “Exercise of religion” means the practice or observance of religion.  “Exercise of religion” includes, but is not limited to, the ability to act or the refusal to act in a manner that is substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.

    This is obviously as unconstitutional as anything ever written.

    The moment this was signed into law, a dozen lawyers representing dozens of organizations probably filed suit in their local US Court. Is the Republican party really just a jobs program for lawyers?

    Regardless, I absolutely cannot wait for the first time a Muslim or Pagan (or atheist for that matter) refuses to serve a Christian and kicks them out of their establishment for their ‘sincerely held’ religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I’m just going to laugh and laugh.

    I doubt it will ever come to that though. The bill is slated to go into effect July 1, 2014. I’m confident that there will be a federal injunction against it in days.


    The whole point of this bill is to enshrine Christian beliefs into state law. It’s been called the LGBT discrimination act. What it really is, is an anti-Christian discrimination act. Of course, they can’t call it that, but that’s what the intention is. I’m really curious if the legislators are so dumb as to think that their “sincerely held beliefs”[1] are the only ‘sincerely held beliefs’ that exist in the US.

    The other point, is that for all these people are all about religious freedom, it’s the same religious freedom that brought the Quakers to the US originally. Religious freedom for themselves and screw everyone else.

    When our government and religious leaders cry about Sharia Law being implemented in the US, then they pass laws like this… well… let’s just say my irony meter needs a new fuse.

    Thinking more about this law for a minute… Recently there was a woman who murdered her young child because she thought he was possessed. Using this law, she can get away with murder. It’s her sincerely held religious belief that her son was a demon.

    I could go on with examples all day long. A construction worker who gets a small cut and sticks his finger in his mouth could be fired by a Jehovah’s Witness manager. A Jew could sue a grocery store for selling shrimp or crawfish. Although the last would be an interesting case. What level of burden would have to be claimed? The Jew could go to another store, but if the one selling shellfish is closer, then that would put a burden on the person.

    It doesn’t matter. This is really just grandstanding. No one expects this to stay a legal law, including, I suspect, the people who signed and voted for it. It’s a statement that their religion is more important than their oaths to the government or their constituents. And I hope that everyone in Mississippi sees that.


    [1] Which only seems to exist in the minds of their constituents.

    Category: CultureGovernmentSociety


    Article by: Smilodon's Retreat

    • Ravenloonatikk

      It is my deeply held religious belief that I should be allowed to smack creationists across the face with a flounder.

      Also, the current absence of daily human sacrifice is a grave threat to the continued existence of the world, so I suggest, in order to avoid the wrath a a very pissed off Feathered Serpent, that we begin cutting the hearts out of captured warriors and or slaves immediately.

      And what about reparations? Shouldn’t all the religions of the indigenous peoples be compensated for their loss of income and followers, and the destruction of deeply held religious and cultural beliefs at the hands of xtian missionaries?

      It only seems fair.

      • Doc Bill

        You should get, at least, compensation for the flounder.

      • Let’s get real. The only true religion in Mississippi is football.

        • SmilodonsRetreat

          Which also controls education just as much as other religions try to.

    • Leviticus 1:12

      I wonder if they head out back and consult the burning bush before each session. Legislation through revelation.

    • f_galton

      The language is similar to the federal RFRA and laws in other states, there is nothing unconstitutional about it. All of your imagined outcomes are nonsensical, you should read the text of the bill.

      • SmilodonsRetreat

        umm… I quoted the texts of the bill.

        And I think that most people agree that RFRA was a bad idea. And my scenarios while not existing now, will be tested. If one person gets off from a crime or civil suit because of this law, then everyone will try it. And some will succeed.

        Whether YOU don’t think that the scenarios are legitimate, the people who supported the bill clearly agree with my interpretations.

        “Whether it’s someone like Pastor Telsa DeBerry who was hindered by the Holly Springs city government from building a new church in the downtown area, or a wedding vendor, whose orthodox Christian faith will not allow her to affirm same-sex ‘marriage,’ the provisions of RFRA would apply to prevent the government from discriminating against religious exercise,” Perkins said.

        That’s Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Center clearly saying that people should be allowed to discriminate based on their religion.

        As to other states, please name one state where such a bill has been passed.

        • f_galton

          The RFRA was supported unanimously by the House and by all but three Senators, so a lot of people must believe it’s a good idea. The law limits the power of “state actions” to burden religion, unless the actions are essential to further a compelling governmental interest. Therefore a Jew could not sue a store for not selling crawfish, because a store is not the state. Belief in demons would not be a defense in a murder case, because the state has a compelling governmental interest in criminalizing murder. Perkins is correct it will protect wedding vendors from being coerced by the government, notice what he’s saying is nothing like what you were saying.

