Hate Based Organizations

“I made an Autumn Equinox altar for our Little Witch, and management made me take it down.” My friend’s voice shook on the other side of the line. “I refused and,” she began to sob. “They fired me, Magaly; the pious fucks fired me.”

We talked for about forty minutes, but the rest of the conversation is not as important as what led to my friend’s current jobless status.

She is (or was until yesterday) a counselor at a faith based organization. Not all or her clients follow the religion of the place that takes their money in exchange for care. The Little Witch my friend was referring to is a preteen with a rare blood disorder. When she arrived at the organization, about six months ago, she asked my friend if she could remove the crucifix glued to the wall in front of her bed. 

My friend forwarded the request to management, and received a note saying the object “comes with the room.” My friend forwarded the information to the family, and they made a second request. They told the Little Witch’s mom that it was “okay to cover the area if the image of Christ made the patient feel uncomfortable.” The family pressed on, “Remove it or we’ll take our child elsewhere.” 

The crucifix was removed a few hours later.

Little Witch is having a procedure done on September 22nd. My friend made her an early Autumn Equinox present, and placed it on a little shelf that sits right under the spot where the crucifix used to be. She included corn, fallen leaves, wax apples and grapes, and a witchy dolly holding a sign that says:
Medicine is magic of a different kind.
Trust your doctors’ intent;
keep God and Goddess in your mind.
May your bounty come in the shape of white blood cells!”

My friend got fired after, supposedly, a large number of patients, who somehow got access to Little Witch’s private room, complained about the presence of black magic in the building.


Anyone with half a brain and at least a pinch of decency can see that what happened here is nothing but rotten bullshit. Most of us know that this shouldn’t have a toe to stand on in court. Some will agree that the case will probably not even make it to court. And those of us who have been unfortunate enough to have experienced or witnessed this kind of unholy crap understand that my friend will very likely get her job back; however, the damaged done by this incident can’t be erased.

So the question is, my Wicked Darlings, how should the law deal with this kind of hate based organizations and the assholes who run them? 
If this image belongs to you, please let me know and I'll give you credit.

58 comments:

  1. Theredpixie9/20/2011

    Oh shit what a crappy thing to do to her, firing her for doing something nice, all becuase it's not 'their' faith, this world is so backwards it really is.  I feel sorry for those people, it is ppl like them that cause the hate issues we have in this world today.  Im glad your friend stood up for her beliefs im sorry they fired her for it that shouldnt happen in todays world, but we are all ware of just how often this happens to people.
    Im not sure there is a way to 'deal' with these people only to educate them but them it would fall of deaf ears, the purpose of life is to Love our brothers and sisters no matter of their faith, they should be ashamed of their actions.  Jesus, in my opinion would not wish for people to treat others so badly that was not his message, and if they think it is then they are sadly deluded.
    Pixie xxxx

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  2. WhiteMoonWitchcraft9/20/2011

    I am incredibly outraged on behalf of your friend AND the patient and patient's family.  This is absolutely horrible.  It never ever ceases to amaze me how hypocritical and full of hatred some people can be.  What is their excuse for being such horrible people?  What is the organization's excuse for treating your friend this way?  As far as she was concerned, she was helping one of her clients.  Which was her job.
     
    Oh, I could rant on this for days, and days, and days.

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  3. kadiera9/20/2011

    I'm not sure how this sort of thing should be handled - on one hand, I respect their right to follow their beliefs, and on the other, I think it's a crummy thing to do to those who come to them for treatment. My guess is that it wasn't patients, but caregivers who complained, you know? We have spent a total of nearly 14 months total out of the last 39 in various hospital rooms between my two kids, and it *sucks* in every sense of the word, but especially in terms of support for one's faith if you're anything other than Christian.

    Magaly, is there something we can do for your friend? Maybe a gift card for dinner or groceries (because you still have to eat, even if you're unemployed)? Something we can do for her young friend and/or her family? All of my experience sending care packages revolves around tiny babies, but I know a lot about long term stays in medical facilities, and would love to help them out.

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  4. That is horrible. Just horrible. I don't even know what I would do in her position.

    Even if she does get her job back, would she want to work for people who have fired her for such unjust reasons, and who will probably continue to discriminate against her? True, they can't openly discriminate, but as I learned from one professor years ago (I still don't know why she didn't like me, and I'm sure she didn't know I'm Pagan) there are plenty of nasty subtle things people can do to discriminate which can't be proven as discrimination.

    Your friend has my sympathies. I hope she gets this job back or finds another one soon.

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  5. Please tell us that the Little Witch was at least allowed to keep the altar your friend gave her? I'm guessing not...

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  6. Salemwitchchild9/20/2011

    I'm sorry your friend was fired. :(
    Unfortunately its not very uncommon and usually they get away with it. I hope your friend gets the justice she rightfully deserves. I'm not sure I'd want my job back after that. I suppose in this economy you might not have a choice though. I'd tell her to contact the ACLU and see if they will get involved.

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  7. Linda Wildenstein9/20/2011

    oh hell's bells...this is so horrible for your friend, the little witch and her family and if we step back a really take a look at the situation....it is really terrible for the hospital that perpetrated this evil.
    I truly believe that the stupid, hypocrites have no idea what they do to themselves when they do such ugly things in the name of righteousness. Each one needs to be mindful of our heart motive and mores the pity when we retaliate for ugliness sake.
    Yes, what might we do to assist your friend? And the young one who has problems enough if she is in the hospital and then had to see "the real world" ugliness rear it's head...she and her family need some healing thoughts as well. We need to use "our" reality to help them all.
    And I say the swinging door of injustice will surely slap those nasty folks in the face.
    Magaly thank you for bringing this to us to act upon.
    XOXO Oma Linda

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  8. Diandra Linnemann9/20/2011

    So sorry to hear this! I hope your friend finds a better job, with people who appreciate the work and energy she puts into every day.

    German law states that a faith-based organizaton may demand their employees to align themselves with the faith's rules - that is why my sister still hasn't left church, despite all the scandals we've had in Germany over the last two years. I think that's a load of crap, but on the other hand... of course faith-based organizations are also trying to advertise their ethic standards, and they need people who share these beliefs. (It still sucks! Wouldn't want to work for any of them.)

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  9. Georginamorley9/20/2011

    In England "pagans" or" wiccans" are still the only people not covered by the laws of discrimination. There was a drive this year to get people to list themselves as pagan on the electoral register, if enough people did it becomes a registered/recognised religion and is then covered by law. As for the poor childs family, they must be disgusted. I certainly wouldn't be leaving my child with people that have so much hatred for my beliefs.
    Much love and good fortune to your friend for trying to ease the fears of a sick child :D XXX

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  10. Whatever happened to "Freedom FROM Religion"? This story is just sad and perverted from all sides. This child must be facing something scary and difficult, yet she is not allowed to have comforting things near her? What a crock. Your friend should NOT have lost her job and other "patients" should NOT have had any say so.NOR access to this child's room. There must be SOMETHING in the law to cover this sort of discrimination and badgering.

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  11. I find it scary they did this without any regard for the sick little girl. How can she trust her doctors and nurses to do the right things for her? And as others have asked, I wonder if they made her take the alter down?

    I think your friend will have no trouble proving discrimination. It won't be pleasant, but she needs to pursue it. The question of whether she should take her job back once she wins the case, is one to ask at that time. She may not want the job back, but they sure need to know they can't fire people for this reason.

    I understand the argument that it's "their" hospital, and they have the right to set the rules. I suppose that would work if they weren't serving the greater community. But their patients come from all faiths or no faith, and they all deserve to be treated with dignity. If they refuse to do that, then they need to make it clear to any prospective patients, that the patient (and the patient's family) is expected to abide by all the rules of the hospital's religious order when they are on the hospital grounds.

    Maybe that will hurt their bottom line, and they'll straighten up.

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  12. Danielle Suplicki9/20/2011

    It's organizations and people like that, that give everyone in that circle of faith a bad name. If I were put into a place like that, you're damn right having Jesus hang over my bed would make me uncomfortable, as would the self righteous asshats who refused the request of a sick girl.. until they realized they may lose some money! Because really, that sounds like what it boils down to here. The little witch is just a money bag to them, as most of their other patients probably are, and the fact that your friend did something amazingly touching and thoughtful for her may (but probably never would because seriously how could it??) have caused some of those other sick coin purses to be uncomfortable and leave.

    Rage aside, I don't think your friend would have any issues proving discrimination here and you're right, she could very well get her job back. But would she really want to after she's seen the sort of ugly they're capable of? I wish her the best of luck with whatever endeavors she chooses to pursue from here and will be keeping the wee witchlet in my thoughts. May she come through her procedure with flying colors.

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  13. While I think it is very noble to refuse, as an adult, you have to sometimes make the tough choices. Betray your religious sensibilities or concede the point? Especially knowing to have made that particular stand wouldn't really result in anyone benefiting at all in any way. At the end of the day she lost her job, the altar was probably taken down anyway, and it only caused a lot of hurt feelings and social tension that served no greater purpose. Never mind the fact that she took the job knowing this was a "faith based organization" correct? If it was a faith she was at odds with, or not a member of, perhaps she should have taken into consideration the great potential for similar situations and chosen a different facility to work at? While there is no doubt the actions of this organization were bigoted, myopic, and discriminatory I have to wonder why she felt the need to buck the system in this way and what she thought the outcome would be? Surely she didn't believe she was going to change the hearts or minds of even a single person who was, before this incident, not inclined to support the wiccan faith or was adamantly opposed to it?
    Good luck to her and may she find what she's looking for.

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  14. MagicLoveCrow9/20/2011

    This is horrible and an outrage! REALLY screwed up! I hope the little witch was able to keep the beautiful altar! I just don't understand! This should not be happening in the year 2011!!! I wish little witch, her family and your friend all the best! I am so sorry for all of them!

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  15. aisha oaktree11229/20/2011

    hate to be the downer, but as someone who works in the healthcare field i can tell you right now as a catholic or religious hospital nothing will happen to them, as they are allowed by law to hire those who's beliefs coincide with theirs. unfortunately they can also refuse service to those that they don't agree with either, here in CT several catholic hospitals refuse to give any information about birth control, they don't do hysterectomies unless it can be proven to be detrimental to the woman's health, they don't do anything that would render a woman or man infertile.  they also don't cover their own employees for these services, you also can't get the HPV shot from them.  they will recommend you to get other services but basically they are allowed as an organization to choose what can happen and what can't. they will probably show her a form which states that she isn't allowed to "share or convert" on the premises and they will say that her making the altar violates those rules, if she had provided the items for the family to do it would have been one thing but actually doing it herself she put herself in a difficult position, she should still consult a lawyer, but it's probably not going to look good for her. Im sorry

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  16. aisha oaktree11229/20/2011

    i have to agree, she choose her job at the institution she didn't have to, it's still sad she was fired but again it was a choice

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  17. Tamara9/20/2011

    For a moment I sat here speechless with my mouth open, then I reread it again. This is truly an outrage! What happened to our freedom?? Our right of choice? This is hard to swallow and and if I were your friend, I would fight like hell to get my job back. This sounds like wrongful dismissal and she should make a phone call to her state's dept of labor and tell them her story. This is just more bs from groups/organizations pushing their beliefs on others. So the choice is...it's their way or the highway, and they gave her the highway. I feel very bad for your friend, but if I were her I wouldn't take this decision without a fight. Heck, I'd even call the tv stations if I were her or the newspaper. Keep us posted!

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  18. ElleMoonGoddess9/20/2011

    that is such a horrible thing to do! if it made the patient happy, and she deserves to be happy, then who can say it is wrong? there is freedom of religion in this country! ignorant bastards with nothing better to do than be jerks! this is just terrible!!! i hope she fights this like a wildcat! 

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  19. Sweet Little Witch, she is in a tough spot and now all this crap adding to her stress.  Your friend should definitely seek the advice of a lawyer but I am going to have to agree with Aisha Oaktree on this one.  It does not look good.  If they do come back against your fried with a clause about "sharing or converting" the family can make statements attesting that their religious preferences were in no way pressured or challenged by your friend.  I hope she does fight this.  Like Tamera said, it never hurts to get the media on your side.  If she is open to the idea it may help her to involve the local news or find a local judge who is a firm supporter of the 1st amendment, or at least pagan friendly.  All it takes is some phone calls.  But before she retaliates against the hypocritical jerks - does she want to go back to that work environment?  Maybe we're looking at this all wrong.  This may be a window of opportunity for your friend...  Wishing her the best of luck...

