Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Steelers Won and Humans are Idiots

To brag is human, to not brag divine. Since I don’t even pretend to be anything other than human, I’m going to brag.

Even if I was an utterly non-supportive coward and bailed on Saturday’s game after the disappointing first half, I still have to smile at the outcome of the Ravens-Steelers match. After listening to Baltimore DJs and Baltimore fans trash-talking the Steelers and predicting a Ravens’ win for the last two weeks, I really, really, really wanted my team to win… if only to say “nyah, nyah, nyah” after the fact.

I’m taking their ultimate victory as proof that God loves me, human though I am.

Of course, deep down inside, I know very well that God wasn’t watching the game booing every time the Ravens scored. He cares – really cares – about the players on both teams and wants every single one of them to live life to the fullest, just as He does with those of us who aren’t so athletically talented.

Humans, however, aren’t so benign. We’re not always quite so smart either. And sometimes, our non-benign-ness and our lack of intelligence come together in such a way that we end up hurting ourselves. Too often, we do that for the absolute silliest reason possible: We want to fit in.

I finished that book I’ve been writing about a lot lately – Half the Sky – on Friday morning. And that last section was extremely telling…

Some of the stories highlighted how life’s twists and turns sometimes have no human explanation. Others showed the cruelty human beings can inflict on each other. But there were certain accounts that Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn wrote about that illustrated how we’re our own worst enemies sometimes.

The In-Crowd Mentality

In the last 50 pages of Half the Sky, readers hear about a young lady who actually asked to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). All of her friends were being “cut” and she didn’t want to be left out. Even understanding that it was going to be painful, she promised her parents that she wouldn’t cry when it happened if they only gave her permission to follow the in-crowd.

Here in the “enlightened” West, which values sexuality perhaps more than we should, the idea of purposely and permanently desensitizing ourselves to sexual stimulation seems like one of the stupidest things we could possibly do to ourselves. And while that’s probably not the absolute dumbest thing – at the risk of giving the human race too much credit, we’re quite talented at behaving exceptionally idiotically when given just a little encouragement – we are right in considering the practice pointless, repressive and downright barbaric.

Yet we support other harmful practices just because the cool kids are saying “do it.” Like liberalism.

Yes, I went there. And no, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to connect the two.

What FGM and Liberalism Have in Common

Both limit how much people can experience life. With FGM, it’s about sexual pleasure. Most women who are cut will never enjoy sex the way it was created to be enjoyed. They’re physically impaired, all because some culture deemed it the proper thing to do… because it’s socially acceptable.

Meanwhile, liberalism keeps poor people poor. It traps them in a victim mentality that keeps them always demanding of others and never striving for anything themselves. They’re psychologically impaired from pursuing their dreams, from using their skills, from claiming their right to be all that they can be.

And let’s face it, being conservative isn’t the cool thing to do these days. According to most educational institutions, the news media and the entertainment world, it’s downright unacceptable not to be liberal.

Both FGM and liberalism also affect mortality rate. In the former case, this is a physical death.

Traditionally, FGM involves more than just removing parts of the female anatomy. And these additional procedures can cause serious complications after puberty and during childbirth. Women die in droves because of the after affects of being sewn up so tightly that their body can’t function properly.

You can make arguments for and against whether liberalism results in such disturbing body counts. But we’ll leave that for another day. What is much clearer, however, is that liberalism will be the death of this country if we keep following the in-crowd mentality of doing something just because we think it makes us look good.

No government can keep spending money it doesn’t have for forever, as current liberal theology presses for. No government can continuously repress its citizens’ rights without being overthrown either. Just like the human body can only handle so much abuse before it falls apart, a country can’t defy the laws of logic and nature for too long before time takes its toll and it topples as well.

That might be something that all of the other lemmings don’t want to focus on. But they’ll probably change their mind when the knife is actually tearing into them… or when they’re falling off a cliff.*

*For those who need it spelled out for them at every turn (i.e. liberals), that last sentence is not my attempt at spreading “vitriol.” I am simply continuing the comparison of FGM to left-wing politics.

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