Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pope Francis: 'Revolution' needed to combat climate change

 By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor Updated 1738 GMT (0038 HKT) June 18, 2015
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(CNN)Pope Francis warned Thursday that a broad sweep of human activities -- from a blind worship of technology to an addiction to fossil fuels and mindless consumerism -- has brought the planet to the "breaking point."
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"Doomsday predictions," the Pope said in a sharply worded manifesto, "can no longer be met with irony or disdain."
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Citing scientific consensus that we are witnessing a "disturbing warming" of the Earth, Francis embraced the view that humans are largely to blame for a dramatic change in the climate. Now, nothing short of a "bold cultural revolution" could halt humanity's spiral into self-destruction, the Pope warned.
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"The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," Francis said. "In many parts of the planet, the elderly lament that once beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish."
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The popular pontiff castigated big businesses, energy companies, short-sighted politicians, scurrilous scientists, laissez faire economists, callous Christians and myopic media professionals. Scarcely any area of society escapes his probing pen. It was a surprisingly pessimistic statement from a spiritual leader known for his hopeful messages of mercy and openness.
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People no longer seem to believe in a happy future, the Pope lamented.
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Francis' challenging manifesto came Thursday in the form of an encyclical, a letter traditionally addressed from St. Peter's Square to the more than 1 billion Catholics across the globe. Derived from the Greek word for "circle," an encyclical is among the church's most authoritative teaching documents.
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But Francis has set his sights far beyond the circle of his church. With an eye toward several key climate change summits scheduled for later this year, the Pope said his letter is addressed to "every person living on this planet."
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"I would like to enter a dialogue with all people about our common home," Francis said.

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Justice Thomas Deals An Unexpected Blow To The Confederacy

BY IAN MILLHISER POSTED ON JUNE 18, 2015 AT 12:01 PM
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The state of Texas is not required to issue a license plate that incorporates the Confederate battle flag, according to a 5-4 decision handed down on Thursday. The case presented one of the most genuinely difficult cases to reach the Supreme Court this term. It was also resolved by an unusual mix of justices. Justice Clarence Thomas, probably the most conservative member of the Court, joined the Court’s four liberal members to form the majority.
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Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans presents a conflict between two competing First Amendment doctrines. On the one hand, the First Amendment typically prohibits states from engaging in viewpoint discrimination — that is, enacting laws or policies that preference one opinion over another. The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), who requested the specialty plate at issue in this case, argued that Texas engaged in exactly this form of discrimination when it refused to issue the SCV’s proposed plate design because “public comments ha[d] shown that many members of the general public find the design offensive.” Texas did allow many other plate designs, ranging from “Rather Be Golfing” to “Choose Life” to “Insure Texas Kids,” which did not express the implicit viewpoint presented by a Confederate flag license plate.
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Yet, as Justice Stephen Breyer explained in his opinion for the Court, there is one context where the government is allowed to engage in viewpoint discrimination. “When government speaks,” Breyer wrote, “it is not barred by the Free Speech Clause from determining the content of what it says.” This exception exists for entirely sensible reasons, which Breyer lays out in his opinion. “Were the Free Speech Clause interpreted otherwise,” the Walker opinion explains, “government would not work. How could a city government create a successful recycling program if officials, when writing householders asking them to recycle cans and bottles, had to include in the letter a long plea from the local trash disposal enterprise demanding the contrary? How could a state government effectively develop programs designed to encourage and provide vaccinations, if officials also had to voice the perspective of those who oppose this type of immunization?”
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http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/06/18/3671227/justice-thomas-deals-unexpected-blow-confederacy/

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Religiously speaking...






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