The ‘Christian’ Dogma Pushed by Religious Schools That Are Supported by Your Tax Dollars

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/151046/the_creepy_christian_dogma_pushed_by_religious_schools_that_are_supported_by_your_tax_dollars/

If you live in a state with a voucher or corporate tax credit program funding “school choice,” your state’s tax dollars are funding the teaching of religious supremacism.

By Rachel Tabachnick
May 23, 2011

Are your state’s tax dollars funding the teaching of religious supremacism and bigotry? What about creationism? The answer is undoubtedly yes, if you live in a state with a voucher or corporate tax credit program funding “school choice.”

Religious schools across the nation are receiving public funds through voucher and corporate tax credit programs. Many hundreds, if not thousands, of these schools use Protestant fundamentalist textbooks that teach not only creationism, but also a religious supremacist worldview. They offer a shocking spin on politics, history and human rights.

In 12 states and the District of Columbia, almost 200,000 students attend private schools with at least part of their tuition paid with public funds. The money is taken from public school budgets to fund vouchers or by diverting state tax revenues to tuition grants through corporate tax credit programs. An interconnected group of non-profits and political action committees, led by the wealthy right-wing school privatization advocate Betsy DeVos and heavily funded by a few mega-donors, is working to expand these programs across the nation. The DeVos-led American Federation for Children hosted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Michelle Rhee at a national policy summit earlier in May.

ake a look at what growing numbers of students are being taught with taxpayer funding. The textbook quotes are followed by a description of the Florida tax credit program, the largest of its kind in the country.

The Textbooks

In 2003, Dr. Frances Paterson, a specialist in education law, published Democracy and Intolerance: Christian School Curricula, School Choice, and Public Policy, summarizing her extensive study of the curricula of the three most widely used Protestant fundamentalist textbook publishers in the nation: A Beka Book, Pensacola, Florida; Bob Jones University Publishing, Greenville South Carolina; and Accelerated Christian Education, Lewisville, Texas.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/teaparty/151046/the_creepy_christian_dogma_pushed_by_religious_schools_that_are_supported_by_your_tax_dollars/

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Judge: Transsexual widow’s marriage to Wharton firefighter was not valid

From KHOU Channel 11 Houston: http://www.khou.com/news/Judge-Transgender-widows-marriage-to-Wharton-firefighter-was-not-valid-122532719.html

by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News
Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:32 PM
Updated today at 5:11 PM

WHARTON, Texas – A Wharton County judge on Tuesday declared that a transsexual widow’s marriage to a fallen Wharton firefighter was not valid, so she is not eligible for his death benefits.

Ever since Thomas Araguz died fighting a fire at an egg farm last year, his family has been battling his widow, Nikki Araguz, over $600,000 in death benefits.

The firefighter’s family argued that, since Nikki Araguz was born a man, her marriage to Thomas Araguz –under Texas law – was not valid.

The family said the death benefits should go to Thomas Araguz’s two children with his first wife.

But Nikki Araguz has maintained that Thomas Araguz knew about her past as a man, and that their marriage was legal.

Nikki Araguz had sexual reassignment surgery after the marriage. The couple was estranged at the time of Thomas Araguz’s death.

On Tuesday, Judge Randy Clapp said that because Nikki Araguz was born a man, Thomas Araguz was not married on the day he died, and any marriage – formal or informal – is void.

Continue reading at:   http://www.khou.com/news/Judge-Transgender-widows-marriage-to-Wharton-firefighter-was-not-valid-122532719.html

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U.S. Objects to New Law on Clinics in Indiana

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/us/politics/23abort.html?_r=2

By
Published: May 22, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is raising serious objections to a new Indiana law that cuts off state and federal money for Planned Parenthood clinics providing health care to low-income women on Medicaid.

The objections set the stage for a clash between the White House and Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, over an issue that ignites passions in both parties.

The changes in Indiana are subject to federal review and approval, and administration officials have made it clear they will not approve the changes in the form adopted by the state.

Federal officials have 90 days to act but may feel pressure to act sooner because Indiana is already enforcing its law, which took effect on May 10, and because legislators in other states are working on similar measures.

If a state Medicaid program is not in compliance with federal law and regulations, federal officials can take corrective action, including “the total or partial withholding” of federal Medicaid money. The mere threat of such a penalty is often enough to get states to comply. Actually imposing the penalty would, in many cases, hurt the very people whom Medicaid is intended to help.

Administration officials said the Indiana law imposed impermissible restrictions on the freedom of Medicaid recipients to choose health care providers.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/23/us/politics/23abort.html?_r=2

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Wary of wider defiance, Saudis arrest woman driver

From Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_saudi_women_driving

By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press –
Mon May 23, 3:51 pm ET

CAIRO – A Saudi woman was arrested for a second time for driving her car in what women’s activists said Monday was a move by the rulers of the ultraconservative kingdom to suppress an Internet campaign encouraging women to defy a ban on female driving.

Manal al-Sherif and a group of other women started a Facebook page called “Teach me how to drive so I can protect myself,” urging authorities to lift the ban and posted a video clip last week of al-Sherif behind the wheel in the eastern city of Khobar.

The page was removed after more than 12,000 people indicated their support for its call for women drivers to take to the streets in a mass drive on June 17. The campaign’s Twitter account also was deactivated.

Al-Sherif, a 32-year-old IT expert, was arrested at dawn on Sunday and accused of “violating public order,” according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. She was ordered held for five days while the case was investigated; her brother, Mohammed al-Sherif, who was in the car while she was driving, also was taken into custody.

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans women — both Saudi and foreign — from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and those who cannot afford the $300 to $400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor.

Continue reading at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/ml_saudi_women_driving

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I Was Born a Boy

From Marie Claire: http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/relationship-issues/born-male

Janet Mock has an enviable career, a supportive man, and a fabulous head of hair. But she’s also got a remarkable secret that she’s kept from almost everyone she knows. Now, she breaks her silence.

By Janet Mock as told to Kierna Mayo
May 18, 2011

The flight to Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport felt far longer than I’d imagined. It was Christmas break during my freshman year at the University of Hawaii, and I was 18, anxious, and alone. After high school graduation, many of my classmates were throwing big graduation parties and buying new cars. Those kids went looking for good times and great memories, but I was desperately searching for one thing only: a chance to be in the right body for the first time in my entire life. I had traveled more than 6,000 miles to have gender reassignment surgery — a sex change.

At the arrival gate, I was greeted by two smiling nurses who assured me that everything was going to be OK. But I already knew that. I was the one who had lived with the sheer torment of inhabiting a body that never matched who I was inside, the one devastated by the quirk of fate that had consigned me to a life of masked misery. By the time I set foot in Thailand, I knew there could be nothing worse than living another day with a penis dangling between my legs.

Counting backward as the anesthesia took hold, I surrendered to what I believed with certainty would be a better future. And then, just like that, I was awake again. The sound of Muslim prayers rang through the air, echoing in my brightly lit hospital room. Even though I’d spent the last three hours on the operating table — I could already feel the first tinges of pain in my lower body — I felt completely reborn. Though I had been born a boy to my native Hawaiian mother and African-American father, I would never be a man. It was the birth of my choosing this time. And now it was official: Charles had died so that Janet could live.

Complete article at: http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/relationship-issues/born-male

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