Republicans for Same Sex Marriage

This is what the GOP might look like when the culture wars finally end.

Republicans in Massachusetts have openly backed same sex marriage, joining an amicus brief filed by former RNC Chair and Bush Administration official Ken Mehlman.

Almost all of the party’s major figures in Massachusetts have signed the brief including new Governor Charlie Baker. Also signing the brief are Maine Senator Susan Collins and Republican donor David Koch.

The brief makes the conservative case for same sex marriage rights, citing a laundry list of favorite conservative cases and authors. This quote from Barry Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative is particularly biting:

“The Conservative is the first to understand that the practice of freedom requires the establishment of order: it is impossible for one man to be free if another is able to deny him the exercise of his freedom. … He knows that the utmost vigilance and care are required to keep political power within its proper bounds.”

A few other excepts:

The governmental bans at is-issue here rest on similarly ungrounded, archaic, and obsolete beliefs—however sincerely, strongly, or long held—and thus the Fourteenth Amendment requires recognition of the bans’ invalidity.

This Court has repeatedly made clear that although legislators and voters may generally exercise power over certain subjects—including many contentious social issues—the government’s power is limited when it comes to injurious incursions upon the freedom of minorities.

No one at any point in this decades-long debate has been able to describe any credible harm that might rise from same sex marriage. Cut through all the bullshit, and the argument against same sex marriage is absolutely singular – “my religious convictions dictate that homosexuality is wrong.” That’s it.

People are asking the government to discriminate against homosexual couples on the basis of sectarian religious beliefs. There is absolutely no defense for that practice under our Constitution.

When same sex marriage is finally settled law in this country, religious people will remain free to hold their beliefs about the sinfulness of gay couples. They will lose their ability to use those beliefs to constrain the basic Civil Rights of other people.  We all have a right to our religious beliefs. No one has a right to legislate their religious beliefs.

This isn’t a dispute about religious freedom. This is a dispute about cultural supremacy. That’s why the last, most bitter holdouts against gay marriage are the same institutions, people and states who were the last bitter holdouts against the Civil Rights movement.

Gay marriage is likely to destroy something, but it’s not marriage. The fight over gay marriage is going to severely damage the lingering cultural supremacy once enjoyed by white Protestants.

We are on the cusp of experiencing real pluralism for the first time in the country. That’s why same sex marriage matters and that’s why the battle lines are drawn across the same boundaries as in the Civil Rights movement.

Massachusetts Republicans are recognizing, a little late, what most of the rest of the country has already come to terms with. If the party at large has the good sense to drop this issue then a lot of future harm can be avoided.

The full text of the conservative amicus brief in favor of same sex marriage can be found here.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Neo-Confederate, Religious Right
204 comments on “Republicans for Same Sex Marriage
  1. objv says:

    Some musings…

    1. Homosexuality is said to be inborn yet “Bearman and Bruckner … studied 289 pairs of identical twins (monozygotic or from one fertilized egg) and 495 pairs of fraternal twins (dizygotic or from two fertilized eggs) and found concordance rates for same-sex attraction of only 7.7% for male identical twins and 5.3% for females, a pattern which they say “does not suggest genetic influence independent of social context.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation

    So, even when identical DNA is present, sexual orientation is not necessarily the same. Clearly multiple factors – genetic and environmental must be in play. The wiki article is interesting. Sexual orientation is a complicated issue.

    2. The tendency to be religious may also be inborn.

    “But more recent studies, including those on adult twins who were raised apart, suggest genes contribute about 40% of the variability in a person’s religiousness. ”

    (Link in reply)

    Curiously, there is some basis for both homosexuals and the religious to claim to “be born that way.”

    If religiosity is considered to have as much a basis in genetics as homosexuality, shouldn’t there be a greater tolerance for the religious who may hold certain beliefs?

    • texan5142 says:

      Religiosity like bigotry, racism, and hate are learned behaviors so the answer is no. Just because one’s genetics makes them more predisposed to indoctrination does not make them born religious.

      • objv says:

        “Why have nearly all human beings in every known culture believed in God or gods and accepted the customs, dogmas, and institutional apparatus of an immense array of different religions? ”

        http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/hunt_19_3.html

      • RobA says:

        I can believe that religiosity is somewhat preterm in ed.

        Certainly personality traits have at least some genetic basis and there are def some personality traits that would make one more inclined to be religious.

        Strong religiosity almost demands that one have the ability to suspend reason and empiricism for blind faith. There are some personality types that square very easy with this, and others that would rebel strongly against it.

      • texan5142 says:

        Religion has be a way to rationalize the unknown throughout history and for control, it has nothing to do with genetics.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Tex – Genetics plays a huge part in religion! With comparatively few exceptions, religion is hereditary – people ascribe to the same religion as their parents!

        While I understand you did not mean this, it does shed a bit of light on how the ‘faithful’ tend to hold so tightly to the belief that their particular religion is the ‘truth’, yet it is really an accident of birth.

      • flypusher says:

        “, yet it is really an accident of birth.”

        Indeed it is, which is a main reason I reject the born again Christian claim that all non believers are damned.

      • texan5142 says:

        You are correct fifftyohm….I see what you did there.

      • RobA says:

        Obvj the answer to your question is obvious.

        It’s only been in the last hundred years that we’ve started to make truly startling discoveries, such as the age of the universe (13.7 billion years roughly) and the age of the Earth (around 4.5 billion).

        We also have answers for things that seemed absolutely unknown able not that long ago.

        It makes perfect sense that “every civilzation” before us had religious beliefs. It was their way of answering unanswerable questions.

        The more we learn as a species about the universe and our place in it, the less we’ll need to rely on such myths.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Oh, I don’t know, FP. The entire concept of ‘damnation’ is so irretrievably silly, so logically flawed at its core, that thinking about to whom it might apply is a bit like thinking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

      • flypusher says:

        No argument from me about the multiple logical flaws, 50, but the born agains see that as their big trump card. I was asked “the question” by a religious relative about being at the gates of heaven and having to justify being admited to where everyone was praising God’s name. My response was- you’re saying heaven is some eternal church service? Then I don’t think I’d be asking to come in.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Hitchens called the concept a “Cosmic North Korea”.

    • RobA says:

      There goes that martyr complex so familiar with the far right. There is PLENTY of tolerance for religious folks, as long as they stop trying to legislate their beliefs onto everyone else.

      I can’t imagine anyone being persecuted for simply being a Christian PROVIDED that person doesn’t try to force their beliefs on others or support legislation based on their religious beliefs that actually DOES discriminate against others.

      As for the other stuff, ignoring the fact that it’s completely irrelevent even if homosexuality WERE a choice (in a free country, something as basic as who you choose to be intimate with – assuming all parties are consenting adults – is no one’s business but your own and should not result in loss of civil rights) no one is really arguing that homosexuals is genetic. Merely that homosexuality is not a choice.

      There are many conditions which are well known that are not really genetic. ADHD, autism, diabetes, strokes, schizophremia and many types of cancers are all conditions that do not have a “significant genetic causation”.

      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-causes-of-common-diseases-are-not-genetic-concludes-a-new-analysis-111395459.html

      This doesn’t mean that genetics play NO role, just that they play, at best, a very minor role. Many of these simply happen. I hate to use the term “mutation” with regards to homosexuality because of the negative connotations associated with the word, but I mean it in the strictset scientific way, as in simply , as in it is simply a condition that happens for no specific reason.

      So ruling out a high causation of genetic causes of homosexuality does NOT in anyway mean that it is in fact a choice.

      I suspect you don’t know many homosexuals. I’ve got 2 in my family and have known enough in my life to know that it is as much a unchangeable part of them as the color of their hair or the color of their eyes.

      • 1mime says:

        Great response, RobA. You will really appreciate this post.

        http://weeklysift.com/2015/02/16/when-hate-stays-in-the-closet/

      • objv says:

        RobA I certainly think there is a huge genetic component to homosexuality but that it is a matter of multiple genes being in play. Numerous environmental factors from maternal hormones in utero to early social environments may also play a part.

        And, while I agree that most people can’t change their sexual orientation, I think that the same can be said for the religious. They have an inborn sense that there is a higher power (or powers) and a creator.

        Persecution of Christians has not been the norm in this country, but it has been throughout history. Look at the current persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.

        Few homosexuals have willingly died for their sexual orientation. They usually try to hide it. The same can’t be said for Christians and Muslims. Millions have died for their faith and persecution only strengthens their beliefs.

      • objv says:

        RobA, I might as well add that my musings on religion having a genetic basis would not be well received by most religious people. I just thought it would be an interesting bunny trail for our minds to take.

      • flypusher says:

        “Persecution of Christians has not been the norm in this country, but it has been throughout history. Look at the current persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.”

        And look at the persecuting the Christians did to pagans, especially during the era of European colonialism. Of the truly horrific persecuting of the Jews (and yes Christian Anti Semitism did indeed plant the seeds of the Holocaust). Or how Christians have treated Christians of different sects/denominations. HUMANS have this nasty tendency to persecute OTHER HUMANS who subscribe to a different religion.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm
        “Few homosexuals have willingly died for their sexual orientation. They usually try to hide it. The same can’t be said for Christians and Muslims. Millions have died for their faith and persecution only strengthens their beliefs.”

        Quite the trifecta you have accomplished there OV. Slander gays as cowards, play the whiny Christian false victimization card and at the same time sneer at gays with a holier than thou superiority.

        Keep on digging that hole OV. Better to bury all your dead horses in.

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s an interesting rebuttal to Bearman and Bruckner, whose sample was very small and thus results difficult to apply. However, I found both reports interesting.

      Objv: “If religiosity is considered to have as much a basis in genetics as homosexuality, shouldn’t there be a greater tolerance for the religious who may hold certain beliefs?”

      1MINE: Of course!!! The problem is the lack of tolerance by the fundamentalists for my beliefs! And, their insistence on legislating their beliefs into laws that impact everyone. As Stephen’s buddy said “your freedom ends at the tip of my nose”….

    • Anse says:

      I understand why it is necessary to argue that homosexuality is not a choice…but at this point I think it’s largely irrelevant.

      The truth is that sexuality is likely a continuum, with people feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction to the opposite or same sex. Most straight people probably have at least some amount of gay tendency and vice versa; a few may have very little or both in equal measure.

      All of this is interesting to ponder, but politically, it’s irrelevant. Let people find their happiness on their own terms. We shouldn’t stand in the way.

      • texan5142 says:

        “All of this is interesting to ponder, but politically, it’s irrelevant. Let people find their happiness on their own terms. We shouldn’t stand in the way.”

        Bingo!

      • 1mime says:

        It’s all about TRUE tolerance. Well said, Anse.

      • flypusher says:

        “The truth is that sexuality is likely a continuum, with people feeling varying degrees of sexual attraction to the opposite or same sex.”

        Humans tend to prefer discrete catagories, so anything that falls outside can be quite upsetting to some.

      • objv says:

        Anse, A continuum? Hence, inmates engaging in homosexual conduct in prison? (Ben Carson)

      • flypusher says:

        Except that’s not what Carson said. He’s not off the hook for saying something ignorant.

      • objv says:

        fly, if sexuality is a continuum, wouldn’t sexual orientation be a choice at some point? Let’s use the inmate example. If a guy is normally is attracted to women but becomes attracted to men in prison isn’t controlling his sexuality a choice under those circumstances?

      • objv says:

        I hasten to say that inmates can be victimized by other inmates.

        I’ll also freely admit that all I’m doing is speculation. I’m on the female hetero end of the continuum.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Obj…i think most folks would make a distinction between “being gay” and “engaging and same sex sexual activity”.

        Otherwise, the percentage of people who are “gay” is really much larger than thought once you count all the folks in boarding schools, prison, the military, and summer camp, who manage to find “outlets for their desires” even when the opposite sex is not available.

        It also would be interesting to try to categorize the number of gay folks in ostensibly happily, heterosexual marriages (often with kids).

        Hopefully, as gay marriage is legalized and being gay is more accepted, those gay folks won’t have to put themselves in those relationships, making the gay person and his/her spouse undoubtedly happier in the long term.

      • johngalt says:

        You don’t have much choice about to whom you are attracted. You do have a choice in whether you act on that attraction. But so what? Why should society (or our laws) have anything to do with whom you choose to have a sexual relationship?

        Carson’s comments about prison were staggeringly ignorant. People may choose to participate in same-sex relations in prison for a variety of reasons, often because it is the least bad of some very bad options; very few of those indicate a permanent change in their sexual orientation.

    • flypusher says:

      “So, even when identical DNA is present, sexual orientation is not necessarily the same. ”

      Not all that shocking that identical twins might not be 100% identical, because phenotype is a product of genotype AND environment. Even identical twins in utero will not have the exact same environment, so differences can occur.

    • johngalt says:

      Objv, beyond that fact that you cherry-picked the study that found the least genetic basis for homosexuality from a Wikipedia article and that most studies find a much stronger basis for it, the more relevant question is to what degree is same-sex attraction a conscious choice. There are hard-wired differences in brain structure between heterosexual and homosexual individuals. There is a curious finding that having the more older brothers a man has the higher a chance of being gay. These are not consistent with and explanation of conscious choice as an adult. Some of the effects may literally be stochastic chance during embryonic development. Whether this is determined solely by genes is irrelevant: how is one in any way responsible for events that occurred during his own development?

      Perhaps there are a few people who choose to have same-sex relationships, but for most of recent history, there has been such a stigma attached to this that it would have been a rare choice to make.

      • objv says:

        JG, Good. I was hoping to get some input from you. I was not trying to imply that there was no genetic basis for homosexuality. Quite the opposite. I was trying to show that there is also some basis to believe that being religious might also have a genetic component. In each case. it would not be a matter of one gene, but would involve multiple factors or genes that could be in play.

        BTW, I’ve sent in the 23andMe test. My family tree is rather boring. Here’s hoping that the DNA turns up something more interesting. 🙂

      • flypusher says:

        “I was trying to show that there is also some basis to believe that being religious might also have a genetic component.”

        Then by extension, so would being non-religious. And once upon a time the non-religious had to stay in the closet, if they knew what was good for them.

      • objv says:

        True, fly, true.

      • johngalt says:

        You should hope that there isn’t anything interesting in your DNA, because interesting is rarely good. But perhaps you’ll find some ancestry you didn’t previously know.

        You, or anyone, is welcome to be religious, spiritual, or whatever you wish to call it. I have no problem with the vast majority of people who are religious. I do have a problem when they want me to be religious or me to live by their rules, many of which are pretty arbitrary.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        There are very few things that are either only nature or only nurture, and even were it that simple, it would not necessarily to be a single gene or only one factor. I don’t know anyone arguing that anything is that simple.

        There are numerous studies of personality differences between religious and non-religious people, and at least a fair amount of personality is genetic. In simple personality terms, people how are higher on affiliation and lower on openness are much more likely to be religious, and undoubtedly that would have both genetic and environmental links.

        Even if “religiosity” was genetically determined, belonging to a specific religion is a conscious choice (despite the admonitions of parents around the world). So, even if everyone agreed it was genetic, there would still be significant differences and antipathy across religions.

        For a group that has dominated the political, financial, and social aspects of the US for the last couple of centuries, Christians do so love to feel persecuted.

        Obj notes…”Persecution of Christians has not been the norm in this country, but it has been throughout history. Look at the current persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.”

        I think we could find oodles of persecution BY Christians in the US (and around the world) if we look through history.

        If religiosity is genetic, but participating in a religion is choice, what say folks stop picking religions that cause them to behave like asshats?

        All this begs the question, “So what?”

        We have lots of protections in this country for religious people. I cannot fire an employee because he is a Christian. We do not have such protections for gay people, and the State of Texas tells me I can happily fire someone because they are gay.

      • 1mime says:

        Interestingly, I have read about studies that find differences in the brains of conservatives and liberals. (maybe NYT?) Now, THAT was interesting! Wish I could find the source but it was really well written and believable….who knows for sure?

        I do not believe religion is genetically pre-determined. Period. The post on “when hate stays in the closet” does a good job of explaining why people need religion (sort of the opium of the masses concept) but more important, that this need for spirits, gods, faith generally emerged as it affords comfort, security, and societal structure for human beings who live in proximity.

        This theory parallels my own religious views even as I accept and applaud other views. What I find reprehensible are those who use religion as justification to vilify or criticize others, or, worse, to impose their beliefs through legislation or other means. This destroys the basic good in religion where instead of being a personal source of strength, it becomes a yardstick by which others are measured and found wanting.

        Then, there are those who are extremists who misappropriate religion to justify heinous acts – ISIL, etc.

        Great discussion all.

      • objv says:

        Homer, this is a little off track, but applies to a discussion we’ve had in the past about children’s toys. You had mentioned that you think boys and girls should play with toys that are not specific to their genders.

        I found this from the wiki article interesting:

        “A meta-analysis of 48 studies showed childhood gender nonconformity to be the strongest predictor of a homosexual orientation for both men and women.”

        If I understand this correctly, boys and girls will prefer playthings and clothes they most identify with. I had two kids and they had the opportunity to choose their own toys. They both chose toys in line with their genders.

        If children have a natural inclination toward certain types of toys specific to their genders, should parents try to modify their interests? I understand that it’s a good idea to push girls into STEM careers from an early age, but if a little girl is perfectly happy playing with her Barbie make-up kit while wearing Hello Kitty clothes and decorating her room in purple and pink; should you really force her to play with a Lil Mechanics tool kit?

        Now that you’ve been a dad for a few years, have your opinions changed any?

      • objv says:

        JG: Unfortunately, 23andMe is no longer providing health-related genetic information. 😦 The health information would have been the most interesting.

      • johngalt says:

        I had forgotten that they had stopped that part of the service. Hopefully they will sort out their differences with the FDA soon. Honestly, though, what they reported could be a bit hard for non-scientists to understand. Perhaps as a nurse you would have understood the relative risk and Odd’s ratios that they used to estimate likelihood of disease progression, but I think most people didn’t. Fortunately I did mine before they got shut down and found no real red flags in my genetic data. I’m not sure I would have spent $99 to find out that I am 2.4% Neanderthal and am genetically Caucasian (as in, from the Caucasus in some distant past).

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Regarding the gender non-conformity as children in terms of playing or dressing, we are in a correlation/causation circle. I think the general consensus is that these children are gay and thus have gender non-conforming habits, not that they have gender non-conforming habits and thus turn gay.

        So sure, the research should show that gender non-conformity is a really strong predictor of later same-sex attraction. I would also suggest that having sex with someone of the same gender is a really strong predictor of later same-sex attraction…because they are both caused by the same thing…being gay.

        With regard to my boys, one of the first “big” gifts they got was a play kitchen. I’m a firm believer that boys/men need to know how to survive living alone, and cooking is one of those survival skills that will be needed. The play kitchen is not pink, but certainly it would have been in the “girl aisle” of most toy stores. The boys love it and often “cook” stuff for us, and it was a good for them to pretend to wash their hands as we try to encourage that now in real life. They’ve had it for 18 months now, so the novelty has worn off and it gets played with less, but it will be around for the baby when he is older.

        I did get them anatomically correct dolls when we got pregnant again. Their interest in those comes and goes. They also have race tracks and golf clubs and baseballs, and any number of other things, about which their interest comes and gos.

        It is recognizably difficult to be objective about things (especially your own children), but I don’t see them currently doing things that are particularly “male” in nature. They run around like crazy, climb everything, and jump like monkeys. The girls we see at the park do the same things.

        They spend a lot of time playing with dump trucks, cars, and busses, but I suspect that has something to do with the fact that we have six dump trucks, four million hot wheels cars, and at least five busses for them to play with. Would girls play with the same things? If that was all we had? I don’t know.

