Salmonella impeachment, gay marriage & more

It’s now official, CNN’s Lou Dobbs has become that network’s Keith Olbermann.

Lou Dobbs: Bush Should Be Impeached for Salmonella Outbreak

There’s really nothing to say. Dobbs wonders if there is “any sense of embarrassment” in the Bush administration. I might ask the same of the mainstream media. I mean, honestly…are we supposed to believe there were never salmonella outbreaks before President Bush took office? This is beyond parody.

Meanwhile, try as they might, congress – in its desperate attempt to find some reason to justify impeaching the president (hey, it’s more fun than trying to work on our energy crisis) – just couldn’t get Scott McClellan to take the step further and say that he knew (or even suspected) that President Bush sanctioned or was aware of that time when Richard Armitage outted Valerie Plame

By the way, the Reuters article about McClellan not implicating Bush does NOT EVER MENTION that Richard Armitage outted Valerie Plame. So if you did not already know, perhaps by osmosis, that Richard Armitage outted Valerie Plame, you would not learn that information from the mainstream media, today.

A while back, I suggested
that the best, healthiest and most “tolerant” way for gay marriage proponents and the churches to live together would be if the state took over the business of legalizing marriage, while the churches were left to the business of sacraments and doctrines.

Bottom line: the churches manage to perform funeral rites without signing the death certificates; they should consider performing the marriage rites without signing the licenses, thus distancing themselves from co-operative functions with the government which may open them up to lawsuits originating from and arguing a strictly secularist position.

I wrote elsewhere:

A civil union is a mere legality. It can be defined any way the state wishes, but it leaves the church out of the question of who may “legally” be married and protects her ability to bestow sacraments and practice the faith free from “discrimination” lawsuits and the inevitable punitive damages that can materially destroy her.

Depending on how the courts go, we could conceivably see this issue coming up in a lot of states, and then there will be a press for federal recognition of gay marriage. If the church does not take steps to protect herself now, by advocating this sort of separation of duties and intents, she will be spending a lot of time and money (and losing tax-free status, of course) fighting for the right to practice the faith without government interference.

In a truly “tolerant” society, churches should not be compelled to act against their own standards. But “tolerance” seems to be getting re-defined, lately as a one-way street, as this writer, Patrick McIlheran, explains (H/T Li’l Bro Thom):

The practical effect is that religions are increasingly stopped from behaving as if they believed that homosexual relationships were wrong. Believers can believe; they just can’t let that belief govern their actions if it in any way impairs what is a new right to have one’s homosexual relationship affirmed by the implicit social approval that comes with marriage. Under this new calculus, so much as merely declining to shoot pictures for pay amounts to an unacceptable “hatred.”

And religions thus find themselves the target of the self-righteous preening of opinion-page thugs who make mendacious comparisons to interracial marriage (something both biologically different and something never theologically condemned on anything like the scale as homosexual unions), as if to suggest that the world’s religions are on a moral plane with racists.

Marc D Stern of the American Jewish Congress cites numerous examples of churches seeing their rights suppressed in the interest in protecting other’s rights:

* Catholic Charities in Boston and San Francisco ended adoption services altogether rather than be compelled by anti-discrimination laws to place children with same-sex couples. In the Boston case, Catholic Charities was prepared to refer same-sex couples seeking to adopt to other providers, but that was not sufficient.

* A Lutheran school in Riverside County was sued in 2005 under California’s Unruh Act (which forbids discrimination by businesses) for expelling two students who allegedly were having a lesbian relationship, in contravention of the religious views of the school. The case was thrown out in Superior Court in January, but the students have appealed.

* Public school officials in Poway, Calif., so far have successfully barred students from wearing T-shirts that register their opposition to homosexuality on campus. One lawsuit made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court before being dismissed (as moot, because the students had graduated), but another federal lawsuit is pending.

In each of these cases, and other similar ones, the government has acted in some way to forbid gays and lesbians from being demeaned. But allowing same-sex couples to force religious individuals or organizations to act out of accord with their faith is not cost-free either. Their dignity is no less affected. Unless claims rooted in equal protection under the law are to sweep away claims rooted in freedom of religion, a more sensitive balancing approach is essential.

This seems to be of a piece with the growing hostility toward religion which David Bernstein notes here.

Look, logic tells you that there is NO REASON why churches, – who would, in the interests of their own credibility wish to continue believing what they have always believed and taught under the freedoms provided to them under the constitution – should be tarred with the smearing brush of “hate” and subsequently made to suffer suppression due to what is (boiled down to its basics) simply a difference of perspective. Seems to me if it is “hateful” to simply practice your faith, then it is also “hateful” to tell people that they must think as you think, or suffer the consequences.

Why is it that when people are looking for their own rights, they somehow – in making their arguments – forget that others have rights, too? Again, it’s the question of being consistent. If winning a “right” is a good thing, isn’t sustaining a right also a good thing?

Well, we’ll see where this all leads. I’m an optimist, and I keep hoping for consistency, that the folks preaching “tolerance” will enlarge their views a little, but I don’t hold out much hope. That would involve, among other things, intellectual honesty and, truthfully, some critical thinking, which we’re short on these days.

Perhaps this is how we got here.

Ed Morrissey has more on Scott McClellan’s testimony today.

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