Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Rick Santorum Playing The Blame Game in Catholic Church Scandle

Rick Santorum recently blamed the Catholic Churche’s Pedophile scandle on cultural liberalism. This, despite the fact that the Catholic Church is still vary conservative about sexuality.
The greatest falsehood here is that the pedophilia among Priest is some how a recent phenomena. Really? Given the secretrative nature of the Vatican and the Catholic Church, we can assume that this has been going on for Centuries.
It’s easy for conservative Catholics to blame a "sick" society. But, the blame really lies with the policies and creed of the church itself.
First, there is the Church’s policy of mandatory celibacy for Priests, which tends to attract sexually troubled and sexually immature individuals. (Its really surprising that Michael Jackson never signed up)
Then there is the dictatorial and secretive nature of the church itself. For years and years incidences of pedophilia where hushed up and the perpetrators where sent to different churches. So much for "a bedrock of morality."
The icing on the cake has much to do with the creed of the Catholic Church itself. Throughout the history of the Church, the Priest has been viewed as beyond reproach, literally a direct servant of God. Many of the victims of Pedophile Priests therefore found it almost impossible to come forward.
In the past, if a child were to talk about the abuse to their parents either they would be called liers or just plain delusional. It was the more conservative America culture at the time which allowed the abuse to go on unabated.
Now, in a more open culture which is much willing to question athority and to get dark things out in the light of day, the truth about the abuse has finally been confronted.
If society conformed to Rick Santoriom’s vision, The abuse would have never gotten out in the open.
The lack of democracy and overly centralized political structure of the Catholic Church has made it much easier for this problem to fester. The Church needs to follow in the footsteps of the former Soviet Republics and have peaceful transition to democracy.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Man & Chimp

One thing that people who are highly religious or highly immoral is that they are both dominated by powerful and primitive emotions.
They are both essentially "primitive" in their outlook. The inability to properly understand and regulate one’s emotions it what leads to these extremes.
Self-understanding, wisdom and the intellect are the only things which really separate man from the Chimp. Strip these away and there really isn’t that much of a differance.
Chimp societies actually strongly resemble human societies. Loyalty, shifting alliances, sex, jealously, betrayal and xenophobia exists in equal measure in both species.
Its ironic how Fundamentalists vehemtly deny man’s connection to the animal world, yet attack science and reason. Which are, of course, all which really separates man from animals.
Its just as ironic that many Fundamentalists send missionaries to enlighten "Primitive" jungle tribes. Yet, at most fundamentalist services you often see preachers screaming at the top of their lungs and people gyrating in almost orgasmic and pagan ecstasy. They are, in essence, not so far removed from the "primitives" they are trying to "save".

Friday, June 24, 2005

Roves Recent Comments

Rove's recent comments might describe the attitude that the radical left has about terrorism. But to say that liberals in general are "soft" on terrorism is a hideous distortion.
Yet practically all mainstream liberals supported the war in Afghanistan. How does Rover explain that?

GOP Lacks Faith

One of Reagan’s greatest appeal was his profound belief in the goodness of the American people. Even people who didn’t share his politics must admit this,
But, many in the Republican party, and the Religious Right especially, seem to have lost this faith. Their view of American society is both cynical and bleak.
How can you claim to love America, after all, when you believe American society is turning into a giant cesspool?
The far Right in this country has moved in a much more paternalistic and authoritarian direction.
Ironically, their cynical view of America strongly parallels the sentiments of the radical left.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Myth Of Moral Decline

Bit of conventional wisdom is that our values are in decline. But, where is the evidence? If fact, our values seem to be improving, somewhat. Teen pregnancy, abortion, murder and drug use have actually declined somewhat.
Part of the reason for this perception is that the media has gotten more lurid and sensationalistic. On every news show you see nothing but rape, murder, and child molestation even though these are fairly rare acts.
On top of all this, there are the voyeuristic "reality" programs which only seem to show people at their very worse.
On top of all this is the occasional horror story, such as Columbine or 13 years olds getting pregnant, etc.
This steady diet of this cynical garbage only makes it easier to believe that our entire society is going to hell.
And there are some tangible effects from this perception. Combined with the shadow of 9/11, a culture of fear and suspicion has emerged.
It means people are more likely to overlook the eroding of civil liberties in the name of bringing order to a supposedly chaotic society.
This has lead to a subtle authoritarian tendency in American society. Look at all the schools with "zero tolerance" policies or the growing incidences of police using excessive force.
It’s based on the assumption that people are basically wild animals who can only be controlled via the threat of force. This is both cynical and undemocratic. Democracy, after all, assumes that most individuals have some inherent capacity for morality and judging right from wrong.
Trust in the people is the lynchpin of democracy, and those of us who value freedom should never forget that.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

No Justice-O In Trial-O

Looks like Jacko got off in his trial. Now he'll go back to Neverland and "get off" with some of his younger fans.
There is no justice in this world. If Jacko had been poor and black, he would be in jail.

