My adventure yesterday:
I rode up to the top of a big hill (the locals called it a 'mountain') and down again, through the woods, with intermittent blizzarding, in search of a lost pony, Trixie, who is about the size and colour of a deer. We spent about 4 hours looking for her - at one point following her tracks for about half a mile - before giving up and turning around. We came to the edge of a clearing we had gone through several times already, when Raina stopped and swung her head to the right, ears pricked. Trixie was standing several yards away, partially hidden by trees. We shook the grain bucket and called her name. She paused and then burst towards us trotting that big trot that very excited horses have, with her tail raised high and her neck arched. She plunged her nose into the grain bucket, we put a halter over her and took her home.
Silly pony! She had spooked at some sheep the day before and literally run for the hills.
Some friends on Facebook have joined a group called 'Revoke the LDS Church's Tax-Exempt Status' the grounds for this being that since they asked their congregations to participate campaigning in favour of California's Proposition 8, this was a violation of the statutes requiring seperation of church and state and therefore they should no longer be tax-exempt.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is small potatoes. It is also, I fear, an example of 'jumping on the morally outraged bandwagon'. I say that 'I fear' this because it is exactly this kind of pants wetting, energy wasting, misguided enthusiasm that results in liberals getting nothing done other than a tiz-woz. It's what the conservatives hate about liberals. It's also what lost the Prop 8 fight (the loonies won because they did not waste time clinging to themselves, being outraged and targetting people who already had their vote; they targeted the undecideds in the middle of the state who so unclear on what the matter at hand was, they were led to believe it was about "teaching gay marriage in schools").
I am just as appalled as the next person that some people feel that the sanctity of their own marriage is somehow threatened by men being allowed to marry men or women being allowed to marry women. I was angered that Utah was, essentially, able to change California's constitution. I kept my residency in California partially so I could vote againste Proposition 8 - I am a Californian at heart and I intend to return there. I am also usually not one to cry out "Stop picking on the Mormons!". I find the basic tenants of their religion - the misogyny, the racism, the rampant breeding and and virulent spreading of misinformation - offensive. But let's look at the big picture. The line between church and state is so blurred in this country, is so wrought with loopholes and hypocrisies, that asking the government to take away the LDS Church's tax-exempt status is like walking up to a group of bullies beating someone up and asking only one of them to stop, then walking away, leaving the rest to pound it's victim into the dirt; In short, it's Pointless.
Let's not pick on just the Mormons. Let's pick on all religions. Let's get rid of tax exempt status for all churches, unless they can prove that they truly fall into the category of a non profit organisation. There's a lot of people out there making a lot of money by that are taking advantage of others in the form of tithes or donations or whatever you want to call it. They do it by convincing people that they need to buy their own salvation. They do it by taking advantage of people who are poor, uneducated and scared. It's time that this ridiculousness stopped being virtually sanctioned by the government, and it's time churches, all churches, stopped getting their way with people who aren't idiotic enough to be a part of them.