Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Party of Peace

Whew! So both Hillary and Bill Clinton have officially endorsed Barack Obama. I'm not terribly surprised that they did this. If they didn't, they'd stink so badly in the nostrils of most Democrats, from here on out, that both Bill's legacy and Hillary's political future would be ruined.

It was the way they both did it that gladdens my heart.

Both of the Clintons showed a lot of class. It must have been especially difficult for Hillary to ask her supporters if they were in it simply for her, or for the people who so deeply need the Democratic Party to begin once again living up to its promise. That took gumption, and in my opinion it went above and beyond simply tossing Obama her endorsement.

Any remaining PUMA's are either Republican plants (some of whom are probably actually on the GOP payroll), racists who wouldn't vote for a Black man if Jesus Christ came back as one, or just very troubled and screwed-up people. It's not about Hillary anymore; it's about them.

Back to the Democratic Party's promise. Once upon a time, they were the Party of Peace. They never unanimously stood for it; not only were there quite a few brave and principled souls who opposed the Vietnam War, for example, but quite a number who supported it. Democratic Presidents got us tangled up in that mess to begin with, and it took a Republican to finally get us out. But even though a number of Dems also rah-rah-ed the current boondoggle in Iraq (Hillary among them), it is almost solely Democrats who are standing against it.

By and large, particularly in recent decades, progressive Democrats -- REAL Democrats -- have at least given lip-service to the principle of peace. And they can do nothing to bring about an end to the disastrous conflict in Iraq if they can't even keep the peace within their own party.

The whole Barack-versus-Hillary battle in the primary was buffoonish and bizarre. It made every Democrat in the country look ridiculous. It was largely Hillary's fault, which is why she lost the nomination. There were -- thank God -- enough real Democrats willing to stand up and support a decent, godly candidate genuinely dedicated to peace, both in the Party and in the world.

I'm glad to see the resurgence of people of faith in Democratic Party politics. It had a lot to do with the nomination of a genuinely devout, Christian candidate this time around. And those of us in the Party with strong religious convictions need to continue to be a driving force for party unity, as well as for non-military solutions to global conflicts. It is up to us. If we don't do it, then no one else will.

"Centrists" sell their souls to the Devil just for temporary political gains. We need to keep the Party's new, resurgent progressive edge razor-sharp. Obama, too, tends to drift to the "center" (and let's not mealy-mouth about this; it is really to the Right) when he fears that the Left isn't strong enough to support him. Let's show him that the "centrist" naysayers are wrong.

It is no coincidence that we sunk into this "centrist" mess at a time when Democrats were afraid to talk about faith, whereas now that we're standing up more boldly for our religious convictions, the progressive wing of the Party is again emerging. Those two phenomena go hand-in-hand.

Let us, again and as never before, truly be the Party of Peace -- both at home and abroad. It all begins with how we treat each other.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Serving Two Masters at Saddleback Church

I am of the opinion that Barack Obama never should have agreed to participate in the dog-and-pony show at the mega-corporate Saddleback Church in the first place. But then I'm part of the REAL Democratic Party base -- the progressives -- so who in the party's going to listen to me?

Okay, so he went. And the general consensus is that he did not do well. Why? Because he gave intelligent answers to stupid questions. This crowd can't be pleased by intelligent answers, because they haven't the smarts to appreciate them. McCain gave them horseshit, and since that's what they're full of, that's what they gobble up.

Of course there was the usual obsession with abortion. Right-wingers simply lack the integrity to understand (or at least, to ADMIT they understand) what progressives really believe about the issue. We know that the abortion rate cannot be reduced without a significant increase in respect for life all the way across the board: from conception to deathbed. We are for ALL life -- not just the unborn variety. The sanctity of life will be observed at one end only when it is observed at the other, as well as at all points in between.

There is, first of all, no "moment" of conception. Conception is a complex biological process, passing through several stages and taking many hours to complete. John McCain knows this, and his very use of the term "moment" of conception shows that he is concerned only with the opinion of idiots.

Furthermore, were McCain really that enamored of adoption as a viable option for improving the life-chances of the young, he would be in favor of adoption by same-sex couples, as well as by heterosexuals. When he claims to support adoption, while denying the right of same-sex couples to adopt, he is speaking with a forked tongue.

These people obsess over abortion because their real concern is not "life," but control over women. The only stage of life at which they can get the twofer of protecting life while also controlling women is the stage at which life is yet in the womb. This is why they are pro-life when it comes to the unborn, yet so blatantly and obscenely pro-death when it comes to life at every stage thereafter.

Conservative evangelical Christianity is, quite simply, attracting the wrong sort of people. It attracts people who don't really make good Christians, because they are not genuinely interested in following Christ. They buy into a twisted gospel -- one that has nothing to do with what Jesus taught. One that, in fact, stands for the very opposite of what He stood for.

Their sort did not follow Christ when He was alive on this earth; they were the sort who tried, at every turn, to kill Him. They clamored for His crucifixion, taunted Him on the Cross and rejoiced when He breathed His last.

Are there exceptions to this? Of course there are. But the decent among them are being sold a bill of goods. All the more reason why Right-Wing Christianity is so wicked. It is, indeed, the religion of Antichrist.

