Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate, is the king of crass, the maven of craven and the show pony of phony. He switches positions quicker than a porn star and is more slippery than an okra plate dipped in country butter. I never thought the religious right would be gullible enough to buy Romney's eleventh hour conversion, but apparently he can buy theirs. According to an article in Sunday's New York Times, the ultra-wealthy Romney is desperately funneling cash to right wing organizations and literally banking on their support.
The Times revealed that a foundation of Romney's recently made $10,000-$15,000 contributions to the anti-abortion Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation and the Massachusetts Family Institute. Moneybags Mitt also funneled $10,000 to a non-profit organization tied to the National Review magazine; he slipped $35,000 to the Federalist Society; and pumped $25,000 into the coffers of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Some of these American Mullahs were critical of Romney until he showed them the moolah. In a comic, if unintentional, slip, Citizens for Life praised Romney as one of Massachusetts "strongest assets." Yeah, I guess an estimated net-worth of $500 million would qualify as such. Not surprisingly, these "values" groups claim that their recent inclinations to support Romney had nothing to do with his donations and that their sudden helping hand is not a quid pro quo for his handouts.
Amazing how these protectors of the family don't question why their new Daddy Warbucks hadn't bought them so much as a Starbucks coffee before he started running for president. Personally, I don't believe that any of these organizations truly support Romney. I just think he has given them so many hundred dollar bills that they have begun to confuse him with Ben Franklin.
In the most shamelessly transparent move yet, Romney even joined the National Rifle Association giving new meaning to the term "soldier of fortune." There are still concerns in Evangelical circles about Romney's Mormon religion, but it seems his affiliation with the LDS will matter less if he becomes an ATM. The almighty dollar is the right wing's equivalent of an ecumenical prayer.
Perhaps, the gay movement should embark upon a new strategy. Instead of spending millions of dollars on lobbying, we should just buy off our opponents at a fraction of the cost. I suspect we could get a hate crimes law for under a million. Marriage would cost a bit more, but we could sweeten the deal by throwing in free passes to the Holy Land Experience amusement park in Orlando.
On an equally troubling note for religious purists, the Southern Baptist Convention is redefining Sin to accommodate Republican presidential candidates. The SBC's Richard Land intimated in the Times that some divorces are more troubling than others, calling John McCain's divorce a "molehill" compared to Giuliani's "mountain."
On MSNBC's Hardball, Land even said that Evangelicals would likely accept two marriages - but three brought up character and trust issues. With this shifting moral landscape among such "absolutists," can acceptance of Republican homosexuals be far behind?
It is amazing how the right wing creates Biblical loopholes when it fits their political needs. The Bible, if Land has read it, does not say that Giuliani's latest divorce was worse because he announced it at a press conference before he informed his wife. According to the Good Book - all divorce and remarriage is equally sinful.
Speaking of the Republican Marriage-Go-Round, Newt Gingrich told Focus on the Family's James Dobson that he was having an affair with a younger woman while he was working to impeach Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica. If this wasn't bad enough, America was reminded that in 1981, while his first wife Jackie Gingrich was recovering in the hospital from cancer surgery, Gingrich discussed divorce terms. Newt now claims that he does not remember the incident.
To most people, serving divorce papers to your wife in her sick bed would be a pretty seminal moment. If Newt can't recall this event, he must opt out of the presidential race because he can't be trusted with state secrets. In the meantime, I hope he finds a good neurosurgeon and I wish him a speedy recovery from his bout with nuptial amnesia.
The mere thought of a group that calls itself the Moral Majority endorsing any of these reprobate panderers and philanderers is perplexing and shows that they stand for nothing but money and power. On the brink of the next presidential election, the right is either looking for Romney's Brinks truck or spinning the sinning of Republican favorites, while labeling Democrats, who actually kept their families intact, anti-family.
Maybe Romney could start selling his magic mormon underwear on ebay as a fundraiser ploy, but of course we know that most hypocritical evangelicals secretly would really prefer used jock straps. Seriously though, I dont care how much money they take, I dont think the rapture right will vote for a mormon; besides thinking them crazy (who doesnt?), they consider mormons to be only nominally Christian.
posted by Anonymous, at
3/13/2007 9:58 AM
Actually, the "rapture right" (great name!) think that Mormons and Catholics are cultists.
Great article, Wayne. I just wish that everyone who was chanting "flip flop" at Kerry not so long ago would take a good hard look at Romney, and the rest of these power-mad money-raking hypocrites.
Most politicians on both sides of the aisle are flip-flop artists including Hillary Clinton. The only two I can think of who aren't are Russ Feingold and Eliot Spitzer, both democrats.
On a totally different topic, what do you think of General Pace's recent comments that homosexuality is immoral, in regard to gays in the military which he opposes? He considers both homosexuality and adultery immoral. What a jackass and a bigot!
Oh, here we go. I hate election season. The most prominent candidates are smarmy and have so much baggage. They count on the short memories and attention spans of the general public. Most citizens, it seems, have little time for their own analysis, so they count on conservative mau maus like Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh to shape their opinions for them.
One of our biggest problems, especially post 9/11, is the illegal immigrant problem. It IS a serious problem and neither party has the will to knuckle down and not only enforce the laws regarding this, but we keep breaking MORE laws exponentially to accomodate this population.
And most representatives we have willing to assure gay and lesbian rights in American, are also open borders liberals (Deval Patrick for example) and I have a hell of a time supporting them. Our reps here in California, are ALL guilty of this. It's impossible for me to support their politics on illegal immigrants.
Of late, Mark Leno completely sank his cred when he supported laws that allowed for a 'certain minimal amount of child porn to be contained on a hard drive'. I was so disgusted with him. I was so disappointed. I've had several meetings with Leno, lunched with the man on several occasions. And of course...O'Reilly went ON and ON and ON...about it. I tried to call Leno to ask what the hell he was thinking, but he never took my calls on that or called me back. Bad sign.
So liberals who support gay equality are TOO liberal in so many other ways, whether they are gay or not. It's pissing me off that an unregulated or documented element is destructively crowding out and crushing our infrastructure and yet considered a 'model class' given every kind of accomodation to a chaotic result to all Americans, while at the same time, laws are implemented regularly against gay citizens who are less and less able to have the very basic of human rights and accomodation. Why ARE gay citizens treated this way? And why ARE people who we can't account for treated better? Why are expectations for illegal aliens so high, and expectations for gay citizens so low?
This is Orwellian. This is chaos...and I don't understand it or forgive it. Somebody got some s'plaining to do. The problem is, the people whose job it is TO explain all that, ignore us.
posted by Regan, at
3/13/2007 11:26 AM
I'm a Christian and would like to share my perspective, which I believe is representative of MANY...
There is not one Rep candidate that I (any of us) can campaign for, donate to, or vote for -- so far. Sad to say, Edwards and Obama (and Gore) have the Reps squarely beat on fidelity within one marriage. (Their politics are indeed anti-life, anti-marriage, and anti-family, but I digress...)
The Biblical teaching on marriage is one man, one woman, for life; the Biblical perspective on divorce: God Himself says "I hate divorce" in Malachi. In Matthew, Jesus said God had tolerated divorce among the Jews because of the hardness of their hearts (hardly a compliment). But He said the only reason that God accepts for divorce is marital unfaithfulness (adultery); the innocent spouse can remarry, but the guilty one cannot. Paul, the apostle, wrote that if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believing spouse because of their faith, the believer is "no longer bound," which some take as permission to remarry (but only to a believer).
All that to say, from God's perspective, Guiliani & McCain & Gingrich are all in the wrong. The public humiliation and personal suffering that Guili and Newt caused their wives heaps up additional sin, but the absence of such doesn't leave McCain smelling a lot better. Additionally, Guiliani and McCain (and Romney) oppose much of what the Christian right supports. No Bible-believing Christian can support any of them. (And where you see someone making excuses to do so, recall what Jesus said: "Many will say Lord, Lord..." but not all who claim to be His disciples actually are.)
I pray that a better option will come forward. Surely the right can do better than these; if not, this nation will deserve what it gets.
posted by Anonymous, at
3/14/2007 1:18 AM
It worked for the Bush regime. They gave away millions in so-called "faith-based initiatives" to conservative religious organizations, like homophobe Bishop Eddie Long in Atlanta who preached Coretta King's funeral and claims the torch has been passed to him as the new civil rights leader for African Americans, getting votes from the sheep in exchange for the funds. Romney is on to something for sure.
