Monday, August 27, 2007

Are All The Anti-Gay Republicans Gay?

In what is becoming a common occurrence, another Republican political type has been caught in a public gay sex sting. First it was the Rev. Ted Haggard, then Florida state Rep. Bob Allen, and now, its U.S. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, who was arrested for, and plead guilty to, disorderly conduct arising from an attempt to solicit sexual activities from an undercover officer in a restroom at the Minneapolis Airport.

This is not the first time Sen. Craig has been involved in a gay scandal. In 1982, then Rep. Craig was part of an investigation into cocaine use and sex with male congressional pages, as evidenced by the video below:

In 2006, shortly before election day, Sen. Craig was also "outted" on BlogActive by gay activist Mike Rogers, who says he has interviewed more than one man claiming to have had sexual relations with Sen. Craig.

Despite pleading guilty to the charges in this case, Sen. Craig is claiming he is innocent and was just trying to handle the matter "quickly and expeditiously."

Why does this matter? Well, first of all, no one, especially members of the United States Congress should be trying to find sex in public restrooms. It also matters because Sen. Craig has consistently voted against gays. He has voted, twice, for the Federal Marriage Amendment, he voted for DOMA, he voted against hate crimes legislation protecting gays, as well as legislation preventing employment discrimination against gays.

Sen. Craig may have thought that by voting against gay issues every chance he got, he could somehow dodge the consequences of his actions. However, no matter how much he tries, he can no longer dodge the truth. It is time for him to stop being a hypocrite. If he cannot face the truth, and admit it to his constituents, then he needs to resign his position.


Republicans are distancing themselves from Sen. Craig faster than he can protest that he isn't gay. In the last couple of days the Romney campaign has tried to distance itself, and so called "pro-family" groups are calling for his resignation.

"I think it reminds us of the fact that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint, and they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game, that we'll just forgive and forget," said Mitt Romney.

Brian Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance said, "The senator does need to be given an opportunity to thoroughly share his side of the story, but it appears, from I think an objective standpoint, that he is guilty of the things that he is accused of. And if that's the case, then I believe the senator needs to step down from public office."

LGBT people have plenty of reason to be angry with Sen. Craig. He betrayed his people every time he voted against basic fairness and equal rights for the LGBT community. Why is Romney and the Idaho Values Alliance attacking him? Because he is gay, plain and simple. This isn't about policy to them, because Craig has always voted they way they want, and is likely to in the future.

One of the comments posted on MySpace on this blog was a rehash of the "gays are dysfunctional" line of bullshit that I have been refuting on my Gay Marriage blog. There is a dysfunction here, but it is not what Astrochronic thinks. The dysfunction is with society. The dysfunction is the manic obsession of the religious right to persecute the gay community. The dysfunction is with a society that judges the content of a person's character based solely on their sexual orientation. The dysfunction is with a society that will not allow people to serve if they are different.

While Sen. Craig did break the law, a misdemeanor, many other Senators have done much, much worse and have been treated much, much more kindly by their colleagues. The Larry Craig that today is the subject of attacks coming from the right today is the exact same Larry Craig that, two weeks ago, was a darling of the religious right. The only thing that is different is that now they know he is gay. "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God," says the Bible. Yet, in the twisted world that is fundamentalism, being gay is the one sin that is unpardonable.

To Sen. Craig I say this: You have done great wrongs to the gay community. However, it is not too late to make amends. Come out, admit who you are, and stand up to the hate and bigotry of the fundamentalist right. You have been their whipping boy for far too long.

***More Updates***

This story is turning into a national joke. A few days ago Sen. Craig announced his intention to resign as of Sept. 30, effectively ending the story, or so we thought...

But we may be wrong. Craig's people are saying that he might not resign now. Seriously, what the hell? Can this guy make up his mind? You plead guilty but then plead innocent. You say you are leaving, but then start this coy little wait and see game? Did someone give him John Kerry's copy of Flip-Flopping for Dummies?

Mr. Craig, you are just embarrassing yourself and the Republican Party. Do the nation a favor, pack your desk and go home. NOW!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gay Marriage - The next battlefield in the war for equality.

While reading another blog, I was directed to a particularly, well, asinine, piece posted on MySpace by a guy writing under the handle Astrochronic. This piece is arguing that marriage equality for gays was, somehow, an infringement of civil liberties for straight people. His argument is, basically, homosexuality is a "dysfunction" and that gay people cannot form the required attachment that you would find between married people. Because gay people disagree with this perspective, he claims they are "self deluded." He throws in occasional arguments about morality, mental health issues, the media, and how gays living their lives is bad for society. In this blog I am going to answer the major points of piece in question, though, not necessarily in the order that they were presented.

You will also notice one other thing in this response that is not present in the original piece. In my response, for questions of fact, you will find citations. When discussing our government and governing documents, you will find quotations. These facts and figures will not convince the die hard fundamentalist, much as Galileo was unable to convince the fundamentalists of his time that the Earth revolved around the sun. Rather, this response is aimed at the middle - the fair minded people who can weigh the facts before making a decision.

Regarding religious arguments against homosexuality, specifically questions as to the morality of homosexuality and homosexual relationships:

The gay marriage debate is one involving the granting of civil rights and responsibility by the state. In America, we have the separation of church and state. While Christians may claim that this separation is the creation of an activist Supreme Court, the first person to coin the phrase was actually Thomas Jefferson, who wrote, "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."

Will this convince the fundamentalists? Well, no... Unfortunately, God Himself probably couldn't either. However, regardless of what they want to claim, our government is secular and was intended by its creators to be secular. The question of whether gay marriage or homosexuality is moral or not is for each individual to decide for themselves, not for the state to decide. Our Constitution promises each American equal protection under the law. Giving 1049 rights and privileges through marriage to heterosexual couples, while denying them to homosexual couples breaks this promise. Judging which interpersonal relationships between consenting adults are moral or not is not, nor should it ever be, the business of the state.

Regarding the assertion that homosexuality is a dysfunction or a disorder:

The American Psychological Association has the following to say regarding homosexuality being a disorder, "Psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or an emotional problem. Over 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself,is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information. In the past the studies of gay, lesbian and bisexual people involved only those in therapy, thus biasing the resulting conclusions. When researchers examined data about these people who were not in therapy, the idea that homosexuality was a mental illness was quickly found to be untrue."

The American Psychiatric Association says, "All major professional mental health organizations have gone on record to affirm that homosexuality is not a mental disorder. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association’s Board of Trustees removed homosexuality from its official diagnostic manual, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Second Edition (DSM II). The action was taken following a review of the scientific literature and consultation with experts in the field. The experts found that homosexuality does not meet the criteria to be considered a mental illness."

The two major professional organizations for the mental health field both say homosexuality is not a disorder. As such, Astrochronic's primary argument that gays suffer from a disorder is shown to be false.

Regarding the assertion that homosexual relationships cannot be as fulfilling as heterosexual relationships, and that heterosexual relationships are the ideal:

In 2003 a study was published that was conducted by Dr. John Gottman of the University of Washington and Dr. Robert Levenson of the University of California at Berkley on gay couples and their relationship dynamics. During an interview with a University of Washington campus publication, Dr, Gottman said, "Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples."

Quoting from the same article Dr. Gottman goes on to say, "Straight couples start a conflict discussion in a much more negative place than do gays and lesbian couples. Homosexuals start the same kind of discussions with more humor and affection, are less domineering and show considerably more positive emotions than heterosexual couples. The way a discussion starts is critical. If it starts off in a bad way in a heterosexual relationship, we have found that it will become even more negative 96 percent of the time. Gays and lesbians are warmer, friendlier and less belligerent. You see it over and over in their discussions, and their partner is receiving the message they are communicating. In turn, their partner is allowing himself or herself to be influenced in a positive way. With married heterosexual couples a discussion is much more of a power struggle with someone being invalidated."

Dr. Gottman's prediction for the future - "I think that in 200 years heterosexual relationships will be where gay and lesbian relationships are today."

Now who is this Dr. Gottman? What does he know about relationships? Dr. Gottman, along with his wife Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman run The Gottman Institute, and Dr. Gottman is the author of 37 books dealing with relationships, family and parenting. More information on Dr. Gottman can be found here.

Far from being dysfunctional psudo-relationships, gay relationships have been show to be just as strong, if not stronger, the heterosexual ones. The are most definitely not "an abberation[sp] to the natural human bonding instinct," as the blog author insists.

