Religious liberty goes both ways

I have read the full text of 45’s Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty. It is one long dog whistle that translates as, “It’s okay to discriminate against women who have sex and anyone gay, as long as you say it’s about your religion. Oh, and if your church wants to endorse me or give money to my campaign, the IRS will look the other way.”

The thing is, though, that the wording – thanks to the actual First Amendment of the Constitution – is not about any specific religion. Therefore this EO could be the perfect opportunity to hoist the Christian Extremists/Christian Supremacists behind it (like Pence) on their own petard. You see, there are thousands of officially recognized, non-profit religious organizations in the US *that aren’t Christian*. This means that the Church of Satan is now just as free to finance and promote a candidate as the Westboro Baptist Church. I sincerely hope that some of these non-Christian organizations will be brave enough to thoroughly test this EO. If not, I’ll have to found one myself.

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Picked up at Norwescon

I really enjoy Norwescon. There are so many interesting panels from which to choose. Unfortunately, a good number of the panels I’m most interested in always seem to be scheduled in the same time slots. Yeah, I know, First World Problems.

Anyway, at this convention, the emphasis is on books and their authors. The dealer room is filled with book stalls that feature authors who are giving talks or are on panels. It’s a great way to discover your next literary obsession. I brought home the following:

Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian. The magic system is based on music, which is seriously cool! Peter Orullian is also a lot of fun in panels.

Orcas Intrigue by Laura Gayle (collaborative nom de plume of Shannon Page & Karen G. Berry). Shannon Page was on two panels I attended, and I really liked her energy and thoughtfulness.

Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure by Michael G. Munz. This book is funny even if you don’t know much about the Greek gods, but it’s even funnier the more you know.

Jumpstart Your Novel & Planning, Plotting, and Progress: A Guide to Building Your Novel by Mark Teppo. I was lucky enough to squeeze into the “Jumpstart Your Novel” workshop, and I am so glad I did! It was one of the most useful and inspiring two hours I’ve ever spent.

Greywalker by Kat Richardson. I was not able to squeeze into this workshop, so I bought her book to see what I can learn.

Agatha H. and the Airship City, Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess, & Agatha H. and the Voice of the Castle, by Kaja & Phil Foglio. My little family loves the Girl Genius comics, so to learn that there were now novels was a very happy thing indeed.

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett. This was the only Terry Pratchett book we didn’t have, so I had to get it. #gnuterrypratchett

Time for me to get some reading done!