Friday, March 04, 2005

Which is it going to be, Chuck? 

From the Des Moines Register:

A national group of Christian lawyers is appealing to church leaders to join them in lobbying against the bankruptcy reform bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Ia.

The lawyers say the legislation runs contrary to the forgiveness of debt and charity required by the Bible.

"As Christian attorneys, we strongly believe that it was never God's intention to create a society where indebtedness was a crime or a badge of dishonor," Christian members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys wrote in a letter sent Feb. 26 to hundreds of church leaders across the nation.

The bill, which is receiving Senate debate, would make it harder for most people to receive full debt cancellation under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy laws. More people would have to repay at least part of their debt, based on income.

The lawyers note that in the Old Testament, God did not outlaw borrowing and lending, but provided that loans would become discharged every seven years.

In response, Grassley said Congress could not be bound by biblical mandates because "the Constitution does not provide for a theocracy."

"I can't listen to Christian lawyers because I would be imposing the Bible on a diverse population
," Grassley said. "I'll bet those lawyers wouldn't want us to impose the principles of forgiving debt every seven years. If that were the law, nobody would loan them money." (My emphasis)

(Hat tip to pastordan at dKos.)

I'm thinking that we on the left need to remind Mr. Grassley of that highlighted quote. Frequently. Let's take a gander at Mr. Grassley's voting record, shall we? He's voted "no" on adding sexual orientation to the definition of what constitutes a hate crime (in fact, he's done it twice). He's voted "no" on prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. He voted "yes" on the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. He waffled on last year's Hate Amendment, but eventually voted for cloture (i.e., to close off debate on the amendment, which was subsequently withdrawn when the cloture motion failed; given his comments elsewhere (PDF link), we can only presume that he would have voted for the amendment if it had ever come up, though he didn't have the guts to sign on as a co-sponsor). Given that Grassley self-identifies as a Baptist, it's not hard to imagine why he's voted as he's done on anything having to do with gay rights.

But while I've been unable to find a single comment Grassley's ever made in public on the subject (I looked in both Lexis/Nexis and the Congressional Record: he never even spoke in the debate on DOMA, at least that I was able to discover), we now have it from his own lips that the Constitution precludes us from turning the United States into precisely the kind of theocracy for which the right-wankers (Grassley included) have been campaigning for lo, these many years.

So here's what I suggest we do. Every time Grassley (or anybody else on the right) makes a careless comment about how America is a "Christian" nation, was founded by "Christians," is run on "Christian" principles; any time any of them proposes any legislation on gay rights, abortion, welfare, faith-based anything, the Ten Commandments, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance--you name it--we bombard them with reminders about the quote I've highlighted above. Because I'm sick unto death of hearing these pompous gits whine about how nobody respects their faith, how we have to protect our great "Christian" traditions in this country, yada, yada, yada. Yet give them a chance to actually put one or two of those Christian traditions into practice, and we find out who really pwns the anarcho-conservacons--and it ain't Jesus Christ. It's Mammon.

(Cross-posted from Musing's musings.)

Friday Blogaround 

Here's my picks to click from the The Liberal Coalition.

  • Natalie has a review of Michael Frayn's Democracy, now playing in Japan.
  • Bark Bark Woof Woof on the lazy press and the blogger pajamadeen.
  • Chris reviews satellite radio.
  • Collective Sigh on the sneezin' season and remedies for it.
  • The Farmer at Corrente replaces Friday Cat Blogging with something entirely different. And I mean entirely different.
  • Echidne on the limits of conscience.
  • The Gamer's Nook says that timing is everything at ChoicePoint.
  • Happy Furry Puppy cares about apathy.
  • iddybud on the mirage of the democracy dominoes in the Middle East.
  • Kick the Leftist on the lastest road rage.
  • Make Me A Commentator recalls the legend of blog creation.
  • Michael with the lowdown on downloads.
  • Pen-Elayne is celebrating the writing of women bloggers. Or is it bloggers who are women?
  • Rick goes to dinner.
  • Rook's Rant finds that experience teacheth naught.
  • upyernoz promotes hiring one of our own (see below).
  • Scrutiny Hooligans profiles Frank Luntz, the Republican purveyor of snake oil.
  • Sooner Thought on how the bankruptcy law could screw the seniors.
  • Speedkill has more on sex-ed silliness.
  • Steve Gilliard on the Republican attempt to capture Kos.
  • T.Rex on the outrage of federal footwear.
  • First Draft on the return of the O-Man.
  • The Fulcrum notes the passing of 1,500.
  • The Invisible Library on the crushing of creativity.
  • The Yellow Doggerel Democrat deconstructs Scalia.
  • Trish Wilson joins me in the writing zone.
  • Wanda on the future of Social Security.
  • archy opens the Carnival of Bad History.
  • blogAmy joins the CafePress society and opens up a shop of Geek Chic stuff. (By the way, she's not the only one...)
  • Bloggg blushes.
  • edwardpig on the coming crackdown on blogging. (PS: He's looking for a job...)
  • NTodd has some kool pics to sell you.

    Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    Carnival of Bad History Number One 

    The Carnival of Bad History number one is now available for your reading pleasure over at archy. Though the selection is samll it covers the spectrun of bad history from Holocaust denial to popular myths to the silly things our leaders tell us. Go and read them all.

    If you are inspired to write something or remember an old post that you think fits, send it to us. It's never too soon to plan the next issue. Carnival number two will also be hosted at archy, but this time Alan gets to write it. The date is March 15.

    Sunday, February 27, 2005

    Dynamic Is My Middle Name 

    My latest move in Bloggers Chess has been posted. Care to dance?