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February 23rd, 2002:

Officially Recognized Religions

Gary Farber has a nice piece about John Ashcroft’s recent remarks, in which our breastphobic Attorney General says

“Civilized people — Muslims, Christians and Jews — all understand that the source of freedom and human dignity is the Creator. Civilized people of all religious faiths are called to the defense of His creation. We are a nation called to defend freedom — a freedom that is not the grant of any government or document, but is our endowment from God.”

Ashcroft groups Christianity, Judaism, and Islam under the “civilized faith” umbrella a few more times in the prepared statement.

I find it very interesting that people like Ashcroft now seem to be going out of their way to include Muslims when speaking positively about religion and people of faith. Anyone else remember when the watchword among the religious right was “Judeo-Christian”? Well, apparently Muslims have made the big leagues. I’m willing to bet that while this lexical change began before 9/11, it’s really become noticeable since. One can take this as sincere outreach by people who have traditionally had a very narrow view of morality, or one can take it as crass pandering to a group of voters that generally went to Bush in 2000. Either way, it’s interesting.

Righteous show

Went and saw the Asylum Street Spankers last night with some friends. What a totally kickass show that was. Having Guy Forsyth play with them helps get them back in touch with their bluesier side. It’s worth the price of admission just to hear Guy and Christina Marrs sing “If You Want Me To Love You”, which featured different (but still hilarious) lyrics from what’s on the Nasty Novelties CD.

We were joined at our table by Ted Barlow and his fiancee Leslie. They were excellent table companions. There’s no reserved seating at Rudyard’s so we all arrived around 8 PM to ensure we could sit (wise decision – it was standing room only well before the band started playing at 10). We had plenty of time to enjoy chatting and getting acquainted. Turns out they live fairly close to me. Since Ginger is also my neighbor, I guess that means there’s an Axis of Left-Leaning Bloggers here in the greater Heights area.

All in all, a rousingly good time. The Spankers rock. Chuck-Bob says check it out.

UPDATE: Here’s a more thorough review of a Spankers concert, this one also featuring Guy Forsyth.