Saturday, May 26, 2007

Obedience Schools

Having gone to a good Virginia state university, I learned in philosophy 101 the difference between an assertion and an article of faith – the former is testable, and theoretically refutable. Monica Goodling (whose ironic name seems out of a Dickens novel), doesn’t appear to have learned such distinctions. In place of rational thought she (and the disturbingly many like her) seem to have a blind faith: George Bush is a Christian, therefore his priorities infallibly represent The Good.

To Goodling and her ilk, it doesn’t matter if a claim is right, or if an action is right, so long as it’s Right. Perhaps that is because she went to one of the many Obedience Schools now being established by evangelical “Christian” cults, where they don’t teach people how to think. They teach them to submit to authority. They tell them what to think, and how to stop questioning it – how to arrest their development in a socially acceptable, even currently fashionable way. The procedure is quintessential cultic “thought stopping,” best expressed by the bumper-sticker of the inerrant Bibolaters: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

In her op-ed piece of May 25th , Hanna Rosin clearly celebrates the arrival of Monica Goodling and her coreligionists in Washington. We ought to wonder why. Rosin says ‘the joke is on Bill Maher’ for calling Monica a “hayseed.” Not so says Rosin, citing as counterevidence Goodling’s mad skills on the Blackberry, and…I’m not sure what else. Goodling has certainly cleaned up nicely, but intellectually and morally she remains a rube. She clearly didn’t bring any legal or ethical judgment to Washington or to her job, so she doesn’t seem to have been well served by either of the “Christian” schools where she was trained to subvert the department that paid her. Neither, of course, was her employer, the American taxpayer, well served. Perhaps then the joke is on us.

It doesn’t seem to occur to Ms. Rosin that Monica Goodling came to be “in charge of 93 U.S. attorneys” at age 33, not in virtue of any positive qualification for the job, but rather in as a result of an affirmative action program for Evangelists. Nor does it seem to discomfit Rosin at all that such Bush hires, from these supposedly Christian schools, work zealously for a reflexively war-loving and profiteering outfit, where constant lying is standard operating procedure. Having been fairly rigorously catechized by nuns in my youth, I’m quite sure this doesn’t accord with any of the teachings of Christ. What happened to “The truth shall set you free?”

Rosin is right about one thing. There are many Monica Goodlings in Washington, (and many Karl Roves too), and they are very busy seeing that there will be many more. God help us.


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