The positive side of religious faith is hailed to the rafters while the sadism and mastery over others seething in the negative side is now considered impolite to mention, as is the willful, retarded ignorance of those who cling to their Bibles and reject reason and science.
'Faith drives a wedge between ethics and suffering. Where certain actions cause no suffering at all, religious dogmatists will maintain that they are evil and worthy of punishment (sodomy, marijuana use, homosexuality, the killing of blastocysts, etc). And yet where suffering and death are found in abundance their causes are often deemed to be good (withholding funds for family planning in the third world, prosecuting nonviolent drug offenders, preventing stem-cell research, etc). This inversion of priorities not only victimises innocent people and squanders scarce resources; it completely falsifies our ethics."
Of course, when you're talking about anything involving Tom DeLay, point man in the Shiavo crusade, there are no ethics *to* falsify.
Mr. Wolcott's post is a two-fer. Next, he lays into the declining economy, our over-extension of power projection in the world, and the seeming lack of concern.
Manufacturing decay, outsourcing of jobs, soaring oil prices, widening trade deficits, shrinking savings--and if that weren't enough, throw in a hefty slice of imperial hubris.
Call me a pessimist, a proud Eeyore, because I don't think America will smell the fine aroma of Gevalia anytime soon, if ever. This country is wearing a blindfold, staggering backwards, and slitting its own throat in slow motion. Watch the cable news, listen to our elected leaders: there's no more urgency about the economic decline in living standards dead ahead than there is about addressing global warming or loosening the chokehold of military spending. A country where "evolution" is becoming a bad word is not a country interested in facing reality. Instead, as the passage of the bankruptcy bill shows, corporate-political power is going to grind every last dollar out of the desperate and destitute rather than confront the difficult macro decisions. The elites in this country have never had it so good, and as long as they're prospering the distress will smothered under the surface, kept under a lid.
"So it's fair to say this revamp of the bankruptcy laws is as sinister and menacing portent of the shape of things to come as would be the physical construction of a new debtors' prison for the middle classes in every American town to match the prisons for the poor already planted in the outback."
Meanwhile, our elected leaders take turns testifying out much they love baseball, and play tug-a-war with a helpless, hopeless woman's feeding tube
Pretty much all form and no function. Everybody gets involved in shit they got no business interfering in, for all the wrong reasons, while the important stuff slides by unnoticed because it's too hard to deal with. Worse than worthless, all of 'em.