Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nature and the Bible

Amongst all of the brouhaha, Dear Gentle Reader(s), surrounding the passage of Proposition 8 here in California, is an oft-repeated conflation of some scientific and Biblical concepts.

The most often used is, of course, the female-male element of procreation.  It is a scientific fact, with some few androgynous exceptions, as well as the old “male female He created them.”

Biblical fundamentalists, especially those who claim to believe in biblical inerrancy, use this biblical reference as their principal argument against allowing committed same-gender couples to call their union “marriage.”  “God made it that way.”

While it is true that “God made it that way,” is it not strange that fundies ignore the studies of nature/God which indicate that procreation is not a rampant element of life on earth; rather it is, in most cases, rigidly controlled.

Why is it that carnivores have limited birth rates?  Why is it that small herbivores and insectivores have larger litters?  Why do insects and smaller fishes have such large numbers of offspring?

Generally speaking, the large populations of smaller life forms feed the larger life forms.  Without the small rodent food supply of the Arctic, many wolves and certain birds of that region would perish.  Population control is a form of natural birth control.  Nature has put in place a very stern limit on wildlife carnivores—should they exceed that limit, starvation to the point of possible extinction is a certainty.

If one might “jump to the chase,” DGR(s), it is strange that fundies opposed to same-gender “marriage” don’t see there is a logical thread between the natural order of population control amongst wildlife species and the population control of same-gender coupling.  And that coupling could very well be part of the larger plan to help control the human population of the earth—which is certainly better than war, disease, famine, and female infanticide.

Just because the desert tribes of 4,000 years ago were concerned with ethnic cleansing, if not genocide, does not mean that we ought to take their dicta as literal law of our own.  We have the ability of 4,000 years of observation and learning.  That should give us perspective which those desert tribes would not have been capable of achieving.  Same-gender unions are generally non-reproductive, although they are certainly a stabilizing force in the society; and, as such they are a God given element of population control—and a much better one than war, famine, disease, and female infanticide.

To assert, as does a writer to the local Palm Springs newspaper:

Mistletoe, can only grow in/on trees.

It cannot grow in the earth.

Only in/on trees, Oak Trees.

Hearts of oak are our ships, and our hearts.

If mistletoe did not attach to oak trees it would cease to exist.

Oak trees, (men) mistletoe (women).

Mistletoe attaches to oak trees to survive, it cannot attach it self to other mistletoe, that is the order of things, nature's order.

Simple isn't it.

is erroneous.  Nothing in nature is simple.

Here’s loving response to fundies’ outrage, Dear Gentle Reader(s), “Same-gender marriage is a blessing from God.”

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In case you thought…

Palm Springs is all palm trees and xeriscape, this is a scene from last week’s snow fall.


Have a good Bah!Humbug! season, Dear Gentle Reader(s)!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Tiny Smile for the Season

Over at The New York Times’ email submission today, Dear Gentle Reader(s), there’s a slightly amusing teaser sentence:  “Talk radio hosts are back on offense, with some familiar names joining the airwaves as Barack Obama takes office.”  (The phrasing in the article itself--After eight years of playing defense for President Bush, the conservatives who dominate talk radio are back on offense--isn’t as much fun.)

Haven’t they always been offensive?  Isn’t that their purpose?  Why God put them on earth?  Rather like houseflies or cockroaches?

Who knew?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Andrew’s Obsession

Poor Andrew Sullivan, he just can’t let go the bile his system holds for Senator Clinton.

Here’s Sullivan’s latest silliness as it appears in a discussion about Ms Kennedy’s interest in the New York senate seat which Mrs. Clinton will be vacating upon her move to the State Department:  “Clinton got her seat because of nepotism…”

Now, Dear Gentle Reader(s), well you might wonder about that.  Sullivan got it wrong.  Mrs. Clinton ran in the Democratic primaries; she ran against a Republican who tried mightily to run on resentment of the Clintons.  Mr. Lazio’s tactic didn’t work.  Mrs. Clinton worked hard on her campaign and won the race in 2000 handily.

That is not called nepotism; it’s called hard work. 

Mrs. Clinton had name recognition, but that could well have hurt as much as it helped.  Sullivan owes the Senator an apology, but there is serious doubt it will be forthcoming.

As to whether or not Ms Kennedy (Why isn’t anyone using her married name?  Did Mary Bono-Mack start something?  Or maybe Diane Feinstein?) should be appointed to the seat, it’s probably best to take Mr. Butler’s stance.  Remember, DGR(s)?  It starts, “Frankly, my dear…”


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Sunday, December 14, 2008

“I love them like everybody else.”

Um, Dear Gentle Reader(s), the above is not quite truthful.

It was spoken by Margie Christofersen about gays to Steve Lopez who wrote “Prop.8 stance upends her life” (print)/”A life thrown into turmoil by $100 donation for Prop. 8” (online).

It isn’t true, you see, because Margie Cristofersen also “…supports her church’s position [LDS] that marriage is between a man and a woman.

That support indicates that Christofersen doesn’t think gays are part of “everybody else.”  Committed relationships between two consenting adults are not equal in Christofersen’s view.  She merely mouths a platitude and seemingly doesn’t understand why she isn’t believed.  She thinks she loves equally, but she doesn’t.  Even the copious tears reported by Lopez are unconvincing.

Actions, Dear Margie, speak clearer truth than words.

It’s only logical.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

(Make a Suggestion)

Technorati Tags: ,,,

On occasion, Dear Gentle Reader(s), a thought comes to light which virtually defies description in the limited space available in a “title.”

One such thought appeared in The Desert Sun, the local paper in Palm Springs, in a letter to the editor on December 11, 2008:

A man and woman are equal partners, but different and complimentary in so many ways. That is why Adam was pleased with God's gift of Eve. Only the combination of man and woman can produce children and hence the continuation of a society.

Might one extrapolate?  “…Adam was pleased with God’s gift of Eve.”  Um…What?  God “gave” Eve to Adam?  Eve was a gift?  Did anyone ask Eve if this was OK with her?  God gives gifts?  Is there a receipt for possible exchange?

The letter writer lives in Indian Wells, a quite wealthy community in the heart of the Coachella Valley.  It is the home of the tennis tournament which brings thousands to Southern California.  It once tried to foist its low-income housing requirements onto a neighboring city.  One might think, then, that the writer is not completely a sheep, blindly following a religious tenet.

So.  What to think?  How might one write a headline which encompasses a person’s insensitivity, ignorance, audacity, virtual blasphemy, and courage to face his female spouse as well as another’s astonishment that such a thought would be uttered in the first decade of the 21st century?

Suggestions are welcome.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

So much for redemption

The Vietnam War, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has left an indelible mark, hasn’t it?

Remember the brouhaha over William Ayers, the erstwhile Underground Weatherman which the Republican campaign tried mightily to associate with Mr. Obama?

Well, today in The New York Times  he offers a sort of mea culpa.  If you have the time and inclination, the column is accessible here.

Expect to see the Republican bloviators to respond with found and fury along these lines of one Hilzoy,  in his blog Obsidian Wings.  After going back in history (one year prior to Ayers’ start in his column) and fairly well rebutting some of Ayers’ points, Hilzoy ends with this:

Ayers may think that there's still a debate about the Weather Underground's effectiveness. And he might also think that he "acted appropriately in the context of those times." To me, though, he's just a shallow rich kid who took himself and his revolutionary rhetoric much too seriously, helped inspire people to do things that got them killed, and helped to discredit the anti-war movement and the left as a whole.

He has done enough harm already. Now he should do the decent thing and leave us in peace.

That’s good advice.  One problem with the advice is that Ayers has been trying to leave everyone in peace, especially himself since those days of stupidity.  It was the opposition to Mr. Obama which resurrected Ayers and his wife, Bernadette Dohrn.

And from the tone if Hilzoy’s retort, it’s obvious that there’s no such thing as leaving someone in peace.  Ayers’ subsequent laudable behavior does not seem to have counted for anything among the right wing.  They could take a lesson from G.B. Shaw who wrote:

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.


Piffle!  Not for those who took to the streets against the Vietnam War.

Do you ever suppose, DGR(s), that we’ll learn to take “measurements anew” anytime soon?

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Class Warfare!!! (snort!)

A most recent teapot tempest, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has arisen over the different (?) treatment given by Congress to the Wall Street financiers and to the automobile CEOs and union bosses.

When it is pointed out that the financiers were treated with respect and the CEOs are being treated with some derision (You had the audacity to fly!?!), Republican types are immediately crying “Class warfare!”

Um…in case no one has noticed, the class war is over, and the rich folk have won.  President Bush has presided over the largest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper class in the history of the world.

Don’t believe me?  Look around.  How many rich folk are in default on their mortgages?

Thought so.

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