Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a theology of marriage

Since I've been posting on prop 8, I thought I should give a short post regarding my theology of marriage. I will not go through all of the scriptures and exegete them. Others who are much more skilled have done that. I will give you my understanding of the broad strokes. And I won't talk about the shape of marriage across the centuries or across cultures. It is enough to say that it isn't the same and never was.

About gay and lesbian people... I don't know what makes one person gay and another straight. My guess is the answers are as different as people, but at the bottom line, I don't care whether it is chosen, inborn, a combination of the two, or completely fluid. I don't think God cares either.

I believe people are not created to be alone, but that basic idea plays itself out in very different ways from individual to individual. Some of us are single and find the companionship we need in the broader community. Some of us require a different kind of intimacy that requires a life partner. Still others fall somewhere in the middle. I believe God's concern for us and God's design for us in creation is that we be in relationship and those relationships reflect the love of God. Period.

But what about sex? First, let me say that I do not believe that any of the passages traditionally used to condemn GLBT relationships are relevant to the issue as we experience it in our culture. I do not see any passages in scripture that directly address two same sex adults involved in a committed relationship. There might be hints - check out 2 Samuel 1:26 - but tey are only hints and nothing for sure. So how do we make decisions regarding the appropriateness of sexual expression between two people? The criteria for GLBT folk are the same as for straight folk.

I really like a book I read some years ago by James Nelson called Embodiment: An Approach to Sexuality and Christian Theology. If I remember it correctly, after talking about the meaning of sexual expression in human relationships, Nelson sets out a schema for judging the morality of sexual expressions. He says that sex is always infused with meaning and that it is never just a bodily function. As such, there must be a theological/moral framework to evaluate the appropriateness of sexual acts. His criteria, as I remember them, are
1. Is the sexual expression appropriate for the depth of the commitment of the two people?
2. Is the expression humanizing for the partners or is it exploitative of one or both of them?
3. Are both partners willing and able to live with any possible consequences of the act?

Obviously two people who just met in a bar cannot meet #1. A pair of teenagers cannot meet #3. A pedophile and a child cannot meet any of the three. Nelson would argue, and I think rightly, that there are sexual expressions between married couples that do not meet his criteria and are immoral. He would also argue, again I think rightly, that sexual intercourse between a gay couple can meet all of the criteria and if so, is proper and absolutely blessed by God in the context of their relationship.

So what is marriage in my theology? It is a covenant between two people before God in the context of their community to work together to fulfill God's yearnings for them as individuals and as a couple. Gender is not an issue. For me, the legal aspect is entirely separate. Because marriage is a covenant before God, the role of the state is secondary. I have done weddings of gay and of lesbian couples in New York where it was not sanctioned by the state. I still performed a marriage and believe they are married before God. Regardless of what happens with the law in the state of California, if a gay or lesbian couple comes to me seeking marriage, I will perform the service under the same criteria I would use for a straight couple. Unfortunately, if prop 8 passes, that same couple will not have legal standing, secondary though it is.

no on 8, #9

another video...

There are those who would argue that this video is unfair, but I remember when interracial marriages were illegal in some states. These arguments, along with the same religious arguments used in support of prop 8, are the very ones that were used to try to retain laws against interracial marriages. It is a fair reminder.

Others will bristle at the characterization of prop 8 as "prop hate." While, I understand that and know some folk who are voting for prop 8 who are anything but hateful, the result is the same... discrimination and hurt. I wouldn't call it prop hate, but I understand why others would.

Top 10 Reasons Why Conservatives Should Vote for Obama

Andrew Sullivan is one of my regular reads. I respect his thoughtfulness and the integrity with which he makes and takes his stands. He calls himself a conservative (who are we to argue?) but is a staunch supporter of Obama and one of the harshest critics of Sarah Palin out there. He has given what he believes are the top ten reasons a conservative should vote for Obama. I've posted them here.

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excrescence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No on 8, #8

We've all heard the arguments that marriage in the Bible is one man and one woman and that God planned it that way. The implication is that the way we did marriage in the 1950's is exactly the way it has always been done.

The other day I received an e-mail with a list of amendments to prop 8 to make it more consistent with the Bible...

* Marriage in the United States of America shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.)

* Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

* A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

* Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)

* Since marriage is for life, neither the US Constitution nor any state law shall permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9-12)

* If a married man dies without children, his brother must marry the widow. If the brother refuses to marry the widow, or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law.
(Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)

* In lieu of marriage (if there are no acceptable men to be found), a woman shall get her father drunk and have sex with him.(Gen 19:31-36)

We could add more verses to illustrate polygamy, bride prices, women treated as chattel, etc. all of which are not condemned...

Yes... it is a bit silly, but it does underscore the fact that marriage in the Bible is a very different institution that we have today and that to try to use Biblical understandings of marriage as an argument for prop 8 is, well, really silly.

Monday, October 27, 2008

no on prop anything

In California we have an initiative process that allows anyone with money and dedication enough to get a law passed. Often there are tables set up outside my local Trader Joes with folk soliciting signatures for some new proposition. I never sign regardless of the subject of the proposition. I would sign one though. I am wishing someone with big bucks and more than a little sense and devotion to the long term health of the state would start an initiative to withdraw the entire initiative process here. I'd cheer on anyone who did the same thing anywhere else that engages in this ridiculous practice of enacting laws by vote.

The argument is that it makes for great democracy. After all, the argument goes, everyone gets a say in the formation of the covenant of the community. The reality is that it does nothing of the sort. Propositions that win are often the ones with the most money behind them. If you can run enough advertisements, you win. It doesn't matter whether the ads are truthful or not. Most of the time the propositions are written by special interests who have little or no ability to write good laws and even with the best of intentions, the unintended consequences are often huge. Just as often, the propositions are attempts to bypass a thoughtful consideration of the issues by the legislature. If you know a thoughtful legislature would never pass your law, write it yourself, run a slick advertising campaign, and voila! You've got a law.

Let me give two examples of poor results - Prop 13 is the poster child. While the intent of many voters was good - to allow elderly folk on fixed incomes to not be forced out of their homes by rising taxes due to rapidly increasing property values. It did that. It also decimated the tax roles of most municipalities and gutted education and other public services. Additionally, it exacerbated the housing crunch in much of California as the burden of taxes are carried only by the most recent of homeowners. Additionally, it caused municipalities to look for other ways to raise revenue or cut costs such as radically increasing fees like building permits and providing limited municipal services to new developments. There are ways to alleviate the strain on fixed income property owners without the radical surgery this proposition involved. But of course, the real intent of the proposition was not to help those on fixed incomes. It was to force local governments to shrink regardless of the costs to their communities.

A second example is seen in the propositions aimed at requiring parental notification of abortions for teens. Twice this has been defeated by the electorate but it is back on the ballot again. A rich man in San Diego keeps funding it and it keeps coming back. This is a very complicated issue and requires great care in constructing legislation. It involves issues of teen pregnancy, abuse, parental rights, women's rights, and probably a host of other issues. The potential results are daunting in either direction. There is no way that the average voter can think through all of the involved questions and certainly there is no way to address them in the voters' materials we receive from the state. Even less can they be adequately addressed in 30 second commercials. They need to be talked out on the floor of the legislature. This time, the proposition may pass as there are a number of other propositions that are receiving much more discussion - notably prop 8 regarding the definition of marriage - so prop 4 is under the radar of most people. They'll likely vote without considering the whole picture. Presumably, if this proposition fails a third time, its proponents will have it on the ballot next time too... and again, and again, and again until somebody runs out of money.

The bottom line is that the initiative process puts the power to make laws in the hands of the people, almost always without adequate consideration of the long term effects of the laws and often without sophisticated understandings of the underlying issues. That is a bad way to make laws.

Yes, it is slower to allow elected officials to make laws and it is more difficult to get change to take place but it is the sensible way to do it. That is, after all, the reason we elect legislators. If you have an issue, elect a champion. If your representatives do not adequately reflect your concerns, vote them out and lobby the new ones.

