Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

Had a epiphany this morning

Or maybe an epiphanette, I'm not sure. I was thinking about my rant about Republican politics which I posted more or less first thing today. I realized there's a common axis in the contemporary American definition of morality, or at least the Conservative one, which also prevails in the mainstream media narrative -- the concept has been narrowed to matters involving sex.

That's why an Administration which has lied, stolen, subverted both law and the Consitution, stripped the rights of thousands of Americans, sabotaged habeas corpus, deceived Congress, the press and the American people time and again, pursued a policy of kidnapping, torture and assassinations and embarked on fantastically costly foreign wars under knowingly false pretenses can still be considered moral by voters and commentators who continue to revile Clinton. The Bush administration's sins have been around power and money, which for many people are the proper pursuits of government. That their actions are profoundly immoral, unethical and destructive, betraying over two centuries of patriotic American tradition, is irrelevant because there was no sex involved.

Look at the hot button issues of the Evangelical core of the Republican party. Abortion, teen sex, gay marriage. With the exception of evolution, they're all about public control of private sexual behavior. (And how conservative is public control of any private behavior, really? It's the ultimate social engineering.)

Christ spends a lot more time in the New Testament talking about both divorce and usury than He does talking about homosexuality or indeed, sex in general, yet the Fred Phelps of the world aren't marching on Visa and MasterCard's headquarters. Evangelical congregations are full of divorced people with mortgages and credit cards, and they are not condemned with smarmy "love the sinner, hate the sin" hypocrisy.

The dominant voice of public Christian thought in this country is hyperfocused on sexual behavior. That's what's come to define morality.

My snarky, sad throwaway line about blowjobs in the White House being more important to conservative voters than the wholesale dismantling of the Constitution under the 'Unitary Executive' theory might be dead on. Most people don't want to think about the nuances of the branches of government, or worry about tax theory, but they can damned well understand sexual behavior which doesn't match up to the restrictions they've placed on themselves.

It's all about the sex, people.
Tags: politics, religion, sex

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