          There are seventeen states with laws similar to varying degrees.


          • SmilodonsRetreat

            But no states with a deliberate discrimination law. This isn’t a RFRA type law. It’s been explicitly stated as a discrimination law. A business doesn’t have to allow someone that they don’t like. Because it would be a burden.

            That’s the stated intention. There’s a big difference between “least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest” and “A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened or is likely to be burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding, regardless of whether the state or a political subdivision of the state is a party to the proceeding.”

            I’m not a lawyer, but that’s a pretty big difference in area of interest.

            • f_galton

              The language is similar to state and federal RFRA’s. I don’t know what you mean when you say “deliberate discrimination law”.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              The proponents of the law say specifically that BUSINESSES (not government) are now allowed to discriminate by anything that would be a burden on them. Muslims don’t have to serve women who aren’t dressed appropriately (per their religion). Christians can ask homosexuals to leave their business.

              Where the RFRA says that the government should consider religion when compelling things (like birth control as an insurable medical service), this law says that ANY person can use this law regardless of whether a government is involved or not. This is in spite of anti-discrimination laws in the US and states.

            • f_galton

              Yes, the state government can’t force businesses to serve gays. That doesn’t mean the law protects murderers of demon possessed children or Jews can sue stores for selling non-kosher foods.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Really? Because those kinds of thins have already happened. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that parents who denied healthcare to their children were prosecuted.

              Again, because of the weasel way this is worded, almost anything is possible due to sincerely held beliefs. Also, it still doesn’t matter because this won’t stand up in federal court.

            • f_galton

              Those thing have happened? How? The law was just signed.Why would this law be struck down by a federal court? As noted above the language is similar to existing laws, and those laws have not meant “anything is possible”.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              How many times can I say that the two laws are different? They are not the same. I would suggest that you compare the laws.

              If you can find a legal expert that says these are the same, then I will consider that. But, for the fourth time, the proponents of the law have said those things.

            • f_galton

              It’s not notably different from other RFRA’s. The proponents of the law have not said it will protect murderers of demon possessed children or allow Jews to sue stores that sell non-kosher foods.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              It is possible though. I doubt it will happen, but it’s possible as the law is written (IMO). You opinion is different.

              I guess we’ll see when it happens. According to the law the ““Burden” includes, but is not limited to, withholding benefits, assessing criminal, civil or administrative penalties”

              CRIMINAL PENALTIES! Find that in the federal law.

              “substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.”


              Could someone get away with murder? I hope not, but they could make the attempt using this law. If that’s not what the law was for, then why write it that way?

              I think I see the problem. You take exception to my estimate of what is potentially permissible under this law. You agree, then, that the law, as written, is intended to enshrine religious based discrimination, correct?

            • f_galton

              Those things are not possible. Courts use a “sincerely held” standard because they do not want to “dissect” individual religious beliefs, there is no basis for your reaction to that language, it essentially means the belief has to be honest.

              No one can get away with murder because of this law, and it’s absurd to claim they could, read section (3) (a) (i).

              The law is intended to protect religious belief from government coercion, I recognize that some people view that as allowing discrimination.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              So, if a sincerely held belief is that homosexuals cannot marry, then a business has the right to deny them services if they are married (or if the business is involved in weddings) and THAT isn’t discrimination?

            • f_galton

              You may view it as such. I see it as freedom of religion and association.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              So, it’s freedom to use a myth to tell two people in love that not only can they not get married, but they cannot use a business for any reason.

              That makes sense…

              Here’s something that actually makes sense. You are free to believe whatever you want. You are free to say whatever you want. You are not free, for any reason, to harm the freedoms of others. Except in cases where harm is done to others (for example, the aforementioned deaths of children).

              Oh, and those were very relevant. They showed that religious-based laws make it OK to murder people.

              BTW: A curious fact. Your “religious freedom” means that, by law, I cannot hold public office in the state in which I live. Thanks!

            • f_galton

              This law will not allow anyone to murder, see section section (3) (a) (i).

              How does religious freedom prevent you from holding public office?

            • SmilodonsRetreat
            • Nerdsamwich

              I take it, then, that you don’t consider it murder when a parent decides that her child’s mental illness–or even misbehavior–is the result of demonic possession and stages an exorcism, during the course of which the child perishes? For a less extreme–and far more common–case, how about when a parent refuses medical care for a child, based on religious beliefs like those of Jehovah’s Witnesses or Christian Scientists? Or when a parent forgoes medicine for a child in favor of faith healing? Kids die of such things all the time, and their parents are cleared of all wrongdoing by laws such as this one. Do you assert that this is not murder?

            • f_galton

              I’m all for parents being allowed to murder their children, unfortunately this law will not allow anyone to do that.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              You can’t know that until it is tested in a court.

            • f_galton

              Given the language of the statue I do know that.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              You think that… you may even hope that… but you do not know that.

              No one KNOWS that until the law is tested in court. Since similar laws HAVE been used to justify murder, I don’t see why this one will not be tested in a similar case.

            • f_galton

              I do know that. Believing a court would rule there is no compelling governmental interest to prohibit murder is idiocy. Do you have any real objections to this law? It doesn’t look like it.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              And yet, you have been presented with multiple cases where this actually happened.

              I can’t help you if you don’t care to learn about how our system actually works… not how you wish it would work.

            • f_galton

              You haven’t presented any cases where that happened, because none exist.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Here’s one that I presented 8 days ago (about 10 posts up) Another one: Kimberly Sartore, age one, died in 1969 in Alaska of medically untreated meningitis. Kimberly’s father was charged with and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. However, the conviction was overturned when the Alaskan legislature passed a religious exemption law, and the conviction was expunged from Mr. Sartore’s record.

              Both of those cases took less than 10 seconds to find on the internet. I’m pretty sure that those aren’t the only cases.

              AND ANOTHER ONE

              An older case, but “Jason Lockhart, age nine, of Enid Oklahoma, died of a ruptured appendix due to parental religious beliefs. Parents, Dean and Patsy Lockhart, in December 1982, were acquitted of first degree manslaughter because of Oklahoma’s religious exemption law.”

              Crime committed, but religion justified (as enacted by an OK law). So these kinds of bills to allow murder.

              Yeesh… at least read what others post…

            • f_galton

              Alaska does not have an RFRA. Oklahoma did not have an RFRA in 1982. Both states have (or had) explicit statutory exemptions from child endangerment laws if parents have religious objections to medical treatment. Neither case is relevant to the Mississippi law, as I pointed out above.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              And yet, they are cases in which the religious exemption was used to avoid being convicted (and have a conviction reversed) for religious grounds. Just as this law allows for.

              You can argue all you want. But unless you are Mississippi judge, then you (and I) really don’t have any way of knowing what this law will be used for. Again, I cite the specific sections of the law that allow for using the law as a basis for assessing CRIMINAL liabilities.

            • f_galton

              Neither case is relevant to the Mississippi law, and neither state had an RFRA at the time of those cases. You haven’t presented any relevant cases. I do know SB 2681 will not protect anyone from a murder charge, because I can read the text of the law, something you obviously aren’t capable of doing.

            • Nerdsamwich

              This law would absolutely protect me if someone died as a result of my refusing to admit a person to whose existence I had a religious objection to a hospital emergency room, were I employed at the front desk.

            • f_galton

              No it wouldn’t.

            • Nerdsamwich

              It specifically grants immunity from criminal prosecution for acts committed to avoid burdening one’s religious freedom. If my hypothetical religion states that the god of Abraham is evil, and his servants should be expunged from the Earth, then it would be a severe burden to my free exercise of my deeply held religious beliefs to be party to saving the life of a Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Therefore, my lawyer would argue, the law protects me from penalty in this instance.

            • f_galton

              It would not protect you in your hypothetical. How about some real objections to the law?

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              galton, we’re repeating the same material for the 5th or 6th time. No matter how much you say “nu uh”, it’s obviously true to anyone who can read that laws LIKE THIS are specifically allowing people who murder their children to go free, even retroactively.

              Whether this law allows it or not will not be decide by you (or me). It will be decided by a court in Mississippi when someone tried to use this law to get out of a criminal or civil punishment.

              Until I hear otherwise from a Mississippi court, then I stand by my claims based on similar laws in other states (some of which have been supplied for you). Notice I said SIMILAR, because Nerdsamwich is correct, no other state has a law that this broad and this open to interpretation.

              Again, I think we’re done.

            • f_galton

              You haven’t provided a single example of a law like this allowing people to murder their children. Claiming this law allows people to murder ignores the plain text of the statute.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Yes, I have. You choose not to read it or choose not to interpret it that way. But a man was CONVICTED of murder, then freed AFTER a law similar to this went into effect.

              I can’t help you anymore.

            • f_galton

              It wasn’t a law similar to the Mississippi law.

