I'm taking this out of the discussion on my earlier post because it's getting too long for the comment section. None of my thoughts is very original and it has all been said before, but hey: it's my blog so I can say it again. And the latest comments make me suspect that maybe I'm not making myself entirely clear. I'm not afraid that Bush will institute himself as God's deputy here on earth. I'm not afraid that only Christians will be allowed to vote in four years. I'm not worried about "theocracy". What bothers me is the apparent swing in people's minds. Bush appealed to the growing Christian fundamentalist base and even if he only talks the talk without any deeper commitment (which I think he does - a man who laughs at exections and doesn't follow up on Abu Ghraib doesn't have the moral conscience Christians should have), the public embrace of fundamentalism scares the shit out of me. The public bashing of homosexuals scares the shit out of me.
In the blogosphere, there is much talk about how this election was about values. Maybe, but those values seem to be xenophobia, homophobia, narrow-mindedness, and the need to control what's happening in other people's bedrooms. It's not about fundamental Christian values like modesty, love, integrity, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. Jesus told us that we're not to judge others; only God can do that. Do the born-again live by that? I'm not seeing it. That's what I'm concerned about. Hilzoy over at Obsidian Wings said it well:
When did the scope of moral reflection contract to the point where it covers only sexual and reproductive questions? And when did we decide that the point of morality was only to point out things to dislike, not to suggest any ideals for each of us to live up to?51% of Americans voted for a government that tortures people, that insists it has the legal right to torture people. A clear majority voted for a government that cares nothing about world opinion, that scoffs at international treaties, and that insists "you are either with us or against us". Millions of Americans voted for narrow-minded, mean spirited provisions targeting an unpopular minority. (We've had civil unions in Germany for years. The world has not stopped turning.) I'm still asking myself, how can this be? Most of the Americans that I know are decent, kindly people. Then I think of the photographs from Abu Ghraib. Did you know that nobody over the rank of sergeant is standing trial for that? Hundreds of people, most of them innocent civilians, tortured, beaten, sexually abused. An unknown number killed. But no officer, no general, no cabinet member is being held responsible. Just a handful of underlings (who all say that they were "just obeying orders"). Maybe as a German I'm particularly sensitive to this issue, but I go back and look at those photos and I think: how? How could anyone give these people another chance? Bernard says that he wants his government to keep him safe. OK. But don't homosexuals, US-citizen homosexuals, have the same right? How safe do you think gay people in Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas, or any of the other eleven states that passed anti-gay amendments feel today? Here's an e-mail posted at Andrew Sullivan's blog:
I'll tell you, being a 16 year-old gay kid in Michigan just got a hell of a lot worse. When I woke up this morning and saw the anti gay marriage proposal had passed, I was shocked. I realized the situation I'm faced with everyday in school - the American people have just shown my classmates that it's perfectly fine to discriminate. A direct quote from a 'friend' at school today: 'It's so cool that all these states just told all the faggots to eat shit and get the hell out...'As to the reversal of Roe v. Wade and that Christians don't want to overturn it because they need a safety valve for those fallen ones -- that's bullshit. Sorry to be so upfront. But I know these people - some of them are part of my family. They are very, very strongly pro-life. Bush opposes the freedom to choose. He has cited Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, two of the Court's most virulent opponents of Roe, as his model justices. He'll have the chance to nominate two, maybe three new judges in the next four years. It is very likely that his nominees will share his views and vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if they are confirmed by the Senate. You think the Democrats will block them with filibusters? Well, that just got a lot harder. Now it only takes 4 Democrat defections instead of 8 to break a filibuster. And, come on -- they can't block very nomination. Remember the torture memo? What happens when the President has five Supreme Court justices who agree with it? Who say, yah, sure, the President can strip a US citizen of rights by declaring him or her an "enemy combatant"? Who say, well, habeus corpus doesn't apply to prisoners of war, and this is sort of a war? That's not liberal panic-mongering; those are exactly the positions the Bush administration has been pushing for the last three years. So -- I'm not worried about "theocracy". I'm worried that a clear majority of Americans don't care if people are locked up, tortured, humiliated, stigmatized, denied basic human rights... if those people are different. I'm worried about what kind of country this is.