Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I have read your post several times, and at some point you loose me. Perhaps this question may be an answer to the heart of your post: Why has Canada not succumbed to either neoliberal fundamentalism, or fundamentalist Christianity in the same way the US has? Traditionally, Canada has had stronger religious ties than the US. Currently it has weaker ties. I.e. - the reasons that the US has gone in the direction it has is not because of religion - though there were plenty of church leaders who were on the bandwagon as it pulled out of the station. My feeling is that we are witnessing at least two failures - one of democracy, and one of a lack of understanding of what the role of government is. I.e.: Libertarian policy leads to immoral behaviours. It is not the role of government to run at a profit or serve business. It is the role of government to serve the people. Traditionally, church and government have been synonymous. Churches are quite able to fill the role of serving the people when the government fails to do so. (Though not nearly to the same level of quality that a government can.) Perhaps you could call both of these examples of learned helplessness. You probably could call the response to Libertarian philosophy - church run social services - further reinforcing learned helplessness - especially with the poor and sick.


First, there is no such animal as "the church". It is but a dream in a theocrat's eye right now. Plenty of blood spilt to end that idea.

Second - and this is just a hunch - guilt and learned helplessness probably do not usually go well together with support for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When you speak of guilt, I am guessing you are speaking of the Catholic Church. It seems to me that their stand on Homosexuality would fairly clearly violate the spirit of the declaration. It may, depending on interpretation, violate the letter of the document.  Of course, individual Catholics may or may not be in support of the universal Declaration of Human Rights. When we measure, we are not limited to aye or nay.

At some point you are just going to have to call it a day and accept that your measuring tool may not be perfect. The question is, is it good enough? Of course you can look at other tools as well. Some may in some ways make stronger statements than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One example would be the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It, unlike the UDHR is quite explicit on the rights of Homosexuals. If you feel it important to examine the role of learned helplessness within Christianity, or any other religion, then do so. Don't limit yourself to religion, and do not fall into the trap of assuming one-size fits all. Personally I think that one can get unnecessarily complicated and loose sight of the forest for the trees.

If we are speaking about the attempt at making the US into a theocracy - there is no need to worry how they will measure up on the UDHR. The question is, do they support any of it?

As far as the rest of it goes: Use the measuring stick and see what you get. It seems to me that in general the UDHR tends to support positions that are farther, not closer, to learned helplessness.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 08:59:22 PM EST
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