I’ll give you the link up front:
Garry Wills at NY Review of Books drops some knowledge on us
Very Required Reading, that.
And speaking of required reading…
My own checkered religious past, not to mention my present, allows me to nod in agreement and soak Garry Wills’ analogy in with ease. I was raised catholic, and made the mistake of actually reading the bible as a kid, and then attending four years of catholic high school. I would have been better off and better received as a student if I had chose a path of shooting dope, or in the case of the current pope, being a nazi. That kind of stuff is easily forgiven. Reading the bible without close supervision on the other hand, is unforgivable. Catholics hate nothing more than the complete text of their holy bible. What they like are the 52 biblical sound-bites that make up their annual liturgy. Everything else is marked with a huge “Here Be Dragons” sign. The bulk of the bible is either contradicting their soundbites, or simply not to be trusted. And if it is in the old testament, well, there is always the “other guys” wink, wink. I know this firsthand because I faced a seemingly endless course of discipline for asking honest questions about the bible in a catholic high school. It wasn’t completely in vain… I did, however, become adept at a catholic variation of the “jedi mind trick”. Nuff Said.
The past 60 hours or so have been a roller-coaster of tears, choked=back-tears, disbelief, gratitude, and reflection. I have been through the gamut from crystalline rationalization to emotional white-out. I don’t want to get any deeper into this subject for a while. I am sure that there will be plenty of fodder for my snark-assault weapon of a blog in the weeks and months to come. But the article above is the closest thing I have seen to scalar context. The American Gun Control argument is a religious argument. And in a country based on religious freedom, no matter how badly applied, the gun mob has leveraged that spirit as cover for their gun worship.
As the world at large watches: please have mercy and pity on us because it is very likely that we as a nation will fuck this up very badly. Kirk Out.