Real problems vs. the problems our president deals with |

Real problems vs. the problems our president deals with

RICH MAYFIELDSpecial to the Daily

I don’t get it. One could recite a well-used litany of woes our nation is facing and yet the president is spending his time actively campaigning for a constitutional amendment on marriage? Is this really the highest of priorities when a war in Iraq is going horribly wrong, affordable healthcare is becoming unattainable for many Americans and our national debt is accelerating at such a rate our great-great-great grandchildren will suffer for our present lack of leadership … and he’s worried about two guys who want to get hitched? Somebody explain it to me.I have to think there are other motives than the purported concern for the institution of marriage. Deeply troubling is that this ploy seems to be a sinister attempt to placate a particular political force, conservative Christians.

Curiously, the divorce rate among folk who claim that Christian position is higher than for any other religious group. Surely our conservative Christian colleagues are familiar with the ancient teaching about removing the mote in one’s eye before pointing at the speck in another’s? But zealotry needs little reason. Religious fanatics figure if they can’t win us over with their theology, they’ll force it on us with their demagoguery. There was a not too distant time when it was unlawful in many states for people of one race to marry people of another. Such an historical travesty might have been laughable until very recently. Now, of course, we see disturbing similarities in the bigots of yore with those of today. What possible reason other than abject prejudice can there be for this disgusting legislative display? Where, pray tell, is the harm in two men or two women seeking to solemnize their relationship in either the church or city hall? Can we really be that concerned with what takes place in the privacy of one’s home? Would any of us want our own sexual practices described or determined by a constitutional amendment? I don’t get it.This week, the senate effectively defeated the Marriage Protection Amendment. The vote indicated that at least 49 senators understood that continued debate on such a ridiculous issue was shameful in light of the continuing and enormous problems facing America today. Colorado’s Senator Wayne Allard’s actions in proposing the amendment graphically describe the deplorable state of our so-called representative government.

Apparently, a constitutional mandate prohibiting people from officially celebrating their love is a priority for Mr. Allard even while innocent men, women and children, as well as American soldiers, are being blown to bits each day. All Coloradans should be ashamed.Even more discouraging is President Bush’s pandering to the prejudices of the religious bullies who seek to control not just the Republican Party but all of America. These mean-spirited demagogues are even more loathsome, spewing their venom in the name of Christianity. None of us want to believe the President of the United States of America would stoop to such a transparent attempt to distract us from his dismal performance as our nation’s leader. Colorado Springs serves as the headquarters for many of the organizations the president is trying to please. That beautiful city is also home to hundreds, thousands, of recently returned veterans who have been profoundly affected by their time in Iraq. Recently I met with a psychotherapist from The Springs whose work involves counseling many of these veterans. His stories were both sad and sickening. The casualties from this terrible conflict are not just found in body bags. Shattered bodies, traumatized psyches, broken marriages are the direct result of the war and yet our politicians ignore this very real scandal in favor or an artificial one.

I don’t get it at all.Bush’s ratings are falling quicker than the Dow Jones Industrial. No president has had such bad reviews since Truman fired MacArthur. In fact, 67 percent of Americans now think he is doing a bad job. Something surely needs to be done.Now I get it. Rich Mayfield writes a Saturday column. Visit his website at

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