Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Papal Fail

Update 3/18/09: thanks to President Obama, our nation finally has some of its dignity back. We now officially endorse the U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

While Jesus definitely would not have been ok with incarcerating, torturing, and executing homosexuals, this move is sure to anger "Christians" worldwide.


Benedict has been an extremely disappointing pope thus far. Here are reasons why:

1. Benedict voted against a UN resolution that would have called for member countries to decriminalize homosexuality. This bill does not try to legalize gay marriage or anything like that. It simply asserts that we shouldn't treat homosexuals like criminals. We shouldn't throw homosexuals in jail, execute them, torture them, or anything like that. Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn't it? Apparently not to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, the Taliban, and the Vatican.

2. Attempting to reinstate Holocaust deniers into the Catholic Church.

3. He quoted a centuries-old Crusader who described Islam as an abomination, but then wondered why a clash of civilizations continues to brew.

4. The newest one, and the greatest offense in my opinion. Regarding HIV transmission in Africa, Benedict said this: "you can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem."

Condoms obviously do reduce HIV transmission if used properly. One of the challenges facing public health agencies is education of the populace to use condoms consistently and effectively. Benedict has done a great job to undermine that education campaign by his ignorant and reckless words.

Meanwhile, abstinence-only education as touted by the Catholic Church will continue to be completely ineffective. No scientific study exists that can prove that abstinence-only education prevents people from having sexual intercourse. Funding that sort of education will only help the Church feel good about itself, but it won't actually help any people. This behavior is entirely consistent with the recent history of the church sweeping certain problems under the rug, of course. Protection of innocents is always secondary to politics. Always.

The one thing that has surprised me about Benedict, the politician, is that he mildly agrees with the theory of evolution. I predict that he rescinds his position on evolution in the next few years. That view just doesn't fit well with the rest of the ones he has. Its too logical and evidence-based.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


I've been highly critical of the Democrats in the past for appearing to be a bunch of spineless cowards who suffer from a nasty case of group-think. I am starting to think that maybe it is just something that happens to the party that is not in power. How many Republicans have tried to stand up to Rush Limbaugh? Each time, they come crawling back on their hands and knees, begging forgiveness like a worm. How embarrassing. Meanwhile, there are no new messages coming from the GOP. Just the same old messages, only this time shouted, by what appear to be more angry and intolerant masses of people.

Limbaugh's sudden elevation has been an interesting phenomenon. Evidence is beginning to surface that it is actually a political strategy, hatched in the upper eschelons of the Obama administration, with Rahm Emanuel (Obama's Chief of Staff). Barack Obama was able to win the general election because he appealed to moderates and independents. This is the group of voters, which includes yours truly, that the GOP needs to coax back if they are ever to regain power. So the plan is simple. Rush Limbaugh is extremely unpopular with centrist voters, so the Democrats deliberately elevated Limbaugh to be the face of the Republican Party.

The GOP has walked right into the trap. The fact that some politicians have tried to stand up to Rush, but were quickly put back in line, makes the party look weak and confirms peoples' suspicions that Rush controls the party. Limbaugh-in-charge strengthens the hand of the reactionary, anti-intellectual, gay bashing, evangelical, anti-evolution wing of the party. This was the sect embodied by Sarah Palin, not John McCain, and spoken for by evil men (Karl Rove), stupid men (Joe the Plumber), obnoxious she-men (Ann Coulter), and serially incorrect men (Bill Kristol). It was these people, not John McCain, that centrist voters categorically rejected in the elections of 2006 and 2008.

I can assure any conservatives that are reading this that centrist voters will not be moving back to the GOP until this wing of the Republican Party has been sidelined by a newer generation of cerebral, reasonable, respectful leaders. If someone in the GOP grows some balls and starts standing up to these fools soon, there may be time to salvage the party's reputation in time for a run at the 2012 election (David Petraeus/Mitch Daniels anyone?). If not, its going to be a long and well deserved vacation in the political wilderness.

As an American I don't particularly like to see the further disintegration of the GOP because I think a viable opposition party will help check the Dems' bad tendencies. That being said, it is striking how one man was able to completely change the Democratic Party. Obama and his team's political skills are beyond exceptional; the GOP continues to underestimate what they are up against. One day, its leaders will wake up to the fact that the opposition is no longer led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

*** Update ***

Obama currently running with 61-24 approval ratings for Independents. Meanwhile, even "moderate" GOP "intellectuals" have such an anti-Obama slant that they have even attempted to blame the faltering economy on Barack Obama. The absurdity of that is almost overwhelming.