Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It's not that it's windy in Colorado

It's just that Kansas blows so much.
('cept K.C., Ass. Of course.)

You got a little something . . . right there.

I mean, Jesus Christ on a Nordictrac, just what IS the matter with Kansas?

Intelligent design. Here's the problem: one, we are not designed as if by a perfect being. We are screwed up. Walking upright is a bad idea, really, and we are not optimally designed for it, so either we were "designed" by a pretty crappy engineer, or we were formed over generations of genetic trial and error. Where's your god now, Intelligent Design believers? Second, why would "true" believers need to hear about intelligent design from their teachers? If they are among the faithful, they will already have heard about it and will believe accordingly. Teaching intelligent design in schools would be pointless for them, and would only serve to proselytize the kids whose parents had the good sense to send them to public school instead of keeping them at home and telling them that dinosaurs are really "Jesus Lizards" and were known to have hung out with Adam and Eve. 6000 year old earth and all that.

If I had been Dorothy, I'd have blown that popsicle stand and stayed in Oz, munchkins, talking trees and evil green women notwithstanding.

I have been saying lately that I don't believe that anyone in the White House or at the Federal level has any real interest in pressing far-reaching, faith-centered policies, and I more or less stand by that. Even if Rick Santorum wants to outlaw IVF clinics, he's not going to get too far with that because Bush and pals have much bigger, more profitable fish to fry. But the real danger does lie in local politics- it is at the local (state, city, school-board and even corporate) level where these initiatives are coming into play. In Colorado, you've got Bill Owens saying that the religious concerns of a hospital override the privacy and health needs of a rape victim. Cities in Texas and Kentucky demand the right to display an old movie promo of the 10 Commandments on courthouse lawns. Local pharmacists are claiming they have the right to refuse to dispense contraception and the Morning After Pill on religious grounds.

The trouble is that on the local level, in smaller populations, it is easier to gain support for measures that would not pass on the Federal level. The old conservative argument goes that if people have a problem with these kinds of measures, they can leave the area in which they are in effect.

But tell that to this woman, a mother of six whose husband's condom broke. She was refused the morning-after pill and resorted to abortion, after being so berated by the pharmacist as a "babykiller" that she didn't seek out a second outlet to get her prescription. While Walgreens is a corporation, and as such allows its pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions on moral grounds, laws protecting such decisions are up for debate in some states. If the issue was a matter of state law, could she have simply left the state? Not likely- if she couldn't afford to have a seventh child, chances are good that a move would have been financialy impossible. And what of the kids who are not down with the idea of Intelligent Design? Can they leave the class? Not likely either, seeing as how if they are attending public school their parent or parents probably can't afford a private one and their families probably couldn't afford to uproot the family and leave town.

Again, I don't know that I foresee federal laws reinforcing these local statutes. But it is just as troubling that they are gaining support on the state and local level.

**edited for semantic correctness, per Dex in comments**


  1. VV,

    Read your comment at recid's place, have an idea, an enormous idea regarding Cindy Sheehan.

    It's in my latest post. If you like the idea, please spread the word.


  2. good post, but if i can be just a little nit-picky: there's a difference between faith-based initiatives and policies grounded in a religious orientation; faith-based initiatives are functions of "machine politics," rewards and dispensation for organizing, while the latter is what you refer to you in the post, that sort of "what's the matter with kansas" stuff that's been cropping up on the local level and giving ptas and city councils fits.

  3. Gotcha. I fiddled with the wording above.

  4. vespa,
    yes, my state sucks. i acknowledge it.

    in other news, it's thursday A.M in thailand which means it's your birthday here! so happy happy birthday. if i knew how to say it in thai, I would.

    my parents get their new german girl today too. i hope she doesn't know about all the things that are wrong with kansas.

  5. Ass-
    For some reason, I see the scene in "Crybaby" where Traci Lords' family gets their exchange student. Heh.

  6. Walgreens is a business, and requires a license to operate, and implicit, if not explicitly stated, in this is that it must serve the public, not some of the public. Walgreens cannot allow the public to be differentially served. I cannot open a CVS next to a Walgreens, I probably wouldn't be able to get the permit, because the assumption is that the public is already being served by the Walgreens. I would think they leave themselves open to lawsuit and license revocation.
    Oh yes, happy birthday.