The following piece, “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain, sums up pretty well how I felt on Independence Day as I reflected on the gung-ho, John Wayne, cowboy diplomacy attitude espoused by so many of my fellow American Christians.
[While going through old posts, I found a comment that I felt deserved a post of its own. Since the author is a relative of mine and a guest blogger here, I took the liberty of editing the text and publishing it here. Funky]
“Violent lyrics in songs increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment, according to a U.S. a study released yesterday.”
Quite some time ago, Funky off-handedly related this article to gangster rap. Indeed, gangster rap music feeds the need to feel empowered, to feel righteous in the fact that anyone who crosses you shall be an ant to be squashed. You feel less frightened, but you continue to support the environment that you fear. Everything is a fight for life.
“DESTROY THE THREAT! ASK NO QUESTIONS! DO NOT HESITATE!!!”
You have to romanticize your screwed up social environs. Otherwise, you won’t feel good behaving in such an inhumane, psychotic manner. So, yes, it induces aggressive thoughts. It helps to have these when everyone else is about to pounce on you and destroy your life! Or so you think.
That’s the real problem, though. People often behave stupidly when they perceive a threat. Take reactions to 9/11 , for instance. One day I hope they make a study about American foreign policy showing that it can “increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment.”
September 11, 2001 was indeed a sad and tragic day that will haunt Americans for years to come. I mourn the loss of life and my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones. However, I cannot and will not jump on the rah-rah "Let's Roll" bandwagon of melodrama mixed with hawkish propaganda.
If the lives of ~3000 who died at the hands of terrorist scum mean so much to us, why aren't we doing anything in Darfur, Sudan where tens – perhaps even hundreds – of thousands of people have died, are dying, and will die at the hands of genocidal scum? If we're so gung-ho about kicking Evil's ass, why didn't we do it in Congo , where millions died – not by a swift crash, explosion, or building collapse, but by starvation?
There has recently been a great push in the world of women's health to consider prescription birth control (oral contraceptives, IUD, DepoProvera, etc.) not only a "right" but indeed a necessity – the "standard of care," if you will. The fact that ever-growing numbers of registered pharmacists are refusing to fill legal prescriptions for such birth control has caught the attention of quite a few powerful pro-choice and "feminist" groups, who have made it their goal to force such professionals by law to fill all such prescriptions with no questions asked. As a practicing pharmacist, I would like to try to address this issue.
I got an interesting email from the American Progress Action Fund regarding news reports of tragic events, like the devastation wrought by Katrina.
"Like many of you, for the past 48 hours we have been glued to our computers and televisions, watching this tragedy unfold. We applaud the efforts of our news media, in particular ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, to cover this story. On these networks, together as a nation, we have witnessed images of rooftop rescues and other amazing acts of heroism – along with moments of great personal tragedy. Hurricane Katrina is a truly important story and by doing a very good job of covering it, our TV news programs are providing Americans and the entire world the information necessary to help make a difference."
"Yet, as we watch in horror, we can't help but think of another tragedy a bit farther away – the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan stemming from the ongoing genocide there. Unfortunately, our TV networks are not doing such a good job informing Americans that 7,000 people are dying every month as a result of the genocide, according to the World Health Organization. Their stories of rescue, of heroism, of personal tragedy, and of survival are not being told."
"And so, when the floodwaters have receded in our homeland, and our fellow Americans begin the process of rebuilding their lives and their communities, we hope that the networks will reflect on the important role they play in keeping us informed of tragedies near and far and will continue to cover real news – important news. We hope that the networks will come to agree: Genocide IS News."