The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for August 20th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for August 20th from 12:52 to 12:58:

  • The Theological Roots of Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comment | Religion Dispatches

    "Akin’s comments reveal a religious culture fundamentally opposed to women’s equality. On the rape exception question in particular, he’s not forging new ground, but rather echoing tropes long in circulation. As Garance Franke-Ruta details at The Atlantic, deploying the bogus claim that a woman cannot get pregnant as a result of rape has long been a tactic of anti-choice activists to remove rape exceptions to laws outlawing abortion. And as Mother Jones’ Nick Baumann reports, last year Akin “and most of the House GOP co-sponsored a bill that would have narrowed the already-narrow exceptions to the laws banning federal funding for abortion—from all cases of rape to cases of ‘forcible rape.’”"


  • Gay marriage’s next breakthrough –

    "Maine is one of four states with a marriage equality measure on the ballot this year, but unlike every other state that’s ever voted on the issue, this is first time equality advocates are the ones to bring marriage to the ballot. Every other time, it’s been opponents who have put it on the ballot in response to a court decision or legislative action. Every other time, as well, proponents of marriage equality have lost. That’s what happened in Maine in 2009, when voters narrowly overturned the country’s first same-sex marriage law to pass the legislature and be signed by the governor. But this year, equality activists are trying again and with a brand new strategy. Matt McTighe, the campaign manager of Mainers United for Marriage, the umbrella group behind the campaign, explains to Salon why they can win this time and how their new approach may serve as a model for other states."


  • The Radicalism of Akin and Romney

    "he distinction between “illegitimate” and “legitimate” rape only makes sense if you understand it as a distinction between women who have sex and women who have sex “forced” on them. For Akin—and many in the anti-abortion movement—the latter are essentially blameless, and because of that, their bodies will act accordingly (it’s worth reading this piece by The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta, which explains the history behind this belief). Women who live their lives with sexual agency, by contrast, have forfeited their right to safety; on some level, they must have been “asking” for it."


  • Get Ready to Debate Obama’s American Identity, Again – COLORLINES

    "With his choice of Tea Party sweetheart Paul Ryan as running mate, Mitt Romney cemented his strategy to try and win the election not by uniting voters, but by riling up and rallying the conservative base. Sadly, almost two-thirds of conservative voters still believe that President Obama was born in another country. And sadly, we know that pushing the buttons of voters’ racial anxiety impacts electoral outcomes.

    Smearing President Obama not in terms of his policies but his national and racial identity is a deliberate and disgusting strategy to gin up voter fear, anger and resentment based on race. One might also describe that strategy as divisive and hateful and un-American."


  • Romney’s Race-Based Initiative

    "Despite high hopes, the election of a black president has done little to quell racial resentment. If anything, Obama’s election, the recession, and the changing demographics of America have heightened the fear that “real Americans” are losing their country—and their money—to undeserving minorities. It is precisely this anxiety that the Tea Party, some of whose members still doubt the president was born in the United States, has tapped into, and that Newt Gingrich was exploiting when he called Obama the “food-stamp president.” Now, with its latest series of ads and messaging, it has also become a cornerstone of Mitt Romney’s attacks against the president."


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