        For the STEM issues, I’m always struck by the fact that girls do better on math and science tests until high school. If ability to perform well in STEM fields is gender-based genetics, why does it wait until high school to kick in?

        Even more interesting, we do not see girls’ score slip in other parts of the world. Talk to the engineers recruiting at Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, or anywhere else, and they will let you know that finding female engineers from outside the US is much easier than finding one from inside the US. You are looking at almost a 50/50 ratio outside the US but a 70/30 ratio in the US.

        So, if talent in STEM fields is gender-based genetics, those genes are getting triggered during the teenage years and seem to have mutated a bit in other countries.

      • 1mime says:

        Then there are the girls who were “tomboys”. They became older and began dating (boys). Then they went to college. Those who were lucky were encouraged or self-determined enough that they acquired degrees in heterosexual fields that matched their skill set and desires. The “tomboys”, having grown up in the rough and tumble world of boys, had learned to give as good as they took. They competed, got their jobs but they didn’t always get the same pay as their male counterparts doing the same job. They stood up for themselves and either got what they deserved or left for greener pastures. They got married and they had their own tomboys, or not. It was their choice.

        One thing was certain: being a Tomboy was good field training for life.

    • vikinghou says:

      Discovery of a “gay gene” would open Pandora’s box. Homosexuality would be considered by many to be a birth defect. Perhaps some sort of in vitro treatment would be developed to “correct” the defect. Or, a mother may choose to abort the gay fetus. Would pro-life people make an exception and approve of aborting gay fetuses on religious grounds? The moral and ethical questions would be endless.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Typical OV false narrative and cherry picking and misreading her own sources.

      OV, there are literally 3 dozen studies in your wiki link indicating there IS a biological component to homosexuality, yet you took pains to highlight that ONE SINGLE outlier study claiming homosexuality is not genetic? And even though a follow up study with a larger and more reliable sample debunked YOUR single favorite study?

      And that is why you engender no respect OV. Your blatantly irrationally biased propaganda works for the Fox delusional types. Not here.

      And the best tidbit from your link on biology?

      “Gay men report, on an average, slightly longer and thicker penises than non-gay men.”

      • vikinghou says:

        “Gay men report, on an average, slightly longer and thicker penises than non-gay men.”

        Every cloud has a silver lining. 😉

      • objv says:

        Sigh, bubba, I’ll have to make exceptions for you, since you must have gotten a D in reading comprehension. My point was that homosexuality DOES have a biological component – just not obvious genetically.

        As to your last remark … Are you trying to tell me my husband is gay?

      • 1mime says:

        Found the article on conservative/liberal brains/minds for those who are interested in “wiring”

        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/22/magazine/22IDEA.html

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        March 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        “As to your last remark … Are you trying to tell me my husband is gay?”

        It would explain the psychological underpinnings of your anti-gay proclivities. Deal with it and move on. Don’t hate on all the gays for your shortcomings.

      • objv says:

        bubba, balderdash and poppycock. I like gays and lesbians. (I also like religious people.)

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Ah Bubba….if that line from Obj didn’t make you laugh, I’m not sure anything will.

        Well played Obj

      • johngalt says:

        “Gay men report, on an average, slightly longer and thicker penises than non-gay men.”

        Methinks this is a case of reporting bias: most gay men have not spent their sexual lives with female partners trying to coddle the fragile male sexual ego and know that, in fact, size does matter and exaggerate accordingly.

  2. 1mime says:

    Hermit crabs have a lesson for Repubs – get in line and cooperate! A different way to look at politics….if only humans had as much sense!

    http://twistedsifter.com/videos/the-great-hermit-crab-shell-swap/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Twistedsifter+%28TwistedSifter+%29

  3. johngalt says:

    Lindsay Graham has apparently never used email. John McCain doesn’t use it regularly. How do you exist in today’s world as a professional anything without email?
    http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/lindsey-graham-ive-never-sent-email-n319571

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Wow. Republicans really DO live in the past, don’t they.

      • 1mime says:

        About right now Hillary is wishing she had been a little smarter about how she used the email system (-:

    • Creigh says:

      I heard that when Ike left the White House he had to learn how to use a phone. I imagine many celebrities don’t know how to use Twitter, they have flunkies for that.

  4. 1mime says:

    The Shark speaks out to Republicans: “Drop the Social Issues!”

    http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-cuban-republicans-social-issues-2014-10

  5. 1mime says:

    On topic, domestic and internationally.

    Jeb Bush has a new advisor to improve his standing with fundamentalists. Jordan Sekulow and his father’s organization ACLJ (pretty close to ACLU – clever) are also active in Africa….They are going to SAVE The World! Here’s more about their work:

    “In a major coup for Jeb Bush, leading evangelical attorney Jordan Sekulow announced Friday that he had signed on as a senior adviser to the former Florida governor’s Right to Rise political action committee, boosting Bush’s bid to woo socially conservative voters…”

    Jordan Sekulow has been particularly instrumental in ACLJ’s African campaigns. Under his tutelage, the organization established the East African Center for Law and Justice in 2009, as Kenya prepared to debate a new constitutional framework. Aimed at convincing Kenyan lawmakers “to take the Christian’s views into consideration as they draft legislation and policies,” the EACLJ lobbied to ensure that gay sex remained illegal under the 2010 Kenyan constitution….

    Sekulow also railed against a provision of the constitution allowing abortions when a mother’s health is at risk; he denounced such a regime as “abortion on demand.” The EACLJ, however, failed in its dual efforts to modify the constitution’s anti-discrimination language and to scuttle the limited right to an abortion.”

    We have an uphill fight to overcome the march right by the extreme right. And, Jeb Bush is tipping his hand as to his allegiances. Be aware.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/09/jebs_scary_new_adviser_meet_jordan_sekulow_global_attorney_for_the_religious_right/?source=newsletter

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Same old tired Repub playbook that worked so well for McCain and Romney. Another “severely conservative” chameleon clown mask for the Republican Circus Maximus.

      Whatever.

      The only wildcard is whether Hillary can be kept from self immolating herself in the next 20 months.

  6. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    I don’t like to plagiarize, so I’ll give credit:

    B. Obama (2015).

    “Just this week, I was asked whether I thought the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report shows that, with respect to race, little has changed in this country. I understand the question, for the report’s narrative was woefully familiar. It evoked the kind of abuse and disregard for citizens that spawned the Civil Rights Movement. But I rejected the notion that nothing’s changed. What happened in Ferguson may not be unique, but it’s no longer endemic, or sanctioned by law and custom; and before the Civil Rights Movement, it most surely was.

    We do a disservice to the cause of justice by intimating that bias and discrimination are immutable, or that racial division is inherent to America. If you think nothing’s changed in the past fifty years, ask somebody who lived through the Selma or Chicago or L.A. of the Fifties. Ask the female CEO who once might have been assigned to the secretarial pool if nothing’s changed. Ask your gay friend if it’s easier to be out and proud in America now than it was thirty years ago. To deny this progress – our progress – would be to rob us of our own agency; our responsibility to do what we can to make America better.

    Of course, a more common mistake is to suggest that racism is banished, that the work that drew men and women to Selma is complete, and that whatever racial tensions remain are a consequence of those seeking to play the “race card” for their own purposes. We don’t need the Ferguson report to know that’s not true. We just need to open our eyes, and ears, and hearts, to know that this nation’s racial history still casts its long shadow upon us. We know the march is not yet over, the race is not yet won, and that reaching that blessed destination where we are judged by the content of our character – requires admitting as much.

    “We are capable of bearing a great burden,” James Baldwin wrote, “once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is.”

    *********************************
    This is a man characterized as the most racially divisive president we have ever had. I doubt that it is a coincidence that that he also is the blackest president we have ever had. Other than a few small fumbles here and there, I cannot imagine Obama handling race issues any better than he has.

    Personally, I would have been happy to see an “angry Black man” out of him every once in a while (Just one, “you have got to be fucking kidding me with this bullshit”), but that ultimately would likely have been counterproductive in the end.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer: “Personally, I would have been happy to see an “angry Black man” out of him every once in a while

      Boy oh boy would it feel good! Let ‘er rip, O! We got your back!

      There are few in Congress who exhibit as much class as Obama. How he holds his tongue and keeps his cool amazes me. He evidently holds dear the burden and responsibility as the first Black President to remain above the small people who continuously demonize him. I will give the man a lot of room for mistakes because of what he has to put up with. Imagine if Dems had done to W what Repubs did to Obama re Net’s unannounced visit and speech while diplomacy was ongoing in Iraq! I can just hear the indignation and putrefaction. They are hypocrites and small, mean people.

    • 1mime says:

      Homer, you did read my post from Nation of Change on the official response of Ferguson’s Mayor to the DOJ report?

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Baldwin also said: “The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”

      I, too, wouldn’t have minded to see him get angry at the bullshit. Especially regarding his comment about the police who removed Gates from his own home.

      But he’s done alright by me, in very difficult circumstances.

      • flypusher says:

        My fav Baldwin quote:

        “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

  7. Anse says:

    I read Phyllis Schafly’s comments at CPAC and it made my stomach turn…and Cal Thomas is calling it a sign of the End Times…God what awful, terrible people. It makes my heart glad to know there are Republicans who aren’t terrible. These are the people we can make a civilization with. The primitives need to be marginalized.

  8. stephen says:

    I agree with Lifer’s position I think. Personally I think homosexuality is sin just like adultery or fornication. Like most people I am guilty of some of those. But we need to separate civil rights from our religious beliefs. Other wise we will look like what is going on in many middle east countries right now. Religious and ethic persecution. Like all rights religious freedom must be balance against other rights of other individuals. As one deep south red neck friend told his black buddy once when they were talking about freedom,” Your freedom ends at the tip of my nose”. Good wisdom and kind of destroys one type of stereotype.

    • flypusher says:

      “Personally I think homosexuality is sin just like adultery or fornication.”

