Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I would rather see a saloon on every corner
than as Catholic in the White House.
I would rather see a nigger as president
--Bob Jones, of university fame

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate!
--Every Sperm is Sacred,
Monty Python

There's a lady who's sure
all that glitters is gold
And she's buying
a stairway to heaven
--Stairway to Heaven,
Led Zeppelin

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on

--Battle Hymn of the Republic

{NOTE: Apologies for the whacked formatting and late posting of SIN! Typeface should be corrected in the next posting --L.}

Of the Republican contenders, who have made of their platform a moral soapbox, it seems fitting to ascertain who is the biggest sinner of all, for he should wear a horsehair shirt under his vest for the remainder of his sorry run.

We will first define our terms. The dictionary likes a variation of SIN: n.-- Something regarded as being shameful, deplorable, or utterly wrong. Lisa will limn it down to "doing something bad, intentionally, that knowingly hurts someone."

Several variables go into the algorithm for determining biggest sinner: Hyprocrisy, cluelessness, sanctimoniousness, intent and lack of remorse. But our title designator is not a simple thing to ascertain. Bad faith is part of it. Let us leave it at willful bad behavior which has a predictable negative impact upon another.

And off we go.

Romney --

Sin: Cluelessness and hubris.

It was woefully out-of-touch of him to say he drives a couple of American vehicles and his wife drive a couple of Cadillacs to a depressed Detroit crowd. He is visibly uncomfortable amongst the hoi polloi, and thinks wearing an L. L. Bean Tattersal plaid shirt equals dressing like the volk.

He seems not to know that we are Whitney people, people who follow Snooki and watch You Tubes of dogs jumping into pools and the Sports Illustrated cover model Upton doing the Dougie because, well, that's who we are.

Also, for all our attempts to be all-inclusive, Romney's Mormonism remains problematic. He has unwisely chosen for a religion which teleports its dead to another planet -- just wing-nut crazy -- unlike Christianity, where the dead get glorified bodies and teleport to heaven (or the bad place.)

Which brings us to Newt --

Sin: Pompous and belligerent. Hypocrite par excellence.

In most faith systems, Newt's adultery doesn't play well. He definitely sinned, by all conventional accounts. However, he wisely chose for Catholicism for the mulligans.

(I asked an observant Catholic friend if there was a limit to the number of forgivenesses one might be granted for repeat offenses, and he suggested that God did want us to learn from our transgressions. That did not satisfy, however, as there is no "sin menu" for Confessional which says something like, "Once you steal your 4th pack of Clove gum, no more expiation for gum theft.")

However, Newt looks like he could wear a Hogly-Wogly T-shirt and mean it (Newt could model for a Hogly-Wogly T-shirt.) He is a man of the folk, in a way Romney may never be. Where Romney looks like he could play a President on t.v., Newt in all his schlumpiness really is one of us.

To me, Romney and Newt are rather petty ante sinners, run of the mill for all that.

The biggest sinner of all is he who cloaks himself in the greatest piety, Rick Santorum.


Sin: Choosing for wrong and selling it as a "right".

The wrongs are many, and centered around his self-construction as a man of faith. His daughter Bella has Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder which is almost 100% fatal by the first several years of life. Like Tay-Sachs disease, it is an incremental death sentence. (See, "Rick Santorum, Meet My Son.")

To some, Bella and Sarah Pain's Trig (Down's syndrome) are seen as selfless choices. That is debatable. Santorum wants to limit prenatal genetic testing as he feels poor results yield too many abortions. But this is the height of arrogance, to impose one's religious beliefs upon others.

Even a patron of the Down's Syndrome Association defended testing and abortion saying "The hard facts are that it is costly in terms of human effort, compassion, energy, and finite resources such as money, to care for individuals with handicaps... People who are not yet parents should ask themselves if they have the right to inflict such burdens on others, however willing they are themselves to take their share of the burden in the beginning."[60]

In a religious sense, his choice for bringing his Trisomy 18 daughter to term makes sense and fits into the slave/martyr Christian ideology. It is the "last shall be first" and gaining a heavenly reward. But being President is not being Pope.

As a Republican, Santorum favors cutting governmental services, and presumably limiting Medicaid and Medicare allowances, so how does that jibe with a desire to bring more profoundly blighted fetuses to term? Who will care for these offspring and tend to their monumental medical needs? Certainly their parents will be taken out of the workforce to some degree, and professional intervention beyond normal parenting will be required.

If 93+% of women who now choose abortion due to chromosomal abnormalities were not to abort due to mis- or non-information, then from where will the funds come to accommodate this new influx of disabled citizens? Santorum has health insurance and Bella -- for her short and miserable so-called life -- will be drawing from it liberally, but what about the 49 million citizens without health insurance? What impact would that have upon society?

Can we say Newt is less responsible than Santorum? Both are allowing others to feel pain, but in the former case, there is cause for a hopeful recovery; in Santorum's choice for another's pain, there is no relief to be had.

We all know some bright, wonderful person locked into a body which is failing them due to some accident or disease. Why not direct the limited research staff, time and dollars to helping those already vibrant people have a stab at re-entering society at a fully-functioning level? What we need is more productivity and creativity, not less.

Further, how does Santorum's wife homeschool seven children, with a Trisomy 18 daughter at home? Certainly she is receiving help, and somebody is paying for that. But Santorum does not speak of generosity on the ex utero side of life.

Santorum is not only a hypocrite, but ill-informed and hateful.

He declaims, "We were put on the earth for our benefit, not the earth's benefit." Rick, are you a Christian? What then of being a good steward to the earth? What about Noah and the animals? What about BP oil spills and Bhopal and Exxon Valdez ... What an environmental horror you would be.

He opposes homosexual marriage, forcing a cohort of citizens to live "in sin" or celibacy. He says he is not opposed to homosexuals, but to their sex acts -- "to do things in the sexual relation that is [sic] counter to how things are supposed to be". What Santorum misses is that every permutation of sex performed by a gay couple can be and are performed by straight couples. Now what? Where's J. Edgar when you need him?

It feels like we are in a post-presidential epoch. The great events of state have taken a back seat to medieval concerns over controlling a woman's body as a means of production. (Santorum does not speak about controlling the behavior of heterosexual men, presumably a category in which he would like to reside.)

Well, there's RAW's sin round up. Santorum wins, hands down.

Sadly, the sin meter does not have elective predictive value as the voters are only recently out of the primordial ooze. Sanctomonious, sanitorium Santorum may be just what the doctor ordered.

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