Thursday, May 31, 2007

The end of excuses

In an excellent recent essay, Chris Floyd writes of American moral cowardice:

“The fact that cynical power-seekers and war profiteers have been able to inflate this deadly but minor scourge [Islamic terrorists] into a globe-straddling monster capable of destroying the United States and enslaving its people speaks volumes about the timorousness that has entered America's national character.”

He contrasts this with the period of the Cold War, when we had the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over our heads, yet experienced an era in which the concepts of civil and human rights actually expanded and gained a greater foothold in American culture.

Although it is no secret that the government is now practicing torture, indefinite detention, kidnapping, and secret prisons—and openly claims that it has the right and the duty to commit these monstrosities in our name—most of the politicians and the press act as if this were not so. By simply continuing on their mad course without conceding any validity to moral objections, the royalists in Washington have succeeded in making the unthinkable the commonly accepted. We expect criminals to behave this way, but what are we to think of the so-called opposition, the Democrats who, with few exceptions, continue to say nothing about this degradation of our character? And what kind of credibility can we accord the media toadies who continue to babble inanely while a police state arises gradually around us? Credibility is not an infinite resource. Surely the TV talking heads have lost theirs completely and forever.

Required viewing: this video of the blatant and illegal attack on peaceful protesters in MacArthur Park by the L.A. police. The fish rots from the head down, as you know. When the highest orders of the state countenance tyranny, the lesson trickles down to the local protectors of property, the dubious black-clad soldiers of insecurity and fear.

A special place of infamy, however, is reserved for the guardians of our “moral values”—the conservative Christians. History should note that at the time of crisis, when lawlessness and crime became official policy, the right-wing church moralists—the Dobsons, Robertsons, and Falwells—stood up and cheered. Their religion, which they supposedly defend, has suffered more damage from these modern Pharisees than any radicals or atheists could ever have inflicted. Called upon to awaken us to the higher callings of conscience, the American church has been reduced to a cheap little political action group, offering silence in the face of war and official murder, while focusing its moral efforts on the apparently more important mandate of compulsory childbirth, repression of homosexuals, and the indoctrination of children with anti-scientific superstition and sexual ignorance.

Without spiritual opposition to violence, there is no faith.

1 comment:

whig said...

Until cannabis prohibition is lifted, the people will be deceived by false preachers of hatred.

Cannabis reduces violence, it increases peacefulness, it helps us to reach the kingdom of God within.