      I’m curious here. Do you think people become homosexual or is it an innate biological trait? If the former, how do you reconcile it with the science that points in the opposite direction? If the latter, how do you reconcile it with sin requiring freedom to choose?

      • stephen says:

        I think both. Homosexuality is a choice but the innate desire can be inborn. The desire for instance for heterosexual sex is innate but who, when, how and if are under our control. Same for homosexual sex. I can still treat a homosexual with dignity, respect and even love. But if free will exist then this behavior is a choice. Same as Adultery or fornication.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Certainly Stephen…we can all make choices of whether or not to have sex with someone.

        So, technically, sure there is free will and people could simply not act on their innate desires.

        Of course, you are then condemning homosexuals to a life of abstinence in order to not sin based on those innate desires, and that is a pretty tall hurdle (and kind of a shitty thing for god to do to people).

        Stephen, I think you likely are trying to come at this from a good place, but “I can still treat a homosexual with dignity, respect and even love” makes it sound so magnanimous.

        If you have to specify that you can shoulder this burden and feel dignity, respect, and even love for homosexuals, you must have very broad shoulders for all the burdens you are shouldering for all the fornicators you encounter on a daily basis.

        Does anyone, seriously expect young adults today to abstain until marriage? On average, women are 27 and men are 29 when they get married. It would be foolish to expect people not to have sex until that age, and probably even more foolish to intentionally avoid sex until that age.

        Folks seem to make a much bigger deal of “loving the sinner” when it comes to homosexuality, but conveniently don’t make too big a deal about it when it comes to all the fornicators running around.

      • 1mime says:

        Here, here, Homer! You really “cut to the chase”!

        “Folks seem to make a much bigger deal of “loving the sinner” when it comes to homosexuality, but conveniently don’t make too big a deal about it when it comes to all the fornicators running around.”

        And, that’s because………it’s such a BIG crowd!

        It’s sort of like claiming to be a fiscal conservative and a social liberal….it don’t compute.

      • flypusher says:

        I was brought up with the exact some notions. Seeing the science in my undergrad days changed my mind. To me, it seemed grossly unfair to tell someone that they could never enter into an honest and open adult relationship with the person they loved and desired, just because their brain got wired differently.

    • 1mime says:

      Stephen, I respect your right to your view on homosexuality as sin even as I disagree. I personally believe people don’t choose homosexuality (maybe a very small outlier do) but that it is congenital. Adultery and fornication are unquestionably choices (unless there is a rape situation). I make no judgement on these choices (except rape which is always wrong), they are what they are. I agree that religion and civil rights must be kept separate. The FF knew what they were doing when they created the first amendment.

      It is more difficult to maintain personal freedom (the “tip of the nose” position), even as I understand the inherent personal freedom concept. From a cultural, societal position, I’m not so sure this is possible, or, even desirable. Bear with me here.

      We live in a land of laws, diversity of opinions, religions, values, cultures, races. In a civilized, industrialized nation and world, don’t each of us have to give up some of our personal freedom for the good of the whole? Of course, in our “compliance/acceptance” of these strictures, we are still exercising “choice”, the ultimate freedom. But, what about those situations where choice is in the hands of the dominant party? Bondage and slavery where choice wasn’t the individual’s but necessary to preserve life, or women’s exercise of choice without hassle, danger or legal constraints, as an entirely personal decision – predicated on Roe and state law.

      The point is that there are many shades of grey in freedom. Responsible, rational people will make good choices that reflect tolerance in most situations. The problem is with those who wish to impose their choices on individuals and classes – because they can, through legislative or financial controls. This usurps the very core of personal freedom, and, is wrong.

    • RobLL says:

      Oh, I thought he said “Your freedom stops at the end of my noose”. oops

  9. flypusher says:

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/03/11/social-conservatives-turn-off-gen-y-gop

    Definitely time to declare defeat in the culture wars and move on.

    • 1mime says:

      Speaking of moving on, this thoughtful piece in today’s Salon appears to me the most astute political assessment out there. Bill Curry skewers Repubs and Dems alike (deservedly) offering scathing analysis of what is and is not going to be done. Boy, are we in for a heap of grief.

      A snippet: “McConnell, Boehner, Obama and Clinton all struggle to change. It’s the system that sucks them back in; that and their inability to see past it. It’s the war of the bases, the craving for money and the mindless faith in mindless message politics. Everybody’s in the same prison and nobody gets to change without breaking out of it. If they don’t believe this, they should peek outside their cell windows and see the change that’s starting without them.

      http://www.salon.com/2015/03/08/broken_venal_dysfunctional_the_gop_clown_show_hillarys_challenge_and_our_dangerously_frozen_democracy/?source=newsletter

    • 1mime says:

      Owl would love the third party call out. I was struck by the author’s plaintiff observation, “as someone with no vested interest in whether Republicans win elections, I think the more interesting question is why all these socially-liberal young folks still self-identify as Republicans?”

      Indeed, THAT is an interesting question. Democrats are missing the boat, obviously even as author Elizabeth Brown acknowledges they identify more with Dems because of the strong social issues pull. Brown’s suggestion? Abandon both parties and make the Libertarian Party a viable alternative political force for their fiscal and social preferences.

      Provocative. Dems and Repubs both better read the tea leaves, and the Salon article I posted below along with this piece Fly shared, is trying to tell us something. I’m listening, what about you?

  10. 1mime says:

    OK, since the boozer in the crowd gave me a “pass” on OT posts, I’ll add one more (for today(-:

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia, who wears his partisanship proudly, commented during the opening remarks by the plaintiff’s counsel on why the Court should rule in favor of their arguments, (that will gut the ACA). He said, that by June, when they released their ruling, Congress (the Republicans) would have a substitute or transition plan in place that would allow the court to rule without concern as to the chaos that would occur if the plaintiffs won.

    We know the GOP is working madly to bolster Scalia’s confidence in them, and should in the intervening four months, be able to offer a health care plan that they have been unable to fashion in their history as a party. What a friend they have in Scalia. So much confidence and assurance that he is on their team. All the GOP needed was a: SHORT DEADLINE! As they say in TX, “no problema!”

    Then compare that with the same court’s advice when they struck down critical parts of the Voting Rights Act with the advice that Congress could fix any problems that their changes might cause – which Pres. Obama challenged them to do today in Selma, the site of so much courage, blood, hurt, just for the right to vote.

    It will be a cold day in Hell before this Republican Congress makes improvements to the changes wrought by SCOTUS. But, give ’em a 4 month deadline, and they can come up with a health care plan that has defied them for decades!

    Wow! Ya just gotta incentivize the GOP properly!

  11. 1mime says:

    Lifer, trying to stay OT but this Salon article from Elias Isquith, offers a compelling narrative about what’s really going on in the Ferguson nightmare and its foundation in white supremacy, your premise for much of what is wrong with our country today.

    Isquith: “…as Ta-Nehisi Coates implies in his response to the DOJ report, one of the major stumbling blocks separating the Fergusons of today from what a city in the United States is supposed to be is a level of historical ignorance and denial that makes confronting white supremacy head-on all but impossible. So long as the mainstream refuses to own up to the way race-based plunder is not contrary to but rather in concert with U.S. history, we will continue to understand racism as what happens when a bunch of mean cops sit around forwarding each other racist jokes. And until we’re willing to recognize that Ferguson is New York City is Los Angeles is Chicago and so on, fewer “politically incorrect” emails is all the change we’re going to get.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/07/americas_ferguson_confusion_why_the_problem_has_been_completely_misunderstood/?s

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      When I was in elementary and high school (small farming community in northwestern Ohio, admittedly a long time ago, we really weren’t taught much about slavery.

      Yes, it was discussed in history books but not the wretched details appropriate for the subject. Sometimes the books described the situation in almost bucolic terms — large plantations, growing crops, etc.

      More than once in high school I asked myself “Why didn’t they just leave?” I was unaware of the systems that kept the slaves in such misery unaware of the concept of social justice (Aristotle, Lock).

      I read a lot of books after I got out of high school. One day it occurred to me that I had learned more about slavery and the holocaust (don’t think that was even mentioned in our high school texts) in the two years after school than I had the full twelve years of public and parochial education.

      That means adults I respected did not educate me, perhaps were not educated themselves, and left us with huge gaps in our understanding of the country’s history. No wonder some people get upset when they’re prompted to re-educate themselves about their communities. It’s like asking them to deny their parents, their teachers, everybody.

      No excuses, though. We’re adults. Owning up is what we do.

      • flypusher says:

        Or they’ve got some tremendously thick rose-colored glasses. Or they didn’t personally see it, therefore those awful stories are exaggeration/ propaganda/ outright lies (remember Phil from Duck Dynasty putting both feet in his mouth about he didn’t see any unhappy Black people?). Or why are you dwelling on all that bad stuff in the distant past, when we’ve fixed all that now and everyone has been declared equal (sound familiar?). We do need what Mr Coates was really aiming for in his reparations article- we need a public recounting of all this bad history that too many would rather sweep under the rug. Then we truly need to stop doing all this racist crap. For real this time.

      • RobA says:

        I agree Bobo.

        I grew up in a very religious household (pentecostal) and I was a fervent believer of the opinions I now rail against until I was at least 18.

        IMO it speaks volumes for a person who is indoctrinated in a certain ideology and are able to grow out of said ideology from their own critical thinking skills. It is so very easy to just accept the teachings of your parents.

        It is the mark of a superior mind that can be indoctrinated in a false ideology and still eventually overcome it.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob: ” It is the mark of a superior mind that can be indoctrinated in a false ideology and still eventually overcome it.”

        To your credit, Rob, and others who have broken away from narrow thinking.

