June 25th, 2008

Go Obey Your Husband You Stupid Republic

Religion Poisons Everything.

I'm a fan of the show 30 Days on the FX network. I believe it is the best reality TV program available. My favorite episodes are those that deal with religious differences and socioeconomics because they are topics I'm interested most in. The episode where the Christian man goes to live with a family of Muslims in a largely Muslim community (Muslims & America) was fascinating and enlightening, mostly because the man got the most he could out of his learning experience and came away with understandings he never would have had on his own. The cornfed boy next door guy who went to live in San Francisco with a gay man (Straight Man In A Gay World) and immersed himself in gay culture was also very good, you had the opportunity to see someone evolving in much the same way. In the first season (we're not halfway through season 3) the show's creator, Morgan Spurlock (whom most will know from his documentary Supersize Me) and his fiancee had to live on minimum wage - to include ALL of their living expenses (rent, utilities, healthcare, food, transportation, everything) for 30 days (Minimum Wage). It was amazing. This season alone they've done a remarkable episode where a former NFL Cornerback had to live in a wheelchair for, you guessed it, 30 days (30 Days In A Wheelchair).

Last night's episode absolutely gobsmacked me. I have cried myself into a headache over it. It was about a gay couple and their three adopted sons who have a Mormon woman come and live with their family. The woman's name is Kati, and she is virulently opposed to same sex adoption. lolasenvy posted a scathing response about it, and I have to say that I feel essentially the same way she does.

Once again, as evidenced by this show, you see how religion poisons everything - to quote Christopher Hitchens. Episode synposis:
30 Days - Season 03, Episode 04: Same Sex Parenting
PARTICIPANT - Kati, 41
RESIDES - Fullerton, CA
OCCUPATION - Substitute Teacher
AIRDATE - Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kati believes that children should be raised by a mother and a father and not by same-sex parents. As the mother of two adopted sons Kati believes that she has ample experience to determine what kind of environment is conducive to healthy, successful adoptions. In fact, Kati was adopted as an infant herself.

For 30 Days, Kati will live in Ypsilanti, Michigan with domestic partners Dennis and Thomas Patrick and their four adopted sons: Josh, 11; Paul, 8; Joey, 8; and Raul, 6. The Patrick's have been together for 10 years, and in 2001, Thomas legally changed his last name to Patrick. Kati will attend church with the family, help the boys get ready for school each morning and talk candidly about her views on parenting and gay adoption as she observes how the Patrick's parent their boys.

Kati will volunteer and travel to the state capitol with the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality (CARE), a children's advocacy group lobbying for legislation to legalize dual-parenting rights for same-gender couples. She will socialize with women from the Lesbian Mom's Network, a group that connects lesbian mothers and their children with families like their own. She will also meet with former foster children who talk about what it's like to grow up without parents or a permanent home and the need for more foster parents.
It's not available just yet on Hulu and I'm not sure when it will reair on FX, but if you're impatient and don't want to wait you can download the torrent here. I highly reccommend having this episode handy and sharing it with as many people as possible. Once you've seen it, I'm interested to know your thoughts.

Link Roundup

Supreme Court Slashes Exxon Penalty. Nineteen years ago, the Exxon Valdez supertanker struck a reef in Alaska, causing an environmental catastrophe so devastating its impact continues to be felt. A court later slapped Exxon with $5 billion in punitive damages, but on Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled that the oil giant shouldn’t have to pay more than about a tenth of that amount.

Congress, Step Up and Start Defending the Constitution. The Democrats' capitulation on FISA is a triumph of Congressional self-importance over the guardianship of our Constitutional rights.

The Real Pro-Life Candidate. It's pro-choice policies that result in dramatic declines in the need for abortion, and it's the pro-choice candidates who truly value life.

Anti-War Soldier Jonathan Hutto: People, Not Politicians, Will End the War in Iraq. The author of Antiwar Soldier discusses the GI movement, the election and why "the military needs racism" to fight its wars.

