Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"Ideas have consequences", part II

I started discussing this theme below, but having seen the exchange between DarkSyde and Joe Carter, I thought an update is in order.

On the aforementioned link, I stressed the primacy of practice over a large list of beliefs; the crucial belief needed, to the extent that it is one (since it's founded on a great deal of experience and observation), is a belief that one can improve things and one's self, that one can become more skillful.

Coincidentally, a report from the Congressional Research Service pretty much debunks much of what the rightwing blogosphere has been saying to shift the blame away from Bush, on the same day that he sort of "took responsibility" ("In saying he took responsibility for any failures of the federal response to the storm, Mr. Bush stopped short of acknowledging that he or anyone else had made mistakes").

While I wouldn't have used all the words DarkSyde did, his point is correct: some people tried to mitigate disaster within their capability. Another group of people did nothing to mitigate disaster even though it was within their capability to do so. They are thus, within what I was brought up to understand about Christian morality, guilty of a sin of omission. And sins of commission: we expect our government money to be spent wisely, not wasted on the salaries of hacks and their wasteful actions. In saying, "I've got this belief system I got from God," too many people have forgotton that what makes the world better or worse in terms of meeting people's needs is not so much a laundry list of beliefs, but the choices one makes to act.

I don't think it's necessarily fair to blame Carter for not blogging about the storm; it's his damned blog, he can do what he likes.

But - as somebody who supported Bush- he shares a small bit of responsibility for putting into office a man who used the government - time and time and time again- as his friends' personal piggy bank.

It's not a failure of government, as Carter claims; but it is his failure to recognize that in striving for "absolutes" he has done his part ot give us a more corrupt government than anything than anyone since at least Reagan.

In striving for a "moral government" with "Christian influence" Carter, and as many of his fellow travelers who voted based on "abortion and gays and Bush is a Christian" have seriously aided and abetted the deterioration of the United Stats.

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