Friday, April 17, 2009

Civil Rights: Cut or Uncut?

The conservative movement in this country is in a dire way.

They've been left behind by pretty much every other cultural movement, in particular the oh, so relevant pop-culture, complete with all its double-entendre.

First there was tea-bagging. And now this from Talking Points Memo:

"In an unintentional but hilarious nod to gay sex chatters everywhere, the National Organization for Marriage has dubbed their campaign "2 Million for Marriage". Or 2M4M."

Who's working for these people? The same team that vetted Sarah Palin? Is no research being done beforehand?

If you happen to support the further elimination of equal civil rights for all tax-paying, conscientious minded citizens of the land of the free, don't bother checking Apparently it's already been claimed by those damn liberals.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Treaty of what now?

I'm going to be honest here and say that I know I learned this in school, but it's extremely vague in my memory. It was probably important at the time, but...come on. It wasn't the American Revolution, it wasn't the Louisiana Purchase, and it wasn't even close to the Civil War. How the hell was I supposed to remember the Treaty of Tripoli?? Let alone know that the Senate's ratification of the treaty was only the third recorded unanimous vote of 339 taken.

But that's the funny thing about History. It's always there, and it never goes away.

So when Obama says that while we are a nation predominantly populated by Christians, America is not a Christian Nation, he's backed up by facts.

And here they are:

The most striking is the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797. Article 11 states: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility [sic], of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and, as the said States never have entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

That bears repeating: The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

That's not mincing words. And neither is this:

(hat tip: tuesdaysblog)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Green State Goes Rainbow

Vermont becomes the 4th state in the union to legalize gay marriage.

California remains the only state constitution ammended to include outright discrimination of a minority group. And my better sense tells me that's not going to change in the next few months.

Last night I caught Pat Robertson on CBN talking about Iowa's decision - rather, in his words, the decision of 4 or 5 radical, unelected judges - to change the cultural landscape of this country, despite the cries of the populous.

This argument always confuses me, since culture is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. And the legality of the civil rights in this situation has little to do with culture. After the courts have made their ruling, Pat Robertson and anyone else still has the freedom to hate gays, speak out against gay marriage, and continue living their homophobic lifestyles. No one wants to prevent that.

Certainly not Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa, or Vermont.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Second Ammendment Blues

As if we needed more, two more tragic reasons why we need to reexamine our gun control policies in this country.

How many more human lives need to go until people realize this isn't an assault on their right to hunt moose?

Friday, April 3, 2009

As California waits...

Iowa has already bucked the trend.

This from a unanimous ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court, which upholds held that the Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.

Quote of the day, addressing religious opposition to the statute:
Having addressed and rejected each specific interest articulated by the County, the court addressed one final ground believed to underlie the same-sex marriage debate—religious opposition.

Recognizing the sincere religious belief held by some that the “sanctity of
marriage” would be undermined by the inclusion of gay and lesbian couples, the court nevertheless noted that such views are not the only religious views of marriage. Other, equally sincere groups have espoused strong religious views yielding the opposite conclusion. These contrasting opinions, the court finds, explain the absence of any religious-based rationale to test the constitutionality of Iowa’s same-sex marriage statute.

“Our constitution does not permit any branch
of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of ensuring government avoids them . . . . The statute at issue in this case does not prescribe a definition of marriage for religious institutions. Instead, the statute, declares, ‘Marriage is a civil contract’ and then regulates that civil contract . . . . Thus, in pursuing our task in this case, we proceed as civil judges, far removed from the theological debate of religious clerics, and focus only on the concept of civil marriage and the state licensing system that identifies a limited class of persons entitled to secular rights and benefits associated with marriage.”

(hat-tip Tony)

Thursday, April 2, 2009