Friday, October 28, 2011

More Sliding Towards Barbarism: Ohio High-School Student Beats Gay Classmate As Peers Watch

And talking about inching towards barbarism, or running towards barbarism as fast as our legs can carry us (I'm building here on what I just posted about Alabama's new immigration law):

Could the behavior of this young gay-bashing thug in Chillicothe, Ohio,  be more barbaric?  Or the behavior of his fellow students who stood around in a classroom recently watching him pummel a gay classmate?  And who did nothing to stop the attack?

What kind of society are we turning ourselves into, when this kind of behavior is increasingly routine in our schools and on our streets?  When young sociopaths in the making are given a slap on the wrist for having beaten a gay or gender-questioning peer into the ground?  When they shoot and kill a gay classmate and receive no punishment at all for doing so?  

What kind of society are we making of ourselves, when we increasingly signal to swaggering young males that beating the crap out of a boy they perceive as feminine is an act of bravery and virtue? What kind of men do these adolescent thugs turn into?  What will be the experience of any woman unlucky enough to marry a man who has grown up receiving signals from the world around him that the path to becoming a big man is knocking males he perceives as feminine and women around?  What will the lives of the children unlucky enough to be raised by such a sociopathic male be like?

In my view, we're well on the road to barbarism in American society.  And I persist in maintaining that it's the very segments of our society who most proudly and defiantly tag themselves "pro-life" and "Christian" that are leading the way to the places of barbarism.  The same folks, after all, not only oppose legislation to prevent anti-gay bullying in schools: they also target immigrants, try to block or remove civil rights for gay citizens, and then tell us that they're acting according to divine mandates with each political decision they make.  And they're the very same people who will be walking around carrying signs that scream, Baby killers!, at rallies for Democratic candidates when the next election cycle rolls around.

It's all of a piece, in the politico-religious, Christofascist ideology of the American religious right--a group with whom the "pro-life" Catholic bishops of the U.S. have been more and more eager to get into bed of late.  A group with whom they got into bed big-time this very week, in fact, when Mr. Lori of Connecticut, the bishop now designated to lead the "religious freedom" charge on behalf of the U.S. bishops, testified before Congress that Christians' "religious freedom" is being eroded by proposals to make contraceptive coverage a standard part of health insurance plans, by the Obama administration's refusal to defend the discriminatory and unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, etc.

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