1.24.2009

Ethical and Moral Consistency: 2.0

One wonders the extent of the reaction from the Christian fundamentalist community if a person was to drive around town in a panel truck festooned with huge reproductions of Mapplethorpe's Piss Christ. No doubt there would be fiery attacks on anyone who so dared. After all how could someone be so vile as to drive around town where any child might see the image. How would a parent feel safe taking their kids out for a drive when at any moment such 'pornography' might pull along side. And what right would such an art installation have to prevent other decent parents from deciding what imagery and ideas to which their child is exposed and when.

Yet many of the same people who would object to the above seem to have no trouble doing a couple of things which I find just as objectionable and which tread upon my abilities to protect my kids from imagery which is inappropriate for their age. Oregon has about the most open-ended First Amendment rights of any state in the union. Essentially everything is considered protected free speech. And in this town there is a group of fundamentalists who drive around in a panel truck covered with images of aborted fetuses. Others love to set up shop in front of one of the planned parenthood offices with similar signs that they wave to passing cars. They cloak themselves in the protective aegis of scripture and sanctimony and smile dismissively at anyone who is offended by their actions. [The only weapon that I have seen which fractures their carefully manicured exterior tranquility is that each time I encounter them, I stop my car, write out a new donation check to Planned Parenthood, deposit it in the office and thank then for reminding me to support this important organization.] As a parent I want to decide if and when my kids are exposed to disturbing imagery the nature of which would get a movie an R rating.

In Texas the school board narrowly defeated another one of those creationist attempts to insert disinformation into science texts in order to discuss the so-called problems with evolution. Sorry but the rest of us know what the problem is with evolution - if your kids learn about it they might just start questioning all the other ideas that you've carefully brainwashed into them. But the fundamentalists want to have a say in controlling what their kids see and hear.

Which brings me back to that notion of ethical and moral consistency that I mentioned a while back. It is hypocrisy to rail about images of breasts in the media, evolutionary texts, and avant garde artwork's influence on your kid's impressionable mind when you turn around and do the Lord's work by pushing objectionable imagery on my kids. Hypocrisy robs you of any claim to the high ground. Hypocrisy in the service of religion can easily turn to evil. If you want to debate the merits of these issues as adults, fine by me. Just leave the kids out of it. When you threaten to expose my kids to things that are age inappropriate I'm not going to hear what you have to say. You're not a crusader - you're just a pornographer.

4 comments:

Stacy said...

I haven't seen any clinic protesters here where I live because I don't think that there are any clinics - let me go check -... insert Jeopardy music ...

Nope - none in the city where I live, but 2 just north. I'll have to go drive by some time and see if there is anythng going on.

mac said...

When I still lived in Ohio, I was driving one day and saw a bunch of protesters holding signs that were against aa adult book store.

I had been this way several times. I lived just a few miles from the protest site. I was astonished, I never knew the bok store was there.

I stopped my truck and thanked the protesters for informing me it was there, assuring them that I would pay the store a visit.

"for the kids"
That's the reason given by most. I wonder what damages the kids more?

pboyfloyd said...

They're not trying to stop their kids from thinking, they're trying to stop EVERYONE from thinking.

Harvey said...

Pliny:
Excellent post!!
One could go even further and point out that this is no different than Christin insistance that public displays of Christian symbolism and ideas in public, tax supported venues is also subject to my unwillingness to my children (or me for that matter) being forcibly exposed to inappropriate material. If Christians need to protect their children from scientificly supported ideas about the "creation" of the universe, why should I not be able to protect mine (and me) from "creationism"? If I do not want my kids exposed to information supporting a woman's right to choose, as long as it is not forced upon them (and me) under circumstances wherein I cannot avoid it, what right do I have to force my objections to legal abortion on other people's children (and them)?