Had they met I have no doubt Arthur would have read Bobo like the telephone directory. Just like he did these creeps here–
“During the summer of 2008, the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith led a research team that conducted in-depth interviews with 230 young adults from across America. The interviews were part of a larger study that Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, Patricia Snell Herzog and others have been conducting on the state of America’s youth.
Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.
It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.”
Surely this wasn’t always the case with college kids. Right Joan?
“The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, which Smith and company recount in a new book, “Lost in Transition,” you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.”
“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.
“Not many of them have previously given much or any thought to many of the kinds of questions about morality that we asked,” Smith and his co-authors write. When asked about wrong or evil, they could generally agree that rape and murder are wrong. But, aside from these extreme cases, moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner. “I don’t really deal with right and wrong that often,” is how one interviewee put it.
The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. “It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. “It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?” “
“The Years of Shame
Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?
Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.
What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.
A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?
The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.
I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.”
After reading Krugman’s repugnant piece on 9/11, I cancelled my subscription to the New York Times this AM.”
“Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme: “I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.”
“Many were quick to talk about their moral feelings but hesitant to link these feelings to any broader thinking about a shared moral framework or obligation. As one put it, “I mean, I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it. But different people feel different ways, so I couldn’t speak on behalf of anyone else as to what’s right and wrong.”
“Smith and company found an atmosphere of extreme moral individualism — of relativism and nonjudgmentalism. Again, this doesn’t mean that America’s young people are immoral. Far from it. But, Smith and company emphasize, they have not been given the resources — by schools, institutions and families — to cultivate their moral intuitions, to think more broadly about moral obligations, to check behaviors that may be degrading. In this way, the study says more about adult America than youthful America.
Smith and company are stunned, for example, that the interviewees were so completely untroubled by rabid consumerism. (This was the summer of 2008, just before the crash).
Many of these shortcomings will sort themselves out as these youngsters get married, have kids, enter a profession or fit into more clearly defined social roles. Institutions will inculcate certain habits. Broader moral horizons will be forced upon them. But their attitudes at the start of their adult lives do reveal something about American culture. For decades, writers from different perspectives have been warning about the erosion of shared moral frameworks and the rise of an easygoing moral individualism.
Allan Bloom and Gertrude Himmelfarb warned that sturdy virtues are being diluted into shallow values. Alasdair MacIntyre has written about emotivism, the idea that it’s impossible to secure moral agreement in our culture because all judgments are based on how we feel at the moment.”
Allan Bloom, author of the specious The Closing of the American Mind was a closet queen who died of AIDS. Saul Bellow, who for reasons that escape me, admired his worthless ass, wrote an ass-kiss a clef about him called Ravelstein
“Charles Taylor has argued that morals have become separated from moral sources. People are less likely to feel embedded on a moral landscape that transcends self. James Davison Hunter wrote a book called “The Death of Character.”
“Smith’s interviewees are living, breathing examples of the trends these writers have described.
In most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit. A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.”
“Human rights lawyers and victims of clergy sexual abuse filed a complaint on Tuesday urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity for what they described as abetting and covering up the rape and sexual assault of children by priests.
The formal filing of nearly 80 pages by two American advocacy groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, marks the most substantive effort yet to hold the pope and the Vatican accountable in an international court for sexual abuse by priests.
A spokesperson at the court said that the prosecutor’s office will examine the papers, “as we do with all such communications.” The first step will be “to analyse whether the alleged crimes fall under the court’s jurisdiction,” Florence Olara, the prosecutor’s spokeswoman said.
Complaints about the Vatican and child abuse by Catholic priests have been received at the court before, court records showed. But Ms. Olara said that details are not normally disclosed by the court unless a case goes forward.
Lawyers familiar with the I.C.C. said that it was unlikely that complaint against the Vatican would fit the court’s mandate to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. But even an examination of the issue by the prosecution office would appear to serve the plaintiffs’ goal of getting international attention for the case.
A Vatican spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Vatican officials have often said that the decisions about priests accused of abuse are made by bishops — not by the Vatican hierarchy — and that the church is far more decentralized than is widely believed.
But the lawyers and abuse victims who are taking the case to the international court say their action is necessary because all the cases brought against priests and bishops in various countries have not been sufficient to prevent the crimes from continuing.
“National jurisdictions can’t really get their arms around this,” said Pamela Spees, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who helped prepare the filing. “Prosecuting individual instances of child molestation or sexual assault has not gotten at the larger systemic problem here. Accountability is the goal, and the I.C.C. makes the most sense, given that it’s a global problem.”
In addition to Pope Benedict XVI, the filing asks the court to prosecute Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the previous secretary of state and the current dean of the College of Cardinals; and Cardinal William Levada, who is head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office designated to receive cases of clergy sexual abuse that are forwarded by bishops.
A central question is whether the accusations will fit the court’s criteria. The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed after July 1, 2002, when the court opened. It is independent of the United Nations and has jurisdiction in the 117 countries that so far have ratified the Rome Statute that created the court. Italy, Germany and the Netherlands are signatories, while the Vatican and the United States are not.”
IOW, like such high-ranking moral monsters as Dubbya and Dick Cheney, Pope Ratzi had better not put a Prada-slippered toe outside of the Vatican.
“The filing against the Vatican cites five cases in which priests have been accused of abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United States; the priests in these cases are from Belgium, India and the United States.
Ms. Spees said she hoped to convince the court that the cases were within its jurisdiction, because they involve abuses that she said were “systematic and widespread,” and because the pope and two of the three cardinals named in the filing are from nations that are signatories to the Rome Statute.
Experts in international law said they thought the court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, would be reluctant to accept the cases because of thorny jurisdictional questions, as well as political and religious sensitivities.
They said that the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests was sufficiently heinous and numerous to meet the court’s standards. The question is whether the facts show that the Vatican officials actually perpetuated the abuse.
Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association, which is based in London, said he thought that the Court would open a preliminary investigation to determine whether it has jurisdiction — and that it would probably conclude that it did not.
“Crimes against humanity means acts that are committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population,” Mr. Ellis said. “What you’re looking at is really a policy, in which the government or the authorities are planning the attack.”
“When you look at the concept of why and how the I.C.C. was created, I just don’t think this fits,” he said. “But the filing does something that’s important. It raises awareness. Ultimately the plaintiffs will elevate this in the public eye and it will force the court to respond.”
But has the Catholic Church ever responded to reality? A criminal pedophile gang it remains adamantly opposed to the facts of life, as lovingly detailed by the Greeks. Right Arthur?
That’s all a bit much for Ratzi. Not to mention Bobo.
But never mind. Both of you are virtually dead — while Arthur’s more alive than ever.
Sing us out Laura