Wednesday, 5 March 2008

A Clergyman's Daughter

He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.

Watching a sappy 90's drama show on telly today (don't ask me why, and don't ask me what show it was), the conversation turned to the good old "I'm gonna ask for your daughter's hand, sir..."-routine. In the midst of all the wows of chastity and sickening promises of respect, a question was quickly asked and just as swiftly answered. It went some thing like this:

The father: Do you go to church?
(the boy not even taking a second to answer)
The boy: Every sunday

The question came and went so fast that the untrained eye (and ear) would have missed it. It was a quick formality with a standard answer. And I guess that is what bothered me. Not the fact that the nature of the answer was what it was. And not that the question was asked in the first place.

It was the implication that the question only had one right answer. It was the implication that a different answer would have caused a system break-down in the father's brain, and that the conversation (or rather bargaining session) would have been over. This is not okay by me. One might ask why this simple little fact of sappy television-life bothers me so much. The fact, however, is that this one little question and answer session reflects so much of what has become the norm in American culture, and it scares me. Actually it frightens me.

One would be hard pressed to find any good counter arguments to the statement "being a christian represents having character and being a better person than one would be without that belief in contemporary American society". That means that so-called contemporary wisdom in the worlds last remaining superpower is geared towards reducing people without a belief in the supernatural to being persons without "character" and of a lesser human value. Not only is this factually wrong, it breeds a society which accepts and even promotes a view of fellow human beings as second rate citizens. It excludes those who isn't "lucky enough" to be born with belief in the ridiculous from having any political power. It excludes them from exercising their constitutional right to voice their opinions without being ostracized and looked down on by their peers.

In the end it all comes down to an old and rather repetitive message of despair from those who find themselves in the minority which is being excluded. I just thought it was funny that such a small and unimportant passage of speech taken from a sappy 90's television drama could awaken this message once again.

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