The wall is there, but some people try to just walk through it.

Americans United for Separation of Church and ...

Wouldn’t it be fantastically refreshing if 7 or 8 of the GOP candidates woke up tomorrow morning after losing badly in the Iowa caucus and admitted that, since they are tanking in the polls and have no real chance to succeed, it probably wasn’t “God” that they heard “calling” them to run for President? And if they accepted with some degree of humility that perhaps, since they don’t have the kind of special revelation, access and/or insight they assumed, they are not the right people to interpret “god’s will” for the whole country??

This is one of the main reasons Jefferson wanted separation of Church and State: it’s not that anyone wanted to completely remove options for people to participate in their religions, it’s that the framers of the Constitution knew that it wasn’t a good thing for people who claimed special knowledge of “God’s will” to develop secular law that applied to everyone… including those who didn’t believe in their version of god. Because, you see, that would actually end up limiting freedom of religion, which was exactly the opposite of what they wanted.

“I guess it wasn’t ‘god’ telling me what to do,” the candidates would say in this fantastic utopia, “and therefore I have to conclude that I don’t really know what god wants. I will henceforth stop trying to pass laws that restrict other people’s rights based on what is very possibly a misinterpretation, and most probably just a projection of my pre-existing personal assumptions and beliefs. Sorry folks: my bad.”

A guy can dream.

Congrats to Hawaii and Delaware for becoming the two newest states in the union to allow same-sex civil unions, joining Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Not as good as same-sex marriage (see my previous postings on why), but a huge step in the right direction.

A recurring note for those of you who are still on the fence about “why can’t same-sex couples just get civil unions? Isn’t that the same thing?” Note from the article the quotes from groups like the Catholic Church who are opposed even to civil unions because they are “too similar” to marriage. If you think that everyone will be happy calling it something different, and the opposition is because of the use of the word “marriage”, you do not understand the opposition. Gov. Walker in Wisconsin asked the courts to give the state the option to stop defending the state’s new same-sex domestic partnerships against a lawsuit that claimed they were “too close” to providing the same rights as marriage, and since Illinois has a constitutional amendment declaring marriage as ONLY one man/one woman (like the one on the ballot this year in MN), therefore the same-sex unions were unconstitutional.

If the hangup were about the words being used, this wouldn’t be as contentious an issue. Don’t ever believe that calling it something different will make the opposition go away.

Minnesota: your turn is coming up very soon.

Shutting down discrimination: how to support it

A while ago I posted on FB news of the Catholic Charities in Illinois preferring to leave kids out in the cold rather than be “forced” to not discriminate against gay parents (in order to receive millions of dollars in tax money from the state).

Well, good riddance to them, as I said back then. Secular groups (that don’t feel that having two moms or two dads is actually worse than being abandoned) stepped up and took over the kids’ cases to make sure they didn’t fall through the gaps. A lot of my friends (you online folks especially) had good, interesting comments and responses to the discussion.

Here’s a chance to put your money where your “Like” is: this is the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley, one of the groups that stepped up. I think they are worthy of a little of your consideration and thanks this year. Theirs is the kind of supportive, non-discriminatory help we should be encouraging, and the best way to help promote their cause is by donating.

It bugs me to an unreasonable degree that you can skip the wait list for a popular book at the local library by paying for it. I’m not even sure I could articulate why, either, other than some incoherent mumbling about “social contracts”. It’s like the library saying “sure, sure, we’re a public service, available to everyone… but if you give us a little extra money, we’ll let you shaft the next person in line.”

I bet there’s at least one crazy Y2K holdout still in his bunker, finally running out of MREs, sick and tired of peeing into a can, thinking about peeking his head out to see if there’s anything left to salvage from the detritus of civilization’s remains.

And since he’s been in there for 12 years, he doesn’t know about the Mayans. LOL dumbass!