President Bush's experiments in Afghanistan and Iraq created his own chimeras, by injecting feudal and tribal societies with the cells of democracy,1 and blending warring factions and sects.2 Some of the forces unleashed are promising; others are frightening. . .Dowd's dour view shows secular liberals have regressed from optimistic open-mindedness to a nihilistic state of nature: "nasty, brutish, and short." Still, there's silver lining for dingo and boomr. Their ideology now has a name: Dowdist.
The Republican Party is now a chimera, too, a mutant3 of old guard Republicans, who want government kept out of our lives,4 and evangelical Christians,5 who want government to legislate religion into our lives.6 . . .
But exploiting God for political ends7 has set off powerful, scary forces in America: a retreat on teaching evolution, most recently in Kansas; fights over sex education, even in the blue states and blue suburbs of Maryland;8 a demonizing of gays; and a fear of stem cell research,9 which could lead to more of a "culture of life" than keeping one vegetative woman hooked up to a feeding tube.10
Captain Ed thinks "Dowd may actually be getting worse with time."
MaxedOutMama and SC&A demolish for all time the claim the secularism isn't a religion.
1 In other words, Arabs are too primitive and un-evolved for democracy. Texans too. How is such condescending racism liberal or internationalist?
2 Catherine Seipp: "You could stuff all Dowd’s anti-whack-Iraq columns into a hat and pull one out at random; odds are “Little Miss Dowd Says ‘Ick’ ” would be the theme in a nutshell."
3 Imagine the furor were a conservative to employ "mutant" in describing, say, blacks, women or gays. Or don't imagine: read.
4 Dowd of course favors limited government when pontificating about abortion, sodomy, etc., but champions unrestricted federal cash for the NEA, PBS, etc. Does this suggest MoDo might back Bush's proposed budget cuts?
5 Maureen Dowd has "long ranted in print against conservatives, Christians and President Bush. . . Last December, she even admitted she cannot stand the warmth and giving spirit of Christmas. [And] Dowd's Feb. 3 column . . . blasted Christians who believe in literal creation by God."
6 Who, where and when? Except for constant reminders that former Attorney General Ashcroft is a Christian, without explaining how, precisely, he was imposing a theocracy--and don't say "breast-gate."
7 Faith is exploitation? Who, exactly, do the faithful exploit? And if it's true, how is it different from secular liberal exploitation of minorities and the poor?
8 Good thing the Maryland judge intervened to delay a public school lesson plan that instructed, among other things:
Religion has often been misused to justify hatred and oppression. Less than a half a century ago, Baptist churches (among others) in this country defended racial segregation on the basis that it was condoned by the Bible. Early Christians were not hostile to homosexuals. Intolerance became the dominant attitude only after the Twelfth Century. Today, many people no longer tolerate generalizations about homosexuality as pathology or sin. Few would condemn heterosexuality as immoral — despite the high incidence of rape, incest, child abuse, adultery, family violence, promiscuity, and venereal disease among heterosexuals. Fortunately, many within organized religions are beginning to address the homophobia of the church [and] support full civil rights for gay men and lesbians, as they do for everyone else.9 The President's stem cell policy actually eased restrictions on Federally funded stem cell research--and increased stem cell funding. And the policy doesn't apply to stem cell research funded by the private sector. Bush imposed no "ban" on stem cell research--none of which explain MoDo's "fear."
10 Today's secular liberals bear no resemblance to their 20th century forbearers, as can be seen by comparison to Hubert Humphrey's understanding of the "culture of life": "The moral test of a government is how it treats those who are at the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the aged; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped."