Willful, Immoral Ignorance

Willful, Immoral Ignorance

Ah, the phony dance of morality and politics. Without any sense of irony, voters continue to demand their politicos have a certain moral standard while reveling in personal attacks and negative campaigning. And this is considered normal and acceptable.

An article in the Washington Post asks if Mitt Romney’s religion is fair game. Of course it is, but it’s a pointless question really because he’s proven that his religion is as useless and meaningless as anyone else’s. This is the man who stands idly by when a supporter accuses the president of treason. Where are your morals and strong ethical sense brought on by your religious beliefs, Mr. Romney? How is that the importance of your religion quickly evaporated in the face of someone who is clearly wrong? Answering the question after the fact to a reporter, by the way, does not count.

Morality in politics is a lie, in addition to the religious beliefs of a candidate. Morality and politics are mutually exclusive because the latter requires the elimination of the former to achieve power. This is what all modern politics are about: the acquisition of power by electoral means. To desire power is contrary to any moral or religious teaching but that has never stopped any self-delusional person from attempting to reconcile the two. “Render unto Caesar...” is the clarion call of the morally corrupt because it’s provided cover for people who know in their hearts that the demands of the kingdom of heaven are incompatible with temporal issues. You cannot have two masters.

To be in politics means needing to lie. No mental trickery can overcome this fundamental aspect. You must not love your enemies, but hate them. You must spend the better part of your time defaming your opponent and bearing false witness against him. You must violate every basic and fundamental tenet of what you claim is the most important thing in your life--your religion--in the drive to achieve power. It does not matter if it’s local, state or federal office: you need to lie to other and to yourself.

Voters are the most culpable here because they are purveyors of such lies. Voters like their candidates to boast of their religious convictions while denying that religious convictions should be a litmus test for office. A pedophile has a greater chance at winning office than an atheist. But moreover, have you seen any semblance of basic morality from voters at all? The treason comment above is the perfect illustration of this: how can a person consider herself “good” or “moral” if she is defaming the president by accusing him of treason? How can anyone with the slightest bit of conscience continue to make comparisons between Barack Obama and Adolf Hitler? And these are people who probably insist they are “god fearing” and morally superior to others! And this is the mindset that politicos have to bend their own moral principles towards in order to win office: hence, Romney’s utter silence when he could have made the slightest moral stand.

Voters overestimate their own intelligence and politicos oblige them. It is the dance of two liars who believe in their own moral superiority. And what’s worse is how they are abetted by religious leaders, not one of which has decried or damned the moral slander. Instead, they are beating the drums of how their religious liberty is under attack because they can’t discriminate against women seeking contraception. Sam Harris is right: religion is the last acceptable prejudice in the world and it’s also the bastion of moral cowardice. These pious frauds want to scream endlessly about abortion and gay marriage but choose to remain silent at the consistent violation of ninth commandment. Why? Because there is no actual power to be gained from that: controlling others by restricting their personal freedoms has a greater payoff than a moral argument for common decency. This explains why no clerics rail against the false testimony spewed everyday by right-wing radio and politicos who engage in these lies because voters allow it to happen and want it to happen.

There is no morality in politics and chest-thumping one’s religious convictions is empty and pointless. But voters demand it, politicos dish it out and clerics remain silent. And this is in country that considers itself religious.