Freedom Fry

Look at that freedom fry! A collection of political hotlinks and original articles.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

They're the Christian Right Whether They Like it or Not

11:35 AM

United States of Cananda/JesuslandSafe to say that the "Christian Right," the "Religious Right," or the "Evangelical Christians," have rocketed up my shit-list to the #1 slot. I'm sure they're quaking in their boots....

There is a method to the madness. I categorically reject hypocrites. Though we've all got the gene, they've won the lotto when it comes to hypocrisy. They don't mind supporting wars that destroy the lives of innocents but want to protect something unseen and unformed (the multi-celled fetus). They'd rather "good" and "bad" Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus suffer the effects of debilitating diseases rather than support the pursuit of cures or solutions through stem-cell research which could improve or save the lives of people now. Apparently if you're alive and kicking you should suffer like hell, but if you're a smudge on an ultrasound you should be entitled to more rights than a minority citizen is, right about now. You can call that "moral conviction," "righteous vision," or whatever the hell you want; I call it hypocrisy, and I don't encourage its proliferation. Read about how these folks think titles and terms can insulate them from their blatant idiocy in this Slate article by Tim Noah.

It's not that I mind people having one view that may conflict with another of their views (vegetarians who smoke—their hearts are in the right place, but their implementation is crap—be honest) it's when the gap between thier views and their actions grows so large you could fit an entire period of history in it and make it disappear. In my mind (as narrow as it may sound) this fascination with morality is making the right look more and more like fascist's, with a far more ominous agenda: the dissolution of all dissent. They can call themselves anything they want; they're still off the mark, from my point of view.

And here's the sole source of my cranky diatribe. An article by the world's most deluded conservative, Christopher Hitchens from Slate. He argues that the left has been—since 9/11—busy making excuses for Islam and trying to show it up as the "voice of the oppressed" instead of trying to tackle it head on like Bush. Bush, Hitchens claims, has done more for Secularism than anyone else.

Are you f**cking kidding me? Since when does directing attention to the causes rather than the effects amount to making excuses? If anything, the left—just like the right—wants the problem dealt with so it doesn't re-assert itself in twenty years. This differs from the conservative method of stamping out the fire for now, with little regard for the future (unless of course the future involves re-election of any kind). And cut the crap about Bush the Compassionate Conservative: he's shown little compassion and more neo-conservatism than anything else, and he sure as hell didn't do jack for Secularism. Toppling the puny Taliban is a pretty crap accomplishment, if you ask me—especially if you leave the institution that brought it into being intact (i.e. the ISI: Pakistani intelligence and the Pakistani government along with some anti-Communist think tanks). If Bush were truly beholden to a secular imperative he would have fought tooth and nail for peace and resolution in the Middle East rather than laying down when the Christian Right told him to back off on Sharon's ideas of "peace" in the Middle East. And if he is so secular, where is the full-throated call for change in Saudi Arabia? It is, after all, the least secular place on the planet, where a dynasty rules by virtue of its petro-dollar wealth. Bush isn't concerned with secularism. Security, I can force myself to accept: he is concerned about keeping something safe. Yet, I disagree with his implementation which I find to be more concerened with eeping certain special parties happy than achieving the real aim. But secular, he is not. Actions speak louder than words and Mr. Bush has not demonstrated, in any fashion, a tolerance or acceptance of the wisdom of all religions. We're sinners or we're saved. We're either with the Lord or against him. You dig?

Here's my solution:

  1. Crack down on proliferating countries like North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran; stop giving them more money for arms and come down on them like a ton of bricks for starting these fundamentalist groups.
  2. Re-evaluate what this war is about; deal with real, proven problems, rather than hypotheticals that can wait. Iran was always more of a problem than Iraq. Don't beat around the Bush. North Korea and Pakistan are bigger issues than currently considered; move on this.
  3. Stop playing Jesus, Solomon, and Peter. Put your Bible down and use that brain. Poor men with nothing to do and no jobs, repressed by entrenched authoritarian leaders will vent their frustration through violence if given the means to do so. Attack the attacker by taking his means of attack away. How will Arabs and Muslims ever believe you would like them to grow when you keep invading, and killing their people, and telling them what to do? Be stern in your efforts to teach them accountability and self-sufficiency. This eye for an eye crap needs to take a hike.

Pull idiots like Hitchens off the air. They muddy the waters by airing their deluded slander. The left, liberals, non-conservative members of the American public do not, and never will, condone the use of violence by any government or individual, and they reject every use of religion for political aims, as inherently flawed and manipulative. The liberals only suggest a more composed response to the threat, staggered and reflecting the values of compassion and humility embodied by all religions and all deeply spiritual and sentient human beings—things the Christian Right should focus on propagating. If we're all made in God's image, killing innocent Iraqis is just as bad as killing innocent unborn children. Liberals want to see a more cogent and coherent response to the threat of terrorism. Terrorism has existed in the Middle East and Central Asia for decades and has been attacked by existing governments (India, Israel, Russia) with force. The result has been death and destruction. America should know better if it claims to possess better moral clarity. The left wants to see the root causes of terrorism attacked: poverty and low economic achievement. In pro-Islam countries most money is diverted to arms (provided by Western governments like America, e.g. Pakistan, Iraq in the 1980s). The left believes that alleviating poverty and creating economic growth will permanently discredit the fake mullahs and their bloodthirsty craving for power. It will also re-institute a more moderate and forward-looking society in Islamic countries, where cooperation is prized and identity achieved through self-definition separate from violent actions.

Obviously this complex, and nuanced, approach is too much to accept for people like Hitchens and the Christian right who would rather use religion to provide a black and white approach to solving problems. These people do not stop to consider how much is lost by such a narrow interpretation. Perhaps, to comprehend, they should look to the example of some other religious/evangelical movements which tried to do the same thing. The Taliban springs to mind.


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