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Look at Yourselves After 9/11, President Bush promised to reach out to unite the country. If anything, he's helped make the rifts deeper. By pushing states to proposed constitutional amendments

Look at Yourselves
After 9/11, President Bush promised to reach out to unite the country. If anything, he's helped make the rifts deeper.

By pushing states to proposed constitutional amendments to ban same-sex marriage, Bush knew he could get his evangelical base out to elect him back for another four years. Here in Ohio, it worked. While both Sen. Voinivich and Attorney General Jim Petro agreed that supporting the amendment would be bad for Ohio's economy, it still passed.

What I don't undersand is why the evangelical voters say they support "family values" and yet their choices for public office never end up valuing families. Bush's failed economic stimulus plan contributed to 250,000 jobs lost in Ohio. Even in wartime, Bush gave a tax break to the wealthiest Americans and yet provided no increase in the minimum wage, a benefit that could truly help Ohio's struggling families. With no plan for health care in our country, John Kerry had a real plan that would cover 95 percent of adults and 100 percent of our children.

It appears to me that Ohio's evangelical voters have their priorities confused.

While they're vigilant in their attempt to strip any gay person of any type of rights, they seldom vote to improve the health, happiness and prosperity of Ohio's middle class.

Knowing this, I challenge these voters to take a hard look at themselves and their faith. They might soon see an America that their pastor hadn't prepared them for — one without health care, good jobs, security and safety.

— David Ganim, West Chester

God's Spokes- man Reports
God talks to me. I know that's a pretty strange statement, coming from somebody who works the night shift at a King Quik, but, really, it's happening. Actually, it's only happened once, but I have a feeling it's going to continue.

Really, it's not that unbelievable, is it? He talks to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, the Reverend Moon, George Bush and Osama bin Laden, doesn't he? So why not me?

Anyway, he told me to tell everyone He ... wait a minute. Excuse me for interrupting myself, but I should point out that using "He" is just sort of convenient. God said that He's not a sex. He just "is."

Anyway, He said the idea of bringing the Bible into politics is not a bad idea, but He doesn't think it's right just to pick certain passages to justify your own opinions or prejudices. He said if you're going to use His writing, use all of it or none of it.

Keep it "black and white." You're either for Him or against Him. For instance, morality doesn't begin and end with gay marriage and abortion. It also deals with our obligation to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I can't remember exactly what He said, but it was about how it's easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than a rich person to enter the gates of heaven.

He said He knows a lot of you do your bit on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's really great. But that takes care of about 1/132nd of your obligation. If you really believe in the Bible, the whole Bible, and not just the part that's easy for you to follow, you should be a little more the way, well, the way Jesus was. He walked around with the clothes on His back, a walking stick and some cool sandals, being nice to people and trying to help them. That's it.

No fancy chariot drawn by a slew of horses. No lavish condo in Jerusalem with a summer home and dipping pool on the Mediterranean. No fancy silk robes. No golden crown or other fancy headware. No closet full of gilded, wrap-around sandals. No carryout mutton with a side order of cous cous every night.

He said He doesn't expect you to take all your stuff to the Salvation Army Thrift Store and go butt naked through the world, but He does think it's appaling how much some of us have and how little a lot of us have and how if He came back down here He'd spit in the faces of the people that have so much and are so greedy they won't share hardly any of it with those that worry where their next meal is coming from — except, of course, on Christmas or Thanksgiving. He also said when the "Haves" end their lives here on Earth, He doesn't want to spend any time with them. He didn't say where they would be, just not around Him.

Well, that's it for now. I have a feeling He'll be calling back with more comments. I hope you don't mind if I don't give out my real name. I don't want to be swamped with pleas from people who want answers to questions and have special requests.

Actually, I don't talk. I just listen, so I can't ask Him anything anyway. I guess if I did give my name I could get on Oprah, but she already gave away all those cars and now it's too late for me to get one.

— Your Reporter From God

Mass. Liberal Reports in
I woke up Nov. 3 and realized that you and I don't even live in the same country anymore. You live in the United States of America, the country that just re-elected George W. Bush as president. I live in what appears to be a completely different place: Massachusetts, home of the oft-mentioned Massa-chusetts Liberal. The differences between us are startling.

Exit polls claim that the majority of Americans stepped into the voting booth most concerned about "moral issues" like abortion and stem cell research. Not the case in Massachusetts, where lots of crazy liberals like me were more worried about silly stuff like the economy and the war in Iraq. A few of us who are really, really out there even expressed concern about issues like the environment.

Oh, yeah, we've got that pesky gay marriage thing, too. Let's be honest: Gay marriage hasn't won me and my uber-liberal crew too many friends in your parts. That's why Ohio and 10 other states passed anti-gay marriage measures this past week. Some even argue that by legalizing gay marriage last year, the Massachusetts State Supreme Court handed the election to George W., giving him an issue that he could grab onto and that truly illustrated just how far to the left those crazy Massachusetts liberals had swung. I'm afraid my man John Kerry suffered from a case of guilt by association.

Lots of Catholic priests here warned us that the fabric of society would fray and weaken after the gay marriages started, but so far we've been holding up OK. One of my friends went to six gay weddings this summer — we've been busy up here! — and she hasn't turned into a lesbian yet. I went to three heterosexual weddings this year and have two more coming up, so it would appear that the gays haven't totally cornered the wedding market in Massachusetts.

A coworker of mine married her partner of 10 years this past spring. They're raising two beautiful children in a suburb not unlike those where you Cincinnatians raise your families. They take their kids to soccer practice, attend parent-teacher conferences, help with homework.

As for me, I've lived with my boyfriend Ethan for three years and have found in him a love more pure and real than any I've experienced in my life. How could I feel anything but pride and good fortune to live in a state that will allow me to affirm and recognize this love legally?

One of the most closely watched local races in Massachusetts last week was for the Suffolk and Norfolk county state senate seat. Longtime incumbent Marian Walsh had shocked her conservative Catholic constituents by speaking out in favor of gay marriage rights in 2003. The Catholic Church vowed to bring her down, and anti-marriage groups from across the country began lining up to take part in her defeat. When the polls closed, Walsh won a decisive victory.

A year after its legalization, it seems that straight people realize same-sex marriage isn't hurting them at all. Their own marriages are still legitimate and meaningful in the eyes of their God, their government and their community. The institution of marriage itself has in no way weakened. Walsh's victory came in a Catholic district strongly concerned by moral issues. It proves that tolerance trumps dogma and that equal rights and Christian values can and should coexist.

I had the opportunity to spend time in Cincinnati this past year for business — no passport required yet — and I was struck by the friendliness and warmth of your city's residents. I believe that people in Ohio want the same things as those of us in Massa-chusetts: the chance to love and be loved, to raise a family in a caring home, to be respected and accepted for who we are.

Cincinnati and Boston are just over 550 miles away from each other, less than two hours by airplane, different parts of the same great country. But it frightens me to admit that today you feel like you're a million miles away.

— Dave Demerjian, Boston

Easy Being Liberal
Thank you, my Republican friends, for allowing me and my liberal, traitor Democrat brothers and sisters four more years of ease and comfort relaxing here on the sidelines while you work your butts off running the country and our little corner of paradise here in Southwest Ohio into the ground. Once again, we fooled you into raising and spending millions of dollars to run "campaigns" against "Democrats." You must have thought we were seriously trying to get elected to have run such brutal and ruthless campaigns to keep your stranglehold on all of the petty bureaucratic government offices. Isn't democracy grand?

I hope you didn't think we were seriously considering working, when we have so many other important liberal things to do, like corrupting our youth, watching pornography on our TVs and computers, consorting with filthy gay people who want to get married, desecrating our flag, harvesting stem cells and engaging in treason by questioning the wisdom of America killing thousands of innocent Iraqis so we can give them democracy, God's gift to the world.

These liberal unAmerican activities are so time-consuming that we really didn't have time anyway for good, clean, conservative elected government official pastimes like adultery, sexual harassment, soliciting government contractors for campaign "contributions" and sending other people's children to be maimed and killed in Iraq in a still-undeclared war.

Oh, and when you cut my taxes again, just send my refund check to me at the tennis courts or the pro shop at the golf course. I'll be busy lazing around in my liberal, hedonistic way, smoking my medical marijuana, planning my next frivolous lawsuit against my doctor and listening to loud, vile Hip Hop music while you're slaving away downtown doing the crucial and important government work of planning the "themes" of the next "campaign" against us liberals.

— Bruce Whitman, Clifwton

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