Saturday, October 30, 2010

International: Pentagon Poll: Most US soldiers don’t object to gay servicemembers

Pentagon Poll: Most US soldiers don't object to gay servicemembers

Posted: 29 Oct 2010 10:19 AM PDT

For over a decade — since well before 1993′s "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was enacted — we have been told that allowing openly-gay servicemembers would damage unit cohesion and readiness. The religious right has relied upon this claim as its primary reason to promote a continued ban on gay servicemembers. A new Pentagon poll yanks the teeth from the argument.
This July, the Pentagon distributed a survey to over 400,000 troops and 150,000 spouses of troops. The survey asked whether the respondents had served with openly-gay servicemembers, how they would behave if they needed to share barracks or shower rooms with gay people, etc.
While some respondents were strongly against allowing homosexuals to serve openly, the majority reportedly don't care, and think the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy should be dropped.
The report is due to President Obama on December 1, at which time the Pentagon will announce its own plan for repeal of the policy. Full details of the report, including the breakdown of the responses, will be available at that time.
If unit cohesion is truly not an issue, as this appears to indicate, what argument will the Religious Right rely upon next? Will they finally turn to the one that they meant all along . . . "It's against my religion, and therefore I must force my beliefs upon all others"? Or will they come up with something new?
Related articles:
  1. Majority of Americans favor allowing openly-gay military service
  2. In Brief: Federal judge issues injunction ending "don't ask don't tell"
  3. American Family Association Poll on Gays in Military

Can I get that in writing? 10/27/2010 Atheist Cartoon

Posted: 28 Oct 2010 08:21 PM PDT

Americans United Asks IRS To Investigate Florida Church Whose Pastor Endorsed Slate Of Candidates

Posted: 28 Oct 2010 07:54 PM PDT

The Internal Revenue Service should investigate a Wimauma, Fla., church whose pastor endorsed a slate of Republican candidates during Sunday services, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In a complaint filed with the IRS today, Americans United noted that Pastor Arlen Beck of Sun City Christian Center told congregants on Oct. 24 that he had prepared a list of candidates that he intends to vote for and placed copies of the list in the back of the church for their use.
Beck's actions were reported in the St. Petersburg Times, which quoted an attendee who was offended by Beck's endorsements.
According to the Times, Beck said, "If you're conservative you might want to pick one of those up. If you're liberal you might not want to stop by there."
Beck later told the newspaper that he does not care if the IRS revokes his church's tax exemption.
Federal law states that all 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes houses of worship, must refrain from intervening in politics by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office as a condition of receiving tax exemption.
"Pastor Beck is dragging his church into a partisan swamp," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "He has no right to do this while claiming tax-exempt status."
In a letter to the IRS delivered today, Lynn requested an investigation of the matter.
Related articles:
  1. IRS Should Investigate N.Y. Church That Endorsed Gubernatorial Candidate, Says Americans United
  2. IRS Should Investigate Minnesota Church For Electioneering, Says Americans United
  3. Americans United Advises Churches To Reject Religious Right's Pulpit Politicking Scheme

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