A commercial about real estate touches a nerve.

A commercial about real estate touches a nerve.

A commercial about real estate touches a nerve.

What's happening in our readers' forum.
April 14 2006 9:03 PM

Century 21's Last-Century Advertising

A commercial about real estate touches a nerve.

(Continued from Page 4)

Do we really need two religious political parties? [...] Those of us who are religious (or irreligious) minorities need a party that we can feel part of too. A secular Democratic party welcomes everyone. A religous Democractic party becomes just as much of an exclusive club than our current Republican party.


Apparently Catholic posters DonSchenck and rundeep present conflicting anecdotes on whether adopting leftist politics is the beginning of irrelevance or a lure to congregants for the struggling parish. But Chaser892 takes the palm (fronds) for his anecdote of the damage that politics can do to religion's credibility:

My favorite anecdote is from the late 1980's when my kid brother went to a Catholic gradeschool. Their class play was produced by a visiting 'artist in residence'. When parents showed up expecting to see their cute kids run around on stage and sing silly songs, they were instead treated to skits protesting a heliport that was being proposed for an industrial area miles away. When my stepmother later voiced her anger about the children being used as unknowing political pawns, she was practically laughed out of the room by the administration and other "children of the 60s" parents.

Fray Editor seems to remember some religious authority encountered in his youth admonishing him to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." Fritz_Gerlich perhaps best illustrates the perils of mixing religion into the stew of identity politics with his fictional meditation on the spiritual-political dilemmas of a gay Mexican Catholic father:

"If all hermaphrodites were schizophrenes which half would you choose?" -- Dylan Thomas, Greenwich Village, circa 1951.

So I'm a gay divorced Latino businessman. I don't have a regular partner. I just go to clubs and meet guys. I don't know if I really like the life, but it's better than the lie I lived all those years. My family knows all about it.

I have three kids. My older son enlisted in the Army after 9/11. He served a tour in Iraq. He's still in the army. He says he believes in the war and would be willing to go back. My daughter, who's 19, is pregnant by a no-good I would just as soon shoot on sight--I suspect he's a drug dealer. She wants an abortion. I don't believe in it, but if she has the kid that piece of shit is going to be part of her life forever, and I don't want that. My younger son is some kind of radical. He formed this La Raza chapter at his high school and now he's very active in immigration rights. He says people like us need real politicians of our own, not afraid to be for Latinos.

My ex-wife, she talks feminist, but what she really is is a party girl. Blows money like it was soap bubbles. As long as I kept her in money, she didn't care that we didn't sleep together. She liked the divorce, too, because she came out of it very well. She goes to a lot of meetings and she talks a lot--she's even quoted in the papers sometimes--but frankly I think she's just full of self-important shit. She wants Candy--that's our daughter--to get the abortion. For her there's no problem at all--hell, she thinks abortion is cool. I don't know how anybody could feel that way. I hope Candy doesn't.

My people were poor. My parents were what they used to call wetbacks. They came into this country illegally. They never became citizens, but my brothers and sisters and I are because we were born here. My father did whatever he could find, including picking produce. My mother cleaned houses. They're gone now--thank God, they never knew I'm gay--but I often think of them. It was their strength that got us through so many very hard years. Nobody gave them anything. Two of their eight children died. Nobody gave me anything, either. I've had to work for everything I've got--and what I've got isn't too shabby. I've been a hustler and my bank account shows it.

Yeah, I'm Catholic. As if I had much of a choice. To me any other kind of religion wouldn't have the right flavor, y'know? Us Mexicans, we tend to believe what our priests and bishops tell us. We think they've got special graces and stuff to know good from bad. And sometimes they do. There's this one young priest I have a lot of respect for. He seems to live the life. He says Jesus was really a radical. And that is something a Mexican can believe, because we see Jesus as this broken, betrayed guy, rejected by everybody. There's no reason he should be on the side of the powers that be. The guy who's got nothing has nothing to lose. Sometimes I feel like that.

Tell me how I should vote.

Please, do, come and tell us over in the Faith-Based Fray. GA … 10:20pm PST


Friday, March 31, 2006

Elisabeth Eaves's reportage on the French protests against the CPE (contrat de première embauche, or first employment contract) brought out Francophiles and free-marketers alike over in Dispatches.

RealMassLibertarian thinks high unemployment is a worthy economic trade-off given that

the average French citizen enjoys free health insurance, six weeks of vacation, and usually a job for life provided you dont really mess up your job. The price is high taxes and high unemployment-yet ask yourself if that price is all that bad.

Consider the fact that in the US if you lose your job you generally lose your health insurance (if you had it). You generally are an at-will employee with no assurance of a job tomorrow. When you become old or your skill gets outsourced to China or India chances are good all that will be there for you is fry jobs or WalMart. And vacations? Dream on.

So ask yourself, would you be willing to be taxed higher if it meant a good life was assured? To know if you become ill or disabled you are protected? To know if you work hard it will be rewarded with a long term job? What is wrong with this?

Texas_lawyer2000 sees in France the future of the U.S.: