Looks like Steve and I have strep throat. That's probably what Ian's been whining about for two weeks. Oh, well. Missed that one. Like I said, I'm a bad mother.
So, we've got a new pope. He apparently is no trail-blazing progressive, but it's hard to tell because his previous position was The Whip-cracker. Whatever. We'll wait to see what he does.
A bone to pick with some fellow bloggers.
When I was a kid and someone from the playground picked on my sister, I got all puffed up, defensive, and combative. Non-compatible DNA stains could not pick on my sister, because picking on her was MY job, not to be shared with outsiders.
I have to say that I'm dismayed at the anti-Catholic crap that I've seen in some of blogs. I just don't get why non-Catholics give a crap about the church's position on women clergy, abortion, or birth control. Nobody is dragging you up the aisle to receive Christ's life blood.
If other Catholics don't like it, they have a few options. Get their ashes and palms, and become "cafeteria Catholics" picking and choosing the doctrine they wish to follow. (Guilty) They can also write letters to their Bishops. If that does no good (probably won't), well, there's always the Unitarians.
What I find most distasteful is the liberal blogs that bash religious types. Where's the diversity, people? Oh, diversity is only for the approved groups. No interest in being tolerant to the religious types. It's like someone passed around an "Okay to Bash" list and put religious people way up on top. Face it, people. We live in a diverse country. That's what makes it more interesting than countries like Sweden or Denmark. If you want to more than lip service to your call for diversity, you have to embrace every last one. Pucker up and kiss an evangelical.
Don't fear diversity. Instead whip out the Federalist Papers and flip to #10. Don't have it handy? Well, let me sum up.
In #10, Madison worries about the future of the fledgling democracy. Never actually practiced before, democracies were theorized to be volitile and likely to dissolve into demagogery. In particular was the worry over factions, minority groups that worked to surpress the rights of a majority. What protections could be put into place that would frustration those factions from destroying the newfound freedom? He proposed two solutions. One is a large diverse country, such as the new country, where there would be too many interests for one large one to form. The other was federalism, the system of states with a strong central government. Federalism would divide up interests making it highly unlikely for a faction to take charge of the national government. If it took control of one state, then the problem would be localized.
In the blogosphere, several liberals and certain pro-gay rights conservatives have held out federalism as the last hope for liberalism during the Republican era. Perhaps pockets of the country can support their cause, if not the whole country. But they propose this solution with a heavy heart.
Don't fear. Federalism good. Federalism good.
Some corners of liberal academia have always embraced federalism. Some explain that the states have often been the sources for very liberal, innovative policy. David Osborne calls them "laboratories of democracy". Others look at the expanded options for participation that federalism offers. It's much easy to protest and lobby at the state level than at the national level.
David Brooks has an op-ed in today's Times that is going to drive the chick bloggers bananas. Haven't had a chance to surf yet, so if you send me some links, I would appreciate it. He writes that Roe v. Wade should never have happened. Abortion laws should have been determined by state legislatures. I'm not sure if it should have been the state or national legislature, but it should not have been court battle. Brooks is right -- Roe v. Wade could be responsible for eliminated the filibuster. Like Brooks, I feel that this is a huge mistake; the filibuster is an important protection for minorities in the Senate. Unlike Brooks, I think that it's impossible to overrule Roe v. Wade and made into law instead; Roe is here to stay.
But it is interesting to think about. What would happen if the states completely took over abortion laws? Okay, forget Louisiana. But I'm not sure that you would a huge difference accross the country. Some states would have a few more regulations than others, but I'm not convinced that the red/blue dicotomy would happen to abortion laws. In fact, I think it would strengthen abortion legislation, since it was locally decided by elected representatives.
God, I'm sick. What the hell am i doing blogging?