By Dave Andrusko
Two items, different but the same (as my kids like to say). First, we have grumpy old Alan Simpson, the pro-abortion former three-term Republican senator from Wyoming, beloved by the Washington Media Establishment for his unbridled joy at eviscerating his own party. If the almost entirely Democratic-leaning reporting corps had its way, they would remake the GOP in Simpson’s crusty, foul-mouthed image.
Last Thursday the Los Angeles Times reported on Simpson’s “rare extended visit” back to Wyoming. A reporter—the Times’ Mark Z. Barabak—just happened to be there and (even by Simpson’s legendary volcanic standards) the “outspoken” former senator was in rare form.
Most of what he gleefully thrashed his party for is not our purview. Suffice it to say Simpson—who does not suffer disagreement gladly—did his best to play the self-appointed role of intra-party heretic.
What about abortion? Granted, he said, it’s “a hideous thing. It’s terrible…. But….”
But what? But abortion is “a deeply intimate and personal thing…. Men legislators shouldn’t even vote on it,” Barabak reports him saying.
I supposed if Simpson ever thought twice about some of the nonsense he spews, he might reconsider this drivel. But he doesn’t, and no doubt Simpson would double down if anyone had the courage to stand up to a man who is—agree or disagree with his views—a bully.
Second, with his family President Obama walked across the street to attend Easter services at St. John’s Episcopal Church. I’m familiar with the church because I believe this was one of the places to which our church used to deliver food to the homeless who’d gather on the church steps. I’m guessing that in our post 9/11 world, like many locations close to the White House, the homeless are no longer allowed to congregate within blocks of the President’s residence.
Writing under the headline, “Obama attends Easter service; minister criticizes ‘captains of the religious right,’” the Washington Post’s Hamil R. Harris tells us that the Rev. Luis Leon used John 20:1-18 [specifically verse 17], to argue that “in the same way that Jesus told Mary Magdalene not to hold on to him, it is time for conservatives to stop holding on to what he considers outdated stances” on “gender equality.”
According to Rev. Leon, “It drives me crazy” that “the captains of the religious right” are “ always calling us back . . . for women to be back in the kitchen.”
Just two quick things. John 20:17 can and has been interpreted in a number of ways. But it is the grossest of misrepresentations to suggest Jesus was telling Mary that there was something that he had taught them while he was in his earthly ministry that it was now time to pitch overboard—to stop “clinging to”—retrace their steps, so to speak.
So, Rev. Leon starts off on the wrong foot.
Second, just as pro-lifers are habitually (and falsely) lumped in with “conservatives” or the “religious right,” so, too, is the hoary canard about supposedly wanting to put women “back in the kitchen” disingenuously used as code for wanting to “restrict” abortion. Being in favor of the latter has nothing to do with being in favor of the former. Having started on the wrong foot, Rev. Leon shoots himself in the other foot.
We’re told in the same article that Obama, whose family has yet to find a home church in the District, “has visited the church, near the White House, several times during his presidency.”
It is sad that on the same day Obama is described as “smiling and greeting members of the congregation with ‘Happy Easter,’” he could find no other place to worship than a church whose pastor “took a shot at political conservatives, arguing from the pulpit that some conservative positions are holding people back.”