Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sign of the Times

It has always been the height of ignorance to me to hear the Christian Right claim that gay marriage damages traditional marriage between a man and a woman. This sign photographed at an Episcopal Chruch says it all.

Those who think that all Christians share the beliefs of the Christian Right should pay particular attention to the photograph. The Episcopal Church is just one of  many Christian denominations that put their emphasis on the love of God and don't get caught up in trying to play God by deciding for themselves who the sinners are.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Corruption of Political Correctness

Have you noticed how many television programs are touching on subjects other than heterosexual sexuality lately? It started out as a trickle, and it is becoming a torrent. I suppose it is, more than anything else, a manifestation of the ultra liberal television and film industry's concern over and support for liberal causes.

That does not mean I don't think the public airing of programs dealing with alternative sexuality is a bad thing. I don't think that at all. We have become a nation which no longer reads. More and more our values are shaped by the social media. God knows there is more than enough crap scattered throughout the social media and the entertainment industry. I think it is great that they can do at least a few worthwhile services by promoting new view of homosexuality.

I, for one, do not underestimate the service that was provided the country by making gay people seem
acceptable by television shows such as "Will & Grace." The show had an eight year run and it made homosexuality an acceptable topic of discussion for all members of the family from grandma right down to junior. More recently,  "Modern Family" has contributed greatly to the cause by suggesting, correctly, that homosexuality is something that touches a great number of families personally.

Some programs, such as "Major Crimes" are now beginning to get into even more controversial subjects such as transgender issues. I see that as a good thing too. The truth is that many Americans are so ill informed about such subjects that they consider homosexuality, transgender, bisexuality and pedophilia all to be part and parcel manifestations of homosexuality. A little education to the contrary can't hurt.

Recently, I mentioned to a friend that my wife and I along with my son and his family often spent time with a homosexual friend of mine and his partner. The friend asked if I was really that comfortable with my elementary school age grandchildren being exposed to such an atmosphere. I told him it fit rather well with my desire to see my grandchildren learn to accept or reject people based on their merits as individuals rather than their sexuality. My homosexual friends are good people. They have something to contribute to society; otherwise, I wouldn't call them my friends. I'm not ashamed of my friends and don't even attempt to pretend I don't have homosexual friends.

I do admit that I have concerns about the integration of homosexuality into the mainstream of American Culture. I hate to say this; but in my view, race relations in this country have actually gotten worse since Obama was elected President. Many of us hoped that Obama's political success would signal the beginning of the post-racial era in America. It hasn't happened. Antagonisms between the races have actually gotten worse. I think there are many reasons for this - not the least being Obama's own attitudes and knee jerk reactions to racial issues. He has also been altogether to quick create and use racial bias for his own benefit. He has been all to slow to hold black Americans accountable for their own welfare, preferring instead to vastly extend the Nanny State to previously unknown proportions. 

Another thing that has played a part in increasing racial tensions is the 800 pound gorilla in the room that very few are willing to acknowledge. Obama's election itself is the product of race based voting. There is no thinking adult, white or black, who honestly thinks anyone of Obama's experience level and political outlook would ever have been elected to office if such a person were white. This was even  verified during the last election when a number of black voters admitted they were disappointed in Obama, but had no choice other than to vote for the black man. Many will immediately judge me a racist based on that statement. I am not a racist. I know and could name several black men and women who would have been more qualified than Obama to be the first black president, and who undoubtedly would have better used their high office to enhance rather than degrade racial harmony.

I fear that as homosexuality becomes an open part of our society which is perceived as heterosexual, some of the same type of things will take place. We will be expected to give preferences to homosexual people because they are homosexual rather than to judge them on their personal merits.

The recent Zimmerman case illustrates well where a great deal of racism really resides in this country. Many black Americans never once stopped to entertain the idea that Martin just might have contributed something to his own death. All they saw was a dead black man and a white man who admitted killing him in self-defense. The story was completely different a few years ago when OJ savagely murdered two white people. In that case, the white establishment was just out to frame the black man though the evidence that OJ was guilty was overwhelming.

White people do not hesitate to send other white people to prison. White people do not hesitate to identify other white people as white trash. And white people do not hesitate to defend a black person against a white person when the evidence supports defense of the black person. Any honest person knows that to be true. Certainly the number of white men who are in prison for crimes against black people know it to be true.

