Thursday, November 11, 2004

Prey? Pray? Which Is It?

The other morning I took my oldest and my youngest to hang out with my mom and her catholic lady friends. Nice ladies, all of them, they meet once a week for a prayer breakfast to discuss their prison ministry. They're all grandmothers and of course they were ga-ga over my kids.

After the waitress (whom my mother tried several times to fix me up with) cleared the plates, the ladies joined hands for a group prayer. My kids, heathens all, looked on with bemused indifference. As the prayers went around, I heard prayers for sons, daughters, nieces and nephews, who were serving in Iraq or were about to be deployed. Cool, I thought, and too bad there had to be prayers about that. I shut my mouth. I wasn't in the prayer circle anyway, being deep into my Belgian Waffle.

However, as the prayers came to an end, I had to open my waffle hole: "I heard prayers for our men and women over there but what about the innocent civilians getting killed in this conflict? What about the 100,000 dead from airstrikes? Aren't you going to pray for them?"

You'd have thought I'd wrapped that waffle around my cock and was fucking the blueberries out of it, the way those ladies were looking at me. "What?!? Pray for THEM"?!?

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you want to make "values" an issue - and you have - then you need to examine the deep philosphical underpinnings of those values. One thing I know about your so-called "values" is that the foundation is based upon Absolutism, the notion that there are Absolute Values in the universe and that those values aren't dependent on situations or circumstances.

Well, that's a sticky wicket, isn't it? However, conservative catholics in the US have some kind of "hierarchy" of Absolute Values where abortion is really REALLY bad but the death penalty is not so bad. Interesting that, considering one can oppose abortion but support the death penalty. Not so Absolute it seems.

Indeed, the philosophical problem with Absolutism is that it's an all-or-nothing proposition and most conservatives (catholic or otherwise) aren't prepared to make that commitment. If Iraqi lives are somehow valued less than American lives, Absolutism becomes Relativism (and we know how much conservatives HATE relativism). If you're going to pray for American lives but forgo praying for Iraqi lives, then obviously some lives are less valued than others. As such, you're suddenly acknowledging that abortion must be peachy with God because some circumstances justify taking an innocent human life.

Damn, I don't want our soldiers dying on the streets of Fallujah, that's why I've been against this war from day one. I have no sympathy for the Taliban-minded thugs our soldiers are fighting but I have to ask: who's Taliban is worse? Or is it the same damn thing? I googled 'fallujah+marines+pray+battle' and I got this nonsense that had no mention of the innocents who would die.
Muhammad Abbud said he watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the streets and bombs rained down on the Iraqi city.

In the midst of a US onslaught and hemmed in by a round-the-clock curfew, he said he had little choice but to bury his eldest son, Ghaith, in the garden.

"My son got shrapnel in his stomach when our house was hit at dawn, but we couldn't take him for treatment," said Abbud, a teacher. "We buried him in the garden because it was too dangerous to go out. We did not know how long the fighting would last."

Residents say scores of civilians have been killed or wounded in 24 hours of fighting since US-led forces pushed deep into the city on Monday evening.

Doctors said people brought in at least 15 dead civilians at the main clinic in Falluja on Monday. By Tuesday, there were no clinics open, residents said, and no way to count casualties.

If you're going to discuss "values" you'd better be prepared to have all your philosophical ducks in a row and the Religious Right - our own homegrown Taliban - doesn't have the intellectual wherewithall to keep it together. It's easy enough to call out the inconsistency of supposed Absolutists for their pick-and-choose "values". Why the Dems haven't had the smarts or the balls to do that is truly one of the most vexing issues of this or any campaign.

Go to any conservative church this Sunday and ask why they're not also praying for the innocent lives lost in Iraq and I guarantee you, you might as well be fucking a waffle. Ask them how their Absolutism suddenly becomes Relativism when it's politically convenient and I can guarantee that your life won't be worth two cents.


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