            • guerillasurgeon

              I think by now you should realise you are pissing into the wind here and cut your losses. f_galton is a true believer and no amount of evidence is going to change their mind. In fact by providing him with evidence you are simply reinforcing his idiotic beliefs :-). (Scientifically proven :-).)

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              yeah, I know. I really need to do a review of that concept.

            • Nerdsamwich

              Similar laws are used all the time to exonerate parents in these situations. Not can be, ARE. Currently. There is a faith-healers’ graveyard outside Boise, Idaho, newly filled with children whose parents were never even prosecuted. It is happening, and this law will help it happen more.

            • f_galton

              No they aren’t. Idaho has an explicit statutory exemption for “treatment by prayer or spiritual means”.

            • Nerdsamwich

              I’ve seen the cemetery. Believe what you will, I guess. The rest of us are going to live in Factland.

            • f_galton

              It’s a fact Idaho has an explicit statutory exemption for “treatment by prayer or spiritual means”, which is not relevant to the Mississippi law.

            • Nerdsamwich

              The Miss. law is far broader in scope, potentially allowing for far greater abuses.

            • f_galton

              What abuses? The Mississippi law is not “broad”, and the text is similar to the federal RFRA and the RFRA’s 18 other states.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              And the difference have been pointed out to you… which you choose to ignore.

            • Jacob

              Psst…I’ve seen news of the cemetary…perhaps you should show a link?

            • Darren Pellichino

              You have to be realistic if you want to call religion a myth. Every scientific theory when taken bake to it’s roots are myths because the end results do not properly portray our actual world. There is no balance in the matter ratio but every process we use as fact shows that balance is the driving force of our universe. So in essence the theory holds true but the actual universe does not. So it’s a myth based belief in many aspects. And you can murder someone in our society if your actions fall within the laws which have nothing to do with religion. So your expecting this law to adhere to some legal code which does not exist in our system.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Umm… science does reflect the real world. So your claim is not only odd, but fundamentally wrong. It reflects the actual world… not the world we think exists or the one we wish exists.

              Yes, our society can makes rules about what is acceptable or not (Stand Your Ground laws, for example). But in these cases, the rules are specifically about religious exemptions from rules that other people have to follow.

              For example, I cannot shoot my child with a gun and kill him. But I can allow him to die if *I* have a religious objection to medicine… at least in some states… Mississippi being one of them now.

            • Darren Pellichino

              You need to read more science journals smilidon. Do some research on these two subjects. Problems with Physics, and Problems with Biology. In science there are tons of examples where we do not know the cause but are able to measure the result. So a theory is made on the cause which gets commonly understood as a fact. We have found natural laws that can be used to test our world but the universal makeup does not match up to these laws. Ex: gravitational forces and matter to anti matter ratios. A simple concept like animal instinct is given to an ability that defies anything we have discovered so far. Even the makeup of an atom has many unanswered questions.

              ” One of the Universe’s most common particles has left physicists
              completely stumped. The proton, a fundamental constituent of the atomic nucleus, seems to be smaller than thought. And despite three years of careful analysis and reanalysis of numerous experiments, nobody can figure out why.” Scientific America 2013

              I am a firm believer in science and has been my occupation. Many of the things you may think are scientific facts are not fully understood or do not add up when compared to what we observe. It’s called the best guess so far. So how can that counter religion? There are occurrences of people feeling panic or knowing something bad has happened when two states away a loved one has been hurt or dies. There is no way to test this because it is not a repeatable ability. But it in every way is a real ability. The probability of them being separate and random is extremely close to zero, not to mention that it occurs often in the human population. Maybe another dimension is the one of spirit. There needs to be many more dimensions to balance out string theory=)

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I’m sorry, but I have a very difficult time believing you. There are two reasons for this.

              First, you seem to have done no research beyond what I’ve said in this article… which, I freely admit, was something of a throwaway. I would encourage you to read my posts in the science categories. I think that you will find that I have read plenty of journals. Indeed, I specifically mention the “Problems in Biology” that you comment about in another post. If you read that post, you will see that some of those problems have already been dealt with.

              The second reason is that you seem to think that because science can’t answer one question, that all of science is up in the air. That’s simply not the case. You specifically mention gravity. Just because we don’t know the fundamental particles that cause gravity or how those particles interact with other matter doesn’t mean that the foundations of gravity are wrong. Indeed, using nothing more than Newton and Einstein, modern scientists (1960s) plotted a path for a spacecraft that did flybys of multiple planets, using gravitational assists from those planets and did so years in advance. That doesn’t sound to me like our understanding of gravity doesn’t match the universe we live in.

