Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, May 10, 2004

Protestant fundamentalism and intolerance

I think the attitude of the Bush circle and their supporters is a direct result of their religious fundamentalism.

Because their ideology is religiously founded, they see dissent as against the will of God and deserving of intolerance if they are citizens and persecution abroad. This is in marked contrast with the traditional divisions in American politics which were based on Enlightenment style reason. It used to be that liberals and conservatives could agree to disagree while recognizing that each were pursuing the more or less legitimate (if misguided) interests of their constituents. No more. Because the conservatives have become dominated by a new religio-ideological cult, all dissent from the conservative view is un-American, immoral and illegitimate. Consider the dramatic reduction in courteous behavior towards the minority party in Congress since the Evangelical conservatives rose to prominence in the GOP (more on that on request).

People who oppose the war in Iraq, or any other Bush policy for that matter, are "aiding the terrorists" or "don't value life" or "don't share American values." People who advocate equal protection under the law for homosexuals are "pushing for special rights for gays" who in turn are portrayed in dehumanizing ways.

Which brings me to my final point, I believe that what has Bush et al really upset about the torture in Iraq is its homo-erotic qualities rather than the fact that torture is used as an interrogation technique. If it were just beatings and dog maulings, would Bush have condemned it? Probably, at least in a bland, official press release. Would he have been "sickened" by it? I wonder. There was no response from the White House about this until the pictures broke despite the fact that they knew about it a year ago in Iraq and even longer in Afghanistan and Guantanamo (knew from the ICRC).

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