Saturday, November 26, 2005

Uhhh...was this what Dr. Seuss was trying to say?

From the Booklist review by Vanessa Bush:

With great anger and passion, Press, political commentator for Sirius Radio, laments the Republican Party's declared monopoly on religion and the infusion of religion into American politics. Drawing on a degree in theology, a decade in seminary, and long experience in political campaigns, Press juxtaposes various political issues--the death penalty, abortion, gay marriage--against religious doctrine, debunking the religious Right's declarations that their positions are derived from scripture. He traces the heavy influence of the religious Right on Republicans to the 1979 creation of the Moral Majority by Reverend Jerry Falwell and notes that, in George W. Bush, the religious Right has finally found a man willing to transform religious beliefs into policy. Recalling the traditional Democratic approach of keeping religion out of politics, even when dealing with classic issues of civil rights and poverty, Press urges Democrats to close the perceived "moral gap" between the parties. Although taking a partisan position, this thoughtful look at religion and politics in America will interest even those who may not agree with its premises.

Stuffy, Actually

I have never heard anybody question the fundamental basis of Maslow's argument (at least, in its ad agency 'Intellectual Lite' form; I've never read any Maslow, but then probably neither have you). Maslow's hierarchy assumes that you have to have fulfilled the criteria of each need before you can move on to the next.

It is like a frequent-flyer scheme for life: 'I'm sorry, madam. This is the lounge for esteemed people. The lounge for people who've only found acceptance is down the hall. If you see the people trying to make fire, you've gone too far.' It's a vision of society ratcheting itself up need by need towards Nirvana. It's neat, and like all neat ways of measuring human behaviour, it's attractive to marketers.

And like all neat ways of measuring human behaviour, it just doesn't work....

If Maslow is to be believed, people only start self-actualising when they have a surfeit of everything. This would be news to ice-age cave painters, creating great art on the brink of extinction, not to mention Diogenes, Vincent Van Gogh and Jesus.

Maslow can lead one to believe that poor people lead un-actualised, spiritually impoverished lives and will only respond to utilitarian offers at the lowest possible price. This is a dangerous and patronising assumption, but one that's all too evident in the 'come on down' approach of nearly all communication to people in lower socioeconomic brackets.
Brian Millar, quoted by mystic bourgeoisie, emphasis mine

Ummm...Happy Something!

Reappropriating a name doesn't necessarily reappropriate the symbol with which it is associated....

Levelling and sanitizing are not pre-conditions of inclusivity.

On the other hand, not merely tolerance of, but respect for the various religions and their symbols (in both their sacred and secular incarnations) are.
[via Portait of the Woman as a Young Artist]

Why Buy It?

November 25, was "Buy Nothing Day." The day is so named because people at Adbusters years ago decided that it would be a great idea to take a stance on the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States, the Friday directly after Thanksgiving, and that a great way to make a point about consumerism and all those kind of issues would be to engage in a protest that day by not buying anything. It's a great idea that I think has had a lot of success across the globe. But why is the entire globe subjected to this one day?

...If BND was moved in Canada to Boxing Day, then it would be meaningful. Until then, it's like American Thanksgiving - a quaint ritual that non-Americans don't understand and that Americans don't understand why non-Americans don't understand it because they're America and what they say should go. But of course, the main reason I bought nothing is because...well...buying things takes money, so most days from now until Christmas are "Buy Nothing Day" for Turner. My own little protest against being broke.
[via Life of Turner]

Friday, November 25, 2005

[partly inspired by Becca's grief]


The torso of our common good
Gets snatched away so easily.

The sudden interruption
Dislocates us like shoulders
That try to snap in place.

We dangle like limbs in shock.

We outstretch our arms
If only to embrace
The corpse that let us function.

It leaves a vacuum...

We bundle up like sticks
But it doesn't seem the same
All broken up with little to embody.

That is the rub we cannot touch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If you must sound stupid...

1.Turn someone’s generality into an absolute. For example, if someone makes a general statement that Americans celebrate Christmas, point out that some people are Jewish and so anyone who thinks that ALL Americans celebrate Christmas is stupid. (Bonus points for accusing the person of being anti-Semitic.)

2.Turn someone’s factual statements into implied preferences. For example, if someone mentions that not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, accuse the person who said it of siding with pedophiles.

