Monday, November 10, 2003

PC, WC and the Paradox of Tolerance

Think of it this way:
Those countries with indoor plumbing and flush toilets are pro-Robinson consecration.
Those countries with wells and outhouses are anti-Robinson.
You can thank Sir Thomas Crapper for this fine kettle of fish!

-----------------------from the Beliefnet Anglican Debate message board

While the consecration of Eugene Robinson as the Anglican Church's first openly gay bishop received kudos from the cognescenti in affluent Western industrialized nations, primates from the Global South were not amused.

Liberals, keen to support the interests of the disadvantaged, domestically and internationally, have always been ambivalent about the intended beneficiaries of their programs. When it turns out that the oppressed do not share the vision of the good life that motivates their progressive agenda, they resort to snide remarks about deficiencies in their plumbing systems.

Back in the 20th century, when liberals in the media discovered that the working class supported the war in Vietnam and actively opposed politial policies and social programs intended to liberate them, they invented Archie Bunker. When white upper middle class college students discovered that most blacks wanted the kind of lives their parents enjoyed and were beginning to get it as a consequence of the civil rights movement they castigated Martin Luther King as a sellout and redirected their support to the Black Panthers.

We imagined a secular, egalitarian utopia, untainted by racism, sexism and puritanism, where there would be justice, freedom and peace. As it turns out, the oppressed, whose interests we believed we were supporting, want a puritanical, fundamentalist Islamic hellhole where they can freely perpetuate their cultural customs of sexism, tribalism and violence.