              I just realized a third point, your arguments here are God of the Gaps arguments. Science can’t explain X, therefore there is another dimension or supernatural or physics or whatever. As far as these “occurrences” you mention. Have you statistically analyzed them taking into account their frequency, the state of mind of the person feeling these feelings and the huge variety of ways in which the brains tries to generate patterns out of nonsense (and more specifically seeing things that are coincidences as patterns)? I’d very much like to see the studies (preferably in Science as my Nature subscription has run out) that support all of this.

              You say it is real, with absolutely zero actual evidence (hint: anecdotes are not evidence). Yet you reject science. It’s no wonder why.

              Don’t pretend that you are occupied in science. I don’t believe that for a second, just based on your statements here. You want to convince me, then you need to A) get caught up, B) stop using poor arguments, C) use evidence to support claims.

            • Darren Pellichino

              The list of conflicting and unresolvable problems is over 100 separate issues. Don’t use one of my quotes to say I chose only one when I mentioned more and said they are examples of a whole. Mincing words is your play but I chose to show you that you can murder people Legally in the USA and can even be your child if it is to protect yourself. I also showed you examples of science that are not settled and they are surely not being laid to rest. The fact that the proton is way smaller than predicted could easily mean that there is fourth particle that has sway on atomic mechanisms. That’s not small potatoes. Your stand is on religion possibly used to do more harm in Mississippi, which I hope like you that it doesn’t. I hope you can see how religion has shaped this world into a place where love and compassion are cherished more than would have been without. If you choose not to believe that’s no sweat off my back but using science to compare as concrete to myth is not accurate. The fact that the universe is so large is so unlikely to just be there. How can so much just be and we know everything has to be made.

              The people having those incidents are common, my mother had one when my older brother fell out of a tree. I’ve read many more it is a real thing. Look at your world and tell me where you see any proof we are not created from something sentient. Of course people touturing others sucks but our world is one of kill and eat to survive so I don’t think that bothers a creator like Religios people do.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Statement made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I have discussed the “appearance” of design before. If you have some evidence of design, then fine. But we both know that you don’t.

              Religion is the cause of more evil in this world than good. It’s trivial to show this. The crusades through modern day with the murder of homosexuals in Africa and the further attempts to promote theocracy and theocratic policies by those in charge of our country and others. If those who are not religious fanatics don’t stand up to the religious fanatics, then they are just as culpable.

              Again, there will always be unanswered questions in science. But any attempt to say that God fills those gaps… is a fallacy.

            • Darren Pellichino

              Ever heard of a concept where two opposing Ideas can both be right? It’s called perspective.

              WW1 and WW2 along with most wars have nothing to do with religion. Those have done thousands more damage. So is it religion or the Human element that will inevitably cause harm to others. Can you blame atrocities solely on the back of religions workings when it parallels what we Humans are. The worship of a good and loving being will make that quality important to the group, this idea is practiced by those who start charities and give blood for accident victims etc. Of all of the kind things done in Gods name there is no freaking way there is more bad. But your perspective is that it has made awful doings OK because of religious backing and thus done more harm than good. We are not going to see the other way so I’s better to part ways cordially.

              I can see science and God on the same coin. I hope you can appreciate the passion I have for researching this subject.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I can understand your passion. It’s just a shame that you don’t do it correctly. That is, find evidence to support your claims instead of accepting a claim without evidence.

              So far, and I have been looking for decades, there is not a single piece of evidence that supports any deity, ESP, or supernatural event.

              And an argument can be made that WWII was religious. Have you read Mein Kampf?

            • Darren Pellichino

              Perspective. It has been done correctly because it is how I chose to do it. That is the essence of discovery, being a personal journey. You know I have stated everything with clarity and reasoning, and supported everything with evidence. I never said science was a sham, it is not concrete because it will change every time we are able to peer deeper. There is evidence to that fact because it has changed every time humanity can see farther or closer with more detail.

              There is also evidence of divine tampering that can be found in many different circumstances. Diseases disappearing, huge masses of armies hitting typhoons, personal accounts of knowledge or premonitions. There is no way to prove it’s truth.

              Both subjects have unprovable limits to their truth. Can you say an atom is made of an electron proton and neutron? Those have never been seen by anyone. We have found that the actual weight of material is 95% more than what all of the parts we can test add up to. On top of that the proton is smaller than we thought. But right now the atomic makeup is still considered the same.

