I’m not big fan of Amanda Marcotte. I think that she often sacrifices truth to polemic. My scrupulous efforts to remain neutral in these electrons should indicate the degree to which she tickles my skeptic bone.
Nevertheless, I think she is on to something in her attempt to make sense of the embrace by Rand Paul, self-styled sort of glibertarian, of the right-wing religious politics of pervy preoccupation with the sex lives of others. Here’s a bit from her piece at TPM:
This problem is made all the more difficult by the fact that Paul is still running a campaign trying to convince younger voters that he’s out to protect their civil liberties, a message that’s hard to convey when you’re simultaneously pandering to religious right voters who want said liberties stripped from gays and women. Paul’s attempts to thread that needle have been largely incoherent, telling religious-right audiences that he’s totally on their side and then turning around and telling others that he doesn’t see attacking abortion or gay rights as a priority.
Then there’s the other, simpler explanation, the one I favor:
A “Libertarian” is a Republican who’s ashamed to admit it.
Some persons wrap their prejudices in the flag; others wrap theirs in the cross. Some use both as packaging. When you see such packaging, though, it’s a fairly safe bet that truth-in-labeling has naught to do with it.
Look closely and you can peer through the camouflage. Neil Elliott, responding to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, does just that. A snippet:
The unreflective racism is just beneath the surface. Pence writes of our nation’s “Christian heritage,” but is especially concerned to excoriate President Obama for not galvanizing Americans to holy war. He wants us to unite with “black Christian nations”: Are we, then, a white Christian nation? He writes of “us” finding common cause even with “the brown-skinned neighbors who have been growing our food and roofing our houses for the last half-century.” In his mind, do all of us who are neither Christian nor white just cease to be American?
Heritage, by contrast, is a mythologized version of the past, stripped of all the unpleasant parts. Heritage remains largely impervious to historical evidence and relies instead on a past-as-we-wish-it-were version of events. It trades in emotions and personal connections, putting itself beyond debate or reproach. History is often not lovable, but everyone loves his or her heritage.
Do please follow the link and read the complete essay.
Michael Smerconish, who from time to time displays a level of common sense that belies his label as a “conservative commentator,” explains how Bill Cosby shot himself in the foot through his own hectoring moralizing. Here’s a snippet.
“This case, however, is not about defendant’s status as a public person by virtue of the exercise of his trade as a televised or comedic personality,” wrote the judge in his 25-page opinion. “Rather, defendant has donned the mantle of public moralist and mounted the proverbial electronic or print soap box to volunteer his views on, among other things, child-rearing, family life, education, and crime.”
Citing precedent, Robreno concluded that Cosby had “thrust himself into the vortex of these public issues” and had “voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim.”
The ruling by the Oregon Labor Commission upheld a previous finding that Sweet Cakes by Melissa had discriminated against the couple based on their sexual orientation, Oregon Live reports.
“Under Oregon law, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, just as they cannot turn customers away because of race, sex, disability, age or religion,” the Bureau of Labor and Industries said in a press release.
The bakery owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, were ordered to pay Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer $75,000 and $60,000 each, respectively.
They probably look at this as being punished for their convictions. I guess that, in some warped world, bigoted hate sincerely-held can be considered a “conviction.”
Never mind that most religions once defined marriage in ways that would scandalize even the most tradition-bound American in 2015. You’d be hard-pressed to find a religious tradition that didn’t sanction polygamy, child brides and treating women as property whose market value was determined by a set dowry price, their potential fertility and the perception of how a marriage would help the groom’s social standing.
It’s true that the rituals accompanying marriage ceremonies were designed to encourage the perpetuation of the species, but historically they were also about reinforcing whatever the presiding economic order happened to be.