Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oh my gawd – could this get any creepier (or infuriating)?

At this point in the game I thought I’d be numb and in a blissful state of complete apathy, but nooooooooo, not me, I just can’t seem to get it through my thick skull that this administration consists of nothing but hacks, lackeys, and sanctimonious hypocrites who have the unmitigated gall to tell us how to live our lives morally while living their own lives “on the sleaze”.

And silly me, each time one of these people takes a big fall off the altar of religious fraud and faux sanctimony, I think there just can’t possibly be anymore of these pathetic excuses for government appointees left when BAM, I’m jolted from my naivety by another one going down hard.

Is there anyone in this administration that isn’t a complete and total embarrassment?

So who is the latest-hypocrite-sleazebag-posing-as-a holier-than-thou-Bush-official-in-a-high-government-position-tasked -with-huge-responsibilities-with-dire-consequences-should-he-fail to be exposed?

It’s Randall Tobias of course. And what are Randall Tobias’ job responsibilities? Why he is a one of Bush’s:

…top officials overseeing global AIDS funding to other countries and enforcing a U.S. policy, enacted during the Bush administration, that requires recipients to swear they oppose prostitution and sex trafficking. USAID adopted a similar policy in 2004.

Although as is usually the case with officials in this administration, not everyone was pleased with his approach to the job:

As the Bush administration's so-called "AIDS czar," Tobias was criticized by some for emphasizing faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS. In a 2004 interview, Tobias explained his approach as "A and B and C ... Abstinence works. 'Be faithful' works. Condoms work. They all have a role. But it's not a multiple choice, where there is only one answer."

And so how pray tell did this guy screw up? Well think of the most hypocritical thing a guy in his position could do, you know kind of like the GOP Representative who serves as chairman of the “House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children” and writes laws that would among other things protect children from predators on the internet while simultaneously prowling the internet for young prey himself.

So have you guessed what took Randall down yet? Well let me help with a few details:

Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.

Oooh my blood boils! These are the same guys that are telling me that my son is evil. How much more of this crap do we have to take? And how many more times are we going to have to watch another bogus holier-than-thou embarrass this country before we get rid of the whole bunch of them?

If one more of these idiot “Bushies” gets up there and tells us how they are going to protect our families, our marriages, our children, our morals, our unborn, our delicate sensibilities, our virtue, or whatever the threat du jour is, I am going to go stark raving mad.

Anyone have a nice padded room I could rent for 18 months?

Update: Well I guess Mr. Tobias might just be the tip of the iceberg --- at least according to Cliff Schecter:

You may have read our earlier mention of the first guy to fall from the DC Madame scandal. A Deputy Secretary of State, who was a former AIDS Czar preaching abstinence while practicing whips, dips and chips with hookers in DC.

Well this thing is about to get bigger. And according to ABC News, there are names of WHITE HOUSE and PENTAGON officals on her list, and she's going to reveal all. Like, thousands of names. No, I don't exaggerate.

My friends, if you thought 2006 was a banner year for scandal, get out the popcorn, 'cause you ain't seen nothin' yet.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Oh how I love John Aravosis, let me count the ways…

I was all ready to go into a seething rant over Rudy-the-adulterer’s latest attempt to reshape himself into the guardian of all marriages when John over at AMERICAblog saved me from myself. So why work myself into a tizzy when John has done a stand-up job for me?

I hope you don’t mind John, but I’m lifting your entire post, it’s too good to leave anything out:

Rudy Giuliani, one of the most pro-gay politicians in America, is now pulling a Mitt Romney and trying to pretend that he's really not THAT pro-gay. You see, like John McCain and Mitt Romney before him, Giuliani is busy re-inventing himself for the Republican presidential primary - an event in which only Neanderthals pass the virtues test put forward by the extreme right that now controls the Republican party. So Giuliani, a staunch defender of gay rights, is now suddenly against civil unions for gays - even though he's been for them, forever.

Sorry, Rudy. You're an adulterer. You cheated on your wife - which wife was that? - blatantly, flagrantly, publicly. And now you want us to believe that you're the great defender of marriage. You don't get the right to defend other people's marriages when you can't defend your own. How serious a moral crime is adultery, Rudy? Well, since you're doing this flip-flop in order to curry favor with America's Taliban, let's check the Bible, the King James version, to be precise (it's the version my people use), and see what God has to say about adultery:

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Hmmm... surely put to death - now, no one is suggesting that you and your lover need to be put to death, Rudy, but the Bible makes it pretty clear that adultery is a big no-no. The kind of no-no that disqualifies you from suddenly, a few years after that adultery, becoming the great moral defender of marriage.

