Have We Been Tolerant To A Fault?
I have said for years that the fastest way to get right wing-nuts and fundamentalist Christians out of our hair is to let them have their way. Because the more you learn about them the less you like them, or what they believe in. Strip away all the fluffy talk about "families, values. God and the sanctity of life," and what you discover are white bread closet fascists. The good news is that the more they are emboldened by concessions and pandered to by elected officials, the more they expose their genuine proclivities. (We saw that this week the evangelical's Pope, Rev. Pat Robertson, felt free to put on a hit on an democratically elected president of another country. )
We are also seeing hardcore Red State voters more and more clearly as tensions raise over the Iraq war. In recent days we have seen pictures of these self-described patriotic, God-fearing Americans, shouting insults and obscenities at antiwar mothers of GI's killed in Iraq. Lovely. Compassionate conservatism on full display.
So, as we watch and listen more and Americans are asking themselves, "are these really the kind of low-rent intellects we want running America?"
If not, the time is now to start confronting them, as the Gold Star Moms are doing. Provoke them to expose themselves, to blurt out the hatred they harbor for all things enlightened and progressive. Confront them by example because they are simple folk, they cannot be told anything, they must be shown. When they show up at your school peddling superstition as science treat it as teaching opportunity. Intelligent design in biology class? Okay, but then insist, to be fair, the school add the teaching astrology in astronomy class as well. Then watch the sparks fly. And don't back down til they do.
Stop pussyfooting around the proudly ignorant. Start going out of your way to annoy them, confront them, push their buttons with hard facts. Don this, not to be mean, but provocative. Because when simple-minded, closet fascists get angry they tend to involuntarily de-cloak. And when that happens what is exposed is at once ugly and frightening.
Listen up. The next national election is only a year away. Time is short. The Gold Star Moms are showing the way. They have made the right angry, rush to Crawford, Texas and reveal themselves as the narrow minded, hate filled pack of anti-intellectual knuckle-draggers that they are.
"My country, right or wrong," is back after a 40-year rest. It has again become the refuge of "God fearing patriotic Americans." These are the same folks who say abortion is wrong, evolution is wrong, birth control is wrong, gay marriage is wrong – but lightly excuse the possibility that a war waged in their name is wrong. The contradictions and double standards embraced by these dim bulbs are beyond explanation -- and contempt.
So, enough! Basta! The time for accommodation is over, because such people cannot be accommodated. Much of what they believe is pure, utter nonsense -- and often downright immoral. But they cannot be reasoned with. They are not only unenlightened, but anti-enlightenment. If there were such as thing as non-surgical social/religious lobotomies, these folks would be the result.
Before we can turn this mess around we have to first accept our own responsibility for letting it get this far. We have been politically correct enablers, terrified that we would appear intolerant and bigoted it we aggressively confronted them. The time has come for this politically correct tolerance of provable nonsense must end. Because it plays right into their hands. These folks have learned how to use our tolerance to create a society in which only their beliefs and interests will be tolerated. They are the most intolerant people in America, and deserve nothing less in return.
I am old enough to remember when the nation was all atwitter over "creeping Communism." Well, now we must fight an even more serious threat -- creeping theo-fascism – the Islamic and Christian versions.
So far though they are winning, not because of the force of their arguments, but because of our failure to un-embarrassingly confront their nutty beliefs, and to do so as brutally as they have confronted our progressive values. (The earth is only 6000 years old -- created by a supernatural being in six days? Those are some of the stupidest things come out of the mouth of a full-grown adult. So, tell them that. Flat out. Just because it's their religious belief doesn't mean it deserves an ounce of respect.) If people want to believe goofy things, they are free to do so. What they are not free to do is insist goofy ideas be codified into law.
So, get out there and do your bit. Annoy, annoy, annoy. Get right up in their noses. Make them angry. Force them to de-cloak or, as Ben Jonson wrote, "Speak, that I may see thee."
Have a nice weekend. (And get out there and annoy a theo-fascist for your country.)
Quote of the Times
"All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it... Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise." A. Hitler.