Sunday, April 5, 2009

Iowa Sets an Example for Other States

I fell in love with Iowa 35 years ago when I married a girl from that state. When the Iowa caucus came along to take its place as a keystone in the American political process, the idea made perfect sense to me. Iowa has conservatives, but they’re not like the red meat conservatives that tune in on Rush Limbaugh via radio stations down in Dixie. Iowa has its share of liberals, too, but they’re different from the liberals in Northern California and Boulder, Colorado. And the Christians in Iowa— and there are plenty of them—are nothing like the rabid fundamentalists who attend the mega churches in Texas and Colorado Springs. The thing about the people in Iowa is that they have a real authenticity about them. They seem to avoid becoming caricatures, and most of them will go to any lengths to avoid slipping into extravagance and excess. They’re the real deal.

That’s why it seemed so significant to me this week when gay marriage was legalized in the state of Iowa. This place, which is so typical of something we imagine to be “mainstream” America, has proclaimed to the world that anti-gay bias is the last great bigotry which needs to be erased from our culture.

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