Had it been another day

My old friend and one-time colleague Dave Gushee notes in USA Today that conservative evangelicals’ sudden enthusiasm for Sarah Palin is a bit difficult to square with their “theological vision that women are subservient to men”:

Never have conservative evangelicals positioned themselves as staunch advocates for women’s leadership in political life — until Sarah Palin. …

The nomination of Palin offers conservative Christian leaders the chance to rethink an archaic theological vision that wounds millions of devout Christian women and restricts the full exercise of their gifts. This is an unexpected gift from presidential candidate John McCain to evangelical Christianity.

Read the whole thing, particularly the questions Gushee asks his “complementarian” (i.e., male supremacist) co-religionists, such as: “If you agree that God can call a woman to serve as president, does this have any implications for your views on women’s leadership in church life?” and “Do you believe that Palin is under the authority of her husband as head of the family? If so, would this authority spill over into her role as vice president?”

* * *

BelugawhaleAn e-mail from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council informs me that “Coach Joe Gibbs to Address Values Voter Summit.” That should be a great pep talk: “See, your faith is like this magnetic spacer. And the voting booth is like NASCAR’s dynamometer test …”

* * *

So wait, John McCain can’t use a computer because POW!POW!POW! and he’s all, like, too disabled to use a mouse.

So how on earth did Steven Hawking manage to write A Brief History of Time?

* * *

The girls, ages 12 and 13, surprised me the other day by knowing all the words to “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” Thank you, Julie Taymor.

* * *

Next week’s news today

Because John McCain, Friend of NAMBLA, and his enablers in the press are determined to make this a big election about very small things, here is a preview of a news story from next week by, oh, let’s say Adam Nagourney of The New York Times.

… Davis, visibly shaken and with tears in his eyes, reiterated the McCain campaign’s demand for an apology.

“Thousands of older Americans suffer from this same condition,” Davis said. “So when Mr. Obama says, ‘Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining’ this is a vicious slur not only on Sen. McCain, but also on tens of millions of older Americans.”

Obama, for his part, insisted his comment had not been intended as a personal attack on his Republican rival.

“I don’t see how that can be taken as ageist,” Obama said. “It’s a colloquialism, something my grandmother used to say back in Kansas. And anyway I didn’t even know until today that Sen. McCain suffered from this condition.”

“John McCain was a POW,” Davis reminded reporters. “Leave John McCain aloooooooooone!”

Asked if he would have chosen his words more carefully had he known about his opponent’s condition, Obama shrugged. “Depends,” he said.

This prompted further demands for an apology …

* * *

Isn’t that beluga whale adorable?

Gov. Palin hates beluga whales.


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  • Trixie Belden

    Shaenon @ 8:31
    That was a damn fine analysis! Anyone who reads the Left Behind posts on this blog will know that the RTCs who believe in those books have what you might call a covertly hostile attitude towards women. I would have thought that the idea of a woman having authority over then would produce an extreme reaction of repugnance. Their sudden acceptance of Palin was making my head spin but when I read your analysis their acceptance of her made sense. I think the big difference in age between McCain and Palin also fits into the narrative. She’s young enough, almost, to be his daughter. So rather than being two politicians working together, she’s under his authority; or, if you wanted to use the creepy phrase that’s popular among some ultra-conservative, purity-ball attending types, she is under his “covering”. (Don’t any or these supposedly down-to-earth, fundamentalist types ever work with livestock? Don’t any of them know what the term “cover” means, and has meant for hundreds of years in that context? Don’t they understand how strange it sounds when you use it to describe father/daughter, or really any kind of man/woman relationship? Do they even care?)
    Probably most of the people Shaenon describes believe that God wouldn’t let anything happen to McCain, so she won’t have any real authority anyway. And if God did let something happen to McCain, they reason, such an obedient daughter would be very easy for the other men around her to control.

  • Tonio

    which we might call “church” and “state”, must be kept…oh…what’s that word, where you keep things apart? Se…uh…sepia?
    heh…Obviously by invoking that concept, they’re avoiding any examination of the doctrine’s morality on its own. But they could hypothetically turn the issue around and accuse critics of NOT favoring separation in this case. My response is that the doctrine is reprehensible in human terms, and claiming that it’s internal church policy is no excuse. Is that a sufficient response?

