Saturday, April 16, 2005

Now What?

One of the precious few things I've always liked about the Catholic church is the principle of the "devil's advocate". It's a great management tool, too -- if everyone else is saying "yes", you should say "no" just to make sure the issue is truly being thought through thoroughly (again with the alliterative tongue twisters).

So let's apply that principle to some of the old-fangled "theocon" notions currently in political vogue. Let's consider for a moment what might be wrought if the holy warriors really had their way.

The hot-button issue is gay marriage, but the reality of that is that gay couples have been having to work around that for years. So it sucks, but the thwarting of gay marriage just means an extension of the status quo. This is not good, mind you, but it doesn't foment disaster, either. (Still, the seeming preponderance of gays and so-called ex-gays in these groups, or directly related to the chief crusaders, does not go unnoticed. Must the rest of world listen to you publicly deal with the imagined trauma of having a homosexual child? Apparently we must.)

Whatever the fundies' intent as far as gay marriage, it is still an important fight just on the basic principle of having a right to privacy, the right to be left the hell alone. We used to believe in such notions, before the War On Some Drugs changed some minds. How's that been workin' for ya?

I think the insurgency against the teaching of evolution is even worse. In practical terms, this is really a struggle against empiricism, against reality -- against science, most dangerously of all. The entire point of inculcating creationist nonsense is to color the view of how the student views the world around him. Very well. Let us accept said argument (and intended result) on its face, and act accordingly. Would you want someone who seriously believes that dinosaurs and cavemen co-existed -- and will entertain no contrary notions -- to work on your car? Would you trust him to work on your house? How about on you, or your wife, your child, your parents? You're gonna draw that line somewhere, you have to, so where's it gonna be? You really want some "Grampa warn't no monkey" yahoo working the rib-spreader when you go in for your triple-bypass?

Now picture this fucking guy running this entire nation, and trying to keep it even remotely competitive with the burgeoning East (China, Korea, Japan) and South (India, Pakistan) Asian powers. They have their fundie wackos too, but they don't let them call the shots.

You could put this function up against any theocon head-fake coming up the pike, and the answer will (or should) be the same -- that these motherfuckers are crazy. Their defense runs along the line of everyone else "picking" on them because of their faith.

(Funny, ain't it? All you ever hear out of them is how they're constantly under attack, but when was the last time they ever left us alone? They conveniently forget that they insisted on altering the Pledge of Allegiance, they insisted on changing the national motto. They're the ones who insist on the urgent need for "In God We Trust" on every damned thing, and a Ten Commandments monument up everyone's ass. Taxpayer-funded, of course. But we are the ones who are being all high-handed and arrogant. Okay.)

The faith isn't the problem; the attempt to mandate faith-based public policy is. To the faithful, their philosophy is some sort of magnificent divinely-ordained cathedral of ineluctable truth. To the rest of us, it's a ramshackle version of the Winchester Mystery House -- a poorly cobbled-together dump consisting of dead-end hallways of outdated cultural mores, and trompe l'oeil rooms of sexist rhetoric, papered with insincere populist bullshit.

Let us not forget the turrets of cultural retardation, nor the front porch of high-handed sanctimony. The dormers of fag-bashing. These are all critical to the construction of this House of Gawd™, which does not have a bathroom because you can shit pretty much anywhere and no one will mind, so long as you wrap it up in a flag.

Never let it be said that I can't run a bad metaphor full-tilt into the ground.


cavanaghjam said...

I am often reminded that the fall of Rome (Roman Empire Rome) gave rise to the Holy Roman Empire, leading Gibbon to write in his great book, "What I have described is the triumph of religion and barbarism." (or something mighty close) This time around the Chinese will be studying the dead language English in a short enough while.

Craig Heath said...

Heywood - don't forget the Hall Closet of Sexual Hypocracy (where they keep the little boys) or the Pantry of Political Pandering (stacked high with cans of "Think of the Children" and huge boxes of "God Bless America")

Sorry - couldn't resist.

CAGary said...


I'm a regular lurker(occasional commenter) at Atrios. Although I don't visit here regularly, every time I do, your work is better than the last visit. Please keep speaking truth. Just my .02.


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