              So we have one subject that is unprovable beliefs and another that has unprovable beliefs. That is how I see them as similar enough to not have one cancel the other. I hope we develop a way to look at the atomic makeup, it may solve the mass/weight disparity.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              You can do it however, you like, just don’t pretend it’s science.

              And you have presented zero evidence. That may be part of the problem. You don’t seem to know what evidence is.

              So, what are you saying… that if we can’t see it, then we can’t verify it?

            • Darren Pellichino

              Visual verification would help, but experimental methods are valid enough if they add up. The discovery of unknown forces exerting sway on the laws of nature (they have labelled them dark matter and dark energy) have been used to fill in gaps to our current theories. This means that we don’t know why things aren’t what they should be. Science will always be this way as it has been in the past.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Yes, it has. It’s still not a reason to insert things for which there is no evidence (god, deities, supernatural, ESP, etc).

              You think that it is.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I don’t throw out the idea of God because he can’t be proven.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Sigh. Further evidence you don’t have a clue about science. Proof is for math, science deals with a preponderance of the evidence.

              Since there is NO evidence for god, any deity, any supernatural, or ESP, then I am quite comfortable “throwing it out”. Again, let me know when you have evidence for any of that (you’ll be the first person ever) and I’ll happily discuss it with you. First, though, you need to understand that anecdotes and stories are not evidence.

            • Darren Pellichino

              Really! We are dealing with spiritual evidence so personal accounts are the data.

              OK I have a personal account myself, which you will throw out. I was 17 and diagnosed with ostio sarcoma. It didn’t really bother me because at 17 I didn’t really feel like anything could hurt me. Once the DR.s left the room a voice spoke to me. “Don’t worry, you will be OK.” It was odd because my cells vibrated like a tuning fork. I also know when i make myself talk in my head which this was not. Maybe my right brain talking to left brain but why the sound of my body vibrating.

              So after 3 years of chemo and surgery because it came back in my lungs twice I was too weak for any more treatments or surgery. There was a 3% chance to live 6 months the first time it metastasized in my lungs, and no reported data of anyone living once it came back twice. Of course I never worried because being 21 I still felt invincible of course I did not die.

              I can’t say what talked to me only that it seemed able to individually see me and know what was going on. And maybe knew what lied down the road. My body thought it was God when I heard it but I can’t really say who or what could do that. I always knew God was real from a child so its not that it changed me at all. It is just what I have witnessed as something talking to me that shouldn’t be able to.

            • Darren Pellichino

              If you have access to medical Journals, I was the first internal mega-prosthetic ever preformed in Louisiana. It was 1991 or 1990.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              NO! Personal anecdotes are NOT evidence.

              You yourself say that you had a 3% chance to live. Congrats, you were within that 3%. Just because something is unlikely doesn’t mean that when it actually happens, there was some supernatural deity that did it.

              Can you point to a single piece of EVIDENCE that god exists? Tell you what… name one amputee that God has healed. I’ll take that. A person who has lost an entire limb, after praying, wakes up and there is a fully functional, biological limb. THAT is evidence. Curing cancer or something else… that’s not evidence. It’s just unlikely things that happen. Especially when we don’t know how the body overcomes cancer sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t.

              Again, that’s not evidence of a deity, it’s just “we don’t know”.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I agree with you on that. I don’t know what it was, I usually don’t share the experience either. I want to know but nothing I have found or read has made it clear. It seems that whatever could do that watches us and maybe helps but maybe I was going to survive anyways.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              I’m just not getting through here. You have DECIDED that such a thing exists… without any evidence to support it. Now you look for things that you think support the claim. That is not how science is done.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I have decided that something did happen because it did. That is all. Having something happen to you means it is as real as anything you experience in life. That is as scientific as say a taste test. Your senses are used to experience your world. Make your bitter beer face all you want, it will not change what you would feel if you heard someone talk of felt a vibration.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Which is why science measures those things in aggregate, not in individuals. If 1700 people all say the same thing based on their ‘feeling’.. like a particular brand of beer is more bitter than another. The one guy who says it’s sweet is discounted. Plus, we can monitor taste in the brain and the nerves as it happens.

              None of which is evidence for a deity or higher power or anything else.

            • Darren Pellichino

              We use a taste test for our Polypropylene milk cartons to detect any leakage of MEHK into water over time. And unlike what you think is science, if anyone can detect the bleach like taste the plastic is sat longer and remade into jugs to see if the odor has left. You really don’t understand science buddy. I think I’m done talking with you for the lack of consideration you have for anyone’s view but your own.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Again, you prove my point. It’s science because it’s repeatable and testable. Unlike ESP, deities, and the supernatural… which you accept without evidence.

              That’s your choice. You can look up how science works and what evidence is anytime you like.

              I’m a skeptic. Don’t come here thinking that I’ll agree with you because a personal story. I could tell you personal stories that would cause the gamut of emotional responses. And none of them are evidence for a particular conclusion that I may or may not make.

              You want to be taken seriously, then do what I asked you days ago. Provide evidence. Real evidence.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I will explain where your error in thinking lies. If I was the only person who ran the leakage test and i got one bad result and never got another one the bad result would still count. And the plastic powder would sit up while the additives aired off. If human safety is involved it only takes one person and one result. If I tested the atmosphere around a vessel and had a high hydrocarbon reading, the result would be recorded no matter if it never happened before or after. My job is in the lab so I am aware of the parameters of the different tests. One person having one result still counts in many areas. Whether or not it’s repeated the result and data will stand. So my feeling and hearing count as a result of something. Doesn’t matter if it happens again or not. We have several positions where one day person does the testing and no one else. We have to record everything that may be harmful when humans use the end product as containers for food or water. Many of our tests use our senses instead of a machine. Cloudiness, specks, contamination smoothness, hardness ect. Because I know what vibration means and sound I am fully calibrated to take down the data, whether or not it happens again.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Human safety from KNOWN toxins and pathogens is a slightly different concept than that of a deity.

              Detecting a leak isn’t science. That’s not even engineering. That’s maintenance.

              Determining if a substance is toxic, then that is science. Where you do have repeated and repeatable trials. Where one person getting sick doesn’t mean that the entire material is toxic.

              Again, you seem to have idea what science actually is. If you were interested in learning, then maybe I could help you. You seem to have errorgance. You think you know all the answers and no amount of expert opinion will sway you. Indeed, your argument with me is probably reinforcing the ideas in your mind. I could even point you to some papers that show that is the expected result. I would also encourage you to look up the Krueger-Dunning paper.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I think I see the confusion, it may be that research is what you are referring to as science. When I take a % of gasses in the atmosphere I have tested the air which is a form of scientific testing.
              Here is three definitions of science.

              Since classical antiquity science as a type of knowledge has been closely linked to philosophy.

              In modern usage, “science” most often refers to a way of pursuing
              knowledge, not only the knowledge itself.

              Science is also often restricted to
              those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the
              material universe.

              Science seems to be either a broad or narrow field depending on whom is asked.

              I apologize for not being clear enough. I did make some odd comparisons that were bound to bog down my view. Of course spiritual matters are a personal thing, like pain and pleasure, it is experienced as real and expressed as words. I just like pointing out that science is theoretical, my first professor made it clear that we are not dealing with absolutes in science because at the moment when our view gets clearer, our absolutes may be rewritten.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I read most of your other posts and i apologize for not discussing the topic that was being debated between you and a few others. My faith doesn’t mean i would support parents to use their religious belief as a shield against a court to remove the endangered child for medical treatment. The couple should at least be forced to give medical treatment and be fined and jailed if they won’t comply. And tried for murder if their child dies without receiving professional medical treatment of some kind. It is arrogant to literally force God to step in when there are thousands of people here willing to help. It doesn’t matter that faith is strong, you are supposed to give of yourself to others and receive their help when needed. Prayers alone for healing is not the message of God that appears in the different religions.

            • That one guy is still raw data, which should be investigated if of interest. As bitter plants are often poisonous, it’s an evolutionary downer, but perhaps it’s also a sign of something useful, like oral microbes that can efficiently convert waste into a new non-fattening sweetener.

            • The difference is that space aliens or underpants gnomes or even Santa Claus himself don’t live up to their reputation, while scientific models are continually revised to more accurately reflect reality.

            • Darren Pellichino

              You and I are limited by our senses, your world that you see is the input that your senses tell you is there. I had my right leg amputated above the knee and when wind blows on my left side tickling my hairs, my right phantom leg will send the sensation of hairs being tickled. That is anticipated false input and just an example of how you and I may be subjected to a false world that to you is as real as anything else. But what I find most intriguing is that there are forces that are outside of our senses there may not be a machine built that reads those levels. It’s easy to stay in our reality of what we have found because that’s a given, what I want to discover is what lies on the outside. There are things there because we have seen our world subjected to unknown forces. Do you think I am saying Santa existed in an analytical minded theory? That’s just goofy.

