Sunday, January 27, 2013

Post Inaugural Reflections

Sorry that it has taken me almost a week to get to this, but I do have a life beyond the blog. And it has been an interesting week with several other things that have captured my dyslexic imagination
I didn’t get to see the Inauguration on television as I was driving out of state to a work commitment but I was listening to it on the radio.  I wasn’t overly impressed at Myrlie Evers-Williams invocation; it sounded like the usual over-decorated wedding cake of a civic “prayer” until she did what no clergyman would dare do—to pray “through Jesus Christ Our Lord.”  Now I am not saying she should have done that; we have long had an entente-cordial in this country to keep religion out of public view and reduce our faith—whatever it may be—to the least common denominatorism of bland abstract Deism.  But I know that I have long had little respect for Christian Clergy who get up and invoke not the God to Whom they are committed but Jefferson and Franklin’s cosmic watchmaker.  So Myrlie, you-go-girl; thanks for praying and not just spouting cascades of sparkly verbiage like some champagne fountain gone out of control in a Vegas hotel.
Then there was Justice Scalia’s hat.  Loved it.  How can the man possibly rule against gay rights after appearing in a fourteenth-century chapeau that made him look like Cardinal Wolsey with acid reflux?  Mockery aside, he was probably the most correctly dressed person at the ceremony—and I am not surprised.  I don’t often like what he has to say, but he is the brightest bulb in that very bright chandelier of the Roberts’ Court.    (I do think, however, that the Thomas bulb burned out long ago, even before President George H.W. Bush screwed him into the chandelier. Notice the verb, “screw.”  I choose my words with thought.)  But Scalia’s hat is the traditional style worn with judicial robes by Judges and Doctors of Law in medieval England.  Of course, we aren’t in medieval England, but don’t tell Mr. Justice Scalia that.  It will always be the Middle Ages for Scalia.  And as a historian myself, I appreciate that.       
I was appalled—and I mean appalled—to see poor Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America get a very rude brush-off from Senator Schumer as the prelate tried to thank Schumer for the invitation to give the blessing at the end of the inaugural luncheon.  By that time I had arrived at my destination and settled in comfortably in front of a television, and while everyone else noticed the First Lady’s eye-roll at Mr. Speaker Boehner’s unregistered remark, I saw the Senator’s unnecessary brusqueness towards an old man who simply wanted to say thank you.    Senator Schumer typifies everything about why I hate New York.  Rude. Rude. Full of himself. And Rude. 
Finally—what a great poem by Richard Blanco.  President Obama made it clear in several ways that the gay agenda will fare better in his second term than in his first.  I know that will drive the krazies even krazier but you know, I am tired of people being broken down into black or white, gay or straight, male or female, liberal or conservative.  (Open-minded or stupid, I am willing to keep.)   People are just Mark or Steve or Carol or Diane or Ray or you or me.  Let’s get over pushing them into categories and make sure everyone has an even shot at life. 

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