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  20. Certain individuals' interpretation of the words of Christ is terribly sickening.

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  21. It is infuriating, but they in this situation there is a little my friend, or anyone, can do to change their views. Sad...

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  22. Kadiera, you are a sweet, sweet person. Your message must have been one of the replies that left my friend in tears. She is okay for now, and it seems her job is not lost. And Little Witch will be transferred to a better facility, soon! 

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  23. I wish I could tell you "No, you are wrong!" but it makes me very sad to say that you are absolutely correct. Some people are just rotten...

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  24. She was not allowed to keep the altar my friend made for her, but her family got her one "just like it."

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  25. My friend seems to be okay for now. Things are tough, but she is handling them. The Universe works in weird ( even if sometimes messed up) ways; Little Witch will be transfer to a better facility. There is a sponsor willing to help with the cost. Thanks for sending your energy, Oma, I know your heart can make things happen. 

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  26. It isn't much different here. This particular organization can't exclude belief systems because of the way they are funded, but their policies doesn't allow workers to give tangible aid to the clients, so my friend is in a tough spot.

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  27. Most people are mostly protected in the United States. The laws can be interpreted in rather strange ways, but if we continue patching the holes, some of the idiocy and bigotry might actually stay out of our justice system; eventually. 

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  28. Sometimes I think this phrase is understood by many as "Freedom FROM Religions" we don't like. Sad...

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  29. You were absolutely correct on the "bottom line" bit. I won't give specifics, but it seems that many of the patients (or their family members at least) are not very happy with what is happening at this place, and they are moving on.

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  30. I want to smack on the back of the head and say you are a pessimistic piece of poo, but you aren't. You are a very intelligent man who has been looking at life in her glaring eyes since a very young age. 

    Yet, I'll continue to slap the bitch, and tell her to turn her frown upside down or I'll do it for her. I might need help with the slapping, so keep your hands relaxed and ready to smack. 

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  31. She was not allowed to keep the altar, but she got one from her family.

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  32. You just reminded me of when I was thrown out of a church and told to take my indecent message "about safe sex" to the streets where it belong. Ignorance is such a nasty malice. 

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  33. I would be right there with you, advising my friend to scream bloody murder, but you are the mama of a few. You know that when you have mouths to feed, especially young mouths, you need to think very hard before doing anything. 

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  34. Some people would have served the world better is they had been fluid expelled into a condom, but the world doesn't always work like it should.

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  35. The thing is Renee, that the family is Pagan. They took their child to that place because it was the only they could afford. They wanted to keep Little Witch as closed to home as possible, so that she wouldn't lose her sense of community, and of course, so that they could continue to work to pay for her care (which is really expensive). 

    I too believe that this might be the Universe pushing my friend to look elsewhere. 

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  36. I'm so saddened to hear this...not surprised, but saddened.  As for her "choice" to work there - in this economy there isn't always choice.  You have to pay rent (or a mortgage), buy food take care of kids, etc.  Choice just isn't always there when there aren't a lot of jobs.  I'm glad she got her job back. 

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  37. Kimberly .9/21/2011

    This sickens me!!! Your friend should definitely bring a law suit against them, whether it goes to court or not, is not the issue. She should hit them where it hurts the most: their pockets!!!!!

    ~Kim from Fairy Bell Cottage~

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  38. kadiera9/21/2011

    Oh good! I'm glad things are working out for the better.

    We've been blessed to have a good (but not perfect) hospital, close to home, that is a non-religious institution. Every time we have to seek a specialist outside of this hospital, we drive further, or pay more, or face more issues related to our faith. It is a challenge, every time we have to go to the hospital, to know how to balance our family's spiritual and emotional needs with our children's physical needs, and I don't know what we'd do if we were stuck someplace actively hostile to our faith.

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  39. JudysPhotos.blogspot.com9/21/2011

    I suppose this is why so many are still in the closet...

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  40. By "they" and "hypocritical jerks" I was referring to the organizations higher ups, not the family.  Sorry for my fuzzyness - I was so upset!  The family understood (and probably appreciated) the well wishes of your friend.  So happy to hear the family was approached by a private sponsor and Witchlet will get the care she needs.  I'll light a candle for Witchlet's health and another for clarity for your friend in this new stage of her journey.  BB!

