The softening support

Interesting column by Steven Thomma on Bush’s shrinking support among the bat-shit crazy, wingnut caucus.  The latest offense was the morning after pill and Bush’s comments that he agreed with the decision rather than just went along with it for political expediency.

“This is not an issue that grabs people around the dinner table. It doesn’t grab people like the war or taxes, or even marriage or the abortion decision in South Dakota,” McClusky said. “But people are going to wonder why all these pro-life, pro-family groups are suing this administration.” 

Let’s talk about framing of the issue for a moment.  Pro life?  These groups are anti abortion and have little to say about issues affecting life.  Pro family?  Precisely who appointed them to speak on behalf of “family”?  Upon what basis should I consider them credible, let alone more expert than I on what my family needs?


Double Standards

Ed Brayton dissects the whining in the wingnut caucus over California’s recent addition of sexual orientation into their anti-discrimination laws.

The religious right is making a big deal out of the fact that the bill contains no explicit exemptions for religious groups, church schools, and so forth. Now, I wholeheartedly agree with them that churches and religious groups should be exempted from most anti-discrimination legislation; free exercise of religion requires being able to put one’s religious views into practice and I don’t believe that we can constitutionally force religious groups to violate their beliefs except in the most extreme of circumstances (preventing child abuse, for example). But this statute deals with who can and can’t get government funds, not what churches or religious groups can and can’t do. They are still entirely free to engage in such discrimination, as they should be, but that doesn’t mean they should get taxpayer’s funds. It is absurd and tyrannical to tax a gay person and send that tax money to an organization that discriminates against him. So by all means, continue to discriminate. Continue to refuse to allow gays to play in your reindeer games. Just do it on your own dime, not mine.

This is the same hypocrisy we hear when they talk about “special rights”. It’s already illegal to discriminate on the basis of religion, but if someone else wants the same rights that they take for granted then they’re demanding “special rights”. The rights they already have suddenly become “special” if someone else gets them.

Hat tip: Jonathan Rowe who observes:

First, keep in mind these antidiscrimination codes almost always come from statutes, not judicial decisions. And the California code is a democratically enacted statute signed into law by an executive. This demonstrates what a canard is the antigay right’s oft-repeated notion that the judiciary, not legislatures reflecting “the will of the people,” primarily advances “the gay agenda.”

Protecting what makes America matter

This is too good to not share.  From MyDD:

Protecting American democracy should be the first priority of anyone seeking office. Protecting our nation comes second. America actually was founded in order to protect our democracy, rather than our nation. The civil war was fought to protect and further our democracy. There is no such thing as American identity without democracy. If, as a nation, protecting our nation has become more important than protecting our democracy, then we have lost our way as a nation both at home and abroad.


When Americans start worshiping our borders, our “homeland,” our military and our security instead of our freedoms, our march of progress, our opportunity, and our transformational power in the world, then we are worshiping false idols. Our nation has consistently taken major risks to our security in order to protect our democracy. Now, we are taking risks to our security and cracking down on our democracy in order to protect our borders and our nation (“our homeland”). I could not possibly think of a way for America to have gotten more off track than for a national consensus to emerge around the idea of national security being our number one priority.

Read the whole thing.  Now!

Wearing a “Kick Me” Sign

my friend Sean wrote this a few days ago.  It’s worth repeating, even if it’s a few days late.

OK. I know I just said I’m religion neutral. I should probably make clear that I mean I’m neutral toward the abstract idea of religion and its place in human culture and society. Having said that I must also confess I think a good many “religious types” are full of shit and use the Bible and God to absolve themselves of personal responsibility and morality. Take this little gem from New York.

The First Baptist Church dismissed Mary Lambert on August 9 with a letter explaining that the church had adopted an interpretation that prohibits women from teaching men. She had taught there for 54 years.

The letter quoted the first epistle to Timothy: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”(1)

My first comment upon reading the article was, “They only found that passage of scripture because they were already looking for a reason to fire her.” Then I watched the news clip that accompanies the article and what do you know! Mrs. Lambert has had disagreements with the church’s Pastor, one Timothy LaBouf.

In one final twist to the story, the Rev. LaBouf is also a member of the city council. You think the Bible will be big enough for him to hide behind when election time rolls around again? Not likely.

What an idiot.

“Sunday school teacher dumped for being female” August 21, 2006