Today marks the start of voting in the Iowa Caucus, a crucial stage in the great and bloody pageant that is our Democratic process. And while the tallied results will doubtlessly dominate the news over the next days (until the New Hampshire caucus steals the spotlight) it should be remembered that, while important, the results are far from deterministic. Plenty of presidential hopefuls have won here only to ultimately lose the nomination. All of which is to simply say that we will not (I repeat, not) be making any foolhardy attempts at predicting the outcome here.
That’s not our job.
What we will be doing is- now that the dust has finally started to settle- is count up the casualties and figure out what the numbers say about us.
The Head & The Heartless
As of the writing of this post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders are neck and neck for the hearts and minds of their devotees in the Hawkeye state. And that alone should be of note, seeing as how a year ago Hillary’s nomination was being treated as a given, with some even dubbing the primaries more of a “coronation” than a contest.
Which is probably less pleasing to some than others…
Why It’s A Good Thing:
Look, it’s no secret that yours truly is an avowed Leftist. And as such, I’m still not entirely certain what to make of Bernie Sanders. Part of me, of course, wants to like the guy. I do want to see Universal Healthcare, free higher education, drug legalization, and the like. I don’t want the massive, bloated, intrusive pseudo-socialism of Scandinavia. There’s a lot that goes into it, and maybe we can explore that another time, but for the here and now, I’m just happy that it’s a conversation we can even have.
If you had told me, just a couple years ago, that a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist would have a significant chance at a major nomination and the presidency, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here we are, and for better or ill, we’re the people that have to deal with that. The issues of the working class, of income inequality, of the failures of run-of-the-mill liberalism- these have all found their way to the forefront of our national dialogue and they cannot be dismissed. Even if Sanders fails to clinch the nomination (and that’s still very up in the air), his supporters and sympathizers will certainly not go quietly into the night. From here on out the Democrats (and ostensibly, any major candidate) are going to have to address the increasingly vocal demands for a more equal society.
That, and I love that the eternally smug former Secretary-o’-State is being forced to actually work for this nomination.
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Posted in America, government, news, politics
Tagged Bernie Sanders, bigotry, Caucus, conservative, Donald Trump, gay marriage, Hilary Clinton, Iowa, left, Nomination, quote, racism, religious, Republican Party, right, Scandinavia, socialism, Ted Cruz, welfare state, Xenophobia
EDITOR’S NOTE: We end this year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in. Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2015 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.
Somewhere in our collective history someone decided to depict God as a bearded, old human, dwelling in the clouds above. The trend caught on and has been going strong for the past couple millennia. As ubiquitous as this portrayal of the almighty has become, we argue that this imagery is the root of some of the worst theology (and art, music, and video) out there today, and how problematic it’s become for both the believer and non-believer alike.
Few images have so perfectly captured the abject and hellish misery of war than this year’s photograph of the body of Aylan Kurdi- only 3 years old. A would-be refugee from the ongoing conflict in Syria, Aylan and his brother drowned after an overcrowded boat capsized during a desperate attempt to reach Europe. The photograph evokes the deepest feelings of sadness for the dead and sympathy for the living- but crucially missing from the emotional equation is anger. Read on to discover why pity for refugees simply doesn’t cut it. Continue reading →
Posted in America, bizarreness, blog news, Christianity, internet, lgbt, morality, news, politics
Tagged 2015, America, Christianity, Culture Wars, dead children, death penalty, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, gay marriage, God, in review, Jesus Christ, Portrayal, refugees, unisex bathrooms
When I was last dating a man, I talked long and loud about my queerness. I objectified female celebrities with the gusto of a barely post-pubescent male; I loudly debated the finer plot points of such luminous queer media as MTV’s Faking It; I was here and I was queer and I was proud, and god forbid anyone think I was straight, just because I was dating a man. I was all too familiar with that sort of misconception, but in reverse: when I had dated a woman for the first time, in my last year of high school, we had done that most high school of things and changed our relationship status on Facebook. This led a group of people – people who had known me over the course of multiple years and witnessed many ridiculously dramatic and public instances of romantic interest in men – asking me over and over again if I was a “lesbian, now”.
Being tacitly bisexual is a constant parade of those sorts of questions (as is being openly bisexual, unfortunately, but to a lesser extent). My unwillingness to announce my sexuality to everyone I met meant that when I was dating a woman, people assumed I was a lesbian, and when I was dating a man, people assumed I was straight.
