ELLEN

It’s hard marching to your own drummer — behold these metronomes.  (Four minutes but you can skip ahead.)  They fall into line.  Even for a metronome, it seems. there’s pressure to conform.

Ellen DeGeneres is having none of it.  Which by now, I guess, is not such a big deal.  But back in 1987?  When she was first on the cover of Time (“Yep, I’m Gay”)?  That took courage.

In this under-three-minute clip she responds to a pastor who doesn’t care what the courts say: civil marriage should be reserved only for opposite-sex couples.

To which the pastor — somewhat dazzled that she’s made him so famous — responds here.  It’s quite loving and constructive until near the end, when the music starts to play, and — making no distinction between the civil marriage rights the courts have upheld and the religious marriage rites on which they would not presume to rule — he lumps same-sex marriage in with polygamy, incest, bestiality, and necrophilia.  (And seems to think that allowing gays to marry will promote promiscuity and thus spread disease.)  Allow marriage, he says, and the floodgates will open.  Yet in liberal Massachusetts, which has had marriage equality for more than a decade, has anyone noticed calls for legalizing polygamy?  Or marrying beasts or corpses?  I’ve missed that flood.

MEASLES

Jim Burt:  “There have been a lot of headlines and much hand-wringing in the media in recent days concerning the vaccination of children and parents’ ‘rights’ to refuse vaccinations on behalf of their children.  The anti-science party’s elected representatives and officials have, in some cases, taken the position that this falls within an area in which parents’ convictions should be considered, and some have even singled out religious convictions as a valid basis for declining vaccination for children.  This is arguably consistent with the propensity of the anti-science party to support the rights of major corporations to pollute the air and water of persons downwind and downstream from their facilities, since in both cases the result is to permit a threat to public health and safety in deference to keeping the heavy hand of government out of the lives (and businesses) of some people.  I wonder how those same people would react to someone in their neighborhood allowing his property to deteriorate so that it became a mosquito hatchery and rat nursery in an area known to be subject to endemic plague, West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, and encephalitis – all of which, incidentally, can breed in the Cotton Belt.  Children – I speak as the proud grandfather of five – are mobile cesspools of infection to start with, but vaccination can at least prevent the transmission of some of the nastier diseases, such as mumps, measles, and chicken pox, all of which can have long-term detrimental consequences.  There is no real difference between allowing one’s neighbor to operate a mosquito hatchery and allowing her children to be ambulatory fever swamps.”

 

 

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