by Max Brantley
The reader takes over. Closing out:
* CREFLO DOLLAR ARRESTED: The prosperity gospel preacher was arrested after a fight with his 15-year-old daughter. Sorry, couldn't pass up an opportunity to type Creflo Dollar.
* EYES ON THE COPS: This could have application here. The New York ACLU rolls out a "stop-and-frisk" app for Android phones to record the frequent frisking of people, typically minority males, by New York cops. The video comes with a way to add details of incidents witnessed. Video of cops at work is a valuable thing. Ask Joe Thompson. Sometimes, cops don't tell the truth.
* RELIGIOUS OPPRESSION RALLY: Several hundred turned out for today's Family Council-organized so-called "religious freedom" rally. It was about anything but freedom. It was an anti-birth-control pill rally aimed at overturning required health insurance coverage (which enjoys government subsidies) from covering pills and other contraception. Abortion was a popular topic (though federal legislation doesn't provide for it) as an oddfellow group spoke, including the Catholic bishop and evangelicals, who have a historic suspicion of Catholicism. When it comes to oppressing women and discriminating against gays, Catholic hierarchy (if not rank-and-file Catholics) and evangelicals (in the pulpit and out) have found common ground. Government is free to impose their religious outlook, but no others will be tolerated. Stephens reports. Conveniently omitted in reports on the event today are the government subsidies of the health insurance programs that this group of religionists say should be subject to cafeteria-plan approval of elements by employers. There's a public interest in women's medical care. One brand of religion shouldn't have veto power over the public interest. Let's get real. This is certain religions and Republicans, mostly anti-abortion, coalescing to defeat Barack Obama, no more or less. Even Antonin Scalia has written that religious groups are not exempt from generally applicable law. You aren't likely to find this background in coverage of today's political rally. He wrote in a case in which a religious exemption was sought to a broad law:
“To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself."
* TALES OF THE AUCTION: David Koon provides a tale from the Jennings Osborne personal effects auction:
Bear Morris was Jennings' head barbecue cook for many years. Bear said that one night, he and Jennings were in the process of getting several hundred chickens ready to smoke when they started to chat about God. Being a preacher, Bear proceeded to tell Jennings' about his personal walk with Jesus, and impressed upon him the need to be saved.
"I know, Bear," Jennings said, surveying the big tables full of gutted hens. "I just hope that when I get to heaven, God is not a chicken."
* PASSING OUT IN A LOWE'S PARKING LOT IS A CRIME?: From 40/29 TV, the answer is apparently yes, especially if you've been huffing "air duster."
The federal court ruling on school choice, next week's runoff elections, sexy sewer news, the Jennings Osborne estate auction, and an endorsement (and a warning for today's young voters) of Social Security.