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Hugs (was Re: So it begins.... Evangelicals to Bush: Payback Time)

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  • Nick Arnett
    Warren Ockrassa wrote: ... My brother-in-law Mark, whose daughter s husband is the one just killed in Iraq, has always been uncomfortable about hugging men.
    Message 1 of 113 , Dec 2, 2004
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      Warren Ockrassa wrote:
      > Depends on the joke and context too. In the 80s movie _Bill & ted's
      > Excellent Adventure_ Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves hug briefly after a
      > fight, then eye each other and shout, "Fag!" It's a pretty damn funny
      > moment, I think.
      > A roommate (straight) and I did a similar thing a few years later after
      > a dispute. It was even funnier then.

      My brother-in-law Mark, whose daughter's husband is the one just killed
      in Iraq, has always been uncomfortable about hugging men. We'd made
      kind of a joke about it over the years, adopting a "man hug" approach
      that basically amounted to patting each other on the back while
      maintaining maximum torso separation.

      When we got to Houston for Wes' funeral, he was the first person talked
      to on the phone as we drove in... and after he told me how torn up he
      was, I warned him that he'd been evading real hugs for too long and it
      was gonna end. Later, I kidded Chayla (his daughter, our niece, a widow
      at 21) that her dad might not show up at all because I said I'd hug him.
      Cindy (my wife) said Mark wouldn't show up because people would think
      I'm gay. No, I joked, if he doesn't show up, it'll be because he's
      afraid people will think he's gay.

      There were no more jokes about it after that. Mark *initiated* a few
      hugs over the next couple of days, tears in his eyes.

      Parker Palmer writes that when I choose to stand in the "tragic gap"
      between what is and what is possible, setting aside our internal demand
      to resolve issues quickly, my heart can "break open into greater
      capacity to hold more of my own and the world's suffering and joy,
      despair and hope."

      He recounts an old Hasidic story. A student asks the rabbi, "Why does
      the Torah tell us to 'place these words *upon* your hearts'? Why does
      it not tell us to place these holy words *in* our hearts?" Answer: "It
      is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the
      holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And
      there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks, and the words fall in."


    • Dave Land
      ... Neither, because those weren t straw men -- those were the content of the original message in the thread, in which the phrase So it begins... announced
      Message 113 of 113 , Dec 6, 2004
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        On Dec 5, 2004, at 3:12 PM, JDG wrote:

        > At 09:50 AM 12/3/2004 -0800 Dave Land wrote:
        >> What John did was a textbook straw man. Easy to knock down, but
        >> just as easy to recognize for what it is.
        > Tell me Dave, what precisely was the straw man? The part about "so
        > it
        > begins...."? Or maybe the "payback" part?

        Neither, because those weren't straw men -- those were the content of
        the original message in the thread, in which the phrase "So it
        begins..." announced the commencement of minority Christian
        conservatives' demands for a "payback" for having reportedly swung the
        vote in GWB's favor. Let's review... On Thu Dec 2 19:16:14 PST 2004,
        you wrote:

        > No... but I am also saying that the minority has no right to expect
        > that
        > their policies should remain in effect, and that the policies of
        > participants in the majority coalition should not be effected. That
        > process is not "payback" and it is not "the Coming of Shadows", it is
        > the
        > natural outcome of the electoral process we just conducted.

        It was the addition of the *quoted* phrase "the Coming of Shadows" that
        had a strawmanly look to it. You used it in a way that both Warren and I
        (at minimum) interpreted as an attempt to pose it as a quote from the
        earlier discussion with which you disagred. Perhaps I misinterpreted
        your intentions. If so, I apologize. If not, I've already called it out
        for what it is.

        As to the substance of this debate, I disagree with your statement that
        "the minority has no right to expect that their policies should remain
        in effect."

        We don't overthrow the government every four years. The minority has the
        right to expect that their policies will be given the same consideration
        as the policies of the majority coalition: if they look like they will
        lead to a better, safer life for more Americans than competing policies,
        then they should remain in effect. If they look like they will weaken
        and impoverish more Americans than competing policies, then they should
        be replaced with policies that improve our lot.

        Moreover, it's not as though Bush and company won by a landslide. They
        achieved the barest majority, which a reasonable person might view as an
        opening for reaching out to the minority, in order to widen one's
        majority next time out. They have won the privilege of setting the tone
        for the coming four years.

        Will they choose to reach out and invite the rest of the country to join
        them, or will they call them "losers" and toughen their resolve to
        become the winners next time? Do they want "one America" or two? Do they
        want an environment of conflict and retribution, or one of unity and

        I think *that* is the concern of the originally-posted article.



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