Has our government lost all sense of shame and decency? It's beginning to sound more like the Godfather than America the beautiful!
posted by revtj, at
3/14/2007 3:01 PM
You and your group have had your Xtian "MAN" for two terms. And the rest of us have had the most ignorant president in history! When Cuba with its 45 year old awful human rights record comes out with legalizing same sex marriage, we (in the US)should realize we are in deep shit! The Cubans are making us out the laughing stock of the world.
And get over your sacrosanct Christian sham marriages with 50% failure rate and counting! Newt is the typical Christian, cheating on his wife while in the hospital with cancer and then accusing Clinton of infidelity! Takes guts! F%^$#ng hypocrite! Speaking of which, why don't you sign your name to your post since you so sincerely believe all the BS you spout. richard schillen
In what many political observers consider a bruising blow to a potential 2008 White House bid by Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House lost one of his longtime supporters today when Satan announced that he would not support a Gingrich candidacy.
For the normally reclusive Prince of Darkness, the decision to hold a press conference at the Washington Airport Marriott to reveal that he would not be supporting Mr. Gingrich struck many as extraordinary.
Dressed in his traditional red cape and carrying a smoldering pitchfork, Satan stated in no uncertain terms that he would be withholding his endorsement from his former colleague: "Not only am I not supporting Newt, I am giving his soul back."
Satan's announcement was particularly hurtful to the potential G.O.P. presidential candidate because, in the words of Gingrich supporter Tracy Klujian, "Newt and Satan have worked so closely in the past."
According to a close associate of the Prince of Darkness, Satan's rift with Gingrich stemmed from the former House Speaker's decision to confess that he had had an extramarital affair with a staffer while pursuing the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair with a staffer.
"The fact that Newt confessed it to Jerry Falwell really ticked Satan off," the Satan aide said.
Gingrich supporter Klujian remains hopeful, however, that the breach between the two infernal colleagues can somehow be mended: "You can win the G.O.P. nomination without Satan's help, but it's not easy."
Elsewhere, President Bush kept expectations low for his tour of Latin America, telling reporters, "I never got good grades in Latin."
posted by richard schillen, at
3/14/2007 6:43 PM
Newt Gingrich is a brilliant example of not only hypocrisy and bigotry but clearly demonstrates the obvious threat to marriage....the heterosexuals, the biggest bed-hoppers of all. Why don't the right-wing nuts go after people like him, or better yet, push for an amendment to ban divorce altogether, and if they're using the excuse that marriage is solely for having children, then let them also push for another amendment banning heterosexuals who want to marry but who can't procreate or better yet, don't want to.
well you certainly can't accuse gays of being non-christian - hahahahaha
posted by Anonymous, at
3/15/2007 8:07 PM
Anon Christian--the bible is only what some ancient peoples *said* or *thought* God said. Why would the intelligence (Spirit) that created the universe some 15 billion years ago give a shit whether someone is divorced or not (especially if your spouse turns out to be a real psycho). The only they that matters (AS JESUS TAUGHT) is how you treat others! Everything in the bible cant be the 'word of God' as science has proven what rubbish a lot of it is; unless God is a lyin' sack of shit like the bush regime and most of his kool-aid drinkin' supporters are!
posted by Anonymous, at
3/16/2007 1:26 PM
Jesus came not to destroy what is written but to fulfill the prophecy. And to enter into a new and everlasting covenant. That those who believe in him also beleive in the father and will have everlasting life.
So even if you follow the idea of an intelligent creator and do not follow the christian theology - at the very least - argue correctly.
posted by Anonymous, at
3/16/2007 2:47 PM
I am not a Biblical scholar. But let's all be realistic and concerned with religion is used to abuse human rights rather than foster them. In every religion in the world or every culture there is some mention of treating someone as you'd want to be treated.
And my greatest concern is, in many cultures women and gay folks are brutalized. The ancient's who had no concept of how men or women and their personal charcteristics, forced artificial restrictions on people so who could tell who was who and who could most maintain power. Women are hardly a minority in the world, yet do not share equally in power or the structure of civil law. Most have had to wrest it unwillingly from men, even here and in very recent history we're all witness to.
I find ancient religious texts suspect BECAUSE men have been the sole creators and arbiters of it, and when they want to change up the rules FOR THEMSELVES...they will. So those who claim they want strict covenant religoius rules to shape civil law, it's MEN who demand it, almost exclusively.
