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Friday, February 27, 2004

Random thoughts about social change

Random thoughts about social change

Buncha things:

1) Gay Marriage--well, the comments in the last thread on this are screwed up, so here it is again. Surprisingly, even the venerable New York Times has no front-page news (on the website at least) of the move by the Mayor of New Palz to start performing gay marriages. I believe that like abortion rights, this is something that will become part of the legal landscape, state by state, until the Federal Government is forced to realize that it exits. Once again I pose the question: How can people seriously say, with a straight face, that letting two men or two women marry affects the "quality and sanctity" of heterosexual marriages? As more than one op-ed person has pointed out, if "protecting het marriages" is a national priority, why not outlaw divorce and up the penalties for adultery? The hypocrisy is staggering.

2) Mel Gibson's new movie--come on, folks, why is THIS front-page news? A nutcase ex-12 step participant--for whom the Pope himself is not Catholic enough (Gibson has gone on record in the past as saying that he disagrees with many Vatican pronouncements, including that little thing about not blaming all Jews everywhere for Christ's death, although he's played that down now)--comes out with a bloody, distorted, self-serving take on the New Testament. IMHO the best thing anyone can do is ignore it, unless you're a member of the Catholic clergy, in which case damage control is the best bet. Kudos to Cardinal Egan for immediatley putting out a call for tolerance, and a well-worded statement on the nature of Christ's death ("Nobody took Jesus' life--he gave it").

3) Speaking of priests, how 'bout those sex abuse reports? Some countings put the numbers of accused preists at anywhere between 1 in 7, with Boston being the hardest-hit diocese.

4) In other news, local church officials in Rio managed to ban a condom-themed Carnival parade. As one proponent points out, the Church's position on stuff like this is medieval and wrong--and in the age of AIDS, has potentially deadly consequences.

In a way, one should be grateful for all of this reactionary behavior--in an age of real, international crisises and massive issues at home in the U.S., the absurdness of the socially ultra-conservative agenda is being brought out into full, bright light. Making people feel more "powerful" as the country falls apart by letting them control the minutaue of others' lives just isn't working as a panacea anymore, and I truly believe that more and more people--even those usually swayed by simple arguments--are seeing this.

---Jen Runne, posting for Steve Gilliard

posted by Steve @ 11:34:00 AM

11:34:00 AM

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