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Richard Day's picture

GUILT AND SHAME AND THE LAW

File:Collegiale-Thann-p1010106.jpgI wish to discuss shame; primarily in a political context.

Shame of course is a personal variable.

We are supposed to experience a different feeling for guilt than that of shame.

I would experience guilt if I stole my neighbor's goods.

But at some point in time, I would begin to experience shame; the shame of a being a thief.

Thief being a status while thieving being the actual crime.

...through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.

The idea of confession (from an idealist's perspective) is that somehow we get rid of our guilt and our shame through the action of the priest (the representative of God on earth). Although penance might consist of reciting a few rosaries; we are also asked to make 'amends'.

If you used sharp words against a brother or sister, you cannot take back those words, after all. All you can do is apologize and promise (as you already did to the priest) never to act like that again.

If you kill someone, you cannot bring the victim back to life. The best you might be able to do would be to supply the survivors with survivor benefits.

If you burn down someone's dwelling you could never make that person whole; because the contents of the abode could never be exactly duplicated let alone the floor plan. Some monetary amount would be necessary.

So to some extent all faiths understand that perfect amends can never be made.

Therefore, we all experience guilt and we all experience shame and no matter how many times we pretend that we are 'reborn' or 'born again' we are what we are. And what we are is associated with what we have previously done; how we have previously acted.

And if you really wish to feel like shite, read up on your Augustine or Aquinas!

Those folks will never let you off scott free no matter how much they claim the universality of God's forgiveness.

So what does politics have to do with all of this?

We have problems concerning forgiveness in this country (and most probably everywhere else). Even following the point where amends (there cannot ever be perfect amends after all) have been made we are not really ready as a society to forgive.

So the felon who has been convicted (85% of the time per a confession), sentenced and freed following his term in prison still might be denied the right to vote.

I was reviewing some Social Security materials along with links concerning other governmental programs and discovered that there are limits with regard to applications for benefits submitted by those felons who have already completed their sentences.

Now I recall some client I had decades ago (representing him on some civil matter like real estate or some such) who presented an interesting and heart felt issue.

After he returned from Nam sometime in the early seventies, he evidently was not an easy fellow to get along with.

One night he got drunk and hit his wife. There was no evidence or contention of grievous bodily harm.

He, unlike so many others in that situation, immediately plead guilty to assault and received a fine and probation and went to therapy.

Two decades later he wished to wipe out this misdemeanor from his record.

He had ceased using alcohol, he had confronted his demons, he had studied hard and become a therapist himself and his ex wife had no problem forgiving him his sins—in writing.

Well Minnesota (as well as some other states) allows those convicted of crimes the opportunity to apply for a complete pardon from the courts following a certain period of time from the conviction.

For no apparent reason, we lost that in that application. (Although later I figured out we lost because of political reasons.)

There was not enough money available for an appeal.

We Americans like to put forth an ideal that people should not be judged by their status but by their actions. Truth, Justice & the American Way; the 14th Amendment; our Civil Rights Acts....

But it is not always that easy for us as human beings to see the difference between status and previous actions.

I mean we feel the need to keep the individual convicted of sexual crimes away from schools and such. We make that person bear the Mark of Cain and alert all his neighbors of his status as a sex offender.

Don't get me wrong, I am not defending sex offenders here.

I came across this reference to a book written by a PhD who contends that just the fact of being poor should be enough to ostracize them from the rest of society; to brand them as we do sex offenders and other ex-felons.

My reform measures might seem draconian to some (and the antithesis of the free market), but they would hopefully have the desired result of reducing food stamp rolls so we could eventually eliminate the program and let the states handle the issue. Before accepting food stamps, people would have to carefully consider whether they want to face the loss of voting privileges, the humiliation of shopping at government stores and using government food, the inability to smoke or do drugs and the added inconvenience of having to make two or three stops for their groceries should they choose to buy snacks with their own money. Plus, tax producers would no longer have to knowingly be face to face with people at the check-out who are on government assistance but have nicer cell phones and accessories than they do.

Brion McClanahan, Ph.D.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201202280009

Oh so this reform might seem draconian in nature!

Currently some 46 million Americans receive food-stamps/

Can you imagine thousands of large warehouses situated across this nation with signs like:

GOV-MART; WHERE AMERICA'S POOR SHOP DAILY!

And the poor would line up in front of the Gov-mart and following a sniff test for nicotine and a urine test for drugs and alcohol, the poor individual would enter the establishment in order to buy spam and flour and eggs and such.

There is a message here and that message is not some far fetched message communicated by some nut; some member of the fringe.

And that message is that the poor are poor through their own fault, through their own fault, through their most grievous fault.

And once these poor realize through some public shaming processes; that they are responsible for their status these poor will mend their ways and become contributing members of society once again!

See this pdf on how states are keeping their poor from applying for Federal benefits—Medicaid...

http://www.thearctn.org/Assets/Docs/Mon0411.pdf

Mandatory drug testing for the poor.

http://www.roanoke.com/politics/wb/303939

There are so many many examples of the states using laws as mallets in order to pound the poor into submission. I have most probably written a hundred posts on the subject.

On a lighter note we come to another expert and his opinion regarding health care rights for women:

LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.

The johns, that's right. We would be the johns -- no! We're not the johns. Well -- yeah, that's right. Pimp's not the right word.

OK, so, she's not a slut. She's round-heeled. I take it back.

Kate, Rockford, Illinois. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you here

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201202290008

"My cat -- here's how you can get fooled. My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat's coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her -- guess what -- she's off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women, than anything my whole life. But we put voices in their mouths."
-- Rush Limbaugh

http://penelopeandsadie.blogspot.com/2007/12/rush-limbaughs-cat.html

- In defense of his coining of the phrase "feminazis" to describe feminist activists, Limbaugh says he won't apologize "Because it's right. Because it's accurate... If you're offended, it's your problem. It's not mine." You know, because supporting a feminist cause is the same as committing horrific acts of genocide. Right?

- #16 on Limbaugh's list of "35 Undeniable Truths of Life" is that "women should not be allowed on juries where the accused is a stud." You know, because our sex-crazed brains just couldn't handle it. Oh, and #24? "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." Thanks to feminism, unattractive women can also be kept off of juries where a "stud" is on trial!

 http://bitchmagazine.org/post/rush-limbaugh-asks-what-do-women-want

Barbara Boxer was just shown on some dais with female legislators in the background.

Her point had to do with the intersection of health care issues with religious and moral issues.

She noted that an employer could refuse insurance coverage to someone with lung cancer because the victim smoked at onetime in his or her life. The cancer victim was therefore responsible for the diagnosis.

She noted that an employer could refuse insurance coverage to an employee with AIDS because the diagnosis of AIDS demonstrated that the victim was guilty of per se of crimes against God.

Senator Boxer had really fine points to make, but does anyone in their right mind believe that logic would have any effect whatsover on the conclusions of the ten million Americans who absolutely love rush?

Nevertheless the underwear model who serves as the Governor of Virginia stepped back from legislation mandating that doctors shove some medical vibrator up a woman's sacred place!

So the fight goes on.

We have problems concerning forgiveness in this country (and most probably everywhere else). Even following the point where amends (there cannot ever be perfect amends after all) have been made we are not really ready as a society to forgive.

I think this is the core of many of our problems.  Why, for example, do we strip felons of their right to vote (in many states, anyway?)  Why do we do this when some felonies are ridiculous and don't even amount to serious crimes?  Fine, fine, what about the things that we all agree are wrong?  Theft, violence, the production and sale of Ke$ha records... can society ever forgive these things?

We tend to think of criminality as an identity when, it seems to me, that most people experience moments of criminality.  We're wired, judging by our fiction, especially pulp stuff and comics, to think in terms of absolutes.  Bad people are like Dr. Doom or Dr. No.  They always have college degrees and they always want to take over the world all of the time.

Nowhere do we consider that sometimes, people who are "good" during the vast majority of their waking lives, will have moments of malice, greed and carelessness.  There's a lot to think about here, though.  Because I know I can sure get my dander up if somebody has committed a crime that really pushes my buttons, just as I can be forgiving when the crime at hand doesn't bother me so much.

There's no such thing as an innocent man!

But there are those whose good deeds far outweigh the bad things done unto others.

Humility is an ability, a talent to see one's own sins so that the humble are better able to understand the sins of others.

This presidential campaign just pisses me off more and more every day. hahaha

Much too too Catholic this morning I guess. hahahaha

I, too, am a bit overwhelmed. It seems there's no bottom for the candidates or the party. It really is getting beyond my ability to understand it.

It didn't seem to be this way when I was younger. Or maybe it was, but now enhanced communication lets us see so much more of it and so quickly.

When I was a kid, they used to advertise "X-ray" glasses in the backs of cheap magazines. "See through other people's clothing!"

I actually asked my father for money to buy those things, and he quickly kaboshed my little fantasy.

Anyway, now it seems we can take scans of people's minds and emotions through the Internet and 24-hour news. Or maybe these media encourage the id to emerge and dance upon the public stage. I dunno.

but does anyone in their right mind believe that logic would have any effect whatsover on the conclusions of the ten million Americans who absolutely love rush?

Absolutely not. He tickles their evil id, and there's no real talking to the id.

Peter I hereby render unto you from all of me the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site.

THE EVIL ID.

Damn. Let's do a play together. hahahaaha

I just love this as a title.

Richard, I never thought I'd win this award.

I'm blushing like an Oscar winner...and honored!

Dick, see!

Mo' is plagiarizing me:

"Once elected, those presidents curbed the id with the ego, common sense and reason. But now the G.O.P.’s id is unbridled. The horse has thrown the rider; the dark forces are bubbling. Moderates, women, gays, Hispanics and blacks — even the president — are being hunted in this most dangerous game."

FWIW, I feel no shame in admitting that I like listening to Ke$ha. (I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm a philistine, and I know it.)

THE SENATE JUST BEAT THIS DAMN BLUNT AMENDMENT 51-48--MSNBC!

The vote to defeat the proposal was 51 to 48, with one Republican, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, voting with 50 Democrats against the amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt, R- Mo.

Three Democrats, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted with most Republicans for the proposal.

MSNBC.  Cannot believe it was so close and three so called Dems voted for it, so glad Nelson is soon gone.

 

We may lose the seat but then again; perhaps the repub will be caught with his hands in the cookie jar or the lap dancer or whatever!

We got a shot!

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