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Posts Tagged ‘NPR Fresh Air’

I’ve been catching up on my NPR podcasts — I know, I’m a nerd for having so many NPR podcasts — and in the process I listened to a really interesting interview with Frank Schaeffer, the author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back. He talked about his life helping his father to politicize evangelical leaders and how he became enamored with the process.

“We gradually, I think, really started to enjoy the feeling that we could not only change America and bring it back closer to God’s intention for Godly societies, whatever the agenda was, but also just the process of meeting with high powered people and being listened to.  And I think really the bottom line is that became addictive, and that addiction meant that we were increasingly telling people how to vote and not really appealing so much to conscious as to political expediency.”

It was interesting to hear his perspective on the right wing’s views towards homosexuality.  He pointed how that he never heard, growing up, that homosexuality was some special case.  Schaeffer believed the right-wing realized this “cultural political stuff” was bigger when it came to fund raising and giving them access to power, than simply “talking about Jesus” or “helping the poor.”  Schaeffer said, the evangelical right couldn’t only talk about abortion and there was a new “scandal of the week” to go after.  So, the gay movement emerging in tandem during this same period presented a good target.

“Essentially once the religious right got into the habit of playing “church lady” to the whole culture and both judging and condemning and also offering a solution, which was to put their people in power, you needed to keep cranking it up.”

He also talked about witnessing the hatred towards gay people and felt their “personal antipathy was rabid.”

I can’t wait to pick up his Crazy for God book.  His story is so interesting and enlightening and I appreciate his views on the gay community and his bravery to condemn the hatred he witnessed.  I also agree with his views on Barack Obama inviting Rick Warren to the inauguration.  Here are some excerpts from what he wrote on The Huffington Post.

“Unlike his lefty critics lamenting Obama’s ideological impurity, the President-elect is actually positioning himself to help gay rights. That is because he is going to actually govern, not stand on the sidelines complaining. As such he needs to do all he can to soothe the idiots, when it comes to the tough social/political issues that are the residue of 30 years of culture wars.”

Here’s the point for all you progressives that only talk to yourselves and haven’t a clue about the “other” America: in a country where a national evangelical leader is fired for just voting for Obama, and thinking friendly thoughts about gays, the new progressive president has his work cut out!

Progressives are too used to failing. Stop worrying about little battles, you just won a war. It’s all about real results now, not words, and not symbols. It is time to think like winners. The issue now is governance, not symbols.”

Check out the Fresh Air interview.

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So, what is going on with the $700 billion taxpayer money?  Honestly, I’ve given up trying to understand how the Treasury is using taxpayer money to stabilize the economy.  Well, because no one really knows what is going on.

That’s where the Congressional Oversight Panel comes in.  What I find unsettling is the amount of information the panel doesn’t know.  Elizabeth Warren, the panel’s chair, explains the COP’s first report.  Ten questions to the Treasury about the use of these funds.

  1. What is the Treasury’s strategy?
  2. Is the strategy working to stabilize markets?
  3. Is the strategy helping to reduce foreclosures?
  4. What have financial institutions done with the taxpayers’ money received so far?
  5. Is the public receiving a fair deal?
  6. What is Treasury doing to help the American family?
  7. Is Treasury imposing reforms on financial institutions that are taking taxpayer money?
  8. How is Treasury deciding which institutions receive the money?
  9. What is the scope of Treasury’s Statutory Authority?
  10. Is Treasury looking ahead?

Don’t you think the American public should know the Treasury’s strategy?  We should at least know the  Treasury wants to help the American family.  I hope they do.

Elizabeth Warren talked more on the report on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.  Warren told Terry Gross the frame of the report was important and needed to be fast and tough, which is why the report is basically a set of questions.  The biggest concern Warren raised was the foreclosure crisis.  She says 1 in 7 families will lose a home has hit and will continue to hurt investors.  She insisted the Treasury has to deal with the mortgage foreclosures crisis, saying America can’t be saved by just stuffing dollars into vaults.  Listen to the interview.  It’s a bit grim, but so informative.

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I can’t wait to see the new movie “Milk” starring Sean Penn.  The movie, a biopic about the first openly gay man elected to office, is currently in limited release but opens in more theaters this Friday.  I’ve been so fascinated about his life and the work he did for the gay rights movement.

Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter of the film, was also inspired by the life Harvey Milk.  Dustin Lance Black is openly gay and grew up in the Mormon faith in San Antonio, Texas.  Hearing about Harvey Milk and his sacrifices encouraged Black to come out to his family and friends.

“Texas kept me very quiet. I became intensely shy, I had thoughts of suicide. I was a pretty dark kid, because I had an acute awareness of my sexuality, and was absolutely convinced that I was wrong. In his Hope Speech, Harvey Milk says, ‘There’s that kid in San Antonio, and he heard tonight that a gay man was elected to public office, and that will give him hope.’ And when I first heard that speech, it really did that. It really, really gave me hope, for the first time.”

Terry Gross, from NPR’s Fresh Air, recently had a great interview with the screenwriter of the film, Dustin Lance Black.  Talking about his experiences growing up in the Mormon Church, researching for the film,  and what it meant to him about the passage of the same-sex marriage ban.  It’s a great interview and I love his insight on gay rights.  I’m so glad NPR has been running pieces on Harvey Milk and other gay rights activists during that time.  And for Fresh Air to have Dustin Lance Black on the show.  It’s great to hear open gay public figures share their experiences.  It’s so important to share experiences and let people know who is being affected.  It’s what we need to achieve equality for gay Americans.

Check out the interview.  And while you’re at it, listen to Terry Gross’s interview with James Franco, who co-stars in the film. And listen to a review of the film by their film critic, David Edelstein.  Did I mention I’m excited to see this film?

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