3.Turn factual statements into implied equivalents. For example, if someone says that Ghandi didn’t eat cows, accuse the person of stupidly implying that cows deserve equal billing with Gandhi. {read the rest}
Thanks The Eagle and Child for the reference!

It's been argued that there's nothing new under the sun.
You and I, however, are not as old as the sun.
[via Unedited Ravings]

[a poem of mine today]


Are we truly just enough
When we pay tribute to the debt
Of resources we sow like stones
Into our wishing wells?

Donated for tomorrows
That we scarcely get to see
Without a price attached to them
Or spent on speculations
As we race towards the bottom

So were we really credible
With excessive insufficiency
To overflow prosperity
And float like currency?

Decreasing the disparity
As cheaply as our labours
While the poorest change we spare
Is abundantly expensive
To significantly gain.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moose's Place now links to me and added to the blogroll. Previous winners featured at the right.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Decisive Splits

The moral blindness of the conservatives is that they’ve become unable to tell the difference between the good and the evil. Many American liberals, on the other hand, have become blind to how vital and how real that difference is.

The conservatives don’t see the true moral nature of their ruthless leaders. They have been seduced by those leaders, buying into the sheep’s clothing of their false righteousness, under which is hidden the wolf of their unbridled lust for self-aggrandizement. As a result, they’ve handed power to forces that work systematically to undermine good order in America and around the world.

The moral blindness of many liberals lies in their sliding into a moral relativism that sees matters of right and wrong as merely matters of individual opinion. Unwilling to judge anything but “judgmentalism,” willing to tolerate anything but “intolerance,” too many liberals have become unable to see the difference between good personal choices and bad ones.

While the most urgent threat to the soul of America comes from the right –for nothing is so dangerous to a society than to mistake the evil for the good, and to hand to forces of evil the power to shape its destiny—the moral blindness of today’s American liberalism has also contributed to this rise to power of fascistic forces.

....Just as the rise to power of fascistic forces and the degradation of values in the wider culture are two sides of the same coin, so also with these two forms of moral blindness.

The two sides of our polarized society are failing in different –but complementary—ways to meet the fundamental moral challenge that humankind must face at both the individual and social levels.

Goodness in the human sphere requires us to reconcile the desires and needs of our inborn nature and the moral demands of the larger order into a harmonious and life-serving whole, integrating the values of liberty and of order.

But as the goodness of moral integration breaks down, society becomes polarized, with each side of the divide failing in its own characteristic way to serve goodness. The parts that need to be brought together instead break apart, with each side of the polarized system emphasizing only one half of the picture and then trumpeting its corresponding unbalanced half-truth about morality.

Thus, social polarization epitomizes a cultural failure to put the pieces together.
[via See No Evil: The Blinding of America, HT: Jesus Politics]

The Presley-terian Church?

With interviews with Barbara Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, and Joy Wallis (yes, wife of Jim Wallis of Sojourners).

Also features The Ten Commandments a Terrorist Threat, The End Times Watch, God's Creation Blog amongst other things. Pat Robertson, of course, is the Loser this time because he can't stop talking...while the Last Word redeems the time.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Not Plan 'B'...

:: I see that Target is allowing its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, if the pharmacist is of the "pro-life" bent. Via Shakespeare's sister, here's an e-mail one blogger sent to Target on the subject. What I always think of whenever I read about this issue is this: do any of these pharmacists refuse to fill scripts for Viagra?
[from this post at Byzantium's Shores, emphasis mine]

It's not enough to understand what the experts tell you. You also need to understand cognitive dissonance to understand how the experts and even you could be completely wrong about something that seems so completely true.
[via The Dilbert Blog]

Fuzzy Fact-finding?

The ethics of using interrogation and indoctrination to obtain information, achieve goals, change minds and opinions exist in a large gray area. Few people would argue with the basic legitimacy of law enforcement professionals questioning suspected criminals to obtain or verify evidence of crimes, or to gather information that might prevent or hinder criminal acts. Society's tolerance for the methods used in such questioning, however, varies widely depending on the specific circumstances.

In fighting crime and criminal acts, we expect - indeed, we demand - that the agents we empower through our government act with zeal and diligence, and employ every legitimate tool available. We've generally shown a high social tolerance for a certain amount of psychological pressure when there is good reason to believe the stakes are high. We have even shown ourselves willing to excuse a certain amount of physical pressure in very high-stakes cases. Conducting interrogations in environments of physical discomfort, intimidation, the use of good-cop/bad-cop pressures, even the occasional "slapping around" a recalcitrant suspect show up regularly as tacitly approved, if not always judicially legitimate, tactics in films and television shows.

Such tactics are usually further legitimated by showing high levels of incriminating evidence or behavior against the individuals being subjected to such techniques. The watcher of the TV show or film feels a sense of cathartic vindication when the scummy child molester is backhanded by the hardworking detective goaded past endurance. But reality is often very different.
[via Democratic Underground]

Authentic Debate

Tomlinson denied any wrongdoing and said, "Unfortunately, the inspector general's preconceived and unjustified findings will only help to maintain the status quo, and other reformers will be discouraged from seeking change."

Now, depending on your political point of view, this was either a refreshingly forceful, if slightly overzealous, attempt to inject some red new blood and real debate into a stagnant backwater of limp liberalism, or it's more evidence of a scary sort of coup d'etat from within, attempting to turn a public trust into a propaganda arm of movement conservatism.

And if you're a moderate? I find PBS, as well as NPR, laughably biased leftward (and ineffectual and irrelevant for all but true believers because of it). What really scares me is that liberals and conservatives no longer have a shred of respect for each other, and can no longer work together to provide representation for all of us and authentic debate and balance. Everything has to be in the hands of one gang or the other, and all's fair in the tug of war, including Karl Rove's specialty, behind-the-scenes dirty tricks.
[via Ambivablog]

Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
~Quentin Crisp

[Thanks Simian Farmer for the quote!]

People talk about a "culture of life" and a "culture of death". What about a "culture of resurrection"?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

from Chris Rachael Oseland's review:

For any self proclaimed Grinches out there, this book is a hoot. Moore pokes shameless fun at the weird things people do around Christmas, from aggressive Salvation Army bell ringers to Xmas Present Amnesty.

At first, I was a bit put off by the returning cast of characters from previous books. Theo Crowe and his wife Molly Michon were in "The Lust Lizard of Meloncholy Cove," as were Theo's friend Gabe Fenton and his now ex, Valerie Riordan. The Mastersons and Mavis Sand were in "Lust Lizard" and "Practical Demonkeeping." Tucker Case and Roberto made it to Pine Cove from "Island of the Sequined Love Nun."

While the characters are familiar, years have passed since the last time we saw them, and life has moved on. This book isn't a sequel, it's a deliciously funny tale in a familiar setting.

Like all of Moore's books, relationships are at the center of the plot. No one wants to be lonely, not at Christmas, so just as quickly as people break up, they seek to pair off, if only through New Year's Day. Misunderstandings occur when Theo and Molly have their own O. Henry "Gift of the Magi" moment. Tucker Case, now divorced, is so desperate for compay he proceeds to successfully hit on a woman who has just defended herself to the death and doesn't know what to do with the corpse.

Unfortunatly, the corpse is dressed like Santa, and one little boy who wittnessed the murder is about to be visited by an Angel here to grant him a Christmas wish.

There are a lot of predictable places the story could go at that point. I thought I was braced for the right one. I won't give away the end, but I cheerfully admit I snorted strawberry-banana smoothie in shocked laughter. It took all my self control not to call people and read the last few chapters over the phone, just so someone would howl in laughter with me.

But that would be cruel.

Why Can't It Just Be Gnomes?

From Operation Nativity:

This work for the Nativity is good, my son. But you must do more."

"What, Lord? What would you have me to do?"

"You must save 1000 Nativity scenes by the turning of the New Year."

"But...why, Lord? Why must I save 1000 Nativity scenes?"

"Because this is your destiny, Crusader."

I swallowed hard and asked the question to which I dreaded the answer.

"And if I fail, Lord?"

"Then I will take you home at the turning of the New Year!"

{read the rest}

Not Unguided?

From Andy Borowitz via I am a Christian too:

Televangelist’s Brain, Mouth Elude Other Theories, Experts Say

Out of the controversial debate pitting the theory of evolution against the theory of intelligent design has emerged a new theory, dumb design, which some experts believe may explain the televangelist Pat Robertson.

