Everything changed post-November 2. The world is different now. Much scarier. But as Mark Morford says it so well in his inimitable style, the Neo-Con and Christian Right terrorists win if we moderates and liberals don’t go about our lives with energetic confident abandon. Just because the nation’s Moron/Genius Bell Curve had a marked deviation from normal on election day doesn’t mean that those who voted for Kerry have to be affected by the idiocy of a majority of voters.
So Laurel and I are successfully coping in our own ways, after a few days of post-election did-that-really-happen? attempted withdrawal from reality. Laurel is shopping again, a good sign for the economy and a bad sign for the Measure 37 backers. She’s baaaaaaaaack! Both in clothes stores and in the ear of 1000 Friends of Oregon staffers.
Laurel is coming up with ideas to stem the Measure 37 dismantling of Oregon’s land use laws. All are creative; some may even be workable. I’m beginning to hope that Measure 37 won’t be as destructive as many are predicting. It all hinges on the determination of people both within and without government to not let the property rights crazies trample on what ordinary Oregonians hold dear: our state’s justly renowned livability.
Now is the time to be heard, Morford argues at the end of his column, not to retire into I wish I were in Canada acquiescence (anyway, we're already there): “The bottom line: Don't disband the newfound army just because one ugly battle was lost. Mourn, commiserate, lick wounds, lick each other, drink heavily, spit out your stale gum of disappointment and pop in a fresh clove of laughter and spiritual heat and then regroup and sober up and take an even deeper breath and watch in hot wet spiritually emboldened amusement as the cosmic circus unfolds.”
Amen on the cosmic circus. We’ve found that Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” is just about the only political news we can watch on TV now. Stewart would call it fake news, but the strange thing is that the country has gone so crazy, the weird reporting on “The Daily Show” now seems totally sane by comparison. I mean, Stewart laughs his way through the day’s Bush atrocities, which is the only reasonable thing to do.
As for me, I’ve started work on the Church of the Churchless. The conceptual foundation stone was laid in an earlier posting, and now I’m starting to raise the cyberspace walls. This is much more a philosophical/spiritual rather than overtly political project, but I certainly was spurred into action by the election results. The political influence of the religious right is deeply disturbing and dangerous.
People have a right to vote their values, but churches shouldn’t be made into arms of the Republican party. There are laws against this, or so I thought. I read in the newspaper today that attempts may be made to do away with statutes that prevent churches from taking political stands and endorsing candidates.
As so many others are pointing out, the United States is creeping ever closer to becoming a theocratic fundamentalist country just like Saudi Arabia and Iran. Christian. Muslim. Doesn’t matter. Religious dogmatism of any sort can’t be allowed to bind a nation’s freedom.
By contrast, the Church of the Churchless will be founded on non-dogmatic dogma and a creedless creed. And I, of course, will be the un-pastor. If all goes well, and the website creation gods smile on my fumbling efforts, I should have an opening of the Church doors fairly soon.