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NEWS -- 2007.02.01.Thursday

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  • James Martin
    1) Molly Ivins, iconic Texas columnist, loses cancer fight at 62 2) Molly Ivins Tribute 3) Remembering Molly Ivins 4) Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62 5)
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 2007
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      1) Molly Ivins, iconic Texas columnist, loses cancer fight at 62
      2) Molly Ivins Tribute
      3) Remembering Molly Ivins
      4) Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62
      5) Roman Catholic Church accuses Blair of 'thought crime' in row over gay adoption
      6) Rule to prohibit gay topics prompts move (Southern Baptist liars and bearers of false witness)



      1)
      Houston Chronicle
      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4516780.html

      Feb. 1, 2007, 12:26AM
      Molly Ivins, iconic Texas columnist, loses cancer fight at 62


      By LISA SANDBERG and R.G. RATCLIFFE

      AUSTIN - Molly Ivins, the irreverent nationally syndicated columnist from Texas who rankled conservatives and delighted liberals, died Wednesday after a seven-year battle with breast cancer. She was 62.

      "She will be remembered for a long time as an iconic figure of the Texas left," said Kaye Northcott, who once was co-editor of the Texas Observer with Ivins.

      Northcott was among a group of family and friends with Ivins when she died about 5:30 p.m. at her Austin home.

      "Her one-liners are going to live a long time," Northcott said. "Her give-them-hell message to young journalists will endure."

      Ivins made her points with a poison pen and a caustic wit that gained her respect from both the left and the right.

      "Molly Ivins' clever and colorful perspectives on people and politics gained her national acclaim and admiration that crossed party lines," Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement after her death.

      A self-described leftist agitator, Ivins had a career that spanned 40 years, and in that time she thought nothing of calling President George W. Bush "Billy Bob Forehead" or describing Perry as "Governor Goodhair."

      Bush, in a statement late Wednesday, said, "Molly Ivins was a Texas original. She was loved by her readers and by her many friends, particularly in Central Texas. I respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase. ... Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed."



      Searing Southern belle
      She once said that if a certain politician was any stupider he would have to be watered once a day.

      Her picture once graced billboards in North Texas above the words, "Molly Ivins Can't Really Say That, Can She?" (That later became the title of one of her best-selling books.)

      In an interview last year with the Houston Chronicle, Ivins said she made a career writing about "who was getting screwed and who was doing the screwing." She was a diehard liberal in a state that turned from Democratic to Republican in a decade, and she hardly ever let pass an opportunity to lament the change.

      "Well, fellow Texans," she wrote in 2003, the year the GOP took both houses of the Texas Legislature, "they can stick a fork in us, 'cause we're done."

      Despite her partisan bent, she was as gracious as a Southern belle and so thoroughly funny that she made even Republican critics laugh - if at their own expense.

      "She's a friend," said Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, whom Ivins excoriated in the early 1990s for buying life insurance on people dying of AIDS.

      By the end of her life, Ivins' columns were being carried in about 300 newspapers across the country. She wrote six books, four of which became best-sellers. They included Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush; Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush's America, which she wrote with Lou Dubose; and Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known.

      "She was a columnist who had a constituency as much as a readership," Dubose said Wednesday.

      He said liberals in small, conservative towns often feel isolated. He said Ivins connected with them through local newspapers. "Twice a week this woman makes me feel sane and makes me laugh," he said.



      Faithful to Observer
      Though nationally known - she made several guest appearances on CBS' 60 Minutes - she remained ever loyal to the Texas Observer, the liberal biweekly that she co-edited from 1970 to 1976 and for which she wrote guest columns and raised money until the end of her life.

      "Molly was a hero. She was a mentor. She was a liberal. She was a patriot," the Observer wrote in an editorial announcing her death.

      She also was a towering presence at 6 feet tall and had thick red hair before chemotherapy claimed almost all of it during her recurring bouts with breast cancer. She was diagnosed with active forms of the disease at least three times.

      Like many journalists of the 1960s, Ivins earned a reputation as something of a partyer, and, until her health declined, she hosted at her Austin home monthly gatherings of writers and rabble-rousers.

      "She always had a rambunctious bunch of mavericks and mutts, journalists and old-time liberals," recalled her friend Jim Hightower, a former Democratic agriculture commissioner and now a radio host and lecturer. "They'd be old people tottering around in their 80s and kiddies. Molly was there with the best of 'em."

      She never married and had no children.

      Born Mary Tyler Ivins in Monterey, Calif., she liked to tell people she and her two siblings grew up in East Texas. More accurately, she grew up in Houston's River Oaks.

      Her father, Jim Ivins, was a corporate lawyer and conservative Republican, which meant, according to her brother, Andy Ivins, that his sister could be only one thing: a leftist.

      "She was going to be anything he wasn't," Andy Ivins once said.

      She attended Smith College, her mother's and grandmother's alma mater, where, combining a love of politics and writing, she contributed to the student newspaper.

      She spent two summers interning at the Chronicle editing bridal announcements and street closures, attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and landed her first job at the Minneapolis Tribune, where she spent three years.



      Tied to Texas
      Homesick for Texas, she returned in 1970, co-editing the Observer. She covered the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal that shook state government.

      In the mid 1970s, she was hired by the New York Times but got fired six years later because A.M. Rosenthal, then the top editor, didn't feel she showed "due respect and reverence to the great dignity" of that newspaper, Ivins recalled in a 2006 interview.

      She returned to Texas, becoming a columnist for the Dallas Times Herald. After it went out of business, she wrote for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2001, she aligned with Creators Syndicate, appearing in about 400 papers.

      Recently, she focused on the "soufflé of mediocrity" that she said characterized American journalism, brought on by greedy corporate owners of media outlets. Republicans, President Bush and the Iraq war were her favorite targets, though.

      In her last column, in mid-January, she said she was starting a newspaper crusade to stop the war. "Raise hell," she urged readers. "Think of something ridiculous to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. ... We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!' "

      Ivins is survived by her brother Andy, of London, Texas; sister Sara Ivins Maley, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and standard poodle, Fannie Brice.

      Funeral arrangements are pending.

      lsandberg@... r.g.ratcliffe@...

      -------

      sidebar
      WITHOUT PAUSE

      Love her politics or hate them, Molly Ivins will go down as one of the most quotable Texans. A sample:
      "If Texas were a sane place, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun"

      "The first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging"

      "Everyone knows the man has no clue, but no one there has the courage to say it. I mean, good gawd, the man is as he always has been: barely adequate" on President Bush

      "Good thing we've still got politics in Texas - finest form of free entertainment ever invented"

      "In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the (governor's) office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose"

      "I'll remember sunsets, rivers, hills, plains, the Gulf, woods, a thousand beers in a thousand joints, and sunshine and laughter. And people. Mostly I'll remember people" her farewell column to Texas Observer readers in 1976, when she took a job with the New York Times


      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      2)
      Molly Ivins Tribute
      Originally Published on Wednesday January 31, 2007



      MOLLY IVINS BEGAN WRITING HER SYNDICATED COLUMN FOR CREATORS SYNDICATE IN 1992. ANTHONY ZURCHER IS A CREATORS SYNDICATE EDITOR BASED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, AND HE HAS BEEN MOLLY'S EDITOR AND FRIEND FOR MANY YEARS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. -- CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


      MOLLY IVINS TRIBUTE
      BY ANTHONY ZURCHER


      Goodbye, Molly I.
      Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages again -- for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn't the type of woman who would want us to grieve. More likely, she'd say something like, "Hang in there, keep fightin' for freedom, raise more hell, and don't forget to laugh, too."

      If there was one thing Molly wanted us to understand, it's that the world of politics is absurd. Since we can't cry, we might as well laugh. And in case we ever forgot, Molly would remind us, several times a week, in her own unique style.

      Shortly after becoming editor of Molly Ivins' syndicated column, I learned one of my most important jobs was to tell her newspaper clients that, yes, Molly meant to write it that way. We called her linguistic peculiarities "Molly-isms." Administration officials were "Bushies," government was in fact spelled "guvment," business was "bidness." And if someone was "madder than a peach orchard boar," well, he was quite mad indeed.


      Of course, having grown up in Texas, all of this made sense to me. But to newspaper editors in Seattle, Chicago, Detroit and beyond -- Yankee land, as Molly would say -- her folksy language could be a mystery. "That's just Molly being Molly," I would explain and leave it at that.

      But there was more to Molly Ivins than insightful political commentary packaged in an aw-shucks Southern charm. In the coming days, much will be made of Molly's contributions to the liberal cause, how important she was as an authentic female voice on opinion pages across the country, her passionate and eloquent defense of the poorest and the weakest among us against the corruption of the most powerful, and the joy she took in celebrating the uniqueness of American culture -- and all of this is true. But more than that, Molly Ivins was a woman who loved and cared deeply for the world around her. And her warm and generous spirit was apparent in all her words and deeds.

      Molly's work was truly her passion.

      She would regularly turn down lucrative speaking engagements to give rally-the-troops speeches at liberalism's loneliest outposts. And when she did rub elbows with the highfalutin' well-to-do, the encounter would invariably end up as comedic grist in future columns.

