I had two political arguments today. The first was about the Islamic community center and the second, Prop. 8. I didn’t bring up either of these issues; it is telling that these are the two issues most on my local conservatives’ minds. Why? Neither actually have anything to do with their lives. It is also interesting how people always adhere strictly to the Constitution—until it requires even the smallest sacrifice and then it’s all over. “The first amendment provides the right to practice religion not to put houses of worship wherever you want.” Needless to say, the speaker also thinks the second amendment guarantees the right to own machine guns.
- I have been reading Terry Eagleton’s On Evil today, and he wrote something very interesting that relates to a comment made by Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle about depriving abortions from women who have been the victims of rape or incest, “You know I’m a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that He can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things.” In addressing the fact that sometimes good comes from evil, Eagleton (a Christian) writes, “Though Jesus is portrayed by the New Testament as spending much of his time curing the sick, he never once advises the ill and infirm to reconcile themselves to their suffering. On the contrary, he seems to regard their afflictions as the work of the devil. He does not suggest that heaven will be adequate compensation for their woes.” I’m planning to write a review of the book over on Frankly Curious later tonight.
- The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put a stop to same-sex marriages that would have been allowed as of Wednesday. The reasoning is strange. They seem to be saying that they don’t want people getting married in case Prop. 8 eventually stands. The couples married during this time would have some kind of indeterminate status. But there are already 18,000 same-sex couples grandfathered into Prop. 8. What’s the big deal? This is going to be a long slog.
- The Republicans are licking their chops over President Obama’s support of the Islamic center a couple of blocks from ground zero. Add “Obama stands up for religious tolerance” to the list of Reasons to be a Proud American. And I’m pretty sure that even though most Americans are intolerant (large majorities are against the Islamic center), this is a losing issue for the Republicans. Keep talking about Muslims, guys; we’ll stick with the economy.
- Ken Salazar announced new environmental guidelines that require full environmental reviews of any deep-water oil or nature-gas drilling. Why it wasn’t obvious that this was needed before, I don’t know.
- Newt Gingrich is never boring. Media Matters for American reports that he compared the New York City Islamic community center to “Nazis” putting a “sign next to the Holocaust museum.” This doesn’t need comment, right?
I’m still trying to find time to go over this month’s issue of Extra! We’ll get there.