Progress

Looks as if the corporate bigwigs on the board of the national Boy Scout organization have decided that they’re not happy with bigotry as a family value, and they’re pushing for local option on the inclusion of gays. A Southern Baptist mullah says this might lead his church to drop cooperation with Scouting.

1. This matters, substantively as well as symbolically. Scouting is a useful activity, and the Eagle Scout designation is a way for adolescents to earn a useful credential that is neither academic nor athletic. The attempt to convert it from a civic organization to a partisan redoubt for the Red Team – as the NRA and the Catholic Church have been converted – was an important strategic move, and its defeat is important.

2. This should also help strain the plutocrat/theocrat alliance. Companies with gay, and gay-friendly, customers and employees simply can’t afford to be on the wrong side of an issue such as this one.

3. The Baptists are bluffing. And if the Scouts can’t meet at church, they’ll meet in school or at the library.

4. The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell might have helped make the difference. It was absurd to rules for boys playing soldier (which is part of what Scouting is) to have rules real soldiers don’t have.

5. I wonder whether the interpretation of “reverence” to mean “theistic religiosity” will be the next domino to fall? There are more “nons” than there are gays, and we’re tired of being stepped on.

Comments

  1. John G says

    According to the article, “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs.”

    That is of course exactly what the Boy Scouts have been doing all this time in banning gays, and continue to do in banning atheists (who won’t take an oath referring to a duty to God – I guess they let in those who cross their fingers at that part.) Suddenly they’re scrupulous.

  2. Brett Bellmore says

    I think there are a number of A rated Democrats who’d be surprised to hear the NRA is a “partisan redoubt”; An ideological redoubt, perhaps, but the NRA is open to members of any party who agree with it’s positions.

    And let’s give the credit for turning the Catholic Church into a “partisan redoubt” to the guy responsible: Barak Obama. Way to order a religion to violate it’s precepts, Barak!

    • Dennis says

      Give me a break, Brett.

      What candidates does the NRA fund? According the Center for Responsive Politics, in the cycle just past the NRA made contributions of $674K to 222 Republican House candidates and $116K to 26 Democratic Party House candidates. Seems pretty one-sided to me. I guess those are the 26 “A” rated Democrats.

      The Catholic church was not ordered to violate its teachings, either. They are not required to hand out contraceptives with the missal. They are required to have health insurance provisions that provide contraceptives to their employees. Note that not every employee of the Catholic church is necessarily a Catholic themselves. Note also that many nominally Catholic entities (especially health-care organizations) provided oral contraceptives as a part of their health insurance drug coverage.

      The so-called “crisis” is one wholly manufactured by the bishops for whatever reason they manufactured it.

      It would be interesting to note the affiliation of Scout troops today. Back in the day, most were associated with schools (my Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop were both sponsored by my school’s PTA) rather than churches. My impression is that this has reversed, and that the Mormons are now the largest single sponsor of Scouting organizations in this country.

      • Brett Bellmore says

        “Seems pretty one-sided to me. I guess those are the 26 “A” rated Democrats.”

        Yeah, pretty much. The NRA is not responsible for the Democratic party being a hive of gun grabbers, (I was going to say “scum and villainy”, but that’s bipartisan.) nor under any obligation to rate highly and donate to candidates hostile to it’s interests, just to make the numbers look better. (To Democrats…) You want NRA money and votes, stop attacking the 2nd amendment.

      • Stephen says

        “The Catholic church was not ordered to violate its teachings, either.”

        Several dozen Catholic institutions (including many that are in no way darlings of Catholics on the political right) disagree. Its one thing to say that the state has a compelling reason to force institutions to violate their collective consciences. But its a bit odd to tell someone who insists that “my conscience forbids me to do X” that “of course it doesn’t you benighted idiot!” Um – how would you know? Consciences being, after all, the interior dialog within the minds of persons.

        “They are not required to hand out contraceptives with the missal. They are required to have health insurance provisions that provide contraceptives to their employees. Note that not every employee of the Catholic church is necessarily a Catholic themselves.”

        They are required to pay for products whose use they find to be morally illicit. The fact that an insurance company stands in the middle as an intermediary is of no matter. The money comes from the institutions in question. It is used to buy contraceptives. Ergo – the institutions are required to buy contraceptives. Of course Catholic institutions employ non-Catholics. But so what? This is not a question of whether these institutions have the right to compel certain behavior that they find morally questionable on the part of their employees. Its a question of whether the institutions should be compelled to pay for said behavior.

