Gary Hart Preaches
The prophetic voice of the moment comes from… Gary Hart? Who wouldda thunk? And yet here he is, talking some serious God and history on the op-ed page of the NYT, no less. “To participate in a discussion of ‘faith’ one must qualify oneself,” and he goes on to do just that with a specifity that should shame all those — Bush and Kerry alike — who use the term “faith” to signal something as deep as a kiddie pool. “Declarations of ‘faith,'” writes Hart, a man who — did you know? — has spent a good deal of his life considering them — “are abstractions that permit both voters and candidates to fill in the blanks with their own religious beliefs.” At last — if this wisdom isn’t common ground, we don’t know what is.

Another Monkey Trial
Can you take another Scopes-trial analogy? What if this one’s accurate? Kristina Torres of theCOX News Service reports on a federal case that begins today in Georgia, weighing arguments about how evolution — or conversely, the alternative “Intelligent Design” curriculum — should be taught in public schools.
Go, Left, go!
The mighty Left organizes… to block an appointment that already happened. Three times this morning we’ve received an email asking for support in opposing Bush’s impending appointment of Dr. W. David Hager, author of a medical advice book called As Jesus Cared for Women, to an FDA committee on reproductive health. Go, Left, go! You’re only two years too late.
Protect (American) Personhood
The anti-abortion group, American Life League, wastes no time calling for payments on the political capital they helped lend Bush, today calling for the president to support a “Personhood Proclamation,” that would declare “the unalienable personhood of every American, from the moment of conception until natural death.” The ALL sympathizes with the difficulties ahead of Bush in committing himself to all existence, starting at the single cell stage, but reasons that while “it isn’t always easy to follow the teachings of the Gospel,” they have faith in his good intentions and his heart. And their caveat on following the Gospel — Bush need only concern himself with American personhood — may help.
“Think of him as your god.”

How do India’s social conservatives deal with the prospect of gender equality or change in the family structure? In part, with the Manju Institute of Values’ 3-month course, which trains Indian women to be the ideal wife who will focus on household chores, keep sex to a minimum, and defer to her mother-in-law. One of the Institute’s instructors, Hemnani, denies any motivation to thwart women’s progress, but neither should women consider themselves equal partners to their husbands. “‘The moment you say partner, that’s where the clashes come. [The husband's] not God, but he’s like God.'”