The theory of dumb design holds that human beings were designed by a superior being, but one who mysteriously designed certain humans in a particularly dumb way.

Enter Rev. Robertson, whom many experts in the theory of dumb design are calling “Exhibit A” in their effort to prove that the theory holds water.

“If you take a look at Pat Robertson’s brain and mouth, and how they work or do not work in concert, you have a fairly persuasive argument that the theory of dumb design is valid,” said Dr. Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, one of the leading advocates of the dumb design theory.

The theory of dumb design began to gain traction in August, when Rev. Robertson called upon the U.S. to assassinate Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

And last week, when Rev. Robertson warned the people of Dover, Pennsylvania, that God would strike them with natural disasters after they removed school board members who favored teaching creationism, the theory of dumb design seemed to achieve critical mass.

But even an adherent of dumb design like Dr. Logsdon warns against putting too much stock in the theory, adding, “No one theory could possible explain all the things Pat Robertson says.”

Silence is not always acceptance, just as Yelling is not always assistance.

Who am I kidding? Christmas is around the corner.

The trick is to find that magical point in time where you can enjoy the Christmas feelings long enough, but not so long as to overdo it so it's no longer special.
[via The Eagle and Child]

When You Have Lemonade...

MEMPHIS, TENN. -- According to Patrick Davis, his lemonade stand was audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) today, as the result of an anti-war statement he made last week.

Davis, 8, said that as he made change to a customer last week, he said mentioned that he "misses his dad a lot," and "hates this stupid war." A few days later, IRS agents raided the lemonade stand, and demanded to see receipts.

Davis' father, Stanley, is currently serving in Baghdad with the Tennessee National Guard.

Anthony Mallett, a field agent with the IRS, said the reason for the audit has nothing to do with Davis' "anti-war tirade, but everything to do with the fact that his business expenses clearly exceed his income." {read more}

Monday, November 07, 2005

Powerful Impotence= Private Hypocrisy + Public Denouncement

Life after Ideology

Here, from Policy Review Online, is a fascinating review by Claire Berlinski of two books on the contrasting American and European responses to life after ideology: Alister McGrath's The Twilight of Atheism and Chantal Delsol's Icarus Fallen: The Search for Meaning in an Uncertain World (translated from the French by Robin Dick).

Berlinski is a bit doubtful of McGrath's assertion that the twilight of atheism means a new dawning of religion, particularly Christianity; she challenges the conventional wisdom that this is the predominant trend in America: {read more}
[via Ambivablog]

Undue Influence

It’s been noted before that the whole satanic-sex-abuse scare of that era was fueled partly by a belief in childhood innocence, and the disbelief that children could lie on that scale or imagine such gruesome things. But what’s interesting about Kyle’s explanation of his own motives — and I see little reason to doubt him — is that he didn’t lie so much out of motiveless malice toward the McMartins as out of the desire to please certain other adults, and the implicit pressure from the fact that other kids there were telling similar stories.

In my study of this issue, one little over-facile formula I’ve come up with is that conservative Christians trace all sins to disobedience, while liberal Christians trace them all to abuse of power. This, I think, helps explain their sometimes radically different attitudes toward children: kids are often disobedient, after all, but they among the most powerless people in society. One thing I liked about Yoder’s Politics of Jesus was the way he connected the two ideas: abuses of power occur because the powers are disobedient, and seek to usurp godlike power to themselves.

But the power issue is complicated. As a child Kyle had a power he probably didn’t even realize he had: the power of adults’ fears for him, their desire to protect him, and therefore the power to put the McMartins through hell. The fact that he didn’t coldly and willfully abuse his power doesn’t mean he didn’t abuse it. And he was likewise in the dark about whom, and what, to obey.
[via The musings & searchings of Camassia]

Cavalier Correlations

Translation: Religion is bad for your health.

More specifically, Mr. Paul indicates that democratic societies predominantly holding to a belief in God (read: the United States) are socially unhealthy, but democratic societies that are secular and embrace evolution (read: the majority of Western European countries) are on their way to utopia....

The first thing that bothered us was Mr. Paul’s peculiar selectivity. If the intent is to compare societies where faith is common to societies where faith is not, why were some countries included and others excluded....