        “Note also that many nominally Catholic entities (especially health-care organizations) provided oral contraceptives as a part of their health insurance drug coverage.”

        Again – so what? Quakers (and others) have the right to refuse otherwise compulsory military service because of their religious beliefs. The fact that some Quakers voluntarily enlist in the army (or for that matter, the fact the sometimes Quaker punch the guy at the bar that is getting a little too fresh with their girlfriends) doesn’t nullify that right. We don’t typically make conscience rights conditional on what % of a person’s co-religionists (or co-philosophists) live up to the common values perfectly.

        In any event the suggestion that this is a uniquely Catholic thing is off mark. Multiple non-Catholic religious and non-religious organizations have either joined these lawsuits as co-plaintiffs or expressed public support for them.

        • Dennis says

          Wow. Who knew that estrogen and progesterone analogs are morally illicit.

          The point that many nominally Catholic entities used to provide contraceptive coverage is an important point. Until the Bishops decided to create a crisis, it was a non-issue.

          So, what the Bishops are saying is, “Oh. My. God. We can provide oral contraceptives if there is a co-pay, but not if it is covered without a co-pay.

          In the alternative, you can argue that the Bishops are such idiots that they didn’t recognize until last year that they were in fact allowing their insurance companies to pay a large part of women’s contraceptive costs.

          Actually, given the behavior I’ve seen from the upper levels of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, I supposed that the alternative really is plausible. But I know enough priests to know that they are all well aware that many of their parishioners are using birth control methods deemed “morally illicit” by the Bishops.

        • Phil says

          “Of course Catholic institutions employ non-Catholics. But so what? This is not a question of whether these institutions have the right to compel certain behavior that they find morally questionable on the part of their employees. Its a question of whether the institutions should be compelled to pay for said behavior.”

          Assuming these “employees” receive a “salary” or “wages” of some sort, which they then use to buy condoms or contraceptive shots or IUDs or what have you, the Church is already doing exactly that . They cannot forbid employees from using their compensation for contraception. Insurance coverage is part of compensation, not a damned birthday present.

          • Brett Bellmore says

            Don’t be obtuse: There’s a difference between saying, “The Mosque is paying it’s janitor a wage, and can’t stop him from using it to buy pork.”, and saying, “The law requires the Mosque to give it’s janitor a free subscription to the “Bacon of the month” club.” As you’d rapidly see from the exploding bombs if any American administration decided to go for the latter.

            The Obama administration picked a fight with the Catholic Church. Maybe you think it’s a fight they should have picked, maybe you think the Church should have responded with abject surrender, but that’s the reality: They picked this fight, and the actual text of the law in no way required them to. They chose to.

            There’s a decided difference between “being in the tank for the Republican party”, and not rolling over and playing dead when the Democratic party decides to attack you. Both the Catholic Church and the NRA are in the latter situation.

        • says

          By the way, they aren’t required to pay for anything. The insurance company has to give out the contraception at no cost to the policyholders. The Church is upset about SOMEONE ELSE being required to hand out BC.

          • Stephen says

            And presumablt the insurance companies funds these purchases from their magic pile of fairy money?

          • j_h_r says

            @Stephen:

            presumably the insurance companies in question, then, have NO clients other than Catholic institutons and depend solely on the good grace of insurance-purchasing Catholic institutions for their continued existence? i.e., there would and will never be a chance of, say, Georgetown and Rutgers providing health insurance to their employees from the same corporation?

      • Tim says

        The so-called “crisis” is one wholly manufactured by the bishops for whatever reason they manufactured it.

        Exactly. Follow the money: a Church with massive legal settlement liabilities meets wealthy anti-contraceptive benefactors.

        • Stephen says

          Congratulations for successfully making sh!t up. Or perhaps you have evidence of this? (crickets chirping)

          • Tim says

            Of course, a careful reader would understand that I wasn’t asserting any facts, just a reasonable hypothesis given the Church’s enduring history of “pliable ethics”.

    • Phil says

      Right, because until The PPACA came along (which by the by doesn’t order any church to do anything at all), it’s not like the Catholic Church or its high-ranking members were publicly threatening to excommunicate or refuse communicion to Democratic office-seekers for being pro-choice. Nope, not at all.

      • j_h_r says

        man, I’d totally forgotten about that. hey, is John Kerry still going to be refused communion now that he’s SecState?

  3. KLG says

    Brett, if you are going to complain about the president, at least spell his name as he does. Do you also say “Democrat Party”?

    As for the Catholic Church, what seems most true about them today is that those who should know better have badly misinterpreted what Jesus meant in Matthew 19:14.

    Anyway, unless the Bigoted Scouts of America back down completely from this development it looks like my United Way contribution is safe. Otherwise the money was going directly to the Boys & Girls Club.

  4. Ebenezer Scrooge says

    The delightful thing about the Sphincter Scouts’ change of position is that it invalidates the factual predicate of the Dale case. Any state that wishes to regulate anti-gay discrimination by the Scouts is now free to do so. Hey, if homophobia is no longer a constitutive part of Scouting, a state can regulate it just like it can regulate workplace discrimination.

  5. Ebenezer Scrooge says

    Mark is being a bit rough on the Catholic Church, although I agree with him on the NRA. (Sorry, Brett.) The Catholic Church hierarchy is probably in the tank for the Republican Party, like Mark says. But the church is far more than the hierarchy. Try suggesting to a few nuns that the hierarchy represents them. You might want to wear asbestos clothing while you’re about it.

    • John Herbison says

      The RoCaMBLA survives, in part, because its parishioners continue to affiliate and to contribute money. The laity are not as significant a part of the scandal/political shenanigans as the clergy, but the laity are far from blameless.

    • Stephen says

      The same Catholic Church hierarchy that you insist is in the tank for the Republican party has in recent years been angrily criticized by non-Catholics (and many Catholics) on the political right for:

      1) Advocating for the rights and beneficial treatment of undocumented immigrants and against punitive measures against them generally
      2) Condemning the morally repellent Alabama immigration law specifically
      3) Supporting every single pending and in-process moratorium on the use of the death penalty
      4) Generally supporting most local “living wage” laws
      5) Condemning the Iraq war
      6) Condemning the use of drone killings (oops – I guess these days that’s an equal-opportunity act of resistance against the state)
      7) Condemning the use of torture in all forms
      8) Generally supporting tighter gun control laws

      I could go on.

      • Ebenezer Scrooge says

        Stephen,
        I agree with what you said. But I note that you did not contradict my point: that the hierarchy is in the tank for the Republican party. The hierarchy coos like doves on your issues #1-8 (and more!), in a fashion consistent with Catholic teaching (as I understand it), and friendly to the interests of the Democratic Party. But the hierarchy roars like lions on gender and church-state issues.

        • Richard Hershberger says

          The way I generally put it is show me a Catholic bishop threatening to refuse the eucharist to a politician over a war vote or a living wage vote and I will be impressed.

    • Brett Bellmore says

      “Mark is being a bit rough on the Catholic Church, although I agree with him on the NRA. (Sorry, Brett.)”

      Eh, you don’t have to apologize to me, just all the Democrats who are members of the NRA, or A rated incumbents.

      • Ebenezer Scrooge says

        I’m not going to apologize to my brother, who is a Life Member and is far to my left. He still views the NRA as a Republican stalking horse.

  6. George Sanders says

    My brother is gay, my grandfather was gay, my brother-in-law is gay. I don’t have a problem with gay people, or gay people marrying, or having all the rights that the rest of non-gay society has. Having said that, I’m not entirely comfortable about having men being in close contact, unsupervised, with children of the sex they are attracted to. This has nothing to do with their being gay and everything to do with their being men. Simply put, I don’t trust strange men to be unsupervised around my young girls. I wouldn’t trust strange gay men to be unsupervised around my young boys either. I’ve known too many people who’ve been molested to act otherwise.

    Now, I’m open to being convinced otherwise, and it very much depends on what we mean by “close contact, unsupervised” and children. And, honestly, I don’t know about the details of scouting and the opportunities for untoward behavior, I assume they’ve already instituted rules to help prevent opportunities for molestation, and if so, I’m open to the idea that rules are already in place so that the probability is sufficiently low. But, even though it is apparently allowable for men to lead Girl Scout troops, I doubt I would allow my young girls (both under 10) in a Girl Scout troop led ONLY by men, without adult women also present.

    A lot of this discussion is about homosexuality and rights, but to me it has nothing to do with either. It’s about the behavior of men and prudence.

    • Adam says

      I am perplexed by your sentiment and the use of the phrase “strange gay man.”

      Why would a gay man in charge of a scout troup be strange? Because you do not know them? The troup knows them, and you should make an effort to know them. It’s not like the scouts select their scout masters at random off the street, you know. Scout masters were Boy Scouts once themselves, are likely Eagle Scouts, have received a lot of leadership training, and are very dedicated to mission and values of the Boy Scouts.

      Let me put it this way: would you not trust a male teacher to teach your daughter? Wold you not trust a male paster to preach to your daughter at Sunday School? Or are all men who seek to serve their communities suspect? Isn’t that world view sad?

      I really dislike the sentiment that adult men shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt when they are placed in leadership roles to supervise minors. It speaks of a very dystopia worldview. The Jerry Sandusky’s of the world do exist and must be discovered and punished, but it remains true that they are the vast vast exception. It’s this paranoid worldview that has resulted in our children being locked up in suburban homes, not even being able to conceive of playing without supervision, when only one generation ago they would have had the run of the neighborhood. It turns our parents into exhausted taxi drivers, it stymies our children’s development and sense of independence and possibility, and turns our neighborhoods into desolate places where the sound of children’s laughter startles us instead of glad denying our hearts.

      Certainly, checks should be put in place for the protection of both the child and the instructor/scoutmaster/coach/etc, I.e. always having two or more adults present at meetings/practices, etc, encouraging children to be truthful and to report abuse (teaching them the concept of “private parts” and not taking candy from strangers, )etc.

      But the view that a man is inherently suspect for wanting to work with children is just a sad comment on how far this society has drifted due to sensationalistic news reporting about the phenomenon of pedophilia, and our own distrust of each other and the lack of will to make an effort turn a “strange man” into a friend.

      • paul says

        Statistically speaking, you might want to trust a “strange gay man” more than, say, a family member who claims to be straight and monogamous (let alone straight and celibate). Our society has become freaked out about men working with children, imo, as a very effective way to displace anxiety and attention from in-community and in-family abuse.

        This whole “strange man and children” thing also says quite a lot about traditional constructions of male (especially straight) sexuality, none of them good.

        • George Sanders says

          I think you’re torturing your statistics. Strange men are less likely than family members to abuse exactly *because* they lack access. That’s not an argument for increasing access.

          I’m making an argument from prudence. As the father of two young girls, its obvious to me to be careful. That is all.

      • George Sanders says

        Yes, it is sad that I feel this way. And as I said, it is driven by personal experience, not sensational media. Though, to the extent that I’ve looked into it, it is justified by more than just personal anecdote.

        Again, this has nothing to do with homosexuality and everything to do with the behavior of men. I don’t believe predatory behavior is likely at all, its just that its sufficiently likely, and completely avoidable by taking simple precautions with very low cost.

        So much of the debate about homosexuals in scouts focuses on their homosexuality; I think that’s a mistake. The situation strikes me as analogous to men being involved in supervising young girls. I am the father of two young girls. Its my job to protect them while they are still so vulnerable. I take that responsibility very seriously. I assume most parents similarly also desire to protect their children. And certainly most parents, rightly, view strange men interacting with young girls as different than than strange women interacting with young girls. An honest appreciation of this fact is warranted, IMO. And it’s based on more than just media hysteria, its based on collective folk wisdom, and in my case, its based on the personal experience of several of my friends, both male and female.

        If you don’t believe that men are a greater threat to children than women, so be it, but it’s not justified by the facts, nor is it a belief shared by the great majority of people. The analogy of with teachers instructive. To the extent that a troop is like a classroom, with the structure of the school, with children rarely being alone with teachers, with supervision from above, and rigorous professionalization, then I would be less worried. To the extent that a troop is not like a classroom, I would be more worried. As I have said, I not an expert on how Scouts are run, and am open to being convinced.

        As to whether or not I would be comfortable with a male teacher, coach, or clergy being in close contact with my daughters on a regular basis, unsupervised with opportunity to something(that is, on a one on one basis) the answer is manifestly no, absolutely not. I don’t think that’s wise. Of course, I realize that abuse is unlikely, but it is also avoidable with little to no cost and I see no reason to put my girls at risk.

        As for the *strange men* label, it’s not something that is easily overcome. The more *close contact* a man has with my children, alone, the greater the familiarity I would have to have in order to feel comfortable. But there are limits. I am a single father, and I will never have a male roommate who would have access to my girls. No matter how well I know him, no matter how inconceivable I think harm is. It just won’t happen. Not worth the risk.

