News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Who's Responsible?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Who's Responsible?

Everytime I hear about holding people repsonsible for their actions, I begin to ask what people are talking about. For conservatives, this is the great cry to the troops. Yet, as Steven Thomma argues, it simply is not the case that leaders of our society live by their own moral outrage. Instead, if you have money and power, you are rewarded with a golden parachute or perhaps an award from the commander in chief.

I think that what the political and religious conservatives mean, however, is that if you do not have money and power then you are to be held responsible for your circumstances. The poor and socially outcast are held to a higher social and moral standard simply because they cannot stand up for themselves. There are no tears shed over them, only aspersions and vitriol.

There is no excuse for being poor; if you're poor, on drugs, or psychologically fractured, it is your fault and so society has a right to take out its rightrous wrath on your unrighteousness. As Job found out from his friends, he deserved the deaths of his children and the boils and necrotic skin. If he had been truly right with God, he would have been protected and comfortable in his life, fenced in by God himself.

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