embiggen by clicking
I took Chase Rainbow on June 14, 2016 at 03:37PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 14, 2016 at 10:08PM
embiggen by clicking
I took Chase Rainbow on June 14, 2016 at 03:37PM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on June 14, 2016 at 10:08PM
You’ve probably heard about Kim Davis, an elected official in KY who has unilaterally claimed the extra right to decide which biblical injunctions people should follow, based on her interpretation of particular verses, and not others. Note that Kim Davis swore an oath to her god to uphold the Constitution, the same document that does not mention God. In other words, she is sinning when she breaks her oath.
As Noah Feldman puts it:
Whom you swear the oath by is different from what you swear to do. Officials in the U.S. definitively don’t swear to uphold God’s law. They swear to uphold the Constitution, which never mentions God at all. And they swear to uphold laws enacted under the Constitution — which means laws that are in compliance with the establishment clause that prohibits any established or official religion.
That’s the main reason the framers didn’t include God in the oath of office. It would’ve contradicted the proposition in the Constitution that said no religious test would ever be required to hold office under the Constitution.
But by saying she won’t issue the marriage licenses while serving in office, Davis is also, if I may humbly say so, committing a sin: violating an oath she made before God to uphold the Constitution and laws of the U.S. The Constitution requires her to issue licenses for gay couples. Every moment she disobeys the Constitution, she is violating her oath. The Bible doesn’t look kindly on oath-breaking. The only way for her to emerge from the state of sin is to resign.
(click here to continue reading What the Oath of Office Means to a Kentucky Clerk – Bloomberg View.)
and as Andy Ostroy writes in his open letter to Kim Davis:
You have no inalienable rights here under the United States Constitution. In fact, the Constitution protects the very people you are discriminating against, not you. The Supreme Court has affirmed that fact, despite your ignorance, intolerance and ill-advised protestations.
We have laws in America which we all must abide by. We can’t arbitrarily decide which laws to follow and which ones to ignore. That’s called chaos. Let me ask you this, Kim: in a country founded on the principle of separation of church and state and religious pluralism, would any of the following situations be acceptable to you?:
-can an Orthodox Jew refuse to issue marriage licenses to reform and conservative Jews because, according to his religious belief, these are not “real Jews?”
-can a radical Mormon insist on issuing licenses to polygamists?
-can a devout Catholic county clerk refuse to issue you a marriage license after your next (4th) divorce because he believes that marriage is sacred and considers you a sinner?
-can an Atheist refuse to issue licenses to Christians because her religious belief is that organized religion is the root of all evil?
These situations are as absurdly unconstitutional as your attempt to deny gays their legal right to marry because of your personal religious beliefs. The irony is, as a thrice divorced “traditional marriage” proponent, you have degraded this institution more than any gay couple likely ever will. No one’s stood in the way of your choice to marry four times. How dare you prevent others from marrying?
(click here to continue reading An Open Letter to Kim Davis | Andy Ostroy.)
Don’t Ask Me To Believe In Too Many Things
More troubling to me than Christian Taliban like Ms. Davis are the candidates for the GOP nomination who gnash their teeth at the US Constitution, and who would rather have their Evangelical Law supersede the American government. A variant of Sharia Law, but one that elevates right wing Christian precepts and theology above established jurisprudence. These radicals should lose their citizenship and be deported. Bomb throwers like Ted “Calgary” Cruz:
Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny,” [Ted Cruz] said. “Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. . . . I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally.”
Tyranny? Our system of government gives the Supreme Court final say over constitutional matters, and, though Cruz doesn’t like it, the court ordered states to recognize same-sex marriages. In fact, the high court specifically declined to give relief to Davis, and the federal judge who ordered her jailed for contempt of court is a George W. Bush appointee and son of a former Republican senator.
Now Cruz, who took an oath of office to “support and defend the Constitution,” wants people to defy the Supreme Court’s authority? Who is the lawless one?