And I was tired of it. I was tired of desperately trying to flip my self-presentation every time I was in a relationship, tired of worrying if I was queer enough, not to mention whether I seemed queer enough. Those worries became even more present when I became the co-editor in chief of my college’s only LGBTQ+ campus publication. How could I position myself as a leader in the queer community when I was in an ostensibly heterosexual relationship? Would anyone take me seriously as a queer advocate and writer if I happened to be dating a man come publishing time? Continue reading →
Posted in Guest Post, lgbt, relationships
Tagged bisexual, bisexuality, cis, death, discrimination, Faking It, gay marriage, gender identity, harassment, homophobia, intersectionality, Kristin Stewart, legal, lgbt, LGBTQ+, murder, murdered, National Coming Out Day, protected, queer, race, racism, risk, safety, trans, transphobia, white
As you already know, June 26th saw the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges- an agonizingly boring name for what was one of the most momentous decisions in American legal history.
Effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the ruling was met by many Americans with resounding applause and celebration that often seemed to border on being downright aggressive.
But we’re not here to talk about that. Nor are we here to talk about the outcries and horror and disgust from the ever-dwindling minority of marriage equality opponents. At least- not the nutjobs.
The pastor who promised to set himself on fire if the ruling was made (though he swiftly retracted that oath), the folks claiming that gays cause hurricanes, the ones who hold up picket signs reading “God hates Fags!”-
-these are not the people I want to talk about.
I’m referring to the non-crazy (but by no means less angry) rank and file of the opposition here. Your conservative uncle. Your Wesleyan Aunt. Folks who’d never shriek obscenities, or claim the impending wrath of God, but who’d still shake their heads sadly and call this ruling a “tragedy” or “evidence of our culture’s moral free-fall”.
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Posted in America, Christianity, environmentalism, family, government, internet, lgbt, morality, news, politics, religion
Tagged Christian, Christianity, Christians, church, envinromentalism, Facebook, gay, gay marriage, homosexuality, least of your brothers, obergefell v hodges, persecution, poor, poverty, Public Religion Research Institute, reactions, refugees, same sex marriage, SCOTUS, slavery, status, Supreme Court, USA, verses, western, widows and orphas
The past two decades has not been kind to American Christians.
In spite of the Bush presidency, largely supported by Evangelicals, the former administration’s efforts were focused on the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than at home. In 2000 only a single state recognized same-sex marriage. Today only 12 states do not, and gay rights have rapidly moved from a fringe issue to a widely accepted stance. Support for Roe V. Wade has seen a slow but steady increase, and belief in evolution has seen similar growth- even among conservatives.
With these defeats, it would be understandable if conservative Christians claim that their once mighty “Shining city upon a hill” has fallen into disarray, with the forces of secularism closing in for the final siege.
Enter Dr. Ben Carson, 2016 presidential hopeful, and, to hear many talk, one pale horse shy of the second coming.
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Posted in America, Christianity, Evolution, government, lgbt, morality, news, politics, religion
Tagged 2016, abortion, Ben Carson, bestiality, candidate, Christian, Christianity, church, conservative, Culture War, Detroit, Dr. Carson, Evangelical, Evangelicals, evolution, gay marriage, GOP, interview, Iraq, Jesus, national prayer breakfast, National Review, obamacare, orphans, palestine, palestinian, pedophilia, politics, poverty, Presidental Race, prison, Prosperity Gospel, republican, same sex marriage, widows, Zondervan
We don’t debate nearly as much as we should on what a Socialist society would look like, but if I had to guess, it’d probably be pretty similar to the administration of Jose Mujica.
Uruguay’s current leader has been dubbed by some as “the world’s poorest president”. Swiftly gaining acclaim as news of his actions and lifestyle spread across the internet, Mujica has been joined the all-too-small ranks of “honorable politicians”, perhaps filling the void left by the death of Nelson Mandela in December of last year.
In a world where poverty, inequality, and economic injustice are increasingly recognized, Mujica stands out for his shocking rejection of the pomp and circumstance that accompany power. Mujica drives a beat-up Volkswagon Beetle, and lives with his wife on a chrysanthemum farm on the outskirts of the capitol with their three-legged dog, Manuela. Living off of 12,000 dollars, and donating 90% of his presidential salary to charity, it sounds almost more like the setting for a political fairy tale than a reality.
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Posted in America, Economy, Fame Day, government, lgbt, money, morality, news, politics
Tagged Areco, car, charity, chrysanthemum, Civic-Military, Communist, farm, gay marriage, gitmo, humility, Jose Mujica, justice, mandela, manuela, marijuana, Marxist, Mujica, neck tie, Nelson Mandela, Obama, poverty, socialist, tie, Tupamaros, Tupamaros National Liberation Movement, uruguay, Volkswagen