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  41. I'm sorry!
    Didn't mean to be a Negative Nancy!!
    I have worked in state owned federally funded facilities similar to these where there is typically one person or a very small group who get to represent the "majority" and while I was never "in your face" about my sexuality it was still obvious those constituting the powers that be took a dim view of those living in pride.
    Daily I made the choice, as I did when I accepted the job, to acknowledge the "majorities" bigotry and move forward focusing, instead, on providing the residents I was responsible for with exceptional care.
    I knew making any kind of stand would only result in me losing my job and several dozen residents who needed exceptional caregivers to go without and in many cases be neglected all together.
    I have never regretted the decision to "reel it in" or "tone it down" because the people who mattered most, my residents, were entirely capable of shinning with gratitude regardless of my sexuality, nationality, religion, or any other frivolous decorative personality trait.
    I have no doubt bowing down to the "majorities" idiocy and myopia regarding personal expression, in this case, was the right choice and think often of the residents I cared for who have since passed when I need to be reminded even if I were to die tomorrow I have made at least one other persons life just a little bit better for having been a part of it.
    I really do hope everyone involved receives the outcome they need most.

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  42. No need to be sorry. That would be like apologizing for the fact that the world is not a fair place; it is silly because it is not your fault. I've always admired one thing of you, your honesty. And your sarcasm, but that's another topic. 

    I understand too well that there are times when we need to take a step back, swallow the desire to beat someone senseless or the need to tell them just how worthless they are, because doing so might end up hurting those we want to protect. I'm an Aries, so the gods know I can be pretty full of myself, but never so much as to put my ego in front of the well being of someone who needs me.

    You are my superstar ;-)  

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  43. It always goes back to the fact that the bills won't pay themselves, and that as a parent you can't choose to move under a bridge lol

    Okay, so that is not very funny, but it's true.

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  44. Well, it seems they lost a client, and others might follow. I don't wish ill to anyone, but some people just call for ugliness... 

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  45. I totally get it; my thoughts, too, rush out of my mind a bit fuzzy when I'm angry because some people don't deserve to be labeled human. My candle burns too...

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  46. laugh or cry is too often the reality of daily life.  *hugs*

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  47. Danise Bower9/24/2011

    Magaly
    Where can we right to this company who are not allowing freedom of religion to this family.I will complain.Your friend was right in the process of helping and caring and has done nothing wrong.I have never understood the simbol of Christ on the cross.What would they do if he had been hung or beheaded?Gross!

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  48. I think the symbol of the crucified Christ has to do with guilt more than anything. How can any Christian sin when they see the benevolent son of their God eternally bleeding for them in a cross? I see what they mean, but I don't think it is working for many, and I definitely think that it is a really sad.

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  49. ljrich9/25/2011

    Is the organization a non profit? Because if it is, she has no case. Since it's not funded by American tax dollars it wouldn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitution of the Unite States. Therefore, they have every right to fire her for any reason they see fit and she can't sue. AND, since they're faith based, I'm not sure what she was expecting, exactly. It's one thing if the parents of the patient do something, it's quite something else for an employee of a faith based organization to do it. Do I think she should have been fired? No. I think those people can go suck eggs, but the circumstances there might well have signed her own warrant. :(

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  50. It is a non profit, but it most of their clients don't subscribe to their faith. They are (now) not firing her. Also, they are facing the dislike of many of the residents... many are looking into relocation. My friend is very good at her job, mostly because to her it is not only a job. Raising a special needs child has given her skills that go all the way to the heart. Her clients love her, and the people who she works for seem to be finding out just how much. I don't want to gloat, but I can't help it. I love the girl, and she is realizing just how many people feel the same way.

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  51. Well gee, I sure can see where corn, fallen leaves, wax apples and grapes, and a witchy dolly could be seen as black magic...what a crock! I still cannot believe in this day and age that this shit goes on and right here in my home state is probably one of the biggest offenders. You cannot believe the backwards thinking that permeates the south.

    I wish people would stop and remember that America was supposedly founded in search of religious freedom.         

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  52. I always wonder about the "religious freedom" bit...

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  53. Some individuals have turned horrible into a very nasty art...

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