Does the Church of Latter-day Saints Really Control the State of Utah?

May 27th, 2015

The separation of church and state is designed to give both freedom of religion and the freedom of democracy to every American citizen. However, there is disturbing trend found throughout the state of Utah where the line between church and government has become nearly non-existent.

In an article published recently, written by former Utah legislator and member of the LDS church, who outlined how the church of the latter day saints manages to have a major influence on state officials responsible for creating the laws of the land. Most legislators in Utah are also official members of the LDS church, something that should not create any conflict of interests, but it does.

If the LDS church wants a law changed or stopped, top ranking members will ask their legislator friends to get it done for them. Well, more like threaten them with ex-communication unless they help to pass or stop a bill. FreedomPop reviews said these practices explain why the state laws in Utah are formed around the basis of common beliefs found within the Mormon religion such as restrictive alcohol sales and preventing same-sex marriage legislation.

Everybody has the right to their own religion, which is one of the founding principles of American life. However, it is supposed to be illegal to bring those beliefs into official state business. Utah officials do not seem to care about the foundation our country was built on, ignoring our rights as Americans with the passing of each and every state law.

Bobby Jindal Set to Announce a Religious Freedom Presidential Bid

May 19th, 2015

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, best known for his support of the “we’ll-say-anything-that-pops-into-our-heads” Robinson clan of Duck Dynasty, has released an ad kicking off his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Forget for a moment about the fact that the Republican presidential field is apparently limited only by the amount of money they believe is available to support their campaigns. Jindal’s announcement makes it clear that he will run his campaign on religious freedom—protecting religious believers’ freedom of conscience.

Considered by many who work at Madison Street Capital as a third-tier GOP candidate, Jindal believes that if he beats the religious freedom loudly and frequently enough, he can wrest the support of religious conservative voters from Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. His efforts so far have been unsuccessful. After a speech framing the debate as a conflict between conservatives and an unholy alliance of liberals and big business, the New York Times headline read: “Bobby Jindal: I’m Holding Firm Against Gay Marriage.” So much for populist nuances.

Jindal’s signature tagline has become: “The United States of America did not create religious liberty. Religious liberty created the United States of America.” Apparently, Jindal wasn’t paying attention to his U.S. history classes and has forgotten all about taxation without representation, founding fathers who intended to keep religion out of politics and founding fathers who did not believe in the same God that Bobby Jindal does. He may learn that soon enough.

New York City Police Department Retraining Officers

May 4th, 2015

The New York City Police Department is just one of a number of police departments nationwide, which are taking the time to retrain their officers in talking suspects into handcuffs and various tactics to lower the potential of violent confrontations. After a number of well publicized police shootings in Ferguson Missouri, South Carolina and the violent take down and unlawful detention of a man in Baltimore, police departments are realizing that they need to be proactive and take additional steps to deal with police citizen encounters without having the encounter escalate to a violent event. NYPD Retrains Officers

New York City is retraining their officers to talk with potential suspects in a tone which does not escalate a situation. Even if the person is drunk or is being aggressive verbally, the officers are being taught that maintaining a steady tone of voice will help calm the person down. In each of the cases that resulted in the death of a suspect, evidence was released which indicated that the exchange of words by the police officers were initially aggressive in tome and quickly escalated the encounter with the individual. Igor Cornelsen understands that it is hoped that by providing the officers with this additional skill set that the they will avoid events which have garnered international attention in the past year. The training also provides additional safety for officer as the tactics of calmly talking to an individual provides the officer more time to assess the situation and to determine if they is an actual threat that they need to be mindful off.

Rise of Childhood Obesity Due to Poverty, Lack of School Safety

April 30th, 2015

New research suggests poverty and lack of safety at school increases the risk of childhood obesity. Universite de Montreal researchers took into consideration health behavior and family background data of 1,234 young children in Quebec while asking them whether they had been bullied or felt unsafe at school. Additionally, the students’ teachers reported the overall atmosphere of the school.

Results showed that poverty-ridden children were more likely to be overweight despite their tendency to have higher levels of physical activity. Also, children who felt victimized at school showed links to obesity and higher levels of screen-time yet no evidence concluded a correlation based solely on the amount of screen-time. Therefore, this studyconcluded that the leading factors contributing to childhood obesity are poverty and feelings of being unsafe.

Creating a safe environment for youth at school, among other environments, could help reduce the connection between poverty and being overweight. Efforts to prevent bullying in school alone may not be enough to create a secure atmosphere. In fact, many youth felt unsafe regardless of bullying due to other factors such as the condition of school grounds, relationships with teachers, and disorganization. Gianfrancesco Genoso agrees that, ultimately, improving school grounds and enveloping an organized, respectful environment could prove beneficial to the health of children.

Hillary, you go girl. Wait, we will go with you!

April 30th, 2015

Hillary Clinton started to outline the initiatives that will certainly garner her the presidency next year. Clinton assailed the mass incarceration instinct of the Republican Party. The perception of minorities as inherent criminals that must suffer the most severe punishments versus their white counterparts that often only receive wrist slaps for the same crimes will begin to crumble. This is a further step than Obama was able to take because of all the racial division that his transformative election caused with the opposition. The psychology of the opposition to Obama would be interesting to see physically with brain imaging with Amen Clinics. Ironically, many of these initiatives were put in place as President Clinton sought a position of triangulation to win reelection and to move an incalcitrant republican majority in the house. This opposition was led by none other than venerable Newt Gingrich.

