Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Shady journalism --
No, not CBS. See here for ESPN fakery.
(8:42 AM) 0 comments

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tell Me Again Why Some Idiots Want This Man For President? --
From Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Liveas Told By Its Stars, Writers, and Guests, p440:
. . . . the best satire in the world in the latter half of the twentieth century was in the Soviet Union, like Krokodil magazine. Our satire couldn't come close to the satier in the Soviet bloc countries. . . ." --Ralph Nader
(6:21 PM) 0 comments

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Vatican Says Its OK to Vote for Pro-Choice Politicians (Though Still Not OK to Be Pro-Choice Yourself) --
This story from the Washington Post gives details from Cardinal Ratzinger's letter to the U.S. bishops. It quotes: ""A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia."

I don't really believe that the legal status of abortion is going to change measureably any time in the near future, even if George W. Bush is re-elected and appoints two or three justices to the Supreme Court. Until Pro-Lifers get their act together and put forward arguments that don't require one to first be a religious conservative (or someone who depends upon the support of religious conservatives) and lay the foundation for a bipartisan approach to outlawing abortion, building up a Pro-Life wing of the Democratic Party, abortion will never be illegal.

So, basically, voting on the basis of abortion as a single issue does no good. It might if Catholics voted together on every issue, but that has never been and never will be the case. What I would really like to see is Catholic priests use their sermons for teaching Church doctrine. Set out the ten weeks before the election to speak each week on a different issue and how a faith perspective informs one. Some of these issues will favor George W. Bush and some will favor John Kerry. You might have the priests or bishops decide or have the parishioners vote on which issues they would like to hear about. Possible topics include: euthanasia, gay marriage, war, labor unions, taxation, globalization, and religious freedom.

There would be no endorsement of candidates or specific policy positions, only an outline of what the Church believes and does not believe and what areas are as yet undefined or still open to interpretation. One might also preach on the role of conscience in decision-making.

There is a little bit of PR in this idea. With sex scandals and abortion debates and gay marriage issues, the Church has come off as a bit sex-obsessed. By outlining beliefs on a wide variety of topics, which can't all possibly tied back to sex, Catholicism can be seen as an institution which cares about the totality of human life and not just the bedroom.

(8:10 PM) 0 comments

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Andrew Greeley is my hero --
The sociologist-priest Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout have The New York Times > Opinion > an op-ed in the New York Times on how Evangelicals are not necessarily in the back-pocket of the Republicans.

Clearly, claims that evangelicals have hijacked the nation's politics are greatly exaggerated. In fact, polling data show that President Bush's real base is not religious but economic. . . .

And neither region nor religion can override the class divide: if recent patterns hold, a majority (about 52 percent) of poor Southern white evangelicals will vote for Mr. Kerry in November, while only 12 percent of affluent Southern white evangelicals will.

Once again, it's the economy, stupid. Some liberal elites who go beyond secular to anti-religious have done the Democratic Party a disservice. The South is no more an inherently racist region prone to Jebus nuttery than the Palestinians are a people inherently prone to terrorism.

It's like there's this attitude that the South is a lost cause and that the Democratic Party is now the party of anti-Southerners. Talk to a liberal and one thing they might make fun of is the number of country music acts that showed up at the Republican National Convention. And they hypocritically still make fun of George W. Bush's ludicrous claim to be a "uniter, not a divider."

A truly progressive political ideology must abandon any hint of belief that nothing good can come of the South or that nothing good can come of evangelical Christianity.

(5:01 PM) 0 comments

Friday, September 03, 2004

Cowardice in Fear of Democracy Is No Virtue --
According to this story, George W. Bush may be seeking to avoid debates. The title of this post sums up my feelings.
(6:06 PM) 0 comments