Monday, November 21, 2005

The (Lack of) Compassion of the Conservatives

First, my apologies to Mel Gibson as the title of this post is a a little word play taken from the title of his powerful, heartfelt movie The Passion of the Christ. With that said, the title seemed appropriate given that so many social conservatives seem lacking in compassion for those that truly are in unfortunate circumstances.

Case in point is this story I ran across on freerepublic.com this afternoon. For those not familiar with freerepublic.com, it is a news and forum website founded, maintained, and financially supported by grass-roots conservatives. Registered members can post links to articles on the Internet as well as post comments about the articles and respond to the posts of other registered users. The comment sections to the posted articles are commonly known as "threads" in Internet slang.

The story linked to above is about a 27 year-old Belgian man confined to a wheel chair. He's quadriplegic and can't talk, eat, or walk but is normal mentally and communicates through a computer. One other thing he can do is get an erection. He can function sexually.

For several years now, his mother has been paying prostitutes to come visit her son about once a month. I don't believe any further details are necessary here.

This man would like to have sex more than once a month, but his mother can't afford that. His story has made the news because recently his mother has petitioned the Belgian government for money to pay for weekly visits from the prostitutes as reimbursement for medical expenses, which they've so far rejected.

Now I fully realize this all sounds absurd. But what would you do, my dear reader, if you were a parent in this situation? What if it was your son? Would you even pay for a prostitute? Given this young man's severe physical limitations, his chances of finding a woman who would be willing to spend her life with him are rather slim. Should he be condemned to a life devoid of any sexual gratification because of his physical limitations?

While these types of situations are thankfully rare, they do occur. Sadly, the "compassionate" conservatives that took the time to write a post on this story could only mock or show disgust at this man's situation.

There are currently 68 posts to this article and only two posts show any compassion for this man's plight. First, there's this post early in the thread from RichInOC:

This is one of those stories that really shouldn't be funny...but is.

Then, towards the end of the thread, wouldntbprudent does a little better when he writes this response to the post above:

And it's also the other way around: it really should be funny . . . but isn't. :-;

That's it for the compassion on this thread. Impressive, wouldn't you say?

The following items are representative of the other 66 comments:

1. ROTFLMAO! What more can you say?

Note: ROTFLMAO=Rolling on the floor, laughing my ass off

2. Could a Moslem citizen of Belgian therefore demand 72 virgins?

3. My brain needs soap after reading that.

4. It is tempting to dismiss this piece as something from The Onion, but sadly enough it is true. This is what happens to a once Catholic country that allows itself to be pulled down into the gutter with the worst of the eurotrash.Even money says they give in within six months.

5. And then they can pay for his medical treatment after he contracts AIDS or an STD.

6. LOL! Good catch. I'm MARRIED, and sometimes I don't even get sex once a week. Maybe I should sue my wife for depriving me of my basic human rights!

7. It is frequently said on this site that a country that can't control its borders will not be a country for very long. I don't disagree, but I would add that a country that publicly funds pocket-pool is in even more trouble.

8. If there is legal sex for handicaps then only handicaps will have legal sex...

9. Never bring a 'hand' to a 'prostitute' fight.

10. I am actually speechless. These people are mad, mad, mad.


11. The guy can't feel anything from the head down, but he NEEDS sex? This WANT is just that, a want. This is just an attention seeking issue, a poor useless cripple who can't have sex, both physically and finacialy. I guess adressing the finacial aspect is his way of "having sex". Paying some cheap hooker to flog his dead useless member for a half hour isn't having sex. I guess it's called visual/mentaL sex.

Don't these eleven posts just drip with sympathy, compassion and understanding for this unfortunate soul's plight? Well, no, actually they show zero compassion. Nada. Nil. Remember that there are 55 other posts that mirror these 11. Click on the link in the second paragraph to read the article and all the comments, if you have the stomach for it.

Now I can appreciate the humor some of the folks posted. But is it too much to expect a "but seriously, folks" followed by some words that would at least show a smidgen of sympathy?

And sample post eleven is, well, just disgusting.

Granted, this is a very unusual situation, so most of us have never pondered it before. I understand that a person morally opposed to prostitution might be reluctant to have it paid for out of public funds. I also understand that it would be difficult for most of us to even think about securing the services of a prostitute for a disabled son. But it sure would have been nice if a poster or two would have at least acknowledged the complex moral issues surrounding this family's situation.

But none of them did. I hope they all had a good laugh or something.

The social conservatives of the Right may know the Bible backwards and forwards, but very few of them actually understand much of it. Futhermore, I'm certain that reactions here to this man's plight would be fairly representative of a large portion, if not a majority of social conservatives. The sad thing is that most of them are probably rather nice decent folks in their daily lives and habits. But when it comes to certain political and/or moral issues, many of them become self-righteous ideologues, condemning anyone that deviates from their orthodoxy as just plain evil. Just like the far Left does. I can't be a part of that.

That doesn't mean I'm becoming a Lefty. Far from it. I guess I'm now one of those despised RINO's that social conservatives talk about (RINO = Republican in name only). Or even worse, a libertarian. So be it. At least I don't mock the sex life of a disabled man in a wheel chair.

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