Sunday, August 01, 2004

politics and religion... 

...so run away now while you still can.

First up: religion. More specifically, the 37 page document published today by the Vatican, decrying feminism as calling "into question the family, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and to make homosexuality and heterosexuality virtually equivalent".

I wish I could read the actual document so that I could make up my own mind, but in lieu of that, I've read several news reports, including those in the Vatican Times. While some of it is, surprisingly enough, almost positive about the roles of women in the workplace, and mentions that women should have greater governance in the Catholic Church (though stopping short of permitting women to become priests, shock of shocks), the document is still the product of jurassic thought on behalf of the Pope and those close to him. Its criticism of feminism as causing women "in order to be themselves, [...] the adversaries of men" which "has its most immediate and lethal effects in the structure of the family" is patently ridiculous and, despite its assurance that "this does not mean that women should be considered from the sole perspective of physical procreation" obviously seeks to put us back in solely in that role. For this I am outraged. As should anyone be with half a brain.

I've certainly not hidden the fact that someday I would like a husband and children. I know that, when that happens (every single person in my life keeps assuring me it will - including, to some extent, CuteNerdBoy and, of all people, my neighbor [he of the Mustang and Drunken Marriage Proposal]) they will be the most important people in my life and will be my first priorities. But they will never be the only people, the only priorities in my life, nor should they be. As I should not be the only person and priority in their lives. And I'll be damned if I'll let anyone, especially a bunch of out-of-touch old men in Italy dictate "traditional family policy" to me or my daughters. (And yes, those last quotes were sarcasm quotes.)

(Wanna read more? Check out these links.)

(Addendum - 3:32am: In re-reading this [I need to re-read a bit closer before publishing - or wait until I'm more awake] I left out somthing I meant to mention: the treatment of same-sex marriage as less than a non-entity. Maybe because this is nothing surprising from the Catholic Church [though it appears that priests molesting little boys - that is perfectly okay, probably because it's supposed to be kept hush-hush - grunts and noises and screaming cannot convey how much this upsets me]. But it still infuriates me. I can't begin to tell you how much this infuriates me. And I will never, ever understand how same-sex marriages threaten heterosexual marriages, or the "institution of marriage". I'd say the logic escapes me, but there is no logic, just knee-jerk rhetoric. Time to move on before my head explodes.)

So now we have politics up at bat. I haven't talked about the Democratic National Convention at all because, to be honest, I wasn't watching it, not even on basic cable.

That's not entirely true. I did keep somewhat up to date on it, but it was, not surprisingly, through The Daily Show. (This just in: I still want Jon Stewart to, uh, "eat cookies in my bed", if you know what I mean, and I think you do. New development: Stephen Colbert can join us. But, as usual, I digress...)

Just by watching 30 minutes a day over the course of the week I was able to get a pretty good idea about what was going on. But because I was curious about some of the actual speeches, I moseyed over to the New York Times, where they have full speech transcripts and video excerpts (free registration required, but definitely worth it). The only exception was Kerry's acceptance speech, which has the entire speech on video, as it should. I only read and watched a few of the available speeches, but my impressions, such as are:

I'm a spiritual gal. I believe in G-d and all that. But does practically every speechmaker have to ask Him to bless this country and the delegates? It may come as a shock to them, but not every American believes in G-d. So bringing Him in on a political convention smacks as unseemly and, well, a little offensive. I mean, I think He would pay more attention to the fate of a country - especially one that has the potential to royally fuck up the world - then, say, whether or not Beyonce won a Grammy, but it's still annoying.

Moving on...

I agree with most people about Barack Obama. He's someone to watch out for. And I'm proud that he's running for Senate in my birth-state.

Al Sharpton may have departed from the text on the teleprompter, and I've always thought he was just a bigmouth before (I've really never known much about him), but his extemporaneous speech was a fire-bolt that was desperately needed.

Well said, Howard Dean. Very well said. Now I truly understand why so many people supported him.

How much do I love Jimmy Carter for his speech, for basically putting Bush and Co. in their place? My arms cannot spread wide enough for me to say, "I love him this much."

Excellent speech by John Edwards and I very much look forward to his debates with that fucker Cheney. Though I do wish I would stop thinking of that fraudulent "psychic" when I hear Edwards' name. But that's not the VP candidate's fault.

Last, but not even close to least: John Kerry. He's gotten a lot of flak about his wooden delivery and lack of charisma. I'll let y'all in on a little secret: when it comes down to it, I couldn't give two shits about whether the President of the United States has charisma, as long as he (or she) can actually lead this country and make it better. So if Kerry can turn this country around (or at least make very positive steps in that direction) but is a bit lacking in the fiery delivery department, I say: who gives a flying fuck?

That said, this may come as a shock to people, but when I watched and listened to his speech, I saw fire. I heard passion. Not as flamboyant as Sharpton, not as charismatic as Clinton, but it was there nonetheless. And I believed that he believed every word he said. He was sincere. And while I still need to look more into his record as lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts and senator, I think that, not only is he a viable alternative to the cancer that currently infests the highest levels of federal government, but he might actually make a pretty good president. Which is more than I'd hoped for.

I keep in mind the closing words of Jon Stewart from Friday night's The Daily Show: watch Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention, then turn off the TV, compare the speeches of Kerry and Bush, and come to my own conclusions. And I will try to watch Bush's speech, in hopes that I can do so without vomiting up my spleen.

I gotta say, though - I'm ready for November.

Bring it on.

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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