Our racial problems will end in this country when every citizen white or black reaches the point at which they can honestly judge people by their merits rather than the color of their skin. The significant rise of the black middle and upper class in this country over the past 50 years is proof that white America is willing and able to do just that. The failure of black America to become as vocal about black on black crime as they are about white on black crime indicates black America by and large has not reached that point. The incidents of white on black crime does not come close to the number of incidents of black on black crime, but we hear little about that in the black communities and we certainly don't see Al Shapton and Jessie Jackson taking to the streets to denounce blacks for their crimes against other blacks.

I hope the same type of thing will not happen in the homosexual communities as they become more and more a part of the American mainstream. Over the last 20 years I have come to know a number of homosexual men. Some of them are among my best friends. I have even written one into my will. But there are a number of homosexual men who I wouldn't spit on if they were on fire - not because they are homosexual, but because of things in their life style that have nothing to do with their homosexuality. There are bad homosexual people. That does not mean heterosexual people thus have an excuse to hate all homosexuals. Neither does it mean heterosexuals must think kindly of all homosexual people.

Jack Scott

Monday, July 8, 2013

Decidedly Good News for Texans

It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I'm one Republican voting Texan who is overjoyed at Governor Rick Perry's announcement this afternoon that he will not be seeking another term as Texas' Governor. The only news that could have been better would have been if he had decided to step down before his current term ends in January of 2015.

I've never been a fan of the Governor. I have never once voted for him. He's always just been too slick, and I must say too transparent, for my taste. Perry comes across as a pretty shallow individual to me, and in all his years in public office that initial assessment has been confirmed over and over again. Perry was first elected to public office as a Democrat and remained a Democrat for many years. As late as 1988 he was an enthusiastic supporter of Al Gore for President of the United States. As it began to become clear that being a Democrat was not conducive to a successful political career in Texas, Perry switched parties.

I'm also turned off by Perry's use of religion to further his political career.
I suspect that religion is much more important to Perry as a means of attracting voters than anything else. I could be wrong of course, but what I am not wrong about is that Perry is doing everything he can to push his religious views down the throats of Texans who do not share them or want to share them. Perry was raised a Methodist, but as the votes of the religious right became more important to him his self reported views on religion took a definite swing to the right. In December, 2011 in the run up to his bid for the Presidency, Perry claimed he had a transformation in his views on abortion and announced that he was against abortion for any reason except, perhaps, to save the life of the mother.

Earlier in 2006, Perry had announced that he believed in the inerrancy of the Bible and that anyone who did not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior would go to Hell. He later tried to back off that position a tad when it brought heat. Perry proclaims himself to be a firm believer in "intelligent design" and has said it should be taught in Texas schools along alongside evolution.

Perry has said he thought Texas' Anti-Sodomy law was an "appropriate" law. When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it he  became an enthusiastic supporter of amending the Texas Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

In his book "On My Honor," Perry drew a parallel between homosexuality and alcoholism. He said that gays should take the same tact alcoholics take and simply abstain from gay behavior.

His latest call to require extraordinary measures for the licensing of abortion centers is a perfect example of his pandering to the religious right for votes. He and other Republicans are cloaking the measure in the guise of patient safety. The reality is they don't give a damn about patient safety. Their real goal is to make abortion so expensive that no one can meet the burden of the law and thus abortion centers will have to close in Texas. Anyone that was really as religious as Perry claims to be, would just tell the truth rather than making up a cover story for their actions.

Finally, I'm not a fan of Perry's because he has been altogether too successful financially while feeding at the public trough in Texas. Perry is, after all the son of a Texas farmer. He did graduate from Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science. He served four years in the Air Force after college and then returned home to cotton farming with his Dad. He became more and more interested in politics. He was elected to the State Legislature in 1984 as a Democrat. In 1990 he used his new status as a Republican to win the office of Agriculture Commissioner. In 1998 he ran for Lieutenant Governor and won. In 2000 he became Governor when George Bush began his preparation to be President of the United States. All this public service has been good for Perry financially. His net worth is reported to be three million dollars.

Many Texans were greatly embarrassed by Perry's performance in his run for the 2012 Presidential
nomination. His major accomplishment in that race seemed to only be successful in reinforcing the negative stereotypes many have about Texas. However a number of Texans were happy that his meager efforts ended in failure. Having him as Governor is quite enough. We don't need him as President under any circumstance.

With the Governor's announcement today, with any luck, by 2015 Perry will have had his day in the sun and will be relegated back to the ranks of private citizen. It will be a good thing for Texas. And with any luck, the American people will see nothing in his second run for the Presidency that they didn't seen in his first run and reject him again. That will be a great thing for the United States. After eight years of Obama, we'll need someone in the Presidency that can be Presidential. Perry's not that guy.

Jack Scott
Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott