Benched Judge Roy Moore Announces His Run For Senate

Benched Judge Roy Moore Announces His Run For Senate

Just when you think Alabama's political landscape can't get stranger, it gets twice as bizarre.
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The aftermath of Robert Bentley's resignation amid heated accusations of sexual and monetary misconduct continues to get stranger and more convoluted by the day. Former Alabama judge Roy Moore has announced his run for the US Senate as of April 26, 2017.

Moore is a strong voice for the Republican right, opposing abortion, marriage equality, and civil liberties while upholding a thoroughly Christian perspective. His religious dogma makes him a dangerous voice for Evangelical groups. Moore continues to hold these beliefs closely to his heart, believing that the constitution and God's will are one in the same. God, he says, governs all.

The 'Ten Commandments Judge' has been a source of ongoing controversy for years. He has been cloaked in claims of violating Alabama's judiciary ethics. He even gained somewhat of a celebrity status after marriage equality was legalized nationwide for his appraisal of judges refusing to uphold the federal order, going further in 2016 and demanding that lower court judges refuse to issue any marriage licenses despite the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. He invoked yet more controversy for his infamous Ten Commandments monument, erected in 2001 and debated heatedly.

To be frank, his dogmatic beliefs are frightening to anyone with moderate tendencies or liberal views. He has made it very clear that his loyalties lie with God-- not the people of Alabama. His moral code is constructed strictly of archaic views, and he has proven to be a martyr for those beliefs. He's lost his seat more than once for his refusal to acknowledge that church and state are, indeed, separate.

His announcement left plenty to be desired by Alabama's public. He touted off quotes about morality. "Our families are being crippled by divorce and abortion," he claimed. Moore said the would, "stand up for the rights and liberties of not only the state, but of its people as well." Questions about education were deflected into warbled speech about the constitution, never addressing Alabama's flawed education infrastructure. Education is not "an indoctrination of children to a federal agenda." It is a foundation in which lives are built upon, and Alabama is statistically lacking.

What does this mean for Alabama? It means that unless the special election is rocked into a more moderate route, we could potentially see one of the most Evangelical, unequipped politicians in recent years take the seat of Jeff Sessions. It speaks of dangers posed to education, marriage equality, and separation of church and state. Though projections say is following is weak, it would be unwise to count anyone out of this unbelievably bizarre race.

The best way to counteract ignorance is with education. Though the special election is careening towards Alabama's citizens, there is still ample time to become knowledgeable about candidates and their positions of pertinent issues. To be politically informed is to make your vote count. Let's hope to move on from Roy Moore.

Cover Image Credit: apr.org

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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