Anyone who reads this blog, or my weekly column, knows that I am not a huge fan of our current president. I disagree with him on everything from universal health care to same sex marriage to abortion rights to his choice of football teams. However.... I feel the need to come to his defense on this one particular aspect of political correctness run amok (which I suppose is repetitive.) Recently, President Obama made the following remark about his old friend Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California: You have to be careful to, first of all, say she is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake. She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country." I would quibble with his claims that she is the best-looking AG, since I think our own Kathleen Kane is equally fair of face. But I do think that it's ridiculous for the ladies to start complaining about sexism and demanding 'gender sensitivity training' (what is that...being forced to undergo a mani-pedi while simultaneously being forced to listen the audio version of Sheryl Sandburg's book "Lean In" read by Lilly Ledbetter?) Whenever women have this reflexive reaction to a perceived slight, I have to laugh. True gender equality comes from having self-respect, not demanding that others toe a narrow and socially-engineered line of etiquette. It is also important to note that 'equality' is not 'identicality.' And I'm betting I'm not the only one pleased to see our president appreciating the good things in life.
At the risk of alienating absolutely everyone, here is my list of why, if we are going to recognize same sex marriage we should also consider legalizing incestuous and polygamous relationships which are still verboten but, hey, with an evolving consciousness about how and why we love, might one day be acceptable:
The pros for incest:
I am not a fan of Philadelphia Magazine.
It has nothing to do with the fact that a couple of years ago its editors ranked me as one of the 31 people in Philadelphia they wished would 'just shut up.' (I was number 10 on the list)
I actually used to love the magazine, but that was back in the 1970s and 1980s when they engaged in real, gritty journalism. I still remember Stephen Fried's piece on Gia, the tragic Philly model who died of AIDS, and profiles by Carol Saline on Dr. Snow the cocaine dealer. Lisa De Paulo was also a favorite, particularly when she got the goods on randy Ed Rendell in a piece back when he was American's Mayor.
I suppose if you live in LA or NY, you tend to get jaded. Every street you cross, every corner you turn, every door you walk through carries with it the possibility of seeing a famous person. In Philadelphia on the other hand, the truly famous people died over 200 years ago. And in Delaware County, my little corner of the world, there are no famous people, unless you count John Cappelletti, Heisman Trophy winner three decades ago and even he now lives in California.
This being the case, we Delaware Countians tend to be a bit startstruck when the gods smile and set upa makeshift Olympus in our midst. That’s what happened last year when the cast and crew of “Silver Linings Playbook” descended upon our tiny hamlet and, through the alchemy of a good script, great acting and brilliant direction (as well as top-notch cinematography) showed us what dreams are made of.
Sure, it was a gritty, rough-edged dream: diners, not four star restaurants, modest twins, not McMansions, football, not opera. But it was our dream, and for the moments of suspended time between one normal day and the next, it was amazing.
Earlier this week, news leaked from the White House that President Obama was formulating his own immigration proposal in the event that Congress couldn’t come up with a reform package he liked. What the president ‘likes’ changes from week to week (against same-sex marriage/for same-sex marriage, close Guantanamo/outfit it with new curtains, force religious employers to subsidize birth control/pretend that you are no longer forcing religious employers to subsidize birth control.) Still, in the immigration field, Obama’s been fairly clear that he wants to provide a ‘path to citizenship’ for the overwhelming majority of undocumented immigrants. I happen to agree with him on that.
One small step for an unborn child, one giant leap for mankind.
A judge in Texas has ruled that the parents of a 16 year old pregnant teen cannot force her to abort her child against her will.
That seems like common sense. We are not, after all, in China where forced abortions are a common, albeit tragic practice.
Country singer and drug addict Mindy McReady commits suicide, leaving behind two young boys. We're supposed to feel sympathy for her because she was 'sick' like, say, my father who died of cancer. My take: my dad did not invite his illness into his life, and he fought like hell to stay in this world with his five children and wife. I have no sympathy for a mother who creates her own disease and then succumbs to it, abandoning two souls she created.
Perhaps I'm heartless. Perhaps I only have enough space to grieve for those little ones left behind. But if one more person says that a drug addict is 'sick' like a cancer patient I will have blood on my tongue from biting it.
The fact is that while there may indeed be a genetic component to addiction, you do not become an 'addict' if you don't engage in prohibited or dangerous activity.
I know that there must be good and tolerant people in the LGBT community, and I know that there are bright souls among their straight supporters as well. At the risk of using a stereotype, some of my best friends know gays (okay, maybe that wasn’t funny.)
The thing is this. When I write about the Boy Scouts as I recently did, or gay marriage, or homosexuals in the Catholic Church, I try and do so with respect for the opposing side. Indeed, my views are clear in that I think a private organization like the Scouts has no business being coerced into validating the sexual orientation of an 8 year old, that there is little to no support in the Bill of Rights for same-sex marriage and that the Catholic Church hates the sin, not the sinner. I can imagine that this does not sit well with a lot of people. And that’s fine, because everyone is entitled to their First Amendment…right?
But when you disagree with someone, as Sister Mary Augusta once told me, you have to do so agreeably. Passion is fine, but profanity is not. In fact, it has the exact opposite effect that you’re aiming for, to the extent that it hardens both the heart and mind of the recipient.