Religious Freedom

Evil SCOTUS


There’s a particular trait that’s common among conservatives and that is for them to explain their positions, they have to lie. Have you ever heard anyone defend Donald Trump without lying? Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is a liar. But then again, the six extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist justices that are the majority on the highest court in the land are proven liars.

In the ruling that came down today allowing a Washington state football coach to pray at a public school event, Gorsuch, who wrote for the majority, lied. It’s as if he didn’t pay any actual attention to the case and decided it’d suit his needs better if he just made some shit up. Naturally, this is one of Donald Trump’s appointees.

Gorsuch repeatedly claims in his writing for the majority that Joseph Kennedy, a former public school football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington state who prayed at the 50-yard line following football games, who was often joined by his players, members of the opposing team, and members of the general public, “offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied.” That is a lie. The layman’s term for this is “bullshit.”

And once again, this court has thrown out precedent. This court has overruled Lemon v. Kurtzman, the 1971 decision that previously governed cases involving the Constitution’s language prohibiting an establishment of religion. This establishes, as usual, Christianity on government property in a government function. Do these fucks even know what “secular” means?

The coach did not pray silently. Anyone can pray at school or any other government facility. Prayer is not banned. Establishing a religion is banned which rules out public prayer. Kennedy held very public prayers on the 50-yeard line while players from both teams kneeled around him while he held up helmets from both teams as if he were the Moses of football.

One student’s father complained since his son felt compelled to join in despite being an atheist. There’s peer pressure and the fear the coach will sit you on the bench if you don’t worship Jesus with him. So, the school district told Kennedy to knock it off. Kennedy did not knock it off. Instead, the coach went on a media tour and even made an appearance on Good Morning, America. At the next game, there was what’s been described as a stampede to pray with the coach on the 50-yard line to help him with his “commitment to God.” It was so bad that even members of the high school band got trampled. You don’t see that shit at band camp.

But, I’m sure it was a very private stampede.

The 1971 case held that the government’s actions “must have a secular legislative purpose,” that their “principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion,” and that the government may not “foster ‘an excessive government entanglement with religion.’” A stampede for Jesus on a public school’s football field at the 50-yard line is NOT secular.

You don’t need God to play football anymore than you need the national anthem for sports.

Justice Gorsuch did not base his opinion on the Constitution. It’s why he lied. He even dismissed the photographic evidence of the prayer huddles. Since Gorsuch lied, it leaves me to speculate that he would have had a different ruling if the coach wasn’t Christian.

What if the coach was Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or even worse…a Satanist?

The Church of Satan doesn’t literally worship the devil because Satanists are atheists. Satanists don’t believe in God or the Devil. They chose Satan as their symbol which makes sense as this country is supposed to guarantee the right to freedom of religion. That right also protects your freedom to be an atheist, so Satan is being used here as a symbol for atheists…and it freaks people the fuck out.

And that’s what I want. To freak people the fuck out…specifically, religious zealots who believe their religion takes priority and has greater rights than other religions. I want a liberal football coach somewhere in this nation (there has to be at least one) to conduct a Satanic ceremony after a public school’s football game on the 50-yard line. Neil Gorsuch rules that a coach can do that so I’m sure the school district won’t fire a coach for leading a Satanic prayer at a football game. And, even if that prayer summons a demon, Justice Gorsuch says that demon is allowed at a public school setting. Maybe a demon would enjoy a high school football game. Do demons like hotdogs? And, it wouldn’t be the first time someone summoned a demon to help with their football game. Ask Tom Brady.

And quite frankly, this public school demon needs to be raised and Neil Gorsuch and the rest of his troglodyte fundamentalist majority of hypocrites should be forced to live with it. The only problem is that it wouldn’t be fair to the demon.

Creative note: I read my lettering out loud just to hear how it sounds. For some reason, every time I said “Beezelbub,” my Amazon Echo device, Alexa, would light up. So, if you don’t get a new cartoon from me tomorrow or see any activity from me, it might mean I inadvertently summoned a demon. I should probably clean my bathroom.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402.

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Slithering SCOTUS


I love that conservatives are strict constitutionalists except when they’re not. Conservatives say they love the Constitution and it needs to be interpreted as it was written by the Founding Fathers, but they really only care about one amendment, the Second, and they even ignore half of that one. Hell, they can’t even say the complete sentence they’re always quoting.