        I know there are good people in the Republican Party but there are few who are willing to stand up against the extremists, so it’s going to take time. It’s also going to take more than intellect, it will require pragmatic leadership and honesty. The GOP had an opportunity after the ’08 Presidential trouncing, and then again when Romney got beat. What I question is not their intelligence or organizational skills, which they have plenty of, but if they have the determination and humility to become more inclusive. Strangely, even with Limbaugh’s huge ego, at least he was honest about his diminishing market appeal to those in the 24-55 (or whatever) age group. That reality hasn’t sunk in yet for either the traditional Republicans or the ultra conservatives in their party. I would hope it wouldn’t take utter humiliation, but I’m not sure real lasting change will come unless, as Viking stated, a significant emotional event occurs.

        It’s really too bad that the GOPwon big in ’12 and ’14 as I think they are deluding themselves that the country is behind their agenda. And, the huge win surely sent a bullish message. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, money and hard work has helped postpone a reckoning. But, it will come, and it can’t come soon enough to uphold America’s promise of equality to all its people. Once the GOP gets the message, they will be a viable party again.

      • RobA says:

        I;d like to add to this quote, that I believe someone here already posted:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it”

        – Upton Sinclair

        If it’s difficult to get someone to understand something whose SALARY depends on them not understanding it, how difficult is it to get someone to understand something when their perception of existence depends on them not understanding it?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Fly, everything you posted sounds familiar. And discouraging. Me, I was just ruminating on why it’s so difficult.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        RobA, I’m glad you found yourself.

      • Doug says:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it”
        You mean like how the world hasn’t warmed in a couple of decades? Yeah, that’s a good quote.

      • flypusher says:

        This is even better, and by better I mean WTF-worse:

        http://electionlawblog.org/?p=70798

      • 1mime says:

        Selma – And, of course, McCarthy attended in the bare minimum appearance as the
        “token” Republican Leadership representative.

        The GOP has written off the Black vote completely. I hope that point is crystal clear.

      • RobA says:

        I should add, if anyone is wondering why I’m posting so frequently today, I met up with an old friend earlier, and “a few beers” turned into a whole lot lol.

        I’m even MORE aware of social issues when I’m, shall we say, “inebriated”. Please excuse me 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        CHEERS, Rob! Have one for me!

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, the black Rep. Tim Scott who wants to de-couple Voting rights from the Selma commemoration….the only black Republican in the U.S. Senate. If he thought he was lonely before, he’s gonna love how many black friends he picked up with that statement!

    • RobA says:

      The really scary thing isn’t that Ferguson exists. I think even the most optimistic about race relations would concede that places like Ferguson exist.

      The scary thing is: “is ferguson NOT unique? Is this the situation in the vast majority of middle american towns?”

      We may look at the 60’s with incredulity (“can you actually believe people were protesting a black persons right to get an education as recently as 1965?”), but we may in fact be living among a very similar mindset as we speak. It may be hidden in plain sight.

      • RobA says:

        ……..And that – to a person who prioritizes justice and equality – is a terrifying thought.

    • RobA says:

      lol no worries 1mime. Are the comments EVER “OT”?

      • 1mime says:

        I try Rob A, but admittedly am very poorly disciplined in staying OT (-:

      • RobA says:

        no no, don’t misunderstand me. I think the fact that the comments go off topic is a great thing.

        Chris has some fantastic writing when he posts. But in between posts, lots of interesting things happen that deserve recognition.

        I think it’s a great thing that the comments go OT

    • RobA says:

      Doug, I’m not a climatologist or an expert of how heat is transferred between mediums. I DO know, in my career as a commercial diver, that liquid holds heat much more efficiently then air. This is why there might not be rising air temps, but the rising ocean temps are a problem. The fact that air temps are not rising is stilll alarming if the water on our planet is absorbing the excess heat.

      More to the point, I’m smart enough to defer to the people who ARE experts. Whwn 97% of climatologists agree that A) co,imate change is real and B) climate change is expedited by human activity, I’m inclined to pay attention.

      http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

      If you are the type to refuse to accept scientific consensus if it disagrees with your personal opinion, I’m not able to debate with you. There would be no changing your mind.

    • 1mime says:

      And, this latest salvo from the Mayor of Ferguson, lest anyone think the DOJ Report would be treated seriously. Why is this not a surprise? Question is, how will DOJ respond?

      http://www.nationofchange.org/2015/03/08/ferguson-mayor-rejects-department-of-justice-report-says-theres-no-proof-city-has-a-race-problem/

      • 1mime says:

        The Daily Sift offers a thorough recap of Ferguson although the author must not have heard the mayor’s denial statement in the post above. The “do not pass go; go directly to jail” analogy is a creative opening to a very thoughtful analysis. Ferguson is going to be with us for a long time. And, that’s a good thing – as long as we learn from it and change because of it.

        http://weeklysift.com/2015/03/09/justice-in-ferguson/

  12. vikinghou says:

    I’m a little late to the gay-marriage discussion. A couple months ago Linda Greenhouse (one of my favorite NYT writers) addressed this issue brilliantly. To paraphrase, she warned the GOP not to think the issue will go away should the Supreme Court rule favorable on gay marriage.

    “But the Republicans’ sighs of relief are premature: not because the court will let them down by sending the marriage issue back to the states (of course it may, but I doubt it will), but because marriage equality isn’t the end of the story. It is only, to borrow from Winston Churchill, the end of the beginning.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/opinion/the-supreme-court-wont-end-the-gay-marriage-debate-for-republicans.html?_r=0

    • 1mime says:

      Greenhouse also wrote a critical piece on why SCOTUS should not rule in favor of the plaintiffs challenging ACA. She thinks deeply, writes well, and educates those who are informed by logic.

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, “the end of the beginning” indeed. A comment in Greenhouse’s NYT piece that struck me was this:

      “A federal measure called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, protecting gays and lesbians against discrimination on the job, has been pending for years. A version passed the Senate in 2013 but died in the Republican-controlled House.”

      It is going to be a long, hard road.

      • RobA says:

        The fight for true race equality lasted around 200 years. Not sure why we’d expect the fight for sexual preference equality to be any quicker.

        We will win, but it won’t be after a long, hard fight.

    • vikinghou says:

      I agree. Unless a “significant emotional event” occurs within the GOP that changes the party’s stance on social issues, I’m afraid little progress will be made until the Dems take back Congress. Thanks to gerrymandering, this is unlikely to happen until after the next census. Sorry, I’m not full of optimism today.

      • 1mime says:

        Viking, here’s a little something that may brighten your day: Rush Limbaugh posted this comment to his FB page, 3/4/15. (a page I never have nor will again visit):

        “Now that I’ve outgrown the 25-54 demographic, I’m no longer confident that the way I see the world is the way everybody else does. I’ve gotten old enough now that there are younger people, generationally younger, who have an entirely different view, an entirely different experience.”

        This in response to rumors he may be dropped in Chicago radio market by Cumulus WLS 890 am due to declining revenue from Limbaugh boycott efforts.

        His ego is still making his ears stick out (t u Fifty!)….Note that Limbaugh states he has “outgrown the 25-54 demographic”! I’d say it is more like this demographic has outgrown Limbaugh!

        Get enough of these media wingnuts off the air and same sex marriage will happen sooner rather than later.

      • 1mime says:

        Viking, I’ve been thinking about what might qualify as a “significant emotional event”, and maybe it is right in front of us. Say SCOTUS rules for the plaintiffs premised upon a conservative majority of justices who “buy” the alternative plan that the GOP develops to replace the ACA. Say it is a real disaster in every way possible – plan doesn’t work as hoped; internal fighting within GOP erupts as the blame game gets into high gear; insured people don’t/aren’t able to easily participate as hoped; litigation emerges over GOP plan subsidies/COBRA abridgement; state governments can’t manage the programs; insurers/large hospitals/doctors and other medical providers are squeezed. Congress is frozen and can’t get anything accomplished demonstrating for all their lack of ability to govern.

        CHAOS.

        2016 Elections loom during a vulnerable year for the GOP.

        Voters are disgusted and they turn out. Big. Really Big.

      • vikinghou says:

        1mime,

        What you describe sounds very plausible. The GOP may, as you say, get embroiled in ideology rather than come up with a workable alternative—leaving the newly insured, let alone health care providers, to fend for themselves. But I’m afraid they will still find a way to blame Obama, saying “we wouldn’t be in this situation today if Obamacare hadn’t been implemented.” As if things were hunky dory before the ACA was passed. People have short memories. As I said earlier, optimism isn’t my strong suit today.

      • 1mime says:

        Rob, we are still working on that “true racial equality” thing. I suspect it will be a dead heat between racial and sexual equality with climate deniers and immigration obstructionists coming in dead last. Women’s rights will be in the money cause they’re living longer and will outnumber the guys in the stretch!

  13. 1mime says:

    OT but critically important.

    CNBC: “Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Congress that the U.S. will hit its statutory debt limit on March 16, setting up another potential showdown between lawmakers and the White House over spending.”

    Lew said he would begin temporary emergency measures on March 13th.

    Homeland Security Vote “BOOM” Raising Debt Ceiling, Next debacle.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      No kidding fly. I actually read his full long winded diatribe and couldn’t tell if it was a Colbertesque parody pretending to be a wingnut because it was so goofy. But then again they have been a parody of themselves for quite a while and I came to the conclusion this goofball was playing it straight because of his abject hatred for Obama. And Obama self identifying with the Spock character sent him off on the deep end of about how much he hated Spock and of course how horrible Spock was. Which I’m fairly certain his machinations and mental gymnastics to hate Spock only first came about AFTER Obama identified with the character.

      And what I find most telling and sad is that this delusional jerk is so full of hatred that he could not separate fact from fiction and only had an “apathetic reaction to Nimoy’s death”. Proof of a wingnut’s infantile and immature “values” system that he would literally devalue a real person’s life and death (and a complex, decent, and diversely talented real person at that) just because of a character role he played (and played well) that a President he reviles identifies with.

