Thigh-High Hell

Lauren Duca, famous for “thigh-high” politics and damning people to hell, has reminded me of a very old joke-

A person is ushered into hell and told to choose between two rooms. In one people appeared to be stuck head-first in a solid foot of manure. In the other they are standing, with coffee mugs, in several feet of manure. Upon reflection the newbie chooses the second option. As soon as soon as the choice is made, a disembodied voice says, “coffee break over, get back on your heads!”

But in all seriousness, hell is no joke. Neither is death or AIDS or anti-semitism, or abortion or sexism or segregation or war.

Lauren’s comments about Graham illuminate her anger and her politics. Calling anyone an epithet like “shit” or “bitch” is an act of dehumanization and should elicit questions about why the speaker is that angry.

So I read Graham’s biography. He was just a guy. He did some brave things, he made some big mistakes. He was flawed and occasionally made public comments he regretted or private comments he regretted even more. A public figure of mixed repute who said or did things he sometimes regretted–not that different than Lauren Duca.

By my estimation Duca is in her 20s, which means she is a cool three-quarters of a century younger than Graham. She is young, young and apparently angry.

I wonder if Duca would have said what she did had she been older or done some research on literal hells.

I am a lot older than Duca and a lot younger than Graham. At fifty my regrets come back to me, chalky outlined ghosts of all my squalor, all my terrible, ordinary sins.

What if hell were just that? No fire and brimstone, just all our dead deeds come back to us forever. Just all our paid-for-with-this-glib-t-shirt dead.

We would wish for what Graham claimed to have–

An unequivocal Redeemer.

Job 19:25 NIV

[25] I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

Mike Pence and mysogyny accusations 

Just the day before the 2016 presidential election I told my friends  I feared that this election was like two toddlers fighting over a single ice cream cone.  The loser was going to fuss.

This has proved true beyond my wildest imagination.  And since 80 percent of the national press was unabashedly on Clinton’s side of the ice cream fight, the tantrum that has ensued has been both instructive and embarrassing–watching grownups with real jobs behave like the stepsisters in Cinderella.

Nowhere, and I mean nowhere, has this been more apparent than in the sly criticism of Mike Pence’s diligent faithfulness to his wife, and as an extension to his family and his community.

I dare to say that given their druthers, Bill and Donald’s family would have benefited from Pence’s honor rules.

So to call a man mysogynistic for honoring his wife seems to be a bellwether of the ice cream tantrum situation–better to call up down and left right than to report real objective news?

It seems that way.

The American public deserves better.  So does Pence.  If more men followed his rules, women in this country would be safer.

And as journalists in places like Russia and Mexico pay with their lives for their autonomy and journalistic integrity, ours have devolved into middle school bullies.