      For a woman who made a profession of offering her opinion to others, Molly was remarkably humble. She was known for hosting unforgettable parties at her Austin home, which would feature rollicking political discussions, and impromptu poetry recitals and satirical songs. At one such event, I noticed her dining table was littered with various awards and distinguished speaker plaques, put to use as trivets for steaming plates of tamales, chili and fajita meat. When I called this to her attention, Molly matter-of-factly replied, "Well, what else am I going to do with 'em?"

      Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Molly's life is the love she engendered from her legions of fans. If Molly missed a column for any reason, her newspapers would hear about it the next day. As word of Molly's illness spread, the letters, cards, e-mails and gifts poured in.

      Even as Molly fought her last battle with cancer, she continued to make public appearances. When she was too weak to write, she dictated her final two columns. Although her body was failing, she still had so much to say. Last fall, before an audience at the University of Texas, her voice began as barely a whisper. But as she went on, she drew strength from the standing-room-only crowd until, at the end of the hour, she was forcefully imploring the students to get involved and make a difference. As Molly once wrote, "Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don't much care for."

      For me, Molly's greatest words of wisdom came with three children's books she gave my son when he was born. In her inimitable way, she captured the spirit of each in one-sentence inscriptions. In "Alice in Wonderland," she offered, "Here's to six impossible things before breakfast." For "The Wind in the Willows," it was, "May you have Toad's zest for life." And in "The Little Prince," she wrote, "May your heart always see clearly."

      Like the Little Prince, Molly Ivins has left us for a journey of her own. But while she was here, her heart never failed to see clear and true -- and for that, we can all be grateful.

      To find out more about Molly Ivins and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com
      COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

      Molly Ivins' final column, "Stand Up Against the Surge," is available here.
      http://www.creators.com:80/opinion/molly-ivins/stand-up-against-the-surge.html
      Use the calendar below to navigate through her columns from 2006.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      3)
      http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070219/molly_ivins

      Remembering Molly Ivins
      [posted online on January 31, 2007]


      John Nichols

      Washington Correspondent, The Nation

      http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070219&s=molly_ivins

      Molly Ivins always said she wanted to write a book about the lonely experience of East Texas civil rights campaigners to be titled No One Famous Ever Came. While the television screens and newspapers told the stories of the marches, the legal battles and the victories of campaigns against segregation in Alabama and Mississippi, Ivins recalled, the foes of Jim Crow laws in the region where she came of age in the 1950s and '60s often labored in obscurity without any hope that they would be joined on the picket lines by Nobel Peace Prize winners, folk singers, Hollywood stars or senators.

      And Ivins loved those righteous strugglers all the more for their willingness to carry on.

      The warmest-hearted populist ever to pick up a pen with the purpose of calling the rabble to the battlements, Ivins understood that change came only when some citizen in some off-the-map town passed a petition, called a Congressman or cast an angry vote to throw the bums out. The nation's mostly widely syndicated progressive columnist, who died January 31 at age 62 after a long battle with what she referred to as a "scorching case of cancer," adored the activists she celebrated from the time in the late 1960s when she created her own "Movements for Social Change" beat at the old Minneapolis Tribune and started making heroes of "militant blacks, angry Indians, radical students, uppity women and a motley assortment of other misfits and troublemakers."

      "Troublemaker" might be a term of derision in the lexicon of some journalists--particularly the on-bended-knee White House press pack that Ivins studiously refused to run with--but to Molly it was a term of endearment. If anyone anywhere was picking a fight with the powerful, she was writing them up with the same passionate language she employed when her friend the great Texas liberal Billie Carr passed on in 2002. Ivins recalled Carr "was there for the workers and the unions, she was there for the African-Americans, she was there for the Hispanics, she was there for the women, she was there for the gays. And this wasn't all high-minded, oh, we-should-all-be-kinder-to-one-another. This was tough, down, gritty, political trench warfare; money against people. She bullied her way to the table of power, and then she used that place to get everybody else there, too. If you ain't ready to sweat, and you ain't smart enough to deal, you can't play in her league."

      Molly Ivins could have played in the league of the big boys. They invited her in, giving her a bureau chief job with the New York Times--which she wrote her way out of when she referred to a "community chicken-killing festival" in a small town as a "gang-pluck." Leaving the Times in 1982 was the best thing that ever happened to Molly. She settled back in her home state of Texas, where her friend Jim Hightower was about to get elected as agricultural commissioner and another friend named Ann Richards was striding toward the governorship. As a newspaper columnist for the old Dallas Times Herald--and, after that paper's demise, for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram--Molly began writing a political column drenched in the good humor and fighting spirit of that populist moment. It appealed beyond Texas, and within a decade she was writing for 400 papers nationwide.

      As it happened, the populist fires faded in Texas, and the state started spewing out the byproducts of an uglier political tradition--the oil-money plutocracy--in the form of George Bush and Dick Cheney.

      It mattered, a lot, that Molly was writing for papers around the country during the Bush interregnum. She explained to disbelieving Minnesotans and Mainers that, yes, these men really were as mean, as self-serving and as delusional as they seemed. The book that Molly and her pal Lou Dubose wrote about their homeboy-in-chief, Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush (Random House, 2000), was the essential exposé of the man the Supreme Court elected President. And Ivins's columns tore away any pretense of civility or citizenship erected by the likes of Karl Rove.

      When Washington pundits started counseling bipartisanship after voters routed the Republicans in the 2006 elections, Molly wrote, "The sheer pleasure of getting lessons in etiquette from Karl Rove and the right-wing media passeth all understanding. Ever since 1994, the Republican Party has gone after Democrats with the frenzy of a foaming mad dog. There was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, not to mention the trashing of both Clinton and his wife--accused of everything from selling drugs to murder--all orchestrated by that paragon of manners, Tom DeLay.... So after 12 years of tolerating lying, cheating and corruption, the press is prepared to lecture Democrats on how to behave with bipartisan manners.

      "Given Bush's record with the truth, this bipartisanship sounds like a bad idea on its face," Ivins continued, in a column that warned any Democrat who might think to make nice with President and his team that "These people are not only dishonest--they're not even smart."

      Her readers cheered that November 9, 2006, column, as they did everything Molly wrote. And the cheers came loudest from those distant corners of Kansas and Mississippi where, often, her words were the only dissents that appeared in the local papers during the long period of diminished discourse following 9/11. For the liberal faithful in Boise and Biloxi and Beaumont, she was a lifeline--telling them that, yes, Henry Kissinger was "an old war criminal," that Bush had created a "an honest to goodness constitutional crisis" when it embarked on a program of warrantless wiretapping and that Bill Moyers should seek the presidency because "I want to vote for somebody who's good and brave and who should win." (The Moyers boomlet was our last co-conspiracy, and in Molly's honor, I'm thinking of writing in his name on my Democratic primary ballot next year.)

      For the people in the places where no one famous ever came, Molly Ivins arrived a couple of times a week in the form of columns that told the local rabble-rousers that they were the true patriots, that they damn well better keep pitching fits about the war and the Patriot Act and economic inequality, and that they should never apologize for defending "those highest and best American ideas" contained in the Bill of Rights.

      Often, Molly actually did come--in all of her wisecracking, pot-stirring populist glory.

      Keeping a promise she'd made when her old friend and fellow Texan John Henry Faulk was on his deathbed, Molly accepted a steady schedule of invites to speak for local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union in dozens of communities, from Toledo to Sarasota to Medford, Oregon. Though she could have commanded five figures, she took no speaker's fee. She just came and told the crowds to carry on for the Constitution. "I know that sludge-for-brains like Bill O'Reilly attack the ACLU for being 'un-American,' but when Bill O'Reilly's constitutional rights are violated, the ACLU will stand up for him just like they did for Oliver North, Communists, the KKK, atheists, movement conservatives and everyone else they've defended over the years," she told them. "The premise is easily understood: If the government can take away one person's rights, it can take away everyone's."

      She also told them, even when she was battling cancer and Karl Rove, that they should relish the lucky break of their consciences and their conflicts. Speaking truth to power is the best job in any democracy, she explained. It took her to towns across this great yet battered land to say: "So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      4)
      New York Times
      February 1, 2007

      Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?ref=obituaries
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?_r=1&ref=obituaries&oref=slogin
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&ref=obituaries&pagewanted=print

      By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
      Molly Ivins, the liberal newspaper columnist who delighted in skewering politicians and interpreting, and mocking, her Texas culture, died yesterday in Austin. She was 62.

      Ms. Ivins waged a public battle against breast cancer after her diagnosis in 1999. Betsy Moon, her personal assistant, confirmed her death last night. Ms. Ivins died at her home surrounded by family and friends.

      In her syndicated column, which appeared in about 350 newspapers, Ms. Ivins cultivated the voice of a folksy populist who derided those who she thought acted too big for their britches. She was rowdy and profane, but she could filet her opponents with droll precision.

      After Patrick J. Buchanan, as a conservative candidate for president, declared at the 1992 Republican National Convention that the United States was engaged in a cultural war, she said his speech "probably sounded better in the original German."

      "There are two kinds of humor," she told People magazine. One was the kind "that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity," she said. "The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule. That's what I do."

      Hers was a feisty voice that she developed in the early 1970s at The Texas Observer, the muckraking paper that came out every two weeks and that would become her spiritual home for life.

