Saturday, February 15, 2014

Short Takes on News: Who Counts, Who Doesn't; Heroes and Heretics; "Religious" "Freedom"; the Gays; Father Knows Best and People of God

The pronouns "we" and "they" are the most important of all political words. They demarcate who's within the sphere of mutual responsibility, and who's not.

That so many US policies are set by Republicans, and by the most conservative Republicans in the party, is a betrayal of the general will of the American people, who want an entirely different set of policies.

Moyers: Is this pope a hero or a heretic?  
Cahill: Well, in the book that I just wrote, most of the heretics are heroes. and most of the heroes are heretics.

So, from Kansas to Idaho to Tennessee — there are more on the way, stay tuned — if you're gay, and especially if you're in a same-sex marriage or relationship, good luck getting your trash picked up, your oil changed, your driver's license renewed, an anniversary cake or flowers on Valentine's Day, your children properly taught, a doctor to treat you, a "room at the inn," or just about anything else that a "religious" person doesn’t feel like doing, in the name of God.

"The facilities should be separate," Jerry Falwell preached in 1958. "When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."

It’s [the United Nations] no longer accepting the Vatican's father-knows-best morality as the default, whether it's in refusing to cooperate with civil authorities in policing sexual predators, deciding what kind of families are legitimate, or denying women and teenagers information to prevent unwanted pregnancy or AIDS.

The tension, of course, then lies with the fact that the Bible Belt, Christianist base of the Republican Party wants LGBT people "cured," not accepted into the human family.

Human rights activists say a mob dragged men accused of being homosexuals from their homes in the Nigerian capital and beat them up with wooden clubs and iron bars. 

The growing number of courts striking down bans on same-sex marriage hasn't made these arguments disappear -- in fact, the parade of horribles becomes more intense, and more imaginative.

They sound like scared children when they talk about the prospect of drafting a player of the character of Michael Sam.

It is somewhat bizarre to consult the faithful on matters of doctrine and then not to tell them what the consultation amounted to – particularly when the matters concerned are of the utmost importance to them, affecting the lives and happiness of millions.

(Thanks to Alan McCornick for telling me about Bill Moyer's conversation with Thomas Cahill, and to Jim McCrea for alerting me to the "Tell the World What We Said" editorial statement in The Tablet).

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