Chicago Sun-Times
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Gay marriage: No big mo in Senate. Measure fails. Should House bother taking it up? Flag burning on deck in the Senate.


The proposal for a constiutional amendment to ban gay marriage received only 49 of the 67 votes needed to advance.

The 49-48 vote demonstrated little improvement over the 2004 vote--then the measure failed with 48 votes.

Next week, another hot button gets pushed, when the Senate takes up flag burning on Flag Day.


"Next week, another hot button gets pushed, when the Senate takes up flag burning on Flag Day."

And the week after that they will consider legislation supporting Santa and denouncing Satan. And then the Republican leadership will announce support for a constitutional amendment banning the sale of poison milk to school children (US citizens only of course).

Anything -- ANYTHING! -- to avoid discussing the quagmire in Iraq or skyrocketing fuel prices or record deficits or insecure ports, etc.

Indeed, ANYTHING to keep the American minds off of Vietnam, er I mean, Iraq. I thought the USA was built on "all men are created equal" and here is an amendment to prove our Founding Fathers wrong. Well, I'll be, once again George Bush and his divine administration, led by church instead of state, have found a crusade to keep American families under the watchful eye of a discriminating God. When did discrimination become the focal point of the American government and not working against discrimination in all forms? When did the "pursuit of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" become the right of all Americans unless you are a homosexual who would like to live your life with the person you love. Perhaps Bush and his cronies should rewrite the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution instead of making amendments. This way they can just hit on all their fears at one time instead of having to deal with each individual one; here, I'll even help them start a list: same-sex marriage, that pesky Middle East problem and don't forget to do something about the Mexicans, oh and while you're at it - you better watch out for the Canadians, they're a shifty crew too, aren't they Mr Bush?

Note to Congressional Republicans: "Look, it's the Goodyear blimp!" only works as a political gambit so many times.

Stop the Politics
Fear and Misdirection

Bishop James Alan Wilkowski
Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest

June 6, 2006

There is a psychological technique that is often used by a person who finds themselves under intensely scrutiny - it is called the art of misdirection. Many people use the technique of misdirection to shift the focus of scrutiny away from themselves towards someone or something else to make that person or thing the new object of attention. This technique has been well honed and raised to new levels by many members of the political community.

The best example of this technique was used in the Blaine - Cleveland Presidential Campaign of 1844. Blaine was running a rather lackluster campaign and when often cornered by reporters to answer important questions, Blaine would often answer the questions of reporters with the statement that Cleveland had fathered a child out of wedlock in an attempt to induce voter fear of Cleveland's morals and character.

This was how Blaine often shifted the spotlight off of him and redirected to towards Cleveland. And maybe this is why Blaine lost the election.

On June 5th, 2006, President George W. Bush, who is currently under intense scrutiny and suffering from very low approval numbers and struggling with many issues affecting our country, embraced this technique of misdirection when he came out of left field with a call for a Constitutional Amendment limiting marriage to couples of mixed gender and excluding couples of common-gender. Like Blaine, President Bush has employed a political gimmick to take the heat off of him for a few days and to pander to his supporters.

The difference between the applications of this technique is that the Bush stunt stirs up and empowers the evil of prejudice towards a segment of the American family. Despite the gains of the gay and lesbian community within America, they remain vulnerable to crimes of hate and attitudes of discrimination. In many ways, the gay and lesbian community in America remain in danger just as the Jewish community of Nazi Germany. Just as the Jewish community of Nazi Germany, the gay and lesbian community of America continues to be the focus of political and theological hate rants calling them the moral cancer of American society. The Nazis succeeded in isolating the Jewish community of Germany and empowered the start of the Holocaust. The rabid right wing of American politics and religion is trying desperately to accomplish the same isolation of gay and lesbian Americans.

The President should also do a review of American History and the treatment of African-Americans in the deep south between the period of Reconstruction to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Many southern political leaders commonly applied the practice of fear and misdirection towards African-Americans to enable groups as the KKK to preach white political power and social rights. The history of murders and lynching in the south is a permanent stain on the American fabric.

I am at a lost to understand why President Bush misuses the power of his words and actions. Does President Bush not understand that when using buzz words of fear in his acts of misdirection, he crosses the line between political gamesmanship and endangerment of American citizens? Does President Bush not know that his words can empower psychologically challenged persons to harm of kill those whom he is scorning? And, God-forbid, should someone be harmed or killed, would President Bush condemn such acts?

Political publicity stunts are everyday occurrences in American politics, which is why American politics is such a great spectator sport. The American people see them for what they are and dismiss them just as quickly.

Verified polling numbers have shown that a majority of Americans have lost faith and confidence in President Bush and now have him under ever increasing scrutiny than at any other time in his presidency. The President's publicity stunt of yesterday demonstrates his attempts to change his polling numbers and to salvage his presidency. The scope of this publicity stunt, which includes the elements of fear and scapegoating, only proves the President's desperation.