Texas Republicans want to throw out the 16th Amendment which means they’re not constitutionalists at all. And when it comes to the First Amendment, conservatives love to take a crap on that one. They don’t care about freedom of speech except when it’s their speech. They don’t care about freedom of the press and want today’s media severely restricted. And, they truly believe in the separation of church and state only when it applies to other religions.

Case in point, the Supreme Court took a huge dump on the separation of church and state this week by ruling that taxpayers should fund church schools. I don’t think six religious zealots on the court interpreted “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church & State” the way Thomas Jefferson intended.

I don’t believe those six justices combined are as intelligent as Jefferson.

The 6-3 fucknut religious zealot majority ruled on a case in Maine, that if that public funds intended to support the education of students for whom a public option was not available, then those funds be made available to parents who wished to use them to pay for a religious school’s tuition. The court just ruled that taxpayer money must be used on religious education. What happened to no establishment of religion?

Under the Establishment Clause, the federal government and all governments under it, cities, states, territories, etc, are prohibited from establishing or sponsoring religion. Giving taxpayer money to church schools is the very definition of sponsoring.

Justice Stephen Breyer argues in the dissenting opinion, the opinion that makes sense, “The very point of the Establishment Clause is to prevent the government from sponsoring religious activity itself, thereby favoring one religion over another or favoring religion over nonreligion.”

This ruling by the court orders states to sponsor religion. But, can you see Texas, Kentucky, Mississippi, or Florida pumping tax money into a private Muslim school? Hell, funding a private Jewish school is probably out of the question in yee-haw states. This ruling will be abused. It’s not just that yee-haw fuckers will favor one religion over another religion, they’ll also favor their religion over no religion. So much for being a secular government.

I’m agnostic and I love that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion because that means we have the freedom FROM religion…but maybe we don’t anymore because six religious fucknuts just based a Supreme Court decision on their dogma.

How would these six justices have ruled if the school in Maine was a Muslim school? They wouldn’t have ruled at all because they would have refused to hear the case. So, no public funding for Hogwarts.

We’re joining Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and many other authoritarian nations in setting laws based on religious mandates.

This country needs more people like Thomas Jefferson…and less like Amy Coney Barrett.

Music note: I decided to give Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” album a chance so I listened to about five songs from it while drawing this. I didn’t really get into it but it might be one of those things that grow on me.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: There are 19 copies of my book in stock, which go for $45.00 each, signed. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 3721, Fredericksburg, VA 22402.

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Hater Cakes


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A baker in Colorado is so homophobic that he refuses to take money from gay couples. He was sued by a couple after refusing to bake them a cake, citing his religious beliefs as justification for denying their business. The couple sued over the discrimination. The state’s civil rights commission ruled against the baker.

The baker, supported by conservative religious fundamentalists and fellow homophobes, took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supremes narrowly ruled in the baker’s favor. Narrowly, as in, they left a lot of questions to be answered.

The Court said the cake man was a victim of religious bias by the civil rights commission. So, the baker can’t be a victim of bias but the gay couple can?

The court said it wasn’t changing laws and this doesn’t open the door for future discrimination, just that this one baker had the right to discriminate in this case because they didn’t like the way the commission treated him. But, conservatives are rejoicing and will use this for future discrimination.

Conservatives are not good with facts and will skip the court’s statement, “these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.” That sounds less like a legal ruling and more like “I hope you kids play nice. Good luck out there.” Have the Supremes never watched a political debate on Facebook?

I like to start these arguments with; why do you care what’s on the cake? You make cakes for a living. Someone orders a cake. You make them a cake. They pay for the cake. You take money for the cake. Everyone wins. Who cares if the writing on top reads, “congrats, Jack and Diane,” or “congrats, Chuck and Larry?”

I was married once. There was a wedding. We even had a cake. It never did occur to me that we needed the baker’s approval of our nuptials. What if the baker thought my spouse could do a lot better than me? He could have thought, “that guy’s a shiftless cartoonist, plus, he’s kinda goofy looking. And, on your wedding night, he’s going to insist on watching Harry and the Hendersons.” I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over that, and it was 1988 and Harry and the Hendersons weren’t on HBO every night.

But, the baker has his own issues for why he won’t make the cake. What’s important to him isn’t important to me. That brings us to the legal arguments. Can someone refuse service, whether it’s a cake, flowers, or photography if it’s a mixed-race couple? Can Wal-Mart start refusing to allow certain couples from entering their stores their relationship violates their religious beliefs?

