Dear Governor Blagojevich,

 As a voting constituent, I ask that you resign immediately in light of your having been arrested by the FBI on corruption charges.  Healing for both you personally and for the state of Illinois will take a while.  The least you can do for your constituents is allow us the much-needed opportunity to move on.  I hold you, your family, and our great state in prayer.

Very sincerely,

Tom Ryberg


Enough Mormon-bashing.

In the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, I join the many who lament the prospect that equal marriage rights for LGBT people will be delayed once again.  I am appalled by the narrow and shallow theological assumptions about marriage and family that the anti-marriage religious folks espouse.  Mostly, I am outraged that God has been co-opted as a means of denying equal, civil rights to my queer friends and family in California and elsewhere.

Nonetheless, the anti-Mormon backlash is unwarranted.  I understand that people are angry – I’m angry – and I am particularly angry at the Catholic, Mormon, and other church leaders who have mounted this vigorous and discriminatory campaign.  However, efforts like this, to single-out and scapegoat Mormons in particular, based on their support of Prop. 8, are unfair – and, I believe, rooted in the oppression that Mormons have historically faced.

More on this soon.  In the meantime, let’s not cede the high road, nor the opportunity to build bridges and coalitions, for the sake of our cause.

The moment of victory

This video greatly captures the surprise moment as I experienced it Tuesday in downtown Chicago.  I was standing before a screen just like this.  I doubt I’ll ever forget it.

The morning after

It’s weird to be elated and outraged at the same time.

I spent yesterday GOTVing all day long in Indiana (which spent most of the evening being a narrow McCain victory but has since flipped for Obama) (!) (the first time Indiana’s gone with a Democrat in 44 years).  Last night, my wife and I headed to downtown Chicago and joined in the truly awesome elation:

It is tempting to want to attribute this victory to the will of God.  After all, our God is a God of abundance, and the victory, for the Democrats, was certainly abundant.  Every Sunday, and quite often more than that, Christians pray unto God: “Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.”  For the last eight years, many of us have cried out to the Lord, praying that God would lay hands upon our national and global leaders and change  – change them.  We want God to be involved in our political process, especially when we sense that it is not going according to God’s plan.

And yet, if we attribute the stunning political victories to the will of God, we must also assume that it was God’s will that Proposition 8 has likely passed this morning.  Proposition 8 sets the appalling precedent that anyone can be targeted for the removal of existing rights.  Anyone!  Who’s next?  All that is needed is enough money and advertising to eek out a narrow majority.  This is frightening, un-American, and it is shameful that religious folks were heavily behind it.  Surely it is not God’s will that Ray and Bob, who have been together for 16 years, helped raise me as part of my church family, and were finally allowed to marry this summer and receive equal rights under the law, should endure retroactively becoming “unmarried” and lose those protections.

This election is clearly about what people are able to achieve, rather than the manifestation of God’s will. Accordingly, with the election of Barack Obama as president, my faith in the ability of Americans to govern ourselves has been restored.  And with the passage of Proposition 8, my faith in many of my religious sisters and brothers in California has been broken yet again.

It’s weird to be elated and outraged at the same time.

In which I help the "guilt by association" smear-mongers

There’s a post over at my favorite conservative blog* calling on the McCain campaign to run “guilt by association” ads against Barack Obama in the swing states.  One at a time, 30 seconds each:  Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, etc.

Frankly, I believe the subtext of such ads is absurd: Obama knows people who are crazy!  Ergo, he would be a bad president. In my comment, I remarked that it’s a shame that this poster apparently doesn’t believe that John McCain can win simply on issues that are legitimate.

Nonetheless, I’m ashamed to admit that this idea did get my creative juices flowing.  Therefore, here’s my suggestion for the Barack Obama/Bill Ayers “guilt by association” ad.  It would be called “TERRORIST LOVER”:

(Ominous Music)

NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama knows a guy who is a real bastard.

ON SCREEN: Obama...a real bastard.

NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama and aging-hippie terrorist Bill Ayers once served on the board of a charity…AT THE SAME TIME.


NARRATOR: Terrorist Ayers even donated $200 to one of Barack Hussein Obama’s political campaigns once.


NARRATOR: Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist-lover.

ON SCREEN: Believe it, b*tches.

NARRATOR: It’s time to ask the question: who is the real Barack Hussein Obama?

ON SCREEN: ANSWER: somebody who wants to bomb your house.

* really is my favorite conservative blog.  It’s the only one I ever read.  It takes a non-religious, reason-based, conservative approach to the issues.  Patterico and I disagree on basically everything (though he actually does support same-sex marriage, which is cool).  Nonetheless, as a rule, the front-page posters are reasonable, respectful, and (somewhat) post-partisan, which is commendable.  Also, they practice free speech over there, allowing and encouraging dissenting opinions to be expressed in good faith dialogue (though such will be roundly challenged by the regulars).  Suffice to say it’s a good site for another view.

Since you brought it up, Governor…

Gov. Palin is throwing around the line that Sen. Obama has been “palling around with terrorists.”  This is in reference to two facts:  (1) Obama sat on the board of a charity with former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers and (2) Ayers once donated $200 bucks to a former campaign of Obama’s.

“Palling around with terrorists” indeed.  That’s shameful.

Remember when we were being told that there was a “working relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda?  One that, well, never materialized?  Interesting how some of the same Bushies are now working for Palin.  Maybe tha’s where this is coming from.

Nonetheless, if guilt-by-association is the governor’s game, that’s fine by me:

So tell me why again does Palin think she has any moral ground to stand on?  This brings to my mind a certain Christian teaching (Mat 7:1-5):

[Jesus said,] “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

Wise words from Barack Obama

I’ve been getting pretty irritated at Hillary Clinton lately, especially following the debate the other night, but this made me smile:

Just two more months…maybe sooner.  Cross your fingers.