Crystal clear.

The GOP top brass fall over themselves condemning Rep. Akin’s comments, while at the same time approving strict anti-abortion language in their official platform, which includes no explicit exceptions for incest, rape, or a pregnancy that endangers the woman’s life. Consider then that a major plank in the GOP platform is to call for a Constitutional Amendment that will result in forcing rape victims to bear their rapist’s children, or would force a woman whose pregnancy will kill her to continue said pregnancy regardless, and ask: is that significantly different or any less offensive than Akin’s point of view?

A Presidential candidate for this party who seems to favor exceptions in the case of rape and incest, a VP candidate who doesn’t (and has also proposed bills that would make many forms of birth control and all forms of IVF illegal), then throw in a Neanderthal whose ideas of rape and pregnancy seem to come from early 17th century alchemy textbooks, and stir.

I don’t agree with everything Obama has done. I don’t agree with everything he says. But I can’t even start to convince myself that anything I disagree with Obama on (e.g. indefinite detention, use of drones, extension of Bush-era tax cuts) would be better under a Republican government, and in fact prior experience proves that it would most probably be worse on practically all those issues. Add that to ALL of the issues that I feel VERY strongly about (e.g. healthcare, women’s rights, choice, same-sex marriage, DADT, separation of Church and State) with which Obama’s perspective seems to be ideologically aligned with mine, and the choice for me is clear.

Crystal clear.

Ignorant opinions have no place in law

Many of the people and organizations rushing to support Rep. Todd Akin are not doing so by saying “He just misspoke, he obviously doesn’t hold those atrocious and ignorant opinions, it was a mistake, he was quoted out of context.” I don’t think that anyone can even honestly say that about him and his opinions at this point. No, they are supporting the original, medieval-era concepts of rape, pregnancy and abortion that he ignorantly spewed, and their main complaint is that he is being criticized for holding them.

You have to remember these ill-informed, harmful opinions every time a new bill is introduced that defines “personhood” as beginning at conception, every time a new law is passed requiring a new restriction on choice (medically unnecessary trans-vaginal ultrasound, anyone?), any time there are attempts to redefine “rape” or “pregnancy”. The majority of GOP Presidential candidates this season don’t even believe in allowing abortion in the case of rape and incest; the GOP VP candidate co-sponsored a bill with Todd Akin to differentiate “forcible rape” from “non-forcible rape” when banning abortion funding.

There are valid, considered, intelligent, nuanced and reasonable arguments to debate the pros and cons of abortion: but these are not the arguments or reasoning behing these bills proposed by this group of people. Akin’s comments boil down to “if she got pregnant, then she’s lying about being raped, therefore she can’t have an abortion”. That’s the ignorance behind his proposed bills.

Ignorant opinions have no place in law, and ignorant politicians have no place in politics.

What a difference a generation makes

What a difference a generation makes. Voter youth calling with MN United in St. Paul, calling voters mostly in their early 20′s, I got a majority of people pledging to vote “No” on the “Limiting Marriage” Amendment, and zero people voting “Yes”.

The younger generations recognize that love is love, and anything you would do to restrict a loving, consenting couple from sharing happiness is not right. It’s a lesson that many in the older generations, having been raised in a world where the rules were different, are still struggling to wrap their minds around.

Want to help me change more minds? Come and join me at the Loring Park offices of MN United this Thursday at 6:30pm. I’m training, so you get to listen to me make dumb jokes for a while, then we go and call voters to see what they think, and talk to them about our experiences with love, with LGBT folks, with marriage and relationships and commitment. It’s easy, and it’s fun: want to join?

We need you. We’re not winning outright in the polls, and we need to make sure that everyone who supports equality comes out to vote. Come in and help turn it around.

Floodgates

Interesting results.  As one of the interviewees commented in the article, I tend to agree that this has less to do with people actually losing their faith and more to do with people being more comfortable with declaring their atheism as the stigma is lost.  Thanks in the most part to the public awareness raised by people like Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and Dennett, but also to advertising, awareness campaigns and more public participation in political events, as well as pushback on separation issues, from groups like American Atheists, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the FFRF and the ACLU (PS: support them with your voice and your money. They are the ones who protect your religious freedom just as much as they protect freedom from religion)

More people seem to be starting to understand that being a good, moral person does not require belief in a deity, and never has… and I love that.  You might be surprised how many people argue that it IS required, but the number of people who have used that argument has steeply declined recently (in my experience).

Now if we could only convince more people that fighting for plurality and religious freedom and preventing people from imposing their beliefs on others does NOT mean they are being “persecuted”…

A year or a few centuries, same difference.

Republican Presidential candidates at the Ames...

Republican Presidential candidates at the Ames Straw Poll. From left: Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Thaddeus McCotter, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A year ago today Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race after coming in 3rd in the Ames Iowa straw poll, behind Michele Bachmann (who came in first) but ahead of Rick Santorum (4th).

It sure feels that it was a lot longer ago, doesn’t it? Like, mid-17th century?

You would think that a Presidential campaign that included Bachmann and Santorum would be more contemporary with, say, Galileo’s trial for heresy or the Salem witch trials, than with a country putting an nuclear-powered robotic exploration device on Mars.