August 31, 2007

Friday morning

Less a rant this morning. Well, we shall see.

The leading news story this week has been Senator Larry Craig's bathroom activities. Last night, I heard the entire tape of his interview with the cops. I couldn't stop listening and there is really nothing newsworthy there. For many of us, the story has been a little funny. The right wing politician caught in an embarrassing situation and publicly shamed. As Sarah (Two-Headed Blog) said:
However, my mirth soon turned to sorrow and pity for the guy, especially after member after member of his own party began turning on him.
Sam Brownback appeared to be the only Republican who responded to Craig with a sense of compassion. Mitt Romney couldn't run over Craig enough and was this close to strapping the Idaho Senator to his car top for a 12 hour ride. Oh wait, that was what he did to his dog.

NPR had a great commentator by Marc Acito last night, who as a gay man himself wanted to jump on the Craig bashing, but couldn't when he started thinking about the pain this man has lived through. As Acito noted, Craig didn't invent the homophobic agenda, "he inherited it."

It has been nice to see liberal voices extending a bit of compassion to this man who's life has probably just come undone.


Now for something different. Kind of. Tony has a post on the evangelical preacher Rick Scarborough who evidently is suggesting that God is punishing America by removing some of its prophets. Who are these prophets? Well, he lists the deaths of Jerry Falwell and Adrian Rogers and the retirement of D. James Kennedy as a suggestion that God is punishing America for, well, I assume it is the standard gays and abortion and liberals and Ted Kennedy. I couldn't read it that closely.

Nevermind that I don't consider any of those three remotely prophet-like. Perhaps I am still remembering Falwell's "blow them all away in the name of the Lord," or Rogers role in overturning the SBC. And Kennedy suggested that when the Puritans slaughtered the Pequots, they were right to do so and God had in fact ordered that hit. Sigh.

Scarborough is famous for embracing Tom Delay as a man of god. (I can't even type that and keep a straight face.) Wikipedia says that he also was a strident opponent for the HPV vaccine in Texas. We talked about that here at Streak's Blog and really all agreed there was a lot of very good reasons to oppose that bill. But none of us suggested what good old Rick saw as the best reason. For Scarborough it was that the vaccine would short-circuit God's punishment for sexually active women. Evidently, the god he worships punishes women who are sexual by killing them. Nice.


Finally, the big daddy weave notes that the SBC is now attacking yoga. A man named Hinkle (from Missouri) is leading this charge to remove yoga from the SBC. When I first started yoga, I read a little on the web about this. Personally, I don't get the concern, but then again, my yoga instructor is more about the stretching and flexibility than she is about mind altering. And it has helped my back and my flexibility tremendously in the last year and a half, and also adds a brief moment of introspection in an otherwise hectic week. But I feel absolutely no inclination to change faiths or invoke magical curses. After all, I am not Wiley Drake!

But BDW notes how many ultra conservative Baptist schools include yoga and asks a rather pertinent question:
"At these Baptist schools, I wonder how many students have been led to demonic activity as a result of excessive stretching? .....Just because something is not decidedly Christian doesn't mean it's anti-Christian. Hinkle can't seem to grasp that point. We don't live in a black and white world...."
I agree.


Tony said...

But isn't that what God does? Kill people? (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

Neither have I found Craig's behavior really worth tracking, but what really irritates me is other Repub's licking their chops over "freshly spilt blood." It seems that when one of their own falls, they cannot rejoice enough or point too many fingers, all the while hiding their own insecurities and faults. Perhaps magnifying the sine of others draws much less attention to oneself. Reveling in the failures of others is what I find disgraceful.

steve s said...

I am sure if many Republicans extended sympathy to Craig, they would have been blasted as hypocrites by the media. I will admit that I feel a little sorry for him, but he broke the law and should be treated like any other person, instead he seemed to want to use his position to mitigate the damage. Personally, I don't think he should resign (the voters of his state can decide if they want to forgive him), but I don't see that he has much of a choice. If the party doesn't call for his resignation, they will be seen as 'protecting on of their own' and trying to avoid punishment.

Streak said...

There appears to be a subplot of Senate Republicans angry at Craig for not consulting with them about how to proceed. David Vitter did so and has the backing of the Senate. Of course, being hyper straight is easier to defend than being a closet gay among conservative voters.

Republicans have created their own mess. When they made personal lives fodder and celebrated in Clinton's infidelity, they made this the issue of their undoing. As Tony noted on his blog in another thread, let's just focus on competence instead of some pretense of personal purity or theological greatness. Absolutely, we should punish people who abuse others or break the law, but how about asking our candidates more than their belief in the Bible or on homosexuality.

Let's ask them if they can get our bridges and levies working. Let's ask them if they can keep our military sound and used infrequently.

Instead, we will get more questions like those asked in Iowa about what the candidates prayer lives.


Bootleg Blogger said...

Funny, Streak. I thought when you get old you eventually die. I had no idea it was actually god punishing those around the departed. I'm sure those are comforting words to Falwell's family i.e. god's pissed at the US so he killed your dad. Later- BB

ubub said...

"Removing our prophets?" Well, medical procedures aside (prophetectomy, perhaps?), I was reminded more of Johnny Cash than anything else. "Sooner or later, God'll cut you down."

ubub said...

And another thing . . .

If those Republican leaders chose not to extend compassion to one of their own because 'what would people think?,' that says far more about their character than it does about Larry Craig.

Choosing to do the right thing, especially when it is not easy, that is what makes us truly human.

Tony said...

Choosing to do the right thing, especially when it is not easy, that is what makes us truly human.

Well said. But as you intimated ubub, this is unfortunately how you get ahead in our system...step on whomever, even 'your own'. And as long as I can keep media attention on your sins all the better for me.

ubub said...

Tony, what have you been telling the media about my sins?! What could you have to gain?!

Oh, never mind. I get it now. Reading comprehension is your friend.