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« Look here! Cable-news ADHD. | Main | Must-read RedState hysteria: It says more than you might think »

June 27, 2015


Peter G

So I have always observed in studying the history of the United States. Progress comes by fits and starts and is sometimes merely illusory. But most times it is not illusory at all. This week you have every right to celebrate the victory of your better angels. Enjoy it. I celebrate with you.


A very fine post, Mr. Carpenter. This truly has been a memorable week.


Thank you for a truly outstanding think piece connecting history, classical literature and language to our present condition with a generous topping of humor. Your style and subject are yin and yang.

Cruz might, just might have let slip he's a lower case "d" democrat. Between 1789 and 1913 senators were appointed by state legislatures and not subject to more direct will of the people. An elected SCOTUS is a real possibility, though I'd guess the subject will remain theoretical for a good number of years. Cruz seems to be acknowledging the possibility of social evolution, which the designers of the Constitution foresaw more definitely in their enlightened vision. He probably need not concern himself his audience will catch on.

Louie Gohmert predicting the Apocalypse is what makes him one of the most useful stupid men in politics. He's a completely accurate and reliable gauge for the depth of the bottom of the barrel. What would we do without him?

The religious angles could all be boiled down to this: The day "E Pluribus Unum" takes its rightful place back from its Cold War replacement will be a return to normalcy. It represents what the country has been and should be infinitely better.

In a specific way science takes your side over Sullivan's: "Anthropologists who have written about American kinship have long noted a tendency in US society to equate kinship with blood identity. Yet at the same time, in US society, adopted children are not supposed to be differentiated from children born of the biological union of their parents. Both today and historically, children have been incorporated in families through a variety of means. The idea that biological kinship is more authentic than kinship through fostering, feeding, care, and history would be offensive to many, I would hope most, people in the US today."

David & Son of Duff

How does that old song go? "It's only just begun ..."

"Lost in the celebrations over universal gay marriage, like abortion, being deemed a right found in the “penumbras and emanations” of the Constitution is the chilling effect the ruling has on religious liberty. In a telling exchange between the Obama administration’s Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito, detailed by Tom Blumer at, in which Verrilli admitted that churches could lose their tax exemptions if they refuse to perform gay weddings:

Justice Alito: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­-sex marriage?

General Verrilli: You know, ­­I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is­­ it is going to be an issue."

Read more:

But hey, what do you lot care about, say, 'The Little Sisters of the Poor', a group of elderly nuns whose sole mission is to help the aged poor but who will not comply with the Oamacare ruling on contraception:

"Investor’s Business Daily editorialized:

The Little Sisters contend ObamaCare not only violates the First Amendment's religious guarantees, but also the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That requires the government to implement its policies in ways that do not impose an unnecessary burden on the free exercise of religion …

If the Little Sisters lose their case, they'll either have to violate their religious conscience or face fines of around $2.5 million a year, or about 40% of what they beg for annually to care for the dying poor. Their ministry would be severely crippled, as would the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty."

Well, heh, who cares about a few old nuns and their dying patients?

Peter G

How many of the aged poor require contraception or abortions for that matter. If you are going to make an emotional appeal on behalf of nuns David try and make it sensible. And also try and remember that conservatives don't want any government standing between a doctor and their patients except when they do. You know what those nuns don't have? They don't have a right to stake out a piece of the health care field and demand the public conform to their religious standards.

I!ve always wondered why conservatives imagine that people who are gay don't have religious convictions. What gives you the right to impose your religious convictions on them?

David & Son of Duff

I don't have any religious convictions, Peter, but you and Bob 'et al' were trying to poo-poo my suggestion that it is only a matter of time before the progressive monolith begins to crush any signs of opposition however tiny;

"You know what those nuns don't have? They don't have a right to stake out a piece of the health care field and demand the public conform to their religious standards."

There speaks Big Brother!

Peter G

And as the actual decision makes clear, it won't. That will not stop nitwits from saying otherwise. And neither I nor Bob nor our host can stop nitwits from saying dumb things. But I do appreciate the perfect circularity of your argument. Ptolemy never described a more perfect epicycle of retrogression. Gays can't be allowed to have the same rights as you because you might say unfortunate things might happen. And to prove it you said those things that can't happen will happen. Though they haven't anywhere else in the world where gay marriage is allowed.


The Constitution is the highest law of our country. It protects, but also limits, all rights granted to operate within the public sphere. If The Church wants to operate publicly it must abide by the rules. This is nothing new or unique. Native Americans have been allowed by the courts to use peyote in religious rituals, however Rastafarians are currently prohibited from using marijuana. Obviously most judges fear everyone that likes pot will convert to Rastafarian. Conservatives, by nature, don't do well with complex or seemingly contradictory ideas, but we in the US will have to live with the situation.

David & Son of Duff

So can I look forward to you and Bob standing outside your local mosque and agitating for gay marriage, can I?

Nah, thought not! But, hey, old nuns and their elderly dying patients, well, they're a pushover, just set the IRS on 'em!

"The Land of the Free" -what a hoot!

Peter G

Nah I 'd be too busy forcing contraceptive pills down the throats of the dying elderly. Bwa ha ha! Actually David you need not look for me outside any religious edifice protesting anything. If I understand this magnificent piece of logic the fact that I wouldn't protest outside a church obligates me to protest outside of mosque? How the fuck does that work? I am pleased to know you do believe that Muslim institutions have the right to incorporate Sharia Law in those institutions. You're making progress. You used to be one of the nitwits protesting against religious tolerance vis-a-vis mosques weren't you?


And you'll be slamming people into iron maidens to promote your view of things I suppose. You're adorable, but I'm not so easily provoked. Try to make a point that's worth answering.

David & Son of Duff

So, gentlemen, are you readying yourselves for the next big progressive move - legalising polygamy by allowing group marriage?

If not, why not? I mean, it's their right, isn't it?

Peter G

It is de facto recognized in Utah where there are quite a few polygamist Mormons of the old school, excommunicated from their mother church. They even have their own reality television show. And if it should be decided at a future date that this is a decision between multiple consenting adults it will be no concern of yours or mine. Why should you give a damn what consenting adults do or how they arrange their lives? And even if you do give a damn why should anyone else be forced to abide by your prejudices. I thought you believed in personal liberty. Certainly the people who do engage in polygamy rely on biblical justification for their views. How dare you question their religious beliefs?



Peter G

My next question was going to be about the Muslim faith. They are permitted four wives. Why does the government of the United States or the government of my country particularly oppress the religious beliefs of Muslms? It doesn't seem to bother God in Muslim counties where polygamy is practiced.

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