The American Workplace Is Stuck in the '50s. Wages are in the gutter. Work-life balance is out of whack. When will workplace policy catch up with the changing landscape of America's workforce?

It's Time To Get Rid of the Good-People-vs.-Bad-People View of Drug Use. When discussing treatments for drug addiction, instead of arguing about ideology, let's look at science.

Media Tell Us About Iraq War-Oil Connection Five Years After the Fact. If Iraq's main product had been video games, the media might have been quicker to ask tough questions about the war's effects on our kids' lives.

Amy Goodman: Retired General: "The Current Administration Has Committed War Crimes". As Congress pieces together the White House torture program, former Army General Antonio Taguba condemns Bush's "systematic regime of torture."

David Sirota: Obama's Clearest Path to the Presidency: Talk About Wages. If Obama counters the GOP's race-baiting by promoting working-class interests and a fairer trade agenda, he will win the White House.

Abuse of the Filibuster: Republicans Play Dirty 'Block and Blame' Game. It works like this: Republicans hijack the Senate, block important legislation, then complain nothing is getting done.

Judith E. Schaeffer: Five Years Later: Decriminalizing Gay People -- Another Reminder of the Importance of the Supreme Court. Many people probably don't recall much, if anything, about June 26, 2003, but I recall a great deal. That's because it's the day on which the Supreme Court issued one of its most important rulings in the area of individual rights and human dignity. In Lawrence v. Texas, a sharply divided Court struck down a Texas state law that prohibited consensual, private sex between adults of the same gender, a law that essentially made criminals out of gay men and lesbians. Five justices held that the law was an improper intrusion on the right to liberty guaranteed to everyone by the Constitution, effectively invalidating all state laws that invade the home to prohibit so-called sodomy.

Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed, Says Obama Wants to "Talk White". Obama's communications director Robert Gibbs calls Nader's remarks "reprehensible." We should honor Nader's many career achievements, thank him for his service, then stop paying any attention to him.

Frank Schaeffer: Dr. Dobson Has Just Handed Obama Victory. Senator Obama just took another giant step toward winning the presidency. Actually, someone who considers himself a sworn enemy of Senator... See also Media Whitewashes Dobson, Hides 'Beat-Your-Child' Dogma and Dare To Discipline: How Obama-Critic Whipped The Mini Weiner Dog Rebellion.

Arizona Senate Rejects Anti-Marriage Amendment. The Arizona Senate has rejected a proposal that would have asked voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. The 14-11 vote fell two votes shy of what was required to send the proposal to the November ballot. Senators later voted to reconsider the measure at another unspecified date.

Illegal Immigration Is a Red Herring. "Economic refugee" is a better descriptor than "illegal immigrant." It's more accurate. But we never hear it. And most people are probably uncomfortable using it. Why is that?

How Conservatives Have Duped Us in the Global Warming Fight. Rockridge fellow Joe Brewer explores two competing ideas at the heart of the climate debate.

The Money-Laundering Operation at the Heart of the Democratic Party. The ranks of obsequious lobbyists looking to curry favor - and contribute to your war chest - is set to explode. See also Democrats Have Legalized Bush's Crimes

House to Hold First-Ever Hearing on Transgender Rights. On Thursday the House will hold the first-ever Congressional hearing on transgender rights. Introduced by Congressman Rob Andrews, D-NJ, the hearing will examine discrimination faced by transgender people in the workplace.

Obama Goes Soft on Free Trade. Obama campaigned against NAFTA during the primaries. Now he's backpedaling and reassuring Wall Street about that same policy.

Conservative Government Destroys Atlanta Like Gen. Sherman Never Could. The colossal mismanagement of water in Georgia has produced an urban crisis with no clear solution other than a return to smart government.

Religious Right Groups Want Pastors to Cross the Partisan Line and Spark Court Showdown. The nation's most prominent Religious Right legal group is looking for a pastor who will knowingly break the law and spark an IRS penalty.