Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Health Care Posturing

Right now I am very proud of my president, perhaps for the first time since he took office.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sports on Christopher Hitchens

So my good friend Ken Nahigian, renowned Atheist and rabble rouser with whom I usually agree, sent me a copy of a Newsweek article by Christopher Hitchens slamming sports. (Link)

My response is below:

Yo, Ken!

What bullshit! I've always considered Christopher Hitchens to be an asshole, a petty little whiner, and a rabid ideologue with nothing at all worth listening to to say, and he has proved it yet again.

Of course, and I don't expect atheists like you and Hitchens to value this, but one of my drama professors used to say that watching Jerry Rice catch a pass, like looking at a Michaelangello sculpture, was so sublime that if it didn't show you the face of God it pointed you in that direction. Ok, heavy handed. So how's this instead: from a humanist point of view, just like a Michaelangello sculpture, watching Jerry Rice catch a pass is so sublime that it shows how close man can come to perfection and pure beauty.

Me, I know exactly the etymology of the word "fan" and am proud to call myself one. For every stupid thing in this article I can point to good things about sports--not the least of which is the fact that it is directly responsible for my good life, because without it my dad would never have gone to Idaho on a football scholarship, never become a high school teacher and principal positively affecting thousands of lives, and never have been able to raise me in a nice house in Sacramento and send *me* to college and instill in me the idea that education is valuable. Thank you, college football!

And Christopher Hitchens can kiss my ass.

Monday, February 01, 2010

California Gets it Right

I've often argued that the biggest problem with getting same-sex marriage legalized is the issue of religious freedom. The state has no business forcing churches to solemnize or recognize marriages that violate the tenants of their faith. I've argued that legal and religious marriage should be completely separate, that religious marriage should have no legal standing and that civil marriage should require no recognition in church, as it is in France (my cousin got married twice on the same day, first by the Bishop and then by the mayor, when he married his lovely French bride).

Proposed legislation in California would go a different but equally sane route. It would specifically allow priests to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony on religious grounds and would guarantee that the tax exempt status of churches would not be affected by not recognizing same-sex marriage. The theory behind the California law is that there are two types of marriage that are usually combined, civil and religious. The marriage license, which makes a marriage legal, is a civil document, no matter who performs the ceremony and signs it.

A lot of church groups, including many of those who supported Proposition 8, which made gay marriage illegal in California, support the new legislation. It could go a long way toward solving the problem. In normally politically insane California they are actually getting something right!