Saturday, April 14, 2012

An Orwellian Wonderland!

The settlement of the WyWatch lawsuit against the State of Wyoming is what you get when you cross Alice in Wonderland with George Orwell. It’s an Orwellian Wonderland!

WyWatch exists only to deprive people of their constitutional rights, but has wrangled an admission from the State that it violated their constitutional rights.

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
 “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

It gets curiouser and curiouser. WyWatch spends time at the state capitol lobbying for legislation intended to deny constitutionally protected rights and then uses the courts to protect their own. I suppose that on an academic level, I get it but as the Duchess
told Alice, “The moral of that is -- The more there is of mine, the less there is of yours.”

The WyWatch website describes the reason the organization exists. “WyWatch PAC is a political action committee registered in the state of Wyoming that seeks to protect innocent life, parental rights, the sanctity of marriage, educational choice for families, and uphold God given liberties based on the word of God along with the United States and Wyoming Constitutions.”

And “The Red Queen shook her head, “You may call it “nonsense” if you like,” she said, “but I’ve heard nonsense, compared with which that would be as sensible as a dictionary!”

In his classic, 1984, George Orwell called it “doublethink.” According to Orwell, “Doublethink is the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.... to tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies - all this is indispensably necessary-and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”

Accusing WyWatch of “doublethink” therefore allows one to acknowledge they actually believe what they say even though it’s not true. While claiming to “uphold God given liberties based on the Word of God along with the United States and Wyoming Constitutions” WyWatch endeavors to deny the constitutional rights of women to choose and those constitutional rights that many courts have recognized for same-sex couples to marry, claiming to uphold both the Constitution and the Word of God. All the while they use a distorted and narrow, self-serving view of both.

The settlement of their lawsuit against the state allows them to remain “one leap ahead of the truth.” Taxpayers cough up $30,000 for their attorneys and they continue their campaign to deny the constitutional rights of others.

Alice said, Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin, but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!” Perhaps Orwell said it even better, “Don't you see that the whole aim is to narrow the range of thought? Has it ever occurred to you Winston that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?

The word “hypocrisy” is too weak a word to describe this. The word “chutzpah” gets closer but inadequate.  Using the Word of God to create hatred of another may violate the Greatest Commandments. Using your constitutional rights as a tool to deprive others of theirs means 2+2 no longer equals four and that equation is what Orwell thought was the key to freedom.  So, the best words may be un-American and/or un-Christian.

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