31 August 2011

The people at the Liberty Institute should be ashamed of themselves for whipping up a frenzy over the fact that not all military families choose to have Christian prayers said at the funerals of their loved ones.

Perhaps you could try defending actual liberty for a change.
Why don't you pray to live and ask to be freed? The God you serve is the God of Paul and Silas who opened their prison gates, and if you have all the faith you say you have, you ought to believe that He will open your prison doors too. If you do believe that, let all your songs and prayers hereafter be songs of faith and hope that God will set you free; that the judges who have to pass on your cases will be given the wisdom and courage to decide in your behalf....Pray to live and believe you are going to get out.

Ida Wells-Barnett speaking to black men imprisoned in Arkansas during a 1920 race war (the word is not too strong, read On the Laps of Gods by Robert Whitaker for the whole story). Today I pray for all gay American servicemembers, who have 20 more days before their prison doors are flung wide open.

30 August 2011

Yes, conservatives really don't care if Tammy Baldwin is gay, but you know, homosexuality is abhorrent to God.

28 August 2011

Protesting while Korean--a serious crime.

20 August 2011

"I don't want somebody telling me what stupid lightbulb I gotta put in my house."

But apparently you do want somebody telling you what religion you can practice in your house.

Linda Clark, Retired Cosmotologist [sic] and Childcare Professional

18 August 2011

In response to Ta-Nehisi Coates's recent post "This Culture War Is Over: We Win":

I wish I could believe this, sir. The position of Jews in Germany in 1930 looked pretty good on the face of it--lots of Jewish doctors, professors, politicians; plenty of integrated marriages with non-Jews; a lively Jewish culture in Berlin and other cities. The last burst of anti-Jewish violence was more than a hundred years ago.

The temptation for America's gay people to declare victory in the culture wars is hard to resist today. But it is pernicious: we could lose everything in a general social upheaval--which is hard not to see coming in today's economy.

One of Ta-Nehisi's commenters seemed to understand the problem:

"The right-wing are the only truly invested party, and thus only they can claim victory. The culture war is over when they say it's over."

17 August 2011

I took particular pleasure in this one [defending the freedom of protest at a considerable distance from a funeral] because the major funeral protestor, as people know, is the bizarre homophobe from Kansas, who announces that Americans are killed in wars because God dislikes the increasing gains we are making in providing legal equality for LGBT people. His reaction when he was asked by the Boston Herald to comment on the fact that one of the few openly gay members of the House was one of his few defenders was predictably satisfying.

Barney Frank, letter to the Boston Phoenix, issue of August 12-18 2011.

16 August 2011

Maybe the President should talk to Iowans about Martin Luther King and save lamenting our dirty politics for his 'high-dollar New York' donors.

14 August 2011

a political dispatch, in the style of Hunter S. Thompson

Morning in America, that is to say dawn in San Francisco, early morning in Denver, sultry beginning of midday in Philadelphia, and Marcus Bachmann, the latest right-wing doughboy iteration of Liberace, is thrusting his gay-ass arms out like Nixon in a confetti-strewn room in Des Moines. It is his wife's victory, and she is smiling submissively--don't ask what that adverb means.

Look at this generation of Iowans, idiotically desperate for a charlatan to follow: how they suffer in the corn-oil-suffused August heat. Unemployed or not, evangelical or not, potbellied or not, they are in the throes of some frenzy. God only knows but it's a frenzy worse than any adrenochrome binge, the mania of mindless patriotism

13 August 2011

Blog comment of the day:

Both the Tea Party and al-Qaeda seem to me to be nihilistic movements relying on an imaginary past to rationalize retrogressive politics and whose goal is to remake the political status quo in their own image. Moreover, the imaginary past in defense of which they purport to act is an explicitly political artifice, an ideological narrative, one that has been quite deliberately constructed so as to "prove" what passes for "points" in their respective discourses. And both are equally willing to harm those they claim to defend -- ordinary Americans and Muslims -- in order to advance their respective, peculiar ideology.

So what if the teatards haven't committed (many) acts of violence yet? If a terrorist cell hasn't committed an act of violence, is it not still a terrorist cell? Was Iyman Faris not a terrorist because he only planned to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge? Does that make him a "pre-terrorist" or perhaps a "latent terrorist?"

Tea Party people have committed acts of violence, of course. Many are reluctant to call them terrorists only because no one has (luckily) yet died at their hands.

11 August 2011

Those seriously concerned with national security should awaken themselves to the fact that there is absolutely nothing safe or secure about soaking your country in gasoline by ignoring, and exacerbating, the plight of its most disenfranchised citizens. Eventually an event will come along to strike a match; at which time the meaning and utility of “national security” will quite viscerally move from the abstract to the concrete.

Murtaza Hussain

09 August 2011

Islam as a rescuing religion has determined specific dignity for women, Islam has valuable instructions for women...Women have the responsibility as a teacher or coordinator for her family.

1996 Decree of the Kabul Religious Police (translated from Dari). Included in the appendix to Taliban, by Ahmed Rashid.

I haven’t seen anyone make the argument but it seems obvious to me that for the law to say that same-sex marriage is the moral equivalent of one-man, one-woman marriage is simultaneously to proclaim that the unique gifts of women are officially, by government decree, not in any way important.

By that token, it’s opposed to the dignity of men, too, in that it (ironically!) un-sexes all of us. The challenge to women is direct, however. The womb? Child-rearing? Same-sex marriage proclaims them—and the policies and lifestyle needed to support them—insignificant.

Rebecca Teti, Catholic blogger, somewhat more recently.

06 August 2011

If the United States elects a fascist president, plenty of people in the mainstream media will be shocked, shocked, that this president wants to put gay people in internment camps, expel all Muslims from the country, criminalize birth control, etc. etc. Reporters like Erik Eckholm will doubtless scratch their heads in bemusement. "How could anyone have known," they will say, "so-and-so was this extreme? After all, it was only 'liberal critics' who were saying that so-and-so wanted to put gay people in internment camps, expel all Muslims from the country, and criminalize birth control."

04 August 2011

...even John Henry wasn't forced to smile and praise the steam drill that replaced him. John Henry took the dignified way out when he saw the way things were going: His heart exploded, and he lay down and died.

A first-class investigation of the Borders phenomenon, by Paul Constant.