Friday links! Baffling responses edition


Supporters of gay marriage deploy a well-intended sign that even quotation marks cannot save.

The verdicts are in, and once again half of the country absolutely cannot compass the reasoned values of the other half. You would think that, in the socially liberal America of 2013, gay marriage would be a simple issue. It’s not as if gay people wanted to marry straight people. This question of what liberties the US government will afford is the rare controversy in which the rights of one side overlap not at all on the rights of the other. They don’t even have to eat at the same lunch counter. Yet bigots across the country are scandalized that the Supreme Court has denied them the right to curtail the rights of others. Today is Friday, and some people cannot leave well enough alone. Won’t you condemn them smugly with me?

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Liberty Institute, Fox News alert us to anti-Christian prejudice

Probably your neighbor or the president or something.

The Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute—which, as you can see from their names, are wonderful organizations that anyone would agree with—have released their Survey of Religious Hostility in America. The good news is that Christianity has not been stamped out entirely; a small pocket of Americans continue to profess the faith, clinging to existence at a mere 80% of the US population. They are brave, and they are threatened. As Fox News helpfully explains:

The [report] highlighted more than 600 examples illustrating what it characterized as religious animosity shown by judges, government bureaucrats, schools and secular groups. From ObamaCare mandates that force religious entities to pay for contraception, to children being punished for uttering prayers in school, the report’s findings shocked even those who commissioned it.

Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for the link and, to a lesser extent, yesterday’s hangover. Prophetic words of Tony Perkins after the jump.

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Social conservatives try to make satire fun again

Larry Doyle, former Simpsons writer and author of an "anti-Catholic screed."

One consolation of our progressive national stupefaction is that satire might start fooling people again. Not that Larry Doyle’s recent column on “the Jesus-eating cult of Rick Santorum” is particularly subtle. When Doyle describes himself as a former “Irish-Catholic, the worst kind” and says he discovered a possible connection between the RCC and NAMBLA “after conducting some research on the internet,” we see the flapping flag of irony country. Here lies the problem of satire within an educated society: pretty much everybody is smart enough to get it. That’s good, but it also takes some fun out of the conceit that someone, somewhere, is taking the irony seriously. It’s like a practical joke that everyone is in on; we all have to just look at the cup of pee and imagine how funny it would be if someone drank it. Lucky for us, Tony Perkins cannot resist free lemonade.

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Meanwhile, inside Michele Bachmann’s head

Patiently waiting for a new Austin Powers movie

Everyone knows that Michele Bachmann is not going to become President. As with a lot of things everyone knows, it’s hard to tell whether Michele Bachmann knows that. The congress-woman from Minnesota is currently running at 3% support among Republican voters, just ahead of Rick Santorum, although her Gallup recognition score is among the highest. Basically, as many people know as much about Bachmann as possible, and three out of every 100 of them like what they hear. Taking my sixth grade class as a representative sample, that’s roughly the same percentage of the population that wets their pants in a given year. Yet Bachmann continues to behave as if she were a candidate for President. This week, she “vowed to eradicate socialism throughout the entire US government,” before noting that many of her fellow Republicans were socialists themselves. If history has taught us anything, it’s that a widening crusade against Marxists will never backfire on a congressperson from the upper midwest. But that’s not important now. What’s important is figuring out whether Bachmann actually believes she could still be President, and just what the fudge is happening inside her head.

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