March 22, 2008

Legislating Civility: No Cussing Week

When you ask most Americans what they think of the Christian right, you will hear something negative. The two most common complaints are likely to be hypocrisy and the tendency of conservative Christians to impose their view of morality on others. While many Americans adopt a "live and let live" stance toward religion, a great many resent being told how to live by the "family values" crowd. If you can relate to this, you are going to love this example out of South Pasadena, CA.

According to FaithNews Network, the city of South Pasadena, California, recently had a citywide "No Cussing Week." Regardless of whether this particular case had anything to do with conservative Christians, it is a classic example of the sort of measures the religious right loves. Why? They get to rant and rave against "moral depravity," bemoan the fact that it is no longer the 1950s, and look like they are doing something without actually having to bring about meaningful change.

I recently read an article stating that Christian extremism was a political dead end because if they ever accomplished their goals (e.g., banning gay marriage), there would be little else around which to rally their base. When I see cases like this and fondly remember the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) nonsense of the 1980s, I'm not so sure.

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