      Her subject was Texas. To her, the Great State, as she called it, was "reactionary, cantankerous and hilarious," and its Legislature was "reporter heaven." When the Legislature is set to convene, she warned her readers, "every village is about to lose its idiot."

      Her Texas upbringing made her something of an expert on the Bush family. She viewed the first President George Bush benignly. ("Real Texans do not use the word 'summer' as a verb," she wrote.)

      But she derided the current President Bush, whom she first knew in high school. She called him Shrub and Dubya. With the Texas journalist Lou Dubose, she wrote two best-selling books about Mr. Bush: "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush" (2000) and "Bushwhacked" (2003).

      In 2004 she campaigned against Mr. Bush's re-election, and as the war in Iraq continued, she called for his impeachment. Last month, in her last column, she urged readers to "raise hell" against the war.

      On Wednesday night, President Bush issued a statement that said he "respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a phrase."

      Mr. Bush added: "Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be missed."

      Mary Tyler Ivins was born on Aug. 30, 1944, in California and grew up in the affluent Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. Her father, James, a conservative Republican, was general counsel and later president of the Tenneco Corporation, an oil and gas company.

      As a student at private school, Ms. Ivins was tall and big-boned and often felt out of place. "I spent my girlhood as a Clydesdale among thoroughbreds," she said.

      She developed her liberal views partly from reading The Texas Observer at a friend's house. Those views led to fierce arguments with her father about civil rights and the Vietnam War.

      "I've always had trouble with male authority figures because my father was such a martinet," she told Texas Monthly.

      After her father developed advanced cancer and shot himself to death in 1998, she wrote, "I believe that all the strength I have comes from learning how to stand up to him."

      Like her mother, Margot, and a grandmother, Ms. Ivins went to Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She also studied at the Institute of Political Science in Paris and earned a master's degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

      Her first newspaper jobs were at The Houston Chronicle and The Minneapolis Tribune, now The Star Tribune. In 1970, she jumped at the chance to become co-editor of The Texas Observer.

      Covering the Legislature, she found characters whose fatuousness helped focus her calling and define her persona, which her friends saw as populist and her detractors saw as manufactured cornpone. Even her friends marveled at how fast she could drop her Texas voice for what they called her Smith voice. Sometimes she combined them, as in, "The sine qua non, as we say in Amarillo."

      Ronnie Dugger, the former publisher of The Texas Observer, said the political circus in Texas inspired Ms. Ivins. "It was like somebody snapped the football to her and said, 'All the rules are off, this is the football field named Texas, and it's wide open,' " Mr. Dugger said.

      In 1976, her writing, which she said was often fueled by "truly impressive amounts of beer," landed her a job at The New York Times. She cut an unusual figure in The Times newsroom, wearing blue jeans, going barefoot and bringing in her dog, whose name was an expletive.

      While she drew important writing assignments, like covering the Son of Sam killings and Elvis Presley's death, she sensed she did not fit in and complained that Times editors drained the life from her prose. "Naturally, I was miserable, at five times my previous salary," she later wrote. "The New York Times is a great newspaper: it is also No Fun."

      After a stint in Albany, she was transferred to Denver to cover the Rocky Mountain States, where she continued to challenge her editors' tolerance for prankish writing.

      Covering an annual chicken slaughter in New Mexico in 1980, she used a sexually suggestive phrase, which her editors deleted from the final article. But her effort to use it angered the executive editor, A. M. Rosenthal, who ordered her back to New York and assigned her to City Hall, where she covered routine matters with little flair.

      She quit The Times in 1982 after The Dallas Times Herald offered to make her a columnist. She took the job even though she loathed Dallas, once describing it as the kind of town "that would have rooted for Goliath to beat David."

      But the newspaper, she said, promised to let her write whatever she wanted. When she declared of a congressman, "If his I.Q. slips any lower, we'll have to water him twice a day," many readers were appalled, and several advertisers boycotted the paper. In her defense, her editors rented billboards that read: "Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?" The slogan became the title of the first of her six books.

      After The Times Herald folded in 1991, she wrote for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, until 2001, when her column was syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

      Ms. Ivins, who never married, is survived by a brother, Andy, of London, Tex., and a sister, Sara Ivins Maley, of Albuquerque. One of her closest friends was Ann Richards, the former Texas governor, who died last year. The two shared an irreverence for power and a love of the Texas wilds.

      "Molly is a great raconteur, with a long memory," Ms. Richards said, "and she's the best person in the world to take on a camping trip because she's full of good-ol'-boy stories."

      Ms. Ivins worked at a breakneck pace, adding television appearances, book tours, lectures and fund-raising to a crammed writing schedule. She also wrote for Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly and The Nation.

      An article about her in 1996 in The Star-Telegram suggested that her work overload might have caused an increase in factual errors in her columns. (She eventually hired a fact-checker.) And in 1995, the writer Florence King accused Ms. Ivins of lifting passages Ms. King had written and using them in 1988 for an article in Mother Jones. Ms. Ivins had credited Ms. King six times in the article but not in two lengthy sentences, and she apologized to Ms. King.

      Ms. Ivins learned she had breast cancer in 1999 and was typically unvarnished in describing her treatments. "First they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you," she wrote. "I have been on blind dates better than that."

      But she kept writing her columns and kept writing and raising money for The Texas Observer.

      Indeed, rarely has a reporter so embodied the ethos of her publication. On the paper's 50th anniversary in 2004, she wrote: "This is where you can tell the truth without the bark on it, laugh at anyone who is ridiculous, and go after the bad guys with all the energy you have."

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      5)
      The Scotsman
      Tue 30 Jan 2007
      http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=154622007

      Church accuses Blair of 'thought crime' in row over gay adoption
      GERRI PEEV AND JAMES KIRKUP
      a.. Catholic Church claims adoption law influence will spread through society
      b.. Labour risks losing votes to Christian parties in Scottish election
      c.. Catholic Minister Ruth Kelly backs down to pressure and sides with Blair
      Key quote
      "This is UK-wide regulation that will impact on anyone who provides goods and services, from the priest who refuses to hire the parish hall to a same-sex couple, to the editor of a Catholic newspaper who refuses to carry a Gay Pride advert, or a printer who refuses to print those adverts - they will all be criminalised by this Draconian measure. This is as close as you can get to a thought crime." - spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Media Office

      Story in full

      THE Catholic Church in Scotland last night furiously accused ministers of creating a "thought crime" after Tony Blair refused to exempt Catholic adoption agencies from gay equality laws.

      In a significant escalation of the war of words between Church and state, the Catholic hierarchy said the government's decision to force faith-based agencies to consider same-sex couples as prospective adoptive parents would have a knock-on effect on religious people in other professions.

      The Prime Minister yesterday confirmed the government would not allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation from any organisation, particularly one in receipt of public funds. However, faith-based agencies have been given an "adjustment" period of 20 months as the laws will not come in until the end of 2008. Until then, they must refer same-sex couples to another adoption agency.

      However, a spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Media Office insisted this would affect more than just the two Catholic adoption agencies in Scotland.

      "This is UK-wide regulation that will impact on anyone who provides goods and services, from the priest who refuses to hire the parish hall to a same-sex couple, to the editor of a Catholic newspaper who refuses to carry a Gay Pride advert, or a printer who refuses to print those adverts - they will all be criminalised by this Draconian measure. This is as close as you can get to a thought crime," he said, in a reference to the George Orwell novel 1984.

      "It isn't just Catholics - anyone whose faith means they do not believe there is a moral equivalence between single-sex couples and heterosexual couples will find themselves affected.

      "There are also large numbers of people of no faith at all who happen to believe that there is no such moral equivalence who stand to be criminalised because of that belief."

      The decision threatened to undermine Labour's bid to woo the Catholic vote ahead of the May election in Scotland. The Prime Minister himself gave credence to the sensitivity of the issue when he directly referred to Jack McConnell, the First Minister, who had been "making sure the Scottish perspective" was heard.

      One Catholic source predicted that yesterday's decision could cost Labour votes at the May election. Two fringe Christian parties are standing at the Holyrood elections, with particular focus on Glasgow.

      "You could well see significant numbers of people tactically switching to reflect Christian views," said the source.

      The source also warned that the Scottish National Party can expect no credit for its recent attempts to woo Catholics: "All the main parties are broadly in the same position on this, so a lot of people will find that their opinions are not reflected by any of those parties."

      But the First Minister said his priority all the way through had been to ensure children's lives could be improved. "For me, adoption is all about improving the lives of children. My priority is to find a way that will allow faith-based adoption agencies in Scotland to continue finding new parents for some of our most vulnerable children," Mr McConnell said.

      "These are the points I made to the Prime Minister over the weekend. This is undoubtedly a difficult issue, but I think the Prime Minister's announcement is a step forward. Above all, I hope it enables faith-based agencies to continue the valuable work they do. We willkeep in close contact with Scottish adoption agencies as these regulations are introduced."

      A source close to the First Minister played down the impact Westminster's decision would make on Labour in Scotland.

      However, Stephen Pound, a Catholic Labour back-bencher who holds a London seat, said the adoption row had become a "massive issue" in the Scottish election.

