Thursday, February 09, 2012

Gaak, Well, There Goes California

            Once again, the forces of  destruction are about to rain down on poor California.  People are going to run riot in the streets.  Whole towns will be swallowed whole.  Small children will weep and run amok.
            Yes, once again, judges have ruled that Prop 8 is unconstitutional.  This time it was the Ninth Circuit court.  So, the state Supreme Court and now one clump of judicial feds have basically found that “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”
            Let’s repeat that:  “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”
            So what is it about that brief, honest observation is so impossible for so many people to accept?
            Besides the inability to be honest about one’s true feelings and motives, may I suggest another reason this battle has been so fierce and long and irrational?  Words.  Wrong words that describe the wrong issue and hence create a wrong reality.
            Take the acronym, “DOMA.” Defense of Marriage.  Defense.  Did anybody recall gay people saying they wanted to eliminate marriage?  Destroy it? Get rid of it?  Change the laws so the states wouldn’t be allowed to marry anybody any more? Kaput, no more marriage anywhere?
            I didn’t either.  All I saw was a bunch of people who wanted to join the ranks of the married, have marriage ceremonies of their own, so the net result was MORE marriage, not less.  How do you “defend” against people who want to join you as fellow participants?  You don’t “defend” a castle against friends who show up and say, “Hey, we want to join you.”  You “defend” against enemies who are trying to destroy you.
            So, there was the false reality – gay people as “the enemy” that needed “defending” against because, somehow, their getting married would “destroy” marriage. Yet, not once during this whole battle, did I hear from any straight couple explaining just how, exactly, their marriage would be “destroyed” if a gay couple next door got married.  Not a single explanation that made any sense. Not one.
            If a whole gaggle of people had been honest from day one (We don’t like gay people and anyway, full civil rights and privileges go only to the people the dominant majority says should receive them; nobody else.), they wouldn’t have deceived and trapped themselves and others in the false language of their own making.
            Luckily, the courts have seen through those lies.  Unfortunately, gay people will still have to wait for their full rights for several more years and pray that the Supreme court will also concur that, “Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently. There was no such reason that proposition 8 could have been enacted.  All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation ‘marriage.’  Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”
            Meanwhile, the hate and fear continues. Comedian Ellen Degeneres is now the subject of a boycott by a so-called “Million Moms,” who want her removed as the spokesperson for J.C. Penny.  Ellen noted dryly on her TV show, the Million Moms’ Facebook page shows a membership of 45,000 so she guessed they just rounded up to get their fake number.

Meanwhile, Never Miss An Opportunity To Gin Up The Culture Wars 

            The Republican culture wars heated up over the issue of the “Obama Care” program requiring that insurance companies offer full, comprehensive coverage for all women’s health issues, including birth control, to all businesses that offer insurance to their employees, including Catholic institutions that primarily “serve the public interest,” with exemptions made for institutions that are primarily religious and not serving “the public.”  These provisions are already in place at Catholic institutions in 28 states and these institutions have made different kinds of “wink-nudge” accommodations.  Like Hawaii, “where the rule is in effect, but where employees at religious institutions that do not offer free contraception can get birth control through side benefits, which the employees nominally pay for but which often end up being free.”
            Considering that polls show that the vast majority of even Catholic women use birth control of some kind, and a good number of people working at Catholic institutions such as hospitals are not Catholic, all this “wink-nudge” has been going on under the Bishop’s noses for years. 
            But, it’s an election year, so you can be sure that a Church under real scrutiny for years of child molesting that went unexamined at best, and covered up at worst, won’t lose an opportunity to flip the frame and come out playing the role of victim here – Christianity under assault! And Republicans sure aren’t going to miss a chance to portray our Muslim Kenyan Christian-Hating President as a man out to “Destroy Religious Freedom!”  
            The issue is simple:  Equal insurance coverage requirements for all employees whose employers offer insurance, with exceptions for primarily religious institutions, and all kinds of wink-nudge accommodations to allow Catholics to pretend that the wink-nudge accommodations aren’t there.  Win-Win. 
            But in the culture wars, the political wars, women’s bodies, women’s reproductive health, will once again be used as a fake battlefield. While Catholics suit up in fake hair-shirts to play the fake victim card, and Republicans gin up the fake outrage.
            The real question is this:  Are women stupid enough to fall for this?  Stay tuned. 

Congress/Prez for Sale.  Cheap, Considering.
            Stephen Colbert gave formal thanks for the 22 rich guys who, to date, have financed the Republican Primary via the Super PACS.  Then wittily declared that he sure those 22 will pick a president he likes.
            At the same time, President Obama, who originally decried Super PACS, has succumbed to unleashing the Democratic PACS and so turned into Omar Sharif in “Lawrence of Arabia.”  Remember the scene, the Turkish retreat from Deraa, the demoralized army fleeing while behind them massed Lawrence’s band of fierce Bedouin and Lawrence declared, “No quarter! No quarter,” and at first Omar objected, then, caught up in the moment, brandished his sword and galloped into battle.  No quarter!  And the slaughter commenced.
            We will now see what will be unleashed by the Roberts’ Supreme Court and their Citizens United disaster.  Battle of the Super PACS.  Government by Twenty-Two?  Forty-Four?  Which returns us to the pre-Jacksonian America: Rule by Rich Aristocrats. 
            Who needs One man, one vote, anyway? 

No comments: