I realize we’ve been quiet the past few days. A lot has been happening, and rather than reacting in writing, Kaiju and I have been busy taking in the views and analyses of others. Kennedy’s contortion on gay marriage was expected, as was Roberts’ consistency in legislating health care law from the bench. That doesn’t make their betrayal of conservatism and constitutionalism sting any less.
On Obamacare and gay marriage, all that’s really left is for the people to see the negative repercussions that the decisions will wreak. They celebrate now, but we’ll see how happy they are when churches and religious institutions come under attack on both fronts. The weaker faiths may bend and break, but I guess here’s somewhere for American Muslims and faithful Christians to find common ground.
This is slightly heartening, at least. Though I think it portends what’s to come. The author calls for an end to the non-profit status of churches that refuse to marry gays. Such proposals were bound to come sooner rather than later. In the comments, however, a majority of both anti and pro-SSM folk alike seem to agree that the writer’s thinking is flawed and that this is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, as we’ve already seen, with the courts as they are, the will of the majority isn’t always particularly meaningful.
I agree with Steven Crowder that it’s time to start thinking about buying guns and ammo. Not talking about armed insurrection here, but being prepared for whatever comes.
Despite all this, I’m still grateful to be American. I know some have lost their faith and begun to despair for our country, but I believe this is still one of the best places in the world to live. The persecution may be coming; the economy may implode; inept and corrupt leaders may finally run us into the ground, driven by naive and ignorant voters. But for now we still have it better than a lot of other people in the world and that have come before us.
Things have been so dismal in the world of politics and culture that I’ve largely neglected to share some of my more nerdy distractions. I recently began playing Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Ten or more years ago I got into Redemption, the first PC game to bear the VtM title. For those who may not be familiar with it, Vampire the Masquerade is a pen and paper game setting, like Dungeons and Dragons. The VtM world, however, is dark and supernatural. The basic premise is that vampires live side by side with humans, but it is in their best interest to keep their existence a secret. There aren’t exactly “good guy” vampires, but some are more dedicated to retaining their humanity, while others are evil bastards. “The Masquerade” refers to the vampires’ societal code, which forbids them from revealing their existence to mortals. If they violate the Masquerade too many times, they are eventually eliminated for posing a threat to their society.
Bloodlines has been pretty fun so far. A few hours in, I discovered that there was an unofficial patch that fixed some bugs and improved some dialogue and the game’s graphics. It unfortunately required restarting my game, but I actually didn’t mind playing through again. It seems well-written so far, and it shares many characteristics with Deus Ex. There are times when you have to fight, but there are many ways to build your character and often several ways to approach a quest, be it through stealth, dialogue, or combat.
Perhaps I’ll do a more extensive writeup when I’m further through.
I’ve also been slowly taking in the first Dresden Files book. I’m not sure I’ll get as into it as Gabe, but I’m digging elements of it so far. Jim Butcher’s take on vampires was kinda cool, anyway.