Cruz isn’t the only Republican candidate seeking the nation’s highest office while encouraging people to ignore its laws. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, declared: “I thank God for Kim Davis, and I hope more Americans will stand with her.”
(click here to continue reading Lawbreaker Kim Davis and the lawless Ted Cruz – The Washington Post.)
These morons should be banned from running for president, at least under the auspices of a major party. Let them run as an independent on the Destroy the United States and All It Stands For Party. Hmm, maybe they already are…
These morons too:
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, too, supported Davis, and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) called her jailing “absurd” and said stands such as Davis’s are “an important part of the American way.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said that “you have the freedom to practice religious beliefs out there. It’s a fundamental right.”
Our system of government allows for freedom of speech, mostly, and freedom of religion, mostly, but if you are an official of the government, you have a clear obligation to support the system itself. You’ve taken an oath, remember?
Here is the oath Kim Davis took:
“I, ….., do swear that I will well and truly discharge the duties of the office of ………….. County Circuit Court clerk, according to the best of my skill and judgment, making the due entries and records of all orders, judgments, decrees, opinions and proceedings of the court, and carefully filing and preserving in my office all books and papers which come to my possession by virtue of my office; and that I will not knowingly or willingly commit any malfeasance of office, and will faithfully execute the duties of my office without favor, affection or partiality, so help me God.”
and here is the Senator’s oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
(click here to continue reading 5 Briefing on Oath of Office.)
Sounds to me like Senator Cruz and his craven pals are breaking this oath, and thus should be impeached themselves, and barred from running for public office in the future…
Will it happen in my lifetime? Possibly, but we still haven’t had a woman president yet, so much of America is reactionary to change. Maureen Dowd asks a few people willing to return her calls if we are ready for such a thing. Even though we probably already have…
Others feel we’re not ready for a gay president, citing the fear and loathing unleashed by the election of the first black president. “Can you imagine how much a gay president would have to overcompensate to please the macho ninnies who control our national debate?” Bill Maher told me. “Women like Hillary have to do it, Obama had to do it because he’s black and liberal, but a gay president? He’d have to nuke something the first week.”
I called Barney Frank, assuming the gay pioneer would be optimistic. He wasn’t. “It’s one thing to have a gay person in the abstract,” he said. “It’s another to see that person as part of a living, breathing couple. How would a gay presidential candidate have a celebratory kiss with his partner after winning the New Hampshire primary? The sight of two women kissing has not been as distressful to people as the sight of two men kissing.”
Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, he added, “it’s not clear that a gay president could use federal funds to buy his husband dinner. Would his partner have to pay rent in the White House? There would be no Secret Service protection for the paramour.”
Frank noted that we’ve “clearly had one gay president already, James Buchanan. If I had to pick one, it wouldn’t be him.” (The Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan aims higher, citing Abe Lincoln, who sometimes bundled with his military bodyguard in bed when his wife was away.)1
Frank said that although most Republicans now acknowledge that sexual orientation is not a choice, they still can’t handle their pols’ coming out. “There are Republicans here who are gay,” he said of Congress, “but as long as they don’t acknowledge it, it’s O.K. Republicans only tolerate you being gay as long as you don’t seem proud of it. You’ve got to be apologetic.”
(click to continue reading A Gay Commander in Chief – Ready or Not? – NYTimes.com.)
James Buchanan gay? Hmm, interesting. James Loewen’s book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong , includes discussion of this possibility:
In life, Buchanan was not very far in the closet. For many years in Washington, he lived with William Rufus King, Senator from Alabama. The two men were inseparable; wags referred to them as “the Siamese twins.” Andrew Jackson dubbed King “Miss Nancy,” and Aaron Brown, a prominent Democrat, writing to Mrs. James K. Polk, referred to him as Buchanan’s “better half,” “his wife,” and “Aunt Fancy … rigged out in her best clothes.” When in 1844 King was appointed minister to France, he wrote Buchanan, “I am selfish enough to hope you will not be able to procure an associate who will cause you to feel no regret at our separation.” On May 13, Buchanan wrote to a Mrs. Roosevelt about his social life:
I am now “solitary and alone,” having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection. King and Buchanan’s relationship, though interrupted from time to time by their foreign service, ended only with King’s death in 1853. While Buchanan was born and raised in Pennsylvania, William Rufus King was a Southern slaveholder. Buchanan’s pro-slavery politics may have stemmed in part from their 23-year connection. Buchanan certainly thought highly of King: “He is among the best, purest, and most consistent public men I have ever known, and is also a sound judging and discreet fellow,” as well as a “very gay, elegant looking fellow.”