Regarding gay people's desire to live their lives in the open:

Astrochronic comments in his blog, "why can't they just keep it to themselves a little better?" My response to him is, why should we? The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants to all Americans the freedom of expression. If the fundamentalist crowd does not like it, that is their problem.

Additionally, coming out is therapeutic.
Quoting the American Psychological Association, "sharing that aspect of themselves with others is important to their mental health. In fact, the process of identity development for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals called "coming out", has been found to be strongly related to psychological adjustment—the more positive the gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity, the better one's mental health and the higher one's self-esteem."

Astrochronic states that, as part of the dysfunction he claims gays have, that they have a higher rates of bipolar disorder. I would submit to him that, if that is true, then the cause is not being gay, but rather dealing with the stigma society places on being gay. However, this argument is irrelevant anyway, as we have shown that professionals in the mental health field state, in absolute clarity, that homosexuality is not a disorder.

Regarding Astrochronic's claim that "the Constitution ensures the pursuit of happiness but that does not mean at the expense of society.":

First, Astrochronic needs to get his documents correct. The phrase "pursuit of happiness" is from the Declaration of Independence, which states, "
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Read that again! Notice the word "unalienable"? What are unalienable rights? Simple, unalienable right are absolute rights - natural rights, if you will. In the view of the founders of the nation, those rights are yours because you are a human being.

When dealing with rights, the Constitution states in the 14th Amendment, "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Should gay people surrender our unalienable rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our constitutional rights to equal protection of the laws because it makes straight people more comfortable? I think not.

Regarding the assertion that some other partnership is acceptable, so long as it isn't called marriage:

Why do gay people insist on marriage? Because it is what straight people get. Separate but equal did not work in segregation, it will not work for marriage. The Constitution requires "equal protection." Fundamentalists put a lot of stock into this argument of semantics. To them, if its called something else it is something else, and therefore, unequal.

The irony is, gay people are already getting married in every state in this nation. The state's prohibition on gay marriage does not extend to churches, many of which are performing gay weddings already. Additionally, church or no, nothing prohibits or prevents gay couples from telling the world that they are married. The things at stake in this argument are 1049 rights and benefits offered to married people under federal law. Things like inheritance, hospital visitation, medical decision making, spousal privilege, social security survivor benefits, trans-national spouse protections, tax incentives, etc. While some of these can be obtained through complicated and expensive legal documents, most of them cannot.

Regarding the assertion that gay marriage harms heterosexual marriage, and the sanctity of marriage:

This assertion is, on its face, absurd. Fundamentalists seem to be under the impression that if gays are allowed to marry, that their own marriages would collapse. Of course, there is no evidence that this will happen, and it has not happened in Massachusetts, the only state in the nation that allows full marriage rights for gay couples.

How would straight marriage be harmed by gay marriage? Would formerly straight people change their minds, turn gay, and go find a gay marriage? Would straight people, seeing that their exclusive club is not so exclusive anymore just give up and go solo? The only way I can see this impacting straight marriage is if closeted gay people are encouraged enough by a more open and accepting society that they come out of their closet and avoid disastrous heterosexual marriages. That, however, is a benefit, not a curse.

We hear a lot about the "sanctity" of marriage. How can any institution be declared sacred if it can be granted for a small fee at a drive up window by a guy dressed as Elvis in the great state of Nevada? How can it be sacred when Fox, the network that is near and dear to the fundamentalists heart, has a reality show that offers a large monetary prize to a woman to fake an engagement and wedding to fool her family? How can it be sacred when some of the most vocal people screaming it is sacred are on their second or third marriage?

The argument that the institution of marriage has been unchanged from ancient times is also a fallacy. In ancient times, and, in some countries even in modern times, marriage consisted of one man and many women (polygamy is also mentioned in the Bible). Up until 1967, when the Supreme Court struck them down, many states had laws preventing interracial marriage.

There are also Biblical arguments that fundamentalists make, but, as I pointed out earlier, those are not appropriate in the realm of government. If a church is opposed to gay marriage, it is free to not marry gay people.

Regarding the notion that gay marriage infringes upon straight people civil liberties:

The author's premise in his piece is that, because of the conditions he cited (and refuted above) that allowing gay marriage would in some way limit his freedom. Even in the event that all of his assertions are true, he has, in no way, demonstrated how gay marriage personally harms him. His claim is that harm is done to him because marriage would be cheapened. However, could not the same line of reasoning lead one to conclude that his Free Speech liberties are cheapened when someone protests for a cause which he opposes?