Cheap publicity stunts, we understand. Employing the politics of fear and scapegoating we condemn as morally wrong.

May God Bless and Protect those who have been endangered by this act.

Respectfully Yours in Christ,

+James Alan Wilkowski

Evangelical Catholic Bishop for the Diocese of the Northwest
Chicago, Illinois


To be honest everyone - who cares?

What exactly are they doing that is wrong?
Who says heterosexuals corner the market when it comes to understanding marriage?

If they want laws, why doesn't the goverment pass laws against child abuse, infidelity, etc.

There are so many other issues facing the country that are greater than this, such as health care.
I am sure the person who is losing their house due to an illness that health insurance won't cover will be glad to know that our government is concentrating its time and energy on an issue that bothers no one and tells people how to live behind closed doors!

Personally, I think that the PEOPLE should vote on this proposed amendment, not just elected officials (most of whom, likely, their own constituents probably don’t trust--anyway). Yes, every LEGAL, INDIVIDUAL, OF-AGE VOTER should vote on this COUNTRY-CHANGING, CONSTITUTIONALLY DEFINING piece of legislation. Our Government has lost it's focus, and has become self-serving or blatantly serving the wants of a few or a particular "class" of people (ahh, the rich get richer). Important issues like this one, and another one -- whether to TAKE EVERY REFERENCE OF GOD OUT OF EVERYTHING, and, yes, even, whether to grant AMNESTY TO ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, should ALL be voted on by the people. Too often, lately Government officials seem to be out-of-touch with REAL society and its values and thoughts and beliefs, and far removed from what the working people, the common people want, think or agree with (Case in point: Katrina). You know, I’m talking about the people who are most often overlooked by the government, the untold millions who don’t want important COUNTRY decisions to be dependent upon conniving, political patty-cake and a catty judicial system, but the people who just want to go to work, go home to their loved ones, and upon their demise, leave behind a USA-as-they-love as a heritage and legacy to their children. We KNOW how to vote. Laws have been forced on common folk by people who are appointed that, I believe, DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS, BELIEFS OR OPINIONS OF THE COMMON, TAXPAYING FOLKS. The government no longer (and hasn't for quite some time) passed laws or been governed the way the PEOPLE want it to be governed. Quick Case in point: the Gore/Bush Election. We are not so stupid that we cannot tell our officials or government HOW WE FEEL about an issue. An elected official in the House or Senate for any state may or may not PERSONALLY feel strongly about any given issue. If one is homosexual, of course, one will out of their own point of view and way of life, seemingly vote in favor of their preference or particular lifestyle. If one is not homosexual, or a professing Christian who believes that God judges the actions of men, they will vote against it. But, I cannot believe, acknowledging human nature, that where enrichment/comfort/acceptance is involved, any human's vote will not ALWAYS be influenced by their own lifestyle, if only for comfort-sake. The government has gotten far, far away from being governed for the people and by the people, but let's get back to the basics. At the risk of sounding sarcastic, despite how smart elected officials may think THEY are, or how dumb they may think WE are, the truth is -- We KNOW how to vote AND we have opinions AND beliefs -- and, believe it or not -- not necessarily the oft-time slanted, tainted and self-serving views of the media, either (which, all, by the way, seem to say exactly the same thing). No, lately the lawmakers of this country have NOT been reflecting the views of the masses -- at least, not the masses that I hear talking. I don't think so, and I think a lot of people would agree. But, hey -- Let's put it to the test….I want to VOTE.

I agree with Janice, with one small exception. All of these divisive issues could be put on the ballot for a national referendum in this fall's Federal election. Issues such as Gay marriage, immigration and how to handle it, the war, social security, and so on could actually be decided by the voters themselves, rather than the self-serving politicians in DC. You will never see it happen. Your elected (?) representatives will never allow themselves to be marginalized that simply. Myself, I will always call for term limitation to unclog the pipes of government and referendums to help decide the issues. Gay marriage is not even close to being our most serious issue in this country. We have more important things to concern ourselves with.

I agree with the last paragraph in Austin Mayor's post, I said the same thing the other day.
This is an attempt to distract people so they won't notice our elected representatives are masters of doing nothing while trying to look busy. They aren't earning their keep. Gas prices are way over $3 a gallon, the deficit gets larger every hour of every day, and kids are being shipped back daily from Iraq in flag draped coffins. Their solution? Talk about whether Bill and John can get married.

Without a moral foundation, we as a nation have nothing. Undermining the value of a family - a mother and father & their children - is simply what will happen if people don't wake up & oppose this so-called "gay marriage" STOP using the words "gay & "marriage" together. They will never be justified.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 7, 2006 10:05 AM.

Bush: Immigration push in Omaha. Critics talk of amnesty ``to frighten people.'' was the previous entry in this blog.

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