There’s a lot of outrage going around these days. What’s puzzling is that so much of it is focused on parochial matters and so little on the issues that challenge our society and define basic morality. There’s precious little moral outrage about Tom DeLay’s ethical lapses but lots of pontificating about Terri Schaivo from people not directly concerned with or knowledgeable about the specifics of her case. Senator Frist was willing to offer a medical opinion about Mrs. Schaivo’s condition after watching a video, even though he is a thoracic surgeon, and she is in a brain damaged state that has been monitored and diagnosed by neurological experts for many years. Would Dr. Frist be inclined to undertake a surgery on the basis of an opinion derived by an outsider after viewing a video?
And what has Senator Frist offered in the way of progressive reforms or medical treatment for the disadvantaged? Hasn’t he actively supported tax cuts for the rich and program cuts for the poor? And isn’t he helping to move the Senate and in turn the country much further to the right than ordinary Americans might have imagined when they voted Republican last fall?
Aren’t we being distracted by histrionics that cloud our perceptions and keep us from concentrating on matters that require our best efforts and closest attention? How do we reconcile outrage over the Schaivo case and the lives of the unborn – – lumped together as so-called right to life issues – – with the neglect of those who cannot pay for decent medical care after birth and in old age?
Haven’t we begun to confuse religion with morality? Some people think they are one and the same and want everyone to conform to their concept of what is righteous. They spend so much time agonizing over what is good one wonders if they ever have time to do good works.
And isn’t sound education being confounded by the insertion of religious belief when scientific method would be more appropriate? Do some evangelicals debunk the theory of Evolution and geological data because they’ve counted the “begats” in Genesis and figured out the age of the earth in that manner?
It is astonishing that such narrow, simplistic views of the world have begun to find their way into classrooms across the country and to dictate voting patterns as well. An article about an affluent family in Ohio describes a comfortable, prayerful existence whose members refer to evolution as a “myth”. There is “only one way, and it’s through Jesus” says the father. No other religions, no other people, and that includes men like Gandhi, are worthy because they have not found Jesus. He’s not sure Jesus is an integral part of the Catholic religion either. (No doubt Rick Santorum would be astonished by that revelation) The Ohio dad is equally oblivious to the fact that a majority of people throughout the world hold strong religious beliefs quite different from his own. (article here)
The adults in the Ohio family are staunch Bush supporters because of what they perceive to be his faith-based life, his Christian ways. It is always curious when faith and morality are commingled with leaders in this administration, not because religion isn’t constantly used as a political ploy, but because the leaders so often behave in such unethical and dishonest ways. They do not see it as their mission, for example, to care for the weak and the poor as one might expect from a careful reading of scripture. Instead Bush seems most in his element speechifying at a white tie dinner before an audience of “the haves and the have mores” people he refers to as his base. Could anything be more Christian than that?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *