11 October 2006

Decency in America

Good interview today on AlterNet with Frederick S. Lane, author of The Decency Wars: The Campaign to Cleanse American Culture. Fascinating stuff, really.

It can't be denied that America in the last 30-40 years, and particularly in the last 20, has shifted dramatically to a much more fundamental and puritanical view of "decency," read: anything having to do with sex, sexual choices, sexual freedom or enjoying sex as you wish is immoral. Mr. Lane discusses this and the imperative for a social decency which involves inclusion and acceptance.

Hear! Hear!

Lane comments on the impact of the Mark Foley Congressional page scandal and how the war in Iraq relates to the concept of "decency."

For me, decency involves helping other people, providing for the common good, providing for those who cannot provide for themselves, economic, social and legal justice, acceptance of all people regardless of their race, religion, nationality, gender, etc.

Decency does not involve forcing our political agenda on other sovereign nations, denying appropriate health care aid for a continent struggling to survive AIDS, refusing to bolster the nation's minimum wage unless there's a rider attached eliminating taxes for dead rich people.

For me, it's a no-brainer. There is decency which insists everyone must be decent in the same way and to the same degree and there is decency which allows adult humans to make their own choices and supports them in the life they choose as right for them as long as no one else gets hurt in the process. Which America would you rather live in?

Visit Alternet for more great stuff about America and her culture. The interview was conducted by Celina R. De Leon who is a contributing writer for WireTap magazine, and Interviews editor at Feministing.com, another great place to visit.

(Also posted on No Ordinary Princess.)

tags: American culture / Christian fundamentalism / Christianity / decency / morality / sex / US politics / values

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