I wanted to round up a few political things that are all bugging me:
- President Obama referring to his bowling scores as something out of the Special Olympics. I very enthusiastically supported Obama, a really sensitive politician who’s an advocate for minorities everywhere. (And it has nothing to do with his race.) Surely, I thought, he’s much more advanced on those issues than MLK-day-opposing McCain would have been. But that only makes it more insulting that Obama would inadvertently put down the Special Olympics. It’s one of those things that a normal person might say and maybe 10% of the population would be offended. But when you’re President, you can’t go around making insensitive remarks that offend 10% of the population. And he really should have known better. The good news is that the Special Olympics are trying to capitalize on the publicity to promote a better sense of tolerance, and Obama seems to feel bad for the condescending remarks, so maybe the inappropriate remarks will spur a long-overdue conversation about discrimination against the disabled.
- I heard some allusion on talk radio to someone again stating that America was founded as a Christian nation. And I had a long time to dwell on it, and came to think that it’s even more ignorant than I previously thought. Let me get out of the way that I’m a Christian, and I think Christians are great. But we were founded on principles of freedom of religion, because the Founding Fathers were sick and tired of the British government meddling with their religious views. So the claim that we’re a Christian nation seems ignorant of history, as well as the Constitution, which is pretty clear on the issue. It put it in the very first of our many Amendments. The general argument is that most of the Founding Fathers were Christians. That’s true. Most of the founding fathers were also white slave owners who didn’t take showers. But we’re not a nation founded on white supremacy, slavery, or poor hygiene. Most of the founding fathers were Christian, and today, most of our leaders were Christian. That’s great, but it doesn’t make us a nation founded on Christianity. Suppose some of the Founding Fathers were Muslims or Jews. Would that make us a Muslim nation or a Jewish nation? In any case, why does it matter? Christianity is still the dominant religion, and is practiced by most of our political leaders.
- I saw this article today, and my gut is already wrenching at that outrage I expect from far-right pundits. They hate immigrants, but gay immigrants? And Kerry wants to invite gay illegals into the country?! Except that this isn’t what’s going on at all. He wants the law to provide asylum for those who get married in the US. The law already does, but the government doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, so homosexuals don’t have a chance at asylum, while a heterosexual woman who came here, married, and would be attacked if she went back to her home country would be allowed to stay for her own protection. I guarantee you, though, that this will have some people up in arms, and that they’re going to say that Kerry wants to afford special protection to gays and illegal immigrants, when in actuality, it does neither: it just plugs a hole caused by DOMA.