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Dec 12 2012

Conservatives Don’t Like WA Votes on Pot, Marriage

On election day, voters in the state of Washington legalized marijuana use and gay marriage, prompting Jen McCreight to assume she was going to wake up the next day to find a haze of pot smoke and glitter. Others, especially the Christian right types, are beside themselves about it. Including the Discovery Institute’s David DeWolf:

To David DeWolf, who teaches law at Gonzaga University, a Catholic institution in Spokane, the votes reflect individuals disconnecting from the rest of society, “elevating the desires of the individual over the needs of the community.”

DeWolf, a Catholic, sees the votes as “sort of a reversion to a less developed way of living,” he said. “The impulse here is a kind of selfish, me-oriented way of not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society.”

He, too, thinks about ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves that says we’re made for better things, we’re capable of real charity and concern for one another and living a life of virtue.”

Christian virtues, which he believes were ignored in this election, have created “much of what we value in society,” DeWolf said. “In my mind, this is an unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves and of society.”

Well yes, authoritarian control of the moral choices of others when those choices have nothing to do with you is a “Christian virtue.” And it was rejected. Good. This argument translates very easily from wingnut to English: “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! People are doing things I don’t like! Make them stop!”

Steve Beren, a conservative Christian political consultant from Seattle who has run unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, says just because something is celebrated doesn’t mean it’s right. “I feel bad for those people, because they’re celebrating what they’re doing wrong,” he says.

He sees the votes as giving license to people to do other things he considers wrong. Each time something “clearly wrong or obviously immoral” is given sanction, celebrated or even ignored, it implicitly sanctions other immoral acts, he says — for example, President Clinton’s sexual transgressions.

Despite seeing the recent votes as moral deterioration, “I don’t necessarily buy that it’s irreversible,” Beren says. “If you go back into history, you’ll see they were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children.”

Uh, Steve. It was your ideological ancestors that were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children. It was moral progress when we made you stop.

38 comments

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  1. 1
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    “I don’t necessarily buy that it’s irreversible,” Beren says. “If you go back into history, you’ll see they were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children.”

    Did he just say he’d like to go back to the times when we were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children?

  2. 2
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    No: You misunderstand Steve. He’s saying that once we burned people at the stake – and if we really try, we can get back to that moral place again!!! The change away from people-burning is not irreversible!!!

  3. 3
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Garggg! ZA beat me to it.

  4. 4
    scienceavenger

    “The impulse here is a kind of selfish, me-oriented way of not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society.”

    This should be up for a Bryan Fischer Award, since that describes his pursuit of the drug war, despite its well-documented failure to solve the problem, and its creation of many more (black market violence, corruption, etc.). It’s by taking account of the impact on society of that miserable policy that thinking people rejected it.

    Up is down, left is right, war is peace to these fools.

  5. 5
    Gregory in Seattle

    And after all their screeching and pissing about “Let the people decide!”

    Hmph! There is just no pleasing some people.

  6. 6
    scienceavenger

    Oh, and where are all these clowns now beating the drum of states rights? States’ rights for slavery and forced birthing of rapists’ babies, but not for peaceful pot smokers? Hypocrisy is too kind a word…

  7. 7
    w00dview

    The impulse here is a kind of selfish, me-oriented way of not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society.”

    Why does this argument only apply to pot smokers, sluts and teh gays and not to corporations when they screw their employees over and harm human health and the environment? Isn’t letting corporations do whatever the fuck they want also “not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society”? Isn’t the impulse of corporations to fight regulations of any sort tooth and nail indicative of thinking in “a kind of selfish, me-oriented way”? The cognitive dissonance of conservatives is truly a thing to behold.

  8. 8
    Marcus Ranum

    Funny, they’re all about state’s rights when it comes to disenfranchising voters by skin color, or controlling women’s uteruses. But a bit of weed? ZOMG! THIS MUST BE THE END OF THE WORLD THAT THE MAYANS WERE TALKING ABOUT!

  9. 9
    Doug Little

    And it was rejected. Good. This argument translates very easily from wingnut to English: “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! People are doing things I don’t like! Make them stop!”

    I would go one step further and say that it is:

    Waaaaaaaaaaah! people are doing things that I would like to do also but my religion puts the kibosh on them. Since I’m told not to do them I’m telling everybody else not to do them also and require another authoritative body to enforce my wishes.

  10. 10
    vmanis1

    If these clowns really wanted to do that which is in the best interests of society, they would shut up.

    Just saying.

  11. 11
    Doug Little

    Despite seeing the recent votes as moral deterioration, “I don’t necessarily buy that it’s irreversible,” Beren says. “If you go back into history, you’ll see they were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children.”

    Ha, is this like a Brian Fisher award but without the constraints of time. Also what the hell is he talking about, I read that as he thinks that burning people and sacrificing children are morally acceptable and its only a matter of time before we will be doing it again.

  12. 12
    Sastra

    Despite seeing the recent votes as moral deterioration, “I don’t necessarily buy that it’s irreversible,” Beren says. “If you go back into history, you’ll see they were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children.”

    Yes, it’s a slippery slope: legalize victimless “crimes” and soon it will become okay to legalize actual crimes with real victims.

    “It’s the vibe.”

  13. 13
    raven

    He, too, thinks about ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves

    Bunch of lies.

    Shortly after xianity was introduced, the Roman empire fell. It might not have caused the failure but it didn’t stop it either. The Germanic tribes that invaded were…xians themselves.

    The period afterwards when DeWolf’s church held power was known as the Dark Ages.

    The Catholic church has never been in a position to lecture anyone about morality. DeWolf isn’t either. He might overlook the tens of millions killed by the RCC but the rest of us can’t and won’t.

    In my mind, this is an unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves and of society.”

    Which is and was far superior to the xian so called understanding, which quite often ended up with piles of tortured and dead bodies. Until we all got sick of it and them and took away their heavy weapons and armies.

    Xians tend to really hate Pagans. They spent a 1000 years massacring them and wiping them out. They got just about every one of them. But now they are back.

  14. 14
    dugglebogey

    Wait. Who exactly is it that “hates freedom?”

    I’m so confused.

  15. 15
    raven

    From what I’ve seen of the Catholic church past and present, the best thing my distant ancestors did was become Protestants and fight in the Reformation wars. They won.

    This is somewhat diluted by the fact that some of those Catholics they were fighting were my other distant ancestors.

    Oh well. AFAIK, none of my Catholic relatives attend Mass anymore. One is a mid level church official. In a Protestant church.

  16. 16
    jaranath

    I think it’s fairly clear he was saying public burnings and child sacrifices were horrible immoral transgressions of the past and we were able to rise above them, so we shouldn’t lose hope that legalized pot and gayness begin our irrevocable slide down the slope of wickedness.

    What ISN’T clear is how he misses the overt religious nature of witch burnings and sacrifices in connecting those to his modern bugbears. I suspect it’s the classic wingnut dodge that the perpetrators weren’t True Christians and were really just projecting their own immoral desires onto their faith, and anyway, Abraham’s case is different because that really WAS God talking to him unlike all the other times, and you are TOTALLY CRAZY for thinking there’s anything suggestive in the author’s assumption that readers wouldn’t find the idea of God demanding human sacrifice totally absurd and repulsive.

  17. 17
    raven

    If you go back into history, you’ll see they were burning people at the stake and sacrificing children.”

    Steve Beren’s perversion of xianity is still sacrificing children.

    They have horrifying rituals known as “faith healing” and “raising a child” that result in a hundred or so dead children a year, sacrificed to their monster Sky Fairy.

    They usually die from withholding medical care. Sometimes they just torture and beat them to death.

  18. 18
    billdaniels

    1. “He, too, thinks about ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves that says we’re made for better things, we’re capable of real charity and concern for one another and living a life of virtue.””

    Um, Rome didn’t fall until after it became christian.

    2. “He sees the votes as giving license to people to do other things he considers wrong. Each time something “clearly wrong or obviously immoral” is given sanction, celebrated or even ignored, it implicitly sanctions other immoral acts, he says — for example, President Clinton’s sexual transgressions.

    So pot smoking gays in Washington in 2012 forced Clinton into having sex with Monica Lewinski?

  19. 19
    Doug Little

    So pot smoking gays in Washington in 2012 forced Clinton into having sex with Monica Lewinski?

    Yeah, don’t you know that after Clinton stumped for Obama during this election he let him have access to his time machine.

  20. 20
    comfychair

    If they don’t like it, they can just move to a different state where it’s still illegal.

  21. 21
    busterggi

    To concerned Christians – please quote exactly where in the bible Jesus talked about pot and homosexuality.

  22. 22
    cptdoom

    He sees the votes as giving license to people to do other things he considers wrong. Each time something “clearly wrong or obviously immoral” is given sanction, celebrated or even ignored, it implicitly sanctions other immoral acts, he says — for example, President Clinton’s sexual transgressions.

    Why is it that Clinton’s extra-marital shenanagins are always brought up by the Right? After all, he actually stayed with his wife. Contrast that to the sexual immorality of Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford, Rudy Guilinai, John McCain and Donald Trump, all of whom dumped their wives for the homewrecking sluts with whom they had affairs – and all, except Sanford, subsequently were considered legitimate candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination. What’s more damaging to society, the guy who screws up, says “I’m sorry” and saves his marriage, or the one who says “you’re old and ugly and I’m trading you in on a hotter, younger model”?

  23. 23
    hunter

    “In my mind, this is an unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves and of society.”

    One of the tenets of Paganism is that we are all connected. Pagans are not at all selfish or me-oriented. You have to go to some of the American brands of Protestant Christianity for that.

  24. 24
    cottonnero

    busterggi #21: “A man who lies with another man should be stoned.” /rimshot

  25. 25
    Draken

    I think that the author of Revelations was smoking something way less innocuous than pot.

  26. 26
    Chiroptera

    DeWolf said. “In my mind, this is an unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves and of society.”

    Well, the Founders of this nation did get the idea of democracy and republicanism from pagan societies.

    I’m just sayin’, is all.

  27. 27
    Worldtraveller

    vmanis1@10: Well, he’s always welcome to leave WA and move somewhere else they might agree more with him. I’d recommend KS.

  28. 28
    baal

    unhappy reversion to a pagan understanding of ourselves

    God bless those pagans.

  29. 29
    slc1

    Re fastlane @ #27

    I’d recommend Iran.

  30. 30
    imthegenieicandoanything

    Mr. Burns has ten times the appeal of your garden-variety ‘Mer’kin these days. As the realization of the November defeat sinks in, with little hope that the Great Bu–sh– Axis of Stupidity, Ignorance, Insanity and/or Evil will ever triumph again, I’ve strarted to believe that NOTHING gives these self-made shits in human form pleasure – except seeing the pain of others, physical pain to un-powerful people who do not resemble themselves in looks or background preferred.

  31. 31
    Ichthyic

    NOTHING gives these self-made shits in human form pleasure – except seeing the pain of others,

    I do believe Heath hinted at a study supporting the idea that indeed, endorphins are released for people of this persuasion when they get to employ something that demonizes “the other”.

    Don’t think he posted a link, but I’m on a hunt to find that study.

  32. 32
    dingojack

    Oh yes, the morality of the great Roman Catholic Church….
    Meanwhile, here, the church has set up a body to communicate with the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse of Children* – but they won’t be telling what goes on in the confessional (they think**)..
    Dingo
    ——-
    * ten years or more in the making!
    ** Royal Commissions can compel witnesses to appear, and compel them to answer questions

  33. 33
    dingojack

    Those selfish non-community–minded Epicureans and Stoics (amongst many others)!
    Just lucky those murdering, child-raping christians came along to show them how it’s done!
    @@
    Dingo

  34. 34
    magistramarla

    As a Latin teacher, the more I learned about ancient religions and early christianity, the less respect I had for christianity. The Roman empire was hurt more than helped by the takeover of christianity.

  35. 35
    andrew

    Speaking of Rome, didn’t Rome last as a hedonistic pagan empire for half a millennium or so and then fall shortly after it was Christianized? Just sayin’.

    I’m not claiming some sort of causality here (Christianizing Rome didn’t make it fall, as far as I know), but if we have the claim that mass conversion will save from our inevitable demise the the historical record clearly rebuts it.

  36. 36
    bradleybetts

    @ Doug Little #9

    “I would go one step further and say that it is:

    Waaaaaaaaaaah! people are doing things that I would like to do also but my religion puts the kibosh on them. Since I’m told not to do them I’m telling everybody else not to do them also and require another authoritative body to enforce my wishes.”

    Honestly, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I genuinely believe that a large proportion of the rage felt by righteous Religionists against “sinners” is born of jealousy. Because let’s be honest, most of what is labelled “sinful” is quite fun, and those of us not racked with a sense of eternal guilt and fear go and do them, and religionists can’t do that.

  37. 37
    JT Eberhard

    Ok, you see what you’re doing here? You’re taking stories that hit my blog before yours and handling them better than I did.

    I’m going to need you to stop doing better posts on the same material than me immediately, or I’m going to have to call the Liberty Counsel.

  38. 38
    noastronomer

    Judging by the two quotes I would have to say that it appears that at least two members of Washington State society jumped the gun a little bit, and quite extensively by the sound of it, on the pot legalization thing.

    Mike.

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