What are civil liberties? Andrew Reeve defines civil liberties as, "Those freedoms which are, or should be, guaranteed to persons to protect an area of non-interference from others, particularly power holders and legal authorities. Civil liberties are especially invoked to limit the justifiable coercive power of the state: for example, freedom from arbitrary arrest, or detention, and habeas corpus; freedom of speech; freedom of lawful assembly; freedom of association and of movement; and the right not to incriminate oneself. Some civil liberties are seen as implications of respect for the rule of law; for example, the right to a fair trial. The importance of civil liberties has been reflected in attempts to provide constitutional guarantees for them."

With that definition in mind, how, exactly, do two people getting married, neither of whom is Astrochronic, in any way, impact his civil liberties? No where in that definition, or in any other from any reputable source, will he find support for the assertion that his liberty is impacted because he just doesn't feel as good about it as he did before. The assertion is groundless and absurd.


I hope that these points have shed some light, and some facts, on the assertions made by Astrochronic. The fight for gay marriage is far from over, but it is a fight I am confidant will be won by those who seek to expand liberty in America, rather than contract it. Please feel free to post any comments, for or against my arguments.

The Immigration Debate

My blogs thus far have been my opinions on various subjects. This one is different. On this issue I am completely torn. So, if you have strong feelings on this issue, or a unique perspective, please comments and let's have a discussion.

To preface this blog, I am linking up three videos. The videos are Penn & Teller's take on the whole debate from their show Bullshit. Agree with them or not, they definitely are food for thought. So, please, watch the videos, read my comments, and then lets discuss it. I will warn you, however, the language is a little on the rough side, so don't watch these at work or around the kids.

As usual, this blog is being posted on both my Blogger site and my MySpace site. If you have a myspace account, please comment on the myspace site, otherwise, please comment here.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

There is really three parts to this debate. We have the border question, the immigration question itself, and the question of what to do with the illegals who are already here. So, lets deal with each of these separately.

The Border

Until recently, I was an advocate of fencing off the southern border. What changed my mind? Watching people get over, under and through the fence in less than five minutes. The government, right now, is preparing to spend 60 Billion dollars to cover only 1/3rd of the border with a fence that can be bypassed in five minutes. Does this seem to anyone else to be a absurd waste of money? Additionally, if Penn & Tellar's statistics are correct - which I would bet they are - only half the illegals jump the border anyway - the rest just overstay legal visas.

So my questions are: Why is this a good idea? Can we truly secure the border? Even if we secure the southern one, what about the northern one? If we do secure the southern border, whats to stop immigrants from hopping a boat in Mexico and sailing up the coast a bit and coming ashore in some random spot? Can we really hope to keep out people who really want to get here?


We are a nation of immigrants. If you get right down to it, no one, not even the Native Americans, are actually native. Whether you believe in creation or evolution, I think everyone can agree that the origin of mankind was not North America. America is an amazingly diverse society, made up of every culture, tradition, religion and belief in the modern world. Every group that has come here so far has added, in positive ways, to our society.

It has been argued that letting in too many immigrants will take the jobs of Americans, and yet, with an estimated 12 million illegals in the county, unemployment is under 5% and pretty much has been that way every non-recession year that I can remember. It is also clear that one of the major things driving immigration from Central and South America is not so much a fleeing of tyranny, but, rather, trying to find work. The illegals would not be coming here in the numbers that they do if there was not a demand for their services.

With that in mind, how do our immigration laws play into this? Can we lessen the amount of illegal immigration by making it easier for people to come here to work? If so one wants to come here to work, and they don't have a serious criminal record, why not let them in? Could easing immigration laws to make it easier to get here legally reduce the number of harmless people coming across the border, thereby making it easier for the Border Patrol to round up the not-so-harmless ones?

Illegal Immigrants already in the U.S.

We have something like 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Many of them have been here for years. Several of them have children who are U.S. Citizens. Realistically, we can't round up and deport them all in any reasonable amount of time. Even if we could, the economic repercussions could be severe, especially in the agriculture and construction industries.