So it appears to us that Mr. Paul has selected data, both in terms of countries considered and specific crimes looked at, in such a way as to paint the picture that was already on his mind. As demonstrated above, a broader look at available data presents a far more nuanced picture....

In the mind of Gregory S. Paul, nothing good can come out of Christianity and religious faith. He has believed this for many years and has done his best to make his ideas available for public consumption. In this regard, bloggers who contacted The Journal of Religion and Society where Mr. Paul’s opus was published learned that the original draft made even greater claims for the data and had to be toned down.

We can’t fault him for his desire to share his ideas, that is after all the reason we blog and the essence of the blogoshpere, but we think it’s important to point when something is a conclusion based on scientific principles and methodologies and when it is part of a campaign (he would dislike the term crusade). Mr. Paul is a gifted illustrator but he is not a sociologist.
[via Verum Serum, HT: Magic Statistics]

Sunday, November 06, 2005

[via The Tar Pit]

A semi-random round-up of blogosphere coverage of the Muslim riots in Paris...{read more}

Friday, November 04, 2005

"Leave us not to ourselves..."

[via Unedited Ravings]

The stuff of life
The stuff of self...
Such drives ugly
And forgotten things
Out from dark corners.

All truth illumines;
If not wed with love,
It is unnatural
And murderous.
{read the rest}

Disabled Democracy

From From a Different Viewpoint:

People off all incomes should have equal access to government documents. And the law isn't nearly as clear in this respect as it is with respect to disability (although it can still be argued well). Not everyone is going to be interested in every report but it should be available to everyone. The government should not be looking to get a profit off reports. And even if they are just recouping costs, well they shouldn't be doing it at the expense of democratic participation. Taxes should be covering government documents so that everyone has access and it isn't limited to those that have enough money to buy them. Not everyone was interested in reports in the past or is now. But you could get a copy if you were interested by getting in contact with your MP. $50 is a lot of money to a person on disability and it is even more to a person on social assistance. And these are the people least likely to have a computer and internet connexion. It's an issue that doesn't get any real attention but is important. If you want to have a real functioning democracy it needs to be accessible.

Minority Politics

I put down the phone and I thought to myself, “How old am I?” When I was a young pastor, it was always we liberal, mainline pastors who were told, “Boy, you need to stick to saving souls and stay out of politics.” Now, the roles have switched. It’s mainly conservative, evangelical Christians who are more strongly mixing religion and politics. My, how things have changed.

Of course, mixing religion with politics is as old as our republic, and it remains one of the most distinctive aspects of American democracy....Americans have always mixed religion with politics.

And yet, this is not an easy mix, for reasons having to do with the nature of our politics and the nature of our religion....

For instance, a friend of mine is an Islamic scholar. He casually remarked one day that the Koran, the Holy Book of Muslims, has absolutely no instructions for how Muslims are to behave when they find themselves a minority, in a majority non-Muslim culture. If they find themselves in such a situation, they are to change the culture into a God fearing, (that is Islamic) culture.

Of course, you knew what I was thinking when he said this. I realized that in our Christian scriptures we have absolutely no instruction for how to behave when you have power, when you are in charge of things, when you are President of a bank or a Mayor of a town. All of our New Testament is distinctly minority literature, the literature of the powerless and the marginalized.

Jesus gave us a great deal of instruction on what to do after a divorce or what to do when someone slaps us on the right cheek, but no instruction on how to run a government. Jesus Christ was crucified by the greatest government the world had ever known, with the most noble system of laws that the world had ever known. Rome. That ought to teach us Christians to be very wary and suspicious when we encounter governments and their laws, even if they presume to be democratic.

In conversation with Jerry Falwell a number of years ago, I told Mr. Falwell that my main objection to him was that he acted like a “Methodist from the 1950’s.” I reminded him that it was liberal mainline Christians like me who said in the 1950’s, “Oh, if we can just get an invitation to the White House. Oh, if we could just get a few more Senators elected who have Christian principles in their souls. Then we will no problem between us and politicians.”

