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I like Slacktivist - The Ex-Communicator

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February 22nd, 2011

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09:08 am - I like Slacktivist
Even though I can't get on with the monotheist religions I love Slacktivist, a blog by an Evangelical Christian in the US. I disagree with his theology, but I just really like him. This week he comments on reports that his fellow Evangelicals are supporting tough budget cuts 'to balance the budget'. Strangely, from his utterly different world, from a different class and gender, from thousands of miles away, he says exactly what I think:
Whenever I hear someone say, "We've got to make the tough, painful choices to balance the budget" I know that I needn't waste any more time listening to that person. He's not really interested in balancing the budget, he's interested in imagining himself as someone who is "tough." And he's so preoccupied with this need to feel "tough" that he is unwilling to do the arithmetic and see that the most urgent need when it comes to balancing the budget is not a "painful choice" but the choice to ease pain. Putting people back to work is not a painful choice. It's what those people want -- what they long for, hope for and pray for. It makes people happy and actually solves the problem.

It is not surprising to me that sympathetic emotion and the most pragmatic course of action are the same. That's because the urge to work in co-operation, and to relieve suffering are evolved human mechanisms to ensure survival. Suppressing those urges might require emotional fortitude - being 'tough' - but it's like the fortitude required to cut your own arm off. 99 times out of 100 it's a very bad idea.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 22nd, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)
One of the reasons Slacktivist is so good is because he's a theologically trained Evangelical. He is superb at analysing this sort of thing and pointing out how people are (ab)using their religion to justify stuff they want to do anyway.
[User Picture]
Date:February 22nd, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
I sometimes wonder how he survives in his community. But then I suppose that just proves his community is more diverse and tolerant than it may seem from far away.

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