Living on an alien planet can be difficult sometimes. It requires work and effort. Every afternoon, I turn on the news and try to figure out what is going on around here.

The news anchor swivels his eyestalks as he lectures his audience. “On our planet, we believe in having as much freedom as possible,” he explains. “That’s why the clerk in Kentucky is keeping same sex couples from getting married…she’s doing it in the name of freedom.”

Okay, so that makes no sense. But hey, different lifeforms and all that, right? And what kind of strange name is Kentucky, anyway?

I keep watching, but it doesn’t get any better. An interviewer shifts herself and her low-cut dress towards the camera, so that we can more clearly see the cleavage of her five breasts. “Ooooh, is that really your answer?” she chirps. “You wouldn’t terminate your female partner’s pregnancy even if it meant ending her life? You would watch her die?”

“Oh, certainly! I will always stand in defense of life.”

“Well, blirpity blorpity, Senator!” she giggles.

This is becoming hopeless. Now, snippets from a press conference. A truly strange creature with a bizarre growth on its head leans into the microphones.

“The Latinos love me!” it yells. “The Mexicans, they love me! Just last week, I gave one of them a $10 tip, and he said to me…”

Is there no intelligence to be found out here?

It’s almost a relief to see the televangelist lifeform flail its tentacles up to the sky. “He’s coming back!” it screeches. “He’s coming back and when He does, everyone who didn’t listen to my warning will get TOSSED into the lake of fire!”

The lake of fire sounds preferable to this insanity…I hope I get tossed in there soon. To borrow a phrase from this crazy tribe, amen.

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I’ve never been one to hide the fact that I find the libertarian point of view to be annoying and unrealistic. But now, there is a new kind of person which irritates me even more than libertarians: People Who Pretend To Be Libertarian.

Yep, a lot of folks out there are faking being a libertarian. Whether it’s because they’re desperate to appeal to a changing demographic, or because “libertarian” has become the latest trendy term to fling around, like pretending to be a geek. How can you tell they’re not genuine? It’s the “I’m libertarian, but” phenomenon.

“I’m a libertarian, but I’m against gay marriage.” “I’m a libertarian, but we shouldn’t legalize marijuana.” This statement is then followed by some flimsy excuse about why, even though “I’m all about liberty!”, this particular freedom shouldn’t be allowed. Well…okay. So…hate to break it to you…you’re not a libertarian. The one redeeming value of the chaotic, might-makes-right libertarian vision of society is that you’re supposed to be completely free to make your own choices about how you live your life. If you reserve that right only to the people whose preferences match yours, and do not grant others that freedom, then the entire point of this concept breaks down. If you want the country’s laws to be based on the Bible, then we’re not in a libertarian universe anymore. Mind you, you can base your personal life decisions on the Bible if you wish, but the moment you try to force that on others, you are no longer a libertarian.

No, if you want to outlaw abortion and ban gay marriage, then you’re just a same old, same old religious conservative. I get it, you want to call yourself something else, because these days, being a conservative Christian is considered kinda lame. But your disguise is see-through. If you’re really a constitutional conservative, traditional on social issues, then own that. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

Because political labels come and go, but one thing remains the same–posers are never cool.

It’s a lazy, rainy Saturday over here, and I’ve been listening off and on to CPAC speeches.  Some observations:

Michele Bachmann:  still as grating as ever.  She wants us to build “that dang fence”.  Good luck winning over the Latino voters.

Dr. Ben Carson says that of course gay people should have “the same rights,” just not “extra rights” like marriage.  Um, no.  If I have the right to marry the person I’m attracted to, and a gay person has the right to marry the person he/she is attracted to, that is the SAME right.  Now, giving yourself the authority to tell other people what they can do with their relationships–there’s an “extra” right if I’ve ever seen one.  Dr. Carson says he wants the right to put what God says ahead of what man says.  Well, God said all kinds of interesting things about stoning all kinds of people to death.  Good luck winning over the millennials with this stuff.

Still not sure why Kesha’s “Die Young” was played after Newt Gingrich’s speech.  Did the speech make people suicidal?  Trying to attract the teenybopper crowd?

Ann Coulter did her thing and she also does not show much desire to appeal to the Latino voting block.  Her favored solution to the immigration problem is self-deportation.  She says that after all, the immigrants who came over the border knew perfectly well that what they were doing was wrong!  Ever ponder why people might be desperate enough to do something they knew was illegal?  But no, not a twinge of compassion in Ann’s face.  She says that if amnesty ever happens, it’s “game over” and it’s “time for death squads for the people who wrecked America.”  Lovely.  Moving on…

Mike Huckabee–yep, still talking about Benghazi.  It’s obvious they’re getting ready for 2016.  Now just pull out Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress and they’ll be prepared.  Good luck winning over the non-conspiracy theorists….

So, do the conservatives actually want to win upcoming elections?  That remains to be seen…I’ll keep watching.

Toddler beauty queens.  Families which think that spawning nineteen babies is a great idea.  Gator hunters from the swamps.

See a pattern here?  Yes, I disagree with the Duck Dynasty guy’s views on homosexuality.  But the purpose of these characters is to be freakish.  The TV channels which rely on these shows for ratings scour the darkest recesses of this country and dig up the bizarre and the shameless.  And we’re supposed to be shocked that they have backwards opinions?  About a year ago, Michelle Duggar–of 19 Kids And Counting fame–made a speech at an evangelical conference in which she gave tips for being a more obedient wife.  Seriously…this is the kind of thing we should expect from this crowd.

More importantly, why should we care what these reality “stars” think?  It turns out Honey Boo Boo is in fact in favor of gay rights–so what?  This is still Honey Boo Boo we’re talking about.  Since when do we care what the circus sideshow thinks about marriage equality, or any other issue?  I guess we do now, and that makes me far sadder than anything Phil Robertson will ever say.

So, one argument I’ve been hearing a lot this week from those who oppose same sex marriage has been that traditional marriage has “worked” for thousands of years.  I have to wonder what “working” means in this case.  If by “working” we mean just “continuing the human species”, then yes, we have done that.  I suppose that continuing to exist can be a success in itself.  But has traditional marriage truly been an effective way of living life?  Women, in particular, have held a shitty and repressed role in marriage for all those glorious thousands of years.  Has traditional marriage worked for them?  Many married human beings have spent their lives being miserable and unfulfilled in those marriages.  It almost makes me wonder if gays and lesbians really want to be a part of the marriage train.

But the basic truth about marriage is that it’s an economic contract.  That is what it has been about for straight people for centuries, with romantic love only being a recent addition to the mix.  That’s why most of the arguments in favor of same sex marriage have been about money, and rightly so.  And about the simple desire of people wanting to be treated like everyone else, which is completely understandable.

I see no good reason not to expand the definition of marriage to same sex partners.  I also can’t help but question the “sacred institution” of marriage itself.  Hopefully we can continue to re-invent our institutions and traditions in ways that make our lives happier and more fulfilling.

Whenever I end up feeling like a jaded and discouraged old (or at least middle-aged) woman, hearing about the Millennials gives me hope.  Thank God for young people.  This new generation is more racially diverse than ever.  They don’t see gay marriage as a problem.  They’re used to women having influential positions and successful careers.  They’re more likely to be skeptical of religious institutions, and to be spiritual rather than religious.  They’re more likely to be vegan or vegetarian than people of other generations–I’m not vegetarian myself, but deeply admire the motivations which lead a person to make that choice.

They will also probably become more conservative as they get older, just as every other generation does.  But that is the essence of the life process–by the time the Millennials get too old and crusty, new kids and new ideas will enter the scene.  All I know is that the last thing I want is to get stuck in some static version of “the good old days”.  Let my faded nostalgia get washed away by the flow of life, as it deserves to be, and in with the new.

There has been much doubt and questioning of President Obama’s religious faith, even though he has professed many times to be a believing Christian.  According to some critics, he doesn’t go to church often enough, doesn’t flaunt his religion enough, and has made the serious mistake of not using the phrase “born again”.

As far as his Christianity goes, I will have to take the President’s word for it.  But I have to say that I’m okay with having a man in the White House who is uncertain about his beliefs once in a while.  And as someone who also worships the Divine, I’m grateful to God for saving us from those who are too confident about their faith.  I fear the people who think they have a personal phone line to God, those who are so sure that God shares their opinions, they believe that anyone who disagrees is lost and has to be forcibly rescued.

So thanks be to God for protecting us from those who are too sure of themselves.  Those who are so sure of what a woman’s place in this world should be, they are willing to tell women to surrender to their nature.  Those who are so sure they know that life begins at conception, they would put their signature on a bill which would outlaw even certain forms of contraception.  Those who are so sure that love can only exist in one form, they would forbid any other kind of it.  Those who know that this world was meant to be a special gift from God just for them, so that they are free to bomb people in other countries, kill off animals and use up its resources as they wish.  And of course, those who are sure that the poor and sick and weak are guilty of some sin which caused them to be in that situation–not being confident enough, perhaps?–so they have permission from God to be completely merciless to them.

President Obama is by no means perfect, and I’m not always happy with his policies.  My own liberal views turn out to be flawed and incorrect sometimes.  And that is why I would rather have someone in office who is imperfect and realizes it, than a perfect believer who doesn’t realize the size of the beam he’s got in his own eye.