Friday, January 18, 2013

How does indifference become institutionalized?

I have said that conservative politics and libertarian economics are systems of "institutionalized indifference."

I have said that these systems of institutionalized indifference are antithetical to the religious commitments of Unitarian Universalism.

How does indifference get institutionalized?  The present debate on guns is a perfect example.

The actual effects on people, on children, of having 300 million guns in private hands are purposefully obscured under abstract arguments about the meaning of the second amendment to the Constitution, and whether the Constitutional authors wanted to preserve a right to insurrection in the Constitution.

In other words, our attention is directed away from real people, real children, real violence, real death and destruction, real preventable suicides and accidental deaths and toward hypothetical scenarios and abstract rights.

We are to be indifferent to the people who suffer the consequences of our present policy because it more important to preserve an interpretation of an abstract principle that constrains us from doing something to prevent that suffering.

The question that a religious liberal must ask in every situation:  who is it that I am not supposed to be thinking about here?  Whose suffering is being obscured by these abstractions.

Each child victim in Newtown was shot 3 to 11 times. Twenty children, aged 6 and 7.  Start there.

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