When it comes to morals, it seems that Christian eyesight never rises above the belt-buckle unless it is to peer behind a brassiere. Genes for sexual obsession passed down by the Catholic Church obviously did not mutate over the centuries, as today Christian leaders remain excessively concerned with who is doing whom, how they are doing it and if there are any naked people or pictures anywhere near.


There is an obvious need for watchdog organizations and laws keeping dangerous sexual predators, perverts, and traffickers out of civilized society. Those are jobs for civil authorities, not antediluvian religious opinionizers trying to transport the United States to the Dark Ages. There is no Lasik’s Surgery for tunnel vision of this sort, nor is there any escape from the ubiquitous voices of ignorance embraced by so many in this country.

Let me be clear exactly what I am talking about. To the best of my knowledge, I do not recall Jesus saying much about abortion, homosexuality or stem-cell research in the Bible. However, he said line after line about the impoverished, the disfranchised and the sick.


Those thoughtful and caring religionists, the Evangelical Right, the Catholic Bishops Council and more Right Wing religionists, considering the size of their oral cavities remained quiet enough to hear themselves on cotton, about the reprehensible GOP budget plan. Once again, the rich get the gold mine and the middle-class gets the shaft. While the Evangelical Right hunts snipe and the answer to who rests in Grant's tomb, Americans face with a tax plan that is not only detrimental to their interests, but also grossly inequitable.

When almost one in four children survive at the poverty level, something is wrong. When Wall Street criminals dupe the American people into a $700 billion loan to cover their gambling debts and no one goes to jail, something is wrong. When Congress can do nothing, but impede progress and hold the public hostage while playing politics, something is wrong—morally wrong. We have a morality problem in the country but little of it comes from sex, drugs, or gambling. Are these problems of concern? Absolutely, but not in the magnitude media manipulators would have us believe.


While Rome burns, the Christian Right and the GOP Inquisition guard the country against sex, which is a major concern among the unemployed and the underemployed. Evangelicals' top concern—by a wide margin—is (94%), the content of television and movies (79%), homosexuals (75%), and gay and lesbian lifestyles (75%). Focus on sex to the exclusion of all others as a moral imperative, is not only shortsighted, irresponsible and abnormal; it is a warped fantasy that portends to reality.

 My concern about sexual issues such as abortion, gay marriage and prostitution remains limited, but I have deep issues with the integrity of Wall Street, Congress, and lobbyist relations as well as insurance price gouging. Doctor and pharmaceutical company interactions are concerns. Cheating in business, college, and government are issues, just as killing in the form of collateral damage. Cutting corners in construction and manufacturing, lack of concern for worker safety, lack of generosity for the less fortunate and purposeful obfuscation are important moral matters. The issues relating to sex seem little more than moral misdirection aimed at taking advantage of the American history of paying no attention.

Interestingly, Evangelicals and the GOP express a significant difference of opinion in the skepticism harbored toward global warming (only 33% identified it as a major issue) compared with the rest of the population. However, there is good news in all of this for at least one group. Evangelicals will soon slide to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to progress and, finally, the Luddites will finally escape the bottom of the barrel and move into modernity.

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Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 15, 2012 at 10:48pm
I'm going to check that out. Somewhere after my fortieth birthday, I got hooked on non-fiction. I used to be a big Robert Ludlum fan and Tom Clancy, but I am more interested social issues, science and humor.
Comment by Daniel W on April 15, 2012 at 9:43am

I downloaded "GGS".  Been meaning to read it for a while.  There may be parallels with Mann's "1491" although already I see the emphasis is different. I like reading social history.  Just finished Davis "Inhuman Bondage"  which was quite interesting.  Reading GGS might take a while.  Thanks.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 14, 2012 at 6:10pm
Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel," gives a brilliant tour of history, geography, paleontology, biology and more in explaining why the developed as it did. Very convincing and useful. . Don't know how many times I've quoted him. He talks about the things we speak of and in depth in the Prize winning book. Tell me what you think.
Comment by Daniel W on April 14, 2012 at 9:43am

