Sunday, October 23, 2005

Good Christian morals don't guarantee ethical behavior

The message the Republican party has pushed since the Christian Right gained some power during the Reagan era is that they are the party of good morals. The religious right has increasingly fostered the notion that Christianity is under attack which means that, since Christian scripture is the source of all that is right and wrong, without good "Judeo-Christian" morals (one only needs to pay attention to Republican media demi-gods Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly around Christmas time to know the "Judeo" part is provide a false appearance of tolerance) this country will go to hell in a handbasket. The corollary message is that if one is a "capital C" Christian one, obviously, is the epitome of good morality and while everyone is a sinner, the sins of the devout Christian are (in general) relatively minor transgressions repented and rectified to make G-d happy. When egregious sin occurs, it's blamed on infiltration of liberal tolerance mongers (a la Catholic church child molestation scandal) and/or blown out of proportion by G-d hatin', religious bigots (aka liberals). When a Republican is accused of bad/inappropriate/immoral actions, there is always some legitimate reason for the questionable act(s), for example:
  • Bill Frist's blind but psychic trust: he notified the proper authorities of his intention to finally divest from HCA in April to avoid future appearance of impropriety after being dogged for years by claims of conflict of interest and fortuitously placed the call to unload the stock just prior to a bad quarterly report that caused it to sink. Frist and his comrades claim he hadn't violated SEC rules because no advanced knowledge of information in the decision to sell back in April, and just happened to be extremely lucky in the actual timing of the sale (though if the trust was blind, why was Frist the one who placed a call to sell - shouldn't the trustees just make the transactions without Frist's knowledge of timing?).
  • Tom DeLay and friends were just doing some laundry, they interpretted statues literally and didn't violate any actual laws. As a matter of fact, any criminal charges are due to the fact that the prosecuter and members of the grand jury that indicted him are Democrats and any conviction would not be due to actual guilt, but due to an activist judge registered to the Democratic party that we all know is out to get him. [Anything with ties to Jack Abramoff can be explained by the fact that while Republican, Abramoff is destined for Hell for the murder of Jesus]
In the course of American neo-Puritanism where women are the gatekeepers of morality, one would expect Harriet Meirs' conversion to Evangelical Christian, card-carrying Republican and president of the George W. Bush fan club to obliterate any ethical concerns about her actions over the past 25 years or so since she was, with the assistance of occasional boyfriend Nathan Hecht, born again. Dubya assures us, he trusts her (of course, he has to) and that she is "a woman of principle and deep conviction." Maybe it's telling he says he knows her character but didn't describe her as a woman of great character since this would imply impeccable ethics.

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers collected more than 10 times the market value for a small slice of family-owned land in a large Superfund pollution cleanup site in Dallas where the state wanted to build a highway off-ramp.

The payment came after a judge, who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Miers' law firm, appointed a professional associate of Miers and an outspoken property-rights activist to the three-member panel that determined how much the state should pay.

The resulting six-figure payout to the Miers family in 2000 came despite the state's objections to the "excessive" amount and to the process used to set the price. The panel recommended paying nearly $5 a square foot for land that was valued at less than 30 cents a square foot.

Mediation in 2003 reduced the award from $106,915 to $80,915, but Miers, who controls the family's interest in the land, has not reimbursed the state for the $26,000 difference, even after Bush nominated her for the Supreme Court. [Inky]

Harriet Meirs is a woman who has learned much at the foot of her hero, including that if one is to be among the power elite of the Republican party, personal gain trumps ethics every time - even when the actions necessary run counter to those mandated by the scripture she holds so dear.

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