“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808
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Eighteen nations legally allow the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg and Finland)
Two very large nations have regional or court-directed provisions enabling same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry (Mexico and the United States [soon to be nationwide]). In Slovenia, Parliament approved a marriage bill in March 2015, and it awaits signature by the President.
Fourteen other countries provide legal protections for same-sex couples through “unions.”
As more and more countries—and hopefully soon in the United States with a Supreme Court decision—win the freedom to marry, families are supported and communities and countries strengthened by protecting all loving committed couples. The world can become stronger while growing kinder and more respecting of freedoms.
The United States economy has finally recovered all the jobs lost during the Great Recession!
The feat took 51 months from the depth of job loses to do so… but finally.
The Great Recession was characterized by the most massive job losses and the longest time to recover those jobs since the Depression.
Let’s all be thankful (even those who don’t recognize that they should be thankful) that “Tea Partier” economics did not prevail during the recovery, or we would be suffering through Europe’s current fate, where a reliance upon conservative-austerity financial and monetary policies still mire the great EU in misery and stagnation plus 10-26% unemployment rates.
The economy has added 9.4 million private sector jobs since employment bottomed in February 2010 (8.8 million total jobs added when including all the public sector layoffs).
There are 617 thousand more private sector jobs now than when the recession started in 2007, and total employment is now 98 thousand above the pre-recession peak.
Raise your glass in a toast to stimulus spending and expansionary monetary policy! Keynes, where ya’ at, buddy?