The corporate takeover of California is on hold according to the latest polls out of the nation’s largest state. Just nine days before the election, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California poll shows a nearly impossible uphill battle for the big business ticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.
Among likely voters in the governor’s race, Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%. In the race for United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead. The leads by Democrats come from a brand new constituency, those who "never" go to church. More on that later.
Whither the role of religion and spirituality in the current roiling cultural soup that is America today? The Obama grass roots revolution of progressive values and the faith-infused notion of "hope," and the pushback from the still-solid religious right are at odds in an economy where one out of six are unemployed or underemployed, when a third of homeowners are sacked with mortgages that cost more than the value of their homes, and a third of households have at least one person residing within it that is out of work.
This morning I wrote a rather in-depth commentary about the continuing plight of LGBTs in the Middle East, in particular Iraq, where more Iraqi gays have been found murdered recently.
I waited until today to let most of the Prop 8 writeups and blogger op-eds dry up so this piece could surface in the LGBT blogosphere.
For those you have not followed any of the articles (few and far between), Network news coverage (little if any) in regards to one of the fallouts of the invasion of Iraq, this may come as quite an eye opener.
In a new article at FOCUS I take a look at the recent horrors being committed by the Taliban in the name of religion.
Brutal murders and moving ever closer to the capitol of Pakistan, will this be the epicenter for an all out religious war, with at stake control of nuclear weapons in the region.
Oisted with the permission of Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press.
Why Rick Warren Really Matters
by Nicholas Benton
It is misguided to view the persisting flap over the inclusion of the Rev. Rick Warren in the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama as primarily a gay rights concern.
In fact, it is a matter that cuts to the quick of the 233-year cultural struggle since 1776 from which Obama emerged as America's president-elect this November, and that's why it really does matter so much.
That said, one should ask whether, in the name of embracing differences, it would be appropriate to open the inaugural ceremony with an invocation by an outspoken racist.
Prejudice is prejudice, and bigotry is bigotry, especially when directed against an entire class of persons with perceived undesirable attributes, be they skin color, nationality, religious preference or sexual orientation.
The same simple reality fundamentally applies to the subjugation or determination of the inferiority of women by men.
Rick Warren is the very embodiment of all the above, and not as some unenlightened plumber, but as a high-profile quasi-celebrity figure, who because he speaks from behind a minister's collar using religious terminology, thinks he can get away with spouting barely-disguised hate with no consequence.
<Posted with permission of Nicholas Benton, Owner/Editor of the Falls Church News Press>
The Dismal Choice of Rich Warren
by Nicholas Benton
The decision by the Obama transition team to invite the snake-in-the-grass Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church of Orange County, Calif., to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration Jan. 20 has drawn fully justifiable, heartfelt pain and anger from Obama loyalists all across the land.
It is one thing to take a pragmatic approach to cabinet appointments, seeking a "team of rivals," based on their experience and talents in governing.
It's another thing, entirely, to reach out, embrace and give an unprecedented national spotlight to a man who stands as a bellicose spokesman against equal rights. Warren was a major ringleader of the effort to deny equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans in the passage of Proposition 8 in California last month.
His values, rooted in Christian "exceptionalism" and class-warfare hypocrisy, stand in stark contrast to those of the vast majority of the millions of Americans who, uplifted by the new hope they found embodied in the election of Obama, will be flooding the nation's capital to catch a glimpse of the inauguration.
I wasn't planning to battle the crowds, anyway. But were I younger, free to blow a full workday and willing to endure a severe shortage of porta-potties, my passion for attending in person would have been dealt a serious, if not fatal, blow by learning of the inclusion of such a bigoted thug as Rick Warren on the program.
Who knows, maybe Obama chose Warren in a deliberate attempt to thin out the crowds. Many, many Obama devotees feel as I do on this subject.
Minor adjustment by GreyHawk: reduced picture slightly and inserted break before the second section. -- GH
Most here have heard the indictment that Barack Obama's inauguration will include a "humiliating" (Maddow) slap at the LGBT community for the incoming administration's political benefit.
Rick Warren, pastor and author (at right), will deliver the invocation at Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.
Warren possesses a bright mind, and happens to hold benighted and bigoted views on gays perforce making the man an ignoramus popular in rightwing circles.
Warren's delivery of the Obama invocation has brought down a shower of condemnation from the civil rights community summed up by Rachel Maddow and John Aravosis of AmericaBlog [wouldn't bother reading Andrew Sullivan ...—"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now... ."—Sullivan is of the couldn't-make-of-his-mind-to-support-Bush-or-Kerry fame in 2004; and Sullivan's a disingenuous showboat anyway].
(Image courtesy of indiesocial.com)
I walked onto the train platform in downtown Chicago today. A woman had just finished shopping at Macy's and had several red shopping bags. She was trying to put everything into one bag. The wind picked up and blew some of the empty bags down the platform. I took off running and stopped them from blowing out onto the street.
For over seven minutes last night, Jon Stewart grilled former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on his opposition to gay marriage. Huckabee is touring the country to promote his new book, “Do The Right Thing.” When Stewart compared gay marriage bans to interracial marriage bans, Huckabee restated his view that homosexuality is simply a behavior choice:
STEWART: Segregation used to be the law until the courts intervened.
HUCK: There’s a big difference between a person being black and a person practicing a lifestyle and engaging in a marital relationship.
STEWART: Okay, actually this is helpful because it gets to the crux of it. … And I’ll tell you this: Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. And the protections that we have for religion — we protect religion. And talk about a lifestyle choice — that is absolutely a choice. Gay people don’t choose to be gay. At what age did you choose to not be gay?
Huckabee tried to insist that “60 percent of the American population” opposes gay marriage. Stewart interrupted him, calling it a “travesty” that gay Americans have to plead for their civil rights... (READ ON)
The truth is that being gay or lesbian is not likely a lifestyle choice. The facts would seem to suggest that it is the way you were when you born - in pretty much the exact same way that you are born black, white, whatever, etc. - and environment may only be a factor in how it can effect the genetic code that people are born with. And not just no, but HELL NO! I am not going down that Nazi like road of eugenics to "eliminate or treat" what some of you crazies want to call a disease... That is just sick.
Just caught this little interesting tidbit.
Could guilty consciouses and understanding of 'S*I*N!' finally be breaking into the christian? rights understanding of the true meaning of the book and teachings they say they follow?
Could they have finally realized the 'Liberal' leanings within?
S.C. School Says Culture Rather Than Biblical Teachings Led To Institutional Racist Policies
McClatchy carries one of the realities further in this article I just caught. The subject title above is the beginning of theirs and it finishes with this: here's to Kareem the Soldier
Posted with permission from Nicholas Benton owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press
Deliver us from Rick Warren
by Nicholas Benton
Last weekend's spectacle in Orange County, California, was not a debate on faith and values between the two presidential candidates. It was a showcase for the elevation of yet another right-wing fundamentalist preacher, an heir to the late Jerry Falwell anointed as a media darling to be its resident expert on faith-related matters.
Bumped. Originally posted 2008-08-16 18:34:54 -0500.
I am going to give this pastor the benefit of the doubt on all of this before tonight's debate between Obama and McCain since his background seems to show a little more enlightenment than most of the religious types we have seen spoon-fed to the masses on TV news in the last couple of decades:
"As a pastor, I believe in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe we can separate religion from politics, because one's faith determines one's worldview, which informs one's decisions and determines how one would lead," Warren said.
His views on many of the political problems we face appear to be more encompassing - to include all of the very real problems of AIDS, poverty, the environment - as well as the other issues we usually hear about from the one-trick pony that Dobson's Focus on the Freepers has become. There are too many important issues that Dobsonites have purposefully and completely ignored and, even, fought hard to suppress in the religious discussions of politics.