March 25, 2005

Culture of Life, Pt 3

The BeatBushBlog notes a Bill Moyers piece that probes the gangrenous center of the so-called 'culture of life' movement, emphasis mine:

... They are sincere, serious, and polite as they tell you they feel called to help bring the Rapture on as fulfillment of biblical prophecy. To this end they have declared solidarity with Israel and the Jewish settlements and backed up their support with money and volunteers.

For them the invasion of Iraq was a warm-up act, predicted in the Book of Revelation, where four angels "bound in the great river Euphrates" will be released "to slay the third part of man." A war with Islam in the Middle East is not something to be feared but welcomed—an essential conflagration on the road to redemption. The last time I Googled it, the Rapture Index stood at 144—approaching the critical threshold when the prophecy is fulfilled, the whole thing blows, the Son of God returns, and the righteous enter paradise while sinners will be ed to eternal hellfire.

What does this mean for public policy and the environment? Listen to John Hagee, pastor of the 17,000- member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, who is quoted in Rossing's book as saying: "Mark it down, take it to heart, and comfort one another with these words. Doomsday is coming for the earth, for the nations, and for individuals, but those who have trusted in Jesus will not be present on earth to witness the dire time of tribulation." Rossing sums up the message in five words that she says are basic Rapture credo: "The world cannot be saved." It leads to "appalling ethics," she reasons, because the faithful are relieved of concern for the environment, violence, and everything else except their personal salvation. The earth suffers the same fate as the unsaved. All are destroyed. ...

Well, great. This must be the reason that they sincerely don't give a damn about things like this happening as a result of their holy war in the Middle East:

BAGHDAD, 21 March (IRIN) - Pharmacist Zeena Qushtiny was dressed in the latest Western fashion and wearing a sparkling diamond necklace when she was taken at gunpoint from her pharmacy in Baghdad by insurgents.

Her body was found 10 days later with two bullet holes close to her eyes.

She was covered in a traditional abaya veil preferred by Islamic conservatives with a message pinned to it saying: "She was a collaborator against Islam", according Qushtiny's family.

Qushtiny was the mother of two young girls and a divorcee. She was a popular professional in the capital and respected for her work but was considered by radicals as being an insult to Islam. ...

The article goes on to detail numerous other killings of women who've offended the Islamists taking over Iraq, noting that the killings and threats have been escalated and that this is expected to continue following the elevation of the Shiites to the levers of power. Clearly nothing must be done about this affront to the life and liberty of Iraqi women, certainly none of these right wing bloviators seems to care about it, maybe because it would interfere with the eternal life and liberty of those saved individuals among the US population waiting to ascend bodily to heaven.

Hey, I've got another idea... You want to go to heaven so badly, try what L. Ron Hubbard did. Invent your own crazy cult, buy a fleet of luxury yachts, get investigated for tax fraud, then watch from the hereafter as your followers claim for years after with straight faces that you ascended bodily to heaven from one of said yachts when it was out on the ocean.

But seriously, if you really believe in fostering a culture of life, try following the example of Archbishop Oscar Romero, and focus some of your voluminous grassroots contributions and volunteer time advocating for people who don't have anyone at all to care about them:

... We must not seek the child Jesus in the pretty figures of our Christmas cribs. We must seek him among the undernourished children who have gone to bed at night with nothing to eat, among the poor newsboys who will sleep covered with newspapers in doorways. ...

That's a man who understood what it meant to advocate for life. You don't even have to be a Catholic, or a Christian, to know that. And what would Romero's stance imply should be done? Well, I can't say for sure, but it might involve doing something about the fact that six generally preventable and mostly treatable illnesses kill 73% of small children who die around the world:

... Pneumonia accounts for 19 percent of the under-fives who die, followed by diarrhea, pre-term delivery, malaria, blood infection and lack of oxygen at birth. ...

At least, those diseases aren't that big a threat here in the US where we can treat pneumonia, have tetanus vaccinations, and can keep children alive even when they're born over two months early. Here, diarrhea is a joke, but in some places it's a death sentence for a small child. Or maybe these zealots could look here at home, and do something about the fact that 18,000 people die in the US every year because they have no health coverage.

Unfortunately for those people, the women of Iraq, the children of the third world, and the poor of America, they're completely outside the attention span of the wingnut faction in American politics. For people like Randall Terry and his ideological compatriots, these people who are still fully conscious of their circumstances and probably would like to be helped don't seem to matter at all.

Posted by natasha at March 25, 2005 01:50 AM | Human Rights | Technorati links |