When I first discussed Obama’s inaction on gay rights last week, I had no idea that the House bill (discussed here), which finally protects gay people from hate crimes, was soon to be passed; likewise, when I discussed that House bill, I had no idea that its passage came on the eve of this weekend’s National Equality March, a march to raise awareness of the second-class treatment of homosexual citizens here in the U.S. Obama spoke to a crowd of about 2,000 on Saturday night, expressing the usual platitudes in better-than-average language, and promised to do something about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”…whenever he gets around to it.
Today, I read something that gave me real hope: the story of an evangelical Christian who used to spew forth all your average “Christian” hate-speech when it came to homosexuality (homosexuals in particular), but who has since seen the error of his ways through a little honest self-reflection and has repented by joining the cause for equal rights for gay Americans so enthusiastically that he’s marching this weekend. His story gives me hope in Christians, who for the most part take only a name from Christ and reject any of his humble, loving commandments in order that the tenets of faith in America can be based on feel-good, best-selling crap like The Prayer of Jabez (“I can have a McMansion and worry about accumulating wealth because an obscure figure in the Old Testament prayed for God to improve his lot and God did it!”). Yes, these tenets can magically replace anything humanistic or difficult in the teachings of Christ and make “Christians” feel like the glaring contradictions in their own lives and the life of Jesus are excusable– a true miracle of God! So it is with great satisfaction that I witness someone stepping out of a meaningless Joel Osteen lifestyle and into something more akin to the compassionate, non-judgmental, ever-understanding, ever-unafraid lifestyle of the guy who showed us all how to live back in the first century. Read “A Step in Faith”:
Every person coming to Washington—whether they are religious or not—does share one faith, and that is faith in America. We can and must do better. As the progress of history has shown, Americans will prove themselves able to see beyond religion-based bigotry to the promises of equal treatment for all. Those who use religion-based bigotry to persecute and discriminate against LGBT people are on the wrong side of history, just as they were with slavery, interracial marriage, the treatment of women, and so many other issues.
Posted in Christianity, Democracy, Homophobia, Religious fanaticism, The Far Right
Tagged Christians, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Evangelicals, Gay rights, Jesus, National Equality March, Obama
President Obama awoke this morning to the news that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize and, just like everybody else, he was surprised and didn’t feel like he deserved to be among the likes of other winners in years past. He did a good job putting it into perspective, and since rejecting the award was not an option, I think he handled his new blessing/curse very well. Here’s what he had to say:
This piece from Joe Klein says what I want to say far better than I ever could:
Well, I’m as relieved as anybody that the Bushian gunslingers have been given the gate and, as regular readers know, I’m a big fan of patient, rigorous diplomacy–and there’s a certain lovely irony to any prize that brings the Taliban and the neoconservative Commentary crowd together in high dudgeon–but let’s face it: this prize is premature to the point of ridiculousness. It continues a pattern that holds some peril for Obama: he is celebrated for who he is not, and for who he might potentially be, rather than for what he has actually done. If he doesn’t provide results that justify the award, this Nobel will prove a millstone come election time.
There are two bad things about this: 1) Obama won out over people like Greg Mortenson, who has committed his life to setting up schools for women in places hostile to outsiders, women, and education alike; 2) this admittedly undeserved award will work to delegitimize any praise Obama receives, earned or otherwise, from here on.
With this month’s offering from his “Weak On…” series, President Obama had a hard act to follow: last month’s health care reform episode earned sky-high ratings; everyone was talking “death panels” and “señor citizens”; it featured A-list guest appearances from the likes of Max Baucus and Chuck Schumer; and it even earned him a one-man cheer (actually, jeer) from Congress!
Alas, real health reform and a national conscience that doesn’t resemble a turd flung against a wall will have to wait another few years (and another few thousand preventable deaths) to take shape. For his next non-act, Obama will (not) tackle gay rights issues– human rights issues– in this country, and will put off acknowledging homosexuals as first-class citizens until at least 2010, when he may finally stand up to the bigoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that the military employs. His Department of Justice has already decided that the Defense of Marriage Act that denies same-sex couples some 1100 federal benefits afforded to “traditional” couples is perfectly constitutional. On overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Obama’s national security adviser James Jones had this to say:
He has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I’m sure the president will take it on.
I guess the “appropriate time” is sometime after January 20, 2017, when it will be impossible for Obama to be so distracted by being President that he can’t do anything about the rights of at least 10% of Americans; in the meantime he can take on Aghanistan and the closing of Guatánamo prison camp! On second thought, look for those issues and more in the coming episodes of “Weak On…”
Posted in Democracy, Homophobia, Law and justice, Political science
Tagged Chuck Schumer, Civil rights, Defense Department, Department of Justice, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay marriage, health care reform, James Jones, Max Baucus, Obama, Same-sex marriage
Via Talking Points Memo, here is the Newsmax article written by John L. Perry, the latest in the particularly venomous attacks against Obama, who has done nothing revolutionary or radical other than being black and President at the same time. Coups are always violent and frequently the overthrown figure is killed, which is what this guy is tacitly advocating. Just look at the lily-white staff of Newsmax; no wonder the site takes up the causes of mythological “white America”.
After you catch up on the world at Newsmax, head over to White Honor and see the best and brightest of our glorious race discuss the important, relevant, non-crazy topics of the day. Honestly, some of the crap being peddled by “mainstream” Conservatives sounds way too much like this “news” at White Honor:
Every intelligent individual on the planet predicted Obama’s failure and traitorous actions against America’s White Working Class, and they were right. In just a few months, he has spent over $1 Trillion and is talking about all the gun rights he plans on taking away, while giving rights to illegal mexicans. Maybe all of you out there who have e-mailed me about finally being fed up with “our” government’s crooked actions will get off your butts and start becoming racial activists – spread the word.
Tea party, anyone?
The good news is bad for them, as they see Obama’s actions as part of the Anti-Christ package, but for those who can think, the Far Right lunatic websites can be a pretty good reference for some of the more progressive things Obama has done. And you know you’ve got the right Barack Obama because his middle name is always included- HUSSEIN!!! I guess there’s nothing like hate for organizing a list of your Most-Hated’s accomplishments– any other site this strictly Obama-centric would look like a gushing teen fan page, or worse, a campaign ad.