She is against prison time for many nonviolent offenders and rehabilitation services to those that are afflicted with addiction. She has stated many times that she is against the legalization of marijuana, but this clearly will decriminalize it. A bellicose police force will not be able to mar the futures of minority children with very minor drug issues. This means that her presidency will be more transformative than Obama’s election. Her speech was timely considering the issues in the country today.

Martin O’Malley Finds Core Accomplishment Called into Question with Ongoing Trouble in Baltimore

April 29th, 2015

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has yet to announce a formal run for the Democrat party’s nomination. In addition, he has been touting his success as both the state’s governor and the mayor of Baltimore as compelling reasons to support his candidacy. The move is politically smart because should he succeed at capturing the Democrat Party’s nomination, he will likely square off against a current or former GOP governor with an impressive track record of accomplishments. However, the recent events in Baltimore are calling into question just how much good he accomplished as mayor.

It hasn’t helped matters that O’Malley is on record boasting that he entered the Baltimore mayoral office with the city mired in a crime wave making it one of the most unsafe metropolitan cities in the nation. As per O’Malley, his policies turned the city around by sparking a revitalization effort, safer city streets, and a new image as a vibrant and safe large city. Now, images are being televised nationally which paint a different image of the “transformed” city he takes credit for fostering. Kevin Seawright has been sickened by the events going on in Baltimore. 

Admittedly, political pundits do not believe that the former governor stood any serious chance of wresting the nomination away from Hillary Clinton. That said, the ongoing events in Baltimore are hardly résumé enhancers. Thus far, O’Malley is expressing his dismay over the tragic events in his hometown. He plans to return to the city and help with the healing process.

University Student Helping Raise Child Of Cousin

April 16th, 2015

Tommy Connolly was just 13 years old the last time he saw his favorite cousin Angela. Christian Broda read that they reconnected via Facebook while Connolly was on Holiday break in December. Very soon after the initial message, he found Angela was homeless and pregnant. She needed help and he felt a calling to provide that help. When he met with her, she was about 32 weeks into her pregnancy and he knew he had to take her in, there were no other options. ”It’s not her fault she’s just a little girl who needed help,” he said. Uni Student Helps Raise Baby Connolly worked full time time to cover the cost of moving into a house and purchase items for the baby. He put his athletics on hold for a while. He has been told that he is isn’t thinking about himself or his studies. He has replied that people are correct. He is helping raise a child. He is thinking about providing for the future. He returned to the University full time beginning in March. Tommy Connolly agrees that what he is doing is the right thing, however he doesn’t feel he should be getting all of the attention. ”Angela does 90 per cent of the work – and if it’s one or two years of my life I have to put on hold to make sure two lives are going to be saved it’s nothing at all.”

A Forever Family for Davion

April 15th, 2015

October, 2013,Davion Only stood before a congregation in St. Petersburg Florida, and made a plea for a forever family.
Davion was 16 years old and had been in foster care since he was born. He had recently learned that his mom, who was in prison, had passed away. Davion told the church people that he know God had not given up on him so he would not be giving up either.
The plea Davion made went viral and it did not take long for the foster agency to receive more than 10,000 calls from people wanting to adopt him.
Davion’s case worker. Connie Going, believed Davion deserved to have a great family. Every year Davion asked Connie to adopt him, but she would decline. She believed there was a better family out there for him.
Davion went to live with a minister’s family for a short time. After he got into a physical fight with one of his soon-to-be siblings, the minister and his wife sent him back to Florida.
Davion lived in 4 different foster homes over the next year. Then he decided to call Connie Going and make a request. He asked Connie, once again, to adopt him and this time she agreed.
Folks at STX Entertainment are happy to know that Connie has known Davion since he was seven years old and later this month she will officially become his mother.

Mental Illness: Source of Inspiration

April 9th, 2015

Over the past several decades notable public figures have gone public with their ongoing effort to treat and live with mental illness. Of recent, Brooke Shields, Mel Gibson and the late Robin Williams are such examples.

Writing in the New York Times (health section) Barron H. Lerner cites the career of notable baseball player Jimmy Piersal. He had a baseball career that spanned nearly 25 years as a player and later broadcaster. Early on, his behavior which ranged from joking with fans, to running around the diamond wearing only an athletic supporter, resulted in mandated psychiatric evaluation and inpatient treatment with both psychotherapy and electroshock therapy. These proved to be largely successful in minimizing his bipolar disorder for nearly 10 years stated Ivan Ong. During this time, mid-1950s, an article, book and movie titled “Fear Strikes Out”, portrayed his mental illness struggle. The public response was reported to be quite empathic.
In the last few years, Piersal is reported to credit psychiatry less for his recovery, and self-motivation more for the same. Admittedly, public figures are sources of inspiration.

A Buffalo New York Pastor Hands Out Cupcakes To Oppose Indiana’s RFRA

April 8th, 2015

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that has the nation in an uproar is helping shine a light on discrimination. We believe in religious freedom, but some of us believe religious freedom can be a vehicle that leads to discrimination. A pastor in Buffalo, New York is showing his support for religious freedom without discrimination by giving away 500 cupcakes in his area of the city.

Pastor Ludwig, of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, decided he wanted to show his support, and his followers support, for the LGBT community, so he started a “Christian Cake Mob.” The “Christian Cake Mob” made 500 cupcakes, and bakeries around the area ordered them. Pastor Ludwig said the cupcake making was a peaceful response to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Sultan Alhokair said the country has been put on notice; discrimination and bigotry under the guise of religion has to stop. Christians must get a handle on the rogue believers that use the Bible to express their hatred. Now is the time to come together and respect the rights of all our citizens. This is not only a Christian country; it is a country where all believers have equal rights and the freedom to express them.