Let me quote that Biblical passage again, Rudy, just to get it straight:

the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death

Yeah, no ambiguity there, Rudy.

In the secular world, I did a little Google search on "Giuliani" and "adultery." It turned up 125,000 results.

No ambiguity there, either.

You committed a moral crime that the Bible says is worthy of death. And now you want to turn around and sell yourself as the great purveyor of moral virtue in the very area, marriage, where you committed such a grievous offense.

It doesn't work that way, Rudy. You don't get to judge other people's marriages when you can't keep your own zipper zipped. You cheated on your wife, paraded your mistress in public, and now have the audacity to pass judgment on other people's affairs.

You're an adulterer, Rudy. You don't get that right.

Ya Rudy – what he said. Don’t even go there on the sanctity of marriage stuff – ok? There’s nothing scarier than a Seething Mom on the war path… You don’t wanna go there bud - trust me.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wow I guess I understand why they are getting so vile with their rhetoric!

No wonder the fundies are getting so shrill! They are losing this battle. And they are losing the control they so desperately want:

The New Hampshire state legislature passed a civil unions bill that will permit committed same-sex couples to have the same state-level rights, responsibilities and obligations as married couples. Gov. Lynch has pledged to sign the bill into law, which will make NH the fourth state to have civil unions.

And if that were not enough to give them all nightmares, maybe this will:

Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to introduce a gay marriage bill in New York state is favored by almost two-thirds of the 1,022 respondents to a recent Crain's online poll.

About 63% of voters said they support a gay marriage law. If New York adopted the new legislation, it would become only the second state behind Massachusetts to legalize same-sex marriage.

Or maybe this:

The Iowa House took a historic vote Wednesday to extend civil rights protections to gays and lesbians, giving approval to the measure in the waning days of this year’s session of the Iowa Legislature.

Or possibly this:

Late tonight, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The legislation now makes its way to the floor of the House for consideration by the full chamber.

“Law enforcement is now one step closer to getting the extra tools they need to combat hate violence,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Hate crimes continue to spread fear and violence among entire communities of Americans and currently, law enforcement can use these additional tools and resources to prevent and prosecute them. We look forward to the day when partisan politics are finally put aside and this bill passes through Congress and is sent to the president’s desk for signing into law.

These past 6 ½ years have been dreadfully painful for so many of us. George W. Bush and his administration ushered in one of the most divisive, destructive, and evil eras of hate and homophobia that this country has ever seen. They have empowered the worst of the worst people and given them a national platform to shove their cruelty, hatred, and bogus Christian and family values down our throats. And maybe, just maybe the American people had to see it firsthand to know it wasn’t for them.

Finally! I think there might be a reason to hope again.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

They tried to cure me of being gay - Christine Bakke's story

The other day I was in Great Clips (yes Great Clips) waiting to get my hair trimmed. There was a 25 – 30 minute wait so I settled in with a magazine I found on the stand next to me and proceeded to completely immerse myself in an article about a young lady named Christine Bakke.

I was immediately and completely drawn into Christine’s tale detailing her almost 5 years in various “Christian” ex-gay ministries desperately seeking a “cure” for her homosexuality. Her story was especially interesting to me because I’d read so many sad stories of gay men who’d tried to “cure” their homosexuality through these ex-gay ministries with disappointing and sometimes devastating results, but I’d never read a story about any woman’s journey down this excruciating path. And all I could do while reading the article was hold my breath and pray that her story had a happy ending.

I was reading this article with quite the fervor when the gal who was going to cut my hair called my name. For a split second I debated telling her to go to the next person so that I could finish the 7 page article and find out how Christine’s story ended, but unfortunately I was really in a hurry and had to get going as soon as I could. So as difficult as it was to do so, I put down the magazine and proceeded to the chair to get my hair cut.

For the next few days, Christine would pop in and out of my head, her unfinished story kind of haunting me. I really needed to know how her tale ended. Well imagine my relief when I went over to Box Turtle Bulletin and found that she was the subject of a post over there. I was so thrilled that I immediately clicked my way over to Glamour’s website and finished the article and left a comment.

Christine responded both in the comments and by email. She is an amazing person and I am relieved that I don’t need to worry about how her story ends anymore. If you have the chance to read the article, please do. I know it will resonate with many of you. Christine has also started a blog, so please check that out as well.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

If only they’d denounced the evil within their own ranks as forcefully

This is utterly unbelievable:

The Vatican's second-highest ranking doctrinal official on Monday forcefully branded homosexual marriage an evil and denounced abortion and euthanasia as forms of "terrorism with a human face."

The attack by Archbishop Angelo Amato, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, was the latest in a string of speeches made by either Pope Benedict or other Vatican officials as Italy considers giving more rights to gays.

This coming from the very same people who personified evil for decades by shuffling pedophile priests from one parish to another thus enabling them access to a new crowd of unsuspecting innocent rape victims. And they honestly feel they have the moral high ground to call gays and lesbians evil for wanting to love and commit to the person they love? I cannot wrap my mind around this kind of hate --- yes, HATE. That is what it is.

I keep telling myself I’m not going to waste any more time, energy, or emotion on the Catholic Church’s over-the-top homophobia and hate, but it is completely impossible to ignore the escalating rhetoric coming from these people’s mouths. How, how, how can they think they have enough credibility to condemn anyone as evil? HOW????

I just want to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. The Church in which I was born and raised has truly gone off the deep end.

Andrew’s take:

How can one not regret the coarseness of the rhetorical blast that just came from the lips of Archbishop Angelo Amato? He directly equated suicide bombing with civil unions or civil marriage for gay couples. Yes: the human desire to seek out one other person and commit to him or her for a lifetime is "terrorism with a human face" and "equally repugnant" as the acts of al Qaeda. The comparison is such a ludicrously cruel, absurd and demeaning one it doesn't even rise to the level of rational debate. But here is an authoritative church leader calling gay couples the moral equivalent of mass-murderers of innocents. All one can say is that this is not the language of Jesus, and it is not the language of the Gospels. It is, in fact, hate speech. It will persuade no one. Even if one were to believe that abortion is as morally repugnant as murder, how can the same rubric be applied to gay couples who are intending to do nothing but look after one another under the law? How can attempts to find meaningful civil protections for their relationships be regarded as "evil"? Misguided for some, perhaps. Unwise for others. But evil? "Equally repugnant" as the acts of suicide bombers? From a bishop of the church? The mind reels.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Telling it like it is...

Frank Rich had an editorial (unfortunately by subscription only) in the New York Times yesterday titled Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac, which focuses mainly on the Iraq debacle, but whose first paragraph really says it all for me. Mr. Rich does such a good job exposing this president for what he really is that I swear I can see right into Bush’s soul … and well … see nothing but the guy’s Fruit of the Loom boxers:

PRESIDENT BUSH has skipped the funerals of the troops he sent to Iraq. He took his sweet time to get to Katrina-devastated New Orleans. But last week he raced to Virginia Tech with an alacrity not seen since he hustled from Crawford to Washington to sign a bill interfering in Terri Schiavo’s end-of-life medical care. Mr. Bush assumes the role of mourner in chief on a selective basis, and, as usual with the decider, the decisive factor is politics. Let Walter Reed erupt in scandal, and he’ll take six weeks to show his face — and on a Friday at that, to hide the story in the Saturday papers. The heinous slaughter in Blacksburg, Va., by contrast, was a rare opportunity for him to ostentatiously feel the pain of families whose suffering cannot be blamed on the administration.


Buh bye Limbo

WOW! So the Pope woke up one morning, had an extra bowl of Wheaties and thought to himself, “hmmmm I’m feeling extra godly and powerful this morning, what stupid, moronic Catholic teaching should I tell everyone we’re discarding this century?”

Let’s see… should it be:

Birth control is evil? No not this century.

Condom use is not ok to prevent AIDS? Not a chance, if someone gets AIDS from SEX, that person must deserve it.

Divorce and remarriage is a BIG no no? Nope, annulments are too profitable for the Church and Lord knows we need the money for settlements right now.

Women must cover their heads in church? Shoot, that would have been a good one, but someone else beat me to it.

Gays are evil? HELL NO! That one never goes – too good of a crowd whipper upper.

Limbo? That’s it! We’ll just tell all those parents who’ve lost infants and agonized over this teaching to never mind, we didn’t really mean it.

Damn it’s fun being so all-powerful, infallible, and holy!


Doonesbury v Dobson

There’s certainly no shortage of material coming from our pals over at Focus on the Family:


Saturday, April 21, 2007

School district promoting an agenda

There was an editorial today in the Scottsdale section of the Arizona Republic titled “School district promoting an agenda. The writer, a mother of two high school aged daughters, asks, “What on earth has happened with the Scottsdale school system?”

What prompted this mom to ask this question? Apparently the school handed out a "school climate survey," asking students their sexual orientation without getting parent’s permission, which for this mom was completely out-of-line. Now I do have to wonder how this high school honestly thought they could get away with this without at least one parent going into a homophobic frenzy or as this mom did, writing a classic editorial that would make the Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson crowd beam with pride, it was chock full of so many of their favorite homophobic buzz words and scare tactics.

But I guess the straw that broke this offended mother’s back was when the school started making announcements, showing staff support, and having discussions in class regarding the "Day of Silence", an event she claims is organized by homosexual activists that she believes promote the gay agenda to innocent, unsuspecting children.

She continues her diatribe:

This has been extremely disruptive to my children's learning and hostile to their freedom of religious beliefs. Daily, they experience anti-Christian bigotry.

Children should not be pressured to approve of homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, cross-dressing or (to be politically correct) "transgender" behavior. I don't want anybody discussing their sexual preferences, orientation or behavior with my daughters.

All of our children have been bullied for various reasons. If the agenda is about keeping LGBT's from being bullied, in reality, my children are being angrily bullied from that same group for not agreeing with them. They also feel pressure from teachers and administration.

Wow --- my head spins with all the Dobson-speak! And I was completely unaware of how dangerous it is to be Christian in a public school in Scottsdale Arizona these days. Hmmm, that must be a fairly recent turn of events since I don’t recall any of my children coming home with black eyes for being Catholic (my children were all part of the Scottsdale school system up until up until 3 years ago).

But she’s not done. She successfully uses the James Dobson talking points for turning the tables and convincing everyone that it is actually her daughters that are the victims, now it’s time for step 2, a breathless tirade of scare tactics and dire consequences should our children actually accept, tolerate, or feel sympathy for anyone who is not just like them (I guess she hasn’t watched TV lately because maybe she’d better understand what true dire consequences are when kids are bullied or made to feel different and out of the mainstream):

I agree that some incidents of bullying do occur, as they do for all students. But to quote from the Web site, "this event is an overwhelming exaggeration in an effort to manipulate our kids' natural sympathies. The result, ironically, is that youth develop favorable views about a controversial, high-risk behavior. The Day of Silence is a one-sided campaign to manipulate acceptance of homosexuality by every student. Nationwide, parents are fed up with the political hijacking of their kids' classrooms."

I vehemently oppose these tactics of homosexual activism. I especially oppose the support or at least perceived approval my children are receiving from adults working within our school system who should be neutral.

Well OK then, this poor victimized mother of two victimized children got her say, now it is this seething mom’s turn.

My online comment to her barely disguised homophobic screed:

It is unbelievable to me, the mother of a gay child, how deftly Holly Garcia turns her daughters into the victims over something as peaceful as "The Day of Silence". I just do not know where to begin with her diatribe. As a mother who knows only too well the agonies of watching her own son's painful journey from denial to self acceptance, I can tell Mrs. Garcia that he spent every waking moment of his high school years consumed with an "agenda" of trying to act, think, look, and BE heterosexual. I know first hand the pain my child was experiencing because I watched helplessly as he suffered and struggled "alone" to be something he could never be. He lost those precious years forever because he was trying to be that perfect little heterosexual boy that Holly Garcia's "Christian" faith demands he be. I cannot describe how offensive and painful Holly Garcia's words are to people who know firsthand the heartbreak children experience when they don't fit perfectly into people like Mrs. Garcia's very narrow view of normal. It's devastating - not only for the child, but for the helpless family and friends that love that child.

And I don't even know where to begin with the ignorance Mrs. Garcia exhibits in this editorial. She has definitely been schooled well in the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell/James Dobson school of homophobia. Oh if only homosexuality were a "behavior" as Mrs. Garcia so cunningly and Falwell-esque-ly refers to it! How much easier our family's life would have been. Then we could have just sent our little boy to a therapist who could have helped him unlearn that nasty little "behavior" that Mrs. Garcia finds so objectionable. But alas, there is no way to change what God has made and to try would be an affront to Him. God does not make trash. My son is just as God intended him to be.

