Blogger Marriage Plans Makes Times

A few days ago I had a brief post noting that blogger Ann Althouse is marrying someone she met after he started commenting at her blog. While Althouse has received some nasty responses from certain bloggers, I saw this as a human interest/blogosphere interest story which is irrelevant to what anyone thinks of her views.

While I would expect bloggers to find this of interest, the story has gone beyond the blogoshere. The Fashion and Style section of The New York Times has an article on the upcoming marriage.

Liberal vs. Conservative Views on Marriage Equality

The right wing has a bizarre way of turning around discrimination against homosexuals to make themselves the victims. For example, earlier in the year I had some posts on the culture wars in which I primarily characterized them as being a consequence of Republicans capitalizing on the desire of social conservatives to use the power of government to impose their views upon others. A number of conservative blogs discussing the same topic argued that the culture wars were a result of liberals forcing gay marriage on the country. Of course this really means allowing others to do as they choose. Nobody was forcing gay marriage upon anyone.

The recent court decision in Iowa has the potential of reigniting these culture wars. The Anonymous Liberal is getting in the middle of such culture wars in responding to two conservative posts. He began by quoting Rod Dreher who has a post entitled (really!) Gay marriage forced on Iowa. Dreher wrote:

This morning, I had breakfast with some guys, including a lawyer. We weren’t aware of this decision, but we talked about this issue. The lawyer said that as soon as homosexuality receives constitutionally protected status equivalent to race, then “it will be very hard to be a public Christian.” By which he meant to voice support, no matter how muted, for traditional Christian teaching on homosexuality and marriage. To do so would be to set yourself up for hostile work environment challenges, including dismissal from your job, and generally all the legal sanctions that now apply to people who openly express racist views.

That world got a little bit closer this morning. And most people don’t even see it.

The Anonymous Liberal responds:

I realize its often hard to appreciate how your words will come across to those who don’t share your beliefs, but good grief, is it possible to be more oblivious? Dreher is lamenting the fact that as the law progresses toward recognizing the rights of homosexual people, it will become increasingly hard to be publicly intolerant of homosexuality. Dreher thinks it’s getting hard to be a “public Christian” in this country.

Yeah, it’s pretty rough being a Christian in America. Maybe Dreher should try being a “public homosexual” for a while and compare the experience. If I had a Quantum Leap machine, I’d be tempted to zap Dreher into the life of a gay high school student or maybe a gay man in a small Southern town and see how easy he finds it to publicly be himself. I wonder if Dreyer has any clue how much harder that would be than anything he’s ever had to deal with as a straight white christian male.

There is more in the original post, and then an update in which The Anonymous Liberal responds to a post at The American Spectator by Robert Stacy McCain. McCain, as would be expected, has had a number of hysterical comments in protest of the Iowa decision. Regular readers will better know McCain for his blog The Other McCain. That’s the blog where last month another writer there objected to my inclusion in a list of liberal values of “Tolerance of others living a life style different from your own.” The writer there disagreed that this represented a different attitude than the one expressed at McCain’s blog. Their intolerance can be amply seen in their response to this case. Of course this came in the same post in which the writer denied claims of a difference in attitude towards science while demonstrating both a lack of understanding and respect for the use of the scientific method as opposed to religion to understand the universe.

While I’ve had disagreements here with Robert Stacy McCain (and even one post in agreement in the past week), The Anonymous Liberal seems to have been previously unaware of him. Should he, or his readers, follow the trackbacks here, I would like to provide just one more example of how his thought differs radically from ours. In December I wrote a post on how many in the religious right are resistant to moderating their views. McCain responded:

The real question isn’t the influence of Dobson, but rather the influence of God, and if you’re waiting for God to moderate his views, I suspect you’ll be waiting a long time.

I responded to this comment here. As long as people like McCain think that their objection to homosexuality is based upon following God’s own views there will be no change in their attitude. As they also lack any respect for our heritage of separation of church and state, they will continue to seek to use the power of government to impose what they see as God’s views upon others.

Palin Place: Sarah Lashes Out At Levi

Like any good soap opera, there are new turns in the drama virtually every day. In today’s installment of the Palin soap opera, Sarah lashes out at Levi Johnston for talking about his relationship with Bristol on The Tyra Banks Show:

Levi Johnston is in big trouble at the Sarah Palin household.

After taking about sex on The Tyra Banks Show, Johnston – the 18-year-old father of Bristol Palin’s baby – was hit with a blistering response from Bristol’s mother, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

“Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We’re disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship,” says the statement from the Palin family rep.

If Levi were to wind up getting back together with Bristol, imagine the mother-in-law problems he would have.

Levi Johnston’s comments just might not be credible:

In the show airing April 6, Johnston tells Tyra Banks that he believes Sarah Palin knew he and Bristol, 18, were having sex when they lived under her roof. “I’m pretty sure she probably knew. Moms are pretty smart,” Johnston says.

The statements of anyone who suggests Sarah Palin is “pretty smart” cannot be taken seriously.

Meanwhile in the blogosphere, those following the trackbacks would see that PUMAs are now defending Sarah Palin. This is consistent with my characterization of them during the campaign as an essentially non-liberal crowd who were obsessed with supporting a woman candidate, regardless of whether they would make a good president or vice president. My bet is that most PUMAs will wind up backing Palin should she run in 2012. They are also likely to be sympathetic to Sarah Palin’s view that the First Amendment is intended to protect politicians from criticism by the media.