      What I also find ironic in his convoluted rationale to hate Spock/Obama, he stated glowingly that [Patrick Stewart’s Star Trek Next Generation character Captain Jean Luc] “Picard has been a model for his emulation of humanity”. I guess he wasn’t aware that the character was roundly criticized by die hard fans for too easily and frequently (and cowardly?) giving up the bridge and command of his ship to said mortal enemies that “liberal and pacifist Spock was too easy on”.

      http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~strandt/beta/trek/surrender.html

      I think that speaks volumes of the writer.

    • johngalt says:

      How sad is it to be someone so obsessed that you cannot even comment on the death of an actor, who by all accounts was a pretty decent person, without framing it based on your loathing for another human being.

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, the Canadians have got your back!

      http://twistedsifter.com/category/art/

  14. RobA says:

    Sam Brownbacks disastrous supply side economics have bankrupted the states so badly he has to consider something unthinkable: Getting paid by the US gov’t to allow the poorest and sickest members of society to access healthcare! Oh, the horror!! The humanity!!

    What a bunch of sick, morally bankrupt shit stains. They seethe with so much rage and anger at the temerity of a black to be elected president that their ONLY policy is to oppose him at every step, even if it means disaster is policies for their state and constituents.

    Can you imagine this even being a thing? That a governor who has bankrupted his state thinks to himself “well, I can continue to oppose Obamacare and support my ruinous fiscal policies……OR I can allow the federal gov’t to pay me enough to fix the fiscal problem but if I do that, then that means that the lives poorest people of my state will be greatly improved…..what to do, what to do…..this is a toughie”

    It’s disgusting.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/03/05/sam_brownback_may_turn_to_socialism_to_save_kansas_from_his_supply_side_budget_fiasco/

    • 1mime says:

      So, this is how Republicans govern. How sad for the people of KS. How hypocritical for Gov. Brownback and his GOP Lesgislature. His justification for not taking Medicaid expansion? there would be a long-term cost.

      Well, guess what, Brownback’s short-term ain’t looking so hot either. And, under ACA provisions, there is only a 10% contribution requirement by participating states. Not a bad return of tax dollars – if you are smart enough to take it.

      However, the whole option could be moot depending upon our illustrous SCOTUS and the trumped up appeal before it. KS might find his long-term solution is shorter term than ever if the ACA is gutted. Except for the innocent people of his state and others, it’s fair recompense for shoddy, arrogant, stupid fiscal management and governance.

      • flypusher says:

        I ran out of sympathy for Kansas. They had the chance to vote this guy out of office last year, and they passed. Let them reap what they sowed.

    • vikinghou says:

      For most of the voting populace in KS, social and religious issues trump economic ones. If financial ruin is the price to pay to maintain the status quo, so be it. I have had discussions with relatives in Wichita and have been amazed at this.

    • 1mime says:

      Rob, Kansas isn’t the only state where poor fiscal management is raising its ugly head. For years, Texas has proudly boasted about its robust economy, jobs market, and balanced budgets.

      When things are going good, few look beneath the top sheet.

      Turns out that TX’s balanced budget is suffering from a case of sunlight and extreme optimism. Tax revenues that are generated for dedicated purposes have been going instead into the general fund to, well, balance the budget and other spending priorities while basic needs – roads, public education, health care – are cut or not funded adequately. The incoming crop of TX GOP leadership along with their eager GOP legislative munchkins got really excited during the 2014 campaign and promised tax cuts to business and property owners…..before they did the math.

      Now, with a $9 Billion estimated loss to reduce just the business tax, these “kansas GOP copycats have a pesky problem on their hands. The GOP fixation on tax cuts irrespective of meeting basic needs responsibly, is communicable among Red states. It appears they need a vaccination against fiscal measles (-:

  15. Griffin says:

    Sometimes I’m so frustrated with the current state of American politics that I think that during the civil war we should have dismantled slavery then let the South go. The social conservatives that have always run the region are consistantly proven incorrect in their notions yet continue to make the same mistake over and over again. Then when the rest of the nation drags them into the next century they basically pretend nothing happened (while remaining passively aggressive of “big government” for changing their ways) and do it again. As far as I can see they are just a drain on us both financially and culturally yet Southern politicians have the gall to accuse everyone else of being inferior. The USA can not stay the leading power through military might alone it must be more advanced culturally, economically, and technologically yet it seems that we’re almost held back in those areas by policies put forward by mainly Southern politicans who then call everyone else unpatriotic.

  16. 1mime says:

    Someone please explain to me why David Koch would support same-sex marriage? Is it part of a benefactor tutorial for protegees on how to win elections?

    • fiftyohm says:

      The Koch Bros. are libertarian, for the most part – not religious wingers.

      • 1mime says:

        Actually, I knew that but find it very hard to believe Koch would so overtly participate in this particular battle. The brothers have usually been in the background. I guess we are to assume that David Koch has a really deep-seated interest in influencing the same-sex marriage decision.

      • RobA says:

        I think the “libertarian” thing is also a red herring.

        At the end of the day, it’s about money. The Koch Bros are almost unimaginable rich and their fortunes are in businesses that benefit heavily from little to no gov’t regulation, and “libertarian” is much easier to say then “we ju st want to destroy the planet and enrich ourselves with no conseqyence”

        I have no doubt if their fortunes were in solar and wind they would be hard core environmentalist and pour their money into more and more regulation of polluting industries.

        It’s all money for those scumbags.

        Although in a way, I think thats preferable then the honest to goodness true blue believers. Those ppl are actually terrifying

      • Doug says:

        “I think the “libertarian” thing is also a red herring.”

        Of course it is, because rich people are evil.

        Check this out: http://www.newsmax.com/Murdock/Koch-Brothers-Philanthropy-Reid/2014/03/21/id/560986/

      • flypusher says:

        This may blow your neural circuits Doug, but it is quite possible for a person to be running a destructive business, or even be involved in organized crime, while still making large donations to charities. For example Columbian drug lords put some of their ill gotten $ back into their local communities, all as PR to make them look good to the locals. Even scumbags like Saddam Hussein made a show of giving alms to widows and orphans. You have to judge a person by ALL his/ her works, not just the ones that look good.

      • johngalt says:

        Frankly, I think ascribing a political philosophy to the Koch brothers does them credit they don’t deserve. What they are are vindictive assholes, willing to spend billions of dollars manipulating a political system so they avoid paying a red cent in taxes. In this effort they will happily align themselves with religious conservatives if that helps advance their cause, which is primarily selfishness.

      • flypusher says:

        ” What they are are vindictive assholes, willing to spend billions of dollars manipulating a political system so they avoid paying a red cent in taxes. ”

        The policies they want could certainly result in more people needing aid from charity.

  17. fiftyohm says:

    Chris wrote: “No one has a right to legislate their religious beliefs.” Anyone who would assert that the campaign against same-sex marriage has anything but this at its core must have a nanomaterial-based, ultra-strong compressional member internally installed in their skull keeping their ears apart.

    Is it even possible for a thinking human being to look around the world, to have any awareness whatsoever of current events, and fail to catch even a glimpse of what lies at the end of that road? I don’t think so.

  18. Bobo Amerigo says:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/03/06/391233246/federal-rule-to-extend-medical-leave-to-same-sex-spouses-in-all-states

    Legally married spouses in same-sex couples soon will be able to take unpaid time off to care for a spouse or sick family members even if they live in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.

  19. Turtles Run says:

    Utah has struck up an agreement with the LGBT community that tries to strike a balance between religious rights and the rights of the LGBT community. For example if as a government employee feels they cannot perform a same sex marriage, fine but they will be unable to perform any weddings. Each county clerk would be required under the bill to have at least one person available to marry gay couples or else contract with someone to do it.

    Other provisions:

    What the bill would prohibit

    The Human Rights Campaign pointed to the following provisions in SB296:

    » Employers would be barred from discriminating against applicants and employees based on gender identity or sexual orientation

    » All individuals would enjoy the same free-speech protections in their private lives and could not be fired for supporting or opposing same-sex marriage.

    » Landlords and property owners could not discriminate against people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    » No religious exemptions from the nondiscrimination provisions would be allowed for individuals or for-profit businesses.

    Source: Human Rights Campaign

    http://www.sltrib.com/home/2249270-155/mormon-leaders-lgbt-groups-rally-behind?fullpage=1

    • Turtles Run says:

      Disclaimer: I would prefer a law that does not grant any exceptions but for Utah this is a huge step forward.

  20. Nick Cuccia says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Chris. Only one problem: The Republican party as currently constituted is trying to codify into law a biblical basis for our Constitution and laws. And we are only one GOP president, and a GOP presidential appointment of another Neanderthal Supreme Court Justice, away from having that biblical basis upheld, thus legalizing discrimination against gay people under the guise of religious freedom for the next 40 – 50 years.

  21. Doug says:

    The argument against gay marriage (and drugs, and guns, and porn, and …) boils down to STOP LIKING WHAT I DON’T LIKE! The sooner both sides stop trying to codify restrictions on behavior they don’t approve of, the better off we’ll be. If they’re not harming you, shut the hell up and let them live their lives as they see fit. It’s none of your business.

    The corollary to this is: STOP MAKING ME DO WHAT YOU LIKE! If a person doesn’t want to sell you a cake with two grooms on top, be an adult and deal with it. Find someone else to do it or make it yourself. Or buy a cake and stick your own grooms on. Why would you want to give him money?

    • Crogged says:

      Good advice Doug and what Andrew Sullivan basically advised his ‘audience’ to do.

    • RobA says:

      Slippery slope Doug.

      I’m not sure I see the difference between “be an adult and buy your two grooms cake somewhere else” and “be an adult and sit at the back of the bus” or “be an adult and find a coloureds bathroom to use”

      • RobA says:

        or “be an adult and eat at a restaurant where coloureds are welcome”

        I added this last example because my other two (bus, bathrooms) didn’t really cover private businesses open to the public, which of course left open the door to the “people should have the right to sell to whoever they want” argument.

        I doubt too many people think the franchise owner of McDonald’s has the right to deny service to blacks, even though that is a private business.

