Saturday, February 21, 2009

Here we are at the threshold.

Hannity's performance here is amusing, if typical. He is completely unprepared for the logical force that is Christopher Hitchens. How he failed to be prepared for this is telling: I'm quite sure that he, like many people today, felt that this argument was one of simple intuition where fact, research, and critical logic really didn't play a role. He feels his acceptance of God's place in the sublime wonder of the world is enough to justify everything else that he believes in - Christian or not, inherited or not. A life unexamined.

More and more this becomes a leitmotif for our world.

As the curator of Altarpiece pointed out in a not-so-recent discussion, "people have come to accept not just political opinions but pre-packaged identities from the two political poles in the US." Add to this the far more sinister idea that many people have come to accept their religious ideas, wholesale, from their parents and then allowed their political ideas to be shaped by that selfsame identity - neither of which is exactly their own.

How many people do I know who support the GOP because they're against abortion and believe, somehow, that the Republicans are, too? I'm related to at least four. I can rattle off many more. But here's the thing: Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 - 36 years ago. Of those 36 years only 13 have been under a democratic president. Additionally, of the 9 current Supreme Court justices, 7 were appointed by Republican presidents - 8 during George H.W. Bush's term in office. The GOP has had plenty of time and political clout on its hands to try and make the changes that its constituency demanded, but, for all its pandering to US Christians, it has done nothing - not even symbolically - to support the right-to-life movement that garners it so many votes each year. Yet, those selfsame people from my sphere continue to cast their votes, hoping. Meanwhile, both parties have supported measures which are clearly anti-children. Under Reagan, in fact, Detroit had an infant mortality rate of 33%, which had nothing at all to do with abortions.

How many people do I know who are Christian and yet have not read the entire Bible? Of the people I know 4 are Jews, 2 are other, and literally everyone else is Christian. Of them all only 2 have read the entire Bible: both of them are preacher's daughters.

None of this is meant as an attack specifically on Christianity or Christians or Americans or Christian Americans. None of the four Jews that I know are particularly devout, either. The atheists and agnostics, seemingly, have taken the easy road out when it comes to their devotion: they need only be true to themselves and the world around them. Yet I find it disturbing that so many people who do subscribe to religion, and who do live in states, care so little about either. Religion, on one hand, legislates their morality and the state takes care of legislating the rest. The span of control that those two bodies represent nearly embodies life here on Earth. To not care about either, to be both apolitical and atheistic (or apathetically theistic) in this world at this juncture amounts to a betrayal of their very lives. And if you don't care about God, don't care about freedom, then how could you possibly care about something like art or the environment?

"But we with holy care wish to foster the holy good of our reality, that is gifted to us for this and perhaps for no other life that is nearer truth."

Hannity wasn't sure even how to walk when he tried to go skating out on the ice with Hitchens. But many today don't have the notion that they need to walk in the first place.