We cannot serve two masters. The religion of the "Christian" Right worships power, comfort and control. Real Christianity would turn their tidy, cozy little world upside-down and inside-out. Obama is a true Christian -- which is why they slander him so viciously every chance they get.

Some say that Saddleback is a "new" evangelical church, in that it is more "progressive" than the norm. I say phooey. Saddleback wants to make money -- HAS to make lots of it -- in order to be the mega-corporate entity that it has become. You can NOT be a big-corporate megachurch, concerned with making lots of money, and truly serve Christ.

"You cannot serve God and mammon." This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said that. A church concerned with making lots of money will always, when push comes to shove, betray Christ for the sake of the dollar. Saddleback Church has made a lucrative schtick out of its "progressivism," in the hopes of snaring people who want to be progressive without paying the price in terms of standing up for right and truth in the face of a materialistic and self-centered America. This makes it not less dangerous than your run-of-the-mill Right-Wing church, but more.

At Saddleback Church, Senator Obama walked into the lion's den. These people never had any intention of giving him a fair hearing. Which is why, from now on, those of us who support him must hope and pray he has enough sense -- when tempted by the chance to pander to evangelicals -- to walk the other way.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's the Trust, Stupid!

All the busy little bees are still buzzing about the John Edwards sex scandal. As usual, the emphasis is on sex instead of on the real issue: trust.

It isn't a matter of who sticks what where. It is a matter of trust kept -- or trust betrayed.

We now know, from Elizabeth Edwards, that John did cheat on her, in the only sense that makes sense. He deceived her. And it was in that -- NOT in what he stuck where -- that he betrayed his marital vows.

People had been suggesting that the Edwardses might have had some sort of an "understanding." Elizabeth has since laid that speculation to rest. She didn't know that her husband was stepping out on her, and because of THAT, yes indeed, he was cheating.

And let's have done with the nonsense that private dishonesty is somehow different from the public variety. As Jesus said, one who can't be trusted in small matters can't be trusted, either, in larger ones. Not that this was any small matter. A marriage vow is one of the most sacred any human being can ever make -- or break.

As a feminist, I can't buy into the line that "progressives must accept this" simply because conservatives (supposedly) don't. First of all, conservatives are just as likely to cheat on their spouses, or to lie their heads off in general about matters large and small, as are progressives. Just ask John McCain's first wife, or any of Newt Gingrich's previous wives. A terminally ill woman was betrayed by the one person she most desperately needed to trust. John Edwards has great politics, but personally, he's a skunk -- and yes, a politician's personal life most certainly DOES matter.

Thank God in Heaven Edwards didn't get the Democratic nomination. Not only would he not get the nod for President, but he wouldn't deserve to.

Progressives need to stop running away from debates about morality. Even Christian morality. Especially Christian morality. I hope and pray that progressive Christians can help them to do this.

Christian morality, properly understood in light of Christ's Gospel, centers around HOW PEOPLE TREAT ONE ANOTHER. Most especially how those in positions of trust live up to that trust. And how those in positions of power and privilege treat those who are vulnerable, powerless and without privilege.

In light of how he treated his wife, John Edwards stinks at this. But so, too, do John McCain, Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush. It doesn't matter a tinker's damn whether they lied to and betrayed their spouses or the American public. An oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is no less sacred than one to love, honor and cherish one's spouse.

This is not a partisan game. God is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Nor has it anything to do with who's gay or who's straight. The true Christian standard is identical for those of every affectional orientation.

Notice I didn't say "sexual" orientation. Again, it isn't about who sticks what where.

It's the trust, stupid!

...And THAT is what all the buzzing should be about.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Saggy Cindy in the White House? Va-va-va-voom!

I just can't express how inspired I am, as a lesbian Christian looking to those sterling straights for moral inspiration, by the latest "ha-ha" missive from John McCain.

He'd like to run his missus, Cindy -- that pillar of society here in my home city -- as a contestant in a topless and/or bottomless dancing contest. Really, if the Religious Right wasn't already inspired enough by the fact that he dumped his first wife for the princess of a wealthy beer-distribution empire, this really oughtta wow 'em.

That hetero and neanderthal enough for ya, boys? Nyuk-nyuk...

As a single bachelorette-about-town, I have no wife to enter in strip-o-ramas. But, depraved lesbo that I may be, I have difficulty imagining why I'd stay married to a woman for whom I had so little respect. Hasn't McSame already gone on record, somewhere, as having called Cindy a "cunt" or some such thing? Honestly, what an addition he makes to the Family Values platform of the GOP!

What the hell is the matter with this man?

All I can say is that I hope he and Cindy spare us. From Jackie Kennedy and her Cassini gowns to... saggy Cindy in a G-string? If the Republicans don't want to make us all nostalgic for the Sixties, they'd better stop giving us mental images like that.

"Now I've got this picture of John McCain having sex in my head," Randi Rhodes was heard to lament, not long ago, on her radio program. She could only conclude with "Oh, crap!"

Cindy makes for a better mental picture than her loving hubby. Even fully clothed, he's not too appealing. But let me tell you what's even scarier than the image of him in a G-string...

...Friends, we can't let this dolt get anywhere near the Oval Office.