As I write, America is smack-dab in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty states, for the first time ever, have declared emergencies. The economy has ground to a screeching halt. Social isolation, disease, and domestic violence are wracking our decaying country. These are hard times. <br> You know which groups of people are making it harder — and obviously endangering others’ lives, with their moral irresponsibility? Soulless politicians, stupid adolescents, ignorant worshippers, criminals, and misguided anti-science types. This utter lack of wisdom, principles, and insight speaks to the low level of moral and often psychological development on these individuals’ parts, and as I said, their choices can cost people’s lives. Since they are all essentially libertarians, the irony should be noted.
First up in the pantheon of stupidity one finds the Christians. No, not every Christian; not even one in ten. A distinct minority, but I do have to note the phenomenon is primarily located in the South. I’m not sure if that is because of the “The South will rise again!” seditious bullshit, or the general ignorance that many school board members, pastors, parents, teachers, city councilfolk, and governors court with their decisions and their customs. Regardless, you have the stereotypical Louisiana church pastor defying local and state authorities not to gather in large numbers. Here is a write-up I choked down this morning while eating breakfast:
Some pastors defied anti-coronavirus isolation policies and held in-person Easter services on Sunday, while most churches arranged to celebrate virtually. Pastor Tony Spell held two Easter services at Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, sidestepping Gov. John Bel Edwards’ (D) order barring gatherings of more than 50 people. Central Police Department Chief Roger Corcoran said he counted 330 people entering the church for the morning service. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called churches essential, and said they could hold services as long as worshipers stayed six feet apart. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said anyone attending a service or other large gathering should self quarantine for two weeks. Police took license numbers and placed notices on windshields telling people to self quarantine or face “further enforcement measures.” (SOURCE)
Seriously, your sermon derived from the Bible and your need to be around others in fellowship or whatever the fuck is essential? This is buffoonery on the part of the folks who made decisions to go ahead and defy public health principles such as “social distancing.” I suppose it’s selfish and ignorant, but it’s also foolish if you believe that God will protect you from a virus because you worshipped him properly. It also speaks to moral irresponsibility because Kentucky is not its own little island. Every time I hear Mitch McConnell speak, sure, I wish it were an island — well off the coast so that it could be isolated and studied. But really, no state is only going to reap what it sows — to use a religious analogy — the rest of us will, too.
Being morally responsible is to not merely ask yourself what you want to do, but to really think about how your actions will affect others. As libertarian/Republicans, those congregating yahoos should really be considering that their right to swing their fist stops where my nose begins, to paraphrase the libertarian quote (LINK). Or, more literally, their right to try to get themselves into heaven stops where my bloodstream begins.
You just can’t make this shit up. Here is from the USA Today report:
Beshear’s order for police to record license plates has drawn criticism from numerous Republicans at the state and federal level, including U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. [Kentucky preacher Rev. Jack] Roberts has said he is “not interested in trying to defy the government,” but believes his church has a constitutional right to continue to hold worship services inside his church. “If you read the Constitution of the United States, if you read the constitution of the state of Kentucky, they both say that (Beshear) is infringing on the church’s rights,” Roberts said earlier this week.
Don’t get me started on that soft-brained ophthamologist, Rand Paul. He seems to be on the wrong side of every important political, moral or philosophical issue of our time. And that hypocritical obstructionist McConnell, well, he is simply the most offensive American I can think of, for so many reasons. These two jokers are Titans of Moral Irresponsibility in suggesting that law enforcement should be taking the side of the church in a national crisis, in a nation that is supposed to be based on secular laws.
Unfortunately, when yokels think of “law” they often think of “God’s Laws” with a capital-L. If it’s just you and your maker and your subservient wife and your slaves (oh, wait, the South was required to renounce using slaves to prop up their economy so they wouldn’t have to work as hard when they went to war against the United States, so scratch that) … ahem, if it’s just you and The Good Book, make whatever decisions you wish. But your inanity becomes moral irresponsibility when you are endangering the rest of us because you feel what you need to do is so goddamned important (I guess, pun intended).
As you can tell, I am not a big fan of organized religion, especially the strains that result in the “We-ignore-you-like-you’re-dead-to-us-slash-shockingly-paternalistic” version of Judaism (for example, the bi-coastal Hasidic Jews), or the “My-religion-is-better-than-your-religion” version of Christianity (usually, let’s face it, Southern Baptist), or the “Clearly-I-know-what-God-commands-of-me-and-if-I-need-to-kill-you-to-prove-it, I-will” version of Islam.
In general. But when these self-righteous, hypocritical, benighted so-called Christians do shit like cover their license plates so as to try to avoid getting into trouble for going to church during a 50-state-wide social shutdown because they’re lonely, it really pisses me off. This is the behavior of sheep.
In sum, we are facing a dire situation as a country, barely able to get through it due to our ailing infrastructure, the “starve the beast” mentality championed by Republicans over the last few decades, and generally being entitled individualists. If you’re some rich asshole like David Geffen (LINK), some knucklehead religious sheep like these Southern-fried bumpkins, or some pseudoscience-driven/social-media-crazed vaccine detractor who won’t take a coronavirus vaccine even when one becomes available, or some politician who lies and bluffs and obfuscates your way through the crisis even though you would rather be playing golf while Americans die due to your stupidity and narcissism (Trump), then buggar off, as the English say.
It’s the height of moral irresponsibility to do things that serve yourself and endanger the rest of us.
I already put up with drivers on the roads being discourteous or spewing exhaust from late-model trucks and such. As well, I know for a fact that my health insurance premiums are what I consider to be “high” in part because of the fact that I’m being grouped with folks who are much older, have poorer diets, are overweight, or never go to the primary care doctor. So it’s not unusual for me to feel a bit put upon by others out there in society. But the “we have the God-given right to assemble, consequences be damned!” attitude of some pastors and congregants is really sticking in my craw today.
For years, I have thought that stance is an apt characterization of anti-vaccination extremists who don’t get vaccinated even though it hurts and even though there is a 1-in-5,000 chance that you’ll have a minor or moderate reaction to a vaccine. They don’t do their part, resting their entitled viewpoints on dubious scientific findings from the fringe, and therefore depend on the rest of us to protect their kids with herd immunity. That’s moral irresponsibility (I’m 97% confident in saying). This firm-but-fair attitude was defensible prior to the coronavirus bringing this country to its knees, but now that we’re in a fucking pandemic, the jig is up. I would assume now that 98% of them are a lot more tuned into the ways in which society cooperates and must make concessions now that they are teaching their children their school lessons at home!
America is trying to get through this pandemic without collapsing its economy or tearing each other to shreds, and if you can’t play nicely with the other kids, then get the fuck out of here, and don’t come back once we’ve licked this virus. While America is figuratively on the ropes, you’re either participating as part of the solution, or you’re being a self-centered nimrod.
These criminals who prey on the weak and the scared? Those people need to be banished, or worse. This story illustrates how it is the height of moral irresponsibility to try to bilk the downtrodden for your own personal financial gain. Scamming the sick and the old is much worse than having the attitude of “I hope you guys make it; I’ll be on my yacht until this is over!” like Geffen is exemplifying at a time like this.
There is only room for one type of person in America now. That may be illiberal in some small way, and intolerant, yes. But for how many years is the populace supposed to put up with the rich, the anti-scientific, the self-serving, the entitled, the mindlessly-religious, the criminal, and the poorly-raised (LINK)?
I do not believe that criticizing the government for its missteps that cost us lives and treasure is “wrong” at a time such as this. There is a difference between patriotic criticism of the government and wantonly selfish behavior during times of crisis. I am not sure if what I am saying is qualitatively different from “Our country, love it or leave it!”, used so perniciously by conservatives against liberals and peaceniks during the Vietnam War era. It’s a question up for debate.
As far as hard times bringing about anxiety and dangerous human behavior, do you know that the Athenians killed their greatest treasure, the philosopher Socrates, in the tumultuous era following a crushing military defeat by Sparta in 404 B.C.E.? It is during times of stress that individuals, governments, communities, families, and nations define themselves and show, unerringly, what they are made of. This is no time for the “summer soldier and the sunshine patriot” decried in the Thomas Paine line from the pre-Revolutionary-War era.
You self-centered Americans who are absolutely embodying moral irresponsibility can’t expect to justify “looking out for #1” in the midst of the biggest threat America has faced in a long time. What we are dealing with is up there with the Dust Bowl droughts, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, the 2008 Great Recession, and Donald Trump being elected.
One’s right to worship one’s chosen god in the same room as all one’s fellow congregants is simply not a justifiable reason to endanger the rest of us. Especially in Louisiana, which is extremely hard-hit by this virus. Republican-leaning cities, communities, and states have cost us way too many lives thus far (think of the states slow to require social distancing, or even to allow large gatherings such as partying on Bourbon Street in New Orleans).
This examination of critical thinking, social norm-breaking, and moral irresponsibility has been hard to write. I’m afraid, unlike usual, I feel worse than when I started expressing myself in writing. So, Merchey out.