Friday, June 26, 2015

Exposing religion for what it is

Some time ago I wrote in this very space that the Supreme Court had no choice but to recognize same-sex marriage across the nation. Once the first state recognized it, the Equal Protection Clause left no wiggle room.

Not ones to let something as fundamental as the law get in the way, our wingnut governor, Greg Abbott, and wingnut attorney general, Ken Paxton, have announced that they think the Supreme Court got it all wrong. According to these two paragons of ignorance, the Court's decision infringes upon the religious freedom of all the hate-spewing, right-wing, bible-thumpers who are desperately holding on to an image of America that never really existed.

And I, for one, am glad they are all trumpeting the religious freedom angle because this argument shows, once and for all, what religion is really all about.

Gov. Abbott (who sometimes makes Rick Perry look like a scholar and a statesman) sent out letters to the heads of state agencies hours after the Supremes ruled, that it's okay to withhold benefits from same-sex couples if such an arrangement offends the religious sensibilities of the agency heads. What? Has Greg Abbott never read the Fourteenth Amendment? Has he never heard of Loving v. Virginia?

Just what part of every citizen being guaranteed equal rights under the law does he not understand?

Religion has been used throughout history to justify oppression and repression. It has been used to justify the stealing of natural resources. It has been used to justify slavery and Jim Crow. Invoking it to defend discrimination in the choice of marriage partners is the latest use of the "opiate of the masses" to justify the second class treatment of a group of people. So far as I know, the only purpose of religion is to indoctrinate the masses into believing that their state of repression is willed by god and that they will get their equality once they are dead.

And to think that millions of people have fallen for that. Just think about it. When you're dead, you're fucking dead and it doesn't matter whether there's equality or not.

At some point Abbott and his minions will get slapped down and the State of Texas will be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era. Until then I can sit back and enjoy watching the curtain getting pulled back on religion and exposing it as the con that it is.

Friday, June 12, 2015

A small measure of justice

Maybe the name Charles Sebesta rings a bell. If not, maybe the name Anthony Graves will.

Mr. Sebesta was the prosecutor who withheld evidence at Mr. Graves' murder trial over 20 years ago. Mr. Graves spent 12 years on death row as a result of Mr. Sebesta's unethical and illegal conduct.

For all of the injustices our clients face, there are moments where justice does prevail. Sometimes it's a day late and a dollar short, but it prevails nonetheless. Yesterday was one of those days.

Yesterday Charles Sebesta was disbarred by the State Bar of Texas for his actions in prosecuting Anthony Graves. While Mr. Sebesta has lost his ticket to play, nothing can make up for the years Mr. Graves spent in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Nothing can make up for the years he lost and the moments he never got to experience.

But at least Mr. Sebesta is being held accountable.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Execution Watch: 6/3/2015

On Wednesday night the State of Texas will attempt to murder...

LESTER BOWER, whose recent interview with Execution Watch will air during the show. Bower may not be the longest-serving person on Texas death row, but he's close to it. Convicted in the 1984 execution-style murders of four men at an airplane hangar on a ranch north of Dallas, he had no previous criminal history and has steadfastly maintained his innocence. No fingerprints put him at the scene. No witnesses saw him there. The murder weapon never was recovered. Pointing away from him is the claim by an informant, whom police will not identify, that her ex-boyfriend and three others committed the murders in a drug deal. Courts have saved Bower from six previous execution dates.

For more information on Mr. Bower and his case, click here.


Unless a stay is issued, Execution Watch will broadcast live:
Wednesday, June 3, 6-7 PM Central Time
KPFT-FM Houston 90.1, HD 3 or online at: > Listen