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The Perversion of "Values" 

As Bonhoeffer wrote in what was later published as ETHICS, "At such a time as this it is easy for the tyrannical despiser of men

As Bonhoeffer wrote in what was later published as ETHICS, "At such a time as this it is easy for the tyrannical despiser of men to exploit the baseness of the human heart, nurturing it and calling it by other names. Fear he calls responsibility. Desire he calls keenness. Irresolution becomes solidarity.

Brutality becomes masterfulness, Human weaknesses are played upon with unchaste seductiveness, so that meanness and baseness are reproduced and multiplied ever anew. The vilest contempt for mankind goes about its sinister business with the holiest of protestations of devotion to the human cause." With this present administration we see a similar attempt to turn "values" upside-down. A supposed concern for human life masks use of torture, denial of Geneva Convention relevance, and starting war without justifying evidence. A supposed dedication to freedom and the establishment of it in other countries hides the despising of the same freedom. U.S. government-established secret prisons in other countries, wire/cell-tapping without prior warrants and use of force to "establish democracy" transforms freedom into a joke. Fear becomes a tool for maintaining power. Those who oppose the leader's decisions become unpatriotic, unrealistic, and unwilling to "stay the course." Corporate powers link hands with leadership to deny or subvert attempts to avoid environmental disaster.

The point is that we find America in a values crisis. As a society, we often leave the field to those who would turn our values upside down. We may be relatively comfortable personally, but our nation is at a crossroads. It hurts to hear some political candidates continue to prioritize militancy, war, and fear over everything else. It bothers one to see "peaceniks," pro-choice advocates, and gay and lesbian persons targeted, while our administration has championed war, torture, denial of freedom, alignment with the powerful rich and environmental unconsciousness.

Will America ever wake up to what has transpired by this present administration? Many of us hope so.

Rev. Earl R. Modean, Bend

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