I don't care for his theology much, but, nevertheless, have always had considerable respect for Billy Graham, especially in his later years.
True, Graham was late on civil rights and, at one time, was a rather vigorous anti-semite. He waved the Nixon flag with gusto because he considered Nixon the most righteous of politicians, in his naivete not realizing that Nixon had suckered him from the beginning.
Toward the later years of his life, Graham became more ecumenical, and less divisive. He sought common ground, and became more irenic in his attitude.
His son, Franklin, is more like the early Billy than the late one. He loves him some Vladimir Putin because Putin knows how to bash gay people, unlike that wuss, Pres. Obama.
“Isn’t it sad, though, that America’s own morality has fallen so far that on this issue — protecting children from any homosexual agenda or propaganda — Russia’s standard is higher than our own?”
Oh, that "homosexual agenda"! It has been depressing enough to see our foreign policy revolve around questions of "showing strength" or "showing weakness," as if foreign policy were about the mental world of adolescent boys. Now Putin is a moral guide as well as a bare-chested warrior? The apple fell at least a little ways from the tree when Franklin was born.
By a vote of 72-42, the Kansas House of Representatives has taken a stand in favor of "religious freedom" by denying same-sex couples their rights under the law. The bill would deny services, including unemployment benefits and foster care, to same-sex couples. (The bill offers no exemption from taxation for same-sex couples, however.)
State Rep. Charles Macheers (R), one of the bill’s staunchest advocates, argued that the provision was designed to prevent discrimination against religious individuals during a speech on the House floor Tuesday.
The bill enables "religious individuals" to continue to discriminate against gays because...because...because...freedom! Yeah, that's the ticket! The freedom to harrass homosexuals must not be infringed upon!
Why does one have the feeling that these people are about a notch from trying to reinstate slavery?
This is old news. Hillary has been a supporter of gay rights for quite some time. Her "gay rights are human rights" speech covered this ground in 2011. In 2008, gays within the Democratic Party generally supported her. She released this video today:
The current Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez, has publicly criticized his predecessor, Roger Mahoney, and removed him from any "administrative or public duties" for his failure to act in the priest child abuse scandal.
The scandal has been unraveling for years, but, in my own recollection, this is the first time that one bishop has so directly criticized the actions of another member of the heirarchy--and not just any bishop either, but a Cardinal to boot.
Mahoney's defense was lame. "Nothing in my own background or education equipped me to deal with this grave problem,” he said. Mahoney has a master's degree in social work.
It is true that, at the time he got his degree in 1962, child sexual abuse was not discussed as openly as it is today, and less was known about the pathology of the disorder, the extent of incidence, and its effects on victims. (The Child Abuse and Prevention Act was passed in 1973; he should have known something by then.)
Besides, the documents don't lie. Over 12,000 pages of testimony finally saw the light of day, and they clearly established Mahoney's culpability in the scandal. You don't need much "background or education" to know that simple human decency required intervention that Mahoney did not supply.
He, of course, is far from the only one. More heads should roll. The old boy network among the bishops will see this as a way of throwing Mahoney to the wolves in exchange for taking the heat off the rest of them. They never cared much for Mahoney anyway--he didn't get hysterical enough about women or "the gays."
It is hard to imagine Archbishop Gomez not confering with other bishops, or getting clearance from the Pope, before he went public with his criticism of a Cardinal.
What Mahony and others -- Cardinals Bernard Law, Justin Rigali, Edward Egan, Anthony Bevilacqua, and a host of archbishops and bishops -- really didn't understand was the degree to which their moral compasses had been distorted by the strong magnetic pull of the clergy culture. In their fierce allegiance to that exclusive club at all costs, in their willingness to preserve the façade of holiness and the faithful's high notion of ordination, they lost sight of simple human decency and the most fundamental demands of the Gospel.
They're still in "circle the wagons" mode, hoping to ride out modernism until, in some imagined future, they can run things again. Alas for them, and hurrah for the rest of us: that ship sailed long ago.
The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.
So said Ross Douthat as he bemoans the fact that our lazy, self-centered citizens are having fewer children.
I wonder what "late-modern exhaustion" is, and I wonder how Douthat measures it. In the first place, how does he know we're in a "late-modern" period. Don't you have to know how everything turns out before you start saying what is "early" and what is "late"?
Secondly, it's a sign of "exhaustion" that we're not having more babies? Please. Maybe it's just the opposite. Maybe peoples' energy and dynamism, previously sapped by having children, is now being directed into other areas. The United States is not "exhausted." Quite the contrary, we are one of the most vibrant and vital countries in the world.
This entity called "late-modern exhaustion" arose in the west? It did, did it. When and where, and what are the marks by which we might know it?
Would we know it by its two 12 trillion dollar economies--Europe and the US? Would we know this awful decadence by its tired and defunct art and culture which somehow, still, manages to enliven people around the world, and is more sought and embraced than ever?
People are not stupid. People had lots of children in past eras for a variety of reasons, the most compelling of which was economic advantage. Two hundred years ago, when most of our citizens lived on farms, people needed the help. More children meant more farm hands.
With affluence, people tend to have fewer children. This is not because they are doing something so esoteric as favoring "stagnation" over "embracing the future", or some such rot, but rather because, first of all, there is no longer an economic advantage to having children.
Children cost a lot of money and a lot of time. People have other options today, and they are taking them. It doesn't mean they're exhausted, or stagnating, or shriveling up. It means they are free to pursue their own lives in the way they want.
Not to worry, Ross. People are still having children. The birth rates have gone down, but not out. The United States birth rate is slightly more than the replacement rate, and even poor old exhausted Europe has seen an uptick in recent years.
They have children, these days, for no really good reason. There's no money in it any more, but people keep having them anyway. Maybe it's because, operating from a position of freedom and responsibility and love, they actually want them.
For one thing, it was better. The average 6th grader, reading the Weekly Reader, would likely have a better understanding of what's going on in the world than one who reads Newsweek, especially now that Newsweek is going for niche markets like hard right sadomasochism.
Thankfully, Newsweek will soon be out of business.