Mrs. Garcia states that The Day of Silence "has been extremely disruptive to [her] children's learning and hostile to their freedom of religious beliefs." She further goes on to say that her daughters "experience anti-Christian bigotry" on a daily basis. If this is true, then my heart goes out to her. My family knows first hand the pain of daily discrimination and hostility and we believe no one should have to experience that. Her daughters no more deserve to be victims of bigotry than does my son. But it's sad that in Mrs. Garcia's eyes her daughters are victims because some students choose not to speak for a day, but children who are bullied with hateful words and physical violence are simply people who "choose" their sexual orientation. So my question for Mrs. Garcia is this, why does she believe that those who choose to be Christian should not be discriminated against for their choice, but those who "choose" to be gay are fair game?


Monday, April 16, 2007

Faith in America and a new billboard campaign in Indiana

Pam has a post up at her place with all the details about this great new billboard campaign. You really should go over and read about it. But she wonders (and with good reason) how long before the fundies erupt over this. My guess: not long.

It’s just so nice to see progressive Churches so willing to stand up to the Dobson, Robertson, Falwell bullies on this issue. It feels as though these sanctimonious frauds have gotten away with twisting passages in the Bible to justify their homophobia and hatred for anything that doesn’t fit their narrow view of things for far too long. It's a comforting relief to finally be able to hear (and see) an opposition voice, one that for me comes far closer to representing what Jesus stood for.

I can only imagine the hyperventilation going on over in the Dobson compound over this:

A Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis, Ind., this week began a new media campaign aimed at challenging Hoosiers to re-examine their assumptions about what the Bible says about homosexuality.”


Organizers say this year's project will be bigger and bolder, moving beyond a gentle question to propose a bold answer that some may find unsettling. "In the past, many Christians misused the Bible to support slavery, oppose equal rights for women, and oppose interracial marriage," says Rev. Jimmy Creech, Executive Director of Faith In America. "They went so far as to accuse people on the other side of being unbiblical. The same thing is happening again with respect to same-gender relationships. It has to stop.


The purpose of the Indianapolis Campaign, Pastor Miner says, is to change the whole tenor of the debate over homosexuality. "Right now," Miner says, "most people think this is a debate between people who love the Bible - conservative Christians - and people who want to throw out the Bible - godless homosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Church welcomes hundreds of devout gay Christians who love the Bible deeply. Our goal is to rescue the Bible from misinterpretations driven by cultural prejudice, so its true message of grace, hope, and peace can come through."

And definitely check out the Faith in America website. It’s well worth the trip.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus is gone, but is the cost too high?

With all this “Imus” hoopla swirling around, I was forced to think about my first experience with the “I-man”. That encounter with Imus happened about 3 days after learning my middle son was gay. It was about 5:30 in the morning (which for a non-morning person like me is the middle of the night) and as was my normal routine I headed to the kitchen in my half-awake state to start the coffee and make the school lunches for that day. I turned on the small television we have in the kitchen and tried to kick start my brain with the first major decisions of the day: PB&J or turkey sandwiches? Milk or juice? I was so immersed in my thoughts that I didn’t even realize that I had MSNBC on rather than my usual local morning news show.

Now I must digress at this point and add that I was much groggier than usual … no actually, to be more accurate, I was a catatonic, zombie-like mess. In addition to learning that my beloved son was gay 3 days earlier, I was also going through treatment for a recurrence of cancer and between that and learning my son was gay, I had gotten NO sleep the previous three days. To say that I was barely functioning is a major understatement. During that time just getting out of bed was a major triumph for me.

So with the “noise” of the television in the background, I started my assembly line of sandwiches, mindful of each kid’s “food idiosyncrasies” (no “chunks” in one kid’s jelly, honey and bananas instead of jelly for another, and quantity over quality for the last). It wasn’t until I’d securely saran wrapped the last sandwich that I actually became aware of what was coming out of the television behind me.

I think it might have been the word “faggot” followed by boisterous laughter that clued me in that I didn’t have my usual “Good Morning Arizona” show on that morning. Shocked, I turned around to see this group of crotchety old white guys sitting around microphones looking more like cantankerous old frat boys in cowboy hats and goofy costumes than radio personalities on a major cable news network. But one thing is for sure, they were having a good ole time engaging in a contest to see who could say the most disgusting and shocking thing. In the course of about 3 minutes, I don’t think there was any minority group that escaped being the punch line of these bigots’ jokes. I stood there in stunned disbelief, my stomach churning, and my face feeling like it was on fire. I truly could not believe what was coming out of their mouths and the amazingly good time they seemed to be having at the expense of anybody and everybody. That was when I realized just what minorities have always faced. That was when I realize what my son would now experience for the rest of his life as well. The tears I had worked so hard to hold back started falling with a vengeance as I quickly turned the TV off and raced to the bathroom to collect myself before getting the kids up for school.

So you’d think I’d be overjoyed that Don Imus has been fired. But I’m not. As much as I loathed what I heard that morning and as much as it hurt to hear those pathetic old coots targeting my son among so many others with their moronic, degrading, and bigoted humor, I cannot say that removing this man from the airwaves was a better solution than the one I ultimately employed that morning.

Firing Don Imus doesn't extinguish bigotry and hate. I wish it did. Unfortunately there is a market for what Mr. Imus peddled. Why else did his show not only survive but thrive for years? Mr. Imus may be gone, but someone else will pick up where he left off. And they'll have the benefit of knowing that it's ok to spew hate and bigotry as long as they don't target America's current Cinderella story because that is stepping over the line and that will get you fired. No, I think all that was really accomplished by firing Mr. Imus was bolstering the same kind of censorship that so many of the extremists on the religious right would like to see. For them, a channel changer is not enough. They are not content to just change the channel or turn the TV off, they have to make sure no one even has a choice. Don Imus may have lost his job, but I fear we may have lost much more.

Where others stand:

Radical Russ over at Pam’s House Blend:

This is not censorship. This is a society starting to grow up. For most of our history, we've been a straight old rich white Anglo-Saxon Protestant corporate male dominated society. Now that's changing. White people are becoming a plurality rather than a majority. Women have risen to a heartbeat and a pacemaker away from the presidency. Gay people are out and proud and faaaabulous. People with disabilities demanded ramps and primo parking spots. Native Americans are raking in reparations one slot pull at a time. There are Muslims and Wiccans and Sikhs all clamoring for respect and recognition. Everywhere you look there are Asian people, Latino people, Eastern European people, every one of the Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors of Humanity.

So suddenly, Rip Van Imus wakes up in the New World. "Gee, why are you people so upset? I never heard y'all so upset before!" No, it's more like you never heard them before, period. They've been quite upset about you and plenty of others for a while now.


Don Imus has all the free speech he wants. What he doesn't have now is Paid Speech.

Kathy over at Shakesville:

I am very disappointed at the overwhelmingly celebratory response on the left to the news that MSNBC and CBS both fired Don Imus for calling the Rutgers’ women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.


This is a victory for equality and justice? A radio shock jock who was hired to… uh, shock listeners with outrageous comments losing his job for doing just that?

My apologies to those who think it’s some huge victory for women in general and African-American women in particular that “nappy-headed hos” is now not merely an insulting and demeaning way to refer to black women, but also a grave threat to women’s mental health and physical safety. I’m very glad that this point of view did not hold sway back when Dan Aykroyd was opening Saturday Night Live’s Point-Counterpoint parody with “Jane, you ignorant slut!” I would have missed one of my favorite rolling-on-the-floor-laughing memories.

John Cole at Balloon Juice:

I know some of you are under the grand delusion that this is the greatest thing for civil rights and the African-American community since OJ was acquitted, but it really is no victory for anyone involved. For those of you who are too dim to figure this out, here is what happened:

A grumpy, surly, and flawed man, but not the total monster that some are now trying to make him out to be (he really didn’t shoot MLK, DU readers), who had a history of making borderline and overtly racist or sexist statements for dozens of years made another offensive statement that in past years would never have raised even an eyebrow. His only flaw this time was his target- a bunch of young women who really did not deserve to be smeared, and whom he has apologized repeatedly to and I believe honestly feels bad for insulting. Otherwise it was business as usual at Imus in the Morning.

The girls have been turned into victims, blowing the insult completely and totally out of proportion, and have been taught a hideous lesson- that being a victim is a good thing. My sisters, had they been called a ho by anyone, would have flipped them the bird and then gone back to work. Instead, we are regaled with tales that the girls have been scarred for life or their careers have been hampered. Lunacy, in other words.

