Bin Laden: Moral Paragon

If you're Dinesh D'Souza, Bill O'Reilly, or Glenn Beck:

You know, there's a new poll out that Muslims, the higher educated Muslims in the Middle East are more likely to be extremists? More and more Muslims now hate us all across the world, and it really has not a lot to do with anything other than our morals.

The things that they were saying about us were true. Our morals are just out the window. We're a society on the verge of moral collapse. And our promiscuity is off the charts.

Now I don't think that we should fly airplanes into buildings or behead people because of it, but that's the prevailing feeling of Muslims in the Middle East. And you know what? They're right.
Now I don't know to what poll he's referring, so I would caution that I've no idea whether he's even interpreting it correctly, lest I inadvertently pass on a possible fallacy about educated Muslims. I'll also mention with no small amount of bitter amusement that conservatives are as equally eager to embrace polls of Muslims with these sorts of findings as they are anxious to dismiss polls of Muslims that find, say, a majority of them want us the fuck out of Iraq.

But lest anyone mistakenly presume Beck's reference to our impending moral collapse has any relationship to a preemptive, unjustifiable war and all its ugly accoutrements, he makes sure to clarify he's speaking about our domestic moral foibles, like "promiscuity"—a single word meant to neatly encapsulate all the many sex, gender, and sexuality woes plaguing us, a word that draws a line straight from the genesis of women's lib through birth control, legal abortion, premarital sex, and casual sex, right on to sodomy and the Supreme Court, LGBT equality, and the catastrophic culmination of the hideous mess in same-sex marriage. That's why, according to Beck, Muslims hate us.

And he's right that hatred for America throughout the Muslim world has increased in the last six years, as has Islamic radicalism, as has the overall terrorist threat, but it isn't because Massachusetts is letting gays get hitched or because the FDA approved Plan B, irrespective of how Islam regards those issues. The National Intelligence Estimate, representing "a consensus view of the 16 disparate spy services inside government," attributes "the diffusion of jihad ideology" to our foreign policy, and very specifically the Iraq War—which certainly speaks to a corrupted morality, although not the one men like Beck would have us consider. Nonetheless, American troops stacking naked Iraqi detainees into a pyramid for laughs and snapshots is a bigger problem than American boys kissing. To rework a favorite phrase of the royal ringleader, they hate us not for our freedom, but for the freedoms we've so casually taken.

It's a reality Beck and his cohorts and their devotees will nevertheless continue to ignore, determined as they are to scapegoat cultural progressives as true targets of radical Islamic terrorism. Naturally, it's patent madness to think that if only America could get its uppity women and queers under control, Islamic terrorists would leave us alone, but having the courage and wherewithal to examine the genuine impetus of the increasing rage directed at us would require self-reflection and accountability. Instead, they exist inside a confounding ideological quandary in which they hate terrorists, but, as a result of blaming us for terrorists' attentions, they hate cultural progressives even more—and thusly want to control us, ultimately putting them on the same side as the radical fundamentalist Muslims to whom they like to claim we give support and comfort.

One is then left to wonder what Beck would do with all the uppity women and queers—whose off-the-charts promiscuity and daggum insistence on autonomy and equality are dragging America down into the soulless, depraved muck—since he's gracious enough not to endorse flying airplanes into buildings or beheading people. Legislating us into second-class citizenry is getting harder with the inevitable march of progress, so perhaps the next step is simply rounding us up to be dumped in some of those fancy Halliburton-built detention centers. After the deluge of email I received recently from angry conservatives for reasons well-known, I can attest that sending people like me to Gitmo is already not far from their minds.

They're so thoroughly losing the battle of ideas that the only arrow a cretin like Beck has left in his quiver is despicable crypto-eliminationist rhetoric. That sort of contemptible codswallop used to appeal only to those who haunt the darkest corners of America's ideological landscape, but thanks to the mainstreaming of such loathsome ideas by useful tools like Beck, coupled with the calamitous decision by the mainstream media to legitimize them, "I wouldn't kill liberals, but radical Muslims would, and they're right" now passes the muster of what we consider acceptable public discourse.

If there's evidence of America's moral decay to be found anywhere in all this, it's that we barely manage to bat an eye at such wicked hatemongering anymore.

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