Friday, November 19, 2004

evil dead

killed 4 children, went free for 30 years in "moral values" Red state

The right-wing catchphrase of the 1980s was "moral relativism. " This was originally an academic term, but came to be used by Christian conservatives to denounce the tolerant attitude they felt liberals held toward sin. The fuzzy-headed, atheistic "progressives" (supposedly) condoned drug use, street crime, even murder, when practiced by people toward whom they were allegedly biased - the poor, minorities, youth, and the like. Moral relativism became an epithet, containing as it did the suggestion that lefties condoned or rationalized evil when their friends were doing it.

Turns out the real moral relativists are the so-called Christian right. Any one of the Ten Commandments can, it seems, be broken with impunity by their allies and friends. I'll give you couple of case studies that are, as the old movies used to say, "ripped from today's headlines."

Today's obituaries note the passing of two luminaries from the religious Right. The indisputably evil Bobby Frank Cherry died of cancer in prison. Cherry was one of the conspirators who set the bomb that killed four little black girls attending church school in Birmingham in 1963. Though their identities were well-known to local law enforcement, the perpetrators of this horrific crime lived in freedom for thirty years after committing their murders, enjoying the wonders of nature and the comfort of friends and family. These precious gifts, forever denied to four beautiful children, were made possible by the sympathy felt toward these killers by white politicans in the Red state of Alabama, and the "moral values" of those who voted for them.

The segregationist leaders of Cherry's home state were among those who created the Republicans "Southern strategy," which continues to rely on coded racist signals to build its dominance in the once-Democratic South. Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Missisippi, where three civil rights workers were murdered by segregationists. The symbolism was not lost on Cherry's allies and sympathizers at the time. The same goes for George W. Bush's 2000 campaign speech at Bob Jones University, where interracial dating was still banned at the time.

Today's Sinner #1: Bobby Frank Cherry.
Commandment broken
: #7 - Thou shalt not kill.

No responsible conservative political or religious leader would do anything but condemn a killer like Cherry. I would never suggest otherwise. Liars are another matter, however.

Today's obituary page also marked the passing of Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy in Media. Irvine was the architect of the "liberal bias" myth, and successfully pressured the media into assuming its current supine position regarding the mass deception carried on by the religious right, the Republican party, and the Bush administration. Not content with this achievement, Irvine went on togenerate a continuing stream of falsehoods regarding the Left, Democrats, and especially then-President Bill Clinton. There is ample documentation that he and his allies knew they were spreading falsehoods - which is also known as bearing false witness. (See the writings of David Brock, who now runs Media Matters.)

The most shocking and repellent act in this man's sordid career remains his campaign to frame Clinton for murder. His calculating lies regarding the suicide death of Vince Foster caused untold torment to Foster's grieving family and friends. The elementary decency most of us would show to a bereaved widow and her children was lacking in this man, whose political blood-lust overwhelmed any sense of morality. Media Matters and others continue to document the Right's disinformation campaign.

Today's Sinner #2: Reed Irvine
Commandment Broken: #9 - Thou shalt not bear false witness

I wonder what Jesus would say to these two men should they ever meet in Heaven - which is not a likely prospect, given their track records.