One of the arguments against deportation has been that the price if food would go up as farmers costs increased due to having to pay more for labor. The counter to this argument was that, what we were saving in food, the government was paying out in services to people who were paying no taxes, and that we would save that money, out taxes would go down, and we wouldn't notice. Should we deport all these people, does anyone really believe that the savings in social programs would result in a tax decrease? Anyone?

Many people oppose "amnesty" for the illegals already here. So far, the programs proposed are not amnesty, but, rather, are stiff fines and requirements that illegals return to their native countries, pay the fines, and then apply for legal admission - which is not guaranteed. I understand, in principle, that we must respect the rule of law, but, at the same time, we have, as a society, made exceptions when it seemed to be in the best interests of those involved (i.e. amnesty for Vietnam era draft dodgers)

So, what is the best way to deal with this problem? Can we deport 12 million people? Should we deport 12 million people? What about immigrants whose children were born here and are American Citizens, being we can't deport the kids with the parents? Why would an illegal return home and apply for admission when their ability to return is not guaranteed? What is the point of asking them to return home in the first place? Can we not find a way to legalize those who are productive members of our society with out being overly punitive?


Like I said at the start, I am not sure what I think on all this. I am not even sure why it is the huge issue that it is. A lot of people cite crime committed by illegals, but, legal immigrants and citizens commit a whole lot of crime too, so I am not so sure this argument holds much water. If anything, legalizing the good immigrants would free up resources to focus in on the bad ones. Also, though I hate to say it, some of this debate is driven by good old fashioned bigotry, just like when we had laws against Chineese immigrants or Japaneese immigrants, or immigrants from various European countries that no one liked at the time. So, anyway, convince me. What should we do with this mess?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Not so fast...

Kevin McCullough had an interesting piece posted today, 8/19/07, on entitled "Radical Gay Activist: 'We Lose'" The premise of Mr. McCollough's piece was that, since bisexuals are, well, bisexual, and therefore are attracted to both genders, that being gay is therefore a choice. Based on this lapse of logic, he then goes on to claim that, being he has exposed, if you will, that gays choose to be gay, that he has therefore won the entire gay rights debate, and demonstrated that being gay relationships are on par with adultery, incest and pedophilia.

Why does this matter? Simple. Fundamentalist Christians see, literally, everything in black and white. You are either right or wrong, righteous or evil, straight or pervert, normal or flawed. It is this black and white thinking that makes it difficult for them to grasp the concept of diverse human sexuality (similar to how the church was unable to grasp the concept of a round earth a few hundred years ago). If sexuality is something you choose, they reason, then you are simply a freak for choosing something other than being straight, and, therefore, they are morally justified in their persecution. If it is a psychological disorder - an idea that is rejected by all reputable psychologists, psychiatrists and the APA - then they are still justified, in their minds, to persecute because gays can choose to get cured. If, however, sexuality isn't a choice or a disorder - if it is an individual trait like hair color, eye color, or height - then they will have a harder time convincing the flock to oppose rights for sexual minorities.

At the same time they are declaring homosexuality to be a choice, the fundamentalists are running "camps" and "counseling" programs to "cure" people of homosexuality. Despite the fundamental rejection, and warnings of potential damage, of this type of "therapy" by the field of psychology, fundamentalists persist in their modern day inquisition. While fundamentalists tout success, the recidivism rate, even among their leadership, shows this to be a sham.

The notion of being gay being a choice would be laughable if it were not so tragic. No other minority group in this nation faces the prospect of losing friends and being rejected by family for being who they are. Gays are the only minority group in America it is fashionable to hate. Gays can be fired from their job and evicted from their homes just for being gay. Gay teens are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than straight teens. Yeah, its an attractive proposition, isn't it?

Of course, the only person who truly knows what goes on in a person's mind is that person. Ask any gay person if they chose to be gay, and the answer will be no. Gay people are just gay, we didn't choose to be gay any more than fundamentalists choose to be straight. However, fundamentalists seem to reason that, since gays are perverts, they must be liars as well. Since they compare gays to pedophiles and persons who commit bestiality and incest, I guess liar is more of a compliment. Despite the protests of the fundamentalists, gay people are who we are, and we have the right to be who we are. We should not have to hide to satisfy a group who hates in the name of God.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mean-spirtedness at its finest

Once again I have been perusing the "news" articles over at the mouthpiece of the American Family Association, Situated between the pieces about Desperate Housewives being an evil, evil show, and Redbook being the devil's handiwork, were a couple of articles that show that when Christ was telling people to "love thy neighbor", the fundamentalists are pretty sure He was NOT talking to them.

These articles are covering, or, rather, seem to be cheering on legal actions and protests against the City of Seattle and two universities in Kentucky for committing the unpardonable sin of giving health insurance to the partners of gay employees. Thats right - they are giving the gays insurance! Give them insurance and they might see a doctor, which might make them live longer! OH THE HUMANITY!

Really, you have to be hard pressed to find any any group in this country more mean spirited than fundamentalist Christians. One of the things ONN does on its site is allow "the flock" to comment on each article. Some of the comments would be absolutely hilarious if it wasn't for the sad realization that these people not only vote, but likely indoctrinate their children with this crap too. I should mention that the names may or may not be real depending on whether the poster actually used their name. Also, ONN screens each comment before it is posted on the site, and, the one I posted pointing out their hypocracy on another issue, didn't quite make the cut - but lets see which ones did:

A particularly enlightened chap named "Bill" commented, while claiming that allowing gay partners would bankrupt the health insurance companies, states, "Add into the mix the homosexuals with their killer disease and lifetime (short as it may be) hugely expensive medical care, and this will only encourage them to continue engaging in self-destructive activity. At society's expense." Bill (assuming it's the same Bill) comments on the other article, "That two perverts remain together for a lifetime on rare occasion does NOT validate the activity. They are an insignificant, morally corrupt, mentally defective tiny minority in the country...yet you'd think they were the majority." Tell us how you really feel there Bill... I'm sure he would have written more, but he had to go buy more WWJD apparel...

Another enlightened fellow named "Terry" writes, "We need to re-establish Jesus Christ in our system of government again, and also in our educational system. We need to go by his laws and not contrive our own. We are under God's judgement. Homosexuals will die and be slaughtered, just like blacks and hispanics. We need to establish the traditional family values that can only come about through establishing Jesus Christ as the head of our government, community, churchs, and society." The Love of Christ is strong with that one, I see. (BTW, the emphasis is mine, the spelling errors are his)..

"Craig" had this little gem to share, "The Constitution doesn't provide equal protection for lifestyles such as pedophilia, incest, stealing, murder and polygamy. Why should a lifestyle like gay marriage be protected or supported?" I had to clean up Craig's typing a bit, reading it made my head hurt. Since when is murder a lifestyle? Is gay marriage a lifestyle in and of itself? If I stay single, will I still be slaughtered like the blacks and hispanics? Perhaps I should go in the other direction and "sin boldly" by getting in a polygamous gay marriage and becoming a shoplifter... Hmmm...

Now, not everyone who commented was, to borrow a phrase from The West Wing, a card carrying member of the "Ignorant Tight-Ass Club." In fact, there were a few people who do get it. One of them, Sherrie Robertson, made an especially noteworthy post where she said, "God bless this Mayor for doing The Lord's Work in this regard. The cruelty and hatred inherent in the religious right position is apparent---only hatemongers would seek to deny someone healthcare because of who they love. Shame on those who do." Sherrie, thank you for injecting some reason into this mad house.

If you want to read the articles in question, they can be found here and here.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." - Matthew 22:37-40

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Attention Fundamentalists: America is NOT a theocracy!

In reference to:this article

Often times I peruse the American Family Association's "news" site to keep an eye on what that group is spouting on any particular day (and, well, some of the stuff they obsess over is hilarious). Today, they have a "news story" about how a Congressman from Idaho just doesn't think the Founding Fathers would have approved of a Hindu cleric giving a non-sectarian prayer before the Senate, and certainly would not approve of the voters electing a Muslim to Congress.

"We have not only a Hindu prayer being offered in the Senate, we have a Muslim member of the House of Representatives now, Keith Ellison from Minnesota. Those are changes -- and they are not what was envisioned by the Founding Fathers," claims Rep. Bill Sali (R-Idaho). Oh really Congressman? I wonder what the Founders said about this when they wrote the Constitution? Well, lets look, shall we?

Article One, Section Two of the Constitution states, "No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen." Wait a sec. Those damn Founders left out the part that was supposed to read, "Also, no one can be elected if Bill Sali doesn't like what they think." Damn, that really sucks for Congressman Sali, as its gonna be hard for him to get that amendment though.

It is truly scary when people get elected who don't have the slightest clue about the Constitution or the details of its creation. If Rep. Sali would be so kind as to take a minute out of his crusade to make American into the world's next fundamentalist theocracy he might find that America wasn't founded by not only Christians, but Deists, Agnostics and Atheists. Had he done his research, Mr. Sali would have, most definitely, come across the following little tidbits:

"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies." - Ben Franklin

"The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." - President John Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." - President Thomas Jefferson

"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of liberty of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries." - President James Madison

Well, damn, I'm sorry, Bill, but it appears that you just might be an idiot. Maybe that's why the First Amendment separates religion and government. Next time brush up on history before spewing your bigotry. Of course, I'm sure you won't so long as the "fact-checkers" at One News Now are doing such a stellar job...

Monday, August 6, 2007

Santa Clarita court goes way too far...

The trash of society always seems to create some of our greatest Constitutional challenges. From nut jobs like Phelps, to the KKK, to this latest case of a self proclaimed pedophile basically being banned from public places in California, society's reaction to these lunatics can pose serious threats to all of our liberty.

In this latest case, a self proclaimed pedophile, a guy by the name of Jack McClellan, who had posted a pro-pedophile website, including a list of his favorite places to watch children, has, for all intents and purposes, been banned from leaving his house. In a ruling on Friday, August 3rd, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge issued a restraining order prohibiting McClellan from being within 10 yards of any person under 18 anywhere in California. It is important to note the Mr. McClellan has no criminal record.

On the surface, this may seem like a good thing. What is more important than protecting children from someone who thinks it's ok to be a pedophile? Gut reactions aside, however, what happened here is a court ruled that McClellan cannot exercise his rights as a citizen because society disapproves of his ideas. The "10 yard" rule from the court basically prohibits McClellan from going to a store, a mall, or any other public place, in fact, as a UCLA law professor points out, he can't even, legally, go to court to challenge this.

Thomas Paine once wrote, "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." While some, even the majority, may view it as ok to punish someone for "thought crimes", imagine the chilling effect should the same standard be applied to other people or groups? Do we allow courts to enforce similar orders on others with whom society disagrees? Who is the next target should this practice become precedent? Gays? Christians? Atheists? Liberals? Conservatives? Whoever disagrees with the state? Denying liberty to one person for their thoughts sets the stage for the denial of liberty to ALL persons for any thought deemed improper. Don't get me wrong, McClellan is, in my view, a sick freak and one of the worst pieces of human garbage out there, but, are we willing to trade in a free society because we don't like him?

The article regarding this case can be found here.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Obama, please get a clue, and until then, shut the fuck up...

I just don't get what people see in this guy. In the last couple of weeks he has declared that as President he would sit down with American enemies like Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hugo Chavez, and then he talked about bombing Pakistan, an American ally. Seriously, what is this dipshit smoking?

Diplomacy is not only knowing what to say and do, but also knowing what not to say and do. Each and every comment must be analyzed for its impact not only on the target audience, but also for its impact the the world at large. The President of the United States is, by far, the most powerful and influential person in the world. What message does it send if, by some chance, Obama gets elected, and rewards the world's leading dictators with a private audience?

Of even more concern is the effect of his comments on Pakistan. Pakistan is the only muslim nation in the world to possess nuclear weapons. To make matters worse, the American friendly government of Pakistan is not exactly stable and is having its own issues with islamic radicals. Obama's comments do nothing but play into the hands of the Pakistani government's enemies and forces the Pakistani President to distance himself from the U.S. Government - making it that much harder for us to track terrorists who may be in Pakistan.

I realize that this is the primary season, which means that the candidates must play to the kook fringe in their respective party, but, for the love of God, does the radical left really think that kissing Iran's ass and practically handing Bin Laden nukes is a good idea?

While I am ragging on Obama today, because he set himself up as idiot of the week (second place goes to the Republican candidate who stated in front of cameras that he would bomb Mecca), I am really disheartened by our choices this year. Looking at both parties candidates one has to wonder, in a nation of almost 300 million people, do we have no statesmen left? Is this really the best we can do?