Wednesday, April 30, 2008

one more time, this time with feeling

if you haven't already dropped dead from Obama/Clinton/Longest Primary Season EVAR Fatigue, then perhaps you have some thoughts on Wright, more distancing, the black church (whatever that is) and racial politics.

here's my thought about the whole thing:

Church. State. Divided.

why are we even discussing this?

[if anyone needs it spelled out: it's like the chocolate and peanut butter thing. if you don't want your politics to suddenly turn into the Nearer My God to Thee hour, then keep politics out of your churches - and keep your churches off the political radar. when the Church steps onto a public platform, all sorts of lines get blurred - and when the political process suddenly starts to require folks to make religious proclamations in order to pass some kind of political fitness test, then that's problematic too. movement in either direction pulls Church and State closer together until the one is indistinguishable from the other.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jack and Jill Politics: Rev. Michael Pfleger Holds It Down In Fox Interview On Wright, Farrakhan and "Hate"

Jack and Jill Politics: Rev. Michael Pfleger Holds It Down In Fox Interview On Wright, Farrakhan and "Hate"

Remember what I said about Fr. Pfleger when this whole Wright thing happened?
Well, now FOX News got the full on Pfleger experience - right in the face.
The last 3 minutes are awesome. I had to jump up from my desk at work and wanted to yell out, 'Preach!'

[and i'm really enjoying reading the folks over at Jack & Jill. they're on my feed.]

fine. i'll watch the primaries.

a scene from yesterday, a gorgeously sunny day in chicago with relatively mild traffic while Roomie and Ding left their offices early

Roomie: so what's on your schedule this week? dates?
Ding: nah. a work event and a board meeting. maybe a boy later on this week but nothing's confirmed.
Roomie: what do you want to do? dinner?

Ding: (sigh) but where will we go? what will we do? what will we eat? choices...i'm incapable of making them.
Roomie: mmm, jibarito....
Ding: we can't have jibarito for dinner. that would totally mess us up for the rest of the night.

Roomie: (sigh) jibarito. what about tomorrow? let's watch the primaries at Enoteca Roma.
Ding: euww. no. i can't watch the primaries. i'll just get mad.
Roomie: o-kaay. no primaries.


Ding: no, we can watch the primaries. let's do that. i'll just get mad if clinton wins. and the pundits, i want them to die. and i'm too busy this week to be pissed off.
Roomie: it'll be fine. wine, cheeses, nibblies, primaries with other obama folks. perfect.

so, even though my earlier enthusiasm about this election has practically been beaten from me by this too-long primary season (thanks for that, Democratic Party), i will endure one more night of primary returns and hope i don't slip into an election-induced depressive rage.

Monday, April 21, 2008

churchgal, where are you?

you know that wall you hit when there's so much going on in the news that you just want to hibernate and watch Battlestar Galactica and Dr. Who all weekend?

well, i've hit it. i've crashed into it and it has given me a headache. i have no idea what's going on in pennsylvania, have almost lost all interest in our political shenanigans and, frankly, if someone told me the moon exploded and killed hillary clinton or barak obama i'd sort of shrug.

instead, i've been spending my time doing things that i really like: hanging out on a friend's back porch, drinking beer, petting her dog and catching up on what's going on; shooting pool in a tiny neighborhood bar with maybe a new friend; enthusiastically writing the crappiest first draft of a romance novel ever, reading comic books like Scalped and Mouseguard; going on a few dates (shrug) and watching the days slowly stretch themselves longer as we leave winter behind and impatiently wait for summer.

(chicago has decided to skip spring entirely, this year.)

so let's hear it.

what are you all up to while the days get warmer?

some things i'm reading this morning:
The Canadian Press: Birth control choices abound for women over 40; the pill, IUDs are safer

Monday, April 14, 2008

'compassion' replaces 'religion'

so, did anyone catch the Compassion Forum last week? (or was it over the weekend? this way too long primary cycle is giving me a hangover.)

how neat that this forum jibed perfectly with my complaint last week that our public political discourse is not being served by the constant introduction of 'faith' - or compassion, whatever. (remember when we all thought Shrub was a 'compassionate conservative'? we all should have learned a lesson from that but, clearly, we didn't.)

anyway, if you caught it and have thoughts about it, i'd love to hear about it.

[and, over here at A Moderate Voice, the writer asks why we even needed this lame forum.]

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

thank ye, marse!: more on black gratitude and the rev wright nonsense

Obsidian Wings: Where's The Gratitude?

an excellent post (via Bitch Ph.D.) in response to Pat Buchanan's totally frakked up commentary on how grateful black folk should be to white folk. (roll of eyes here)

what's cool about the post is that it doesn't deal with the 'grateful' issue but, rather, gives some rather pointed criticism of Buchanan's poor grasp of public policy and the history of so-called 'generosity' on the part of the government toward blacks.

you must read it. go. do it.
this rev. wright thing clearly has some long legs and i think it's been running for so long for several reasons:
1- white folks are still surprised at instances of black anger and black folks are frustrated that no one ever takes their anger seriously
2- it's always nice drama in this country to take down an 'uppity negro' like obama (and his supporters)
3 - this country still wraps itself in knots when it comes to discussing racial/ethnic difference because it still can't acknowledge that the ideological default in this country is still white and male (and straight, for that matter.)
4 - our public discourse has been permamently polluted by the discourse of 'values' and 'faith.'

this last thing is interesting to me (and the Obsidian Wings post touches on this briefly in one of the comments, I think.) i think we can all remember the advent of the Values Voter, that poll-skewing and election-swinging voter who, rather than keep the separation of church and state sort of firmly in place, decided to pretend his polling place was a church pew and made all sorts of decisions based on how closely a candidate seemed to hew to his/her own faith background and their willingness to let their faith inform public policy.

sensing a powerful new voting bloc, politicians scrambled to appease the Values Voter and pronouncements of christianity, faithfulness, prayer, kneeling and all sorts of pharisaical nonsense started to appear all over the place. every election cycle, our candidates went through a dumbshow of evangelism, of piety and visited every major evangelical pulpit in the country. no longer content to be crazy and whacked out behind their pulpits, mini-Dimmesdales were suddenly on every major cable news show to blather on about their faith-based revolution, out to change the culture and return this country to its god-fearing roots. they wanted us to go back, before the feminists, the humanists and the gays started mucking about with things. meanwhile, the rest of us wondered how the hell 'faith' became a litmus test for public service or a new language within public discourse.

(and, quite frankly, if the feminists, gays and humanists were really in charge of things, life would be a lot more fun, if you ask me.)

as a result of all this hollow talk 'faith' is a line item in our federal budget and a pastor's sermon has become a trial of a candidate's patriotism. see how neat that is? a private utterance in a church has far-reaching consequences for someone's public, national identity.

is anyone else totally frightened that the veil separating our private, religious thoughts and expressions from our public selves is beginning to disintegrate?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

had a church com'tee last night
have a date tonight
have a tax appt and coaching appt tomorrow night
maybe another date the next night

churchgal has been busy.

but, in the meantime, how about reading an article on how superdelegates' kids are strong arming them to break for obama? (heh)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

asshat: wal mart

Learn More about the Shank Family

Who are the Shanks?
They're the unfortunates whose wife and mother was hit by a truck, suffering brain damage and now living handicapped as a result. They're the family who won a modest settlement from the truck company who crashed into her. They're the family whose injured mother just began to earn health benefits from her employer, Wal Mart (can you tell where this is going?), a few days before the disastrous accident.

They're also the family Wal Mart successfully sued last year to recoup healthcare expenses by going after the settlement the family was going to use to provide long term care for their mother.

Is Wal Mart aware that, sometimes, it's important to NOT be perceived as EVIL?

a little busy

sorry posting has been so light.
work has been hectic and with all the cuts being proposed in the President's FY09 budget, organizations like mine have gone into super self-defense mode. So, while I haven't been writing here, I've been writing my arse off at work about the continued need to keep programs serving rape and assault victims in the budget.

but rest assured that i haven't stopped thinking about things over here and that there are connections in my brain being made about the recent Rev. Wright flap and how this crap never would have happened if politicians were actually serious about that little thing called 'the division between church and state.' (oh, and if the so-called Values coalition, two or three elections ago, hadn't exploited religious fervor in the first place as a substitute for political ideology.)