And the rest of us, women who want birth control, autonomy when it comes to property and their own monetary control, or gay people wanting and needing what everyone else has...well, these are people who are kept to be suspect.
Listen to all the so called 'family values' or 'moral values' crowd. They are fronted by the same kinds of people. They take in millions of dollars in donations, and are we any better off? Is anyone?
Morals and goodness go hand in hand, not religion and morals. After all, the strictest religious communities are offended by women's forms and function, are offended (brutally so) by homosexual form and function and are unwilling to learn anything more or else but the obviously narrow descriptives and directives that ancient religious volumes have to offer.
We own a far smaller planet, yet far more vast opportunity to learn, to function at a higher level and to be literate and UNAFRAID of ordinary and extraordinary selves. I won't sign up to allow a narrow view of the world, to dictate the terms of who and how I learn about my...our, bigger world. Humans are normally curious, and have potential to be sophisticated, these are the gifts that give us the ability to progress. But I'm hating this selective cowardice for the understanding and integration of gay folks in particular. When most societies are open to using cell phones, computers and modern medicine when it suits them. There is ALWAYS and constantly and opportunity to know someone gay, so why the resistance to just this, and no other access to learn about other people, no matter how remote or exotic? Gender mystique has to be the most mind boggling thing of all to men hard pressed to maintain control over the rest of us. It's not that great a mystery to those unafraid to use the intelligence God gave them. I respect the Bible as a foundation and a chronicle of an ancient people and society, ordering their world through Roman domination and Jewish diaspora and survival. They aren't so exotic or mysterious anymore. We know there have been ancietn travelers who found a new places to thrive in, and integrate into. However, the presence of gay people has always been there. Intimate and aware. Influential and symbiotic with all human history. What matters is how different people responded to it and what happened. And for Christians to say, it's been a tradition to disdain or harm or threaten gay people, doesn't mean the tradition was right, anymore than the tradition of keeping slaves or subjugating women. There are plenty of ancient traditions that kept people in domination that we can let go. ESPECIALLY when it's about gender based beliefs.
We should know better, and are obligated to know our gay and lesbian FAMILY better and embrace what they are, not only because this distinct minority has a place in human history long misunderstood, but because we also know that homosexuality isn't and doesn't mean automatic reprobate. Gay folks haven't and won't treat straight people as badly as the other way around. And THAT should be something respected and embraced meaningfully. Because when we all can look at the Bible writing, not just TEACHING, was there any mention of how badly homosexuals treated their neighbors and friends? Is there any chronicle of homosexuals forcing anyone into a pit or forcing someone else to be gay? No, these ancient books only say how gay people should be treated, but not how gay people treated someone else. So the real thought here is, where's the HARM that gay people have EVER done to society as a whole, so that the lot of them deserve constant shunning and shadow, regardless of great things having been achieved by gay people in spite of how they were treated?
I would respect Christians, or any person of faith MUCH more, if so many didn't strut around with this air of certainty that they are right about gay people, when they are so wrong about other things that DO hurt other people. Like adultery, and divorce and theft and addiction and differentiating them is a directive too that people of good moral grounding would recognize.
We must be consistent in what we do for human rights, and civil law. These freedoms and responsiblilities are precious here in America. Some more hard won for their group than others. There is plenty to go around. There is ALWAYS plenty of civility to share, if one is willing to do so. So, we can question those who are so unwilling to share in basic civil and family rights. We can demand moral clarity and consistency from those who claim they have it the most.
Betrayals, assaults, violence and kindness...all these and their results, are unchanged in our history. These are simpler rights and wrongs that do not betray our intelligence or age or place in life. So this is where it does come down to how are you treating your fellow human being today, and how did you make them feel?
At least when it comes to the LGBT and our lives together, straight folks no longer can justify doing to gay folks, and running from their deeds. And doing it because they know deep down, gay people really won't and aren't trying to do the same to them.
posted by Regan, at
3/16/2007 3:32 PM
But I think the male prostitute said it best "There's hypocrisy in the gay and the christian communities"
And though you like to go on and on - I was just making a point that this person misunderstood christianity - he got one small part right but not the major identifying characteristic that separates christians from muslims, jews, etc..