        In my opinion, ANY business that is open to the public has the implicit and explicit backing of the government (one assumes that business complies with all local and federal regulations) and thud, if they want to be open to the public, they must by law be required to be open to the entire public.

        Private business are not allowed to dump chemicals into rivers because it hurts society. They are not allowed to knowingly sell dangerous goods because it hurts society. Neither should they be allowed to discriminate based on gender, race, age, or orientation for the exact same reason.

        It hurts society.

      • flypusher says:

        “It hurts society.”

        But, but, but, FREEDOM!!

        (And eagles and apple pie and something.)

      • Doug says:

        This has been argued endlessly here with no agreement. I’ll just say this:
        Wouldn’t you like to know which business owners hate you just for who you are? Wouldn’t you like to deprive them of profit? How do you know when everyone must serve everyone?

        I don’t understand the idea of forcing someone to take my money.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – The idea is that if you want to conduct business in the open marketplace then you do so without discriminating against people. Not a hard concept.

        It is easy to simply pick another florist or baker in a large city. But what if you live in a small town and the local doctor or pharmacist decides they cannot treat you because you are gay or you are a different color. Now you are endangering live.

        Finally, we live in a nation that claims that it is the greatest example of freedom and liberty. Those concepts are completely at odds with the ability to discriminate against people solely because you dislike a certain segment of society. We tried it before and it is a horrible chapter in our nation’s history.

        If you cannot understand this then that speaks volumes of your moral character.

      • flypusher says:

        “I don’t understand the idea of forcing someone to take my money.”

        If you must be forced to take $ for goods and services, you are a really stupid business person.

        Also I don’t require that people I do business with personally like me. It’s great if they do, and certainly in the greater Houston metro area I have the luxury of factoring that into my purchasing choices, but you do get that some people live in placed without such options, don’t you? If your small town has but one pharmacy, the next one is 50 miles away, you’re too poor to own a car, and the local pharmacist decides he doesn’t want to sell you BC pills, you’re in a bit of a bind.

      • flypusher says:

        “Wouldn’t you like to know which business owners hate you just for who you are? Wouldn’t you like to deprive them of profit?”

        Also, if somebody doesn’t like Black people or Gay people or thinks women should be barefoot and pregnant, but manages to keep that unpleasantness to himself while conducting business, I’m really not hellbent on punishing him. If you’re openly a dick in public, then yeah, I’ll boycott you.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Doug, if you could just stop while we are ahead.

      Look, if someone doesn’t want you eating in their restaurant (or drinking out of their water fountain) because you are Black, be an adult and deal with it. Go find somewhere else to eat.

      Look, if someone doesn’t want to rent you an apartment because you are Hispanic, be an adult and deal with it. Go find a different apartment complex (in a different part of town, maybe on the other side of some railroad tracks) to live in.

      Look, if a company doesn’t want to hire you because you are a woman, be an adult and deal with it. Go find somewhere else to work.

      It is really, really nice to be the group that never really has to be an adult, suck it up, and deal with such bullshit in any meaningful way.

      • RobA says:

        Lol i didn’t get as far down before I posted pretty much the exact same thing above.

        Beat me to it 🙂

    • easyfortytwo says:

      Boil that pot on down a little further, Doug. The real issue is: “Should all Americans be treated equally under the law?”

    • Crogged says:

      The examples provided were actually state sponsored, it was the ‘law’ regarding fountains and public transportation.

      I think what Doug is saying is something, as I mentioned, similar to what Andrew Sullivan spoke of. Don’t file a federal discrimination lawsuit if the baker doesn’t want to sell the cake. Don’t go out of your way to be confrontational, which advice may extend beyond the reach of the narrow topic too………

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Crogged…when do you decide you need a lawsuit?

        Sorry, we don’t hire Black people, but hey, don’t file a federal lawsuit or anything.
        Sorry, but it really sucks to have pregnant women in the workplace, so we are just going to fire you now, but hey, no need for a lawsuit or anything.

        It is one thing to be in Houston where you have lots of choices of restaurants and bakers for your gay cake, but there are lots and lots of parts of the country where trying to avoid bigots is kind of a big burden. If you are a business open to the public, you serve the public.

        If you don’t want to serve the public, open a private club and knock yourself out serving people who look and think like you.

        We’ve seen this movie before, and it really wasn’t a good flick for folks who happened to not be in the culturally approved groups.

      • Crogged says:

        HST, I ‘evolved’ below and renounce my support of the Just Get Along Act, but I took my own misquoted statements out of context and apologize sincerely frozen hell inserted here.

      • Doug says:

        “Don’t file a federal discrimination lawsuit if the baker doesn’t want to sell the cake. Don’t go out of your way to be confrontational, which advice may extend beyond the reach of the narrow topic too…”

        Exactly. I don’t care a whit whose genitals you like to stick yours into or vice versa. It doesn’t matter (unless they’re mine) so stop telling me about it. I’m thinking that if there were less confrontation there would be less resistance.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I hear ya Doug. I mean if those rabble rousers in Selma and Birmingham would have just been less confrontational, there would have been much less resistance from the good White folks and maybe they would have turned down the pressure on those fire hoses a notch or two.

        Doug, I go through my life pretty much every day without anyone telling me about them being gay any more than straight folks tell me about being straight. My coworkers and I frequently talk about our spouses and kids. I guess we should stop shoving our heterosexuality down people’s throats.

      • flypusher says:

        “Exactly. I don’t care a whit whose genitals you like to stick yours into or vice versa. It doesn’t matter (unless they’re mine) so stop telling me about it. I’m thinking that if there were less confrontation there would be less resistance.”

        You’re pulling a Huckabee here. Also if being able to refuse doing business with “those people” (whoever “those people” might be), is so bloody important to you, even above actually turning a profit, there is a loophole for you. Start yourself a he-man-gay-haters private members only bakery, and see if you can find enough like minded people to keep it going.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Doug says:
      March 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      “The corollary to this is: STOP MAKING ME DO WHAT YOU LIKE!”

      Soooo Doug, where did ANYONE ANYWHERE make you become gay against your wishes?

      Or in your own illogical inflammatory disturbingly fixated obsessed rhetoric, who made you have gay sex? (Because you know, being gay is more about sex but that is all you wingnuts seem to obsess over).

      Are you THAT pathetically insecure or easily influenced that you believe the more gay people are out and in the open (and treated equally and NOT discriminated against), the more you will catch the “gay cooties” and become one or something? Well you know there is an easy vaccination for that. It’s called fairness. The quicker you embrace it the quicker you won’t get gay cooties. Or in reality, stop obsessing about whatever calamity that never existed in the first place. Except in the sad construct of your feeble insecure mind.

      You’re on the wrong side of justice and history. Even if you won’t ever know it, your grandchildren will. Embarrassingly and ashamedly so.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug: ” I’m thinking that if there were less confrontation there would be less resistance.” I have been quasi-following the trial of the Indian men who gang-raped the young woman on the bus in India. The bus driver (who never stopped the bus or the rapes) was quoted in one of the articles as saying: “If she hadn’t resisted, she would be alive today.” Oh, my, speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

        That kind of thinking is what happens when people impose their will on others – because they believe they can. The sooner America moves on to accepting others as they are and not hiding behind false religious beliefs, the better our country will be. And, this argument extends not just to gays, but to people of other faiths and other races.

      • Doug says:

        ” Oh, my, speaks volumes, doesn’t it? ”
        If you’re relating getting your panties in a wad over a cake to a brutal heinous, I guess it does.

        “That kind of thinking is what happens when people impose their will on others”
        Who’s imposing whose will here? I was talking about a stupid cake. You want to bring the force of the federal government to bear to impose your will on the baker.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Baker wants to be a baker in a business that is open to the public…the baker needs to serve the public. Baker doesn’t want to bake cakes for the public, the baker can bake all the cakes he wants for his friends privately.

        “Big government” is also forcing the baker not to drain his vegetable oil in the middle of the street and forcing the baker to not add low levels of lead to his recipe to give his petit fours a little more flavor.

        Let’s see, the baker doesn’t have to make you a gay cake, Men’s Wearhouse doesn’t have to rent two groom’s tuxes, and the Hyatt doesn’t have to host the reception for your gay wedding. Your insurance company doesn’t have to cover your gay spouse, and if the hospital doesn’t approve of your lifestyle, then they don’t have to let you visit your spouse as he’s dying.

        Yeah, it is the gay people that need to calm the fuck down about this.

      • 1mime says:

        AWESOME! Homer, I’ll bet your office break room conversations are so much fun!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        You know what? Doug has convinced me in his view and I have had an epiphany and have seen the light. Screw this whiny politically correct bullshit. Doug is right. Don’t like it? Just deal with it.

        This is what I want and decree and screw the rest of you. From here on in, right wing Christian religious Republicans; screw it, ALL Republicans and Christians should just shut up and deal with MY new rules. Repubs want their religions? Fine. Have it all you want. But you have no say in the government whatsoever. No court challenges, no running for office, no nuthin’! And no damn leeching tax exemption, no special privileges, dispensations, or whatever. Pray in your little ole church and THAT’S IT. Plain ole non descript churches. No crosses, no fancy stained glass, I don’t even want to know it is a church. Don’t shove your Christianity down my throat! No Christian broadcast radio. Want to listen? Fine. Buy yourself a Sirius channel so I don’t even have to scroll through and accidentally hear that garbage on MY free radio.

        And your beloved Christian marriages are only valid in YOUR church and will not be civilly recognized by local, state, county, Federal or any official type of government. That way if my son or daughter should happen to be stupid enough to marry one of you, IT DON’T MEAN NUTHIN’. If he or she gets sick, I get to visit him/her and make all the medical decisions and I can forbid the disgusting wingnut from even visiting much less making medical decisions for MY kid.

        “I don’t care a whit whose genitals you like to stick yours into or vice versa. It doesn’t matter (unless they’re mine) so stop telling me about it. I’m thinking that if there were less confrontation there would be less resistance.”

        Right on Doug. So stick your Christianity where the sun don’t shine so I don’t have to see it. The Buddhists seem pretty chill and nicer anyways. And vegetarian to boot. Oh yeah, Hindus are cool too. They take care of cows instead of eating them. And the Muslims and Jews sort of. They don’t eat pigs at least.

        Oh yeah, no cakes for Christian weddings. Period. Find your own damn Christian bakers. We’re “talking about a stupid cake”!

        Thank you Doug. You are right. It’s sooooo much easier to just not be a mature, decent adult.

      • Doug says:

        Hate to break it to you bubba, but I’m not a Christian. You’re going to have to direct that rant at someone else.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        So in other words Doug, you are ok with all I proposed because that ain’t you and it doesn’t affect you one whit?

        Gotcha correct?

    • goplifer says:

      Er…no. That “stop making me do what you like” is the central premise behind the entire Jim Crow system. Don’t want to make wedding cakes for gay people? Find another business where you don’t have to.

      Don’t want to treat gay patients or sell contraceptives? You don’t have to. Find another business to be in.

      You don’t get to create discriminatory spaces in the public or commercial sphere for religious or any other reasons. You also don’t get to pretend that discrimination isn’t discrimination.

      • flypusher says:

        “Er…no. That “stop making me do what you like” is the central premise behind the entire Jim Crow system. ”

        What always floors me about the people who make these “freedom to discriminate” arguments is that THIS EXACT THING WAS ALLOWED FOR 8-9 DECADES (Jim Crow) and it was horrible and diametrically opposed to all that we claim is good about America. Why do you think a do over would be any better? Really, I want to know. Why would anyone assume a total freedom to discriminate in the public sphere wouldn’t lead to gross injustice, when history says oh yes it would?

        George Santayana, you are right once again.

      • Turtles Run says:

      • Crogged says:

        In a perfect world you are right, but Jim Crow was a ‘system’ and as of yet, there are no real laws (yes, I’m aware, there are proposed ‘religious freedom’ laws which in essence are meant to shield discrimination)…. well, I may have just talked myself out of agreeing with myself.

        In my own way I’ve never been able to ‘be’ who I am and I don’t think this is going to change with any Supreme Court decision which long ago protected political speech. I’m used to hiding and keeping my own mouth shut just to get some damn golf played. And why I would never consider retiring anywhere outside of Houston and/or Austin hill country.

        So, now, my position has ‘evolved’, just like Mr. Obama, bad intentions and all included.

        Doug, you’re on your own.

      • 1mime says:

        Doug: “If you’re relating getting your panties in a wad over a cake to a brutal heinous, I guess it does.”

        It’s not a stretch to go from hating someone so much that you refuse to bake their wedding cake (!) to a mindset that would blame a young woman’s death due to a gang rape because she fought for her life.

        Read the tea leaves. Learn from others on this blog as we all try to. Widen your social awareness and develop your soul.

  22. Crogged says:

    Unfortunately the dynamic of rural and urban Texas sometimes makes this worse for someone who doesn’t ‘fit’ in. There are communities in Houston, Dallas, etc, which will take advantage of these rights they should have had all along, but in other smaller, less urban areas, the isolation becomes greater and the backlash worse. When will sexual orientation become just another hair color–not until after my lifetime for sure.

  23. flypusher says:

    Now back on topic:

    “We are on the cusp of experiencing real pluralism for the first time in the country.”

    Yep. It took us hundreds of years to get within sight of it, and it’s been a very bumpy ride, but I also look forward to living it.

    Going back to a related issue on the other thread – about why so many religious RWNJs insist gayness is a choice- from a purely legal/ Constitutional perspective, it doesn’t matter one bit. Two same sex people getting legally married picks no one’s pockets nor breaks anyone’s legs, (and the children are just fine), so there is no valid legal reason to deny it. But gayness as something voluntary is the lynchpin of the moral argument the zealots try to make about it being a sin. Sin is predicated on choice. If being gay is not a choice (and the science is pointing that way) it’s impossible to convince a fair and rational person that it’s a sin. There are religious folks who have moral quandaries with this issue, precisely because of the question of choice.

    • easyfortytwo says:

      When Loving v Virginia was before SCOTUS, did anyone ask Mildred or Richard if they were “born with” an innate attraction to persons of a race/ethnicity other than their own? When Hobby Lobby asked SCOTUS for an exemption, based on their religious beliefs, to a requirement that they buy their employees health insurance which included contraception, did anyone ask if they were “born with” their religious beliefs? So why must gay people prove that they were “born with” their sexual orientation?
      Here is the answer: Animus.

      • flypusher says:

        “So why must gay people prove that they were “born with” their sexual orientation?”

        They don’t. My point is that if it is indeed something people are born with, it completely undermines the whole “homosexuality is sin” argument. That’s not necessary from a legal perspective, but it hurts the religious argument from an ethical perspective.

      • johngalt says:

        It’s a rationalization to try and fit people and inconvenient facts into a pre-existing ideology. It is much easier to argue that anti-gay laws are legitimate if one thinks that homosexuality is a phase some people go through, like teenage rebellion or bad facial hair. We don’t need to tolerate someone’s “bad choice”. When it is an inherent part of their biology, however, then it is harder to rationalize anti-gay discrimination (not impossible – we did it for centuries regarding the unmistakably biological basis for the color of one’s skin). Even for the religious sort who believe we are all made with particular crosses to bear, it is hard to understand how god would “make” someone gay and then condemn them for being gay. It is easier to deny and criticize the science behind the genetic basis of sexual orientation than it is to square that particular circle.

      • 1mime says:

        Fortytwo – I like the way you think! To which I would add, for the Michelle Bachmanns of the world – you can’t “cure” inate sexuality. But, I guess if one is making mega bucks tryin’, good old capitalism is workin’ fine! And, then, I suppose I tip my hand in siding with those who don’t believe being homosexual is a choice, even if you “come out of prison gay” as the good Dr. Carson opined.

  24. I_T says:

    YES YES YES! Thank you!

    Marriage equality is actually a deeply conservative value. And extending rights to all people is also deeply conservative. After all, the Republicans used to be at the forefront of civil rights; think Lincoln.

    It’s well past time for a minority religious group (evangelicals account for 18% nationally; see http://ava.publicreligion.org/#religious/2014/States/religion/) to stop being able to dominate the conversation on this.

    Perhaps it’s fortunate that their current over-reach exposes the animosity as they demand a “right” to refuse service to LGBT people on the grounds of “religious freedom” . It’s not religious freedom they are defending, but religious privilege.

    Part of the problem is that the media allows the Evangelicals to claim that they speak for Christianity. But that’s not true. recent polls show that the majority of Americans support marriage equality (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/major-survey-shows-americans-support-sex-marriage-29417242) and this includes mainline Protestants and lay Catholics as well as unaffiliated.

    • easyfortytwo says:

      Excellent point, I-T. I am a member of a Protestant denomination (UUA) which honors and performs same sex marriages. If, for instance, the state of TX refuses to recognize marriages “sanctified” in my church, should I claim that my religious rights are thereby violated by the government?

      • 1mime says:

        Damn straight, but ya better be packin’ when you do it! TX tends to write their own rules of life and poor as they are, they are mighty proud of ’em.

  25. RobLL says:

    A New York professional baseball player was mildly sanctioned by his team after a discussion his religious opposition to all things gay and of another player who has come out as gay. Conservative bloggers were, at least one of them, apocalyptic.

    My read on this is that the man sanctioned committed a serious error in commenting on both in the same interview. Had he wanted to discuss the morality of ‘gayness’, he likely could have proceeded. But he mixed it up with a personal discussion of a gay teammate. This becomes the team manager and owners concern.

    • flypusher says:

      Unless you form your own little private religious enclave (like those polygamous NJs), and stay there, you’re going to have to learn to live among the gays and heretics and blasphemers. Or suffer the consequences of thoughtless speech. Freedom requires a thick skin.

      • 1mime says:

        Fly – “you’re going to have to learn to live among the gays and heretics and blasphemers”…Life will be so much more interesting, as well. I am one of very few Dems in our community. If it bothers my neighbors, they don’t say anything. I can assure you it doesn’t bother me. I am who I am and they are who they are. Thick skin is like fences – makes for good neighbors.

    • 1mime says:

      “A New York professional baseball player was mildly sanctioned by his team after a discussion his religious opposition to all things gay and of another player who has come out as gay. ”

      RobLL – We’ve spent a lot of words in prior posts about the issue of higher ed accountability for rape. Tho the case you cite deals with professional sports and the gay issue, it seems the fraternity of sexual denial/obfuscation is never ending. This credible appeal to fairness appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, speaking to the process by which campus problems regarding sexual abuse are handled as related to a specific case.

      Until America can learn to deal more respectfully, honestly and openly about sexual issues, whether same sex marriages, rape, choice, EQUALITY, these problems will continue.

      “http://chronicle.com/article/Raped-on-Campus-Don-t-Trust/228093/”

  26. flypusher says:

    OT, but I really have to post this. One day after the DOJ’s report on the Ferguson “justice” system, all the standard denials and evasions you would expect;

    http://m.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/silence-in-ferguson-and-defiance-elsewhere-in-wake-of-doj/article_ee5b8ddd-ce9c-59d2-9bf4-d4df6260ee0d.html?mobile_touch=true

    For a bonus bit of blatant hypocrisy, chief shake-down artist Judge Brockmeyer had his red light running ticket dismissed!! Nice bit of insult to injury!

    • Turtles Run says:

      Plus while continuously describing the African-Americans in the area as irresponsible, the good judge currently owes $170,000 in back taxes.

    • 1mime says:

      Fly – They just won’t learn, will they? Their problems go even deeper than bigotry. I hope DOJ is not simply going to issue the report and not follow up. There is some serious malfeasance and discrimination going on in this area. Wow, just, wow!

      What an uphill battle for the blacks, most of whom probably can’t afford to leave and must be miserable staying.

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