OLD TIME RELIGION’S UNCIVIL PAST Emilio DeGrazia

I was pleased when legislators added the word civil to the gay marriage bill recently approved by the Minnesota legislature and governor. Marriage has a long history of being on the rocks, so it could use a little civility.<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />


Those strongly against gay marriage are hard to argue with, in part because their opinion has hardened into heart-felt belief. Ive heard opponents of gay civil marriages claim that their version of marriagea union between one female and one malehas been sanctioned by their version of God for over two thousand years. Bumper stickers proclaim this version as gospel truth all over town.


So I decided to go to the original source, Genesis and other early books of the Bible, to see how marriage fared before it became a part of new old time religion. What I found in these early books of the Bible is that its easy to conclude that God had little interest in having His own wife and family. One thing is certain: He was a committed bachelor forever. He was not married to any queen of heaven. Nor did God take a traditional view of marriages made in heaven. A proper conjugal relationship between one male and one female married to each other is not how family life got its start. When God got around to creating Adam, his first-born, he preferred red claysome call it dirt or dustrather than a female as his medium. From Adams rib (in one version) He then fashioned Eve, freed from the obligation to have an actual heavenly wife. A free lance artist He indeed is; a husband He is not.


Marriage as a divinely sanctioned union between one human male and one human female also did not seem to be part of Gods original plan. Were Adam and Even really ever married? Were they husband and wife, or brother and sister? More likely the latter, it seems, since Eve (in one version) was engineered from Adams rib. And if they are our first parents are we all offspring of an incestuous marriage that it would be hard to conceive as traditional? And after Cain and Abel grew up whose childrentheir sisters?did they make into wives with whom they could exchange the vows requiring them to honor and obey? Continue reading

Why Niall Ferguson Smears…

read the whole thing at http://www.juancole.com/2013/05/conservative-fergusons-muslims.html

The Conservative Logic of Fergusons Smears of Gays, Muslims, Obama and Krugman

Posted 05/05/2013 by Juan Cole

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson apologized Saturday for having said that economist John Maynard Keyes did not care about future generations because he was gay and had no children.

The question I want to raise here is the over-all logic of Fergusons underlying reasoning. What makes him continually make embarrassing and simple errors of fact, as with his attack on Obama last summer, which Newsweek did not bother to fact-check before publication.

I would argue that the reason that conservatives like Ferguson hate Keynes is that Keynes demonstrated conclusively that when the economy goes into a deep recession or depression, the only way to get back out of it is for the government to increase spending. Contemporary conservatives do not want to admit that government plays an indispensable set of economic roles. They want to believe that the corporations can get along just fine without the state. Economists and economic historians often take money from corporate interests to address them or even write studies that flatter their prejudices. Paul Krugman once wondered, after the 2008 meltdown, why so many academic and professional economists are so anti-Keynesian, given the impressive record of correct prediction attendant on the Keynsian enterprise. I am more cynical. I dont have to guess. I think some, or many, are corrupted by the big money that flows from upholding the independent role of capital and from belittling government efforts.
read more here http://www.juancole.com/

Budget Cuts Devastate Meals On Wheels

Budget Cuts Devastate Meals On Wheels: Enrollment Slashed, Services Cancelled

By Bryce Covert ThinkProgress

Congress recently passed a bill to undo furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) caused by sequestration, but it left cuts to many other programs intact, including Meals on Wheels. The program brings hot meals to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities, thus providing them with nutrition and helping many of them live independently.

Directors of Meals on Wheels programs across the country spoke with ThinkProgress about how they are coping with decreased funding. Some, like Meals on Wheels of Western Broome in New York, are private nonprofits that don’t rely on government funding and will therefore be shielded. But by and large, the heads of these programs described facing deep cuts after having already slimmed down in response to lean times over the past few years. Continue reading

Hobbes on Theodicy @ Yourmometer.com