Anonymous, who are you responding to? Which anonymous are you? If you don't identify yourself, even with an initial or something, you make it very difficult in here for everyone to respond to the right person and the right comment. If you are addressing me, yeah...I do go on and on. So?
This is a good place to practice writing articles and speeches for addressing panels and churchgoers and so on, because it's all part of the advocacy. Wayne is very generous to allow it. But since no one else has objected...so?
posted by Regan, at
3/16/2007 7:14 PM
I'm open to correction and constructive criticism folks. But, I'm not to a hit and run complaint. Fair?
posted by Regan, at
3/16/2007 7:15 PM
Okay Anon, thank you for the clarification. w What you posted about the Biblical teaching on marriage, okay, we get that. However, marriage as we know, has evolved to be more inclusive. It's been restructured to reflect MORE equible ideals, not less. Most standards of marriage WERE very cruel to one of the spouses (the female. There is no need to tell us what the Bible says, we get it. Most gay people are not trying to change what the Bible says, but are all for being included in what CIVIL, non secular laws say. And gay people DO meet that criteria.
You have to understand, we're all looking around and noting that the standards get changed AROUND gay people, it's not gay folks changing them. The courts are literally moving the goal post, and calling the meaning of marriage something it doesn't have to mean for heteros or THEIR intentions. Not only that, calling on traditions that no longer exist for ANY marriage NOW, is ridiculous to front gay people with.
THIS is what is so frustrating. Gay folks know when they are being confronted with bullshit not required for straight people. Straight people are not required to marry according to Biblical standards, so why should gay people be made to?
It's fair for such things to be called into serious question, and again, gay folks are criticized for questioning Bible believers. It's fair because history has shown horrible abuses of entire groups of people, and the Bible being used to do it. A book that itself has been re-interpreted according European male monarch standards (King James), and the language altered as well.
So frankly, I don't believe many people know what the Bible EVER said.
But I do know, and so does every other thinking person gay or not, that current debates regarding gay people and marriage are argued on impossible standards, not equal ones. And THAT is all gay folks want, and rightly so. Look at what straight people say about who are against it, and look at what gay people say who want to marry.
It's the straight people ONLY who make crazy comparisons to bestiality, and multiple spouses and menace to children.
It's the gay folks who say they want to care for a SINGLE significant other, the children whose care they share and protect what assets they've acquired for the security of their household.
Reminds me, and should remind you too if you evern made a studied comparison of those who opposed interracial marriage. The comparison of the black spouse was to apes, non humans, inferior species and defective children. What straight people aren't saying directly, but what their objections say loudly, is that they don't think any more of gay people THAN animals, inferiors of the species and incapable of caring for anyone, let alone children. But what our reality is, is that ALL human beings are free to marry who they choose or who is like them or not. Even people who aren't FREE to walk the streets are free to marry. The ONLY exception is gay people, who cannot marry each other or care for their children. Constitutional protections went backward. This is the second time in history (since slavery) that an entire class of people are KEPT from marrying their significant other and caring for their children because of WHAT THEY WERE. The only other people who couldn't in this country before...were black slaves. And our government used Bible based rhetoric then. That was wrong then, it's wrong now. And no amount of religious rationalization will make it so.
posted by Regan, at
3/17/2007 11:04 AM
Oops, I meant to say, no amount of religious rationalization will make it RIGHT, to treat gay people this way.
Regan, I totally concur with all your comments. As for MEN (heterosexual men), the arbiters of ancient texts etc., these are the same men who invented the reference in Leviticus condemning homosexuality, not a divine being as they would have us believe. Nothing has changed, we still have the same men in the Vatican and in other oppressive religious denominations, including our own government making up the laws to suit their own ends to justify discrimination. Nothing has changed.
The reference in Leviticus and Dueteronomy "abomination" has been translated from hebrew "toevah". The cultural context in which it was used in that society has been corrupted in ours. If you are not a jew or a christian who uses jewish culture as your standard then it is meaningless. why can't people today in this society regard other beliefs and let people be people. even christ "offered" and did not impose his view on others. if others did not believe he walked away - simple, very simple.
posted by Anonymous, at
3/17/2007 3:30 PM
Off topic- Wayne, you HAVE to give us the story behind that Daily Show segment. Phreaking hysterical!
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