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Posts Tagged ‘andrew sullivan’

As I wrote in the comments following this post, I believe parents — being responsible for the birth and day to day care of their children — should also have considerable freedom in how they choose to raise them. Short of physical abuse or gross neglect, they have an absolute right to bring their children up in the way they think is best and teach the kids their religious and moral beliefs or whatever else they feel strongly about. Nothing will convince me that the state has any business interfering in those matters or that telling your kids about heaven or hell (or the superiority of socialism) amounts to “child abuse”.

However I draw the line when the parents’ beliefs actually lead them to deny their children vital medication or other fundamental assistance the lack of which may lead to death. Thus, I agree with every word Andrew Sullivan writes here:

We rightly understand sexual abuse to be horrifying and a legitimate reason to intervene. But withholding vital medication from a child out of religious or ideological reasons strikes me as no less abuse. I’m reminded of this acutely by the case of Christine Maggiore, a woman I met and interacted with as another person with HIV. Christine adamantly denied that HIV was related to AIDS and refused anti-HIV medication on those grounds. She died last week. Of AIDS. That was her choice, it seems to me, however tragic it is.

What was also her choice, however, was to refuse anti-HIV meds when pregnant and then to refuse HIV meds for her daughter when she was born. Eliza Jane lived three years before succumbing to HIV-related pneumonia. Magiore was never prosecuted for negligence, since she had taken Eliza Jane to doctors. One of those doctors suffered mild professional consequences.

What rights did Eliza Jane have to protect her very life from her own mother? What rights did Jett Travolta have under the control of Scientologist parents? I find it hard to believe they had none; and I find the sympathy for parents under those circumstances to be misplaced.

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Andrew Sullivan — otherwise one of Obama’s strongest supporters — calls him out for not opposing Proposition 8 strongly enough:

The final analysis is pretty clear. There was a big overlap between new, largely black Obama voters and the forces for discrimination against gay married couples and our families.

The massive black turnout was the critical factor. And Obama’s refusal to take a firm stand in the last few weeks of the campaign was instrumental to its passage.

[…] Obama has always opposed marriage equality, even splitting with his own church on the issue. In California, he got his way.

Yes he did.

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I haven’t had time to watch Wall-E yet though I am sure it is fabulous; I absolutely loved Cars and Ratatouille, Pixar’s last two offerings. Anyway, the following quote by Andrew Sullivan is, I feel, an eloquent statement that applies to all great art, and worth repeating.

It’s odd that a movie that predicts ecological doom can in fact make one more certain that the human race will survive our current predicament. Any civilization that can produce something as technically and artistically sublime as Wall-E cannot be doomed.

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Alas, I cannot give a more considered response right now as I have to get on the road. But I do want to say that this searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. It is a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation. Its ability to embrace both the legitimate fears and resentments of whites and the understandable anger and dashed hopes of many blacks was, in my view, unique in recent American history.

The full post.

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Andrew Sullivan writes,

A meme is developing is that support for Obama is all emotion, fantasy, hysteria, etc. There’s no question that the emotions behind Obama are powerful. And any fool can see why. His oratory does what oratory should. He is the greatest public speaker in American life since Reagan….But the strongest case for Obama is not emotional; it is as coolly rational as he is … On the most critical issues we face – Iraq, the war against Jihadism, healthcare, and the economy – he makes more sense as a president than Clinton. And when you watch the knee-jerk opposition to him, I think it is actually more emotional and less rational than the support for him. Fear is more emotional than hope.

Check out the entire article. It’s worth it, especially the video at the end.

Elsewhere, Sullivan pinpoints the difference between Obama and Clinton in one sentence.

It’s ‘Yes, We Can,’ vs ‘I’ll Take Care Of You.’

And that is also the best synopsis of the libertarian case for Obama.

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