February 17, 2007

Saturday morning

Talking to students this week, I found it encouraging that they also found the coverage of the Anna Nicole Smith death stupid. Maybe there is hope after all. But please don't tell me about a liberal bias in the media. Not after all of this, and Rupert Murdoch admitting to trying to sway the American people in support of Bush's policies. Sigh. Watched Fox Noise the other afternoon to see Neil Cavuto suggest that Ben Stein was a communist for supporting a tax increase on the wealthy.


Other news this week was the story of John Amaechi, who came out of the closet after he retired as a NBA center. Then Tim Hardaway--who I had forgotten was such a jerk--comes out and says that he hates gay people, doesn't want them in the world or the US. Sure he retracted, but....

ESPN's Chris Broussard also disagrees with homosexuality, but gives us a different model of tolerance. He plays in a rec league with several openly gay players even though he believes that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin.
"LZ and I know where each other stand and we respect each other's right to believe as he does.

I know he's gay, and he knows I believe that's a sin. I know he thinks I get my moral standards from an outdated, mistranslated book, and he knows I believe he needs to change his lifestyle. Still, we can laugh together, and play ball together.

That's real diversity. Disagreeing but not being disagreeable."

I think there is much to agree with that. After all, we are always around people who make different choices or live differently than we do.


The more we learn about Iraq and the middle east reminds me of how much of this we should have learned before we invaded. I wrote this next rant yesterday morning in an email to some friends:
Means that I begin my MWF with actual news (not the latest on Anna Nicole Smith's paternity tests). NPR has been running a series on the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Very educational for a westerner who really knows very little about Islam. I knew there were different sects, but not much beyond that. Of course, the theology disappears pretty quickly into cultural and ethnic rivalries.
But here is the Friday morning rant time. Bush, according to one source, didn't know there were differences between teh two groups as late as 2 months before ordering the invasion. Not only that, but all the whining about Iran is really amazing considering that we have essentially made the Middle East safer for Iran. In the process of these two wars (one at least justified in Afghanistan), we have eliminated or suppressed two of Iran's greatest enemies in the region: the Taliban and Saddam. Not only that, but as our Dick VP goes around the country talking about what a threat Iran is to the region and how other countries in the region are scared of it, he conveniently forgets (or doesn't know--or doesn't care) that the Maliki government we help and support and badger in Iraq is Shiite. And pro-Iran. So the Sunni led governments around the Middle east look at this and us and wonder just who's side we are on. Add to that the American bumbling of the Palestinian issue (at least Clinton devoted a lot of effort to the road map), and we have a middle east that is far less stable, and far less democratic.
These people are truly idiots. None of this required phds in Middle Eastern studies to predict, btw, and there were plenty of people warning about this. But the Pentagon and White House ignored every other voice:

"Six months before the invasion, the Pentagon's top generals drew up a battleplan that painted a rosy picture to justify waging war.

Military commander Tommy Franks and his generals were so confident of success they said that by 2007 they would need only 5,000 troops and a handful of British soldiers."

Meanwhile the SBC gives Bush a religious freedom award and conservative evangelicals seem to stray only when the GOP is nice to gays or endorses some kind of science. I am wondering what kind of world we are creating when America--the supposed beacon of democracy creates this kind of situation.


Add to that some of the true idiots we have in our congress, and it is enough to consider another form of government.
Goode: Without Surge, U.S. Money May Soon Say "In Muhammad We Trust" | TPMCafe: "In Muhammad We Trust." That's what GOP Rep. Virgil Goode says that U.S. money risks being marked with — that is, if we don't support escalation of the Iraq war as part of our broader efforts to stave off Muslim domination of the United States in general. "In Muhammad We Trust." Goode, you may recall, sparked a national controversy back in December by saying that the U.S. should close its borders lest it be overrun by frightening hordes of Muslims. "


Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak- Good post. I'd like to focus on the Broussard part. I have some difficulty with "...we respect each other's right to believe as he does." While I don't questions Broussard's belief that this is a healthy situation, I personally am skeptical how much respect really is underlying a relationship where one party believes that the other's sexuality is a SIN. I may be admitting a personal inadequacy here, but if I truly believed that a person's basic make-up was rooted in a "sin" that I felt was an abomination to God could I have a "I respect his right to feel as he does" attitude? I don't think so. Please understand that my analogy here is based on the "sin" label given by many to homosexuality based on their religious beliefs and is not MY attitude. I mean, if you played golf with someone who was a pedophile or was selling crack on your street, would you laugh, have a beer, and cheerfully report that you each respect each other's right to believe as they want? I guess I'm saying that I'm skeptical at the least of those who on the one hand label homosexuality, which is an organic, "created" if you will, part of one's personhood, and then publicly give a "he's ok/I'm ok" "look I'm not a complete religious fanatic" statement like Broussard's. I am tempted to label Hardaways comments, while reprehensible in attitude and content, as the most genuine of the two. If we were regularly playing ball together and then you wrote in your ESPN column that you thought my relationship with my wife or girlfriend was sinful, I don't know how "respected" I'd feel. I mean, I didn't CHOOSE to be heterosexual, so how can we continue in an honestly "respectful" relationship. I guess I'm a little fed up with the "love the sinner but hate the sin" when applied to a group of people who certainly haven't chosen their orientation any more than their accusors have. All for now- bb

Streak said...

BB, I think you make an excellent point. Does it suggest that those who call it sin and abomination really don't believe that--that is if they are willing to still break bread or play ball with them?

Bootleg Blogger said...

Streak- good question. I guess the inconsistencies are rampant. I think there's a popular "political correctness" to being homo-tolerant with the qualification that you aren't condoning with your tolerance. Of course, plenty of people, particularly Christians, give their 10% for "ministry" that attempts to correct the disasters created by how they use their other 90%. But I digress- You may be onto something- do we believe the verbal or the non-verbal? Do I believe what you say, ("I don't condone homosexuality") or do we believe what you do. I do think alot of this is possible due to to the belief that everyone is by nature heterosexual and homosexuality is something chosen. That enables someone like Broussard to do the rational gymnastics whereby he likes the friend but not the friend's choices. It is a very one-sided paternization since the heterosexual believes his own sexuality is natural and NOT a choice. Much like the christian who believes he has access to the truth and everyone else is in the dark unless "witnessed to" by the christian. I'm rambling off the topic- later-bb