        To the extent it is the case that it is SOP, to always have two or more adults present, and that was rarely if ever not followed, then I would be OK with homosexuals leading Scout troops. But if not, I wouldn’t; just as I wouldn’t be comfortable with heterosexual men leading girl scout troops.

        My point, which has perhaps been lost through all this, is that I am not *entirely comfortable* about gay men leading boy scouts. It has nothing to do with homosexuality *per se*, and everything to do with their being men. Both proponents of homosexual scout leaders, and society more generally, would be wise to recognize that people who feel a bit squeamish about the prospect aren’t necessarily homophobes, and may in fact have valid concerns which ought to be taken into account.

    • Angela says

      After truly horrifying and terrible abuse in the past, the Boy Scouts have taken Youth Protection very seriously.
      *Every* adult is required to take the Youth Protection Training.
      Every scout handbook has a section on appropriate behavior.
      The leaders in the troop have to take additional training, going over hugely uncomfortable scenarios in discussions.
      In addition, the scouts have a 2-deep leadership requirement, so no adult is every the only adult.
      The easy rule to follow is “never be alone with a kid that’s not your kid”.
      It makes things a little more challenging with picking kids up / dropping them off, etc., but it just becomes part of the routine.

      The Boy Scouts had a big abuse problem in the past.
      Please look at what they’re doing in the present, rather than assume nothing has changed. It has.

      More on topic: there’s been a big *internal* push to revisit the gay position after July’s announcement.
      I truly believe the outpouring of requests from scouters (including the Eagle Scouts who have sent their pins to National) have made a huge impact. The BSA would hold out against outside pressure forever; facing the internal pressure is different.
      I think this was one fight that had to be won from the inside. And I see that happening.

      And about “A Scout is Reverent”…..

      • George Sanders says

        Thanks Angela,

        This is a great post. It illustrates both why it is prudent to worry about men having access to children, and what has been done to overcome those concerns. This is the proper response, IMO: education about the exact procedures in place designed to avoid abuse, not labeling people who may be less articulate than I have been as homophobes.

  7. Brett Bellmore says

    Don’t be obtuse: There’s a difference between saying, “The Mosque is paying it’s janitor a wage, he can use it to buy pork.”, and saying, “The law requires the Mosque to give it’s janitor a free subscription to the “Bacon of the month” club.” As you’d rapidly see from the exploding bombs if any American administration decided to go for the latter.

    The Obama administration picked a fight with the Catholic Church. Maybe you think it’s a fight they should have picked, maybe you think the Church should have responded with abject surrender, but that’s the reality: They picked this fight, and the actual text of the law in no way required them to. They chose to.

    There’s a decided difference between “being in the tank for the Republican party”, and not rolling over and playing dead when the Democratic party decides to attack you. Both the Catholic Church and the NRA are in the latter situation.

    • navarro says

      your analogy fails on at least two counts. first, religious institutions qua religious institutions like churches, mosques, temples, etc. are specifically exempted from the contraception provisions of the law. second, a health insurance plan is part of compensation for employment and as such its use should be no more subject to interference by the employer than wages are.

      • Marc says

        Note also the racist idea that American Muslims would bomb people if the government made a decree that they didn’t like.

        But there is no discussion with Brett, of course: he never admits error, never concedes a point, and slavishly defends Republican actions at every turn.

        • Brett Bellmore says

          I was unaware that Islam was a race. Funny, I thought it was a religion.

          And I flatly refuse to pretend it doesn’t have any record of being associated with terrorism.

          • newsouthzach says

            And I flatly refuse to pretend it doesn’t have any record of being associated with terrorism.

            And yet you didn’t claim that there would be “exploding bombs” if the Catholic Church ends up being required to provide the same benefits to their lay employees as every other employer. Hang on a tick, I have the IRA on line 2…

          • Dennis says

            Okay, it isn’t racism it is cultural stereotyping.

            Happy now, Brett? You still blew off the point.

            And before you go tossing “terrorism” association at muslims generically, you need to take a very careful look at christian behavior both historically and recently. Northern Ireland in the 20th century would make a decent starting point.

      • Ken Rhodes says

        Navarro, I think your use of the word “interference” is misleading. A group health insurance plan is frequently a negotiated contract. My company didn’t consider that we were “interfering” with our employees when we negotiated with Blue Cross. The result was a “Cadillac plan,” but it left out some things (e.g., dental and optical) that other less generous plans kept in.