The Broader Truth

There is a broader truth out there, which makes our laws, sentiments and all our little concerns seem like nothing. It is this fear of a broader truth which compels us to impose our beliefs and vision on everything.
Most of our lives our made utterly irrelevant by the vastness and age of the universe. Mayflies, really.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Lust For Power

Too often, the strong manipulate and intimidate the weak and confused under the guise of a religious or political dogma. But, what such "leaders" really want is raw naked power.
At least such tyrants could do is admit to their true goals and desires.
To often, such people take on a superficial niceness to hide what they really are, and that just makes it worse.
To our knowledge, no animal other than man has ever tried to rationalize their base impulses.
There are the power hungry Zealots which lead and the spineless and needy who follow.
There are more than enough examples of such tenancies. Such as communists re-education camps, Hitler Youth, The Branch Davidians, Jim Jones and recent phenomena of Evganical "straight camps" for gay youth.
The leaders of such movements might say "blessed be the poor in spirit, for they are easy to manipulate."
What cults and cult like movements all have in common is a tenancy to cause people to deny who they really are. And, incourage denial and "emotional honesty". They want their followers to follow the big lie and not whats really inside them.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Ultimate Evil

There is nothing more evil than the concept of eternal damnation. It would be more immoral than genocide, child molestation or any other evil humanity is capable of.
For God to damn people for eternity would make him worse than
Adolf Hitler. What is eternal hell, after all but other worldly version of Austwich or Daucal. And at least Hitler put his victims out of their misery at some point. Not, so, apparently, with God.
Some sort of temporary damnation till a person pays for their sins or the utter destruction of a soul would be more sensible for a God of Compassion and love.

Roots Of Ilegal Immigration

With all the talk of illegal immigration, few are talking about its roots. Could it have something to do with the fact that many Mexicans are so impoverished?
Clearly, the US should do more to lift the Mexican people out of poverty. It could do so through more just trading laws, more foreign aid and more pressure on the Mexican government to make fundamental reforms.
Certainly, the US could stand to tighten it borders. There are indeed some legitimate national security concerns here.
But, getting, that is only part of the equation. What we really need is a "Marshall Plan" for Mexico which world, in the end, benefit both countries.
Another complication is the fact that about fourteen million Illegal immigrants now reside in the US. So, are we going to deport them all?
That would be a logistical nightmare.
One ansewer would be to give Mexican illegal a one time only amnesty and then tighten up the borders.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Undermining Christianity From Within

Despite all the rhetoric about "Jesus Christ" many conservative evanganicals are not really true to Jesus’s teachings.
They are not so much as serving God but, they want God to serve them. They have become the worst of both worlds, celebrating wealth and greed while also being narrow-minded and puritanical.
If there really is another life beyond this one, then financial gain and striving for power is ultimately pointless.
They worship not at the alter of Jesus, but that of power and wealth.
They are undemanding the Christian faith from within.

Right Undermining War On Terror

If the Arab world believes that the war on terror is really a war against Islam, then, we’ve already lost. And the far right is fueling this perception. They are no longer "mostly harmless."
They are providing anti-American propagandists with all the fuel they need.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Potential for Disaster

If mankind makes the transition to a space faring civilization, we will then have excess to unlimited resources and our population could grew expoetially with a high standard of living for billions of years.
If we, however, continue to increase our numbers unabated on one planet, a disaster of some kind is inevitable.
Look at current trends. All throughout the world, per capita consumption of the global middle and upper class is increasing. Meanwhile, the amount of usable farmland is lessening, the world fisheries are being depleted, and freshwater supplies are diminishing.
Couple these trends with population growth and the inequality of wealth and you have the prescription for disaster. There is little chance of avoiding it.
The ultimate question is not if population is going to be kept under control, but how. Is it to be through voluntary family planning or decease, starvation and genocide? Something has to give.
Colinizing space and exploiting its limitess resources is an the ultimate long term solution, but given the technological hurdles and expense, it may be centuries before it happens.
Until then, we will have to learn to control our numbers and live more sustainable.