Grasshopper Soup: Politics, religion and yoga for chickens | SierraSun.com

Grasshopper Soup: Politics, religion and yoga for chickens

Bob Sweigert
Grasshopper Soup

America has great reason to celebrate. We have survived another difficult time. We stand on the threshold of a new beginning. There is grand rejoicing all across the fruited plain. What a relief! Why? No more campaign ads. At least not for a couple years in good old America, where we are taught to share, play fair and work together, until we get in to politics. Then we can lie, cheat and steal because that’s just the way it is.

Barack Obama’s victory was decisive. He won it fair and square. He has officially inherited George W. Bush’s mess. Barack is the man, the clean up man.

The traditional marriage, same sex yo-yo bill passed, but the matter is far from resolved. I call it the yo-yo bill because we voted on it years ago, but it came back this November.

More than 61 percent of the people said marriage should be defined in the traditional sense. Then the court pulled the rug out from under the majority and the matter continues back and forth like a yo-yo, or more like a dog chasing it’s own tail.

The constitutionality of the same sex marriage ban is still in question, as is the right of the majority to deny rights to a minority. The Mormons and Catholics can be persuaded to back off, like Jesus persuaded the crowd not to stone the prostitute. Sure, and Elvis won the presidency and he’s in Nashville working on his inaugural address, and his first words will be, “Be Bop a Louie, a Bop sham bam!”

Some claim that American society will be adversely impacted in the future if same sex marriage is written in to law. Will opponents of it then become criminals? Will believers in traditional marriage become the next fringe group to be discriminated against? Some fear that sexual freedom and promiscuity will become more mainstream than it already is, and the blurring of the sexual identity of our children will result. In spite of that, religious money, sentiment and zealousness should not determine American social policy.

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For all we know, Jesus himself will return and raise hell with the Christian right for interfering with his children’s God given gift of free will. He will remind Proposition 8 supporters that God’s Kingdom is not of this world, so don’t try to make it of this world. This is not Sodom and Gomorrah, or Old Testament times. This is America, where people are supposedly free to be right or wrong where their relationship to God is concerned.

Then there’s the chicken proposition, or the pig rights bill. There will now be adequate square footage for my next meal to do yoga in. A condo, weight room and jacuzzi for every chicken headed for the pot. Those evil chicken farmers can spend their children’s college tuition on more chicken wire. (Guess how I voted on that one).

How long can we continue deficit spending on chickens before the state goes broke? What? The state (and federal government) is already broke? Oh, I forgot.

Proposition 5, which reduces penalties for nonviolent drug offenders, was another misunderstood, politically distorted and complicated issue. Plenty of intelligent, professional, good, productive citizens enjoy smoking marijuana occasionally. Marijuana use, at the very least, should be decriminalized and demystified.

Navigating the political landscape in America is like the bike trail. Nobody has ever heard of the “Walk Left, Ride Right” rule. Either side can be the wrong side, depending on the crowds and sight lines on curves and straight-aways. Few people are keenly aware of others sharing the same path. Everybody’s on the wrong side at one time or another and they don’t even know it. It will never change. All we can do is try our best to make room for each other.

I’m going to do my part to change America, and the world. I’m going to start this very morning, by shaving.