Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This Is Our Brain on Fear

If you were raised in the United States, you can probably recall the PSA with the image of an egg frying and the saying, "This is your brain on drugs". Well the current political climate in America indicates that our collective brain is well on its way to being just as fried.

In an article for Alternet, Tammy Ganeva outlined the, "10 of the Most Obscenely Stupid Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories and Attacks Against the President."

Janet Shan of The Hinterland Gazette posted a story, "Capt Connie Rhodes Files Lawsuit to Fight Deployment to Afghanistan, Disputes the Legitimacy of Barack Obama's Presidency."

Stacy Morrow posted a story for MSNBC informing us that the Arlington Independent School District which passed on showing President Obama's address to school children plans to bus (yes, bus) some of those children to Texas Stadium on September 21st to hear former President George W. Bush.

What do these stories have in common?

They are all describing the insanity that has gripped this country. A form of mental illness so severe that it prompted Rep. Congressman Joe Wilson (SC) to shout "You Lie" at President Obama during the latter's address to Congress.

Friends this isn't Sparta, this is madness

Like an addict hooked on crack, it seems that a large portion of American society is hooked on fear. And now that fear is turning to disrespect, race baiting and worst of all, religious zealotry that twists the gospel of Jesus Christ from a message of love into a sermon of hate.

What bible is this man reading? Certainly not the same one that I am because in my bible Matthew 22:36-40 reads:

36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Pastor Steven Anderson needs to rethink his religion. A lot of people do.

We also need to rethink our political conversation. Yes, the blogosphere has had a lot of fun pointing out the hypocrisy and absurdities coming from both of the major political camps. In fact, some blogs/bloggers have become famous and infamous for their flaming conversations. But is this really who we want to be as a society?

It would be easy to say that this is all the result of the American public having had their fears manipulated for the past 8 years. I'm sure that eight years of: environmentalists being portrayed as kooks; war veterans being portrayed as cowards; twisted stories about weapons of mass destruction; politically timed and motivated terror alerts; anti-war dissent being labeled as of being un-American; the suspension of habeas corpus; mass wire-tapping by the telecoms; et. al. had their effect. But I suspect that the current outpouring of venom is something that has always been hidden in the dark recesses of our national soul like some dormant parasite just waiting to be fed.

In the months ahead, health care reform may or may not pass. The economy may continue to improve or it may worsen. And political candidates may or may not be re-elected. But many of the words of hate spoken over the past months will be remembered for a very long time.

America, this is our brain on fear. Consider this an intervention. Now get help!

Related links:

Tell Congressman Joe WIlson to apologize for disrsepecting the President during his address to Congress.

Sign the Credo mobile petition urging the FBI and Secret Service to do all that they can to protect the President.

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