Nearly two decades ago, Randy and Janna Sorensen approached Mr. Romney, then a church official, for help: unable to have a baby on their own, they wanted to adopt but could not do so through the church, which did not facilitate adoptions for mothers who worked outside the home.

Devastated, they told Mr. Romney that the rule was unjust and that they needed two incomes to live in Boston. Mr. Romney helped, but not by challenging church authorities. He took a calculator to the Sorensen household budget and showed how with a few sacrifices, Ms. Sorensen could quit her job. Their children are now grown, and Mr. Sorensen said they were so grateful that they had considered naming a child Mitt. (The church has since relaxed its prohibition on adoption for women who work outside the home.)

Jodi Kantor, “Romney’s Faith, Silent But Deep,” The New York Times,May 19, 2012


(via screwrocknroll)

Instructive and slightly horrifying at the same time.

In 1963, Martin Luther King was in the Birmingham jail because he was fighting to bring down the infrastructure of American apartheid. The odds weren’t much better than 2-1 that he would get out of that jail alive. This is certainly analogous to people padding through the carpeted halls of chancery buildings trying to find a way around the country’s anti-discrimination statutes so that the Presbyterian janitors in their hospitals would be forced to live under the same theologically inept regime that American Catholics have been ignoring for almost 50 years. Sitting in a cell, wondering if every turn of the key in the lock was the last one, is certainly exactly the same moral witness as sitting in your office, worrying your pectoral cross down to the nub because somewhere, somebody is having sex that may not “be open to the transmission of life.” Moreover, King was in the jail because, as part of his belief in non-violent protest, he had to be there. One of the essential elements of his strategy was to break the secular law and to accept the secular punishment. Now, I don’t think I have to explain in too much detail how, over the last five decades or so, accepting the secular punishment for breaking the secular law never has been high on the priority list for America’s Catholic bishops. Don’t believe me? Take it up with Bernard Cardinal Law there, who ran off to Rome to preside over the Basilica Of Our Lady Of The Clean Getaway….

Charlie Pierce savages the U.S.’s bishops over their temerity to quote Martin Luther King, Jr. with no apparent thought of just how ridiculous it makes them look considering the worldwide Catholic Church’s cover-up of priestly pedophilia.

Bishops Statement on Religious Liberty - The Clan of the Red Beanie Stalks MLK, Sanity - Esquire

Basic Fact: And, by the way, there is nothing worse than being both a bigot and a f*ck-up. So for God’s sake leave the poor Sikhs alone. Few Muslim men wear turbans, so if you see someone with a turban and a beard, he is likely from Indian Punjab and not a Muslim. I mean, you shouldn’t be bothering Muslims either, but your sad ass is definitely going to clown hell if you shoot down a Sikh because you mistook him for a Muslim.

Juan Cole reiterates the obvious.

Basic Facts on Clothing and Murder for American Bigots | Informed Comment



every sperm is good

official platform of the GOP

If this day in politics reveals anything concrete to you, it should merely remind you that the Republican Party and its major backers are using the abortion issue as a smokescreen: they’re also after contraception and the right to decide your own consensual sexual proclivities. From Rick Santorum’s biggest backer advising women to put aspirin between their knees for contraception to a kerfuffle at CPAC over the length of women’s skirts and the sham hearing put on by Rep Darrell Issa with all men and no women to discuss the matter of birth control under the guise of “religious liberty,” their mentality is pure 1950s, if not earlier. (Link via TPM.)

Tim Tebow: Magical White Person



By Mobutu Sese Seko

Even if one wants to feel a genial non-interfering positivity or salutary indifference toward Tim Tebow and his “testimony,” the frequency and intensity with which it’s invoked by NFL Network and ESPN makes it intolerable. By week 14, Skip Bayless will be berating some poor Archbishop about their “beatification bias.”

This really isn’t Tebow’s fault. He’s said the right things, and provided a few crude but undeniably dramatic end-of-game moments. But he keeps getting cajoled into testifying, and his faith is the kind that leads him to relate the same story about his performance over and over with a kind of guileless sincerity. It might make you a little sick to your stomach because the media keeps re-administering the dose, but it itself isn’t toxic.

It is a little dumb, however. Last night, Rich Eisen dismissed Tebow’s replacement-level
9/20 completions for 104 yards, saying, “We’ve reached the point where we should stop mentioning [Tebow’s] stat line.” This wasn’t for any great repetition of the facts; instead, the NFL Network seemed positively allergic to discussing Tebow within the parameters of his actual job.

Read More

I hope Tim Tebow turns out to be a decent quarterback because I don’t want the team I root for to have to spend another first-round pick on a passer for the second time in three years, but that doesn’t mean we have to be entirely ignorant of his obvious flaws or excuse them because “he just wins” and he has “all the intangibles that make him a leader.” Those things may be true, but your intangibles are only as good as your last winning streak — and it’s disturbing to observe how quickly observers are falling all over him, as if he has come to save them from their own (necessary) cynicism.

This is merely endemic of the entire athlete building up/tearing down narrative complex used for years. When better teams (see Chicago, New England, and maybe even Minnesota in two weeks) put in a full 60 minutes, you’re going to see more of what the Lions did. Miami’s Wildcat experiment “revolution” lasted less than a full season before people figured it out, and by that point, the Dolphins had wasted a second round pick on WVU’s Pat White in trying to expand that Wildcat formation. The NFL is really good at adjusting to and adapting spread and option principles because these are smart coaches, and the league is a copycat one.  What will really be telling is when the Tebow-led Broncos have their first serious losing streak — and it will happen, because we’re talking NFL and these things happen to teams.

Will anyone talk about ignoring his statistics and the basic elements of his job then?

The Afghan Whigs with Marcy Mays, “My Curse”

Hurt me, baby.
I flinch so when you do.
Your kisses scourge me.
Hyssop in your perfume.

Oh, I do not fear you.
And “slave” I only use
As a word to describe
The special way I feel for you.

For today’s themesong of “angels and devils,” because it’s a song so much about Greg Dulli’s Catholic guilt/sex/love/complex that he couldn’t even bear to sing it on record — there is something divine and hellish there. Dulli couldn’t front his indie rock lothario act with this one, so he asked Scrawl’s Marcy Mays to sing it for him. Dulli would sing it live at times, but all those performances sound wrong.  Asking a woman to sing it lent these self-loathing and domineering, ugly feelings beauty.

I can’t believe I used to subscribe to the New Republic.

Editor-in-chief and owner Martin Peretz on the NYC mosque/community center:

But, frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.

The First Amendment is not a privilege, you idiot; it’s in something called the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States of America. English, motherfucker. Can you read it? Do you need a remedial course in English comprehension? With folks like him in charge of so-called liberal magazines, who needs paleocons?

I usually try to have a democratic spirit about political differences and in political arguments; I try not to presume anything that I know rhetorically I have to earn. But the First Amendment is so basic that it’s ridiculous, and this mess does away with my patience.

(N.B. Also, NYC has five boroughs, not “bureaus.” Douche.)







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The Third Shift A vagabond who's made his home in the Pacific Northwest.