But in the news, I can't help but remind everyone that Bush has turned us into a torture nation. I can't quite get over that. I can't quite put that together with conservative evangelicals rallying around this man as some representative Christian. Who can forget when "values voters" chastized the rest of us, bragged about how church goers voted for Bush in huge numbers, and books like The Faith of George W. Bush were everywhere. Well, evidently the "faith" of George W. Bush allows him to subvert he constitution, American and International law, and have his administration issue an "expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency."
One of Sully's readerswrites in
Number One: The government of the United States of America is torturing human beings.
Number Two: The "evidence" gained from this torture, from any torture, is deeply suspect. We have sold our soul for nothing.
Number Three: We should be willing to die for the freedoms we hold so dear. We should be willing to die for the Constitution. From the beginning, we have asked Americans to spend their lives to preserve the ideals of liberty. Yet today, we hysterically trade those ideals for fleeting security. We tell ourselves not to worry about the Constitution, or habeas corpus, because American lives are worth more than that.
They are not.
Sullivan adds to his reader:
I would add a fourth: we didn't exactly decide these things at all. They were decided for us - and for generations of Americans and Westerners - in secret, by a handful of people, pushed through against the law, against the advice of many decent people in the government, and then lied about systematically. Yes, by re-electing the Decider, we perpetuated it, and we knew what was at stake at the time. But this was ultimately a function of ceding the rule of law to the rule of one man - not for a one-off emergency, but permanently, indefinitely, because this war has no end, and the Republican establishment believes that the president has no limits on his power in a permanent state of war.
In other news, the right wing blogosphere and punditry continues to amaze. Malkin and company continue attacks on the Frost family (who the Democrats used to put a face on the SCHIP program). As I have said, I think the SCHIP program is a solid one and a nice use of government to try and mitigate against the rising cost of healthcare. I am increasingly frustrated at how so many conservatives seem to dismiss the fact that we have nearly 50 million Americans uninsured, and that adds to all our costs. But even if you disagree with the program--criticize the program. Malkin and others have stalked this family to find some reason to undermine their message. They have gone after the messenger, not the program it self. As one moderate put it:
"But no, it’s easier to go after a 12 year-old. After all, these days, anyone who is in the way of an agenda has to be discredited so that no one listens to them anymore. Yet, once upon a time, American society would pull out all stops not to go after a kid. The bar has been lowered yet again. This time it has been lowered so far, it has struck oil amid the sleaze"
Finally, back on the theology of gender, Martin Marty speaks out on the Baptist effort to push women back into the mythical 1950s (Paige Patterson style):
"Because this is a "women-only" curricular track, one is tempted to shout "discrimination" and call in the feds. Yet the separation-of-church-and-state ethos would protect the seminary from legal enforcement. Only God's inspired word in the Bible should count. And precisely here is where one worries about the Bible sources and these Baptists. The seminary courses are on clothing construction, textile design and meal preparation. In the Bible these tasks were as much part of the family and gender roles of men as of women.
Bible-believing Baptists have to ask: How do we square Matthew 6:25-26 with a 23-hour course on "taking thought for what you should wear" or "eat and drink"? What about the resurrected male Jesus cooking fish and baking bread for the disciples on the beach at the sea of Tiberias (John 21: 9-14)? How about the apostle Paul, who made a living as a tentmaker? From what I know about (us) male ministers today, I'd say that if we cannot cook like Jesus, if we cannot sew like Paul, then it's we who need homemaking lessons. How about men-only or mixed gender courses? They'd be inspired, even biblical."