I respect religious beliefs and freedom. You can be in your forties and still believe in Santa for all I care. But I do not respect using your beliefs to discriminate. Everyone deserves the same treatment. You’re not being victimized by providing the same service equally. Can you be a Santa believer and refuse service to Jews despite the fact you still carry latkes in your store?

How is a gay cake different from a straight cake? Can’t you just bake a cake and don’t ask if it is gay or not? Can the cake stay in the closet of your mind until the wedding? Are the figurines the problem? How do you know both figurines are gay and that one isn’t being forced into a shotgun-gay-figurine wedding? How do you know the figurines even like each other? Or, is it the idea that the cake is going to be consumed at a celebration for gay people? Aren’t all weddings kinda gay anyway? Will making a gay cake tempt you to be gay? What if someone has some leftover gay wedding cake, and they don’t discover it’s gay until later? If you’re against gay marriage, would you make a cake celebrating a gay divorce? Are you afraid of taking gay money? Are you afraid the gayness will rub off the money while it’s in your wallet near your butt? Are these questions stupid? Because I tend to pose stupid questions to stupid people.

If I was in the marriage business, I would have been ecstatic about gay marriage becoming legal. Who doesn’t want more business? But, maybe the homophobic baker has the legal right to be a dumbass. He could always make the cake and do what Chick-fil-A does, give the money to a hate group.

The one good thing is as customers, we still have the freedom of choosing where we want to shop. This baker will soon discover that a lot of people have strongly held beliefs against doing business with an asshole.

Watch me draw.

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Contraception Objection


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Donald Trump signed another executive order. Unfortunately he didn’t forget to sign this one and after thirty minutes of him signing it we got to take a look at it. It’s nasty.

The order, dubbed the “Religious Freedom” order, directs the executive branch to “honor and enforce” existing protections for religious liberty and asks agencies to “consider issuing amended regulations” for organizations that don’t want to cover contraception in employer health insurance plans. Basically that legalizes being an asshole. They’ll fight for your freedom of religion as long as that religion is Christianity.

Firstly, Trump is the executive branch. Is he directing himself somewhere other than one of his golf resorts?

The idea with this order is that religious fanatics can use their faith as an excuse to hate on gay people, deny contraception coverage to their employees, and let churches endorse and campaign for Republican candidates. It seeks to erase the line that separates church and state. Now all those people concerned about Sharia Law will work harder to make Christian law federal law.

However, the order, like Trump, is more bark than bite. The ACLU was going to sue over it but after reading it they said “nah. We’ll let them think it has substance.” Kinda like when someone attempts to insult you but it’s almost a compliment but you let them continue to think it’s an insult. Earlier this week an editor in South Carolina tried to hurt my feelings by telling me I should work for Mad Magazine. Aw, thank you.

The order does open the door to future policy shifts. Cheeto Stain directed the attorney general, Racist Elf, to “as appropriate, issue guidance interpreting religious liberty protections in Federal law.”

It’s also a big wink and nod telling the IRS to use “maximum discretion” in enforcing laws regarding religious organizations and offer “regulatory relief” to religious objectors to contraception coverage. That’s not actually covered in the order, but it’s a nudge.

Churches can renounce and advocate for issues. What they’re not supposed to do is campaign or endorse a candidate. Only one church in U.S. history has ever lost their tax-exempt status for engaging in politics and that was way back in 1992 when Clinton was running against Bush. Gee, I wonder which candidate they endorsed.

Trump hopes his order will also allow businesses to deny insurance coverage to their employees if that plan covers contraception. The hope is that you’ll be forced to have that baby so the Republicans can starve it by denying it school lunch. That’s something a lot of “Christians” get excited about.

I’m sure the Trump/RyanCare plan, if it passes the Senate, will take care of the insurance contraception as no one except the filthy rich will have insurance.

The part of the order that probably makes Mike Pence and his mother happy is that now bakeries operated by religious fanatics won’t be forced to bake gay cakes anymore. They don’t even have to sell them a Ding Dong. “Sorry, but Jesus Christ, my lord and savior, says your life and love is an abomination and it would be a violation of my religion to sell you a cake….so go fuck yourself.”

Can you just feel America turning great again?

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