(click to continue reading TomPaine.com – Archives – The Other Buchanan Controversy.)
And James Loewen adds:
The preponderance of the evidence clearly shows that James Buchanan had a long-term homosexual relationship with William Rufus King. Historians or sociologists are allowed to go with “a preponderance of the evidence,” since we are not convicting anyone of a crime in a court of law. The evidence that President Buchanan was heterosexual, most of which was marshaled by the staff at his house, is thin indeed. He might of course have been asexual, but that’s tricky to prove, since absence of evidence (of sexuality in this case) is not evidence of absence.
The statements quoted above, and some others by Buchanan and by King, are surely as persuasive as we are likely to get for anyone in the period. As well, they help explain Buchanan’s position on the #1 problem of the day, slavery and related issues, such as its extension into Kansas and fugitive slave law enforcement. Otherwise, Buchanan’s position is harder to understand, being abhorrent to his Mennonite, Quaker, and even many Democrat neighbors.
In 2005, Richard Brookhiser of the New York Times reviewed C.A. Tripp’s book, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln :
In 1831, when he was 22, Lincoln moved to New Salem, an Illinois frontier town, where he met Billy Greene. Greene coached Lincoln in grammar and shared a narrow bed with him. ”When one turned over the other had to do likewise,” Greene told Herndon. Bed-sharing was common enough in raw settlements, but Greene also had vivid memories of Lincoln’s physique: ”His thighs were as perfect as a human being could be.” Everyone saw that Lincoln was tall and strong, but this seems rather gushing.
Six years later, Lincoln moved to Springfield, where he met Joshua Speed, who became a close friend; John G. Nicolay and John Hay, two early biographers, called him ”the only — as he was certainly the last — intimate friend that Lincoln ever had.” Lincoln and Speed shared a double bed in Speed’s store for four years (for two of those years, two other young men shared the room, though not the bed). More important than the sleeping arrangements was the tone of their friendship. Lincoln’s letters to Speed before and after Speed’s wedding in 1842 are as fretful as those of a general before a dubious engagement. Several of them are signed ”Yours forever.”
By contrast, Lincoln’s relations with women are either problematic or distant. Ann Rutledge was the daughter of a New Salem tavernkeeper with whom Lincoln boarded in 1832. Three years later she died of malaria and typhoid. Lincoln biographers have been feuding for decades over whether Lincoln loved her. Tripp, naturally, sides with the skeptics. He concedes that Lincoln was devastated by her death, but argues that it was death itself that distressed him.
Tripp highlights two relations with men from Lincoln’s presidency. Col. Elmer Ellsworth was a flashy young drillmaster, ”the greatest little man I ever met,” as Lincoln put it. Lincoln recruited him to his Springfield law office, made him part of his presidential campaign and gave him a high military post as war loomed. A few weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter, Ellsworth was killed hauling a rebel flag down from a hotel in Alexandria, Va. Lincoln was shattered.
For nearly eight months in 1862-3, Capt. David Derickson led the brigade that guarded Lincoln at the Soldiers’ Home in the District of Columbia, the Camp David of the day. Derickson, in the words of his regiment’s history, published three decades later, ”advanced so far in the president’s confidence and esteem that in Mrs. Lincoln’s absence he frequently spent the night at his cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and — it is said — making use of his Excellency’s night shirt!”
(click to continue reading Was Lincoln Gay? – NYTimes.com.)Footnotes: