The "Mississippi Church Protection Act" would allow churches to empower designated members of their congregation as part of a security team with a "shoot to kill" authority equivalent to a police officer but with less government oversight. The bill contains few restrictions regarding where one may act within this capacity, allowing a church's volunteer security personnel to exercise this authority in public and private venues outside of the church.
The bill passed the House in February and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate. It was introduced by House Judiciary Rep. Andy Gipson, a minister, who said he occasionally carries a firearm while at the pulpit. Mississippi already allows firearms inside of churches, however Gipson's bill would provide legal immunities for members of the church's security team that would also apply in some public places outside of the church itself.
There is a point where the GOP's focus on the strident religious views of part of its already shrinking base offend a majority of Americans along with many businesses. Businesses that traditionally have been part of the GOP base. There are issues other than Trump ...
The businesses never have worried too much about equality as long as their needs are being taken care of, but an inequality the majority of the population rejects can become an economic reality.
The zoning laws were suddenly changed after the mosque was proposed, but churches were grandfathered in. The planning board came up with an entirely new standard for parking, arguing that the formula for church parking – one spot for every three people – doesn't apply to mosques, only to churches. Seriously.
An ordinance called for a 50-car parking lot with a maximum of 150 worshippers, but the board insisted on 107 spaces for the mosque – then, after the Islamic Society agreed to 107, said such a large parking lot raised all kinds of new objections.
That's not even considering the cruder displays of bigotry. A planning board member tweeted an offensive joke about Islam, the lawsuit alleges. Crazies at the hearings questioned whether the mosque would be used for animal sacrifices, or if it was big enough, because Muslims have a lot of children.
I've been interested in 19th century American history for a long time. Last year I listened to Lindsay Hansen Park's 100 episode detailed history of Mormon polygamy - a time and place that intersected my family history. This year Lindsay has teamed with a few others to look at the intersection of people of color and early Mormonism. A recent episode looked at the emergence of folk religious to create a narrative of European white superiority over the native population. Joseph Smith had a fascination with the native population that was particularly strong. The Book of Mormon is likely a weaving of various narratives of the day that were probably not initially aimed at starting a religion. Rather something of an amateur pseudo anthropological history laced with the culture of the time. As such it is a fascinating bit of Americana. Of course believers have a differing position..
most readers can and should skip, but a fascinating listen if you have an interest in the period and the local culture around Joseph Smith.
MORA, Cameroon — At first, the attack had all the hallmarks of a typical Boko Haram assault. Armed fighters stormed a town on the border with Nigeria, shooting every man they saw.
But this time, instead of burning homes and abducting hostages, the fighters gathered cows, goats and any kind of food they could round up, then fled with it all.
Boko Haram, the Islamist extremist group terrorizing this part of the world, is on the hunt — for food.
After rampaging across the region for years, forcing more than two million people to flee their homes and farms, Boko Haram appears to be falling victim to a major food crisis of its own creation.
Farmers have fled, leaving behind fallow fields. Herdsmen have rerouted cattle drives to avoid the violence. Throughout the region, entire villages have emptied, leaving a string of ghost towns with few people for Boko Haram to dominate — and little for the group to plunder.