No on 8, #7

I hadn't really thought about the yes on 8 campaign as being anti-family but the way it is exploiting children for its end is just that, especially when they are using images of children without the consent of the parents. Cynical is a kind word to describe those who use children to further their own political goals while claiming to be supporting family values.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

still on the election...

here's another endorsement of Obama... thanks Fernando for pointing it out.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Friday, October 24, 2008

no on prop 8, #6

there have been some wonderful ads from the no on 8 people...

here are three more that are both clever and right on target.

back to the election

We've all heard that the RNC paid $150,000 at Saks and Neiman Marcus for a new wardrobe for Sarah Palin. Enough has been said about that.. but there is more.

Guess who was the highest paid individual on the McCain campaign payroll during the first two weeks of October... Amy Strozzi. Who is that? Sarah Palin's make-up artist! She was paid $22,800 for the first two weeks of October for making sure that Sarah's face matched her new threads. And the 4th highest paid person on the McCain payroll was Angela Lew who received $10,000 for that same two week period. Ms. Lew is Palin's hair stylist.

What does this tell us about the priorities of a McCain/Palin ticket?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No on 8, #5

here's an ad that responds to one of the lies being used by the yes on 8 crowd

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al Qaida endorses...


We've all seen the e-mails floating around saying that Al Qaida is behind Obama... but here is a report regarding encrypted e-mails intercepted by a US intelligence contractor. This one actually makes sense to me from a strategic point of view.From what I know about Al Qaida, McCain makes a lot more sense for their agenda. And if there would be a terrorist incident before the election, it would likely help McCain more than Obama...

Of course, the question is, does it matter who Al Qaida wants to win the election? It seems to me the answer is clearly, "No." We need to elect the person whom we believe will do the best job as president for the US. The answer for me is again clear - Obama. And it is just a fortunate coincidence that is not the person that Al Qaida wants to win.

McMansions and the Gaviota Coast

Once again we see how money and power talks in Santa Barbara and if you have neither... well, just shut up and commute.

The coastline headed west of Goleta is breath-takingly beautiful and represents one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastlines in Southern California. It is also one of the 15 most biologically diverse habitats in the world. So what is happening there? 72 McMansions ranging from 3,500 to 10,000 square feet on about 3,200 acres of land were approved for development. Some land will be set aside for a public park and there will be an Equestrian Center for the residents.

The county supervisors voted 3-2 to approve this development. It is obscene. We don't need multi-million dollar estates dotting what was a pristine coastline and taking land that has been actively used for agriculture. We need workforce housing for real people. Teachers, nurses, fire fighters, police officers, engineers, even pastors end up commuting long distances to work in Santa Barbara and Goleta because affordable housing just isn't available and whenever anyone tries to build any, they are shot down. Literally thousands of middle class and working class folk commute 30, 45, and even 60 miles or more each direction because they cannot afford housing in Santa Barbara and the best we can do is allow a developer to build obscenely large homes for 72 families? I will drive past those monstrosities each day as I make my 35 mile commute.

Compare this to the Bishop Ranch proposal - Bishop Ranch is a 240 acre parcel located within the city boundaries of Goleta. While the property is zoned for agricultural use, it has not been used in that way for over 40 years. This proposal would have provided 100's of homes including housing for middle class and working class people within the city limits. The plan was carefully constructed to enhance the broader community and would have been a tremendous help in addressing the social pressures in this area. It was shot down and the land continues to lie unused and vacant.

We need infill. We need high density. We need affordable housing in Santa Barbara and Goleta. We do not need the Naples development. I hope that the California Coastal Commission has the wisdom to reject this proposal and keep the land open.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pew Poll

Back in August, I posted something about Obama and had a comment left that he was "already down in the polls" and that he would very soon fade into obscurity. Well, the latest Pew poll says something pretty different than that... Overall, Obama is up 53-39. And he is ahead just about everywhere. Now, I realize that we still have two weeks until the election and a lot can happen between now and then, but it looks good to me.

No on 8, #4

I have received a lot of liturature from the Yes on 8 folk as well as having seen a lot of television ads... One thing stands out to me, well, maybe two.

First the arguments are based on fear - fear that from what I can see is completely unfounded


there are lots of untruths being told... let me be straightforward, at times they're just lying and other times they're twisting the truth to the point that it isn't recognizable.

No church, synagogue, mosque or other religious institution will be forced to marry anyone they don't want to. I know churches that refuse to marry divorced people. Divorced people have been legally free to marry forever. Nobody forces those churches to go against their stated beliefs. I know churches that will not do marriages for all kinds of other reasons, nobody forces them. No congregation will be forced to do marriages of a gay couple if it goes against their faith. Period. Anybody who tells you anything different than that is lying.

And nobody can tell a church that they have to change their doctrines about anything. If your congregation believes that gays should not be allowed to marry, you can continue to preach that every Sunday from now until the turn of the century. Nobody can tell you what to preach. And they can't sue you or charge you with a crime because of it.

They say that "marriage has always and everywhere been between a man and a woman." First off, I don't know how in the world anyone could say that... there is no way to know what has always and everywhere been, but beyond that, it implies that marriage as an institution has always been exactly as it was in the 1950's - 1 working man, 1 stay at home woman, 3 school aged children, and a dog. Sorry. I wasn't even then. Any anthropoligist would tell you that the institution of marriage has always been fluid and always will. Marriage in the Bible was very different than it is now and it changed through the times when scriptures were written.

And don't raise anything about childbirth. In marriage in our culture, childbirth may be a purpose of marriage but it is not the defining purpose. If it was, then we would disallow ayone who is sterile or who chooses not to have childen from marrying and require those beyond childbearing years to call their relationship something else.

"They are forcing their view on me..." Who is? Nobody can force you to change your belief system. What you think of believe about a neighbors relationship is irrelevant. You don't have to accept a gay couples relationship any more than they have to accept yours.

"Gay marriage diminishes "'real' marriage" How? How does a same sex couple who are committed to one another and love one another and wants to formalize that relationship in the context of their faith community impact your relationship in any way at all? We've been having gay marriages in CA for a bit now. As far as I can see, nothing has changed. Massachusetts hasn't fallen into the sea... and it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, lower than most of the states in the Bible belt.

Bottom line is that allowing a gay couple to marry won't change a thing for any straight person... but it makes a world of difference for that couple. Be fair to them. Let them formalize their commitment of love. And don't tell me as a pastor who I can or cannot marry.

Monday, October 20, 2008

no on 8 #3

another video ad...

although I have to say that I'm sure this ad would also energize the yes on 8 crowd... I still like it and I like the song from Rent

Colin Powell endorses Obama

Saturday, October 18, 2008


No, this isn't directly about the presidential candidates but it is about the election. I have heard multiple discussions about fraud with regards to this election - ACORN, multiple states that have removed names from the voter roles, the on-going legal battle in Ohio.

I'm not a lawyer and don't claim to really understand the law but I heard a lawyer on the radio the other day talking about this issue and he made a distinction that I think is helpful. He said that there are three different issues here, not one: voter registration fraud, voter fraud, and election fraud. They are very different and each have very different possible results.

Voter registration fraud is just that, someone registers who is not eligible to vote. If ACORN workers were involved in fraud, this is it. Say one of them filled out a registration for Micky Mouse, living at the Magic Kingdom. That is voter registration fraud. Nobody has voted and no harm has come to the election process beyond inflating the rolls. The guy interviewed on Fox who said he had registered 72 times was guilty of this.

Voter fraud is when someone shows up at the polling place claiming to be Micky and votes. This is obviously much more serious than registration fraud. Here we have actual possibility of impact on the election. Still, at least on a national level, it is pretty unlikely that you could swing an election with voter fraud. In most cases, it would take an organized effort of tens of thousands of fraudulent votes. Of course, in a very close election, this could be impactful.

Election Fraud is when someone manipulates the system. Thousands of voters are removed from the rolls without proper reasons, voting machines are deliberately rigged to miscount votes, populations are targeted to keep them from voting by whatever means. Election fraud is much more able to change the results of an election.

