Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday News Brunch and Open Thread

-- by Sara

Sorry it's been so quiet here this week. The weather's warm (at least by the standards that obtain on the 50th parallel), which makes it hard to focus on work. Canada celebrates its Independence Day on July 1, and the US's is three days later, so the party energy is running high on both sides of the Cascadian border. The tourist season is starting to bring in visitors from points south, so we're spending the weekend clearing out the guest room. Oh, and my first chick fledged -- she turned 19, found a fabulous job on a new TV show, and moved out into her own apartment this past week. We bought her a set of cooking pans for a birthday gift. A landmark moment that passed in a blink: one day she was here, and a single U-Haul load later, she was gone.

What's for brunch? Got lots of little yinnies I've been saving up over the past couple weeks, meaning to blog but not quite getting to. On the menu today:

Southern Baptists: old, white, and in decline. The SBC's 16-million-strong membership is falling so fast that it could be less than half that size within 40 years. Baptisms are down. So its the church's influence in Southern culture (the article notes that "dry" counties are becoming less so). They're not holding onto the kids. It doesn't bode well for the long run.

Over the years, the SBC has been the font of some of the most egregious looniness from the religious right, so I feel a bit like a circus fan hearing the news that attendance is falling off at Ringling Bros. shows. For the whole 20th century, they were the best show in town. Best catch 'em before they fade into history.

Huckabee and Gingrich: Prop 8 passed because of prayer. Evidently, the Yes on 8 voters just couldn't be hateful and stupid enough all on their own to vote away people's civil rights. For spite of this magnitude, you need God.

More on why both the above stories are a major problem for the GOP.

Some are responding to the Republican meltdown by giving up on God, and going for their guns. "...For many gun owners, this year's NRA show isn't the beginning of any armed insurrection, but rather a part of a conservative soul-searching as an out-of-power political minority seeks a new role." Well, that's something to look forward to.

And then there's the current fuss on the right about the census. This is an old Bircher bugbear going back to the 1960s. Reading around, it seems pretty clear to me that their real fear is that an accurate count will result in more of their money going to Those People (which, as Digby rightly notes, is the animating force behind most conservative racism). Though I'm still not clear how encouraging white people to make sure they're undercounted is supposed to fix that.

In any event, right-wing screeching aside, next year's census (as currently configured) is actually considerably less intrusive than any census done in most of our lifetimes. Even the small percentage of households getting the expanded questionnaire aren't being asked questions that haven't been asked before.

In any event, if the upshot is that Michelle Bachmann's seat is wiped off the Congressional map by this, it will not be a bad thing.

No comments: