Uber-wingnut Gordon Klingenschmitt is now praying -- in Jesus' name, of course -- for God to strike down Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
You might be next! Purchase your own magical imprecatory prayer shield here. (What? It's only a lapel pin? Well...it's a nice pin in aid of a good organization.)
The May issue of Harper's Magazine (www.harpers.org) reveals the continued practice of Christian evangelical proselytization in the American military and a lack of recourse within the Obama administration, according to a leading civil rights watchdog group prominently featured in the magazine's cover story.
The May issue goes into general circulation on April 28.
The ruling of the Iowa Supreme Court that rejects, as Politico.com summarized, that "any claim that objections to same-sex marriage can be seen as 'rational,'" is a positive development in light of not only the Constitutional Principle of the Separation of Church & State, but for pragmatic governance that the extremists of right-wing and left-wing always find either unsatisfying or even alarming. I agree that the argument for same-sex marriage based upon pragmatism may not be the most compelling to most people. Yet, I think it is too seldom heard.
It's scientific fact that same-sex sexual attraction isn't a choice. Whether or not to act on it is. It's really hard not to act on sexual attraction. So, why not expand the benefits and responsibilities of civil marriage contracts to two consenting adults, especially when the societal benefits of these contracts are clear? Marriage settles-down, i.e., domesticates, a couple; domestication leads to shared financial responsibility and opportunities; this furthers everything from the tax base to the gentrification of neighborhoods; married couples are proven to be more likely to live longer, be happier at work (and thus more productive to our economy), and behave more responsibly sexually.
The benefits of marriage are clear; therefore, to not expand their availability is likely to be a pernicious exclusion.
The US Constitution calls on the purpose of this republic to be, among other things, to "promote the general welfare." Our nation's founders cared so much about this principle that they stated it twice in the Constitution. Same-sex marriage harms no one in any demonstrable way, but has clear benefits for the minority of American citizens whose lives it will improve without diminishing the lives of any person of the majority at all.
When any group of Americans despises such a “I-am-helped-and-you-are-not-hurt” situation only by citing tired, disproved stereotypes, misinformation, or religious texts, it is a clear indication that in some regard at least, liberty is less of a treasure to them than constriction. Our forefathers fought a revolution against just such an attitude, and the American Civil War and later the Civil Rights movement progressed the revolution into uplands of even greater abundance.
There is more to America than its history of big building projects, powerful economies, and wars won. There is a human element that is too often forgotten by citizens who also are inclined to forget that a representative democracy requires tolerance and mechanisms for adaptation.
Same-sex marriage helps some; it harms none; it promotes the general welfare. Let it flourish, so that together we can as a nation continue to move forward against great challenges and to seize opportunities that will demand that we work as a whole greater than the sum of our fragmented parts of this sect, that race, this economic group, that party, and so on.
In light of what this nation has been through--the blood and suffering of revolution, wars, depression, recessions, and social upheavals--and in light of what this nation must strive to be for the sake of its continued strength, same-sex marriage is essentially trivial and belies the excitement of religious extremists. Twenty years from now, same-sex marriages will be looked upon as inter-racial marriages are now: unusual, not harmful, still noteworthy, and with special challenges for those involved—but many of those challenges standing largely as a result of careless and wasteful prejudice alone.
UPDATE: There is some interesting and very readable legal commentary about the ruling on the blog Law Dork, 2.0.
[T]he growing movement to stop Obama's visit [to the University of Notre Dame] isn't your ho-hum sort of Catholic League media dust-up.... It's part of a well-funded lobbying effort by a group of right-wing Catholics to run liberal Catholics, and dissenting doctrine, out of the church, and to recruit the remainder of the faithful for the GOP. As the L.A. Times' Tim Rutten reports, it's been organized by the Cardinal Newman Society.... ..... According to Tim Rutten, 73 percent of Notre Dame students -- and 97 percent of its seniors -- support the Obama invitation.