I'm not sure I would call it a gene, just a propensity, like the propensity for violence.  Humans are both a violent and religious species.  Despite my suggesting that, I'm not tied to the position.  I would love to see support for the opposite point of view - it would give me hope for a more rational future.  One thing that makes me think humans are "hard-wired" to be religious is the near-100% universality of religion in all societies, even ones that were isolated for 10s of thousands of years, from other human societies.  Australia, Polynesia, Americas, Arctic, etc.  I don't know about the isolated peoples of Amazonia and the Bush people of Africa - maybe they do not have gods.  Lately I've been reading about the development of agriculture, independently in isolated societies - maize and potatoes in prehistoric Mexico and Peru, Rice in China, Wheat and Barley in Mesopotamia.  Leads me to think intellectual innovation and the desire to transform our environment is also "hard wired" into humans, and part of why as a species we are so successful.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 12, 2012 at 6:10pm
Many refer to it as the God gene, but I don't buy it. It is nothing more than ignorance. Obviously, we aren't born knowing all things and we never will. The attributing of various phenomena to a god or gods, is the easiest answer to the unknown. Where that point exists is highly dependent upon environment, custom and education. At some point we all run out of answers. It is at that point a decision is made to assign anything that exceeds explanation to supernatural sources, when a mere 50 years into the future could make such think embarrassing. It is ancient history that is wagging the dog. If it wasn't god, then it was aliens from an advanced civilization. Since we have discovered no intelligent life on other worlds, believing such is considered whacky, but is no different from a god no one has ever seen.
Comment by Daniel W on April 12, 2012 at 9:51am

Yes, it's by no means as simple as I suggested.  I honestly believe that humans are pre-programmed by evolution to be religious, that it shaped the evolution of human cultures and thought processes and is one reason our species has been so wildly successful.  How many other species come to dominate the earth so thoroughly?  It doesn't mean religion is "correct", any more than vestigial organs are "correct", but it does shape human patterns of culture and thinking and behavior.  I think the nonreligious are the "odd ones", a creation of civilization and domestication the same as our food crops and domestic animals are far from their original forms.  I also think we are "right" that religion is false, even if it had a role in evolution of human culture and thought, and even if many or most humans are "drawn" to religion like moths to a flame.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 11, 2012 at 10:21pm

I think you've isolated the virus, but it is still difficult to understand. It is interesting that you put it in those words because a couple of nights ago I suddenly had the urge to try to understand religionists. I went to Catholic school, but it didn't take. I started my search by examining myself to see why I didn't buy into the religion thing. I haven't gone very far, but I am in the process of trying to find a dividing line.

Comment by Daniel W on April 11, 2012 at 9:37pm

My hypothesis regarding the psyche of the religious reactionary is it all boils down to narcissism,  and fear.  And self delusion, which is both.  The narcissism, in that if you follow the rules just so, their personal, all powerful, all protective god-friend BFF will save them and give them sweet life for all of eternity.  Narcissism, but also fear, that everyone around them needs to reflect those same beliefs, or the beliefs might come into doubt.  Fear, that if they break the wrong rules, the nice god-friend BFF will turn nasty and mean.  Also if he isn't nasty and mean, that's not fair because they've been following the rules.  Sufficient fear that they don't look at the rules too closely, lest they discover they have already broken the wrong rules.  And sufficient narcissism, that the rules they consider most important, their god BFF will as well.  The forgivable broken rules are the ones that they have broken.  The unforgivable broken rules are only ones that other people break.  Strangely, Christians seem to have no problem with fornication and adultery and generally fucking like bunnies as long as they deny and hide it, but still condemn it.  Unless they get caught.

Comment by Donald R Barbera on April 11, 2012 at 7:59pm

You are a realist and I am a dreamer of sorts. You are right; we have traveled to the dark side with Evangelical Christianity, but I think they can actually go lower than the Luddites. You listed so many of the things that apparrently have no meaning or draw no concern from the religiously obsessed. One, I particularly like is to go into your secret closet to pray. It seems that is something most ignore.

Comment by Daniel W on April 11, 2012 at 7:01pm

You have more optimism than I have regarding inevitable progress.   Maybe I'm just jaded.  It seems to me that for many, the direction of the past decade has been away from the bright sun of enlightenment and towards the musty catacombs of the religious magisterium.  I hope you are right about the Luddites.


I can't for the life of me figure out why reactionary christians are so obsessed with sex, and so neglect poverty, ignorance, malnutrition, corporate corruption, and other social evils.  Your comments about Jesus' opinions regarding abortion, stem cell research, and same sex marriage are correct.  Those opinions are expressed in the same New Testament gospel as Jesus' affection for Pad Thai, guacamole, and Kenyan - born U.S. presidents.  Jesus DID have things to say about the rich and the money changers, and those who pray in public.  And those things were not bad.  The old testament had plenty to say about men who married multiple, even many wives, had coitus with many enslaved women (concubines), or commited incest - mostly that those were good men.


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