Saturday, February 19, 2005

Too Little Oxygen?

The news in Colorado is a lot more interesting than anything I expected when we moved here a couple of years ago.

Last year we had the Kobe Bryant rape trial and the University of Colorado football team recruiting scandal and the mechanic up in Grandby who built himself a digital high-tech tank out of a tractor and leveled half of the town because he was angry with some of his neighbors.

In terms of the news it seems like we never left Southern California.

More recently the local news has been dominated by Ward Churchill and Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Churchill is the CU professor who claimed that US foreign policy has consequences and that when we kill lots of people overseas and manipulate political outcomes in other countries there are sometimes unfortunate costs to be paid.

The man is obviously a nut job.

He compared some of the workers in the World Trade Center who died on 9/11 to Eichman, the ultimate Nazi corporate yes man who made the trains to the concentration camps run on time.

Clearly not the best choice of analogies. Even people who are telling the truth can sometimes let their own egos and need for attention get in the way. And sometimes important contributions are done in by laziness and a lack of discipline.

But on the other hand, sometimes valuable contributions come from the least likely and respectable sources.

About 20 years ago many evangelical organizations left Southern California and relocated to Colorado Springs, a city about an hour south of Denver. They were looking for a place with cheaper real estate for their staffers and a more receptive culture. Or in more plain language, an overwhelmingly white and very conservative place.

Focus on the Family, one of those evangelical organizations, set up shop in Colorado Springs a while back.

James Dobson, who leads FOF, is sort of a cross between your local Christian counselor and Oprah. He's a perfect fit for a dumbed down and conservative Christian therapeutic culture.

Lately he's been busy threatening the Bush administration with the withdrawal of evangelical support if the Bushies don't end abortion and put a stop to gay marriage.

He's also on the warpath against Sponge Bob Square Pants because he thinks that dangerous cartoon character is encouraging the acceptance of gay parenting.

Jim is feeling it and I understand that from a human point of view. Everybody thinks they have God's blessing and everyone believes they're a genius when things go their way.

But personally, I think Jim needs a reality check.

Our current government has no serious intention of really challenging abortion or gay marriage. If those two issues were resolved in the way FOF would like the current conservative political movement would collapse. Those issues are the moral engine of the right. Our leaders are well aware of one of the fundamental sources of their electoral victories.

If the current government actually took those issues on aggressively they would not only cut the heart out of the conservative religious right, but they would also alienate enough of the rest of the voting population to put their power and privelege in jeopardy. No governing party which seeks to perpetuate itself would make such a move. The smart thing to do is to continue to deceive naive evangelicals.

But all political musings aside, maybe an important evangelical leader has more important things to do right now than hunting down a cartoon sponge who lives at the bottom of the sea.

There are enough cartoon characters running things right now in Washington to get the attention of even the most sheltered evangelical leaders.

What can I say? All of us here at altitude have less oxygen going to our brains than most people. But you have to admit that we're colorful....


Blogger Not Crunchy said...

Good stuff! I'll come back!

10:21 PM  

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