There is an insidious influence growing in this country — something that threatens the very heart of what makes us great. The recent brouhaha about Roman Polanksi and ACORN only further demonstrates how bad this problem has gotten. I speak, of course, of right-wing Christian moralizing.
Certain segments of our population are an unthinking, brutish lot. While sophisticated people understand that there are nuances and moral gray areas, these ignoramuses see only black and white, and right and wrong. And this simplistic thinking is threatening the advances that progressives have made.
Take what has happened to the great film director Roman Polanski. Back in the seventies, he apparently drugged and raped a thirteen-year-old and fled justice. Yes, it seems like such a minor thing hardly worth mentioning. It was Hollywood in the seventies; people were just less puritanical back then. They were also more open-minded and into trying new things like raping young girls and fleeing to France. Smart people, like those in Hollywood, just knew and accepted this. That’s why they continued to work with Polanski for decades afterward. A great film — and we’re talking real art here, not some blockbuster with lots of explosions to entertain the yokels — means people are going to get raped.
The point is to not focus on the “victims” but instead to look at the art that is produced. When you see an Oscar-winning film, it hardly seems worth whining about rape.
Of course, you can’t explain that to the right-wing Christians. According to them, the invisible sky fairy they got their instructions from says rape is wrong. Even if done by an award-winning director. There is no reasoning with them on that point. And this myopic thinking apparently has spread beyond the States, as Polanski was arrested in Switzerland for this rape charge we figured no sophisticated person cared about. Some of Hollywood’s forward thinkers have, of course, gone to his rescue, but most of America is demanding he face trial for this minor peccadillo. Haven’t they seen Chinatown? They were probably too busy watching another Michael Bay movie of random explosions.
It really seems this right-wing moralizing stuff has just gotten worse and worse through the years. For instance, take their reaction to the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. For decades, Ted Kennedy served just fine as a senator and everyone praised him as a tireless advocate for progressive causes. But when he died, guess what the troglodytes on the right focused on? That he drowned some nobody in his car forty years ago.
You see, that’s a big deal to them because they think “God” wrote on a stone tablet that “murder is wrong.” You can try and reason with them and explain that Ted Kennedy is a very important and rich person — a Kennedy! — and one couldn’t expect him to expend much effort to rescue some random floozy from a car he put in the water. But the right-wing moralizers are too stubborn to listen. People should just be thankful such a busy and important man took the time to tell someone about it the next day. Yes, he probably could have saved the woman’s life by telling someone about it right after the accident, but he was sleepy then. If he spent all of his time making up for his mistakes, how would he have any time left for progressive causes?
Yes, murder is a terrible thing, but not having strong progressives in government is even more terrible. But that’s a nuance too complex for some idiot Christian to understand.
Even worse, these silly moralizers are now targeting progressive organizations with their Stone Age values. Recently, a pair of them went after ACORN, pretending to be a pimp and a prostitute while secretly filming the proceedings. (Doesn’t your invisible sky fairy have something against lying, you hypocrites?)
Now, I’ve seen the video, and I don’t really get what the big deal is, but once again these right-wing Christians think there’s something wrong with government money furthering the good cause of prostitution. I guess Jesus didn’t like that or something — like his opinion is of any relevance now. People who don’t believe in old superstitions understand that a woman owns her body and can make money with it however she wants — and that the government should probably help her with financing.
Smart people also understand that prostituting yourself might not pay all the bills, so you’ll have to also sell children as sex slaves. It’s not like they’re important children — they’re not Kennedys — so what could possibly be the big deal? I thought right-wingers were into capitalism.
Now, I did expect outrage over this incident — outrage that these sneaky right-wing Christians are going after progressive organizations. But instead this simplistic nation seemed to get stuck on the fact that a government-funded organization was going to help fund child sex slaves. Really? That’s still a big deal? I thought we’re past such simplistic nonsense. What’s next? Burning people at the stake for being witches?
We need to be a nation of strong progressivism, but we can’t be that while backward, superstitious thinking about morality still permeates such a large element of the population. How are we going to focus on the truly important things when we currently have right-wing Christians and their senseless morality making a big deal out of every rape, murder, or child sex slave ring?
It’s the 21st century, and it’s time to let go of the old, outdated ways of thinking. If you still need some crude edict to figure out what to hoot and holler about, here you go: it’s only wrong if it inconveniences a liberal.