My two cents…
It has to be a difficult time for Rev. Jerry Falwell’s family right now. They are going to have to deal with an intense storm of media coverage, with bloviating from the left and the right, and much of it will not be pretty or complimentary. To have to grieve so publicly is not something to wish on anyone, particularly when the departed is a political lightning rod.
He was a towering icon of the religious right movement, and he has left quite a legacy — one I cannot agree with in any form or fashion, nevertheless one cannot ignore his success at mobilizing a large portion of the electorate in ways that many organizations on the left have yet to do.
It’s sad to hear, as of last week (in an interview with CNN), he stood by his 2001 comments that gays, lesbians, pro-choice advocates and feminists were to blame for 9/11.
I wish that Reverend Falwell, who at one time was against integration and interracial marriage, could have lived long enough to see full LGBT equality finally come to pass. We all know that it will prove him terribly wrong once again — that treating one group of citizens the same as everyone else isn’t a threat to marriage, the American family or this country.
Some other comments on Falwell’s passing are after the jump… (more…)
Ever since Tommy Franks called Doug Feith "The stupidest fucking guy on the planet," an endless stream of Republican challengers have been vying to claim that mantle for themselves. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, if not the clear-cut winner, should at least be considered a very strong finalist for the honor. Bad enough that he didn't even try to make the politicization of the DOJ look good; bad enough that he didn't even try to lie to Congress convincingly, managing to piss off all but the most loyal Bushies on the Senate Judiciary Committee. But he doesn't even learn from his mistakes:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday he relied heavily on his deputy to oversee the firings of U.S. attorneys, appearing to distance himself from his departing second-in-command.
Gonzales' comments came the day after Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty said he would step down by the end of summer, a decision that people familiar with his plans said was hastened by the controversy over last year's firings of eight prosecutors.
"At the end of the day, the recommendations reflected the views of the deputy attorney general. He signed off on the names," Gonzales told reporters….
"The one person I (more…)
Tomorrow at 12 noon PT/3pm ET we'll be having a chat with Tom Shaller, the controversial author of Whistling Past Dixie who successfully predicted (much to the consternation of many an overpaid pollster) the results of the 2004 election. Tom had an article in the Baltimore Sun last week that Phoenix Woman profiled, to the effect that there is no "center" any more, and politicians who are trying to capitalize on one are pissing in the dark. He argues that the Democrats need to learn what the Republicans have already internalized — they need to appeal to their base and stop trying to be all things to all people. The idea that they can enlarge the party with some "big tent" is a myth.
Predictably, Schaller's ideas are damn near heresy in Mark Penn circles. It flies in the face of what Chuck Schumer and Rahm Emmanuel were trying to dictate (with nearly disastrous results) to Democrats running in 2006 (Shhh! Don't mention the war!) and gets the hackles of people like Mudcat Saunders up, but he does have an incredible track record of successful prognostication to recommend him. Tomorrow he'll have an article in the Sun about the (more…)
Yesterday, we discussed Sen. Chris Dodd's statement calling on the Senate leadership to have an up or down vote on Feingold-Reid instead of attaching it as an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act Reauthorization currently on the floor. The vote on the amendment is expected tomorrow. Senator Dodd's position is that Feingold-Reid should get a direct vote – not a cloture vote which he believes does not represent a position on the contents of the amendment but simply on the continuation of discussion and voting.
Senator Dodd called on the other presidentials to co-sponsor Feingold-Reid and/or express their position on it. So today, we wanted to update everyone on the other candidate's statements and see what you think.
You'll also see mention of the Reid-Levin amendment so first a little primer from Government Executive:
Reid is allowing his party's liberals to vent their frustration by voting on an amendment similar to legislation sponsored by Reid and Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., that would require withdrawal of forces by March 31, 2008, other than for more limited roles such as training Iraqi forces, protecting U.S. facilities and conducting anti-terrorism operations.
That amendment is unlikely (more…)
Read all about how Pope Ratzi The Nazi Blesses Genocide, Forced Religious Conversions & Plundering Natural Resources From Their Indigenous Owners
Because my blog post quotes from the AP Story extensively, I won’t cut & paste the whole thing here, but needless to say, Benedict Blows It Badly
Just a few quotes
“The pope said Sunday that pre-Columbian people of Latin America and the Caribbean were seeking Christ without realizing it. “Christ is the savior for whom they were silently longing,” Benedict told a regional conference of bishops in Brazil.”
“The pope told the bishops that, “the proclamation of Jesus and of his Gospel did not at any point involve an alienation of the pre-Columbus cultures, nor was it the imposition of a foreign culture.”
He added that any return by those indigenous populations to their original religions “would be a step back.”
So, I guess that rules out any chances that, in order to prove his point of the supposed supremacy of his faith, Benedict will offer to return any and all gold, silver or other valuable minerals to their proper indigenous owners, fully confident that those dispossessed of such materials are more than happy how their ancestors involuntarily enriched the same Church which now supports their genocide and rape of centuries-long duration
For anyone who can try and spin genocide and rape of natural resources for their own benefit as being somehow “Christian”, well, there’s not a level of Hell deep, permanent or miserable enough to contain their sick hypocrisy and evil souls
It’s vicious, vile crap like this that got me to leave the Church almost 20 years ago, and as long as attitudes like this exist in the very highest reaches of the Vatican, I won’t be going back at all (more…)
The Reverend Jerry Falwell is dead. His Thomas Road Baptist Church, founded in 1956 in Lynchburg, Virginia, was one of the principal well-springs of politicized evangelicalism that waged war against those who worked for a liberal, open, progressive, tolerant society.
Dr. Falwell will be missed by millions of devout Christians who believed his message to have been authentic and in keeping with a strict, literal interpretation of the Holy Bible. Millions of others, however, firmly held that Falwell was a charlatan who preyed on the lonely, the disaffected, the ignorant, and the lost to advance his personal fortune and power using a hateful interpretation of Christianity that imposed suffering on many while doing nothing to alleviate misery, end poverty, and provide earthly hope.
Jerry Falwell was 73 years old.
That was quite a sermon, parson. Didn’t agree with much of anything you said, but you sure did know how to kick my progressive ass, sir. We should let the choir sing now for a while.
Jerry Falwell died this morning at age 73. “…I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked….” (Ezekiel 33:11) I take no pleasure in anyone’s death. There will be countless eulogies about Jerry Falwell in the coming days; I have no doubt that Larry King will have a retrospective on him, as will other popular media outlets. Yet, Jerry Falwell was a hater, and that fact must not be forgotten as we mourn his death! He and his ilk have twisted Christianity into something unrecognizable and diametrically opposed to the Gospel of grace that Jesus preached and manifested, and he and his ilk helped pervert much, if not most, of the organized Church into being one consumed with others’ sex lives, judging others, “bearing false witness” (which contravenes one of the Ten Commandments), preached legalism and exclusion, embraced some of the most reactionary secular forces in society, and provided “justification” for the exclusion of LGBT people; helped to foment a climate of hate where many, if not most, LGBT people suffer from self-loathing, sometimes culminating in suicide; his and many other clergy’s hateful, exclusionary, rhetoric further primed the pump for the bashings and murders of LGBT people. I do mourn his death, but I’m not, nor should anyone else be, oblivious to the perversion that he imposed on Christianity and the unspeakable damage he and his ilk have done to countless LGBT people and their families. (more…)
Eric Boehlert documents something that has been obvious for quite some time. If it wasn't evident during their attempt at hiring Box Turtle Ben, the Washington Post has a huge crush on Wingnut fantasists:
In truth, there is no comparison between the work Marshall and Malkin do. Their lone similarity is that they both fall under the broad umbrella called blogging. Marshall's work is marked by its serious, insightful and factual nature, while the hallmark of Malkin's work centers on name-calling and daffy conjecture.
For instance, during the winter months, Malkin pushed a far-fetched media "scandal" by accusing the Associated Press of manufacturing a "phony" and "bogus" Iraqi police source who was reporting false stories about the daily carnage inside Baghdad. She suggested the phony AP source, Jamil Hussein, proved that all of the AP's Iraq reporting was suspect. (Malkin and company were clinging to the notion that the situation in Iraq was not as bad as biased journalists made it out to be.) In January, the Iraqi government confirmed the police source's existence, thereby ruining Malkin's press-hating conspiracy theory.
Two points here. First, when the Jamil Hussein story imploded, the Post remained silent in real time, never (more…)
Utter frustration and defeat was what Ceil and I felt after we left the first Evangelical church in 2005. Lamenting over the injustices and questioning the purpose of it all eventually lead us on a deep search for the Truth.
Would we have been treated differently and accepted as part of the church family had we been heterosexual? Would we have had opportunities to minister had we been males in that organization? Would those people have taken time to know us had there been no walls of religious doctrine separating us from them? Sadly, the answer to those questions were YES for both of us.
At this point, however, that was only our assumption and opinion, and not our truth. Neither one of us had ever experienced life as male nor heterosexual. With a burning passion and conviction to find Truth, we embarked on a social experiment to get some answers. Ceil and I would alter our physical appearances and become what we perceived as “acceptable” by church leadership standards. We wanted to see if the Evangelical church would get to know us and connect with us, perhaps even love us, if we looked and acted just like them.
It was unbelievable, some of the things we witnessed and experienced as a man and woman inside the inner circle of a powerful Evangelical church. It’s all recorded in the documentary. The most heart-breaking truth we discovered is the fact that many religious leaders in both communities, gay and straight, have lost sight of the most noble purpose of humanity – to build up one another through love. (more…)