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ron desantis, bible ban, florida book ban

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Bible.

There’s a strange bit of hypocrisy going down in the state of Florida. During the COVID pandemic, it was a place where some protested lockdowns and mask mandates under the umbrella of personal freedom. But now, some of the same lawmakers in the state are doing an about-face and pushing to ban certain books in its public schools.

Last month, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that allows parents to recommend certain instructional materials be banned from the schools. More than 200 books (mostly those that deal with race, sexuality or LGBTQ+ issues) have been banned in school districts across the state since the law took effect.

Chaz Stevens, a resident of Deerfield Beach, Florida, believes that parents and districts are overlooking one book that contains genocide, slavery, talk of LGBTQ issues, bestiality, misogyny, rape and child sacrifice. You may have heard of it. It's commonly referred to as "the Bible."


Stevens sent petitions to public school superintendents across the state asking districts to "immediately remove the Bible from the classroom, library, and any instructional material," Stevens wrote. "Additionally, I also seek the banishment of any book that references the Bible."

"My goal is to use the law as our expert politicians in Tallahassee intended," Stevens said. "There were no carve-outs for religious texts, so I would assume they meant for them to be in play.”

Billy Epting, assistant superintendent of Leon County Schools, is taking the suggestion seriously and reviewing the complaint.

“If I don’t, that creates a situation where I’m showing favoritism or injecting personal opinion in the process," he said. "The last thing I want to do is pretend or take something as a joke or satirical and it comes back to bite us.”

In Stevens’ letter, he gives numerous reasons why the Bible is inappropriate to have in Florida schools. One reason he claims is that the bible teaches “wokeness” which is a clear jab at the state’s recent ban on teaching Critical Race Theory.

“With the constant babbling concerns about teaching Critical Race Theory, should we not take stock of the Bible’s position on slavery? I am concerned our young white students will read such passages and wake up to civilization’s sordid past,” Stevens writes before referencing Paul’s pro-slavery Epistle to the Ephesians where he notes that servants should be “obedient to them that are your masters.”

Stevens also warns that the talk of bestiality in the Bible violates Florida law. “Taking a cue from Florida Statute Ch. 847.001 6(a,b,c), one should consider such discussions to be harmful to minors and obscene,” he writes.

He also cautions that some of the positive, humane messages in the Bible may teach children “to show empathy for their classmates” and that could lead them one step closer to “getting their LGBTQ+ freak on.”

The self-proclaimed “stunt activist” successfully got several cities in the state to drop the religious invocations that open their city commission meetings seven years ago. Stevens demanded they either stop the invocations or allow him, a self-described “minion of Satan" to lead a prayer to the Prince of Darkness before meetings.

To avoid having to give equal time to a “Satanist,” the cities stopped doing religious invocations, with some switching over to a moment of silence.

"My activism in the past has been wildly successful," Stevens said. "And, I imagine, will continue on a similar trajectory."

DeSantis' craven use of political power to give anyone with an ax to grind the right to silence the voices of people of color and diminish LGBTQ+ visibility is as regressive as it is short-sighted. Stevens’ campaign has brilliantly exposed the unintended consequences of DeSantis’ law. Once like-minded people begin to follow his lead, lawmakers will have to learn a lesson humanity learned decades ago: banning books is no way to create social change.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

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via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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