Friday, June 08, 2007


I always love it when a story begins, "a friend of a friend told me ..."
I love it, but I seldom put much stock in it. So, weigh this one accordingly.
An acquaintance of a friend of a friend of mine (is that distant enough) is, so I'm told, a policy advisor at the White House. Said acquaintance (of friend of friend) says, so I'm told by one who was told, there's a 60 percent probability that the President will authorize strikes at Iran. I'm not sure whether that means opinion inside the White House is 60-40 in favor of an attack on Iran or if it's just the early betting line.
Either way, the story got me thinking again about why holding the current administration accountable is crucial. Whatever the chance that they will attack Iran, it surely seems less likely to happen if they are held accountable for what they've already done in Iraq.
Not only that, but whoever succeeds them will be less likely to engage in imperial actions if the current occupant's imperial ambitions are restrained by the quaint provisions of the Constitution. (And, no, I don't trust a Democrat with unrestrained power any more than I trust a Republican. If Lord Acton doesn't convince, perhaps the lectionary psalm for the week -- 146 -- serves as a good reminder there.)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Don't Stop Beating the Dead Horse

I've heard from a number of folks -- mostly off-line -- concerning my tilting at the windmill of impeachment, and the basic tenor of could be summed up as, "why bother, it will all be over soon." If I believed that the next election would end the nightmare born throughout the Bush years I'd probably agree, but the mere end of this administration will not likely constitute even a small undoing of the damage of the past six and a half years. Novelist Jane Smiley, responding to a New York Times editorial, underscores the long-term damage done:
When those in power exercise it in an unjust manner, they destroy the sense of trust that average citizens have in their own government and their own society and they open the society to the return of revenge as a sentiment and as an act. American history is replete with examples of how long it has taken and how difficult it has been for us as a nation to escape vengeance as a social mechanism–Kansas and Missouri, vigilantes and lynching, gangs and outlaws. Cheney’s specific crimes are reason enough for the New York Times to take impeachment seriously, but his larger crime against the nation has been to roll back the clock and infuse people like me, liberals like me (whom we all know are wimps, right?) with vengeful sentiments and fantasies. We have the crimes, then we have the arrogance–since the 2000 election, Cheney has been adding insult to injury, here and in Iraq. The combination is a potent one–the injuries damage our lives; the insults make us mad (both angry and crazy). The antidote is the exercise of laws, such as Kucinich’s articles of impeachment. I have news for the New York Times–if you assume that this is all going to pass away with another election season, you are dangerously wrong.

Still on the Straight and Narrow

When Southern Baptist leader Albert Mohler said that there is a biological basis for same-sex attraction he set off a bit of a firestorm in evangelical circles (see a Time magazine story). For conservatives who have long held that homosexual behavior is a sin -- in other words, a moral choice -- the suggestion that such behavior is grounded in basic human biology causes some consternation. On the one hand, some evangelicals have suggested a kind of genetic "reparative therapy" that brings to mind Nazi eugenics. On the other, some have simply held on to traditional conservative perspectives on the issue. Some have offered a twist on the old line by noting that human behavior is not reducible to genetic determinism, and note the moral dimension involved in choosing not to engage in heterosexaul sexual behavior outside of marriage.
I don't know which way this emerging dimension will move the overall debate. I do know that I'll join the MLP contigent at the Capital Pride parade this Saturday and continue to insist that, no matter its basis in nature, nurture or choice, same-sex sexuality is part of God's good provision for a wonderfully diverse creation. My kids will be there too, because, as for me and my household, we'll serve the God of love and justice.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Get Shorty

OK, I've been on vacation of late and wonderfully disconnected from the e-world. Sabbath time is in such short supply for all of us these days. I have pondered it a bit of late and will share those ponderings down the road, but for now let me just note that Sabbath time may make you crazy. How else can one explain this picture of the newest member of our household -- yet another four-legged beasty? Could it be all of those big brown eyes? I am such a sucker for big brown eyes. So now we have Shorty, a third dog for the pack. One per child. Oy.