Veracity Stew’s peek at outrageous headlines and topics.
Back Off Boehner:
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has been gearing up for more than two years to defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act after the Obama administration declared it unconstitutional in 2010, and is now using the law in a case that involves a disabled Iraq war veteran denied spousal benefits under the law, which prevents federal agencies from recognizing same-sex marriages/relationships.
Tracey Cooper-Harris — is on disability and receiving treatment for PTSD and multiple sclerosis — alleges that by failing to provide spousal benefits to her wife, the Veterans Affairs administration is infringing on her constitutional right to equal protection under the law. DOMA prevents federal agencies from recognizing same-sex relationships and Title 38 of the United States Code defines spouses as a person of the opposite sex.
House Republicans convened the House Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to defend the constitutionality of DOMA…but this is the first case in which Beohner is also defending Title 38.
Democrats Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (R-OH) have sent a letter to Boehner urging him to abandon his battle against this gay veteran:
“[W]e strongly object to spending taxpayer money to intervene in this case against a decorated veteran, Tracey Cooper-Harris, and her spouse, Maggie Cooper-Harris,” Pelosi and Hoyer write in their letter. “This decision clearly exceeds the scope of the original BLAG authorization, with which we initially disagreed.”
“Racism is alive and well in America.”
While there is plenty of moral outrage to go around, a recognition that racism is alive and well in America, and that justice has been hijacked by those who can afford it, the broader and more fundamental questions and analyses are not being raised.
What is missing in this debate over the legalities of the case (as against questions of justice) is a hard look at the underlying economic, racial and political conditions that make such a senseless act of violence possible. While it is easy to ridicule as racist Geraldo Rivera’s claim that the boys “hoodie” was somehow responsible for his death, as if it carried an unequivocal and dangerous signifier for all young people, regardless of what their race, neighborhood, or class location might be. The real question in this case is, what kind of society allows young black and brown youth to be killed precisely because they are wearing a hoodie? Indeed the politics of diversion runs deep in American culture. And questions concerning what kind of society we have now become as reflected in such a tragic killing are simply ignored.
Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests, and get-rich evangelists.
What does it matter how strictly you proclaim your belief in various doctrines if you do not live as these doctrines demand? What is politics if not a dangerous temptation toward controlling others rather than reforming oneself? If we return to what Jesus actually asked us to do and to be—rather than the unknowable intricacies of what we believe he was—he actually emerges more powerfully and more purely.