Joseph, Mary, and Alabama Republicans

About Jesus, Mary and Joseph and early marriage: Back then life was hard, hard, hard. There was no safety net or school. Girls were married off early to older men who had finally accumulated enough wealth to care for other people because that was the only alternative. Boys were also farmed out at 15 in order to work the farm or be an apprentice and they too were exploited. And there were no doubt male creepers who also exploited their “farmhands” for that too. And even then, it was considered the best of bad options. Literature is a good indication: think of all the stories about older men going off to find their wives had fallen for younger men who at least paid attention to them, or the stories about older men who were suddenly found dead-widowhood was better than living with a creep. Guinevere/Lancelot/Arthur, for example. Or a fair amount of Shakespeare or other plays with the stories of cuckolded or even murdered older husbands. “The Merry Widow” was merry because she was still young and had all the money in the world with no need (at least for a while) to marry. And it wasn’t always apparent, especially in the days before modern forensics and medicine, that the widow wasn’t a natural widow either.

So Mary had no choice but to marry Joseph. Now she may have liked him, (and remember, according to the stories that are being retold this season, was a virgin) so Joseph wasn’t creeping on her, being an honorable man. But that was 2000 years ago. What other practices have we advanced beyond in a couple of millenia? Blood sacrifices in the temple? Crucifixion? Chariot races and fights in the Coliseum? We let go of those practices without regret because we grew out of them and because there were better options and because the collective consciousness evolved enough (that word that freaks out Alabama Republicans) that we were no longer willing the accept the suffering and cruelty as a necessary price for whatever benefits they conferred. Child marriage is now going the same way and soon will be looked at the same way, as bad practices that are no longer tolerable ,and will not be missed either once it finally goes away.

And the Republicans in Alabama who defend this creep, have their brains fallen out of their heads? Do they have daughters, and would they want a 32 year old guy creeping on them if they were 14 year olds? The hypocrisy reeks like a dumpster that hasn’t been cleaned out in weeks.

I know this much: if a 32-year old man had exploited me in the way Moore had, they would just now be finding his body. Mom didn’t play. “Please Mrs. Johnson, can you at least tell us where you buried him so we could give him a proper burial?”

Willie Horton Doesn’t Work Anymore-At Least Not In Virginia

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A lot has changed since 1989 and Willie Horton, as was seen last night in NJ and Virginia. Some of it’s demographic. The suburbs around the cities-and the cities themselves-have become browner, blacker and more diverse over all. As access to better housing has grown, the formerly Republican suburbs have become more and more Democratic.

But last night-in Virginia, New Jersey, and all over in local races-where racist fearmongering was a tactic, the Republicans lost badly. Hate just isn’t a winner like it used to be in anywhere that’s competitive. It’s hard to make it work when the scary foreigners, black people, and gays are neighbors who often work in the next cubicle and live on the next block. It’s hard to really make it work after Obama’s success in the Presidency. If a black man can do a terrific job as President, having the Muslim neighbor as your Mayor just isn’t scary. Or a gay man who promises that as a member of the State Assembly, he will make sure that the toxic site gets cleaned up

Racist fearmongering became like crack to the Republican party-highly addictive and replacing substance. No need to talk about matters that ordinary people care about like health care, good roads, schools, or just getting along. As long as you can scare enough Fox-watchers to the polls, you didn’t have to actually govern. But Republicans forgot there’s another side to the election. Those people who are being fearmongered about are voters too. And these days there are enough of them to actually vote out the bigots. And the people who are tired of the negative campaigning and not having their needs met are now joining him. People know enough about Democrats to know that they take governing seriously enough to do a good job and care about everyone, not just a handful of church goers. So the Republicans lost badly last night-and until they give up the bigots-will lose even more.

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