Friday, September 11, 2009

NO ONE is forgetting 9/11, you idiots!

Now, I don't mean the readers of this blog are idiots. Let's get that settled right now.

I was in the car a fair bit today, and as about the only radio station I can get is the local talk radio station, I was lucky(?) enough to get to hear Glen Beck, El Rushbo, as well as our local host Pat White. All made a big point of "I have not forgotten 9/11 !!!" Guess what, no one has forgotten 9/11. It is not some sort of conservative only anti-holiday.

Of course I remember where I was on Sept. 11, 2001. I remember watching the second plane hit the tower; I remember seeing the towers fall. I remember the stunned daze that I was in all day.

What the various conservative radio heads fail to understand is that it is quite possible to remain angry about 9/11 without feeling that this required them to:
  • Have agreed with everything that President Bush did or said after 9/11/01.
  • Feel that torturing is acceptable for this country.
  • Feel that holding civilians in perpetuity, without charging them, or even letting them know why they are being held.
  • Think that this gave Bush an excuse to start a war that he had been planning for since well before the towers fell.
I love my country, I am a patriot; I don't think that requires that I also be a jingoist, or ignore the fact that Bush's "leadership" consisted of using 9/11 to further his own political agenda.

Conservatives, this is one American father that refuses to let you redefine "patriot" to mean "vote Republican or leave the country" any more than I will accept your redefining "family values" as "jingoism, sexism, racism".

Thursday, September 3, 2009

For Conservatives, message more important than solution

UNESCO is trying to reduce the number of abortions and the spread of HIV through new guidelines for sex education. But for US Conservatives and Evangelicals this is outrageous! Because the guidelines actually suggest teaching children about sex and contraception, in age appropriate ways, rather than simply screaming "S-s-s-s, well, you know, THAT STUFF, is nasty...nasty, nasty, nasty!! You shouldn't do it! And if you do, and something bad happens, remember that we told you so! Ha!", Conservative Christians are outraged.

For these Christians (not all, I realize, but a politically powerful group of them), stopping the killing of unborn babies is important enough to kill doctors for, to bomb abortion clinics for, and to vote for a Republican no matter what else he stands for, but it is not important enough to actually try to solve the problem. Maintaining their outrage is more important than solving the problem.

The US has one of the highest rates of abortion in the world. Conservatives would like us to believe that this is because of lenient laws on abortions. If you look at the numbers worldwide, however, you see that the rate of abortion is tied closely to the level of sex education, even in countries that have lenient abortion laws. The math is quite simple, comprehensive sex education does not increase the rate of teen sex, nor does it lower the average age at which teens become sexually active. It does, however, lower the rate of teen pregnancies and slow the spread of STDs. In other words, it works.

For many Christians, however, the fact that something works is meaningless. It is all about sending the right message. The message, for them, is more important then the problem, and far more important than the solution.