Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Friday, January 28, 2005

"(Let the reader understand)"

Gathered in this place we are reminded that such immense cruelty did not happen in a far-away, uncivilized corner of the world, but rather in the very heart of the civilized world. The death camps [like the invasion of Iraq, and the atrocities at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo] were created by men with a high opinion of themselves - some of them well educated, and possessed of refined manners - but without conscience. And where there is no conscience, there is no tolerance toward others ... no defense against evil ... and no limit to the crimes that follow.

The story of the camps [and Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and Gitmo] reminds us that evil is real, and must be called by its name, and must be confronted. We are reminded that anti-Semitism [which, after all, simply means being anti-Middle Eastern, as Arabs and other nationals of the Middle East are as "Semitic" as Jews] may begin with words, but rarely stops with words ... and the message of intolerance and hatred must be opposed before it turns into acts of horror.

[Oops. Too late.]

From remarks delivered by Vice President Dick Cheney at the "Let My People Live" Forum, Krakow, Poland, January 27, 2005.

Yes, overly snarky. The more civilized option would perhaps be to point out that this man holds office and represents the United States only after climbing into that high position on the mound of 10,000 to 100,000 Iraqi bodies that he is directly responsible for creating. That he stands in that lofty place atop a veritable mountain of decaying human flesh, a mountain of his own creation. And that he has the gall to speak of the evil of others, to point out their splinter as if there were not a tree protruding from his own eye....

And yes, there is a difference between industrialized slaughter of a group of people, and deaths caused by blind ideology and indifference to reality. But it is a difference in degree, not in kind. To the dead, the reasons for their deaths no longer matter; and to the living, trying to slip a piece of paper between the distinctions of the Holocaust and the unwarranted invasion of Iraq, is like trying to argue the importance of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Evil is evil, no matter who perpetrates it, no matter what excuse they give for their actions. There is no justification for the deaths at Auschwitz and Dachau, or any of the deaths of World War II. And there is no justification for the deaths and the horrors of Iraq today. Saddam Hussein was evil, but we have proven no better. The Vice President's remarks only confirm that evil knows evil. It can be said for all of us. We recognize evil because we know it from our hearts. But some of us have a sense of our culpability, and some of us don't.

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