Thursday, January 08, 2004

On Political Annoyance

I continue to be annoyed by Dr Dean.

I am aware that annoyance is a luxury we may not be able to afford.

But is it too late to start a draft Barney Frank movement ? He's got scads of federal experience, has been resolutely anti-war, plus he's a hell of an amusing and articulate guy. We could use a hell of an articulate and amusing guy after what we've been through with W., who is the antithesis of that.

But back to Dr Dean and annoying. I admit that I would prefer four years of annoyance over four more years of being infuriated, outraged, ashamed, horrified, disgusted and exasperated (n.b. I have left out a lot of adjectives here).

Dean's begun to talk about his faith. He's a Congregationalist. Was Episcopalian until his church opposed a bike path through its property.

Dr Dean goes to great lengths to explain the theology behind his support for civil unions in Vermont. I would not argue with him on this, although I think his stated analysis is pretty inane: "From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people." I don't particularly like his image -- a specifically male deity who "thinks" and is a hands-on type creator. One wonders whether he's tailoring his vocabulary to reach a fundamentalist sector of the electorate. Am I wrong to find his new excursion into the vocabulary of "faith" to reek of vote pandering ?

I do like his comment that "the hallmark of being a Christian is to reach out to people who have been left behind" -- something that the ever-pious Mr Bush seems to have overlooked in his public displays of Christian sanctimony. I can never get my fill of highlighting Bushian religious hypocrisy.

What I would like to ask Dr Dean is this: Given your positive theological analysis of this issue, why NOT support gay "marriage" ? Just SAY the M word Dr Dean ! I notice that, in the interview upon which the Globe article was based, our ever-milquetoasting press neglected to ask him this all-too pertinent follow-up question.

I know. It's politics. In a country that's reading rightwing Christian fantasy diet books It's a press that, when it's not asleep at the wheel, is being a house organ for the icky status quo. One has to give Dean credit for the distance he does go. But still.

Perhaps my pique was fueled by a companion article in the Globe today about Massachusetts' loathsome anti-gay marriage crusader, Ron Crews, and his fundamentalist coalition, who are apparantly launching an effort to codify faith-based homophobia into the Massachusetts Constitution.

Is neo-Phelpsian a word ?

No comments: