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I FOUND AN ITEM IN “News of the Weird” (5/12) to be deeply moving, and that was the story about the ceremony at the First Christian Church of Decatur, Ga., which celebrated the divorce of a couple that had been married at that church. For centuries, churches have condemned divorce as unholy, no matter how bad or unfair a marriage was. Well into the 20th century in most Western countries, couples who have divorced are considered dirty or sinful. The fact that one church somewhere has decided to treat divorce as part of a mending process, as a chance to start anew, is not weird at all. I hope it is the start of a healthy trend.
On the other hand, the gloating of Republican staffers over the publication of Gennifer Flowers’ book (“Precious Bane,” The District Line, 5/12) struck me as truly weird. Compared to the usual right-wing fantasies about Nazi ATF agents invading the homes of good Christians, or doped-up, nonwhite welfare cheaters eager to rape decent white women, the fuss over Flowers seems harmless (except maybe to Clinton’s family). But the trouble with laughing off this story is that the fantasies of the right have gripped the white middle class for almost every election during the last two decades. And what have we white people gained by allowing the right to jerk us around by our fears? The country’s wealth has become concentrated in the hands of a greedy few, and our democratic government rendered impotent to do anything about it. The right’s stifling of health care reform is especially disturbing to me, and I simply cannot use puerile fantasies over who put what body parts into the orifices of Flowers to pay my medical bills.