Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Energetic tail thumping

Spot is all out of the handsome medallions for Spotty™ awards, so until he gets a batch of news ones in, he'll just have to recognize good stuff with a thump of the tail.

This first thump today goes to Philip Adam of Plymouth for his letter in today's Star Tribune:

He was a progressive

It's curious that Katherine Kersten referred to William Wilberforce as a fundamentalist Christian -- a term not coined until at least 50 years later (" 'Amazing Grace' tells how Christian spirit rose to bring an end to the horror of the slave trade," March 5).

In his day, he would have been considered a progressive Christian attacking powerful economic forces, regardless of their vicious counterattacks.

Yet Kersten repeatedly sides with powerful economic forces, reciting talking points from organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute. Recently she attacked those concerned about global warming for not being based in a traditional faith, and implied Christians are naïve for getting involved in this issue.

In another column, she attacked a modern-day progressive Christian, Al Gore, not on the issue, but with vicious invective, lies and slander.

Why does Kersten insist on bearing false witness?

Da Wege also had a good post on Kersten's Monday column:

But I don't think Kersten really embraces the concept of abolition, because it was about so much more than just evangelicals and ending U.S. slavery. Unless Quakers have suddenly become evangelicals, Kersten is radically mischaracterizing the nature of the religious movement that was at the heart of abolitionism, or the fact that our founding fathers (mostly Deists), were largely opposed to slavery but subjugated this matter to the need to provide a united front to the British.

As you all know, boys and girls, religion can be profoundly anti-progressive. Or it can be used as anti-progressive force, anyway. Spot has mentioned this before, but a contemporary example of this is the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham jail. King was jailed because of his participation in a Good Friday march to end segregation.

On Good Friday in 1963, 53 blacks, led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., marched into downtown Birmingham to protest the existing segregation laws. All were arrested. This caused the clergymen of this Southern town to compose a letter appealing to the black population to stop their demonstrations. This letter appeared in the Birmingham Newspaper. In response, Martin Luther King drafted a document that would mark the turning point of the Civil Rights movement and provide enduring inspiration to the struggle for racial equality. Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail" strives to justify the desperate need for nonviolent direct action, the absolute immorality of unjust laws together with what a just law is, as well as, the increasing probability of the "Negro" resorting to extreme disorder and bloodshed, in addition to his utter disappointment with the Church who, in his opinion, had not lived up to their responsibilities as people of God. King's justification to the eight clergymen for protesting segregation begins with a profound explanation of their actions, "Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue." [italics are Spot's]

More recently, the so-called "evangelical Christians" have focused their jihad on another minority group, the gays.


Spot also want to recognize Dr. Charles Tietz of Virginia, Minnesota for this letter in Sunday's Star Tribune:

A public health issue

It is a shame that two female legislators have withdrawn their support for mandatory, with a parental-out clause, administration of the HPV vaccine for young females of our state (Star Tribune, Feb. 28).

Mandatory accomplishes one important thing: It forces third-party payers to stop rejecting payment for the vaccine for those patients who wish to have it. It will force Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare to pay a fair amount for the administration of the vaccine, which they don't now and many low-income candidates don't receive as a result.

A task force to study it is not needed. The vaccine has been extensively tested and is fully supported by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

This is not a moral issue but rather a public health issue. Why is the Legislature concerned about "ticket scalping" and not cancer prevention?

Spot wrote about this issue in The Wages of Sin are Death. The good doctor discusses an important practical angle: health plan reimbursement.

It moves Spot to near-speechless rage that "moralists" like Tom Pritchard and the Minnesota Family Council can be so callous and indifferent to a genuine public health concern.

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