Thursday, January 13, 2011

Profiting On Evil

Author's note: the following is a copy of an email I recently sent to an old friend with leftist leanings.

I haven't written to you in a long while, mostly because I have been very busy with school, my job, and my internship...and keeping abreast of current events. The political climate in our country has been fascinating to me these past few years, and I make the time necessary to keep an eye on it.

The recent massacre in Tucson, AZ is, for me, a watershed moment.
You might not have heard about it, so in brief, I'll tell you that about 8 people got killed by a lone, deranged gunman. One of the people who were shot was a Democrat congresswoman. To be accurate, I should say: observing the mainstream media reaction to this massacre is a watershed moment for me. They blamed right wing political rhetoric, and named names like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, et al., for inflaming the killer and in essence, sharing the blame for the deaths of those 8 or 9 people in Tucson. By extension, that would include me, for my inclinations are definitely right-wing.

But all that aside, why is this a watershed moment for me? Because now I can clearly see how completely depraved some people can be. They are willing to use the death of a little girl for personal political advantage. This is naked, smirking evil-to use people for anything at all is bad enough, but to use them after they are dead for political gain is ghoulish to me. It is like saying this: that dead little girl's actual life is of no purpose or relevance to me, but the fact that she was killed, is. You would say perhaps that this only making some sort of good come out of a life cut short. I mean, if you believe your political message is important, that people should get it so all of us would be better off, you would say that using someone's death as a pretext, excuse or justification to get that message across is justified.

For example, you once got very angry at me for expressing my disgust over an anti-drunk driving brochure that displayed an actual photo of someone's mangled corpse, in order to show the consequences of drunk driving. As I recall, you were actually contemptuous of my attitude on the subject. You think that it OK to show a picture of someone's mangled corpse, if it helps to save other people's lives. I do not. Yes, we all know where the tired old morality of the ends justifies the means leads us. Anything goes, if a greater good is being served. Anything, including an individual's dignity and worth as an individual who lived a life. This sanctimonious, deliberate use of another human being is despicable to me. It's like ideals matter more than individuals, whose rights are to be sacrificed for those ideals. But I used to use and otherwise manipulate people, too. Others were only a means to an ends. I did so because I was an emotional infant, because I was a narcissistic asshole who saw myself as the center of the Universe-and had a philosophy to back me up, as well.

C.S. Lewis said that one cannot be a Christian and an individualist at the same time. Despite the fact that he was a brilliant, gifted man whose work I admire, he could not be more wrong. In fact, the essence of Christianity is ultimate respect for the individual and his right to life. Society can not trump the individual, because society is nothing more than a group of individuals. As a Christian and an individualist, I am profoundly disturbed by witnessing this callous and cynical manipulation of others, this blatant attempt to place a moral equivalence between me and the bastard who killed those people in Tucson, all in an attempt to make political hay.

Make no mistake about it. This is war. This is most definitely "us vs. them", big time. Not only that, but I can see that this is part of a larger war, so to speak: the ancient war between good and evil.

You might say I am over reacting, making a mountain out of a sandpile. Well, I think not: Bernie Sanders, the socialist congressman from Vermont, is fund raising on the corpses of the people who were murdered in Tucson. So are others. These people would do anything for power. Anything.

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