Matt HealeyMonday,18 March 2013

The Snap:

Last week’s news cycle was dominated by two completely irrelevant events. They were CPAC and the Conclave. The reason they were irrelevant is they are competing for the title of most out of touch organization in the world.

The Download:

Let’s take these one at a time. CPAC. This is the annual conservative retreat where prominent conservatives gather to discuss the issues facing the evangelical christian party of god. Given that they have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections, they face a lot of issues. In his dinner speach Jeb Bush articulated the problem: “Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker and the list goes on and on…“. Well yeah, that is what a lot of the country believes. They believe the GOP is anti-immigrant because at this year’s conference, the panel on immigration was quite clear that the party would not support a pathway to citizenship. They believe the GOP is anti-women because 31 out of 47 evangelical christian party of god senators voted against renewing The Violence Against Women Act. They believe the GOP is anti-science because conservatives continue to introduce legislation to require the teaching of creationism. They believe the GOP is anti-gay because at this conference attendees attacked Senator Portman because he changed his stance on same sex marriage after discovering his son was gay. They believe the GOP is anti-worker because of rigid defense of tax cuts for the wealthy, despite research that there is no correlation between them and economic growth. The problem is that CPAC has reinforced the reasons for these beliefs through its speakers. On the list was birther Donald Trump, the intellectual giant Sara Palin, 53% of Mitt Romney, the open-minded Rick Santorum, constitutional scholar Ted Cruz, and the defender of education Phyllis Schlafly. With that list of speakers, the public’s beliefs are correct.

Conclave. 115 all-male cardinals gathered to elect a new Pope. A while back I wrote that I would support @denisleary’s suggestion of Elton John for pope. Unfortunately he was not elected. However during the media coverage of the seagull and smoke, there was discussion over the polices of the church. A recent poll suggested that American catholics felt the church was out of touch. In general respondents wanted the Vatican to reverse its position on the following topics: contraception, allowing women to become priests, and allowing priests to marry. Given that the church is not the fastest-moving organization, I suspect no motion on these topics. And since the Conclave was closed to the press, there were not a lot of links to priests saying stupid things. Regardless, American Catholics are voting with their feet and church membership in the U.S. is declining.

Hat Tips:

Jeb Bush, Pathway to citizenship, Violence against women, Creationism in Colorado, Creationism in Missouri, Creationism in Louisiana, Creationism in Montana, Creationism in Oklahoma, CPAC attendees on Portman, Tax Cuts for the Wealth, Trump, Palin, Romney, Santorum, Cruz, Schlafly, Church out of touch, Church Attendance, Image Credit: Flickr

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