religion and politics 2009, drama on black wallpaper

small mountain village

The Top 10 Religion/Politics Stories of ’09: Catholicism at the Fore; Niebuhr’s Reemergence

The Catholic hierarchy wanted John “Gigolo” McCain and got Barack Obama instead. They’re officially pro health-care reform, but only as long as they get to say what every woman, Catholic or not, gets to do with her ovaries. Considering the number of clergy that cannot keep their pants zipped or their hands off boy’s bottoms I’m not sure they have the kind of moral clarity that should give them any leverage in public policy. Especially in the U.S. where Thomas Jefferson once said “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.” -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

6) Religious philanderers. The names of Ensign, Edwards and Sanford were on the list this year of politicians caught up in sexual scandals. What makes this a religious issue is that each prominently included his Christian faith in his public, political persona.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and Nevada Sen. John Ensign are both Republicans. And both are connected with the Washington-based secretive Christian organization known as The Fellowship, aka The Family. For former Sen. John Edwards, a Democrat, the sex scandal that bubbled up last year only got worse in April when news reports said that a paternity test reportedly determined he was the father of his mistress’s child. Back when he was a serious candidate for the presidency, he talked a lot about his faith.

The problem is you cannot get elected to high office in the U.S. unless you pander ( There is only one atheist Congressman). Sanford and Ensign are still in office. That might be a good sign in the sense sex scandals are not the hypocritical death nail they once were. Though in the case of Sanford and Ensign there was also some financial shenanigans involved. For Sanford, the kind that would have landed the average Joe in jail.

The authors go off the reservation, twisting themselves into some awful false equivalence between the murder of Dr. Tiller and the murder of anti-choice zealot James Pouillon. In the case of Pouillon there is no concrete proof his murder was solely motivated by social issues. I suspect the authors were trying to be fair and stretched a little too hard. That said, it’s a good piece on the year in religion and separation of church and state.

drama on black wallpaper

A couple interesting reads, Fox Nation Still Carrying Bogus Breitbart Report and The degrading effects of terrorism fears

The following is from the last scene in the movie Sideways (2004)

Maya: [on answering machine] Hello, Miles. It’s Maya. Thanks for your letter. I-I would have called sooner, but I think I needed some time to think about everything that happened and… what you wrote to me. Another reason, um, I didn’t call you sooner is because I wanted to finish your book, which I finally did last night. And I think it’s really lovely, Miles. You’re so good with words. Who cares if it’s not getting published? There are so many beautiful and… painful things about it. Did you really go through all that? Must have been awful. And the sister character – jeez, what a wreck. But I have to say that, well, I was really confused by the ending. I mean, did the father finally commit suicide, or what? It’s driving me crazy. Anyway, it’s turned cold and rainy here lately, but I like winter. So, listen, if you ever do decide to come up here again, you should let me know. I would say stop by the restaurant, but to tell you the truth, I’m not sure how much longer I’m gonna be working there, because I’m going to graduate soon. So, I’ll probably want to relocate. I mean, we’ll see. Anyway, like I said, I really loved your novel. Don’t give up, Miles. Keep writing. I hope you’re well. Bye.