The Conservative Shift on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

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This is a very surprising poll result, to say the least. You can read the full study here. I wonder if the shift among conservatives has less to do with their views on same-sex equality and more to do with their views on foreign policy. That would be one obvious explanation, right? After all, many correlate the size and strength of their military to their immediate well-being. The assertion that “They are over there fighting so we don’t have to fight them here at home,” comes to mind. When it’s a perceived matter of life and death, maybe for conservatives in this case, pragmatism seems to trump ideology.

If I’m wrong and this is not the case, than this is just another harbinger of things to come which is good news for those who support true equality for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Also worth mentioning is that every group polled in both studies grew in favor of gays openly serving in the military except for those with a high school education or less.

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Do not be afraid

I’ve had a few conversations about this very topic where I’ve been laughed out of the room. The reason being is that I totally agree with Bob Wright here. If we are holding “enemy combatants” but cannot convict them for whatever reason, we must stay true to the values on which we’ve built this democracy and release them. Indefinitely holding an individual for any reason without due process is a total rejection of our core values. This is the cost of living in a free society where we are all innocent until proven guilty. I understand that politically, this is an almost impossible issue. But we must not be cowards. We are over-estimating the threat to the point where we unflinchingly ditch values that make up the foundation of our society.

I’ll stop here. Bob Wright articulates my view better than I can so I’ll just leave at that.

If you disagree, let me know.

Bush and McCain’s “Pro-Life” Paradox

Nicholas Krisof uncovers the Bush administrations policy of more unwanted pregnancies and STD’s:

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia.

There is something about reproductive health — maybe the sex part — that makes some Americans froth and go crazy. We see it in the opposition to condoms to curb AIDS in Africa and in the insistence on abstinence-only sex education in American classrooms (one reason American teenage pregnancy rates are more than double those in Canada). And we see it in the decision of some towns — like Wasilla, Alaska, when Sarah Palin was mayor there — to bill rape victims for the kits used to gather evidence of sex crimes. In most places, police departments pay for rape kits, which cost hundreds of dollars, but while Ms. Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the town decided to save money by billing rape victims.

The latest bout of reproductive-health madness came in the last couple of weeks when the U.S. Agency for International Development ordered six African countries to ensure that no U.S.-financed condoms, birth control pills, I.U.D.’s or other contraceptives are furnished to Marie Stopes International, a British-based aid group that operates clinics in poor countries.

The entire article is fascinating and infuriating. The “pro-life” agenda in this country is as hallow as it’s ever been.

God’s Will=Oil Pipeline and Iraq War

These absurd quotes will surely make the conservative evangelicals do the wave in their churces next sunday:

Speaking before the Pentecostal church, Palin painted the current war in Iraq as a messianic affair in which the United States could act out the will of the Lord.

“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”

Religion, however, was not strictly a thread in Palin’s foreign policy. It was part of her energy proposals as well. Just prior to discussing Iraq, Alaska’s governor asked the audience to pray for another matter — a $30 billion national gas pipeline project that she wanted built in the state. “I think God’s will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said.

I’m in awe.