When I graduated college, I started working in media for two guys that lived through the 1960s, Vietnam, and the United States’ Cultural Revolution. They were former hippies that now shopped at Barney's. “They should make it harder to get married, and easier to get divorced,” said one guy. I didn’t understand that back then, but I think I do now. Not being a child or an adult of divorce, I could only imagine that when it’s time to live apart, the last thing people need are lawyers, judges, and legal paperwork getting in the way.
The Catholic Church opposes this legislation because it can make divorce easier. They might be right about that. But perhaps this law just allows the inevitable to happen quicker. This law comes on the heels of the California Supreme Court decision that makes gay marriage a constitutionally protected right.
It has not been a great month for social conservatives, but to their credit, they have handled both instances with poise.
Many will see these two unrelated events as a slouch toward secularism, but they are not. Gay marriage will not change the institution of marriage in any negative way, and divorce in New York was already being practiced. Now, a gay couple can get married in California, drive cross-country, and get a quick divorce in New York.
A Possible Solution in Lower Manhattan
The Lower Manhattan mosque is becoming the hot-button issue for the coming election, and Republicans are seeing it as an opportunity to expose weaknesses in the Democrats’ commitment to stand up to political correctness. It really comes down to what is a right, and what is simply the right thing to do. People have a right to build in the city without discrimination. Is it the right thing to do, in this place, at this time? That is an entirely different question.
Are there other solutions to help this situation? If a mosque is going to be visibly hard to swallow, is it possible to allow the surrounding buildings to build up? This could take the visibility issue off the table. It is an area where the city can get involved. It can expand zoning licenses to surrounding buildings. It will not hurt the mosque, but it could make everything blend in more.
If you cannot stop someone from building, the only answer – if we’ve learned anything from Donald Trump – is to build bigger.
The Sports We Deserve
The old adage is that the people get the government they deserve. Likewise, we get the athletes that we are willing to tolerate. With the steroid era slipping behind us, there is still a lack of professionalism in professional sports. Francisco Rodriguez and Johan Santana dealing with assault charges and Ben Roethlisberger making life uncomfortable for the usually comfortable Pittsburgh Steelers, are all signs that teams need to take a stronger stances on what corporations refer to as “best practices.” If players are going to get salaries equivalent to big executives, they need to behave within the same parameters as executives.
The Steelers showed early signs this week that they can play ball without their star quarterback, if only for a short time. This brings us to Bronco’s new quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow’s attachment to his religious faith has helped keep his approach to sports in perspective. He takes heat for being religious and standing up for his beliefs, but is being religious worse than Lebron James holding an hour-long infomercial telling people where is choosing to play next year?
Steeler fans were perplexed with how the team would deal with Roethlisberger’s indiscretions in the off season. After all, they are not used to that problem. Some fans, me included, were calling for a trade before the NFL draft. I tweeted that the Steelers ought to trade Big Ben for a draft pick. They could have signed Tim Tebow. This is not to say that Tebow, an unproven newbie would be a safer pick than a two-time Super Bowl quarterback. If you want to send a message to your team, however, that is how you do it. They could have saved face, and added a fresh young face as well. We get the players we accept.
The Mets have enough talent to win the National League East, but they lack clubhouse leadership, which is precisely the kind of team Omar Minaya built. From Vince Coleman in the 1990s to this kind of behavior today, the Mets have never really lived by a code of ethics that worked to their advantage. It might be time to tighten the ship in Flushing, and maybe the results would be better. Ask John Rocker what happens when you become a problem in Atlanta. That is why Atlanta is a successful franchise.