As we look at the issues swirling around this election many people seem to be confusing these three different issues or conflating them into one. Let's remember they are very different issues with very different potential impacts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

no on 8, #2

Today, I made calls to encourage people to vote no on prop 8. I had a number of discussions with people who said something to the effect of "The Bible says..." and then told me that they were voting for the proposition. It wasn't helpful to argue with them but it did get me thinking about the way this proposition relates to faith.

I have reasons to vote "no" on prop 8 that are squarely based in my faith and in my understanding of the Bible. I am sure that there are folk out there who have reasons to vote "yes" that are based on their faith. Neither is relevant to the discussion of a constitutional amendment denying the right to marry to gay or lesbian couples. We live in a secular country. It is irrelevant what the Bible says or doesn't say about marriage from a legal standpoint. Religious definitions of what is right and wrong cannot be the basis of public policy. For an idea to become law or public policy it must be able to stand on its own without the backing of any particular faith tradition. Our laws must have justification within themselves.

Yes, the general foundation of our ethics is based in a roughly Judaeo-Christian heritage and many of our laws reflect that tradition but it is never enough. The founders of our nation wisely realized that in a religiously diverse nation there must be more to our laws than religious dictates. They knew that there are scores of religious rules that do not stand up to investigation outside of a specific religious tradition. While those rules may be very good for an individual to shape his or her life, they are not adequate for forming public policy. If I believe that eating a cheeseburger is an affront to God, then I must not eat a cheeseburger. If you on the other hand, do not believe in the same god or any god at all, I have no right to impose a religious dictate on you. We do not need to appeal to the 10 commandments to outlaw murder. It makes sense for community life. At the same time we do not enshrine celebration of the Sabbath even though it is in the 10 commandments and even though it is a very good idea.

As a Baptist, I realize that as soon as we allow the state to impose religious ideas on the population, the question becomes, "Whose religious ideas?" There are a lot of religious folk out there whose ideas I find repugnant. I'm sure there are at least as many who find mine so. That is why we leave religious issues to individuals and faith communities and base our laws and our public policy somewhere else.

So... while I would disagree with those who argue that the Bible requires us to stand against gay marriage, in the end, it doesn't matter what the Bible says or doesn't say. We cannot and must not base public policy solely on religious faith.

Vote No on Prop 8

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

no on 8 #1

Over the next few days, I'll write some regarding Proposition 8 and why I think it is bad policy, bad law, basically unjust, and why I am voting "no" on 8. As a beginning, take a look at this old video about equality in marriage.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

some good wines

I promised to blog about something other than politics... although I'm really tempted.

Saturday we were doing some work around the new condo and after lunch said, let's go taste some wines. We went to three wineries...

the first was Starlane and Dierberg. I had read some good things about them and they're about 5 miles from our house. Well, their wines were OK but nothing inspired us.

Next we drove a ways north and went to Foxen. It is a delightful little winery and we tasted a number of great wines. We bought a bottle of an '03 Zinfindel that will be amazing for Thanksgiving. I highly recommend their wines.

Finally we drove back to Los Olivos - a little town in the middle of the Santa Ynez valley with lots of tasting rooms. We've long been fans of Andrew Murray Wines. They make some great syrahs - in spite of what they told you in Sideways, syrahs are the best wines from Santa Barbara County. They had a great tasting with I think 10 different wines including 5 or 6 different syrahs. We bought two bottles including one that is made from grapes sourced from another of our favorite local vineyards - Stolpman Vineyards. It will be fun to compare this wine to one that Stolpman made from the same grapes.

Then tonight, Cheryl and I went out for a belated birthday dinner for me, to a little restaurant in Los Olivos called Patrick's Sidestreet Cafe. We had a great meal and another bottle of local wine - a syrah from Consilience Wines from the Rodney Shull vineyard. Very, very nice. Best of all... I had an amazing dark chocolate dessert. I love chocolate but too often, chocolate desserts are too sweet for me. This one was dark and rich and was amazing with the last bit of the syrah.