  • Amaryllis

    I can’t remember which thread was discussing the regional differences in personality types, so I’ll throw this in here: The Psychological Geography of the United States, developed by Cambridge researcher Jason Rentfrew.
    Researchers used the results from more than half a million online surveys to create a “personality map” of the United States, showing that different types of people are more likely to live and flourish in different parts of the country…The research team found “striking” wider geographical trends, such as a national “stress belt” dividing the more anxious and impulsive eastern USA from the comparatively relaxed west.
    See, it’s not just us! It’s science! Or, as Jean Marbella of the Baltimore Sun puts it, like horoscopes with science! New Yorkers really are neurotic, Mid-westerners really are friendly, and Alaskans, well, at least they score near last in neuroticism as well as in agreeableness.
    (Maryland came in dead last, 51st, in “extroversion,” which is no surprise to me: “can’t we just email?”)

  • cjmr

    (Maryland came in dead last, 51st, in “extroversion,” which is no surprise to me: “can’t we just email?”)
    I guess that means I’m finally living in the right state…

  • Caravelle

    On the personality map : I read in the Guardian that scientists had made such a “happiness map” of the UK, which all the media had reported and agonized over (“What is it about Edinburgh that makes it the most unhappy city in the UK ?”, etc), failing to notice that the study itself said the results weren’t statistically significant.
    Until I see the study I’ll suspect something similar here…

  • Jeff

    The movement my Dad mentioned in California (1994?) was decidely anti-enviorment, and wouldn’t have chosen the name “Ecotopia”.
    I wasn’t saying the group I remembered was the same as the group you mentioned. I can’t find a wiki reference to the one I remember, but the book “Nine Nations” has Ecotopia as one of the “American Nations”.
    SoCal sends tax money north, NoCal sends water south… neither can survive without what the other has.
    I think NoCal could survive quite a bit better without SoCal’s taxes than SoCal could without NoCal’s water. For one thing, we they (I still self-identify more as a NoCal) could sell the water for a LOT more than they’re getting for it now.

  • ali

    I do’nt have a link to it, but there was a mayor who was talking about South Florida seceding from the rest of Florida since the majority of the population lives there, but their needs aren’t taken into consideration, or something.
    I know that for a long time people wanted to move the capital to somewhere in Central Florida since the Big Bend area is so far from where most of the money is.

  • VandanaShiva

    The movement my Dad mentioned in California (1994?) was decidely anti-enviorment, and wouldn’t have chosen the name “Ecotopia”.
    Exactly. Ecotopia is actually a work of fiction, if I remember correctly. Any attempts of translating it into reality however have been attacked by the same State of Jefferson people (who are very much still around and working together with the psycho-fascist “Watchmen of the Walls” and other anti-gay groups to pass Prop 4, which would put a moritorium on gay marriage in California again (although it wouldn’t work retroactively like other propositions, so my parents would still be legally married).
    As for Southern California not letting Northern California go, it’s a matter of balance: SoCal sends tax money north, NoCal sends water south… neither can survive without what the other has.
    It’s a bit more complicated than that naturally. SF functions as a wealthy tax-producing region, admittedly smaller than LA, but still there. The idea I got from the ecotopia suggestion, however, is that the revenues of LA would be replaced with the revenues of cleaner industries in SF and Portland and other metropolitan bubbles of the Northwest. After all, SoCal is importing almost as much water from Arizona as it is from NorCal (by the by, saying NoCal as opposed to NorCal will get you trouble where I grew up), so NorCal isn’t as necessary as it often imagines itself to SoCal’s prosperity. Sure, water prices will go up because of interstate tariffs or similar problems, but they won’t skyrocket as if there’s no more water flowing in.
    In away, the idea was to hold SoCal hostage for water, of course, but the authors of the book were smart enough to know that it wouldn’t be successful on it’s own, and SoCal stayed with the US and actually convinced Ecotopia to come back because every one ended up suffering environmentally, not economically, though.