It has been years since I’ve heard Methodists talk like that. Now the only people talking like that are the people who follow Jerry Falwell.{read the whole thing}
[via A Peculiar Prophet, HT: View From the Basement]

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Not Courting Evangelicals

One of the historical oddities of George W. Bush's decision to nominate Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court is that if confirmed, he will establish a majority on the court of Roman Catholics. This fact hasn't gotten a lot of comment so far, in part because it is and should be irrelevant to his qualifications, and in part because hardly anyone noticed that Clarence Thomas reverted to his Catholic upbringing in recent years, joining Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Chief Justice Roberts as Catholic members of SCOTUS.

Given the brief but intense campaign by some conservative evangelicals to tout Alito's unsuccessful predecessor, Harriet Miers, as establishing an "evangelical seat" on the Court, you have to wonder how they privately feel about yet another Catholic nomination....

None of this, of course, means politicized conservative evangelicals wouldn't be happy with a Justice like Alito, who on the key constitutional issues they care about, has nearly perfect views. But beneath the surface, you do have to wonder what they think about the heavy representation of their ancient enemy, as contrasted with their own invisibility, on an institution that they regard as one of the commanding heights of American society.
[via, HT: Jesus Politics]

Happy Trails...To You, Maybe!

Look up some old trailers, like Friday the 13th -Pt. 8 -Jason Takes Manhattan or Ghostbusters 1, and you'll see what I mean. Wow! Back then, they never even got CLOSE to spoiling a movie with the trailer. Nowadays, you still get that SOMETIMES. Mostly, you get enough in most trailers, you don't even have to put down that 7 or 8 bucks to see it, you just gotta go on cheap night and see another movie. One-liners, cheap shots (usually at some poor dude's crotch), and enough of whatever techno/hip hop/rock soundtrack the film makers have cooked up to sell to the public. I mean, old school trailers had class and made you want to plunk down that hard earned cash for the ticket and popcorn.
[via Phreakin' A]

Futile Fights?

When Liberal Christians go bad: "We cannot prevail in this struggle if we resort to the tactics of the haters."

When Conservative Christians go bad: "What's the threat again?....Sigh. I can't say I'm surprised by this."

[examples via Mainline Protestant]

Nowdays when someone says, "I love you," what they really mean is, "I feel sentiment toward you." So why not just say that? You feel a connection? Great! Say that.

To me, the word "love" could be replaced by "cooperate with." If I love God, I want to cooperate with God, not sit on my ass praying up a bunch of sentiment. If I love my brothers and sisters, I want to cooperate with them in their lives and plans instead of passively saying how much I care for them. If I love my enemies, I may not feel so well toward them, but I will cooperate enough in their lives as to understand them better, and to learn that they are not all bad. Cooperation can be as little as listening sometimes. But this is the real kind of listening, not the "uh huh" listening we all like to do to one other.
[via Been There...Still There]

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Systemic Health

The good news about the avian flu is that while researchers have found that it resembles the "Spanish Flu" that killed between 50-100 million people worldwide in 1918 and 1919, it's also responsive to today's anti-virals, which didn't exist back in the day.

Hopefully the next pandemic influenza strain will be at least partially responsive to existing flu vaccines. They'll be available disproportionately in the wealthy states of the developed world. When enough people within a community get vaccinated it elevates what's known as the population's "herd immunity" and makes disease transmission slower and easier to contain.

The rest of the story is bad news. The 1918 pandemic left many of the elderly and the infirm alive and wiped out young, vigorous, healthy people. The pandemic of 1830-32 is believed to have been just as severe, but there were fewer people in the world. We dodged bullets in 1957 and 1968, with pandemics that brought far fewer fatalities.

Every year between 10-15 times as many Americans die from the flu as perished on 9/11....

If we have a pandemic this winter or the next – a virulent and deadly one – our healthcare system will shut down fast enough to make your head spin.
[via The Gadflyer]

You Were Expecting...A Moderate?

Where do you begin with the ghosts in the stories about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr.? It is hard to cover the territory, even if you limit yourself to The Washington Post. Let’s try to tiptoe through the minefield. But let me warn you right up front: I remain convinced that the key to this whole story is the old question, “Who gets to control the word ‘moderate?’”

This is a variation on the question I keep asking: If liberals are in favor of the status quo, which used to be called “abortion on demand,” and conservatives support a complete ban on legal abortion, what do the “moderates” want?

Of course, we already know the MSM answer to these questions. Moderates want to maintain the legal status quo and so do liberals. Thus, there are no real liberals.{read more}
[via GetReligion, emphasis mine]