David Carr of the New York Times Media and Advertising section:

For a few days, it seemed as if Don Imus would somehow pull out of the death spiral. After all, once he came under fire, Mr. Imus said he was sorry for the racial insult, said he was sorry again and then began a week of penance, raising money on his own show for sick children and turning up at various other microphones to renew his apology.

But even as he went through the ritual of public mortification, his backers began to see what he did not: the drumbeat was not going to stop. The controversy metastasized and by Monday, the media began to lock and load. Mr. Imus, who had shrugged off the initial criticism last week, was fighting for survival.

“All the elements were there,” said James Carville, the political consultant who has appeared on the show and has seen a few stories blow up in his time. “You had some dry brush, gasoline, high winds, no rain and low humidity and before you know it, man, it was a wildfire.”

The toxicity of Mr. Imus’s remark, the innocence of his targets, and his refusal to put down the shovel — he dug himself deeper just about every time he opened his mouth — made last night’s decision by CBS to end his show seem almost inevitable. Disparate media imperatives were at work, but they converged and whipsawed into a self-sustaining frenzy.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Yes, I’m still here --- barely. And it’s killing me that I cannot be more active on my blog right now, but work has kept me so busy these past few weeks that what little spare time I have is filled with playing catch-up on all the chores I’ve neglected and spending a little time with my husband and daughter.

I *think* I see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m a little leery of making an official proclamation yet. So let’s just say that I hope to be back at it with a renewed vigor and passion very soon. (And to my husband and daughter: I promise there will be food in the refrigerator real soon.)

But what I really set out to do when I started this post was to wish everyone a very happy Easter. So… Happy Easter everyone!


It’s Easter, but can we talk about separation of Church and State?

Yes, I know it’s Easter (which is in my opinion the most important religious event of the Christian liturgical year), but I also believe it is a good time for those of us who consider ourselves Christians, albeit not even remotely in the Dobson, Robertson, Falwell mold, to contemplate how Christianity has been used, abused, contorted, and redefined for political purposes these past 6 ½ years. And it’s time for those of us who’ve stood by in stunned, helpless silence watching this frightening trend unfold to wake up and realize that we aren’t as helpless as we think and we can do something about this.

As we reflect on what Easter means or doesn’t mean to us, let us also reflect on the beauty and magnificence of a country in which we have the freedom to be a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or an atheist, or a Mormon, or a Wiccan, or an agnostic. Let us reflect on a country in which we can believe in God, or Allah, or the Spaghetti Monster. And most of all let us also rejoice in a country in which we don’t have to believe in anything at all if we so choose and not be persecuted, punished, or branded a lesser human being for making that choice. And finally, let us reflect on the very real damage that is done to both religion and politics when the line between Church and State becomes blurred by political opportunists and power mongers.

A few years ago, I would not have given this whole thing much thought, and I might have even snickered at the notion of this country sliding towards theocracy, but then a few years ago I didn’t know one of my beloved children was gay. It took having people like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell telling me that one of my children was evil and undeserving of the same rights as everyone else in this country because “their brand of Christianity” did not condone who he might choose to love. It took watching in horror as the President of the United States used my son’s rights as a bargaining chip to gain political clout. It took watching Christianity being tarnished and twisted to fit the very narrow view of a certain sector of our population and then force fed to the rest of us. It took one political party claiming moral superiority and the patent on Christian and Family Values while trampling my family and my Christian values. It took watching my tax dollars going to Churches that preach hate for my son, exclusion of my son, and bigotry towards my son. It took seeing my country’s government contemplating using the Constitution of the United States to guarantee that one of my children would never be equal to his brother and sister.

It took all of that and more to finally wake me up and smell a potential theocracy, but believe me, I’m awake now, and I’m not snickering anymore. I’m quaking in my shoes. So I am taking a little bit of time out to participate in the “Blog Against Theocracy blogswam” in the hopes that others who are not paying attention either might wake up before it is too late.

And finally, don’t get me wrong, James Dobson has every right to define what Christianity means to him, he just doesn’t have the right to define it for me or anyone else and he certainly doesn’t have the right to define it for a country founded on religious diversity and freedom. This is not a Christian Nation, it is a secular one, and when we allow people like Dobson to define it as such, we all lose. We must protect the basic tenets upon which this amazing country was founded. And that means maintaining a clear and non-negotiable separation of Church and State.

So consider this post my small contribution to the blogswarm.