So, if you're looking at a Santa Barbara wine, I'd recommend the Foxen Zin (their chardonnays were very nice as well if you prefer white wine), just about any red from Andrew Murray, or the Consilience reds.

Friday, October 10, 2008

blogging and politics

Lately, it looks as if a lot/most of my blogging has been about the presidential race. That makes me uncomfortable. I don't want this to be a political blog. I believe this election is extremely important, but it isn't the most important thing and it certainly isn't the only thing.

I'd like to be spending more time thinking about music, about church life, even about which strings to put on my nylon string guitar. I'd like to be focusing on the beauty around me and I'd really like to be working on my cynicism. (the McCain campaign isn't helping there... see I'm tempted to write about politics again). And I've been pretty worried about my cat who is sick and my son who is trying to figure out what comes next in his life.

So, my goal over the next week or so is to not write about politics or at least about the presidential campaign. I am going to write something about prop 8 in California, but that is a different issue altogether - sadly, it is feeding my cynicism as well.

Send some good thoughts or prayers my way and hopefully we can talk about something other than Obama and McCain.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Who Is John McCain

John McCain has been asking the question, "Who is Barack Obama?" implying that he is a terrorist, a Muslim, a fil in theblank with whatever terrible fear you have...
Maybe the question should be, who is John McCain?

Tim Dickinson has written a short bio piece about McCain in Rollingstone that should be read.

Voting irregularities

Today's New York Times has an article that shows that six battleground states appear to be involved in illegally culling voter registration lists. While the article does not accuse either party, it does acknowledge that the actions will more likely hurt the Democratic ticket than the Republican one. Remembering back to Ohio and Florida in previous elections, it is critical that voters, especially in battleground states, check to be sure they are registered.

Bobby Kennedy and Greg Pallast have written a comic book with instructons to make sure that your vote counts. It is available for download for any donation from $.01 on up.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

another opinion

We've all seen the things floating around the internet claiming Obama as a Muslim, as not being born in the US, etc. etc. etc.

here's another opinion...

Monday, October 06, 2008


If you haven't registered... hopefully it isn't too late. Do it immediately.

and wherever you stand on any of these issues... VOTE!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

VP debate

The good news was that Sarah Palin was able to make a complete sentence and even a paragraph. After the interviews, that was in question. The bad news was that the also's, winks, and awe shucks did nothing to show that she is ready to lead the free world. It seemed very clear that she had either memorized or had written a number of pat answers that reflect the campaign's talking points and damn the questions, that was what she was going to say. And even then she didn't get it right. Listen to her answers about global warming. The syntax is all off... she has human activity being the result of global warming and not the other way around.

She is unqualified for the job of VP and way under qualified for the position of president, a role which a McCain VP just might have to assume. Would she ever be ready? I don't know but she sure isn't now and no amount of cramming before January will fix that.

I participate in an on-line Christian Musicians Forum on the Christian Music Radio site. There are some great folk on there, most of whom are pretty conservative both theologically and politically. Many were very unhappy with McCain as the Republican nominee, to the point that some said they would not vote in the upcoming election. When Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate, many of those same folk were thrilled. Her social ad theological views fit theirs very well. They were energized to vote again. We heard similar thoughts from Dobson and others.

It seems very clear that Palin got the nod as a strategy to reach out to those voters. That she is an attractive woman only helped in a number of other ways. And a Downs Syndrome child certainly shows that she is serious about her anti-abortion stance. It was a good strategy, or at least seemed to be early on. Here's the rub. McCain has been chanting the mantra - "country first" all along. Choosing a completely unqualified person as VP just to get votes shows that he doesn't put country first. He doesn't care about the future of the US at all or he would have chosen the best possible running mate, both strategically and for the future of the country should the unthinkable happen. He did not. He put his ambition first, before the future of the US and the welfare of the entire world. That makes him unworthy of a single vote.

Of course, there is the other possibility. Maybe he actually believes she is capable of becoming president the day after the inauguration. If that is true, his judgment is so flawed that he doesn't deserve a single vote. In either case, Sarah Palin proves that John McCain cannot be allowed to become president.