Thursday, March 23, 2006

Broken Incredulity

I came to a disturbing, even frightening, realization a few days ago. I have stopped being outraged by what the wacko element of this country is doing. And what's really sad is how huge that wacko element has become.

Our president is a Christian fundamentalist that nevertheless asks other fundamentalists to reverse their views. Of course, those other fundamentalists aren't Christian, so they obviously aren't accurate. Apparently, Christian fanatics: Ok. Muslim fanatics: Bad People.

And that's not all the idiot does. He's mired this country in debt for decades, and maybe centuries, to come. But does Congress even blink when he asks for more? Of course not. Congress, in this case, has its hands tied. But they don't even say anything about. They just quietly widen Bush's purse-strings and go about their mid-term elections.

I don't even want to start on the Supreme Court. It's bad enough that those Kooky Christian fundies that Bush is so sympathetic with threatened the two female members of the Supreme Court. Now that the Court is even more conservative, I should be shuddering at what's to come, but I find myself...not apathetic, because I do care.....but just burnt out on outrage.

Of course, the federal government isn't the only culprit. South Dakota and Kansas are always good for a WTF Moment. The problem is that my WTF Motor is busted beyond repair. The states have gotten so bad that I was shocked when Brad Miller stepped up and showed he had a pair regarding scientific suppression by the government. I wish he represented my district.

The really sad thing is I wish my Incredulity Button was only broken when it came to the Government setting, but of course, it goes far beyond that. In the scientific realm, the cloning fakery scandal didn't bring me more than a moment of surprise. As others have said before me, it's not surprising in the least that someone would want to fudge their data in the race to clone every mammal on the planet, leading up to the apparent holy grail of clones, a HUMAN BEING! Insert nifty echo effect there if you wish.

But there are other, non-naughty-scientist outrages that I should really be ranting about. News was released today confirming that sea levels will be rising at least a couple of feet over the next century due to the melting of the Arctic ice cap, at least during the summers of the 21st century. Considering this news, I wouldn't want to live in New Orleans, or the NC Outer Banks, in the next few decades. Just getting the environmental nay-sayers to admit that it's happening, whatever the cause, is well-nigh impossible. I guess they'll finally admit it when the heads they have buried in the sand get covered by the incoming tide. What's sad is I can't even manage to work up the energy to yell about it.

And don't even get me started on the religious loons out there, both on a national scale and right here in my little neck of the woods. I could go on and on about them to no end, pointing out idiocy after idiocy. But it just doesn't matter. Pat Robertson asks for assasinations and prays for the death of justices so he can advance his political agendas. Pat Robertson, founder of the 700 Club, watched by millions of Christians in this country, mostly older ones who trust this guy to tell them the all-up, "God's Honest Truth". So, when Robertson goes off the deep end, does anyone do anything? Of course not. Because Christians have the best of both worlds.

I think it's safe to say that all the mainstream Chrisitians in this country, Catholic or Protestant, share at least eighty percent of their core beliefs. I personally think that number is a lot higher, but heck, we'll be charitable and say it's only 80%. So, whenever some churchy group does something good, that shared 80% kicks in and every Christian in the country pats themselves on the back for a job well done. But whenever a wacko like Robertson or Fred Phelps starts frothing at the mouth, the best the rest of the Christian community can do is look embarrassed and scuff the dirt with their feet while wearing a hangdog look. Usually, it doesn't even go that far.

No, usually what happens is, that 20% kicks in, and they get to go "Not me! Not me! I'm not that kind of Christian." Or better yet, they go "He's not a real Christian." That always used to get me going, saying that Pat Robertson wasn't a real Christian or disowning Fred Phelps because he does something distasteful. That's akin to Joseph Goebbels saying "Not me! Not me! I'm not that kind of Nazi!"

And yes, I just stepped into Godwin's Law territory, but I did it on purpose. Fascism is fascism, whether it uses a cobbled together neo-Norse religion to prop it up or a cobbled together neo-Judaism. PZ Myers posted something a few days ago that resonated with what I'm feeling, called It's A Beautiful Day. I recommend that you read it. And if you've already read it, then go back and reread it. But while you're doing it, don't limit yourself the way he does. Think about every atrocity being perpetrated by our political leaders, our scientific leaders, our religious leaders, hell, all our community, state and national leadership, and ask yourself if you are shocked, angered, or even surprised.

I'm not. And that's a really bad thing. By nature, I'm an angry guy. It's just part of my genetic heritage and my upbringing. But I'm just not pissed anymore. Bush and crew have won. I still care. I still want it all to change. But they don't surprise me anymore. They have destroyed my ability to be incredulous, and that scares the hell out of me.

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu