Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is This a Great Country, Or What?

Back in the US, back in the US, back in the US of A!
After more than a month on the road, I'm back home, in the greatest country in the world! And you know what, this country is so great, it will never disappoint you.
Don't believe me?
All you have to do is read the morning New York Times, and it will fill you up for the whole day. America: The Only Vitamin Your Body Needs!
Take the piece in today's paper about the Texas Board of Education. You remember them. They're the whack jobs who thought Thomas Jefferson was too far left to be in American history books.
Well, they're at it again.
Apparently, according to Chairperson Gail Lowe, our history books have a concealed pro-Islamic bias!
You remember Gail Lowe, don't you?
She's the creationist, appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry, he of the over-sized cowboy boots and under-sized intellect, to be the head of the school board.
Gail is famous for saying, among other things, "Our country was founded on religious principles . . . and our students will know that. . . . I think the [Founding Fathers] fully intended that our government would not separate church and state."
Yep, you read that quote right. And this woman is the head of the Texas Board of Education.
Or take Gail Collins' column of the Senate's latest incomprehensible inability to do the right thing. Faced with an opportunity to get rid of the inane "don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military, the Senate folded its tent, with the always righteous Republicans claiming that procedural issues unfairly used by the Democrats made it impossible for them to vote for the defense authorization bill that the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal was attached to.
Highest honors goes to John McCain, who is rapidly moving from maverick to mutton-head. McCain said, according to Collins, that he'd never seen such an awful trick as the ones the Democrats tried to pull, "for as long as I have been privileged to be a member of this body."
Except, as Collins points out, McCain himself had used the exact same technique for legislation he favored, as had his obstructionist Republican pals.
Question: Does John McCain just say stuff now, and assume that nobody will fact-check the stuff that comes out of his mouth?
Then there's small up-date news item on the latest allegation concerning Bishop Eddie L. Long, a pastor at a Baptist mega-church outside Atlanta.
Bishop Eddie is a God-fearing religious leader, and an out-spoken critic of homosexuality!
And today a third young man said that he'd been molested by said God-fearing, homo-hating bishop. The new accuser says that, as a teen-ager, he exchanged trips and gifts from the bishop for sex with the bishop.
You can't make this stuff up.
Which is what I love about America.
We have creationists running boards of education, but wonder why our children don't do well in school.
We have hypocrites in the Senate, but wonder why voters don't trust their elected leaders.
And we have child-abusers in the pulpit who preach against the sin of homosexuality, but wonder why organized religion no longer has moral authority.
The good thing is, it's all in your morning paper, delivered to your door step every day.
My advice: invest in good, old-fashioned journalism.
It just may save America yet.

All Rights Reserved 2009 (c) Alan Webber, Rules Of Thumb