Irons sharpening irony. We saw another chapter in the continuing story of “modern McCarthyism” unfold last week. Actor Jeremy Irons expressed some legitimate concerns about gay marriage, saying he was concerned it could lead to a legitimization of incest or other strange and damaging sexual relationships. Homosexual activists trained all their media firepower on him, dismissing his concerns as “bizarre.” Irons quickly responded to the criticism by saying, “Living with another animal, whether it be a husband or a dog, is great. It’s lovely to have someone to love.” Some news reports said he was stepping back from his earlier comment, but when I read these comments, I thought he was “doubling down” by ironically suggesting that if you’re OK with homosexuality, what’s wrong with bestiality?
Heavy, dude. For the first time, according to a Pew Research Center poll, a majority of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. The poll, released Thursday, said 52 percent support legalizing pot, with 45 percent in opposition. Gallup did the first poll on marijuana in 1969 and found that 84 percent of the country opposed legalization. The trend toward legalization has been slow and steady ever since, though similar polls show that support for legalization has grown by 11 points since 2010. In 2012 Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize marijuana.
Marriage “optional.” A new report by the Centers for Disease Control says cohabitation has become more common, and the average age for marriage is at an all-time high. According to LiveScience.com:
“Between 2006 and 2010, nearly half of heterosexual women (48 percent) ages 15 to 44 said they were not married to their spouse or partner when they first lived with them, the report says. That’s up from 43 percent in 2002, and 34 percent in 1995.
“Just 23 percent of women in the new report said they were married when they first lived with their partner, down from 30 percent in 2002, and 39 percent in 1995.
“And nearly 75 percent of women ages 30 or younger said they’ve lived with a partner outside of marriage … at some point in their lives, compared to 70 percent in 2002, and 62 percent in 1995, the report says. …
“Nowadays, people expect to be financially secure and to have finished education before they enter marriage, said [Susan] Brown[, a professor of sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, who was not involved in the new report]. ‘For many people, this is a very high hurdle,’ Brown said. The average age for marriage is 26.5 for women and 28.5 for men—an all time high.”
David Kuo dies. I remember the first time I met David Kuo. It was at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., about a dozen years ago. At 6 feet 5 inches, he towered over me, though he was a bit stooped on this day: He said he had just run a marathon the week before and could still barely walk. He handed me his card, which I still have. It said: “Special Assistant to the President & Deputy Director, Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.” The address said simply: “The White House, Washington, D.C. 20502.” I told him his title sounded impressive. He reminded me that in Washington, the longer the title, the less power you have, that the most impressive title in town is a single word: “president.” But David Kuo was impressive, if not in political power, then as a man who spent the last 10 years of his life fighting brain cancer, continuing to write when he could, and committing himself to his family and friends. He would even share his faith with reporters who came to cover his story, some of whom subsequently became his friends. While David never lost his faith in Jesus, he did become disillusioned with the faith-based initiatives he helped to lead, in part because President George W. Bush would not commit billions of federal dollars to fund the office and its programs. David had been at the White House for only two years when the first symptoms of his brain tumor forced him to resign. He subsequently wrote a best-selling book about his experiences: Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction. Cheerful and a bit irreverent, he once sent a message to a non-Christian reporter, saying if the reporter didn’t “deal with Jesus,” David would come back from the dead and “kick his [expletive deleted].” Alas, the cancer eventually kicked David’s. He died on Friday, at the age of 44.