You’re probably thinking “Why on Earth would Rob, after months of relative inactivity, return with an article about the Miss USA pageant?” I respect the question. The issue for me, however, is not the Miss USA pageant. The pageant is merely a tangential backdrop to the larger issue: the vilification of Christianity in the name of “tolerance”. For those who haven’t followed the story, this year’s Miss USA pageant featured celebrity blogger Perez Hilton as one of its judges. During the final round questioning, Perez asked Carrie Prejean, the current Miss California USA, whether she supported the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Bernie Mac, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor and comedian who worked his way to Hollywood from an impoverished upbringing in Chicago’s South Side and who, along with Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer and D.L. Hughley, was one of the “Original Kings of Comedy”, died Saturday due to complications from pneumonia at age 50.
Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough in Chicago on October 5, 1957, Mac was raised by a single mother, Mary, whom Mac said inspired him to become a comedian. In a 2001 interview, Mac recalled that when he was five, he saw his mother crying on the couch while “The Ed Sullivan Show” was playing on T.V.
The July 21, 2008 cover of the New Yorker will feature a drawing depicting Barack Obama, in full militant muslim garb, giving a “fist jab” to an afro-headed, fatigue-clad, AK-47 toting Michelle Obama while standing in the Oval Office with a picture of Osama bin Laden on the wall and the American flag burning in the fireplace. The response has been critical, to say the least. But for all that the New Yorker’s image has been called, one thing it is not is funny. And the militant muslim Obama caricature lacks funniness not because it’s offensive, but because it misses the necessary context, or accompaniment, to make it funny. It simply isn’t funny. That the New Yorker would even evoke Barack Obama’s image in an attempt at some form of comedy, however, raises an important question: why haven’t we heard more jokes about Obama?
There is a national debate concerning not only whether marriage should be legally defined as a union between one man and one woman, but also whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to include that definition. The overwhelming majority of arguments for or against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage are rooted in moral and/or religious values. While I am sensitive to those arguments, I feel that the principles of our Constitution make a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage unwarranted.
Considering the Constitution’s 27 Amendments and considering the founders’ guiding principle of government of the people - not government over the people - an amendment defining marriage would have no place in the Constitution. With the exceptions of the 13th and 14th Amendments and some procedural Amendments that define aspects of government function, the Amendments to the Constitution dictate the relationship between the federal government and U.S.
In light of rising antipathy to the war in Iraq, is it now appropriate to revisit the question of whether any war can be justified? That seems to be the question raised by Nicholson Baker in his new book “Human Smoke,” which seeks to reexamine whether World War II, our modern model of a “just war”, was “just” at all. While I have not read Nicholson Baker’s book, and will not cast judgment on whether Baker is qualified to examine WWII (recall that Nicholson Baker also wrote “Vox”, which detailed a phone sex conversation and will have its place in history as the book Monica Lewinsky gave Bill Clinton as a present), neither the particulars of “Human Smoke” nor of Nicholson Baker’s credibility are necessary for a discussion of the broader question presented by Baker (and, presumably, the pacifists for whom Baker purports to speak) - whether armed conflict is ever justified.