Sunday, April 10, 2005

Save us from those satanic judges

This is really just too much.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reports that at "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith," a conference held last week in Washington,

lawyer-author Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Satanic? Satanic?

At one point during her talk last week, bell hooks shared a short anecdote: Her mother called her up because someone had told her bell was Buddhist. Was she Buddhist? her mother wanted to know. bell's reply: Ah, Mom. You know, I write articles for a Buddhist magazine and all, but I still read the Bible and pray every day. That's good, her mother responded. Because, you know, Buddhism is satanic.

hooks's point in telling this anecdote: her mother doesn't have any real knowledge about Buddhism. Thus her sticking it with the "satanic" label, despite the fact that it's anything but, was simply the result of ignorance. And so bell didn't think it worthwhile to acknowledge that she was Buddhist, since she knew her mother wouldn't be able to really engage in a conversation about it.

It's just bizarre to find people engaging in this kind of argumentation, the kind in which you take a slew of highly-charged words that will get a rise out of the religious right (Marxism! Leninism! Satanism! Oh my!). Of course people use highly charged language all the time. It's just that this particular kind of discourse reveals such depths of ignorance, it's depressing that it can be even mildly persuasive to any group of people. Or even mildly interesting.

A number of other gems from the conference reported in the editorial. Just one more: as Dan Shaviro and Atrios point out, it's just a little contradictory to promote a "culture of life" and then demonize Kennedy for voting down juvenile execution. Yet there's "Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism," doing just that.

Strange days indeed.


Theone said...

How is it that Marxism has become synonymous with satanism. I haven't read up on Marxism much, which is why I wouldn't label it satanic(of course you would have to believe in a satan to call something satanic but that's neither here nor there). Last I checked, satanism deals with self preservation and survival of the self. Fulfilment of the flesh and instinctual desires, which has more in common with our capitalist free-market society than communism or marxism, as far as I've read anyway. Memes run amok.

No Blood for Hubris said...

And now it's official.