Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Every cloud with a silver lining has a touch of grey

I refused to watch television on Tuesday night, listen to the radio, or go on the Web. I didn't want election news interfering with my sleep, and one never knows when the results will come in or whether they will effect the future. After all, Gore won in 2000 but did not become president, and the final decision was not declared Tuesday night or Wednesday or Thursday or ... And I couldn't watch in 2004 without thinking "but the story could be different tomorrow." So I went on a news blackout.

On Wednesday morning, N told me that I would have to look at the paper sooner or later. I didn't want to, but I did. OBAMA NEXT PRESIDENT, it said.

Always one to look for the touch of gray, I immediately started flipping through the paper to confirm my prediction that California's Proposition 8 would pass. Alas, it was still undecided, so I didn't have that news to ruin my day, either.

So I quickly turned my thoughts to the current president and the likelihood that he would mark this historic occasion with a hissy fit before leaving office. I find that The New York Times editorial board thinks a lot like me.

Despite my best efforts at protective cynicism, I was prone to attacks of hopeful thought throughout the day. My mom was in the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and even after the "I Have a Dream" speech never thought she'd see the day when Americans would elect a black president. Yet she has. And I fear that I will never see the day when the majority of evangelical Christians will reject idolatry and bigotry and instead embrace their neighbors in the humble way that Christ himself did, but maybe I will.

I imagine James Dobson has been sobbing on and off for the past day or so in fear that Proposition 8 has passed and the wrath of his god may be held back from California. But even he has some hope. The ACLU (may God bless them) is bringing the case to the California Supreme Court that the amendment process was not in accordance with California's constitution. According to that state's founding document, an amendment that substantially alters constitutional principals must be approved by the California legislature before it goes to ballot. The ACLU argues that, by removing civil rights from a minority group (marriage rights were recognized as civil rights by the California Supreme Court in May), the amendment alters the substance of the constitution.

A similar case succeeded in 1990. In that case, California voters had approved a constitutional amendment that limited the rights the state could grant to criminal defendants. The state's Supreme Court struck down the amendment because it altered the essential meaning of the Constitution and, as such, needed to go through the more rigorous process of legislative and popular approval.

If the ACLU succeeds, Dobson can have the glee of anticipating California's complete destruction. And, since he will die long before that happens*, he can enjoy the thought for the rest of his life.

*Yes, you read it here first. I predict that James Dobson will indeed die in the normal way that all humans, including Christ, have done, and not be part of a Rapture in which he is swept up into heaven without ever experiencing death. If I am wrong, I will undoubtedly be left behind in punishment for my detraction, and any of you who have not been swept up can gloat. Actually, those of you who have been swept up can gloat, too, as you watch me from up there on your clouds and spit on my head.

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