Tag Archives: United States

Politics, Right to Choose, Religion

Hey, I bet that post title got your attention! Not my usual subject matter. But we may be able to file this entire election under theatre of the absurd, so maybe it is.

I have always held to the idea that these three topics should only be discussed in controlled, moderated environments. More friendships, marriages and business relationships have been tainted by engaging in passionate debate surrounding any of these three. You very rarely sway anyone on any of these subjects. You have your stray party crosser and religious converter, but I don’t think you have ever seen a right to choose flip to right to life, or vice versa, without a major blow to the head.

So here we are, in the throws of campaign season, in a time in history where bipartisan anything seems nearly impossible. We’ve got our first topic throwing our second topic into the land of fear and uncertainty. And topic number three – which in a perfect world would follow the concept of separation of church and state – driving the campaigns of the ultra conservative.

Sort of a mess, huh?

I am not highly political, but I am passionate about the rights that we, as a people, have gained from living in a free and democratic world (star-spangled banner playing softly in the background, please). And I have great concern that these hard-won freedoms like right to choose and marry, will be compromised by the ultra-conservative working to govern these rights on the basis of their beliefs. Yes, that is what drives my vote more than anything else. But it does not drive me to behave like a dick.

I have heard this from too many people lately; spouses, co-workers and life-long friends at each other’s throats on the topic of politics, trying to shove their views down those very same throats. Gone are the days of respectful debate. Don’t get me wrong, I have lived through the cycle of passion/self-absorption/apathy in my lifetime. I get that there is no perfect world. But what I do not get is blatant disrespect for the opinions of others. And wasted hot air, hysterical, fact-bending or outright fictional finger-pointing at the other side.

This is not a one issue campaign. And party lines will be crossed in both directions in the hopes of a magic bullet to cure the ails that were a long time in the making.

My point. Let’s take a deep breath and commit to being civil. Or as my aunt used to say when we were little, “Be Nice.” We thought it ridiculous at the time but now I am starting to get this simple credo.

Better yet, let’s Dance, Grow Things and Try Not to be a Dick.

Says it all, right?

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Separation of Church and State

Is this bothering anyone else? All this concentration on religion in government? Not because I am a Jew, for I don’t believe my Synagogue has any place in politics either. Or because I am a Democrat, because quite frankly I am none to comfortable with our President speaking about his faith or those who doubt it. It is completely irrelevant to running a government. Period.

Hey, land of the free and brave… Wassup?

The absolutely most horrifying comments of the week come right off the front page of the NYT Sunday paper:

Rick Santorum warned of the “dangers of contraceptives” and rejected JFK’s call for strict separation of church and state. He went so far as to tell George Stephanopoulus that Kennedy’s ideas are so terrible that they make him want to throw up. (lovely)

On the first point, let’s do one of those pros and cons lists for contraceptives and show me exactly how the dangers of using them compare to all those unwanted pregnancies. I get if you choose not to use contraceptives due to your religious leanings, I expect the same respect in return. Lose the fear mongering on dangers.

On point two… seriously? Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t believe that he gets to reject the concept. Since we, as Americans, have been kicking the idea of separation of church and state since around SINCE 18-friggin-02, why is this up for discussion now?

For those that might want a refresher on JFK’s speech in question from 1960:

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote. … I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish … where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Yeh, I can see why he found that offensive, can’t you?!

Plainly put. YOUR religion, is YOUR religion. Not mine. Not my neighbors. Not the Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist… Atheist for that matter.

Ok, admit you are glad I did not get started on that slut Rush Limbaugh…

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Filed under politics, Time to Cry Tuesdays

Why Politics are Akin to Sports

I know what you are thinking, what the heck does she know about politics and sports. Not a whole lot, but my dear friend David C. Haas does and this is a guest post on demand from my college friends.  We have a thread going for years now, and if you missed my post about them it is worth a read; they are a lively group. Dave wrote this on the thread today and we voted to give it an airing in the blogosphere. So give this a tweet, a share, a stumble or just read it to a friend; he has great insight. In respect to my friends in the media who do not fit this description, my opinion on this is that it is a generalization about mass media and not an attack on those of you who still take great pride in your craft. 

Enjoy, and feel free to comment.

I know the problem, but not the solution. Politics has become too akin to sports. People are diehard fans of their “team” (Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Green Party, etc.) and anyone who is on the other teams is a jerk only because they are on the other team. People don’t discuss anymore, they defend their team without listening to the other side. The networks have taken advantage of this by recognizing that they can make more money by not being impartial and instead being a booster of one of the teams.

The politicians use the networks to post trash talk on the locker room bulletin boards to psyche up the players (rally the base). The networks are only too happy to oblige and add their own inflammatory commentary which often times omits key facts, exaggerates the truth, or is an outright lie. Media exaggeration and lying have become so commonplace that apparently the politicians seem to think it’s okay and have stepped up their offense to include a new page in the playbook, the Super Spin, otherwise know as an outright lie.

Sen. John Kyl’s commentary that 90% of Planned Parenthood services were devoted to abortion were proven to be false (in 2009 approximately 3% were) and when he was confronted about this he replied that his speech “wasn’t intended to be factual”.

You have got to be kidding me! In any other profession this would not be tolerated. “Well doctor, what do the test results show?”, “I’m afraid you’ll need a heart transplant John”, “Huh, my specialist said it was acid reflux” “Well, ah… I wasn’t talking literally.”

The media used to be the umpires. They would call a foul, then show the instant replay for the fans to see, and the offending player would be penalized. But now the umpires have taken sides and can no longer agree on the fouls. And the fans are left confused and just assume that their team is in the right. But without umpires the game has gotten out of control. Teams are playing to win at all costs. They don’t care if the game suffers while they break all the rules.

Maybe someday the fans will realize that the game stinks, and stop going to the stadiums. And the empty seats will be votes against the teams and for the game.

My only hope is that after a few election cycles were each time the party in power loses, politicians will realize that the people are not voting for Republicans or for Democrats. They are voting against the corruption of the game, and until the players, owners, and league officials, can be trusted to act in the interest of the game, they will be off the team.

– David C. Haas

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