      But last night, Mr Blair said he believed ministers had found a "way through" that prevented discrimination and protected children's interests, which all "reasonable people" would be able to accept. "There is no place in our society for discrimination. That's why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt, like any other couple.

      "And that way there can be no exemptions for faith-based adoption agencies offering public-funded services from regulations that prevent discrimination."

      Meanwhile, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, became the latest figure to weigh in on the side of equal rights lobby. Risking the fury from right-wingers, he said it would be wrong to give the Catholic Church any exemption.

      Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, also welcomed the move, saying there was "no place for discrimination in a liberal society".


      Kelly puts job before faith as she backs PM's decision
      RUTH Kelly, the devout Catholic Cabinet minister who most strongly argued for an exemption from the equality regulations, last night put her career before her faith by welcoming the Prime Minister's decision.

      Ms Kelly, an associate of the strictly observant Opus Dei group within the Catholic Church, had made her strong objections public, leading even sympathetic MPs to wonder if she would be forced to leave the government if her view did not prevail.

      Tony Blair initially sympathised with Ms Kelly, but angry reactions from ministers led by Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, forced him to overrule her.

      Last night, Ms Kelly made clear she would accept the Prime Minister's ruling and keep her job as Communities Secretary.

      "We have had the debate and heard a range of views - many of them expressed with passion and conviction. As a result we now have a workable solution," Ms Kelly said.

      "Good government is about robust debate and finding solutions that meet our principles in a practical way. This is the right way forward."

      She concluded: "Today's announcement is a breakthrough that should be welcomed by everyone."

      But the Catholic hierarchy's fury at the decision is likely to prove a strain for Ms Kelly. In 2005, The Scotsman revealed that the minister was a full "supernumerary" member of Opus Dei, the controversial Catholic prelature made famous by Dan Brown's bestselling book The Da Vinci Code.

      Despite her decision, Ms Kelly's long-term political future is far from assured. Her Bolton constituency has been redrawn, making it far from safe for Labour at the next general election.

      Related topics

      a.. Roman Catholic church
      http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=174
      b.. Gay & Lesbian issues
      http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=294
      This article: http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=154622007

      -------

      Lots of comment are posted at the URL.

      Jay's comment -- Their religion is our problem.

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      6)
      The New Mexican
      Albuquerque

      Rule to prohibit gay topics prompts move
      http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/56167.html

      By DIANA DEL MAURO | The New Mexican
      January 31, 2007

      After 26 years, the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department says it won't hold its annual conference at Glorieta's Baptist-owned conference center because of attempts to restrict discussion of gay issues.

      A spokesman for the state agency said Tuesday that this summer's gathering will instead be held at Sandia Pueblo's resort complex near Albuquerque.

      Last year's Conference on Aging drew about 1,000 people to the LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center, a 2,000-acre wooded campus southeast of Santa Fe owned by a Southern Baptist organization in Nashville, Tenn.

      The state agency paid about $51,000 to host the three-day event, and some guests bought rooms and meals on the campus while they attended talks about Medicare, lifestyle issues and other topics related to the elderly.

      Marketers for RainbowVision, a new residential community in Santa Fe that caters to the aging gay population, made a presentation at the 2006 conference titled "Designing Communities for the Gay and Gray."

      No one made an issue of it during the conference, according to Joy Silver, president of RainbowVision Properties Inc.

      Later, however, center manager Hal Hill, a newcomer to Glorieta, questioned why the department's contract shouldn't include a requirement that prohibits teachings that would be in opposition to the Baptist heritage.

      Hill said Tuesday that the problem isn't the notion of a retirement center for gay people, but teachings that run counter to "what the Bible tells us in regard to family."

      "It's not a public forum, so to speak, in which any group can come and express anything they want to," he said of the Glorieta center, established in the 1950s as a training center for Christian leaders. "We can't have those things that would undermine our reason for being here."

      For more than two decades, the state agency had agreed to a contract that included a provision dubbed "Preservation of Religious Voice and Rights," intended to prohibit teachings that would be in opposition to the Baptist heritage.

      Then, a year or two ago, when the agency's lawyer found the requirement bothersome, the Glorieta center agreed to remove the clause from the contract, according to Hill.

      For this year's conference, Hill called for reinstating the provision. But the state agency wouldn't sign on to it.

      "It is the Department's opinion that proposed contract language, in addition to e-mail messages regarding the contract, would have denied First Amendment rights to individuals and/or aging network providers," John Arnold, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in a statement concerning the change.

      "Because the Department embraces inclusiveness and diversity," the statement continued, "it decided not to return to Glorieta because it cannot legally or philosophically agree to discriminatory conditions that infringe on the freedoms protected by the First Amendment and discriminate against any particular groups or lifestyles."

      In a unanimous vote on Jan. 25, the Conference on Aging Planning Committee decided to schedule the August 2007 event at the Sandia Resort Conference Center. Details are being finalized, Arnold said.

      Hill said he was sorry to see the Conference on Aging move to another venue. "We will miss having that group on campus," he said.

      The annual event, held at the height of the conference season, also represents a "significant" loss financially, he added.

      Hill emphasized the Glorieta center takes a stand on values yet welcomes both secular and religious conferences. "There was not, and is not, anyone that we're trying to exclude," he said.

      RainbowVision's Silver said she was pleased with the state's action. "I think that people need to know that the state stands for all us," Silver said, "and I think that's laudable."

      Contact Diana Del Mauro at 986-3066 or dianadm@....



      -------

      Jay comment --
      This is not surprising at all. Nobody knows how to lie and bear false witness like a Southern Baptist.
      They really are the arrogant scum of the earth. Pushing a "once saved, always saved" theological excuse to cover their egregious behaviour toward minorities -- a part of their founding in 1845 to preserve their then sacred rite of slavery.

      ***


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Patrick
      I shall join the many who are going to miss Molly Ivins. God be good to her. I don t see much point in going over the rights and wrongs of the adoption row, at
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 1, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        I shall join the many who are going to miss Molly Ivins. God be good
        to her.

        I don't see much point in going over the rights and wrongs of the
        adoption row, at least today, except to say that the present state of
        things is more likely to close minds rather than open them - on all
        sides. On that front, the Roman Church's following has had a lot of
        exeperience in pulling up the drawbridge and withdrawing completely
        into itself, which is a form of survival, but one which doesn't
        benefit it, or anyone around it. However, clearly, there are some who
        think this would be a very good thing.

        However, a little bit of background on the Scottish situation does
        require some airing. There had been an agreement between all adoption
        agencies and the Scottish Parliament which was thought satisfactory
        on all sidees, and there has been some alarm, also on all sides, that
        the proposed UK regulations would undermine it. It is producing a
        specific difficulty in Scotland. I actually wouldn't pretend to guess
        how this might affect the political fortunes of various players in
        the Scottish elections (necessarily that's what seems to interest
        newspaper writers). It takes more than one issue to shift even a
        catholic elector's vote, and the Scottish executive isn't in all that
        bad an odour on this issue. If there is an effect, it is more likely
        to be felt on the UK labour party, although this will likely take the
        form of loss of support for Labour than any increase for anybody else.



        --- In MatthewsPlaceForum@yahoogroups.com, "James Martin"
        <martinjg@...> wrote:
        >
        > 1) Molly Ivins, iconic Texas columnist, loses cancer fight at 62
        > 2) Molly Ivins Tribute
        > 3) Remembering Molly Ivins
        > 4) Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62
        > 5) Roman Catholic Church accuses Blair of 'thought crime' in row
        over gay adoption
        > 6) Rule to prohibit gay topics prompts move (Southern Baptist
        liars and bearers of false witness)
        >
        >
        >
        > 1)
        > Houston Chronicle
        > http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4516780.html
        >
        > Feb. 1, 2007, 12:26AM
        > Molly Ivins, iconic Texas columnist, loses cancer fight at 62
        >
        >
        > By LISA SANDBERG and R.G. RATCLIFFE
        >
        > AUSTIN - Molly Ivins, the irreverent nationally syndicated
        columnist from Texas who rankled conservatives and delighted
        liberals, died Wednesday after a seven-year battle with breast
        cancer. She was 62.
        >
        > "She will be remembered for a long time as an iconic figure of the
        Texas left," said Kaye Northcott, who once was co-editor of the Texas
        Observer with Ivins.
        >
        > Northcott was among a group of family and friends with Ivins when
        she died about 5:30 p.m. at her Austin home.
        >
        > "Her one-liners are going to live a long time," Northcott
        said. "Her give-them-hell message to young journalists will endure."
        >
        > Ivins made her points with a poison pen and a caustic wit that
        gained her respect from both the left and the right.
        >
        > "Molly Ivins' clever and colorful perspectives on people and
        politics gained her national acclaim and admiration that crossed
        party lines," Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement after her death.
        >
        > A self-described leftist agitator, Ivins had a career that spanned
        40 years, and in that time she thought nothing of calling President
        George W. Bush "Billy Bob Forehead" or describing Perry as "Governor
        Goodhair."
        >
        > Bush, in a statement late Wednesday, said, "Molly Ivins was a Texas
        original. She was loved by her readers and by her many friends,
        particularly in Central Texas. I respected her convictions, her
        passionate belief in the power of words, and her ability to turn a
        phrase. ... Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will be
        missed."
        >
        >
        >
        > Searing Southern belle
        > She once said that if a certain politician was any stupider he
        would have to be watered once a day.
        >
        > Her picture once graced billboards in North Texas above the
        words, "Molly Ivins Can't Really Say That, Can She?" (That later
        became the title of one of her best-selling books.)
        >
        > In an interview last year with the Houston Chronicle, Ivins said
        she made a career writing about "who was getting screwed and who was
        doing the screwing." She was a diehard liberal in a state that turned
        from Democratic to Republican in a decade, and she hardly ever let
        pass an opportunity to lament the change.
        >
        > "Well, fellow Texans," she wrote in 2003, the year the GOP took
        both houses of the Texas Legislature, "they can stick a fork in
        us, 'cause we're done."
        >
        > Despite her partisan bent, she was as gracious as a Southern belle
        and so thoroughly funny that she made even Republican critics laugh -
        if at their own expense.
        >
        > "She's a friend," said Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, whom Ivins
        excoriated in the early 1990s for buying life insurance on people
        dying of AIDS.
        >
        > By the end of her life, Ivins' columns were being carried in about
        300 newspapers across the country. She wrote six books, four of which
        became best-sellers. They included Shrub: The Short But Happy
        Political Life of George W. Bush; Bushwhacked: Life in George W.
        Bush's America, which she wrote with Lou Dubose; and Who Let the Dogs
        In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known.
        >
        > "She was a columnist who had a constituency as much as a
        readership," Dubose said Wednesday.
        >
        > He said liberals in small, conservative towns often feel isolated.
        He said Ivins connected with them through local newspapers. "Twice a
        week this woman makes me feel sane and makes me laugh," he said.
        >
        >
        >
        > Faithful to Observer
        > Though nationally known - she made several guest appearances on
        CBS' 60 Minutes - she remained ever loyal to the Texas Observer, the
        liberal biweekly that she co-edited from 1970 to 1976 and for which
        she wrote guest columns and raised money until the end of her life.
        >
        > "Molly was a hero. She was a mentor. She was a liberal. She was a
        patriot," the Observer wrote in an editorial announcing her death.
        >
        > She also was a towering presence at 6 feet tall and had thick red
        hair before chemotherapy claimed almost all of it during her
        recurring bouts with breast cancer. She was diagnosed with active
        forms of the disease at least three times.
        >
        > Like many journalists of the 1960s, Ivins earned a reputation as
        something of a partyer, and, until her health declined, she hosted at
        her Austin home monthly gatherings of writers and rabble-rousers.
        >
        > "She always had a rambunctious bunch of mavericks and mutts,
        journalists and old-time liberals," recalled her friend Jim
        Hightower, a former Democratic agriculture commissioner and now a
        radio host and lecturer. "They'd be old people tottering around in
        their 80s and kiddies. Molly was there with the best of 'em."
        >
        > She never married and had no children.
        >
        > Born Mary Tyler Ivins in Monterey, Calif., she liked to tell people
        she and her two siblings grew up in East Texas. More accurately, she
        grew up in Houston's River Oaks.
        >
        > Her father, Jim Ivins, was a corporate lawyer and conservative
        Republican, which meant, according to her brother, Andy Ivins, that
        his sister could be only one thing: a leftist.
        >
        > "She was going to be anything he wasn't," Andy Ivins once said.
        >
        > She attended Smith College, her mother's and grandmother's alma
        mater, where, combining a love of politics and writing, she
        contributed to the student newspaper.
        >
        > She spent two summers interning at the Chronicle editing bridal
        announcements and street closures, attended Columbia University's
        Graduate School of Journalism, and landed her first job at the
        Minneapolis Tribune, where she spent three years.
        >
        >
        >
        > Tied to Texas
        > Homesick for Texas, she returned in 1970, co-editing the Observer.
        She covered the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal that shook state
        government.
        >
        > In the mid 1970s, she was hired by the New York Times but got fired
        six years later because A.M. Rosenthal, then the top editor, didn't
        feel she showed "due respect and reverence to the great dignity" of
        that newspaper, Ivins recalled in a 2006 interview.
        >
        > She returned to Texas, becoming a columnist for the Dallas Times
        Herald. After it went out of business, she wrote for the Fort Worth
        Star-Telegram. In 2001, she aligned with Creators Syndicate,
        appearing in about 400 papers.
        >
        > Recently, she focused on the "soufflé of mediocrity" that she said
        characterized American journalism, brought on by greedy corporate
        owners of media outlets. Republicans, President Bush and the Iraq war
        were her favorite targets, though.
        >
        > In her last column, in mid-January, she said she was starting a
        newspaper crusade to stop the war. "Raise hell," she urged
        readers. "Think of something ridiculous to make the ridiculous look
        ridiculous. ... We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans
        and demanding, 'Stop it, now!' "
        >
        > Ivins is survived by her brother Andy, of London, Texas; sister
        Sara Ivins Maley, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and standard poodle, Fannie
        Brice.
        >
        > Funeral arrangements are pending.
        >
        > lsandberg@... r.g.ratcliffe@...
        >
        > -------
        >
        > sidebar
        > WITHOUT PAUSE
        >
        > Love her politics or hate them, Molly Ivins will go down as one of
        the most quotable Texans. A sample:
        > "If Texas were a sane place, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun"
        >
        > "The first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging"
        >
        > "Everyone knows the man has no clue, but no one there has the
        courage to say it. I mean, good gawd, the man is as he always has
        been: barely adequate" on President Bush
        >
        > "Good thing we've still got politics in Texas - finest form of free
        entertainment ever invented"
        >
        > "In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the (governor's)
        office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose"
        >
        > "I'll remember sunsets, rivers, hills, plains, the Gulf, woods, a
        thousand beers in a thousand joints, and sunshine and laughter. And
        people. Mostly I'll remember people" her farewell column to Texas
        Observer readers in 1976, when she took a job with the New York Times
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------
        -------------------
        >
        >
        > 2)
        > Molly Ivins Tribute
        > Originally Published on Wednesday January 31, 2007
        >
        >
        >
        > MOLLY IVINS BEGAN WRITING HER SYNDICATED COLUMN FOR CREATORS
        SYNDICATE IN 1992. ANTHONY ZURCHER IS A CREATORS SYNDICATE EDITOR
        BASED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, AND HE HAS BEEN MOLLY'S EDITOR AND FRIEND FOR
        MANY YEARS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. -- CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
        >
        >
        > MOLLY IVINS TRIBUTE
        > BY ANTHONY ZURCHER
        >
        >
        > Goodbye, Molly I.
        > Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages
        again -- for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn't the type of woman
        who would want us to grieve. More likely, she'd say something
        like, "Hang in there, keep fightin' for freedom, raise more hell, and
        don't forget to laugh, too."
        >
        > If there was one thing Molly wanted us to understand, it's that the
        world of politics is absurd. Since we can't cry, we might as well
        laugh. And in case we ever forgot, Molly would remind us, several
        times a week, in her own unique style.
        >
        > Shortly after becoming editor of Molly Ivins' syndicated column, I
        learned one of my most important jobs was to tell her newspaper
        clients that, yes, Molly meant to write it that way. We called her
        linguistic peculiarities "Molly-isms." Administration officials
        were "Bushies," government was in fact spelled "guvment," business
        was "bidness." And if someone was "madder than a peach orchard boar,"
        well, he was quite mad indeed.
        >
        >
        > Of course, having grown up in Texas, all of this made sense to me.
        But to newspaper editors in Seattle, Chicago, Detroit and beyond --
        Yankee land, as Molly would say -- her folksy language could be a
        mystery. "That's just Molly being Molly," I would explain and leave
        it at that.
        >
        > But there was more to Molly Ivins than insightful political
        commentary packaged in an aw-shucks Southern charm. In the coming
        days, much will be made of Molly's contributions to the liberal
        cause, how important she was as an authentic female voice on opinion
        pages across the country, her passionate and eloquent defense of the
        poorest and the weakest among us against the corruption of the most
        powerful, and the joy she took in celebrating the uniqueness of
        American culture -- and all of this is true. But more than that,
        Molly Ivins was a woman who loved and cared deeply for the world
        around her. And her warm and generous spirit was apparent in all her
        words and deeds.
        >
        > Molly's work was truly her passion.
        >
        > She would regularly turn down lucrative speaking engagements to
        give rally-the-troops speeches at liberalism's loneliest outposts.
        And when she did rub elbows with the highfalutin' well-to-do, the
        encounter would invariably end up as comedic grist in future columns.
        >
        > For a woman who made a profession of offering her opinion to
        others, Molly was remarkably humble. She was known for hosting
        unforgettable parties at her Austin home, which would feature
        rollicking political discussions, and impromptu poetry recitals and
        satirical songs. At one such event, I noticed her dining table was
        littered with various awards and distinguished speaker plaques, put
        to use as trivets for steaming plates of tamales, chili and fajita
        meat. When I called this to her attention, Molly matter-of-factly
        replied, "Well, what else am I going to do with 'em?"
        >
        > Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Molly's life is the love she
        engendered from her legions of fans. If Molly missed a column for any
        reason, her newspapers would hear about it the next day. As word of
        Molly's illness spread, the letters, cards, e-mails and gifts poured
        in.
        >
        > Even as Molly fought her last battle with cancer, she continued to
        make public appearances. When she was too weak to write, she dictated
        her final two columns. Although her body was failing, she still had
        so much to say. Last fall, before an audience at the University of
        Texas, her voice began as barely a whisper. But as she went on, she
        drew strength from the standing-room-only crowd until, at the end of
        the hour, she was forcefully imploring the students to get involved
        and make a difference. As Molly once wrote, "Politics is not a
        picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you
        don't much care for."
        >
        > For me, Molly's greatest words of wisdom came with three children's
        books she gave my son when he was born. In her inimitable way, she
        captured the spirit of each in one-sentence inscriptions. In "Alice
        in Wonderland," she offered, "Here's to six impossible things before
        breakfast." For "The Wind in the Willows," it was, "May you have
        Toad's zest for life." And in "The Little Prince," she wrote, "May
        your heart always see clearly."
        >
        > Like the Little Prince, Molly Ivins has left us for a journey of
        her own. But while she was here, her heart never failed to see clear
        and true -- and for that, we can all be grateful.
        >
        > To find out more about Molly Ivins and read her past columns, visit
        the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com
        > COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
        >
        > Molly Ivins' final column, "Stand Up Against the Surge," is
        available here.
        > http://www.creators.com:80/opinion/molly-ivins/stand-up-against-the-
        surge.html
        > Use the calendar below to navigate through her columns from 2006.
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------
        --------------------
        >
        >
        > 3)
        > http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070219/molly_ivins
        >
        > Remembering Molly Ivins
        > [posted online on January 31, 2007]
        >
        >
        > John Nichols
        >
        > Washington Correspondent, The Nation
        >
        > http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20070219&s=molly_ivins
        >
        > Molly Ivins always said she wanted to write a book about the lonely
        experience of East Texas civil rights campaigners to be titled No One
        Famous Ever Came. While the television screens and newspapers told
        the stories of the marches, the legal battles and the victories of
        campaigns against segregation in Alabama and Mississippi, Ivins
        recalled, the foes of Jim Crow laws in the region where she came of
        age in the 1950s and '60s often labored in obscurity without any hope
        that they would be joined on the picket lines by Nobel Peace Prize
        winners, folk singers, Hollywood stars or senators.
        >
        > And Ivins loved those righteous strugglers all the more for their
        willingness to carry on.
        >
        > The warmest-hearted populist ever to pick up a pen with the purpose
        of calling the rabble to the battlements, Ivins understood that
        change came only when some citizen in some off-the-map town passed a
        petition, called a Congressman or cast an angry vote to throw the
        bums out. The nation's mostly widely syndicated progressive
        columnist, who died January 31 at age 62 after a long battle with
        what she referred to as a "scorching case of cancer," adored the
        activists she celebrated from the time in the late 1960s when she
        created her own "Movements for Social Change" beat at the old
        Minneapolis Tribune and started making heroes of "militant blacks,
        angry Indians, radical students, uppity women and a motley assortment
        of other misfits and troublemakers."
        >
        > "Troublemaker" might be a term of derision in the lexicon of some
        journalists--particularly the on-bended-knee White House press pack
        that Ivins studiously refused to run with--but to Molly it was a term
        of endearment. If anyone anywhere was picking a fight with the
        powerful, she was writing them up with the same passionate language
        she employed when her friend the great Texas liberal Billie Carr
        passed on in 2002. Ivins recalled Carr "was there for the workers and
        the unions, she was there for the African-Americans, she was there
        for the Hispanics, she was there for the women, she was there for the
        gays. And this wasn't all high-minded, oh, we-should-all-be-kinder-to-
        one-another. This was tough, down, gritty, political trench warfare;
        money against people. She bullied her way to the table of power, and
        then she used that place to get everybody else there, too. If you
        ain't ready to sweat, and you ain't smart enough to deal, you can't
        play in her league."
        >
        > Molly Ivins could have played in the league of the big boys. They
        invited her in, giving her a bureau chief job with the New York Times-
        -which she wrote her way out of when she referred to a "community
        chicken-killing festival" in a small town as a "gang-pluck." Leaving
        the Times in 1982 was the best thing that ever happened to Molly. She
        settled back in her home state of Texas, where her friend Jim
        Hightower was about to get elected as agricultural commissioner and
        another friend named Ann Richards was striding toward the
        governorship. As a newspaper columnist for the old Dallas Times
        Herald--and, after that paper's demise, for the Fort Worth Star-
        Telegram--Molly began writing a political column drenched in the good
        humor and fighting spirit of that populist moment. It appealed beyond
        Texas, and within a decade she was writing for 400 papers nationwide.
        >
        > As it happened, the populist fires faded in Texas, and the state
        started spewing out the byproducts of an uglier political tradition--
        the oil-money plutocracy--in the form of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
        >
        > It mattered, a lot, that Molly was writing for papers around the
        country during the Bush interregnum. She explained to disbelieving
        Minnesotans and Mainers that, yes, these men really were as mean, as
        self-serving and as delusional as they seemed. The book that Molly
        and her pal Lou Dubose wrote about their homeboy-in-chief, Shrub: The
        Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush (Random House,
        2000), was the essential exposé of the man the Supreme Court elected
        President. And Ivins's columns tore away any pretense of civility or
        citizenship erected by the likes of Karl Rove.
        >
        > When Washington pundits started counseling bipartisanship after
        voters routed the Republicans in the 2006 elections, Molly
        wrote, "The sheer pleasure of getting lessons in etiquette from Karl
        Rove and the right-wing media passeth all understanding. Ever since
        1994, the Republican Party has gone after Democrats with the frenzy
        of a foaming mad dog. There was the impeachment of Bill Clinton, not
        to mention the trashing of both Clinton and his wife--accused of
        everything from selling drugs to murder--all orchestrated by that
        paragon of manners, Tom DeLay.... So after 12 years of tolerating
        lying, cheating and corruption, the press is prepared to lecture
        Democrats on how to behave with bipartisan manners.
        >
        > "Given Bush's record with the truth, this bipartisanship sounds
        like a bad idea on its face," Ivins continued, in a column that
        warned any Democrat who might think to make nice with President and
        his team that "These people are not only dishonest--they're not even
        smart."
        >
        > Her readers cheered that November 9, 2006, column, as they did
        everything Molly wrote. And the cheers came loudest from those
        distant corners of Kansas and Mississippi where, often, her words
        were the only dissents that appeared in the local papers during the
        long period of diminished discourse following 9/11. For the liberal
        faithful in Boise and Biloxi and Beaumont, she was a lifeline--
        telling them that, yes, Henry Kissinger was "an old war criminal,"
        that Bush had created a "an honest to goodness constitutional crisis"
        when it embarked on a program of warrantless wiretapping and that
        Bill Moyers should seek the presidency because "I want to vote for
        somebody who's good and brave and who should win." (The Moyers
        boomlet was our last co-conspiracy, and in Molly's honor, I'm
        thinking of writing in his name on my Democratic primary ballot next
        year.)
        >
        > For the people in the places where no one famous ever came, Molly
        Ivins arrived a couple of times a week in the form of columns that
        told the local rabble-rousers that they were the true patriots, that
        they damn well better keep pitching fits about the war and the
        Patriot Act and economic inequality, and that they should never
        apologize for defending "those highest and best American ideas"
        contained in the Bill of Rights.
        >
        > Often, Molly actually did come--in all of her wisecracking, pot-
        stirring populist glory.
        >
        > Keeping a promise she'd made when her old friend and fellow Texan
        John Henry Faulk was on his deathbed, Molly accepted a steady
        schedule of invites to speak for local chapters of the American Civil
        Liberties Union in dozens of communities, from Toledo to Sarasota to
        Medford, Oregon. Though she could have commanded five figures, she
        took no speaker's fee. She just came and told the crowds to carry on
        for the Constitution. "I know that sludge-for-brains like Bill
        O'Reilly attack the ACLU for being 'un-American,' but when Bill
        O'Reilly's constitutional rights are violated, the ACLU will stand up
        for him just like they did for Oliver North, Communists, the KKK,
        atheists, movement conservatives and everyone else they've defended
        over the years," she told them. "The premise is easily understood: If
        the government can take away one person's rights, it can take away
        everyone's."
        >
        > She also told them, even when she was battling cancer and Karl
        Rove, that they should relish the lucky break of their consciences
        and their conflicts. Speaking truth to power is the best job in any
