"He was always struggling to find that place where he belonged," a friend of Matthew Shepard says in Michele Josue's wonderful documentary "Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine." That line makes my ears perk up (and my heart feel heavy). So many people who feel different and are treated as different spend their lives trying to find a place, any place at all, to belong.
As ever, Fred Clark's "Postcards from the Culture Wars" column today is chock full of good links for any of us who want to understand the deep mythic imagination from which so many of our social plagues arise. A sample, from Jay Livingston's review of Amy Schumer's "Trainwreck": "Powerful taboos on women-things often go with male domination." And then there's this, from Lisa Wade at Pacific Standard magazine (the source of Livingston's review, too): "White American male with a weapon who believes in his own superiority kills in order to feel powerful."
LOLGOP, responding to a tweet by Sabrina Siddiqui noting Jeb Bush's statement to a meeting of Southern Baptists that "I'm not sure we need half a billion dollars for women's health issues":
FUNDS FACT: We spent more than half a billion a dollars a DAY in Iraq. http://t.co/OcUUD3dFFj https://t.co/vIMB3cGyLi— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) August 4, 2015
"The Republican scheme to defund Planned Parenthood is not some sort of surprised response to a highly edited video," she [Elizabeth Warren] said. "Nope! The Republican vote to defund Planned Parenthood is just one more piece of a deliberate, methodical, orchestrated, right-wing attack on women’s rights."
"I’m sick and tired of it," Warren added. "Women everywhere are sick and tired of it. The American people are sick and tired of it."
You know what I'm sick and tired of in addition to this? I'm especially sick and tired of listening to "liberal" Catholics like Michael Sean Winters at National Catholic Reporter and Margaret O'Brien Steinfels at Commonweal trying to pretend that the GOP talking points about Planned Parenthood represent Catholic moral truth. Most of us, Catholics included, are light-years beyond the stale moral verities being peddled about the abortion debate by those "liberal" Catholics of the center. They've convinced no one but mindless true believers, they will convince no one but true believers, and they're about nothing more than the very shameful attempt to give a Catholic intellectual gloss to morally disreputable partisan politics that promote no meaningful ethic of life in any meaningful shape, form, or fashion.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the threat Archbishop Chaput held over the head of Mercy Waldron to make the school fire Margie Winters was the threat of removing the title "Catholic" from the school. Margie Winters alludes to this in this article by Lizzie Crocker. (I don't believe for a moment that Chaput was not right at the center of what Mercy Waldron did to Margie Winters.)
As Jamie L. Manson suggests in this recent powerful statement about Catholic schools firing LGBT employees, the focus needs to shift to a conversation about how trampling on the human rights of members of a minority community betrays rather than reinforces the Catholic identity of Catholic schools. The person with whom Pope Francis should be meeting to hear about Catholic values when he comes to Philadelphia? Not Chaput. Susanne Cassidy, a Catholic mother of two gay sons whom Chaput recently slapped upside the head when she dared to defend them as a Catholic mother.
With dangerous liars-cum-scaremongers like Alex Jones throwing matches onto the gasoline that is angry, paranoid white American men with guns, things are only going to get much worse quickly in our society. The peculiar gun-idolatry that is the national religion of many Americans, combined with the outright stupidity (and meanness) of a sizable proportion of the population seeking minority veto power over the majority and using techniques like gerrymandering and voter suppression to achieve that goal are a formula for cultural disaster.
From The Guardian's "Photo Highlights of the Day" column this morning: a photo by Kimimasa Mayama/EPA of people offering prayer at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima:
Jon Green at Americablog on the lawsuit Rowan Co., Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis has filed claiming that Governor Beshear's instruction to her to obey the Supreme Court and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates her "religious liberty":
Once again, since this somehow bears repeating, it’s patently obvious that Davis's claim has nothing to do with religious liberty and everything to do with Christian privilege. I’m not sure if there are any Jewish or Muslim clerks in Kentucky, but I am absolutely sure that if they refused to execute a similar law over their sincerely-held religious beliefs, Davis and Christian conservatives like her wouldn’t be coming to their defense.
How do I know? Because they’re actively fighting against religious freedom for members of other faiths — particularly Muslims — every chance they get.
The preceding list of excerpts are offerings from my Facebook feed in the past few days, from conversations I've been having there with Facebook friends about the preceding issues and much more. Please enjoy.