About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Bush administration out of touch with reality, on sex as well as Iraq
Turns out that Bush and co., in a decidedly obtuse and un-Republican fashion, have told States that they can apply for millions in grants if they target “abstinence-only” messages to people 19 to 29 years of age. You read correctly, the government is telling adults – old enough to drive, drink (if above 21) and get killed in Iraq – that they shouldn't have sex, or they risk getting pregnant “out of wedlock.”
Besides the inanity of pushing a policy so contrary to human nature (it has even less chance of succeeding than a ban on large portions at restaurants would), how dare the Bush administration tell us that it is bad to have children if we are not married? Only a religiously motivated government would consider marriage “sacred,” and anything more than it actually is: a legally binding contract between two people who decided to share the good and the bad in life, and who want to get some assurance from the law that when the bad times come their partner can't simply bolt out and disappear into the fog without paying some reparation. (And even so, there are alternatives to marriage in a civil society, you know.)
The Republican party used to be the party of small government, but Bushy boy has turned it into one of the most bloated and intrusive (not to mention most expensive) bureaucracies in the history of the Western world. The result has been an unwinnable “war on terror,” an insane invasion of Iraq, the spectacle of the greatest democracy in the world engaging in torture of its detainees, blatant disrespect for individual privacy and due process at home, rampant stupidity masquerading as security checks at airports, and now millions of dollars spent to tell adults not to engage in the most natural act in the world, after eating. The political surge of the Christian right has suffered a serious setback with the November elections, but is it 2008 already?