        democracy, she explained. It took her to towns across this great yet
        battered land to say: "So keep fightin' for freedom and justice,
        beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your
        laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice
        in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get
        through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be
        sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
        >
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------
        --------------------
        >
        >
        > 4)
        > New York Times
        > February 1, 2007
        >
        > Molly Ivins, Columnist, Dies at 62
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?
        ref=obituaries
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?
        _r=1&ref=obituaries&oref=slogin
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/washington/01ivins.html?
        _r=1&oref=slogin&ref=obituaries&pagewanted=print
        >
        > By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
        > Molly Ivins, the liberal newspaper columnist who delighted in
        skewering politicians and interpreting, and mocking, her Texas
        culture, died yesterday in Austin. She was 62.
        >
        > Ms. Ivins waged a public battle against breast cancer after her
        diagnosis in 1999. Betsy Moon, her personal assistant, confirmed her
        death last night. Ms. Ivins died at her home surrounded by family and
        friends.
        >
        > In her syndicated column, which appeared in about 350 newspapers,
        Ms. Ivins cultivated the voice of a folksy populist who derided those
        who she thought acted too big for their britches. She was rowdy and
        profane, but she could filet her opponents with droll precision.
        >
        > After Patrick J. Buchanan, as a conservative candidate for
        president, declared at the 1992 Republican National Convention that
        the United States was engaged in a cultural war, she said his
        speech "probably sounded better in the original German."
        >
        > "There are two kinds of humor," she told People magazine. One was
        the kind "that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared
        humanity," she said. "The other kind holds people up to public
        contempt and ridicule. That's what I do."
        >
        > Hers was a feisty voice that she developed in the early 1970s at
        The Texas Observer, the muckraking paper that came out every two
        weeks and that would become her spiritual home for life.
        >
        > Her subject was Texas. To her, the Great State, as she called it,
        was "reactionary, cantankerous and hilarious," and its Legislature
        was "reporter heaven." When the Legislature is set to convene, she
        warned her readers, "every village is about to lose its idiot."
        >
        > Her Texas upbringing made her something of an expert on the Bush
        family. She viewed the first President George Bush benignly. ("Real
        Texans do not use the word 'summer' as a verb," she wrote.)
        >
        > But she derided the current President Bush, whom she first knew in
        high school. She called him Shrub and Dubya. With the Texas
        journalist Lou Dubose, she wrote two best-selling books about Mr.
        Bush: "Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush"
        (2000) and "Bushwhacked" (2003).
        >
        > In 2004 she campaigned against Mr. Bush's re-election, and as the
        war in Iraq continued, she called for his impeachment. Last month, in
        her last column, she urged readers to "raise hell" against the war.
        >
        > On Wednesday night, President Bush issued a statement that said
        he "respected her convictions, her passionate belief in the power of
        words, and her ability to turn a phrase."
        >
        > Mr. Bush added: "Her quick wit and commitment to her beliefs will
        be missed."
        >
        > Mary Tyler Ivins was born on Aug. 30, 1944, in California and grew
        up in the affluent Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. Her father,
        James, a conservative Republican, was general counsel and later
        president of the Tenneco Corporation, an oil and gas company.
        >
        > As a student at private school, Ms. Ivins was tall and big-boned
        and often felt out of place. "I spent my girlhood as a Clydesdale
        among thoroughbreds," she said.
        >
        > She developed her liberal views partly from reading The Texas
        Observer at a friend's house. Those views led to fierce arguments
        with her father about civil rights and the Vietnam War.
        >
        > "I've always had trouble with male authority figures because my
        father was such a martinet," she told Texas Monthly.
        >
        > After her father developed advanced cancer and shot himself to
        death in 1998, she wrote, "I believe that all the strength I have
        comes from learning how to stand up to him."
        >
        > Like her mother, Margot, and a grandmother, Ms. Ivins went to Smith
        College in Northampton, Mass. She also studied at the Institute of
        Political Science in Paris and earned a master's degree at the
        Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
        >
        > Her first newspaper jobs were at The Houston Chronicle and The
        Minneapolis Tribune, now The Star Tribune. In 1970, she jumped at the
        chance to become co-editor of The Texas Observer.
        >
        > Covering the Legislature, she found characters whose fatuousness
        helped focus her calling and define her persona, which her friends
        saw as populist and her detractors saw as manufactured cornpone. Even
        her friends marveled at how fast she could drop her Texas voice for
        what they called her Smith voice. Sometimes she combined them, as
        in, "The sine qua non, as we say in Amarillo."
        >
        > Ronnie Dugger, the former publisher of The Texas Observer, said the
        political circus in Texas inspired Ms. Ivins. "It was like somebody
        snapped the football to her and said, 'All the rules are off, this is
        the football field named Texas, and it's wide open,' " Mr. Dugger
        said.
        >
        > In 1976, her writing, which she said was often fueled by "truly
        impressive amounts of beer," landed her a job at The New York Times.
        She cut an unusual figure in The Times newsroom, wearing blue jeans,
        going barefoot and bringing in her dog, whose name was an expletive.
        >
        > While she drew important writing assignments, like covering the Son
        of Sam killings and Elvis Presley's death, she sensed she did not fit
        in and complained that Times editors drained the life from her
        prose. "Naturally, I was miserable, at five times my previous
        salary," she later wrote. "The New York Times is a great newspaper:
        it is also No Fun."
        >
        > After a stint in Albany, she was transferred to Denver to cover the
        Rocky Mountain States, where she continued to challenge her editors'
        tolerance for prankish writing.
        >
        > Covering an annual chicken slaughter in New Mexico in 1980, she
        used a sexually suggestive phrase, which her editors deleted from the
        final article. But her effort to use it angered the executive editor,
        A. M. Rosenthal, who ordered her back to New York and assigned her to
        City Hall, where she covered routine matters with little flair.
        >
        > She quit The Times in 1982 after The Dallas Times Herald offered to
        make her a columnist. She took the job even though she loathed
        Dallas, once describing it as the kind of town "that would have
        rooted for Goliath to beat David."
        >
        > But the newspaper, she said, promised to let her write whatever she
        wanted. When she declared of a congressman, "If his I.Q. slips any
        lower, we'll have to water him twice a day," many readers were
        appalled, and several advertisers boycotted the paper. In her
        defense, her editors rented billboards that read: "Molly Ivins Can't
        Say That, Can She?" The slogan became the title of the first of her
        six books.
        >
        > After The Times Herald folded in 1991, she wrote for The Fort Worth
        Star-Telegram, until 2001, when her column was syndicated by Creators
        Syndicate.
        >
        > Ms. Ivins, who never married, is survived by a brother, Andy, of
        London, Tex., and a sister, Sara Ivins Maley, of Albuquerque. One of
        her closest friends was Ann Richards, the former Texas governor, who
        died last year. The two shared an irreverence for power and a love of
        the Texas wilds.
        >
        > "Molly is a great raconteur, with a long memory," Ms. Richards
        said, "and she's the best person in the world to take on a camping
        trip because she's full of good-ol'-boy stories."
        >
        > Ms. Ivins worked at a breakneck pace, adding television
        appearances, book tours, lectures and fund-raising to a crammed
        writing schedule. She also wrote for Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly
        and The Nation.
        >
        > An article about her in 1996 in The Star-Telegram suggested that
        her work overload might have caused an increase in factual errors in
        her columns. (She eventually hired a fact-checker.) And in 1995, the
        writer Florence King accused Ms. Ivins of lifting passages Ms. King
        had written and using them in 1988 for an article in Mother Jones.
        Ms. Ivins had credited Ms. King six times in the article but not in
        two lengthy sentences, and she apologized to Ms. King.
        >
        > Ms. Ivins learned she had breast cancer in 1999 and was typically
        unvarnished in describing her treatments. "First they mutilate you;
        then they poison you; then they burn you," she wrote. "I have been on
        blind dates better than that."
        >
        > But she kept writing her columns and kept writing and raising money
        for The Texas Observer.
        >
        > Indeed, rarely has a reporter so embodied the ethos of her
        publication. On the paper's 50th anniversary in 2004, she
        wrote: "This is where you can tell the truth without the bark on it,
        laugh at anyone who is ridiculous, and go after the bad guys with all
        the energy you have."
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------
        --------------------
        >
        >
        > 5)
        > The Scotsman
        > Tue 30 Jan 2007
        > http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=154622007
        >
        > Church accuses Blair of 'thought crime' in row over gay adoption
        > GERRI PEEV AND JAMES KIRKUP
        > a.. Catholic Church claims adoption law influence will spread
        through society
        > b.. Labour risks losing votes to Christian parties in Scottish
        election
        > c.. Catholic Minister Ruth Kelly backs down to pressure and sides
        with Blair
        > Key quote
        > "This is UK-wide regulation that will impact on anyone who provides
        goods and services, from the priest who refuses to hire the parish
        hall to a same-sex couple, to the editor of a Catholic newspaper who
        refuses to carry a Gay Pride advert, or a printer who refuses to
        print those adverts - they will all be criminalised by this Draconian
        measure. This is as close as you can get to a thought crime." -
        spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Media Office
        >
        > Story in full
        >
        > THE Catholic Church in Scotland last night furiously accused
        ministers of creating a "thought crime" after Tony Blair refused to
        exempt Catholic adoption agencies from gay equality laws.
        >
        > In a significant escalation of the war of words between Church and
        state, the Catholic hierarchy said the government's decision to force
        faith-based agencies to consider same-sex couples as prospective
        adoptive parents would have a knock-on effect on religious people in
        other professions.
        >
        > The Prime Minister yesterday confirmed the government would not
        allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation from any
        organisation, particularly one in receipt of public funds. However,
        faith-based agencies have been given an "adjustment" period of 20
        months as the laws will not come in until the end of 2008. Until
        then, they must refer same-sex couples to another adoption agency.
        >
        > However, a spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Media Office
        insisted this would affect more than just the two Catholic adoption
        agencies in Scotland.
        >
        > "This is UK-wide regulation that will impact on anyone who provides
        goods and services, from the priest who refuses to hire the parish
        hall to a same-sex couple, to the editor of a Catholic newspaper who
        refuses to carry a Gay Pride advert, or a printer who refuses to
        print those adverts - they will all be criminalised by this Draconian
        measure. This is as close as you can get to a thought crime," he
        said, in a reference to the George Orwell novel 1984.
        >
        > "It isn't just Catholics - anyone whose faith means they do not
        believe there is a moral equivalence between single-sex couples and
        heterosexual couples will find themselves affected.
        >
        > "There are also large numbers of people of no faith at all who
        happen to believe that there is no such moral equivalence who stand
        to be criminalised because of that belief."
        >
        > The decision threatened to undermine Labour's bid to woo the
        Catholic vote ahead of the May election in Scotland. The Prime
        Minister himself gave credence to the sensitivity of the issue when
        he directly referred to Jack McConnell, the First Minister, who had
        been "making sure the Scottish perspective" was heard.
        >
        > One Catholic source predicted that yesterday's decision could cost
        Labour votes at the May election. Two fringe Christian parties are
        standing at the Holyrood elections, with particular focus on Glasgow.
        >
        > "You could well see significant numbers of people tactically
        switching to reflect Christian views," said the source.
        >
        > The source also warned that the Scottish National Party can expect
        no credit for its recent attempts to woo Catholics: "All the main
        parties are broadly in the same position on this, so a lot of people
        will find that their opinions are not reflected by any of those
        parties."
        >
        > But the First Minister said his priority all the way through had
        been to ensure children's lives could be improved. "For me, adoption
        is all about improving the lives of children. My priority is to find
        a way that will allow faith-based adoption agencies in Scotland to
        continue finding new parents for some of our most vulnerable
        children," Mr McConnell said.
        >
        > "These are the points I made to the Prime Minister over the
        weekend. This is undoubtedly a difficult issue, but I think the Prime
        Minister's announcement is a step forward. Above all, I hope it
        enables faith-based agencies to continue the valuable work they do.
        We willkeep in close contact with Scottish adoption agencies as these
        regulations are introduced."
        >
        > A source close to the First Minister played down the impact
        Westminster's decision would make on Labour in Scotland.
        >
        > However, Stephen Pound, a Catholic Labour back-bencher who holds a
        London seat, said the adoption row had become a "massive issue" in
        the Scottish election.
        >
        > But last night, Mr Blair said he believed ministers had found
        a "way through" that prevented discrimination and protected
        children's interests, which all "reasonable people" would be able to
        accept. "There is no place in our society for discrimination. That's
        why I support the right of gay couples to apply to adopt, like any
        other couple.
        >
        > "And that way there can be no exemptions for faith-based adoption
        agencies offering public-funded services from regulations that
        prevent discrimination."
        >
        > Meanwhile, David Cameron, the Conservative leader, became the
        latest figure to weigh in on the side of equal rights lobby. Risking
        the fury from right-wingers, he said it would be wrong to give the
        Catholic Church any exemption.
        >
        > Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, also welcomed
        the move, saying there was "no place for discrimination in a liberal
        society".
        >
        >
        > Kelly puts job before faith as she backs PM's decision
        > RUTH Kelly, the devout Catholic Cabinet minister who most strongly
        argued for an exemption from the equality regulations, last night put
        her career before her faith by welcoming the Prime Minister's
        decision.
        >
        > Ms Kelly, an associate of the strictly observant Opus Dei group
        within the Catholic Church, had made her strong objections public,
        leading even sympathetic MPs to wonder if she would be forced to
        leave the government if her view did not prevail.
        >
        > Tony Blair initially sympathised with Ms Kelly, but angry reactions
        from ministers led by Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, forced
        him to overrule her.
        >
        > Last night, Ms Kelly made clear she would accept the Prime
        Minister's ruling and keep her job as Communities Secretary.
        >
        > "We have had the debate and heard a range of views - many of them
        expressed with passion and conviction. As a result we now have a
        workable solution," Ms Kelly said.
        >
        > "Good government is about robust debate and finding solutions that
        meet our principles in a practical way. This is the right way
        forward."
        >
        > She concluded: "Today's announcement is a breakthrough that should
        be welcomed by everyone."
        >
        > But the Catholic hierarchy's fury at the decision is likely to
        prove a strain for Ms Kelly. In 2005, The Scotsman revealed that the
        minister was a full "supernumerary" member of Opus Dei, the
        controversial Catholic prelature made famous by Dan Brown's
        bestselling book The Da Vinci Code.
        >
        > Despite her decision, Ms Kelly's long-term political future is far
        from assured. Her Bolton constituency has been redrawn, making it far
        from safe for Labour at the next general election.
        >
        > Related topics
        >
        > a.. Roman Catholic church
        > http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=174
        > b.. Gay & Lesbian issues
        > http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=294
        > This article: http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=154622007
        >
        > -------
        >
        > Lots of comment are posted at the URL.
        >
        > Jay's comment -- Their religion is our problem.
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------
        --------------------
        >
        >
        > 6)
        > The New Mexican
        > Albuquerque
        >
        > Rule to prohibit gay topics prompts move
        > http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/56167.html
        >
        > By DIANA DEL MAURO | The New Mexican
        > January 31, 2007
        >
        > After 26 years, the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term
        Services Department says it won't hold its annual conference at
        Glorieta's Baptist-owned conference center because of attempts to
        restrict discussion of gay issues.
        >
        > A spokesman for the state agency said Tuesday that this
        summer's gathering will instead be held at Sandia Pueblo's resort
        complex near Albuquerque.
        >
        > Last year's Conference on Aging drew about 1,000 people
        to the LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center, a 2,000-acre wooded campus
        southeast of Santa Fe owned by a Southern Baptist organization in
        Nashville, Tenn.
        >
        > The state agency paid about $51,000 to host the three-
        day event, and some guests bought rooms and meals on the campus while
        they attended talks about Medicare, lifestyle issues and other topics
        related to the elderly.
        >
        > Marketers for RainbowVision, a new residential
        community in Santa Fe that caters to the aging gay population, made a
        presentation at the 2006 conference titled "Designing Communities for
        the Gay and Gray."
        >
        > No one made an issue of it during the conference,
        according to Joy Silver, president of RainbowVision Properties Inc.
        >
        > Later, however, center manager Hal Hill, a newcomer to
        Glorieta, questioned why the department's contract shouldn't include
        a requirement that prohibits teachings that would be in opposition to
        the Baptist heritage.
        >
        > Hill said Tuesday that the problem isn't the notion of
        a retirement center for gay people, but teachings that run counter
        to "what the Bible tells us in regard to family."
        >
        > "It's not a public forum, so to speak, in which any
        group can come and express anything they want to," he said of the
        Glorieta center, established in the 1950s as a training center for
        Christian leaders. "We can't have those things that would undermine
        our reason for being here."
        >
        > For more than two decades, the state agency had agreed
        to a contract that included a provision dubbed "Preservation of
        Religious Voice and Rights," intended to prohibit teachings that
        would be in opposition to the Baptist heritage.
        >
        > Then, a year or two ago, when the agency's lawyer found
        the requirement bothersome, the Glorieta center agreed to remove the
        clause from the contract, according to Hill.
        >
        > For this year's conference, Hill called for reinstating
        the provision. But the state agency wouldn't sign on to it.
        >
        > "It is the Department's opinion that proposed contract
        language, in addition to e-mail messages regarding the contract,
        would have denied First Amendment rights to individuals and/or aging
        network providers," John Arnold, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in
        a statement concerning the change.
        >
        > "Because the Department embraces inclusiveness and
        diversity," the statement continued, "it decided not to return to
        Glorieta because it cannot legally or philosophically agree to
        discriminatory conditions that infringe on the freedoms protected by
        the First Amendment and discriminate against any particular groups or
        lifestyles."
        >
        > In a unanimous vote on Jan. 25, the Conference on Aging
        Planning Committee decided to schedule the August 2007 event at the
        Sandia Resort Conference Center. Details are being finalized, Arnold
        said.
        >
        > Hill said he was sorry to see the Conference on Aging
        move to another venue. "We will miss having that group on campus," he
        said.
        >
        > The annual event, held at the height of the conference
        season, also represents a "significant" loss financially, he added.
        >
        > Hill emphasized the Glorieta center takes a stand on
        values yet welcomes both secular and religious conferences. "There
        was not, and is not, anyone that we're trying to exclude," he said.
        >
        > RainbowVision's Silver said she was pleased with the
        state's action. "I think that people need to know that the state
        stands for all us," Silver said, "and I think that's laudable."
        >
        > Contact Diana Del Mauro at 986-3066 or dianadm@...
        >
        >
        >
        > -------
        >
        > Jay comment --
        > This is not surprising at all. Nobody knows how to lie and bear
        false witness like a Southern Baptist.
        > They really are the arrogant scum of the earth. Pushing a "once
        saved, always saved" theological excuse to cover their egregious
        behaviour toward minorities -- a part of their founding in 1845 to
        preserve their then sacred rite of slavery.
        >
        > ***
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
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