Thinkerfromiowa's Blog

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Asininity in Action — Part Deux

Asininity in Action – Part Deux

Hello, everyone.

I fully intend for this to be my last posting in regards to the mass murder at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but as long as the maniacal conservatives and Evangelicals keep shoveling the grist in my direction, I fully intend to keep the millstones humming.

This is an e-mail I received from People for the American Way this morning (12/19/12):

– – – – – – – – – –

A new message from your friends at People For the American Way.

“I strongly reject statements by Religious Right and Tea Party leaders that blame liberals, teachers, religious pluralism, judges and the separation of church and state for the Connecticut school shooting.”

[COMMENT: So do I!!!]

Dear Willis,

As America mourns the tragic and horrific loss of 20 children and six adults to an act of senseless violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, key figures on the Radical Right have wasted no time in offering the vilest, most offensive rationales as to “why this happened.”

Mike Huckabee and the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer both blamed the school shooting on public schools adhering to the separation of church and state — saying God let the massacre happen because we’ve moved away from things like compulsory prayer.1 (This is, incidentally, pretty much the same reason Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the shooting occurred.)2

Echoing Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson in the wake of 9/11 (who also, in part, blamed that tragedy on People For the American Way), Focus on the Family’s James Dobson said God has “allowed judgment to fall upon us” because the nation has turned its back on him by accepting things like abortion and gay marriage.3

And Tea Party Nation blamed teachers for the school shooting in Newtown, calling them “radicals in the classrooms,” accusing them of being part of a liberal plot to “destroy the family” and create a society that “coddled” the shooter.4 This is particularly outrageous considering the inspiring heroics of Sandy Hook Elementary’s teachers, some of whom gave their lives to protect their students.

Please sign here to say you reject these attempts to blame the victims and assertions that a vengeful God “allowed this happen.”

We need to speak out against extremists who are offending the memories of the deceased, as well as their families, to further their own sick agenda.

Thank you,

Ben Betz, Online Strategy Manager

  1. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-god-didnt-stop-ct-school-shooting-because-hes-gentleman-who-doesnt-go-where-he-not-w
  2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/17/iranian-supreme-leader-ali-khamenei-echoes-mike-huckabee-on-newtown-school-shooting/
  3. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/dobson-connecticut-shooting-was-god-allowing-judgment-fall-upon-us-turning-our-back-him
  4. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/tea-party-nation-attacks-teachers-over-ct-school-shooting

– – – – – – – – – –

Needless to say, I am in full agreement to, and in sympathy with, the views of PFAW. I am thoroughly sick and tired of those who are incapable of comprehending the actual cause for the shooting – virtually nonexistent gun control.

Also today, I found this exchange between journalist Piers Morgan and Larry Pratt.

– – – – – – – – – –

Piers Morgan encountered the gun nuts’ gun nut, Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America, on his CNN show last night, and blew apart when he realized his guest was certifiable. (If only he had asked Pratt his views about public schools to boot.)

The result, anyway, was highly amusing, producing entertaining exchanges such as this:

PRATT: I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.

MORGAN: You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?

PRATT: It seems to me that you’re morally obtuse. You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. And I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.

MORGAN: What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever.

[COMMENT: I just gotta say AMEN!! to that one.]

And then there was the way it all wrapped up:

MORGAN: Yes, I know — I know why sales of these weapons have been soaring in the last few days. It’s down to idiots like you.

Mr. Pratt, thank you for joining me.

When we come back —

PRATT: Thank you for your high-level argument, Mr. Morgan. It’s really good.

MORGAN: You know what, you wouldn’t understand the meaning of the phrase high-level argument. You are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense. You shame your country.

PRATT: Disarmament is dangerous. (INAUDIBLE) into role model.

MORGAN: Yes. Sure. I know all about role models and you’re not one of them.

– – – – – – – – – –

I have watched and downloaded the video that these two exchanges were taken from, and I can say that in the video, Piers Morgan sounded as profound as Plato and that Larry Pratt sounded as profound as Bluto in the old Popeye cartoons.

And furthermore, Pratt sat throughout the whole thing with a smirk on his face. I wish that I knew why the conservatives feel that they have to smirk at everything. Perhaps it is their attempt to appear erudite. I don’t know.

Yesterday (12/18/12), NBC devoted the first ten minutes to packing water for the NRA and wailing because of the fact that most of the country refuses to genuflect to them. They did say that the NRA would have a news conference on Friday in regards to the mass murders. On the other hand, CBS said, “The NRA will hold a news conference on Friday to comment on the events in Newtown, Connecticut.” Period. That was all that was said. It took NBC virtually 10 minutes to say what CBS said in one sentence!

There is one other idea that I want to address. Pratt called Piers Morgan “morally obtuse.” For that insult to have any meaning, there must be a valid definition of “moral” and “morally”.

Moral” and its variants are abstract, and defining abstracts in concrete terms is not always easy. In the 1960s, there was a song titled “Happiness Is” that did so quite well. Kent Cigarettes had a masterful ad campaign built on that song. Their ads would be something like this:

To a father, it’s a rich son-in-law;

To a lion, it’s a sharpened claw;

To a shopper, it is cash well spent;

To a smoker, it’s a Kent!

Now, let’s try to define “moral.”

Is it moral to trash someone with a disability because the other person can’t see, or hear, or run, as good as you can? Based on my life exsperiences, conservatives and Evangelicals think that this is just fine.

Is it moral to try to strip people of color of their right to vote? Given the silence of the Evangelicals during the civil-rights campaigns in the 60s, and the hostility of the conservatives to that movement, that also is OK.

Is it moral to trash anyone who does not worship God the way that you do” Again based on my life experiences, that practice is hunky-dory in some circles.

Is it moral to want to own assault weapons and use those weapons to kill innocent human beings? To groups like the NRA and people like Larry Pratt, it is. To people with functioning brains, it is not.

So unlike the concept of happiness in the song “Happiness Is,” “moral,” “morality,” and other derivatives require a personal judgment in order to be defined. So what may be moral to one person – like Larry Pratt’s worship of guns – would be immoral to another person, such as a mainline Christian.

But there are words, concepts, and stances that are not wispy to me, and for which I do not see any wiggle room. They are absolute to me, and also in general thinking. In the Daily Kos blog, I found some of these absolute thoughts and beliefs as regards the events at Sandy Hook School. Here are a couple of them.

In the Journal-Tribune, publish in Biddleford, Maine, so far as I can determine, columnist Maureen McDermott Gillmade a very cogent statement in the Dec. 19 edition:Gun advocates say these weapons [those used by Adam Lanza on his killing spree] are for “sport.” I want to repeat that: “Sport.” Well, I suppose that’s true if you’re sport-hunting humans.

And the Christian Science Monitor, in its December 19 edition, has this statement by columnist Mark Nuckols: “We only take notice when gun violence is sufficiently spectacular, such as at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. But on a typical day in the US, 33 people are murdered by guns, and 50 die in gun-related suicides. It’s time to regulate.”

Gee, do you think that it is because of views like this one that Evangelicals see Christian Science as being a cult? I wonder.

But Nuckols is spot on in what he says. It is time for stricter gun regulation. Indeed, it is past time!

And given the desires of those with functioning brains to see an end to the gun-related carnage in this supposedly “civilized” country, MAYBE something can get done without any more innocent little children having to pay the ultimate price. But you can bet that the conservatives and Evangelicals will not give up without a war.

HOPEFULLY, I now close the book on Sandy Hook School.

But we all know that the zaniness on the part of conservatives and Evangelicals will never end. According to Crooks & Liars, a guy who attempted to torch a mosque in Toledo, Ohio, received a Christmas present of 20 years in the hoosegow. According to C&L:

“‘Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,’ Linn also reportedly told the judge. ‘Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.’

Linn claimed that he had consumed 45 beers in the 6 hours before leaving his Indiana home to set fire to the mosque, which he had discovered while working as a truck driver.”

So that is supposed to make it all right if Jesus Christ – whatever the Hell THAT is – tells him to go light the fuse – or the gasoline?

All I can say is, May the Supreme Allah (pbuh) have mercy on my unworthy soul!

Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings to you all. And Happy Winter Solstice while I’m at it.

Bill

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December 21, 2012 - Posted by | Miscellaneous, Politics, Religion |

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