            • This is Wikipedia and a religious figure, but St. Nic. was a patron saint of children: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas

            • For one, Santa tolerates and arguably rewards decorating trees, whereas Yahweh tends to kill or torture those who disobey. I don’t have an independently reproducible proof, but both star in many tales.

            • Darren Pellichino

              I have worked in chemical plants for 13 years where we mix and make other chemical mixtures from the waste streams of neighboring units. Your doubt was NO-DOUBT misplaced. It doesn’t bother me that your wording is about making a stand on a simple twist of my words, it makes it easier to take you less seriously. You know my argument is sound, you discounted what I said out of habit and also said I only used one example when I gave 4 or more. That makes me realize who I am dealing with.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              My dad worked in chemical plants for over 30 years. He’s no scientist, nor an engineer. Working in a field like that DOES NOT make you a scientist or knowledgeable about science practices.

              And you choose to use the Gish gallop by flooding me with crap and declaring that because I can’t answer all of it, then you have continued reason to doubt science. That’s another fallacious argument.

              I don’t care who you THINK you are dealing with. That doesn’t matter. You choose to ignore evidence and fail to present evidence of your own. Feel free to come back when you can present the evidence that I asked for.

            • Science aims to refute falsehoods. String theories that turn out to be impossible according to multiple tests are discarded.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              An older case, but “Jason Lockhart, age nine, of Enid Oklahoma, died of a ruptured appendix due to parental religious beliefs. Parents, Dean and Patsy Lockhart, in December 1982, were acquitted of first degree manslaughter because of Oklahoma’s religious exemption law.”

              Crime committed, but religion justified (as enacted by an OK law). So these kinds of bills to allow murder.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              Another one: Kimberly Sartore, age one, died in 1969 in Alaska of medically untreated meningitis. Kimberly’s father was charged with and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. However, the conviction was overturned when the Alaskan legislature passed a religious exemption law, and the conviction was expunged from Mr. Sartore’s record.

              Both of those cases took less than 10 seconds to find on the internet. I’m pretty sure that those aren’t the only cases.

            • f_galton

              That’s not relevant.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              One last point, then I think we’re done. Section 3.a.i states “(3) (a) State action or an action by any person based on state action shall not burden a person’s right to exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless it is demonstrated that applying the burden to that person’s exercise of religion in that particular instance is both of the following:

              (i) Essential to further a compelling governmental interest;”

              I would submit that, in Mississippi, promoting religion is a compelling government interest. Otherwise, this law is necessary and (again! by the statements of the people promoting it) intended to allow religious exception from (at least) discrimination laws and laws about things like health care (ACA) and similar things that the religious don’t like.

              This isn’t an interpretation. This is what proponents of the bill have stated. Can’t really argue with that.

              As far all the rest… we shall. If the bill stands (I don’t think it has a chance), then we’ll see what uses it gets put to and what uses the courts deem acceptable for it. I’ll get my popcorn.

            • f_galton

              “intended to allow religious exception from (at least) discrimination laws and laws about things like health care (ACA)”

              Yes, if those things burden religious exercise. What it does not do is any of the weird things you claimed it would.

            • SmilodonsRetreat

              We’ll just have to find out then won’t we. If it survives.

            • Eddie Janssen


              I am Dutch so I am having some problems understanding legal english.
              If a christian shop(restaurant)keeper denies a muslim client the right to prayer in his establishment, does the muslim have a case under this law?

    • Patrick E

      This is so stupid. Is this how they honestly think Jesus would’ve acted?

      • Do little boys stumble when their third leg is cut?

        • Patrick E


          • It was touted as mean to prevent masturbation, but taking a knife to someone’s privates without his permission sounds rude to me. Still, many people aren’t satisfied with Jesus’s sacrifice and continue the bloody tradition. Much to Yah’s invisible ire. http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Matt/Causing-Little-One-Stumble

            • Patrick E

              And that has what to do with what I said or the article?

            • Jesus got himself circumcised.

            • Jesus was a Jew, and as such would have had part of his body cut off as a covenant with Yahweh. That’s a form of human sacrifice which is still practiced. I frown upon it and so does the good side of Yahweh according to the holy books.

          • I just posted a comment, but it linked to biblehub or somesuch and might have been eaten by an overeager spamfilter. Anyway, circumcision should’ve died with Jesus.

    • Trey

      There will never be a muslim or an atheist that kicks out a christian from his store because that would be a death sentence for his establishment. It just doesn’t make any sense

    • Free stoning! Muslims who follow the hadith may join! Or is the hadith “adding to the book”? What about conflicting verses? I guess God’ll sort ’em out if you help him.

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