From the daily paper, I noted that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is firmly anti-gay and ran on a family "values" try for the GOP presidential nomination, had an experimental stem cell operation to cure his back. I should have thought stems cells anathema to an evangelical like Perry -- what a phony baloney man he is! 

If the surgeons thought that the pot-surgical prognosis was "iffy" they would have nixed him as a candidate.  One wonders how many ordinary citizens who cannot afford the surgery saw Gov. Perry go to the front of the line. But remember, George W. Bush did all he could to thwart stem cell research by limiting the number of throwaway fetal embryos whose cells could be cultivated in labs. That was Dubya's way of thanking the evangelicals for supporting him, his choice of faith versus over scientific advancement.  

It will be the height of hypocrisy for the social conservatives to claim that stem cells should not be used to kill HIV because, as many have claimed before, "AIDS is God"s punishment for being gay."  Yes, and the Easter Bunny put all of those pretty eggs in the grass a week ago.  And Zeus will be angry with you for worshiping this Jesus person.  And God is everywhere, even in a bread crust.

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More examples of lack of social concern and lack of intellectual rigor. Just think, these people with such fundamental failures want to meld government with religion and meld economic policy with religion. Failure of these four legs upon which culture is built can only lead to fundamental failure of society. 

One should never underestimate the conservatives' sense of entitlement and exceptionalism.  

They seem to believe that they should be exempt from the moral standards they would impose on others, and, because of their (presumed) moral superiority, should be given a free pass from time to time in doing so.  "Not perfect, just forgiven."

That is why Rick Perry can have a stem-cell transplant one day, and then condemn stem-cell research the next.  It is why televangelists can condemn homosexuality from the pulpit while their partner waits in the wings for the sermon to end, so they can go off on vacation together.  

This is why Ann Coulter can condemn what she sees as vote fraud, without a hint of cognitive dissonance, while she remained fraudulently registered in a district in which she did not live.  Ditto for Mitt Romney, BTW. 

Why are they such exceptionalists?  Because conservative philosophy sinply isn't morally consistent, and requires skill at denial and compartmentalized thinking in order for the conservative to not experience cognitive dissonance.  Because of this obvious problem, the moral inconsistency is visible from the liberal perspective, but not from the conservative himself, who remains quite sincere.  It is this moral inconsistency that is why conservatism does not hold up well in an academic environment, where a strong pressure exists to break down compartmentalized thinking and eschew denial.

When I was growing up, it was constantly pounded into me that the end does not justify the means, and the observance of that principle is what made us morally superior to the Soviet Union.  But the modern conservative seems to have abandoned that position and adopted the position that the end DOES justify the means, and hence, ignore the moral squalor that we see in the conservative movement. 

And at the end of the day, that's why Rick Perry can have a stem cell treatment one day and then condemn stem cell research the next.  And never experience a twinge of cognitive dissonance.

Scott, I like your reasoning and way you put one word after another to make your case. I experience great pleasure in reading your comment. 

"entitlement and exceptionalism"

are two of my favorite charges of failures and I would include dominionism. Forgiveness of unforgivable behaviors and tolerance of intolerable behaviors go on my list as well. 




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