Black, White and Gray

Today, our local college newspaper published an op-ed regarding the crazy tea-bagger of the month, Christine O'Donnell.  I thought it said what needed saying:

Recently, political comedian and host of HBO's "Real Time" Bill Maher vowed to show a new video each week of O'Donnell's borderline lunacy and completely erroneous beliefs until she appears on his show. O'Donnell appeared on Maher's old show "Politically Incorrect" more than 20 times in the 1990s and provided more than a flurry of outlandish commentaries for Maher to choose from. In one such appearance, she asserted her firmly held "no lying" lifestyle. Hey, she does not lie! That's a good thing, right? We teach our children not to lie. However, when pressed by fellow panelist, comedian Eddie Izzard, proceeded to ask, "If Hitler was at the door and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn't lie?" She responded, "No."

Now, yes, we do teach our children not to lie. However, we also hope to teach them other values of right and wrong, i.e. we attempt to foster in them a moral compass that can guide them through the complex situations human beings find themselves in. Most everyone can firmly agree that if Hitler was at the front door and Anne Frank was upstairs in the attic, that they would lie. Not because if he found her he would probably kill her, and you for hiding her, but because it is the right thing to do. Despite being a grown woman, O'Donnell has not dispensed with elementary notions of moral correctness when it comes to just actions. Rather, she holds on to the black and white perception that rests diametrically opposed to a clearly vivid world of grays.
Read the whole article here.

These are the people who are being elected.  People who's world view is arbitrary and simplistic.  Who will never be swayed by reason, logic, or proof.  The world is billions of years old, not 6000.  Evolution ceased to be a theory long ago.  E=Mc² is not some liberal, satanist plot.  It's a physics equation that describes the relationship between matter and energy, nothing more.  The separation of church and state is meant to protect religion -- All religion.  To protect the basic right to believe (or not believe) according to one's conscience, without fear of retribution.  It is not an assault on belief.

Our nation's problems are complex.  What I've noted above isn't.  But they can't even handle that.  We've now got poster children for mediocrity holding public office.  People without the intellect or imagination to handle anything resembling a gray area.

Came across this tweet...

@brianbeutler: Who among us wouldn't refuse to lie to protect a Jewish girl from Hitler, but happily lie about attending Oxford and dabbling in witchcraft?

1 comment:

John Russell Turner said...

Per Immanuel Kant, morality is absolute. If a lie is wrong, then it is always wrong. This ignores context, of course. If I had Anne Frank in my attic, I'd lie through my teeth to save her from harm-even if it put me or my family in jeopardy. That's a bit absolutist, too, eh?