        • navarro says

          mr. rhodes, i think in the context of my statement above the word interference is used correctly. if a business asserts the right to refuse to allow services that are covered by the contracted insurance plan i would call that interference. i would be interested in knowing what word you would use to cover that circumstance.

          • Brett Bellmore says

            But it’s not interference if the government mandates that a particular service be added to the contracted insurance plan? Inserting itself as a third party between the employer, and the insurer it’s negotiating with?

            Look, what the employer is doing is not “interference”, because it’s employer who made the contract with the insurer. When my employer came to me, last December, with a list of the new available insurance plans, now that our former insurance has become unavailable thanks to the government, it wasn’t ME who negotiated those plans with the insurer, with my boss butting in from time to time. It was my boss, (Well, HR) doing the negotiating, and I had no imput at all until the time came to pick which plan I’d opt for. If we’re going to call it “interference”, the employer is “interfering” with itself.

            It’s like claiming that, if the employer decides to put blue floor tiles in the lunch room, they’re interfering with the employees’ interior decorating.

    • Phil says

      Oh, you mean like when Muslim cab drivers in Minneapolis didn’t want to transport passengers carrying alcohol, and the commission governing taxicabs told them they had to do so or risk being fined and/or losing their taxi license, and the drivers sued, and lost in court, and proceeded to bomb everything in sight?

      Oh wait, that last part never happened. Because you are a bigot.

      • Brett Bellmore says

        Wow, I’m a ‘bigot’, and even I know that Muslims are religiously obligated to refrain from consuming alcohol, but under no religious obligation not to transport people carrying it.

        And, Tim, you can’t use an insurance plan to deny somebody a Bacon of the Month club subscription, because they can pay for it with their own money. You know, like employees of Catholic institutions are perfectly capable of buying contraceptives with their own money, instead of using insurance to get them?

        • navarro says

          you’re so argumentative and esily offended i hesitate to say anything but if individuals have the right to purchase contraceptives with the wages they have earned then they also have the right to have those contraceptives covered by the benefits they have earned. indeed, since even employees working directly for a church, mosque, or other religious organization cannot be prevented from using their wages to purchase contraceptives the insurance exemption for those organizations should be abolished on first amendment establishment clause grounds.

        • Tim says

          So now you flip from making an argument of conscience to just not liking contraceptives being covered by insurance. And if I point out the problems with that argument you’ll just flip back to the argument of conscience as if nothing prior had ever been said about that. I’ve watched that rodeo several time here. It’s sometimes interesting for getting different view points on the table but not so much for actually grappling with them.

        • CJColucci says

          even I know that Muslims are religiously obligated to refrain from consuming alcohol, but under no religious obligation not to transport people carrying it.

          What we think we know about other people’s religions is legally irrelevant. As is whether someone’s take on what his or her religion requires or forbids is correct. The Muslim cabbies didn’t lose because they were wrong about their religion; they lost because if you’re going to be a cabbie, you have to play by generally-applicable cabbie rules or not be a cabbie. (Unless the rules grant you a religious exemption.) Even if Muslims actually were prohibited from transporting someone else’s booze, the cabbies would still have lost.

    • Tim says

      Yet another false equivalence. More apropos would be: “The law requires that the Mosque’s day care center can’t use its insurance package to deny Bacon of the Month subscriptions to those employees who want them”. Frankly, if there was a compelling health reason to have these I think, on balance, that would be fair.

      (And way to go on the stereotyping. Just awesome.)

  8. Ken Rhodes says

    Adam, I think George’s use of the word “strange” is the meaning “not known to me personally.” The noun would be “stranger.”

  9. jfl says

    Mark Kleiman wouldn’t happen to be childless, would he? Because, to me, father of two boys, this is a common sense issue rather than an ideological issue – I don’t want a man with questionable motives taking my boys camping. If he’s one of the other boy’s gay dad, sure, but otherwise, no way. By the same token, I would be even more suspicious of a straight man who wanted to lead a girl scout troop into the woods, yet I don’t have an ideological problem with straight men.

  10. sal magundi says

    the catholic church has not been so converted. see both woytyla’s and ratzinger’s comments on the iraq invasion and on capitalism, just ee.gg. it may appear to be that way because the loud ones actually subordinate church teaching to the needs of the GOP.